Would Favre consider early retirement?

The Vikings' 31-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers brought a wave of questions about whether QB Brett Favre would consider retiring before the season ends. He gave no direct answers to those questions, which might be just as telling in his thought process.

Brett Favre is losing often and losing badly. Now that the Vikings are 3-7, the question is if the 41-year-old quarterback has any interest in finishing a season that holds almost no hope for a playoff run.

"As I stand here today, I never expected us to be in this situation," Favre said after the Vikings' 31-3 loss to his former team, the Green Bay Packers. "Mathematically, I think there's still some hope. But I hate to use Jim Mora's comments about playoffs, but we can't think about that. I know there's still a slim chance, but c'mon — we've got to play a lot better than what we played today and last week."

The Vikings didn't play up to standards on offense or defense.

Offensively, they struggled on third down for the second straight week — converting only 4 of 13 — and were 0 for 2 on fourth down. Favre might have been the Vikings' biggest culprit, completing only 17 of 38 passes for no touchdowns, one interception and a 51.2 passer rating.

After his best season as a pro in 2009 – when he threw 33 touchdowns and only seven interceptions – this has been a season full of disappointment. He now has only 10 touchdowns through 10 games to go with 17 interceptions, 19 sacks and a 69.8 rating.

If he knew things were going to go this badly for him and his team, he might never have returned to the Vikings.

"I'd like to finish the season differently than today and last week. Again, there's still some hope," he said. "… I want us to somehow turn this around. We, us, this team, we all have to play better, me included. I don't want to finish it the way we've played up to this point. Football is football. Sports, you never know, which leads me to think that there's got to be something better for us for the remainder of this year."

But he also said he wanted to leave the Metrodome after Sunday's loss and start evaluating things. At several points in his postgame interview, he dodged directly answering if he could stay engaged for the rest of the season or if he really wanted to finish the season with the playoff possibilities all but snuffed out.

"I think you could ask that question to anyone in the locker room, first of all. I've never been in this situation, so I don't want to act like a pro in that area. I'm just going to try to go home," he said. "As tough as it may be to digest what just happened, not only today but in the last few weeks, and then come in tomorrow and kind of really reevaluate things.

"I've played 20 years because of my passion and competitive nature. I know that hasn't changed. It sure is hard for me to walk off the field today after a loss like that, or last week for that matter, at any point in my career. I take so much pride in the way I play and what is expected of me, which is always a bit more than maybe the next guy. That's just the way it is. I feel when I'm out there we have a chance to win. Every play could be a successful play, could be a big play, and we scored three points."

Favre got his favorite target from last year, Sidney Rice, back on the field for the first time against the Packers after recovering from Aug. 23 hip surgery, but Favre misfired for him several times and the entire offense struggled after kicking a field goal on the second possession. None of the Vikings' next seven drives exceeded seven plays.

"Hopefully all of our guys will take a hard look at themselves. But that's what I'm going to focus on," Favre said. "I'm going to focus on how I played, how I've played, and come in tomorrow and see where we stand."

With Brad Childress' job status a hot topic — owner Zygi Wilf didn't elaborate on it publicly after the game and walked from the locker to the elevator without addressing the media — the outlook for the rest of the season will have a different feel.

Players will be looking at film and looking for answers that might go far beyond the X's and O's.

Did players quit on their teammates? Even Favre wasn't so sure.

"I can't answer that. The score would indicate that, but without watching film I don't know," he said.

One thing that seems certain: Favre's primary reason for coming back this season — to chase another championship — is over.

"I came back for a Super Bowl, you're right, but also knew there was a chance that doesn't happen. Probably a better chance that it doesn't," he said. " … This is a little bit surprising. Again, I'm just going to go home and, I don't want to say think about this game, but just reevaluate tomorrow."

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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