|In 250th straight start, Packers' Favre is effective, unspectacular|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 09 December 2007 16:17|
He shed his typical Packers slacker garb for a stylish shirt. But, in Favre fashion, he capped it with a camo-colored winter hat perfect for hunting with buddy and backup Craig Nall.
It was uniquely Favre and fitting after he clinched the Packers' seventh divisional crown in 16 seasons in Green Bay. He's able to change with the times, as long as he changes in his own way.
``I don't know if too many people gave us a shot to be in this position,'' Favre said after the Packers beat Oakland 38-7 on Sunday for the NFC North title. ``I'm feeling good about my decision to come back, obviously. It sure makes it look like the right decision.''
Favre, who made his 250th consecutive start (270 including playoffs), wasn't the sharpest he's ever been. But he was effective, going 15-of-23 for 266 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. The streak was only momentarily in doubt after he was knocked out of the Packers' last game against Dallas with a bruised right elbow and separated left shoulder. He also took a shot to the knee during the game.
``It's going to be a little sore,'' Favre said of his injuries. ``All in all it's fine.''
Favre, never one to whoop and holler, also was reserved about the latest accomplishment. After all, he said, the Packers haven't done anything but add more expectations.
``We've kind of backed ourselves up in a corner now,'' he said. ``It's what we do from here.''
Favre was ridiculed when he said during training camp before last season that it was the most talented Packers team he's played on, including the Super Bowl champions from 1996 when he was in the midst of his three consecutive MVPs. It took some time, but this core group of players is now making him look smart.
``I have a lot of confidence in this team or I wouldn't have said that this is the most talented team I've ever played on,'' said Favre, who threw his 437th and 438th career touchdown passes and is within 200 yards of Dan Marino's career yardage mark. ``We at times put it together and we see what we can do. We are inexperienced at times, but it's been a lot of fun.''
It's looked like fun, too, even as Favre has had to adjust to a ``dink and dunk'' passing game instead of the vertical attack he loved to play in years past. The results are noticeable. Favre has cut down on the interceptions and now has 24 TD passes to 11 INTs this season, along with completing a career-best 67 percent of his passes.
Friendly foe Warren Sapp said he sees a difference in Favre.
``He's more cunning,'' Sapp said with a chuckle. ``It's always fun to see him, though. It's always fun to see an old man go out at full strength.''
Favre, who improved to 41-5 when the temperature is 34 degrees or lower, said the best part about Sapp being on the field was not being hit by him in the 18-degree weather. The two exchanged words, as they always have in the heat of the battle, and Favre said Sapp was calling out all the Packers plays before the snap.
``I don't know if he had a headset or what,'' Favre said.
Other Raiders who haven't been around Favre were equally awed. Gerard Warren, who last played against Favre in 2001, couldn't help but quip afterward, ``Wasn't he supposed to be hurt? I'd hate to see him healthy.''
Favre has often said that perhaps his young teammates are loose in the locker room because they simply don't know anything more than the success they've had. But Favre said he's also learning the new rhythm of the Packers.
``It's not like they're in there playing poker five minutes before the game - at least I don't think they are,'' Favre said. ``We have made our share of mistakes, but guys just cut loose and that's the best way to play. I guess I'm just more used to seeing that from a veteran team, and for the most part I guess I've always played on a veteran team.''
But maybe not his best ever, until now.
``Like I said going into last week, the worst that can happen is we lose,'' Favre said. ``You can't play scared. You go out there and just let it go. We'll see what happens, but I think our guys are ready.''