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Favre looks to add a few accent marks

September 05, 2007|Sam Farmer | Times Staff Writer

In what could be his final season, Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre is closing in on some of the NFL's most significant career passing marks. Entering the Packers' opener Sunday against Philadelphia at Lambeau Field, there are four records No. 4 wants to break . . . and another he'd like to avoid. Times staff writer Sam Farmer takes a look at Favre's storied career:

Record chase

Favre needs. . .

Seven touchdown passes to surpass Dan Marino's 420.

136 pass attempts to break Marino's 8,358.

3,862 yards passing -- fewer than his totals in each of the last three seasons -- to surpass Marino's 61,361.

Two victories to break John Elway's 148 wins by a quarterback.

Five interceptions to break George Blanda's 277.

Bear of a streak

Favre has made an NFL-record 237 consecutive starts. In that span, the Chicago Bears have had 20 starters at the position (in alphabetical order):

Henry Burris, Chris Chandler, Will Furrer, Rex Grossman, Jim Harbaugh, Chad Hutchinson, Erik Kramer, Craig Krenzel, Dave Krieg, Shane Matthews, Cade McNown, Jim Miller, Rick Mirer, Moses Moreno, Kyle Orton, Jonathan Quinn, Steve Stenstrom, Kordell Stewart, Steve Walsh and Peter Tom Willis.

Comeback kid

Favre is a master of the two-minute drill, directing 36 game-winning rallies with the Packers trailing or tied in the fourth quarter.

"You just look in his eyes, and it's like, 'Let's go.' He's so fierce when he's under that center and he knows he's got a chance to bring us back and do something special," receiver Greg Jennings said last year. "You kind of get caught up in the, 'Oh, he's going to do it.' It's almost like we expect him to do it."

Remember when. . .

Sept. 20, 1992 -- In his first significant NFL regular-season action, Favre relieved Don Majkowski, who suffered an ankle injury, and rallied the Packers to a 24-23 victory over Cincinnati at Lambeau Field. He punctuated the effort with a 35-yard touchdown to Kitrick Taylor with 13 seconds left.

Nov. 12, 1995 -- With a share of first place in the NFC Central at stake, Favre, who hadn't practiced all week because of a bum ankle, threw a personal-record five touchdown passes in a 35-28 victory over the visiting Bears.

Oct. 14, 1996 -- Favre threw a team-record 61 times, completing 28 and directing the Packers on three consecutive second-half scoring drives in a 23-20 overtime victory over visiting San Francisco.

Sept. 26, 1999 -- He led three comebacks over the course of a month, and this was the middle one. His 23-yard touchdown pass to Corey Bradford with 12 seconds remaining lifted the Packers to a 23-20 victory over Minnesota.

Dec. 22, 2003 -- Playing in a Monday night game a day after the unexpected death of his father, Favre had the performance of a lifetime at Oakland. He completed 22 of 30 passes for 399 yards and four touchdowns in a 41-7 victory.

One 'for the ages'

Favre's performance in the Monday night game after his father died in 2003 is recalled by announcer Al Michaels as "a superhuman experience."

"With Brett, we didn't know what to expect," Michaels said. "I remember talking to John [Madden] about that before the game. It was the most mysterious night. Would he play? How long would he play? Could he play with any effectiveness? And once the game got started and he got off to a pretty good start, you had no idea that he'd have a night for the ages.

"Maybe it just fed on itself. The team rallied around him. They were making some wonderful catches, but Brett was laying the ball up where the receivers could make those catches.

"Once in a while we'd get a shot of Brett on the bench, and you could tell he was having sinking spells. . . . His eyes were moist, and he was looking down and staring kind of vacantly. Then all of a sudden he'd go out on the field and he was playing football again.

"It was almost like the field was like a refuge to him. For a few seconds at a time, he wouldn't have to think directly about what had transpired."

Fading back

Favre will be trying to bounce back after two subpar seasons.

His 56.0 completion percentage last season was a career low.

He tied career lows last season with 6.3 yards per completion and 18 touchdown passes.

He has had 47 passes intercepted the last two seasons, the most in consecutive seasons in his career.

His passer ratings of 70.9 in 2005 and 72.7 last season were the first consecutive sub-78.0 marks in his career.

The Packers have not qualified for the playoffs since the 2004 season.

--

sam.farmer@latimes.com

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