Young road warriors
Green Bay has a five-game road winning streak for the first time in nine years. The last time Green Bay won six in a row on the road was between 1966 and 1967, when Vince Lombardi’s Packers won the first two Super Bowls.
Favre, who has the most wins in NFL history as a starting quarterback, said Wednesday he’s offsetting some of Green Bay’s youthful exuberance while off to a 6-1 start.
“Where I need to be the difference maker is with my experience and knowledge of the game,” Favre said. “I think for the most part I’ve done that.”
It’s obvious that the Packers under second-year coach Mike McCarthy have figured out ways to win on the road. Besides winning 10 of their last 11 overall, the Packers are 8-3 away from Lambeau Field since McCarthy took over.
“This is a football team that prepares and there’s a consistency to the way we go about our business,” McCarthy said. “I think really about the middle of last season, toward the end there, as far as the preparation in the classroom and onto the playing field, it really looks the way it needs to look.”
Favre even managed a rare superlative about the Packers’ road play of late.
“We’ve played excellent on the road,” he said. “I shouldn’t say excellent, but excellent enough to win. ... We have to win regardless of where we play, regardless of the environment, how loud it may be.”
Green Bay may be facing its toughest road test yet. The Chiefs are coming off a bye week, while Green Bay needed overtime on Monday night in Denver to beat the Broncos 19-13 on Favre’s 82-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings.
It was a moment Favre said ranked highly with his lengthy list of memorable moments, but he quickly downplayed it, saying he told himself after the game, “that’s what you’re supposed to do, but take it to the next level.”
McCarthy said Favre’s drive is pushing the rest of the Packers.
“The experience of your quarterback, it doesn’t matter where you play. Home, away, out in the parking lot, because he’s seen it all,” McCarthy said. “He’s able to get you out of tough spots, anticipate when those spots are coming. ... He makes up for so many things.”
During the road winning streak, Favre has thrown 10 touchdowns to just two interceptions and averaged 307.8 yards per start. It’s a good thing since Green Bay hasn’t been able to run consistently.
“Coaches talk about distractions, more distractions on road. I tend to think there’s more at home at times, and that’s from Day One from the first time I got here,” Favre said. “You have more time to think about the game at hand when you’re on the road, at least you should, but I think it all comes down to execution, concentration.”
For all of Favre’s success at Lambeau, the three-time MVP is 61-61 on the road since he began his consecutive starts streak, which will extend to 245 regular season games on Sunday.
A week after being critically questioned about his arm strength, Favre responded on Monday night with two perfect deep passes for touchdowns to Jennings, in his second year, and rookie James Jones. Even-keeled, Favre said it was up to others to make decisions on how well he’s playing.
“I think I’m playing fine. I’ll leave that up to you guys,” Favre said. “Do I think I can play better? Absolutely.”
Favre’s accomplishments come this season despite defenses focusing on his favorite target, Donald Driver. Driver still leads the team in receptions with 39, but he’s well off a pace of at least 1,200 yards receiving, the plateau he reached each of the last three years.
“I think we’ve shown that we’ll throw it to other guys and that our other guys can be productive when we throw it to them. So, at some point you have to kind of pay more attention to everyone else as well,” Favre said. “But, Donald, he’s always a catch away from making a huge play.”
It’s been Favre that’s been full of them recently, so much so, it’s easy to forget he recently turned 38.
“I know as you get older, age, you’re fighting that, but I still feel like I can make all the plays,” he said.