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'Olden Boy' Brett's Still Game, Weather or Not


The old man stood up in front of a large group today and announced that his demise was coming.

"At some point, I've got to fall apart," Jets quarterback Brett Favre said to a chorus of reporters' laughs. "I'm not going to lie to you. It's like any car. You drive it long enough and it's going to fall apart. You're going to have a flat tire, something's going to happen. At some point, I'm going to fall apart.

"But right now, I'm still together."

Favre wasn't sharp in his last performance, completing just 53.5 percent of his passes with no scoring throws and an interception in Sunday's Meadowlands rain. The Broncos and their young, talented quarterback, Jay Cutler, played a fine road game to upset Favre and the Jets.

Despite having their five-game win streak snapped, the 8-4 Jets are still a game up in the AFC East race. The 39-year-old Favre, who missed training camp and didn't join his new team until Aug. 7, says his body is OK for the stretch run.

"I feel fine. Are there little aches and pains that I have today, as opposed to a couple months ago? Sure. You know, we probably all in this building wake up and go 'Oh, where did that come from?' Well, I've been sacked and hit a few times. I mean, that's normal."

As the Jets prepare to face the 49ers in San Francisco, much of the conversation during Favre's news conference focused on weather. It seemed more of an appropriate topic for the following weekend back in the Meadowlands, because Sunday the Jets are expected to play in perfect conditions as the game forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and temps in the low 60s.

After spending 16 seasons in Green Bay, Favre is no stranger to inclement games. He laughs at the notion that all of a sudden he can't play in poor conditions.

"I thought I played pretty good in the [NFC] championship game last year," he said of his 19-for-35, 236-yard effort with a pair of scores and interceptions against the Giants. "I threw an interception to end the game and we went into overtime. Everyone said all of a sudden, 'Brett can't play in bad conditions anymore.' "

Many of those same detractors were singing the man's praises for his performance in a divisional playoff rout over Seattle. He was downright masterful in that home win with a trio of TD passes and even was on target with a few snowballs.

"The week before, I played one of my better games in a blizzard," he said. "No one would say anything about it then. That was about as late as you can get. Both of those games were in January."

The weather was extreme Sunday and it could be unpredictable if the Jets make the postseason.

"I think it evens the playing field. It can make a very good team look average and an average team can stay average and win," Favre said. "It can force mistakes that can happen to anyone."

When you grow up in rural Mississippi, you are robbed of (or saved from) the joys of snowman building, the architectural design of snow tunnels, the neighborhood snowball battles and the shoveling of driveways.

But Favre's weather-tested. The Golden Brett, who wore his winter hat funkily to the podium before today's practice, knows all the elements and has started 287 consecutive games (including postseason). If anyone can get acclimated to the environment, it's a person who didn't see the white stuff until he was in his early 20s.

"I never saw snow until I got to Green Bay," he said. "It wasn't like all of a sudden I got off the plane and said, 'Whew, my kind of weather!' "

Nobody has to worry about any sort of weather this weekend. Favre is getting ready for the 49ers, a team he owns an 11-1 career mark against (including 7-0 in the regular season).

"We are going to get their best, so we have to play our best," he said. "And we are not good enough yet to think that we can play average and get away with it."

The Jets lost with an average performance against the Broncos. They'll find themselves in trouble again if they don't step up against an improving 49ers team playing competitive football under interim head coach Mike Singletary.

"We are going to run the ball and we are going to stop the run, and we are going to hit a few in the passing game and we are going to create pressure," Favre said. "But we have to be good at what we do. It's no secret. I think the teams that are good historically, you know what you're going to get from them."

Favre's still together and ready to lead his team on another western journey.

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