Packers Notebook - NFL MVP To Be Announced Wednesday


Having led his team to a share of the NFL's best record at 12-4, Packers quarterback Brett Favre will learn tomorrow whether his performance this season was good enough to make the league's only three-time MVP its first four-time winner.

Favre finished his 12th professional season with 27 touchdown passes, tied for the best in the NFC. Overall, he completed 341 of 551 passes (61.9 percent) for 3,658 yards, with 16 interceptions.

If Favre wins Wednesday, the statistic of choice could be his 16 consecutive starts, adding to a streak of consecutive regular season starts that now stands at 173 games for his career -- an NFL record among quarterbacks.

In a season where the Packers have been plagued by injuries and yet still won a division title, Favre has been the locomotive to keep their Super Bowl hopes on track.

But whether the MVP should be given to the best performer in the league, or to the player who has meant the most to his team is up for debate.

When asked his opinion, Packers GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said he wasn't sure.

"I would say the league MVP would be the person that inspires other people to play better football," he said. "Not only does he play well, but because of who he is and what he does and what he brings, he makes the team play better."

In those areas, Favre has undoubtedly made an impact this season. However there's reason to believe that the Packers' failed opportunity to clinch home-field advantage last weekend against the Jets -- a game in which the Packers lost 42-17 -- won't help Favre's cause.

Asked if he deserved to be the MVP, Favre said, "I don't know."

He then added, "I don't think that you can judge anything off one game. Obviously it wasn't a great game for any of us, but I'm not really concerned about it.

"I've said this before, we have bigger fish to fry this week. To win the MVP and lose this weekend, I can't see going home saying, 'At least I got the MVP.' I'd much rather win and go on."

Metcalf Returns

Eric Metcalf may not have been dazzling in his first performance of the season against the Jets, but he'll get another opportunity to impress this weekend against the Falcons.

GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said he would stick with the 13-year NFL veteran at punt returner Saturday against the Falcons.

"I think he gives us our best option," Sherman said. "I thought he made good decisions and I think his ball-control skills will improve as he gets more time with us."

Playing in his first game of the season after being picked up by the Packers earlier in the week, Metcalf finished the Jets game with minus-1 yards worth of punt return yardage on three attempts last weekend. But Sherman said he was impressed by the burst of speed Metcalf demonstrated on a 21-yard kickoff return.

Robert Ferguson has been the team's primary kickoff returner in recent weeks and is second on the depth chart at punt returner, however his availability to do either this week could be limited depending on Donald Driver's status.

Driver is listed as questionable for Saturday with an injured shoulder and would be replaced by Ferguson in the lineup at wide receiver if unable participate.

To have success on punt and kickoff returns, Sherman said the Packers needed to give their return men opportunities.

"We have to block better and create some space for those guys to get better returns," he said. "(That's) something we haven't done a very good job of this year."

Dotson Improved

Hampered by an injured back for the last three weeks, Earl Dotson appears on the road to starting this weekend.

GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman said the 10-year veteran looked "fantastic" in the team's Tuesday practice.

In other injury news, Sherman said wide receiver Donald Driver and safety Darren Sharper will continue to be listed as 'questionable' until they are able to practice, but both showed signs of improvement Tuesday.

"Donald Driver seems to be making some progress," Sherman said. "Sharper did some extended conditioning today and is getting better."

Captains Named

As voted by the players, the Packers named their playoff captains.

Quarterback Brett Favre and center Frank Winters represent the offense. Defensive tackle Gilbert Brown and linebacker Hardy Nickerson represent the defense. Long-snapper Rob Davis and kickoff return/coverage specialist Robert Ferguson represent special teams.

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