Brett Favre has a pretty good idea of what Peyton Manning went through Sunday night.
That was likely the thinking when the NFL Network brought the former Packers star quarterback on for an interview Sunday morning in anticipation of Manning’s return to Indianapolis as a member of the Denver Broncos that night.
In 2009 Favre came to Green Bay as a member of the hated Minnesota Vikings after 16 years, two Super Bowl appearances and one Lombardi Trophy with the Packers. He discussed the “awkward” drive to Lambeau Field that day, past several old hangouts and even his old house just half a mile from the stadium.
“This time instead of people waving at my truck, we were getting ‘you’re No. 1' signals to the bus,” Favre laughed, indicating that it wasn’t index fingers that Packers fans were displaying to the Vikings and their quarterback that day.
But Favre and Manning left their longtime teams under different circumstances, and their returns ended up being different as well. Manning received a 90-second video tribute and a standing ovation at Lucas Oil Stadium before Sunday’s game, causing him to stop his warm-up throws, take off his helmet and mouth the words “thank you.”
In ’09, Favre ended up having a monster game against his former team, passing for 244 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-26 Vikings victory despite admittedly being more nervous than he had ever been before a game.
“I thought it would be almost impossible to play the way I did,” Favre said Sunday, “because when you think about not making mistakes and you put so much pressure on yourself to not screw up, usually you screw up.”
Manning wasn’t horrible against the Colts by any stretch of the imagination, throwing for 386 yards and three touchdowns. But he also had an interception, as well as a fumble that resulted in a safety. And, ultimately, he couldn’t keep the Broncos from suffering their first loss of the season, 39-33.
“Hopefully we’ll have a chance to play these guys again because that would mean we made the playoffs,” Manning said. “I think if there is a next time it may be a little bit easier just because it was somewhat of an emotional week and it can be a little bit draining, I will say that.”