Then came a replay review that wiped out the Minnesota Vikings' touchdown -- and finally a victory for the Packers against their former quarterback.
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Favre suffered three second-half interceptions and the Packers held on to beat the Vikings 28-24 on Sunday night.
"It's devastating," Favre said. "I don't know how else to put it. I take a lot of pride and ownership in all phases of the game. You've got the ball in your hand, you hope to win those. You just feel like you let everybody down."
Favre appeared to deliver another signature comeback victory with an apparent touchdown strike to Percy Harvin with 48 seconds left -- but the score was overturned when a replay review determined the wide receiver came down with one foot out of bounds.
Down to his last chance on fourth-and-15 at the 20, Favre threw incomplete.
"A little payback don't hurt," linebacker Desmond Bishop said.
Green Bay turned Favre's two third-quarter interceptions into touchdowns that erased the Vikings' halftime lead, including a 32-yard return by Bishop. It was the ninth interception that was returned for a touchdown in the league on Sunday.
"You can't throw it to them, you've got to play within the confines of our system," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "Sometimes it's OK to punt the football. You can't give seven points going the other way, not in a game like this."
Favre came up limping after the interception to Hawk early in the third quarter. Childress said he "did have a thought" about taking Favre out of the game but never approached him about it.
"I was going to give him that next series and he took us and moved us down the field," Childress said.
|It was a game that was there for the taking by the Vikings, but three interceptions by Brett Favre, including one for a touchdown, dropped them to 2-4.|
|Green Bay Packers|
|Ravaged by injuries -- especially along the defensive line -- the Packers get a win they absolutely needed to have, and pull into a first-place tie with the Chicago Bears in the NFC North.|
|By Greg Bedard|
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Favre acknowledged his left ankle was hurt, and it didn't sound like a lock that he would play next week.
"If I can play but not be effective, then it's not worth playing," Favre said. "I hope I use good judgment, so we'll see. I'm no spring chicken anymore; I don't heal as quickly. I know the heart's in the right place, though. I know I left it on the field, it just disappointing that it didn't work our way."
Favre, who had surgery on his injured ankle in the offseason, has started an NFL-record 291 consecutive games.
Aaron Rodgers was 21 of 34 for 295 yards and two touchdowns for Green Bay (4-3). He also had a pair of costly first-half interceptions -- uncharacteristic mistakes for a quarterback known for good decision-making in the red zone.
"Our biggest rival and the close score, the way it ended, it was definitely a special night for us," Rodgers said.
Adrian Peterson rushed for 131 yards for the Vikings (2-4). Favre was 16 of 29 for 212 yards with a touchdown and the three interceptions.
"It's over," Collins said. "Finally."
It was Favre's second trip back to Lambeau Field as a Viking, but the buildup to this year's game wasn't quite as intense as last year's matchups. Favre led the Vikings to a pair of victories against the Packers last year, looking sharp in the process.
Fans booed Favre again when he took the field.
But both teams got off to disappointing starts this season, a much bigger concern than the division rivalry or the Favre-driven circus going into Sunday's game.
"We've got a lot of time here," Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said. "We can go 12 and 4. It's far from over. We've got a lot of time left. A little urgency is probably going to be there, but there's no sense of panic."
Favre has pressing personal concerns as well. He's currently in the middle of an NFL investigation into allegations that he sent lewd photographs and suggestive messages to a female New York Jets employee in 2008. Favre met with an NFL security official during the week but has not publicly addressed the allegations, which were posted on the Deadspin website.
Still, he almost managed to put it all aside and pull off a comeback.
Harvin didn't dispute the call that wiped out his late touchdown.
"I did the best I could trying to get the ball down," Harvin said. "It was a heck of a throw. I just ran out of space. Some of those plays you make, some of them you don't."
- Harvin had three carries for 41 yards, including a TD run in the first quarter, five catches for 65 yards receiving and three kickoff returns for 81 yards.
- Packers wide receiver James Jones caught four passes for 107 yards.
- Packers coach Mike McCarthy said defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins strained a calf muscle before the game and Ryan Pickett left the game after hurting his ankle.