From SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, January 17, 1994
FOR BRETT FAVRE IT WAS D�J� VU FOR, OH, MAYBE THE 26th time this season. Feeling pressure, he scrambled to his left near midfield in the Silverdome during the NFC wild-card game on Jan. 8, 1994, and heaved a bomb toward the right corner of the distant end zone. A minute remained in the game, the Detroit Lions were ahead 24-21, the season was on the line, and the time was right for a Favresque faux pas.
Favre had thrown a league-high 24 interceptions during the regular season and had added a 25th in the third quarter that was returned 15 yards for a touchdown by Lions cornerback Melvin Jenkins, and, hey, why not toss one more log on his crackling bonfire of screwups? Indeed, while rolling left Favre had started to throw safely underneath the coverage to tight end Ed West, who was crossing from right to left, but then that most volatile of objects—Favre's brain—kicked in. "I told myself, There's gotta be something better," he said with a grin after the game. "That's my problem. Sometimes there's not something better."
This time there was. It came in the form of streaking All-Pro wideout Sterling Sharpe, who blew past Lions cornerback Kevin Scott on the right sideline as though Scott were picking flowers. Scott, who quite possibly felt that no human could throw a ball from where Favre was to where Sharpe would be, should be forgiven any miscalculation. Favre's across-the-field rocket traveled at least 60 yards.
The pass prevented the game from being nothing more than a reenactment of the previous week's Silverdome battle between these two teams. Detroit won that one, and the NFC Central Division crown, 30-20, largely by coaxing Favre into tossing four interceptions. This time the Lions were sabotaged by their own quarterback, Erik Kramer, who played the Favresque role by throwing two passes that were picked off in the end zone. The first was intercepted by Packers cornerback Terrell Buckley, and it snuffed a first-quarter drive. The second came with the Lions leading 17-14 in the third quarter and on the brink of putting the game away. Rookie safety George Teague stepped in front of a short pass intended for Detroit tight end Ty Hallock and set sail for the longest touchdown—101 yards—in postseason history.
Fifteen minutes later, with the ball soaring toward Sharpe as he stood all alone in the end zone, one quarterback, at least, was about to be redeemed. Favre was so happy about his touchdown throw that he almost passed out. "I lost my helmet, my ear pads," he said. "I started hyperventilating. I was looking for someone to kiss." He even empathized with Kramer. "I've been there before," said Favre. But for this day, at least, d�j� vu took a hike.