GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -An interception in overtime of the NFC championship game that ended up costing the Green Bay Packers a trip to the Super Bowl.
Brett Favre can't possibly go out like that.
Can he?
Yes, the smart money is on Favre returning for an 18th NFL season. Favre even hinted that he was leaning toward coming back just before the playoffs started.
But after a heart-wrenching ending to what was otherwise a remarkable resurgence for Favre and the Packers, Favre says he isn't sure about his future.
What he does know is that while he'll remember this season for the ``good stories, good guys, good team,'' his last memories from Sunday will be bitter and linger for a long time.
``I didn't rise up to the occasion, and have in the past,'' Favre said. ``So they're not good. I expect more out of myself.''
A 2007 season noteworthy for the remarkable resurgence of both Favre and his Green Bay Packers ended in disappointment Sunday night, as the Packers lost to the New York Giants 23-20 in overtime at Lambeau Field.
The game seemed to be setting up for another one of Favre's magical moments after Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes missed a potential game-winning 36-yard field goal attempt at the end of regulation, giving Favre another shot at leading the Packers to victory.
However, Favre threw an interception to Corey Webster on the Packers' second play, and Tynes kicked a game-clinching 47-yarder to send the Packers home for the winter.
The loss was a shock to Favre, because everything leading up to Sunday's game made him feel like the Packers were destined for the Super Bowl.
``I had so many people on this team, and my wife Deanna, and other people close to me said, 'You've just got to believe. It's falling into place,''' Favre said. ``And it sure seemed that way. This game, even when it was going back and forth, you just had a sense that it's going to fall into place for us. That wasn't the case.''
Asked if Favre fell back into some of his bad habits and tried to force throws that simply weren't there, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Favre struggled along with the rest of the team.
``I think there's a couple opportunities that he tried to take that were tight spots, or maybe didn't fit the coverage,'' McCarthy said. ``But we were not very sharp in the second half.''
Unlike last weekend, when he frolicked in the flakes and threw snowballs at teammate Donald Driver during the Packers' playoff victory over Seattle, Favre didn't appear to be enjoying himself in the subzero temperatures on Sunday.
But Favre didn't mention the weather conditions afterward, and McCarthy didn't blame the performance of any of his players on the cold.
``I don't think the conditions factored in,'' McCarthy said. ``I thought our players were very comfortable out there. Wind was not an issue.''
As for the interception in overtime, Favre said he just didn't throw the ball accurately - a disappointing end to the closest Favre has come to getting back to the Super Bowl in a decade.
``I'm not going to say I thought we had this one, but once again, I felt like everything had kind of fallen into place,'' Favre said. ``The only thing left was to play the game and see what happens.''
Now, Favre is left to ponder the decision that has kept Cheeseheads on edge for each of the past several cold offseasons: Will he retire, or decide to return for his 18th NFL season?
``I'm not going to rush to make any quick decision, but I think probably it'll be much quicker than it has been in the past - and people will probably appreciate that,'' Favre said. ``But I'm just going to try to enjoy this season we had as much as I can and try to block this game out. It's going to be very hard. I'm not going to let this game sway my decision one way or another.''
Favre said he would likely speak to McCarthy on Monday, then go home to make his decision.
``We will talk about it in a timely fashion,'' McCarthy said.
Favre himself hinted that he was leaning toward returning before the Packers' divisional playoff game victory over Seattle last week, telling his hometown newspaper, the Biloxi (Miss.) Sun Herald, that he would ``like to continue longer.''
After the Seattle game, Favre said he hadn't made a final decision; as usual, he'd huddle with his family after the season before he decided. For the record, his two daughters want him to come back.
Packers linebacker Nick Barnett can't imagine Favre not coming back.
``I know he had a great season and we had a great year, minus missing the Super Bowl,'' Barnett said. ``I just don't see him walking away. I think he has so much more left in him. He still loves to play the game. If he walks away, it'll be a surprise to me.''
Especially on such a sour note.
``For us, it was a great year,'' Favre said. ``In some ways, it was a surprise to a lot of people that we were even in this game. Same with the Giants. But the unfortunate thing is the last thing your remember, that sticks out in your mind, is a game like tonight.''
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