Did Packers see Favre for last time?

MINNEAPOLIS -- In 1992, the Green Bay Packers breathed life into Brett Favre's NFL career. Sunday, they may have put that marvelous career to rest for good. The Packers completed a season sweep of their former quarterback with a remarkably easy 3...

MINNEAPOLIS -- In 1992, the Green Bay Packers breathed life into Brett Favre's NFL career.

Sunday, they may have put that marvelous career to rest for good.

The Packers completed a season sweep of their former quarterback with a remarkably easy 31-3 victory over his Minnesota Vikings Sunday at the Metrodome. That evened it up at two wins per team since Favre joined the Vikings in 2009 and it will probably remain tied because Favre doesn't look or sound like someone who has a 21st NFL season in his 41-year-old body.

When the unexpected rout was over Sunday, two things were clear: The Vikings as we know them are done and Favre might be, too.

Afterward, he wouldn't even commit to playing another game, saying twice that he would go home and re-evaluate. He cracked a joke while declining to say exactly what he would re-evaluate.


"I have no idea," he said. "That was just an answer. If I had known it was going to lead to that question, I would have re-evaluated that answer."

But Favre's future is no laughing matter. With the aging Vikings at 3-7 and virtually eliminated from the playoffs, it's a safe bet Favre is wondering why he allowed teammates Ryan Longwell, Steve Hutchinson and Jared Allen to talk him into returning this season. Given Favre's desire to go out on top, he was asked if he ever imagined that things could go so horribly wrong this season.

"Nope," he said. "I know you want me to elaborate on it, but this has got me at a loss for words. Disappointing would be an understatement. It's tough."

Losses have always been tough on Favre, but losing so decisively to the team he quarterbacked for 16 seasons, to the team that all but pushed him out the door in 2008, had to be especially hard. There was speculation afterward that Favre would pull the plug immediately rather than play for a non-competitive team and a coach (Brad Childress) with whom he openly feuds, but deserting his teammates would go against everything Favre has stood for during his career.

Indeed, loyalty to them might be his only reason for continuing on after a game in which he contributed to the Vikings' woes by consistently overshooting receivers and throwing one costly interception. Still, Favre never definitively said he would finish the season.

"I'm just going to try to go home and, as tough as it may be, digest what has happened," he said. "Not only today, but the last few weeks, and come in tomorrow and re-evaluate things. I have played 20 years because of my passion and competitive nature. I know that hasn't changed. It sure was hard for me to walk off that field today after a loss like that, or last week's (loss to Chicago) or, for that matter, at any point in my career.

"Hopefully, all of our guys will take a hard look at themselves. That's what I'm going to focus on. I'm going to focus on how I played, how I've played, and come in tomorrow and see where we stand."

Does that mean he's not fully committed to finishing the season?


"I never expected to be in this situation," Favre said. "Mathematically I think there is still some hope. I hate to use Jim Mora's comments about playoffs, but we can't even think about that. I know there is still a slim chance, but, come on, we've got to play a lot better than we played today and last week. I came back for a Super Bowl, you're right. I also knew there is a chance that doesn't happen, probably a better chance that it doesn't. And (there's) a way better chance that you don't play as good as you did last year. ... But this is a little surprising."

One thing Favre did try to do Sunday was bury the hatchet with the Packers. He admitted that last year's games were all about proving to the Packers that he could still play. He said he was past that now, however, and that losing Sunday was no more painful than losing any other game.

Still, Favre doesn't have an on-camera sideline spat with his offensive coordinator (Darrell Bevell) in just any game. Nor does he have teammates such as Hutchinson and Longwell hugging him on the bench in the fourth quarter.

To many people, those seemed like good-byes.

"They are good friends," Favre said. "They just came over and said, 'Keep your head up. I know it's not what we envisioned when we at your place.' But I'm not going to say, 'I told you guys,' or 'I shouldn't have come back.' I'm here. We're in this thing together."

Yes, but for how long?

-- Copyright (c) 2010, The Wisconsin State Journal/Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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