|Fittingly, Favre approaches TD and INT records at the Metrodome|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 27 September 2007 12:29|
``Three away from it. He has a great chance to make history,'' Vikings safety Darren Sharper said slyly, feigning ignorance of the career touchdown mark Favre tied last week.
Instead, Sharper took a lighthearted swing this week at his former teammate, focusing on the career interception record that Green Bay's indestructible quarterback can also establish Sunday.
With 420 touchdown passes, Favre is even with Dan Marino. With 275 interceptions, Favre is near the 277 throws George Blanda had picked off over his 26 seasons.
As a side note, Favre will pass Marino with 11 more attempts. Oh, and barring an apocalyptic event, Favre will pass retired Minnesota center Mick Tingelhoff for the second-longest consecutive starts streak with 241. Former Vikings defensive end Jim Marshall leads the list with 270.
Whew. That's a lot of numbers, and here's another:
Since Favre took over for the Packers in 1992, Minnesota has had 13 quarterbacks start at least one game. Here's one more: Through three games, unbeaten Green Bay has called a pass play 70 percent of the time.
``When Brett's throwing the way he is, who cares if we throw 50 times?'' left guard Darryn Colledge said.
Let's see. The Vikings lead the league by allowing an average of only 2.5 yards per rushing attempt, and the Packers have a group of unproven running backs led by rookie Brandon Jackson and his 97 yards that rank 38th in the NFL.
It's a hardly a wonder if Favre's going to be flinging it, especially given the trouble Minnesota (1-2) has had against spread-out offenses that work the middle of the field well.
``I believe we can expect to see about 97.85 percent passes against us,'' Sharper said, hardly kidding.
It's fitting that Favre's opportunity to set the touchdown and interception records comes at the Metrodome, where he's had some of his worst performances - but also enjoyed plenty of recent success.
He doesn't care where he's playing, though.
``If I have to throw five, that would be awesome. If we win and I don't throw any, that would be great,'' Favre said. ``I just want to win the game.''
The 37-year-old quarterback is 5-10 in the din of this dingy place, thanks to three wins in his last four tries.
Favre went 24-for-42 with 347 yards, two scores and no interceptions last season. Two years before that, he helped the Packers rally for a 34-31 victory on Christmas Eve that clinched the NFC North with 365 yards on 30-for-43 passing, three touchdowns and one interception.
But Favre, forever the self-deprecating critic, still winces about some of those early stumbles here.
``It's a tough place to play. It's bad memories for me,'' he said.
Green Bay lost Favre's first five starts at Minnesota, and he threw eight interceptions without a touchdown in the first four. The Packers lost three times the year they won the Super Bowl, and one of those was to the Vikings at the Dome.
In 1993, the first season he made the playoffs, Favre passed for only 150 yards and was picked off twice in a 15-13 loss when receiver Eric Guliford was wide open down the sideline in the closing seconds to set up the winning field goal by Fuad Reveiz.
In 1999, the first year the Packers didn't make the playoffs with Favre running their offense, Minnesota escaped with a 24-20 victory when Robert Griffith's interception in the end zone ended the game.
Favre's only positive thought about playing at the Metrodome, aside from those recent wins, is Ragnar. He's the red-bearded guy that rides around on a motorcycle and dresses up like an ancient Viking warrior to stir up the crowd. After the game in 2004, Ragnar - played by Joe Juranitch, the dean of students at a local high school - approached Favre and told him how much he respected him.
``It was nice. It was. He does a heck of a job for them,'' Favre said.
With Sharper, receiver Robert Ferguson and kicker Ryan Longwell, there is a former Packer on each section of Minnesota's roster. They all know Favre well from a combined 23 seasons playing with him. And they all see a guy who is as sharp as ever.
``You can tell how he's playing by how he reacts,'' Longwell said. ``It looks like he's having a blast.''
The Vikings just don't want him having such a good time Sunday. The interception record is the one they're aiming for.
``I think we all plan to be the third pick,'' Sharper said.