Hopefully, the end is near for Favre

Brett Favre set the NFL career completions record on Sunday vs. Detroit, but accuracy problems plague an aging legend who's closing in on career TD and INT records, PackerReport.com's Steve Lawrence says.

Brett Favre is seven touchdowns short of the NFL career record. He's also seven interceptions short of that dubious career record.

You wonder which record he'll break first, or if he'll reach either of them.

Favre broke Dan Marino's all-time record for completions when he hit Carlyle Holiday for a 21-yard completion late in the first half of Sunday's victory over Detroit. Connecting with Holiday was only fitting, considering the lengthy list of mediocre receivers Favre's been saddled with throughout his career.

While Favre broke the record, he hardly broke it in style. He was nothing short of terrible while facing a lousy Lions defense in, at least by Lambeau Field-in-December standards, great conditions.

"I'm more concerned about the three I completed to their team. The bottom line is, we were lucky to win the game, and I'm as much to blame as anyone," said Favre.

More than ever, Favre's been at least partly to blame.

Favre is certainly capable of carrying a team from time to time, but he's no longer capable of doing it on anywhere close to a weekly basis.

Four times this season, he's boasted a passer rating of at least 100 points. All four times, the Packers won. He's followed those games with putrid passer ratings of 44.2, 66.5, 50.1 and 32.9. Only on Sunday did the Packers overcome Favre's futility.

Sunday was the latest example. His 32.9 rating was the sixth-lowest during his 255-game consecutive starts streak, according to research by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Yes, Favre has few weapons. Yes, he has a young offensive line, which coach Mike McCarthy has helped by keeping tight ends in to block on passing plays, which, in turn, limits Favre's opportunities to make plays.

But the cold, hard facts are Favre too often misses open receivers. His accuracy has eroded to the point that his overall play no longer is good enough to overcome the few stupid mistakes per game he has made throughout his career. Those mistakes look a lot worse when he's not throwing for 300 yards and three touchdowns. The former king of the cold hasn't been able to hit a frozen-over Fox River during brutal performances against the Patriots, Seahawks and Jets.

With three interceptions against the Lions, Favre passed John Hadl for second place on the career list with 270. Up next is George Blanda's record 277.

With two games left in the regular season, it's hard to imagine him passing Blanda's record, but it's even harder to imagine him throwing the eight touchdowns needed to break Marino's TD record of 420. Sunday's game against the lowly Lions was his best chance to get within striking distance of Marino's touchdown mark, and he came up empty (no thanks to David Martin).

Nobody wants to see a legend retire. Especially not a likable legend like Favre. Who doesn't want to see a wide-eyed Favre hoisting Donald Driver atop his shoulders after a touchdown? Who doesn't want to see Favre making some 230-pound, fast-as-a-deer blitzer look like a fool as his 37-year-old legs rescue him from danger? Who doesn't want to see Favre sprinting downfield to congratulate a receiver after a big play?

Still, legends get old. Legends no longer perform like legends.

It's no mystery this coming offseason will be dominated by hard decisions. For Favre, he must decide whether he wants to play, and if he does want to play, does he want to remain a Packer or will he politely ask to be traded to a contender? For the Packers, they must decide whether they want Favre back, or officially start the rebuilding process behind Aaron Rodgers or some hotshot newcomer.

Assuming he doesn't announce his retirement before Thursday's home finale against Minnesota so he can get a final Lambeau salute, the best way for this to end is for Favre to gracefully retire shortly after the end of this season. The worst way is for him to force his way out of town. And in the middle is the possibility the Packers have to put their future on hold while watching an aging veteran play one great game and two bad ones.

Lawrence is a regular contributor to PackerReport.com. Send comments to steve_lawrence_packers@yahoo.com.

The following is a list of the top quarterbacks in career completions. Also on this list is the Colts' Peyton Manning, who likely will pass Dave Krieg for 10th place this season. The X denotes active players:

1. x-Brett Favre — 4,974

2. Dan Marino — 4,967

3. John Elway — 4,123

4. Warren Moon — 3,988

5. x-Drew Bledsoe — 3,839

6. x-Vinny Testaverde — 3,691

7. Fran Tarkenton — 3,686

8. Joe Montana — 3,409

9. Dan Fouts — 3,297

10. Dave Krieg — 3,105

11. x-Peyton Manning 3,059


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