Another Brett Favre Interception Sinks the Vikings

Chad KlassenCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 24:  Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings reacts after a play against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

A costly interception in overtime of the 2007 NFC Championship will always be remembered as Brett Favre's last throw in a Green Bay Packers uniform. 

It cost his team an opportunity to play for the Super Bowl, and with Favre in an identical spot two years later another ill-advised pass—in potentially his final game with the Vikings—once again killed his team's hopes to win a Super Bowl title.

Interceptions have been a big part of his career as the NFL's all-time leader with 316 picks, but never have they been so fatal than in the last three seasons.

Particularly, a trio of interceptions in three of Favre's last four big games have directly cost his respective teams, including a pair of opportunities to advance to the big dance. The infamous Webster pick led to the Giants' game-winning kick at Lambeau, but Favre also served up a pick six for Phillip Merling in last year's season finale against Miami, ultimately spoiling the Jets' shot at the playoffs.

In 2009, despite throwing a career-low seven picks, in one of his best seasons as a pro, an interception in Saints territory with 12 seconds left denied Ryan Longwell the dream of kicking the Vikings into the Super Bowl and just may have killed his last shining moment to win a ring.  

New Orleans, of course, won the coin toss in extra time and took no time driving down to set up Garrett Hartley's 40-yard field goal to spoil Favre's championship aspirations.

You have to feel great for the long-suffering Saints fans, who will see their team compete in the Super Bowl for the first time ever. But Favre had an opportunity to write another great storyline as the first 40-year-old quarterback to play for a Super Bowl and simply blew it.

As much as the Saints won the NFC Championship 31-28 in front of their home crowd, Favre and the Vikings lost the game on a highlight-reel of follies that ultimately resulted in New Orleans overtime winner. The multiple fumbles, five turnovers, and myriad of mistakes by Minnesota—partly credited to the Saints' dominant defensive performance—was the difference.

The Vikings controlled the ball throughout, putting up almost 500 yards of total offense and eating 37 minutes of clock. Favre was brilliant in orchestrating long drives, all in the while helping Minnesota keep the ball out of Drew Brees' hands. It neutralized New Orleans' explosive offense, which was nothing special on Sunday, and the Saints were just fortunate to capitalize on the mistakes with 10 points off turnovers.

Unfortunately, after a relatively mistake-free season for Favre, the old gunslinger made an inopportune return at the Superdome and overshadowed an otherwise stunning 310-yard performance. 

You can easily make the argument that his teammates were equally at fault in the loss for all their troubles holding onto the ball. The "too many men in the huddle" penalty was also huge, pushing the Vikings back five yards. But even in the face of five errant turnovers, Minnesota was still in a position to be crowned NFC champions—only to see Favre force the unorthodox throw across his body and afflicted a massive blow to the Vikings' chances.

So instead of watching Favre battle Peyton Manning for a second Super Bowl and cruise into the Hall of Fame, we get to endure another "entertaining" offseason filled with the now annual retirement drama surrounding Favre's Mississippi residence. But given the sour taste that late pick will certainly leave in his mouth, you would have to believe No. 4 will be back in Minnesota with a team that'll be a Super Bowl contender next season with him under center.