"I know I have some decisions to make, but (coach Mike Sherman) and I had a long talk, a good talk, and he told me, ‘Don't make any decision off this game.' And he's right," Favre said after Sunday's 31-17 wild-card playoff loss at Lambeau Field.
Favre's superb season ended with a crashing thud for the fourth straight year. On Sunday, Favre only threw seven incomplete passes in 33 attempts. Unfortunately for the Packers, only 22 of the other 26 passes wound up in the hands of the Packers' playmakers. Favre finished 22-of-33 for 216 yards and a touchdown. His passer rating was dragged down to a woeful 55.4 due to the interceptions.
Playoff failures are becoming a bad habit. The 2001 season ended with six interceptions at St. Louis. The 2002 season ended with the first Lambeau Field playoff loss in franchise history. The 2003 season ended with an up-for-grabs interception to set up Philadelphia's winning points in overtime. He has thrown 15 interceptions in his last five playoff games.
"It would be easy to walk off the field after that game and say, ‘I've had enough,"' Favre said. "But I'm going to try to be as fair to myself and to this team as possible. I've had a lot of great games. This obviously was not one of them. But I can't base my decision on this game."
If he bases his decision on the regular season, Favre most certainly will be back. He finished with the highest completion percentage of his career, topped 4,000 yards and connected on 30 touchdown passes.
Still, Sunday's loss stings.
"I still feel I can play, although I question that right now," said Favre. "There's no fine line, here. I love to play the game and don't feel it's passed me by yet. I know the Packers would love to have me back, at least I think they would.
"Physically, there's some things I probably can't do like I used to, but I still can win games for this team."
Favre met with Sherman for 45 minutes after the game. With Sherman needing to know Favre's plans as he embarks on preparation for the April draft, Favre realizes there's a bit of urgency to make up his mind.
"They have to know some things. I'll try and make my decision within their time frame," Favre said. "We'll be talking more Monday and Tuesday and I'm sure he will give me an exact time."
The loss caps a trying year for Favre. Within a span of 13 months, his father died, his brother-in-law died and his wife, Deanna, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Favre acknowledged that family concerns will weigh heavily in his football decision.
"It's not about me any more," said Favre. "My wife has gone through some difficult times and continues to do so. That's going to play into my decision. I know my family, if they were up here right now would be saying, ‘He's coming back. They're not going to let him go out like that.' But I always have to be fair. They're going to be involved in it."
Also playing a role in his decision is the team's chances of winning. The Packers face some tough decisions this off-season, especially at offensive guard where a salary-cap strapped franchise must figure out a way to keep Marco Rivera and Mike Wahle. The defense, obviously, is a sore spot, too, and a quick fix doesn't seem readily available.
"If I come back, I want to come back for the right reasons and that's to lead this team to the Super Bowl," Favre said.