Favre's ultimate goal on the horizon?

Brett Favre has craved a second Super Bowl ring since winning his only following the 1996 season with the Green Bay Packers. He'll get the chance to add to his legacy Sunday, only this time with the Minnesota Vikings.

Brett Favre has 22 games of playoff experience and one Super Bowl ring, but he's ready for another shot at that opportunity.

Favre is 12-10 in the playoffs, all those games with the Green Bay Packers, but he's looking forward to his first postseason start with the Minnesota Vikings and another chance at the Lombardi Trophy, something has eluded him for the last 14 years.

But all that experience tells him to focus on the upcoming game against the Dallas Cowboys and not even consider whether or not he will return for another season.

"Good try," he said when asked if he was contemplating retirement after this year. "Why not try?"

Why not, indeed. Favre has talked about potential retirement for at least five years and even gave a tearful farewell press conference that was televised nationally following the 2007 season a couple months after his final playoff appearance. Of course, since then he wanted to return to the Green Bay Packers, was traded to the New York Jets, asked and received his release from them in May, has undergone surgery to complete a tear of the biceps tendon in his throwing arm, and has now led the Vikings to a 12-4 regular-season record.

So what of his future?

"All I want to do is beat Dallas. To even think about next year is doing myself an injustice and this team. I came in here for one reason and that's to hopefully lead this team to a Super Bowl this year, not next year," Favre said Wednesday. "We have that opportunity. I'm not good enough to focus on this game, what may happen in the next few weeks and then next year. So, I will devote every ounce of energy to this game."

So far, he's done a good job of leading the Vikings in the regular season. After 18 seasons in the league, he had his first year with a passer rating above 100 (107.2), completed the highest percentage of passes (68.4) and lowest percentage of interceptions (1.3) and threw a career-low seven interceptions.

His past regular-season experience has translated into being on the brink of a number of playoffs records as well. He trails only Joe Montana in attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns on the NFL's all-time postseason list.

His 1995 and 1996 postseasons with Green Bay were by far his best. In 1995, he completed 64.7 percent of his passes over three games for eight touchdowns, two interceptions and a 106.9 rating. The following year, he completed 62 percent of his passes for five touchdowns and one interception and a 107.5 rating in three playoff games.

Ironically, it was in a 1994 playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys where he hit some career high-water marks. It was the most passes he attempted (45), the most completions (28) and the most passing yards (331) in his playoff career.

His upcoming date with Dallas doesn't feel any different, even if he is wearing purple this time.

"I've been in the playoffs before, I've been in first-round games, second-round games, against Dallas, against this team, against that, you're favored, whatever. But none of that will help this week," he said. "Ultimately it's how we play this week. There may be some things that happen where you go you can pull from experience and stuff, but I'm honored to be the quarterback in this game, to have this opportunity. It's an opportunity that doesn't come around too often. I'm well aware of that, so hopefully we make the most of it."

He has maintained since joining the Vikings that leading this team to the Super Bowl was his ultimate, and really his sole, focus. He understands that a 40-year old with a wife and daughter at home is not going to be making many friends in a locker room dominated by younger guys. He has been well-received and well-respected since signing his two-year, $25 million contract with the Vikings on Aug. 18, but he knows it could all end much quicker than it took to get it started.

"The fact that if you win you go on, if you lose you go home, that's all that really needs to be said. When I looked at this season and came in, I envisioned being in this situation," he said. "I didn't know who we would play, but I saw us in this moment and getting ready to play this game."

Most of his season has been filled with success. He has had nine games with a passer rating above 100, set an NFL record with his 22nd four-touchdown game, one of those coming against his former Packers team. And he was the catalyst for the Vikings becoming the first team in NFL history to have six players with at least 40 catches.

"You've got to have a good cast around you. The stars have to be in line and it seems like this year that's the case," Favre said.

His impressive totals this season – a 68.4 completion percentage, 33 touchdowns against seven interceptions and a 107.2 rating – have helped add to his record career totals. He now leads the NFL in attempts (9,811), completions (6,083), yards (69,329), 3,000-yard seasons (18), touchdown passes (497), interceptions (317), wins as a starting quarterback (181), consecutive starts (285) and four-touchdown games (23).

And yet he remains driven by the chance to win a second Super Bowl. That journey with the Vikings will start Sunday.

"I envisioned us winning and going on," he said, "but this feels right to me."

NOTES

  • Vikings coach Brad Childress said Antoine Winfield will be used inside and outside when they are in the nickel defense. Winfield, who is still recovering for a foot injury that caused him to miss six games during the season, was used exclusively inside and in the nickel defense in the season finale against the New York Giants while Benny Sapp made the start at Winfield's usual left corner spot.

  • For the Vikings, G Steve Hutchinson (shoulder), DT Kennedy (thumb), P Chris Kluwe (back), TE Visanthe Shiancoe (quadriceps), DT Pat Williams (elbow) and CB Antoine Winfield (foot) were limited in Wednesday's practice.

  • For the Cowboys, RB Marion Barber (knee) did not participate but is expected to play. T Marc Colombo (ankle), S Gerald Sensabaugh (thumb), LB DeMarcus Ware (wrist/back) and S Patrick Watkins (knee) all practiced fully.

  • FOX's Nov. 1 Vikings-Packers game was the most-watched show of the fall broadcast season with 29.8 million viewers. According to Nielsen Media Research, the average NFL 2009 regular-season game was watched by 16.6 million viewers, up 2 million viewers per game from last year and the NFL's highest viewership average since 1990 (16.7 million). NFL games accounted for 14 of the 15 most-watched shows this fall, with the Rose Bowl coming in at 12th. FOX-broadcasted NFL games accounted for eight of the 15 most-watched shows.

  • The Cowboys aren't the only team practicing with noise to combat a sellout Metrodome crowd. Childress said the Vikings will continue to pump in noise during their practices, even though they are the home team this Sunday.

  • A sign of hope? The Vikings were playing the Poison song, "Give me something to believe in" during the post-practice stretching session. Coincidence now that the playoffs are here? Probably not.


    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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