On Brett Favre’s 50th Birthday, Here Are His Top 10 Games With The Green Bay Packers

Hall of Fame Football
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ron Wolf went all in.

Wolf, Green Bay’s former general manager, made a bevy of brilliant decisions during his nine-plus years with the Packers. Wolf turned Green Bay from a league laughingstock into Super Bowl champions and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.

But Wolf’s trade for Brett Favre ranks among the greatest thefts in NFL history. Wolf gave up a first-round pick (No. 17 overall) in the 1992 NFL Draft to Atlanta for Favre — even though Favre was a second round pick the previous year and was buried on the Falcons’ depth chart.

“I looked at it like this: if I was going to be successful, I was going to be successful because of Brett Favre,” Wolf said. “And if he wasn’t good enough, then I wasn’t going to be successful. So, I put everything on him and it worked out.”

Boy, did it ever.

Favre played 16 seasons in Green Bay, was traded to the New York Jets in the summer of 2008, then played one year with the Jets and two more with the Minnesota Vikings.

Favre did the unthinkable and won three straight MVP awards between 1995-‘97. He led the Packers to a championship in Super Bowl XXXI and a runner-up finish the following year.

Favre set virtually every NFL passing record there was during his 16 seasons in Green Bay. And when Favre retired after the 2010 season, he was NFL’s all-time leader in wins.

Favre never missed a start in Green Bay, and his streak of consecutive games played eventually reached 321 (including playoffs).

Favre also led the rebirth of an organization that had gone through more than two decades of despair.

The incomparable Favre turned 50 Thursday — and Packer fans everywhere probably tipped a cold one in his honor.

To celebrate Favre’s big day, here’s a look at his top-10 games with Green Bay.

1. Honor thy father

Just one day after his father Irv died in 2003, Favre decided to play on a Monday night in Oakland. He proceeded to give arguably the finest performance of his career.

Favre completed 22 of 30 passes for 399 yards and four touchdowns, including memorable scores of 22 yards to Wesley Walls and 43 yards to Javon Walker. Favre’s 311 passing yards in the first half set a new team record and his passer rating of 154.9 that night also set a new team record.

Favre’s legendary night added to his legacy as an all-time great. And most importantly, he guided the Packers to a critical 41-7 win that was critical to Green Bay eventually winning the division.

“I knew that my dad would have wanted me to play,” Favre said. “I love him so much, and I love this game. It's meant a great deal to me, to my dad, to my family, and I didn't expect this kind of performance. But I know he was watching tonight.”

2. Simply super

The Green Bay Packers hadn’t played in a Super Bowl in 30 years. So when the Packers faced New England in Super Bowl XXXI, there was a mix of excitement and trepidation.

Favre did all he could to eliminate the latter. Playing in the Louisiana Superdome, less than an hour from his hometown of Kiln, Miss., Favre hit Andre Rison for a 54-yard touchdown on Green Bay’s second play from scrimmage.

“People have asked me what's my favorite moment of Brett Favre’s career,” Packers president Bob Harlan said. “I really think it was the first touchdown in Super Bowl XXXI when he threw to Rison and he ran off the field with his helmet off. He looked like a kid running home to mom with his first great report card.”

Favre later hit Antonio Freeman for a then-Super Bowl record 81-yard TD and the Packers leveled the Patriots, 35-21. Favre finished the day 14 of 27 for 246 yards and helped bring the Lombardi Trophy back to tiny Green Bay.

3. The start of something wonderful

Favre was nothing but a backup quarterback when Week 3 of the 1992 season rolled around. By the end of the day, he was Green Bay’s quarterback of the present — and future.

Favre replaced an injured Don Majkowski and led the Packers to a dramatic 24-23 win over Cincinnati. Favre capped the come-from-behind victory with a 35-yard TD to Kitrick Taylor with just 13 seconds left.

Remarkably, Favre was the Packers’ starting quarterback the next 253 games (275 including playoffs).

“I shudder to think where we would have been without (Favre),” former Packers general manager Ron Wolf said.

4. What’s he doing?

It was Dec. 18, 1994, when Favre made the Packers’ biggest play of the year. It was one that showed both his guts and his recklessness all at the same time.

Green Bay needed a win over Atlanta in the final game ever played at Milwaukee’s County Stadium to keep its playoff hopes alive, but trailed, 17-14, late. Favre and the Packers drove to the Falcons’ 9-yard line in the closing moments, and with the Packers out of timeouts, coach Mike Holmgren had a simple demand of Favre.

“Whatever happens, don’t scramble,” Holmgren told Favre. “Because we don't have any timeouts and if you get tackled in bounds, the game's over. Throw it someplace where we have a chance to score or throw it away. Do not run around!”

Favre was always one for the dramatic, though, and when no one was open, he took off running. Favre dove for the right corner of the endzone and hit paydirt with just 14 ticks left on the clock. His gutsy, mad scramble gave Green Bay a 21-17 win and helped it clinch a playoff berth the following week.

5. How sweet it is

Green Bay hadn’t hosted a title game since the legendary 1967 “Ice Bowl” when Carolina came to town for the 1996 NFC Championship game. Favre and the Packers seemed hell-bent on making up for lost time.

Favre threw for 292 yards with touchdown passes to Dorsey Levens and Antonio Freeman. And the Packers rolled past the Panthers, 30-13, to earn a berth in Super Bowl XXXI.

“I remember telling the fans and the media before the season started that we were going to go to the Super Bowl," Favre said afterwards. “And in two weeks, we'll be in New Orleans.”

6. Record setter

Favre always said records didn’t mean anything to him. But you wouldn’t have known that following his 421st touchdown pass — one that gave him the all-time NFL mark.

Favre hit Greg Jennings for the record-setting score during a 23-16 Green Bay win in Minnesota on Sept. 30, 2007. Favre would go on to finish his glorious career with 508 TD passes.

“I think Brett will appreciate it when it's all said and done after the fact, when the season is over and his career is over,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “It's a milestone that he hit, and he's got a lot more left.”

7. Streak buster

Green Bay hadn’t won a playoff game in 11 seasons when it went to Detroit’s Silverdome in Jan., 1994. And it looked like that streak of ineptitude would continue late in the game, when the Packers trailed, 24-21.

But Favre made one of his all-time great individual plays, when he eluded trouble and scrambled to the far left side of the field. Favre threw across his body and into the right corner of the endzone, where Sterling Sharpe was waiting to haul in a 40-yard TD with just 55 seconds left that gave the Packers a 28-24 win.

“I think when Brett rolled left, the defense was reading his eyes and they drifted to their right,” Sharpe said. “Brett looked over and made a great throw.”

8. Monday Night magic

There was something about Favre and Monday nights.

Favre threw a 99-yard touchdown pass to Robert Brooks in 1995. He had a brilliant game against San Francisco in 1996 that helped the Packers win in overtime and eventually land the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

Favre completed a miraculous game-winning TD pass to Antonio Freeman in 2000 that helped the Packers defeat Minnesota. And he threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns in a win against Chicago in Champaign, Ill., in 2002.

But one of Favre’s all-time magical moments on Monday night came during the 2007 season. The Packers and Denver had just gone to overtime tied, 13-13. On the first play of OT, Favre wound up, lofted a bomb into the Mile High Stadium air that landed on the hands of Greg Jennings.

Jennings, who whipped cornerback Dré Bly on the play, hauled in the perfect pass and raced home for an 82-yard touchdown that gave the Packers a 19-13 win.

“That was fun,” Favre said. “I can't wait to watch the tape."

9. New sheriff in town

Perhaps the game that showed the Packers had indeed arrived came during the 1995 divisional playoffs. Favre and the Packers stormed into San Francisco — the defending Super Bowl champs — and knocked off the 49ers, 27-17.

Favre was magnificent, completing 21 of 28 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns. And even though Green Bay fell the following week in Dallas in the NFC Championship game, its win in San Francisco was a springboard to future successes.

“I thought that game was huge in terms of helping us get where we wanted to go,” Wolf said. “That was a great, great win.”

10. Mr. Tough guy

Favre had several injuries that nearly put an end to his record-setting streak of consecutive starts. But that streak appeared in great danger in 1995, when Favre missed an entire week of practice with a severely sprained left ankle.

Not only did Favre play on that Sunday against Chicago, he lit the Bears up for a career-best five TDs and led the Packers to a 35-28 win. That was just the 59th game of a streak that hit 321 (including playoffs) when Favre was with Minnesota.

“There will never be another Brett Favre,” Wolf said. “Plain and simple.”

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Ron Wolf went all in.

Wolf, Green Bay’s former general manager, made a bevy of brilliant decisions during his nine-plus years with the Packers. Wolf turned Green Bay from a league laughingstock into Super Bowl champions and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.

But Wolf’s trade for Brett Favre ranks among the greatest thefts in NFL history. Wolf gave up a first-round pick (No. 17 overall) in the 1992 NFL Draft to Atlanta for Favre — even though Favre was a second round pick the previous year and was buried on the Falcons’ depth chart.

“I looked at it like this: if I was going to be successful, I was going to be successful because of Brett Favre,” Wolf said. “And if he wasn’t good enough, then I wasn’t going to be successful. So, I put everything on him and it worked out.”

Boy, did it ever.

Favre played 16 seasons in Green Bay, was traded to the New York Jets in the summer of 2008, then played one year with the Jets and two more with the Minnesota Vikings.

Favre did the unthinkable and won three straight MVP awards between 1995-‘97. He led the Packers to a championship in Super Bowl XXXI and a runner-up finish the following year.

Favre set virtually every NFL passing record there was during his 16 seasons in Green Bay. And when Favre retired after the 2010 season, he was NFL’s all-time leader in wins.

Favre never missed a start in Green Bay, and his streak of consecutive games played eventually reached 321 (including playoffs).

Favre also led the rebirth of an organization that had gone through more than two decades of despair.

The incomparable Favre turned 50 Thursday — and Packer fans everywhere probably tipped a cold one in his honor.

To celebrate Favre’s big day, here’s a look at his top-10 games with Green Bay.

1. Honor thy father

Just one day after his father Irv died in 2003, Favre decided to play on a Monday night in Oakland. He proceeded to give arguably the finest performance of his career.

Favre completed 22 of 30 passes for 399 yards and four touchdowns, including memorable scores of 22 yards to Wesley Walls and 43 yards to Javon Walker. Favre’s 311 passing yards in the first half set a new team record and his passer rating of 154.9 that night also set a new team record.

Favre’s legendary night added to his legacy as an all-time great. And most importantly, he guided the Packers to a critical 41-7 win that was critical to Green Bay eventually winning the division.

“I knew that my dad would have wanted me to play,” Favre said. “I love him so much, and I love this game. It's meant a great deal to me, to my dad, to my family, and I didn't expect this kind of performance. But I know he was watching tonight.”

2. Simply super

The Green Bay Packers hadn’t played in a Super Bowl in 30 years. So when the Packers faced New England in Super Bowl XXXI, there was a mix of excitement and trepidation.

Favre did all he could to eliminate the latter. Playing in the Louisiana Superdome, less than an hour from his hometown of Kiln, Miss., Favre hit Andre Rison for a 54-yard touchdown on Green Bay’s second play from scrimmage.

“People have asked me what's my favorite moment of Brett Favre’s career,” Packers president Bob Harlan said. “I really think it was the first touchdown in Super Bowl XXXI when he threw to Rison and he ran off the field with his helmet off. He looked like a kid running home to mom with his first great report card.”

Favre later hit Antonio Freeman for a then-Super Bowl record 81-yard TD and the Packers leveled the Patriots, 35-21. Favre finished the day 14 of 27 for 246 yards and helped bring the Lombardi Trophy back to tiny Green Bay.

3. The start of something wonderful

Favre was nothing but a backup quarterback when Week 3 of the 1992 season rolled around. By the end of the day, he was Green Bay’s quarterback of the present — and future.

Favre replaced an injured Don Majkowski and led the Packers to a dramatic 24-23 win over Cincinnati. Favre capped the come-from-behind victory with a 35-yard TD to Kitrick Taylor with just 13 seconds left.

Remarkably, Favre was the Packers’ starting quarterback the next 253 games (275 including playoffs).

“I shudder to think where we would have been without (Favre),” former Packers general manager Ron Wolf said.

4. What’s he doing?

It was Dec. 18, 1994, when Favre made the Packers’ biggest play of the year. It was one that showed both his guts and his recklessness all at the same time.

Green Bay needed a win over Atlanta in the final game ever played at Milwaukee’s County Stadium to keep its playoff hopes alive, but trailed, 17-14, late. Favre and the Packers drove to the Falcons’ 9-yard line in the closing moments, and with the Packers out of timeouts, coach Mike Holmgren had a simple demand of Favre.

“Whatever happens, don’t scramble,” Holmgren told Favre. “Because we don't have any timeouts and if you get tackled in bounds, the game's over. Throw it someplace where we have a chance to score or throw it away. Do not run around!”

Favre was always one for the dramatic, though, and when no one was open, he took off running. Favre dove for the right corner of the endzone and hit paydirt with just 14 ticks left on the clock. His gutsy, mad scramble gave Green Bay a 21-17 win and helped it clinch a playoff berth the following week.

5. How sweet it is

Green Bay hadn’t hosted a title game since the legendary 1967 “Ice Bowl” when Carolina came to town for the 1996 NFC Championship game. Favre and the Packers seemed hell-bent on making up for lost time.

Favre threw for 292 yards with touchdown passes to Dorsey Levens and Antonio Freeman. And the Packers rolled past the Panthers, 30-13, to earn a berth in Super Bowl XXXI.

“I remember telling the fans and the media before the season started that we were going to go to the Super Bowl," Favre said afterwards. “And in two weeks, we'll be in New Orleans.”

6. Record setter

Favre always said records didn’t mean anything to him. But you wouldn’t have known that following his 421st touchdown pass — one that gave him the all-time NFL mark.

Favre hit Greg Jennings for the record-setting score during a 23-16 Green Bay win in Minnesota on Sept. 30, 2007. Favre would go on to finish his glorious career with 508 TD passes.

“I think Brett will appreciate it when it's all said and done after the fact, when the season is over and his career is over,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “It's a milestone that he hit, and he's got a lot more left.”

7. Streak buster

Green Bay hadn’t won a playoff game in 11 seasons when it went to Detroit’s Silverdome in Jan., 1994. And it looked like that streak of ineptitude would continue late in the game, when the Packers trailed, 24-21.

But Favre made one of his all-time great individual plays, when he eluded trouble and scrambled to the far left side of the field. Favre threw across his body and into the right corner of the endzone, where Sterling Sharpe was waiting to haul in a 40-yard TD with just 55 seconds left that gave the Packers a 28-24 win.

“I think when Brett rolled left, the defense was reading his eyes and they drifted to their right,” Sharpe said. “Brett looked over and made a great throw.”

8. Monday Night magic

There was something about Favre and Monday nights.

Favre threw a 99-yard touchdown pass to Robert Brooks in 1995. He had a brilliant game against San Francisco in 1996 that helped the Packers win in overtime and eventually land the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

Favre completed a miraculous game-winning TD pass to Antonio Freeman in 2000 that helped the Packers defeat Minnesota. And he threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns in a win against Chicago in Champaign, Ill., in 2002.

But one of Favre’s all-time magical moments on Monday night came during the 2007 season. The Packers and Denver had just gone to overtime tied, 13-13. On the first play of OT, Favre wound up, lofted a bomb into the Mile High Stadium air that landed on the hands of Greg Jennings.

Jennings, who whipped cornerback Dré Bly on the play, hauled in the perfect pass and raced home for an 82-yard touchdown that gave the Packers a 19-13 win.

“That was fun,” Favre said. “I can't wait to watch the tape."

9. New sheriff in town

Perhaps the game that showed the Packers had indeed arrived came during the 1995 divisional playoffs. Favre and the Packers stormed into San Francisco — the defending Super Bowl champs — and knocked off the 49ers, 27-17.

Favre was magnificent, completing 21 of 28 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns. And even though Green Bay fell the following week in Dallas in the NFC Championship game, its win in San Francisco was a springboard to future successes.

“I thought that game was huge in terms of helping us get where we wanted to go,” Wolf said. “That was a great, great win.”

10. Mr. Tough guy

Favre had several injuries that nearly put an end to his record-setting streak of consecutive starts. But that streak appeared in great danger in 1995, when Favre missed an entire week of practice with a severely sprained left ankle.

Not only did Favre play on that Sunday against Chicago, he lit the Bears up for a career-best five TDs and led the Packers to a 35-28 win. That was just the 59th game of a streak that hit 321 (including playoffs) when Favre was with Minnesota.

“There will never be another Brett Favre,” Wolf said. “Plain and simple.”

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I have covered the Green Bay Packers for several media outlets since 2001, including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s “Packer Plus” and currently Conley Media. I have a

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