So what's going to happen Sunday at Minnesota when they face a future Hall of Famer?
Brett Favre's numbers are as lofty as the Lions are low. He has completed 68.4 percent of his passes, fourth in the NFL. He has thrown 16 touchdowns, tied for third. He has posted a 106.0 passer rating, second by one tenth of a point behind New Orleans' Drew Brees.
Oh, and he has thrown only three interceptions, putting him on pace for the lowest total of his career by far.
"You've got to deal with No. 4," Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said. "I think all those people that said what they said about him should be called on the carpet right about now, because I see the Brett Favre of 2007, which was one of his great years of his career."
Favre is more dangerous than he was the last time the Lions faced him on Sept. 20. At that time, he had been with the Vikings for only a month. He was still getting his legs under him and still getting comfortable with his new teammates.
In a 27-13 Vikings victory, he completed 23 of 27 passes and threw two touchdowns. But his longest pass was only 13 yards, and his yardage total was only 155.
"When we played them early in the season, he was a little bit more game-managing," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "They were running the ball effectively, like they do. They weren't leaning a whole lot on Brett Favre.
"But every game they've added a little bit more, they've done a little bit more and put a little more on his shoulders. He has put the team on his shoulders a couple times, and he has some good weapons around him to do that."
From the beginning, Favre could hand off to running back Adrian Peterson, the NFL's leading rusher last year. Now he has developed chemistry with tight end Visanthe Shiancoe and young wide receivers Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin.
In his last game Favre returned to Lambeau Field, where he starred for 16 years with the Packers, and threw four touchdowns in a 38-26 victory Nov. 1. Cunningham laughed when he watched film of how Favre schooled one of his former teammates.
"He walked up to the ball and pumped Al Harris, and the receiver took off straight down the field," Cunningham said. "Al Harris thought it was going to be a quick pass. He pulled it down and threw a touchdown pass and made Al look bad.
"God bless Al Harris. He's a good corner. But Brett Favre knew him. There's no doubt. He knew Al Harris and what he would do, and he took advantage of him, and that's what Brett Favre does. He studies the game real hard, and he knows what he can do and what he can't do.
"I would just like him to throw a ball or two to our side. He had a history of that. But right now he's in a rhythm."