The greatest plays in Brett Favre's career
The legend of Brett Lorenzo Favre is one that will long be remembered in NFL lore.
The longtime quarterback of the Green Bay Packers turned in exceptional performances over a 19-year NFL career with four difference franchises, and set a number of records.
The former second-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons brought renewed greatness to a historic team in Green Bay, which he joined in 1992. During his 16-year tenure, he led the Packers to their first Super Bowl title in nearly 30 years and fell just short of a second Super Bowl win a season later.
The 11-time Pro Bowler launched himself to stardom during his first season in Wisconsin. In Week 3, against Cincinnati, he replaced an injured Don Majkowski and capped one of his 43 game-winning drives with a 35-yard touchdown pass to Kitrick Taylor with 13 seconds remaining.
That play earned Favre his first start the following week and kicked off a streak of 297 consecutive regular-season starts (321, if you include the postseason), a record unlikely to be broken.
Let’s look back on some of No. 4's other memorable moments, as we rank the five best plays of Favre's career.
5. Favre’s game-winning rushing TD against Atlanta (1994)
During Favre’s time in Green Bay, he ended an 11-year playoff drought and guided his team to 11 playoff appearances across 15 seasons.
In 1994, Green Bay needed an extra spark and some luck to achieve its second straight postseason berth. Entering Week 16, the team sat at 7-7 and had to keep winning to stay in playoff contention.
Today in 1994: In the final game in Milwaukee after 62 years, Brett Favre's nine-yard TD run in the final seconds sends Packers to 21-17 win over Falcons. The win keeps Green Bay's playoff hopes alive, while effectively eliminating Atlanta in the crowded NFC playoff chase. pic.twitter.com/jr9ZNgKsAf— Packers History (@HistoricPackers) December 18, 2020
Down 17-14 to Atlanta with 21 seconds left, Favre needed to make something happen on third and 2 to keep the Packers' postseason hopes alive.
The young gun dropped back to pass from Atlanta's 9-yard line, scrambled out the pocket to his right, and found the slightest opening to run.
Favre evaded a tackle, rushed toward the end zone, and dove head-first for the game-sealing touchdown.
Green Bay won its next game against Tampa Bay, earned a Wild Card spot, and ultimately fell in the Divisional Round to Dallas.
4. Favre’s 99-yard touchdown pass to Robert Brooks (1995)
At the time of Favre’s final retirement in 2010, he held a handful of records, including the most passing yards (71,838), touchdown passes (508), and quarterback wins (186).
The first two records have since been broken by Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees, while Brady, alone, has surpassed Favre’s win total.
There is still one mark from Favre's career that no player will surpass.
In a Week 2 matchup against Chicago in 1995, the gunslinger launched a pass from his own end zone and hit Robert Brooks for a 99-yard touchdown in a 27-24 win.
What made the play even more impressive was the fact that Favre turned a high-pressure situation, on third and 10 and from Green Bay's 1-yard line, into a score.
3. Favre's 81-yard touchdown in Super Bowl XXXI (1997)
Favre’s 1996 season was certainly one of his best. A year after he won his first NFL MVP Award, Favre threw for 3,899 yards, a career-high 39 touchdowns, and took his team to a Super Bowl.
In the big game, Favre passed for two scores and ran for another in a 35-21 win against the New England Patriots.
His most important touchdown came in the second quarter, when New England led 14-10.
The Packers never trailed the rest of the game, and Favre became one of 10 players to win NFL MVP the same season he won a Super Bowl.
Even though he accounted for three scores, Favre wasn’t named Super Bowl MVP. That honor went to return specialist Desmond Howard.
2. Favre's 500th touchdown pass (2010)
Not all of Favre’s greatest milestones came with Green Bay. After he jumped to NFC North rival Minnesota in 2009, he accomplished more.
Not only did Favre become the first player to defeat all 32 NFL franchises, but he became the first quarterback older than 40 to win a playoff game and the first to pass for 70,000 yards.
In the same game he hit his passing-yards record, he also became the first player to register 500 touchdown passes.
In a Monday Night Football game, the Vikings QB found receiver Randy Moss for a 37-yard touchdown catch in the end zone against Favre’s former team, the New York Jets.
1. Favre's 40-yard game-winner to Sterling Sharpe (1994)
Of all of Favre’s celebrated plays, you have to go back to his first playoff game to find his most astonishing.
In an NFC Wild Card game, Favre was down four points against Barry Sanders' Lions with nearly a minute left to play.
At halftime, head coach Mike Holmgren advised Favre not to throw across the field, to avoid a turnover. That note seemed especially necessary, considering Favre threw four interceptions against the Lions in a regular-season game the week prior.
However, in a win-or-go-home situation, Favre had no choice but to improvise.
With 55 seconds remaining, on second down and near the Lions' 40-yard line, he rolled out to his left, saw a wide-open Sterling Sharpe in the right corner of the end zone, and heaved the ball across his body to connect with Sharpe for a touchdown.
The touchdown gave the Packers’ their first playoff win since 1982 and made Favre an instant Packers icon.