Comfortable in the 'gun'

Favre has been very productive taking the snap in the backfield

As much as the Packers are running the football with greater frequency and with far greater productivity than earlier in the season, Brett Favre isn't quibbling with a perfect imbalance.

The way Favre sees it, in what's shaping up to be his most proficient season in a 17-year pro career, Green Bay has more than enough ammunition to win a shootout at the Texas Stadium corral on tonight because of a pass-first premise. What strikes Favre is the radical philosophy initiated by head coach Mike McCarthy evolves by the week.

"We really haven't found our identity, to a certain extent," Favre acknowledged days before the 10-1 Packers visit 10-1 Dallas, "in that do we want to be an I-formation running team; do we want to be a balanced I-running passing, keep passes, movement-type stuff team; or do we want to go into a four-wides or five-wides package?

"I've gone into every game kind of in limbo with that -- what do we end up in, what do we hang our hat on? But, up to this point what we're doing, for the most part, has worked."

What's really appealed to Favre of late is having a luxury of sorts to start offensive play after offensive play from the shotgun formation.

Despite the post-bye emergence of Ryan Grant, who has three 100-yard rushing games, Green Bay has been reliant on the pass 58.5 percent of the time in the last five outings.

That almost parallels the rate of 59 percent by which Favre is throwing the football out of the shotgun in the same five-game stretch. Of the 178 passes he's made in his exhilarating stretch with five straight performances of 100-plus passer rating, Favre has thrown 105 taking the snap in the backfield.

"I think part of that is aging," the 38-year-old reasoned. "It's a lot easier to take a drop from shotgun than it is from under center. There's no doubt you see better from back there and you can get the ball out quicker.

"(With) our receivers, get 'em the ball. If we can throw one 40 yards and catch it, great. But, if you can throw it at the line of scrimmage and get 10, that's outstanding. That sure makes it a lot easier on a quarterback."

Further proof of how efficient the Green Bay offense is when Favre can get the ball out quickly was in the pudding at Detroit last Thursday. Aided by the head start afforded from riding shotgun, Favre delivered 18 of the throws in his team-record completion streak of 20 in that formation. The Packers ran 13 straight plays out of the shotgun from the end of the first half into the third quarter.

"To me, you weigh, 'OK, line up in an I-scheme, an outside zone run play versus you line up in five wide receivers, you throw it to Donald Driver at the line of scrimmage, he's going to get you a guaranteed five yards,' I go with Donald Driver," Favre said. "When you throw it to those guys underneath and they make the plays that they're making, it's hard to pass it up."

For the game last week, Favre was 22 of 28 for 276 yards with two touchdowns starting from the shotgun.

Covering the most recent five games, eight of Favre's 13 touchdown passes are out of the shotgun. The initial cushion he gains from the defensive rush has left him sacked only three times. What's more, his decision-making has been nearly precise, with only two interceptions and none in his last 132 attempts.

"If it's working, keep rolling with it," receiver Greg Jennings said.

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