1. Archive

Favre uncertain about whether he'll return

Packers quarterback Brett Favre might have played his final game.

Disappointed at throwing four interceptions in the 34-17 loss to the Vikings, Favre said he will return to his native Mississippi to be with family and make a decision about whether to play a 15th season.

"If I come back I want to do it for the right reasons and that's to lead this team to a Super Bowl and to give everything that I can possible give," Favre said. "I have done that to this point."

Favre, a three-time league MVP who led the Packers to victory in Super Bowl XXXI, has been hard hit by adversity in his personal life.

In December 2003, his father Irv died of a heart attack. In October, his brother-in-law, Casey Tynes, died in an all-terrain vehicle accident on Favre's property in Mississippi and his wife, Deanna, was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Add to that poor playoff performances in consecutive seasons and Favre might not return. He said he does not have a timetable for a decision, but the Packers likely do.

"It's not about me anymore," Favre said. "My wife has gone through some difficult times and continues to, so that will play into my decision-making. I know if my family were up here they would say, "He's coming back; we're not going to let him go out like that.' But I also have to be fair to them. To block this game out and make a decision is going to be difficult, but I will try my best."

Favre extended to 16 his NFL-record streak of playoff games with at least one touchdown pass, hitting tight end Bubba Franks with a 4-yarder in the second quarter.

GETTING DEFENSIVE: Last season, Green Bay fired defensive coordinator Ed Donatell after giving up fourth-and-26 in a playoff loss to the Eagles. This season, the Packers and first-year coordinator Bob Slowik will have to explain giving up 17 points to the Vikings in the first nine minutes.

Minnesota scored two touchdowns in seven total plays covering 131 yards for a 14-0 lead with 9:50 left in the first quarter. Morten Andersen's 35-yard field goal made it 17-0.

WALKER INJURED: The Packers played most of the second half without their leading receiver, Javon Walker, who sustained a shin bruise early in the second quarter. Walker, who caught two passes for 27 yards, started the second half, but went to the locker room on a cart in the third quarter and did not return.

COLD SNAP: The Vikings won outdoors for the first time under second-year coach Mike Tice when the temperature was below 45 degrees. The temperature at kickoff was 26. The Vikings, who followed the Rams' victory Saturday as the second 8-8 team in NFL history to win a playoff game, won outdoors for just the third time in their past 23 games.

STICKY FINGERS: The much-maligned Vikings defense had 11 interceptions during 16 regular-season games, but picked off Favre four times. Antoine Winfield, Brian Russell, Ralph Brown and Brian Williams each had an interception.

_ JOANNE KORTH, Times staff writer