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NFC PLAYOFFS Favre's heroics carry Green Bay



Published: Sat, January 8, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Packers and Vikings have never met in the postseason.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- The Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings usually play tight games. And the Packers usually come out on top.

Their last five meetings were settled by five points or fewer and Green Bay went 4-1 in those. This season, the Packers won both of the NFC North rivals' games 34-31, both on field goals by Ryan Longwell as time expired.

One thing all of those matchups have in common: Brett Favre was at quarterback for Green Bay. Seven times, Favre has beaten the Vikings with game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime.

"I don't know if there's a guy you want to give the ball to in those situations more than him," Packers coach Mike Sherman said.

So Sherman likes his chances heading into today's first-round playoff game at Lambeau Field -- the first postseason meeting between the Packers and Vikings.

Pressure player

Favre has 34 career game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime, the most of any active NFL quarterback. He's done it four times in the last seven weeks alone.

But Sherman has a little secret to share:

"He doesn't like those situations," the coach said. "He says people think he likes being in those situations, but he doesn't necessarily like it. But he does respond to them."

Favre may look like one cool customer when he's leading the two-minute offense with the game on the line, but inside he's got butterflies just like all the fans on their feet or the edge of their seats.

"Hey, I get nervous just like everybody," Favre said. "That surprises people sometimes but I'm human."

This season

On Nov. 14 in Green Bay, the Vikings scored a touchdown with 1:20 left to tie it at 31. That was plenty of time for Favre to lead the Packers downfield for Longwell's 33-yard winner.

On Dec. 24 at the Metrodome, Favre's fourth-down touchdown throw to Donald Driver tied it at 31. After the Vikings punted, the Packers got the ball at their 13 with 1:35 remaining.

Eleven plays and 76 yards later, Longwell kicked a 29-yarder, giving the Packers their third straight NFC North crown.

Favre called it one of his top five comebacks, if not his best ever.

"No doubt about it. Considering the circumstances, our lack of success, my lack of success in that building (4-9 record). To come back with two drives to win the game, that has to rank near the top," Favre said.




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