DETROIT — Brett Favre is thankful to still be playing and winning in the NFL.
Adding a league record to his overflowing collection is merely a bonus.
Favre set another mark with his 271st
straight start in the regular season, then threw two touchdown passes
to help the Minnesota Vikings beat the Detroit Lions 27-13 on Sunday.
“Every game I play in at this point, I’m pretty grateful,” he said. “I know how difficult it is.”
The Lions, meanwhile, know how tough it is to simply win a game. They haven’t done it in almost 21 months.
Detroit looked like it might finally
earn a victory with a 10-0 lead midway through the second quarter, but
mental and physical miscues led to their 19th straight loss to match
the second-longest skid in league history. The Chicago Cardinals, in
the 1940s, and the Oakland Raiders, in the 1960s, also lost 19
“We can’t keep making mistakes, and
we can’t keep taking penalties,” center Dominic Raiola said. “We were
fine in the first half, and then we stunk in the second half. I’m not
pointing fingers at any one guy. This is on all of us.
“We didn’t do our jobs in the second half, and that’s very frustrating,” he added. “We’re better than that.”
If the Lions don’t prove it on the field, they may march toward another infamous milestone.
Detroit, which became the NFL’s
first 0-16 team last season, desperately hopes it doesn’t approach
Tampa Bay’s record of 26 losses in a row set during the 1976-77
Kevin Smith blamed himself for
letting the latest game slip away, setting up Adrian Peterson‘s
go-ahead, 27-yard TD midway through he third quarter.
“It starts with my fumble,” Smith
said. “I think that’s what hurt. It was 10-10 and I can’t fumble the
ball. I give it up and AP comes back and scores.”
After rookie quarterback Matthew
Stafford connected with Calvin Johnson to put Detroit ahead 10-0, the
Vikings responded with Favre’s toss to Visanthe Shiancoe in the end
“That was probably the most important drive of the game,” Favre said.
Favre, though, continues to play a young man’s game less than a month away from his 40th birthday.
“Can you please stop calling him Brett Favre? It’s the Silver Fox,” teammate Jared Allen joked.
Favre was 23-of-27 for 155 yards
with TD passes to rookie Percy Harvin and Shiancoe. He appeared to hurt
his right hand when he got hit just before connecting with Harvin
midway through the fourth quarter.
“It’s all right,” Favre insisted.
Minnesota coach Brad Childress said he didn’t see Favre look at his hand and shake it after getting banged up.
“He’s probably shaking everything he’s got,” Childress said.
On his first snap, the three-time
MVP set another NFL mark. Defensive end Jim Marshall had the previous
mark for consecutive starts, 270 games in a row for Minnesota from
Favre’s streak started 17 years ago.
“Think about what you were doing in 1992,” Childress said. “It’s a long time.”
Minnesota shut down Stafford after
he and the Lions had some success early, taking control in the second
half on Peterson’s TD, Favre’s second pass for a score and Ryan
Longwell‘s field goals. Chad Greenway had two interceptions and
recovered a fumble for the Vikings (2-0).
Stafford, the No. 1 pick in the draft, was 18-of-30 for 152 yards with a TD and two interceptions.
“Matt Stafford is our starting quarterback,” Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said, when asked about a possible quarterback change.
The Vikings invited Marshall
to attend the game, but he politely declined to spend time with his
wife on their first anniversary. … Ernie Harwell, an honorary captain
wearing a No. 1 Lions jersey, was given a rousing ovation before the
game. The 91-year-old Baseball Hall of Fame honoree and longtime
broadcaster for the Detroit Tigers has inoperable cancer.