Favre says he can still make deep throws
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Brett Favre's playful challenge was direct.
If you think he's losing zip on his trademark passes that have broken receivers' fingers throughout his career, try catching a few yourself.
"It's a matter of opinion, but I challenge you to come out and catch a couple for me afterwards. You make that decision," a grinning Favre said Tuesday.
It was the first time Favre talked publicly since the Packers beat Washington 17-14 on Oct. 14. Favre had his worst game of the season, going 19-for-37 for 188 yards with two interceptions.
The Packers play the Denver Broncos on Monday night, but most of the questions revolved around the three-time MVP's performance nine days ago after he underthrew his two deep passes to receivers, who didn't help him much by failing to come back to the ball and allowing Sean Taylor to intercept both attempts.
"I can honestly say that in my career it hasn't happened many times ... I thought it was actually going to be overthrown and it ended up 10 yards shorter than where I had intended," Favre said. "Why? I have no idea."
Packers coach Mike McCarthy dismissed the notion that Favre might be losing his fastball. He said that Favre made a 55- to 60-yard completion in stride during practice this week.
"He has plenty of arm strength left," McCarthy said.
The NFL's career touchdowns and interceptions leader said he's not sure why he struggled.
"I know I can throw further than that and I know I can throw harder, but for whatever reason that day, it was, I don't want to say a misjudgment or a miscalculation on my part, I just threw it," Favre said. "Did I misjudge Sean Taylor's range? Eh, I still think had the ball ended up where I wanted it to, or where I thought it was going, I think we're OK. But, that's not happened to me very often."
McCarthy also said that he's not paying attention that his team is not considered among the NFL's elite despite its 5-1 record.
"I really don't care what other people think of us. It's really a viewpoint I share with the football team often," McCarthy said. "Perception a lot of times is not reality, and that's what we focus on. Once again, we're six games into this season. We're not interested in being judged after six games. We understand it's a long journey."
Favre has been the biggest reason why the Packers are winning. He's averaging more than 41 attempts a game and is completing 64.8 percent of his passes for 1,715 yards passing with nine touchdowns and six interceptions.
Favre also said he didn't do much to help beat the Redskins. Green Bay needed a 57-yard fumble return by Charles Woodson for the go-ahead score.
"Had nothing to do with me," Favre said. "When I watched the film, I was very unimpressed with the way I played."
In fact, Favre even took back a little bit of credit he gave to the Redskins' defense immediately after the game.
"They still played well, but I missed some throws," he said. "I was just off."
Favre said that even though he didn't play well, the Packers did win, and he knows some games are decided by only a few plays, like when he threw a pass intercepted by Brian Urlacher. The Bears trailed by 10 points midway through the third quarter, but scored 17 consecutive points after Urlacher's play to hand Green Bay its only loss.
"Sometimes you can have 10 bad plays and win and sometimes you can be great and have one bad play and it costs you. You never know," Favre said. "For all of us, consistency is the No. 1 thing we're looking to achieve week in and week out. And we haven't got to that point yet."
But one thing Favre said remains consistent is his ability to throw the ball deep, even if he struggled against Washington.
"Don't write some story that he's at the end of his rope now, he can't throw it," Favre said. "That's probably what you're getting at: Favre's done."
He then issued his challenge, and got the last word in edgewise, too, as he left the podium.
"It was just one game."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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