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How it happened: Brett Favre's 61 pass attempts

Memorable victory in championship and MVP season saw the Hall of Fame QB hit season-low for passer rating

Former QB Brett Favre
Former QB Brett Favre

Resuming a series that began last summer, is taking a look back at some of the team's single-game records and how the individual set the mark. The series continues with Brett Favre's 61 pass attempts on Oct. 14, 1996, a mark Aaron Rodgers tied 19 years later on Nov. 15, 2015.

GREEN BAY – It's remembered as one of the most thrilling regular-season victories in a championship season.

It also saw Brett Favre set a team record in a rather unflattering way, throwing more passes in a game than any other Packers QB (61) but completing less than half of them (28).

The stats aren't key to the history, though, because the game's result, an overtime win for Green Bay, was what mattered and was most memorable.

Lambeau Field was the site of Monday Night Football in mid-October of 1996, with two NFC contenders in the Packers and 49ers squaring off in a rematch of the previous January's divisional playoff, won by Green Bay out west in surprisingly dominant fashion.

This one started with the Packers in good shape again, up 6-0 after one quarter on the strength of two Chris Jacke field goals, but the game turned in the second period. The 49ers scored a field goal and two touchdowns in a span of three possessions for a 17-6 halftime lead, and Green Bay's offense was in a bit of disarray.

After completing his first four passes of the game, Favre was just 5-for-17, with an interception, over the rest of the first half. And down by multiple scores to start the second half, he had to keep throwing.

He began the third quarter 2-for-6 over the first two drives, pushing the struggles to 7-for-23 since the 4-for-4 start, until finally a breakthrough.

On third-and-4 from the Green Bay 41-yard line, Favre found Don Beebe on a deep shot along the left sideline. Beebe made a sliding catch as 49ers defender Marquez Pope tumbled over top of him. Then Beebe got up, and kept running for a 59-yard touchdown.

The officials ruled that Beebe wasn't touched while down, but replays showed Pope did touch him around the 30-yard line. Without a replay review system, though, the touchdown stood, and it turned out to be the Packers' only TD of the game.

The Packers also caught a break on the two-point conversion, as replay review would have ruled Edgar Bennett short of the goal line after a pass reception. But again, the points counted, and the Packers trailed 17-14 midway through the third.

From there, Favre and the Packers' offense continued to run hot and cold. He had stretches where he completed three, three and four passes in a row. He had others where he went 1-for-4, 1-for-5, and 0-for-3.

The game-tying drive featured the herky-jerky nature of it all.

Taking over on his own 18-yard line with 1:42 left and trailing 20-17, Favre's four straight completions – two to Beebe, who finished with 11 catches for 220 yards, most by a Packers player in the history of Lambeau – got Green Bay into scoring range, with the help of a personal foul on San Francisco.

Then three straight incompletions in the red zone forced Jacke to tie the game with a 31-yard field goal with eight seconds left.

At that point, Favre had 56 pass attempts, three shy of Don Majkowski's single-game record of 59 set in 1989 at Detroit.

After the Packers' defense got a three-and-out to start the overtime, Favre went 2-for-5 in getting the offense just barely into Jacke's range for a walk-off 53-yarder and a 23-20 triumph.

Favre's final numbers: 28-for-61, 395 yards, one TD, two INTs, for a 59.1 passer rating – his lowest during a second straight MVP season. But there may not have been a regular-season victory more important, and there certainly wasn't one that year as dramatic.

Favre would come close to his record 61 attempts on one other occasion, with 58 passes (and 31 completions) in a 2005 loss to the Bears at Soldier Field.

Aaron Rodgers would tie Favre's mark of 61 attempts (with 35 completions) in a 2015 loss to the Lions at Lambeau, where a missed field goal on the game's final play allowed Detroit to win, 18-16.