Sunday, December 5, 2010

Favre knocked out by hard hit
Brett Favre

Brett Favre has taken a beating all year long, and the latest big hit has him watching from the bench.

On the first series of the game against Buffalo on Sunday, Favre was crushed by Bills linebacker Arthur Moats, knocking the 41-year-old Vikings quarterback out of the game with a sprained throwing shoulder.

Shortly after extending his NFL record by starting his 297th consecutive regular season game, Favre was blindsided by Moats as he threw his first pass, which was intercepted by Drayton Florence.

Favre was slow to get up and staggered to the sideline, later walking to the locker room with athletic trainer Eric Sugarman. The team called his return questionable, but with backup Tarvaris Jackson playing so well, there didn't seem much reason to bring him back.

Jackson got off to a rocky start, throwing an interception that Florence returned 40 yards for a touchdown for a 7-0 lead.

But he settled down, completing all four of his passes on the next drive for 76 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown to Sidney Rice.

Favre returned to the sideline later in the second quarter and had a long conversation with interim coach Leslie Frazier and Jackson. It appeared Favre was going to come back into the game, but Frazier stuck with Jackson, whose second TD pass of the game to Rice gave the Vikings a 28-7 lead with eight minutes to go in the first half.

Jackson completed 10 of his first 12 passes for 152 yards with two TDs and one interception. He was 12 for 17 for 170 yards and led the Vikings to 31 points in the first half, which set a season high for points in a game by a team that entered the game 4-7.

Favre watched from the sideline with his arms folded, talking to Jackson after each series. He occasionally wound his throwing shoulder slowly to try and loosen it up after getting leveled by Moats on the third play of the game.

Favre rolled to his right and was hit by Moats just as he started to throw. The ball fluttered in the air and fell into Florence's arms for Favre's 18th interception of the season.

It's been a difficult year for Favre, who has struggled with a sore shoulder, tendinitis in his elbow, two broken bones in his ankle and 10 stitches in his chin from a hit against the Patriots earlier this year.

He also entered the game 30th in the NFL in passer rating, a far cry from his 33-touchdown, seven-interception performance in 2009 that helped the Vikings reach the NFC title game.

Favre has also been dogged by an NFL investigation into allegations that he sent inappropriate messages to a game-day hostess when both worked for the New York Jets in 2008. (SI.COM)

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