Final

Packers 26

(8-8, 5-3 away)

Bears 7

(13-3, 6-2 home)

Coverage: NBC

8:15 PM ET, December 31, 2006

Soldier Field, Chicago, IL 

1 2 3 4 T
GB 13 10 0 326
CHI 0 0 7 07

Top Performers

Passing: B. Favre (GB) - 285 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: C. Benson (CHI) - 13 CAR, 109 YDS

Receiving: R. Martin (GB) - 7 REC, 118 YDS

Favre's last stand? QB fuels Pack rout of No. 1 Bears

CHICAGO (AP) -- If, indeed, this was his last game, Brett Favre went out in style.

Wojciechowski's take
Sadly, judging by his tears and postgame actions, it sure looks and sounds like Brett Favre -- the most durable, most compelling, most watchable quarterback of our NFL generation -- is going to call it quits. And he wasn't the only one getting all misty-eyed on Sunday.

To read more of Gene Wojciechowski, click here.

The rocket-like passes that defined his career were on full display, zooming between helpless defenders and into receivers' hands. And when it was over, his voice cracked. Tears flowed.

Is this really it, though?

"If this is the last game, I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome," Favre said after the Green Bay Packers closed out the season with a 26-7 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday night.

Favre had his way, Rex Grossman looked lost, and the Bears bore little resemblance to a No. 1 playoff seed.

Favre showed he still has some plenty left in that powerful right arm, passing for 285 yards to lead the Packers (8-8).

But he tearfully hinted that he's seriously considering retirement, as he did in the last offseason.

Wild-Card Weekend
NFL
The stage is set. The Chiefs-Colts game in Indianapolis will kick off wild-card weekend on Saturday, with three games to follow. First-round byes go to the Chargers (No. 1 seed) and Ravens in the AFC, and the Bears (No. 1) and Saints in the NFC. This weekend's lineup:

SATURDAY
AFC: Chiefs at Colts, 4:30 ET (NBC)
NFC: Cowboys at Seahawks, 8 ET (NBC)

SUNDAY
AFC: Jets at Patriots, 1 ET (CBS)
NFC: Giants at Eagles, 4:30 ET (FOX)

• For the complete playoff schedule, click here.

"If this is my last game, I want to remember it," Favre said, his voice cracking and tears streaming from his eyes. "It's tough. I love these guys. I love this game. What a great way to go out against a great football team. I couldn't ask for a better way to get out."

Favre said he would discuss retirement with his family and make his announcement soon -- "probably within the next couple of weeks." For now, the only certainty is he's scheduled for ankle surgery Monday in Green Bay.

The three-time MVP completed 21 of 42 passes with a touchdown and interception. He had 209 yards in the first half alone as the Packers grabbed a 23-0 lead, and he moved into a tie with Dan Marino for second place on the victories list with 147. Favre needs one more to tie John Elway.

While Favre's emotions flowed after the game, receiver Donald Driver said he kept them in check before and during it.

"I'm glad I'm going to be a part of that legacy," Driver said. "If this is the last one, I wish the best for him, but we pray to God that it's not."

Favre was in vintage form, but the inconsistent Grossman showed his bad side.

He was 2-of-12 with three interceptions -- two of which were returned for touchdowns -- and a zero passer rating in the first half and did not come out for the second.

"I've been in this position before," Grossman said. "I hate this. I hate it."

It was the first time a quarterback threw three interceptions and two completions since New Orleans' Richard Todd in 1984. And the debate over whether he or Brian Griese should start for the Bears (13-3) is back on, even if coach Lovie Smith said he won't make a change.

Griese started the third quarter and was 5-of-15 for 124 yards with two interceptions. He also threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Mark Bradley with 34 seconds left in the third. The Bears' best passer may have been punter Brad Maynard, who connected with Adrian Peterson for 37 yards on a fake early in the third quarter.

Smith said the plan entering the game was to have Grossman play into the third quarter, but "I didn't see there was any need in putting him back in after an effort like that."

Favre, by contrast, led the Packers on a 75-yard touchdown drive to start the game, and Nick Collins returned an interception 55 yards late in the first quarter to give the Packers a 13-0 lead. Dave Rayner kicked a 25-yard field goal with 49 seconds left in the first half, and Grossman immediately struck again.

This time, Patrick Dendy returned an interception 30 yards to make it 23-0, and the Packers never looked back.

The Packers were all but eliminated from the postseason when the New York Giants beat Washington on Saturday. And their final hopes were dashed before Sunday's kickoff.

Still, they took it to a Chicago team that has home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and was trying to become just the fourth team to go undefeated in conference play since the AFL and NFL merged in 1970.

Favre immediately served notice that this would be a vintage performance.

The opening drive ended with a 9-yard strike to Donald Driver.

Favre waited until late April before announcing he would play this year, and he was noncommittal about his future this week. He seemed rejuvenated after enduring his worst season in 2005, when he threw 20 touchdowns and 29 interceptions as the Packers went 4-12. He became the NFL's career leader in completions, passing Dan Marino, and finished the season with 3,885 yards and 18 touchdowns to go with 18 interceptions.

"At some point, guys have to face the end of their career," said Favre, who led the 1996 Packers to a championship and a Super Bowl appearance the following year. "Of course, I'd love to go out winning a championship. I would love to win another one, but it's hard to do. I realize that now."

A Bears team with Super Bowl aspirations looked nothing like a contender -- especially with Grossman reverting to his midseason form, when he threw 14 interceptions in seven games.

"I'm trying to figure that out myself," Grossman said, when asked what happened. "It's my job to figure out why I had games like this and fix it."

Nathan Vasher intercepted Favre, but five plays later, Collins picked off a screen intended Desmond Clark and returned it 55 yards to make it 13-0 with 50 seconds left in the first quarter. The Bears' next possession ended when Grossman fumbled away the snap.

The Chicago defense wasn't any better.

It had allowed at least 327 yards in the previous five games -- thanks to injuries, general sloppiness and defensive tackle Tank Johnson's suspension after his arrest on weapons charges and then shooting death of his friend at a nightclub less than 48 hours later.

Johnson did not start but entered the game on the opening possession, after being inactive against Tampa Bay on Dec. 17 and serving a one-game suspension the following week against Detroit.

Game notes


Green Bay's Ahman Green ran for 71 yards and became the first Packer to rush for at least 1,000 six times. ... Chicago's Cedric Benson rushed for 109 -- his first 100-yard game. ... Bears returner Devin Hester left in the third quarter with a strained calf. ... Chicago CB Charles Tillman missed his second straight game because of a sore back, while Packers WR Greg Jennings was out with an ankle injury.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES

ESPNChicago.com 

Team Stat Comparison

 
GB
CHI
1st Downs2013
Passing 1st downs
145
Rushing 1st downs
56
1st downs from penalties
12
3rd down efficiency
11-202-13
4th down efficiency
0-01-1
Total Plays7854
Total Yards373316
Yards per play4.85.9
Total Drives1313
Passing276181
Comp-Att
21-428-28
Yards per pass
6.36.0
Interceptions thrown
15
Sacks-Yards Lost
2-92-13
Rushing97135
Rushing Attempts
3424
Yards per rush
2.95.6
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-40-3
Penalties3-356-44
Turnovers16
Fumbles lost
01
Interceptions thrown
15
Defensive / Special Teams TDs20
Possession36:5623:04

Passing Leaders

GBC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Favre21/422856.8112-9
CHIC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Griese5/151248.3121-8
Maynard1/13737.0000-0

Rushing Leaders

GBCARYDSAVGTDLG
Green22713.209
Morency9374.1015
CHICARYDSAVGTDLG
Benson131098.4030
Jones9273.007

Receiving Leaders

GBRECYDSAVGTDLG
Martin711816.9034
Holiday58717.4035
CHIRECYDSAVGTDLG
Bradley17575.0175
Peterson13737.0037

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERGBCHI
gbTD9:36Donald Driver, 9 yd pass from Brett Favre (Dave Rayner kick is good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 75 yds, 5:29
70
gbTD1:00Nick Collins, 55 yd interception return
Drive info: 5 plays, 20 yds, 2:37
130
SECOND QUARTERGBCHI
gbFG0:53Dave Rayner 25 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 50 yds, 2:54
160
gbTD0:43Patrick Dendy, 30 yd interception return (Dave Rayner kick is good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 30 yds, 0:00
230
THIRD QUARTERGBCHI
chiTD0:44Mark Bradley, 75 yd pass from Brian Griese (Robbie Gould kick is good)
Drive info: 3 plays, 75 yds, 0:54
237
FOURTH QUARTERGBCHI
gbFG10:44Dave Rayner 46 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 47 yds, 4:55
267