NEW ORLEANS -- Quarterback Brett Favre planned to return to the Twin Cities with his teammates on Sunday night after the Vikings' 31-28 overtime loss to New Orleans in the NFC title game, but that's about the only thing he was willing to say about his future.
Favre, 40, trying to hold back tears as he conducted his postgame news conference Sunday in the Superdome, indicated he could soon make a decision on his future. Favre lives in nearby Hattiesburg, Miss., but said he was going to go back to Minneapolis with the team on Sunday. Vikings players will clean out their lockers today and head into the offseason, one game short of their goal.
“I wouldn’t say [it will take] months,” Favre said when asked for a timetable. “I know people are rolling their eyes or will roll their eyes. In a situation like this I really don’t want to make a decision right now based on what’s happened because I do know the year could not have gone any better aside from us not going to Miami. I really enjoyed it to be honest. Just wondering if I can hold up, especially after a day like today. Physically and mentally. That was pretty draining. I am going to go home, [take] a couple of days and just talk it over with the family.”
Favre’s first season with the Vikings ended just like his last season with the Packers. With an extremely painful overtime loss in the NFC title game in which he threw a crucial interception. In January 2008, it was the Giants who kicked the winning field goal after picking off Favre in overtime. This time Favre didn’t even have the chance to touch the ball in overtime. However, he did throw two picks in regulation, including one with 19 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Vikings at the Saints 38-yard line. The score was tied at 28.
Favre said he came to Minnesota to win a Super Bowl and made it clear that was still his goal. The problem is time is running out for a future Hall of Famer who will turn 41 next October.
“I’d love to win the Super Bowl. Who wouldn’t?” Favre said. “Of course, I can’t print anything for you guys but I know I’m going out on top one way or the other. I didn’t feel like I had anything to prove coming in but if there were doubters out there maybe I served notice to them but my goal is to get to Miami and obviously that’s not going to happen but [this is] it is no doubt I’m on top.”
Favre said “yes” three times when asked if the season was a success. The Vikings finished with a 12-4 record, won a first-round playoff game against Dallas and Favre threw a career low seven interceptions during the season. “It’s hard to even think about anything other than the loss,” Favre said, trying to contain his emotions. “I may wake up tomorrow and who knows?”
Coach Brad Childress said he does not know if Favre will return, adding, “I told him to go home and lick your wounds and I’ll do the same and we’ll catch up down the road. Nobody wants to be rash about any decision-making, I’m sure, right now.”
As for the key interception Favre threw late in the fourth quarter that ended a Vikings drive on third-down in Saints territory with the score tied, Favre said: "After the penalty [for 12 men in the huddle] we were out of field-goal range. I am not even sure what the exact yardage was that we needed, but the play was designed actually to go to Bernard [Berrian] in the flat - man coverage -- they checked out of it and we went in motion. I was actually late to Sidney [Rice]. I probably should have ran it. I don't know how far I could have gotten, but in hindsight that is probably what I should have done. I don't know how many yards we needed for a field goal, but I knew we needed some. It was just late to Sidney."
The ball was picked off by Saints cornerback Tracy Porter to end the Vikings threat.
Meanwhile, nose tackle Pat Williams told KFAN Radio after the game that it's only 50-50 whether he will return for the 2010 season. Williams just completed his 13th season.