EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)—Brett Favre addressed his teammates before the game amid all the distractions. Hours later, the record-breaking quarterback put all that aside and nearly led the Minnesota Vikings to another of his classic comebacks. The New York Jets would have none of it.
With Favre trying to rally his team, Dwight Lowery returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown with 1:30 left as the Jets beat the Vikings 29-20 on Monday night.
Nick Folk kicked five field goals for the Jets (4-1), two after fumbles by Favre.
"That's a heck of a win," New York coach Rex Ryan said.
Now, the 41-year-old quarterback is left wondering if an even bigger punishment is in store from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Favre finished 14 for 34 for 264 yards for the Vikings (1-3) hours after he reportedly apologized to teammates for the distraction caused by an NFL investigation into allegations that he sent racy messages and lewd photos to a Jets game hostess in 2008.
"I said what I had to say," Favre said, refusing to answer questions about the situation. "I'm disappointed we lost this football game."
Brushing off those issues, he became the first NFL player to throw 500 touchdown passes and for 70,000 yards. But two early fumbles against his former team helped put the Vikings in a 12-0 hole.
"I don't think anyone wanted to win this game more than him," wide receiver Percy Harvin said. "He was well prepared, so I don't think any of that outside stuff had anything to do with how he played."
Favre, who played for the Jets during the 2008 season, threw three touchdowns, including two to Harvin. The second — an 11-yard pass — brought the Vikings within two points with 3:09 left in the game.
"We were brilliant in the first half and we knew you have to play four quarters," Ryan said. "This guy is as good as it gets."
The Vikings had the ball with 1:43 remaining and poised for a winning drive — until Favre's last big mistake sent Minnesota to its seventh consecutive loss to New York.
"I think everyone who watches us play sees flashes of a team that can be 3-1, 4-0," Favre said. "Not that we're not capable. We're very capable."
Favre also played through some mild tendinitis in his throwing elbow.
"This is probably the worst it's felt in four games," he said. "I missed some throws the last drive I think I make in my sleep."
The game marked the Vikings debut for Randy Moss, who finished with four catches for 81 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown late in the third quarter.
With the Jets leading 12-0 and the Vikings facing third-and-17 from the Jets 37, Favre reared back and lofted the ball perfectly into Moss' hands in the back right corner of the end zone with 2:10 left in the quarter. Favre zipped down the field and jumped into Moss' arms in the end zone to celebrate the score.
"When I threw that touchdown to Randy Moss, I had been thinking about that for eight to 10 years," Favre said.