Childress: Favre Is Vikes' Best Bet

Speaking to reporters in Green Bay, Brad Childress said Brett Favre gives the Vikings their best chance of winning on Sunday. Favre, even with a league-high 16 interceptions, will make his 295th consecutive start — and presumably his last one against the Packers.

It wouldn't really be news, but since this allegedly will be Brett Favre's final game against the Green Bay Packers, we'll get the formalities out of the way.

Favre will make his 295th consecutive start on Sunday when the Minnesota Vikings host the Packers at Mall of America Field.

After Sunday's loss at Chicago, in which Favre turned over the ball four times, he told ESPN that he had aggravated his surgically repaired throwing shoulder during the Saturday practice and was considering an MRI. On Wednesday at Winter Park, Favre proclaimed his shoulder was "OK" and he did not have any additional testing done.

So, if Favre's healthy, that leaves it to coach Brad Childress to send Favre back out.

Childress, talking to reporters at Lambeau Field in a conference call on Wednesday morning, said Favre — even with a league-leading 16 interceptions more than doubling last year's total — is the choice over fifth-year pro Tarvaris Jackson.

"Yeah, that's the thing: Who gives you the best chance to win, and he wouldn't be here if he didn't give us the best chance to win," Childress said of Favre. "Obviously, it was up in the air a couple of weeks ago with where he was at injury-wise but he's the guy that gives us the best chance to win."

Favre did that every week last season. He was nothing short of brilliant, with his 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions equating to a 107.2 passer rating that was easily the best of his storied career. With Favre mulling retirement, kicker Ryan Longwell, defensive end Jared Allen and guard Steve Hutchinson flew to Favre's home in Mississippi during the middle of training camp to talk the legend into playing one more season.

Favre, however, hasn't gotten close to rekindling that magic, including a three-interception performance in a 28-24 loss at Lambeau Field last month. While there doesn't seem to be a lot of logic in having a 41-year-old who swears he's going to retire at the end of the season still playing quarterback for a team whose season is on life support, Childress said there's been no thought in giving Jackson an extended look to close the season.

Compound Favre's poor play with off-the-field rumors and the Vikings' 3-6 record, and this hasn't been the farewell tour that he and the team imagined. But there's been no regrets from Favre, according to one of his closest friends.

"I think Brett's really in a good place, I really do, with everything that has gone on and could be said about it," Longwell said in his conference call after Favre declined to talk to Packers beat reporters for a second time this season. "The one thing that to his credit he's done, the second he said he's coming when we were down in Hattiesburg, he's given his full throttle from that point on. There hasn't been any, ‘Man, why did I come back?' or any of that stuff. It's been the same old Brett, and unfortunately things haven't gone our way to this point, but his attitude hasn't changed."

Speaking to Vikings beat reporters, Favre said he was "very accurate" against the Bears — two of his interceptions came when his receiver slipped and the third came on a tipped ball — and is doing all he can as a leader, as well.

"I can't say what the whole team thinks of the way I led or played or whatever," he said. "I've never been really a vocal guy. Believe me, I've tried to play and practice the way I did last year, the way I've always done. I think more than anything, that's the best way to lead, first and foremost. Obviously, that's hard in itself. In these times when it's really tough, I think it's even more important to do the things that you're expected to do as you should do, regardless. Again I'm not going to get up and give a big rah-rah speech, but I feel like up to this point I've done what ... The bottom line is we're 3-6. That's basically where it stops. But I know in my mind I've prepared and played as hard as I possibly can play."

And that's exactly what the Packers are expecting on Sunday, with several Green Bay defenders saying they expect to get Favre's best shot on Sunday. After all, barring another midsummer flip-flop by Favre next year, this will be his last game against the team he led to greatness during 16 seasons in Green Bay.

Favre, however, swears he has more pressing issues on his mind.

"No, I haven't really," he said when asked for his thoughts on facing the Packers for the final time. "We obviously need a win. That's my focus and hopefully our team's focus is winning this football game, as it was last week and the week before. We can't be concerned about anything else but winning the football game. There's no time to think about those types of things."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at and Facebook under Bill Huber.

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