Brett Favre's history of comebacks had Vikings players believing it was possible before his last-second touchdown strike to Greg Lewis Sunday ever happened.
"It was incredible. I was on the sideline thinking, ‘Brett Favre's known for his comebacks. Brett Favre's known for his comebacks,'" said cornerback Cedric Griffin in a say-it-and-it-will-be moment. "And, look what we got – a comeback from him. He was great. It was awesome."
Jared Allen joined the chorus of defenders on the sidelines after Minnesota stopped the 49ers in three plays to force a punt and give Favre one last opportunity with 1:29 left to play and no timeouts.
"We were saying on the sideline (saying), ‘Just be Brett one time, just be Brett.' It's indescribable," Allen said. "You saw the emotion from him, from the crowd, from the team. Those kinds of games, I have never been a part of one of those, not in my NFL career, so it was pretty special."
San Francisco coach Mike Singletary was unphased and unsurprised. He played against Favre and knows his capabilities.
"Bottom line was that Favre makes plays when he needs to make plays. You cannot discount him at all, that is just who he is," Singletary said.
Favre led the Vikings on a 10-play drive culminated with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Greg Lewis – the first of the receivers short Vikings career – with two seconds remaining to give the Vikings the 27-24 win and keep them undefeated.
In the week preceding the game, Singletary talked about what he learned playing against Favre. Singletary's final season in the league with the Chicago Bears was Favre's second season with the Green Bay Packers.
"My experience was – he was a guy who I've always been a huge fan of his because he's always been a gunslinger-type guy, no fear. He's going to go out there and he's going to throw the ball around. I think they talked to him a bit and kind of honed him in. He's a seasoned guy and he has a ton of experience and credibility that he brings to that offense. I think he makes everybody else better."
The defenders and Singletary had a sideline view of the play, but even those on the field at the time weren't sure if Lewis got his feet in bounds while making the catch.
"I did see the catch, but I didn't see the toes," tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said. "I saw the toes up on the Jumbotron and I said, ‘That's a touchdown, man.' We got this one by the skin of our teeth. That place erupted. I've never ever seen it like that before.
Childress said the play was "right up there" among the craziest plays he's been associated with. But he also credited wide receivers coach George Stewart for reminding him to not discount Greg Lewis' value if needed.
"Barely open and barely in, but he made it, so that enabled us to become 3-0," Bryant McKinnie said of Lewis' catch in the back of the end zone.
Favre's ability to make the play didn't surprise Singletary. The quarterback moved around to buy time and allow receivers to get into the end zone. He stepped up in front of defensive end Justin Smith to avoid him and then released the ball just before getting hammered by linebacker Manny Lawson.
Favre never saw the result of the play live as he was going to the turf, but he knew by the crowd reaction something good had happened.
"We never discounted Favre. I never discounted Favre," Singletary said. "I never have and I never will. They were a run-first offense, but it doesn't mean he cannot do what he does. He showed that the last drive of the game."
ANOTHER WEEK, ANOTHER TRY?
New York Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez has been the NFL Rookie of the Week two weeks in a row. Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin has been nominated each of the first two weeks and almost surely will be again this week.
Harvin had a 101-yard kickoff-return touchdown on Sunday and has now scored a touchdown in all three of his games. The only other rookie to do that in the past five years was Dallas RB Felix Jones last year.
VIEW FROM THE FORUMS
Vikings fans questioned the release of Bobby Wade and signing of Lewis just before the start of the regular season. They are warming up to him now.
An entertaining exchange from the VikingUpdate.com message boards:
From robertdavis84: "I was there and sitting in that end zone and it was an amazing catch! It was really funny because when Lewis came on the field, every one was going "who's 17?" Nobody is asking that now!"
The response from vaviking: "I thought it was Leo Lewis for a second! LOL"
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Notebook: Favre's presence has purple gushing
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