Play of the game: Favre to Martin

Brett Favre uncovered a blitz and made the Vikings pay by hitting Ruvell Martin deep to set up the winning field goal on Thursday night.

Brett Favre's physical skills are nowhere close to what they used to be, but should the 37-year-old quarterback decide to retire after this season, they'll miss the football IQ that comes only with 16 years of professional experience.

That football IQ was on full display during the game's key play: His 27-yard bomb to Ruvell Martin during the fourth quarter of Thursday's game at Lambeau Field.

On second-and-6 from Green Bay's 37-yard line with 4 minutes remaining in the game and the Packers trailing 7-6, two Vikings linebackers crept toward the line of scrimmage in anticipation of the snap of the ball. Favre, though, caught them as if they were about to steal from the cookie jar.

He audibled, and the Packers got their blocking in order. Center Scott Wells picked up a linebacker blitzing up the middle and running back Ahman Green stuck the other blitzing linebacker.

With ample time, Favre unleashed his best pass of the last couple weeks. Martin beat the Vikings' best cornerback, Antoine Winfield, and got a perfect pass at Minnesota's 27-yard line.

"I walked up to Brett afterwards and said, ‘Hey, I appreciate the trust,'" Martin said. "For him to give me an opportunity like that in the clutch moments of the game, I was very happy he did and, obviously, I'm happy I came through for him."

Given the conditions, Dave Rayner's first-half kicking follies and the Packers' general ineptitude on offense, the game was far from over.

On first down, Pat Williams whipped the interior of the Packers' line again, hauling down Ahman Green for a loss of a yard. Safety Darren Sharper, who never tackled with this sort of passion while in Green Bay, flew in from the secondary to drop Vernand Morency for a loss of another yard.

The Packers then went from bad to worse, with Daryn Colledge busted for a false start. All of a sudden, it was third-and-17 from the Vikings' 34, and the Packers were in desperate need for some yardage.

A screen to Green picked up 30 yards, but the gain was reduced to just 7 yards when Bubba Franks was flagged for holding when an official caught him grabbing hold of Winfield's jersey 17 yards downfield.

Still, that was enough yardage for Rayner, who booted a 44-yard field goal to put the Packers on top 9-7 with 1:34 to go.

From there, the Packers' defense sewed up the game. On first down, Aaron Kampman, who trashed right tackle Ryan Cook all game, picked up his third sack. On second down, the Packers' defensive line collapsed on rookie quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, forcing a dump-off that lost 2 yards when Nick Barnett used his good hand to haul down Mewelde Moore. On third down, Jackson scrambled for 13 yards — you wonder why he didn't use his athletic ability more often — but failed to get out of bounds. On fourth-and-5, Kampman and Co. quickly pushed into the backfield, and Jackson's last-chance throw didn't have a chance.

Lawrence is a regular contributor to Send comments to

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