Favre’s big gun still comes with warning
By: By PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer
DENVER (AP) — Greg Jennings walked into the interview room after hauling in Brett Favre’s 82-yard game-winning touchdown pass in overtime and issued a warning.
“No questions about the last play,” he deadpanned.
There’s certainly no more questions about Favre’s arm strength. He burned Champ Bailey for a 79-yard touchdown in the first quarter and Dre’ Bly for the game-winner in OT as Green Bay beat Denver 19-13 on Monday night.
“I’ve always felt like I’ve thrown the deep ball well,” Favre said. “I’d love to throw 80 yarders every week, but that’s not going to happen.”
To think, there had been rumblings about whether he’d lost the zip on his fastball. He underthrew his receivers on a few passes in a win over Washington two weeks ago, leading to the speculation.
“I knew it didn’t have anything to do with my arm strength,” said Favre, who finished 21-of-27 for 331 yards. “It was just one of those days.”
Favre made Bailey and Bly — two of the premier corners in the league — have one of those nights where they looked mortal.
“He’s a great quarterback,” Bailey said. “He’s not going to miss anything. We’ve got to make those plays. We’re too good not to make those.”
Bly said he lost sight of the ball on the winning pass to Jennings. He also may have been bumped a little bit by Jennings, not that he’s complaining — too loudly at least.
“They’re not going to make those calls,” Bly said. “I’m not going to hang my head down. I’m a playmaker. I had honest coverage, Jennings just made the play.”
Jennings heaped all the credit onto Favre.
“It’s all about the poise in Brett and the trust he has in us,” Jennings said. “We’re going in the right direction in terms of the long ball.”
In terms of the team’s record, too. Favre has the Packers at 6-1 for the third time in his career. In 1996, Favre and the Packers turned a similar start into a Super Bowl title.
“I feel like I’ve been on some better teams, but it’s hard to doubt this team,” Favre said. “That was fun. I can’t wait to watch the tape.”
It’s one tape Bailey will probably want to burn after getting torched by James Jones for a 79-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Jones caught Favre’s perfectly thrown pass in stride down the sideline, cut back across the field to avoid Nick Ferguson and used back judge Jim Howey, who threw an unintentional block on Bly, to help get him into the end zone.
“Two plays beat us,” said Bailey, whose team fell to 3-4. “Just those two plays. If you give up big plays like that, you’re going to lose games.”
Asked if he expected Favre to test Denver’s corners so much, Bailey nodded his head in agreement.
“It’s Monday night,” Bailey said. “We obviously know he loves to throw the ball down the field on Monday night.”
Favre has been at his finest on Monday nights. He’s turned in some of his better moments in front of a prime-time audience, from his memorable game in Oakland following the death of his father, to his game-winner to Antonio Freeman in overtime against Minnesota.
Yet, he still had a case of butterflies after Denver kicker Jason Elam tied up the game with a 21-yard field goal at the end of regulation.
“I was nervous as heck,” Favre said. “I haven’t been in too many overtime games. We got the ball and I figured we probably had one chance. If we don’t go down and do something, this is probably it. Don’t screw it up, whatever you do.”
Denver squandered a golden opportunity to win the game in regulation. Jay Cutler and the Broncos offense took over the ball at their own 7 with 2:27 left. They drove it down to the Packers 4 with 25 seconds remaining, but couldn’t punch it in.
Instead, Elam had to scramble on the field in the closing seconds, beating the clock to tie the game.
The Packers won the coin flip and on their first play Favre hit Jennings for the winning score.
“I was looking forward to getting in position to try another field goal,” said Elam, who’s hit three game-winning field goals this season. “But it’s Brett. He’s one of the best to ever play the game and everybody got to see why tonight.”
Even Bly, who got burned on the final play, was impressed.
“Even though I’m sad that we lost the game, hey, it was a great throw and catch,” Bly said.