Brett Favre will play in his 273rd regular-season game Sunday against the Dolphins and the final gun could mark the end of his illustrious career.
"I don't want to focus on what's going to happen next year. This very well could be my last game — I'm aware of that and I'd like to make it a memorable one," Favre told reporters today.
Favre, acquired by the Jets from the Green Bay Packers on Aug. 6, has led the Jets to a 9-6 record. To qualify for the playoffs, the Jets have to beat the Dolphins at the Meadowlands and also get some assistance from either the Buffalo Bills or the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Even though most of Favre's final regular-season news conference focused on his long-term future, he is attempting to concentrate on the short term. He'll sit down with the organization's brass when the season officially reaches a conclusion.
"My focus is Miami. The little bit we have talked about it was more or less that we'll talk about it once the season's over, which I think in fairness to the rest of the team is the best way to handle it," Favre said.
The future Hall of Famer will make his 269th consecutive start against the Dolphins. He'll try to record his 170th win, while a loss would give him triple-digit defeats at an even 100.
"There is still one game left. Do I see myself playing here next year? I didn't see myself playing here at this time last year, so there are some things that obviously the team has to think about as far as next year is concerned and some things I need to think about and some things we need to discuss amongst ourselves," he said.
Just a month ago, the Jets seemed destined for a postseason berth, 8-3 and peaking for a wonderful stretch run, when someone pressed an emergency brake and momentum came to a screeching halt.
"I'm disappointed, as everyone else in this building is disappointed," Favre said. "The opportunities that were presented to us — we couldn't have asked for a better opportunity. I'm disappointed because we didn't capitalize on that."
A career 61.7 percent passer, Favre has connected on 67.0 percent of his attempts this season for 3,239 yards with 21 scoring tosses. But his 19 interceptions lead the NFL and he's thrown six INTs and just one TD in the Jets' past four games, three of which were defeats. And for the first time this morning, Favre indicated he might be playing with an injured shoulder and said an end-of-the year physical "will shed some light on things."
"During the course of the year, there were numerous times where I had been asked about my shoulder. It had been hit a couple times," he said. "I don't know. Just knowing my body, there may be something."
If Sunday does mark the end, the three-time NFL MVP and owner of one championship ring has rewritten the passing record book.
"I think it's been a wonderful career," he said. "You name it, I've got it — good and bad. I've got every good record and I've got every bad record. Individual honors, they've come my way. Believe me, a kid from Southern Mississippi who wanted to dress out in a pro football uniform and dreamed of playing for the Saints, it's been a pretty good run."
Admittedly fatigued, Favre has been on the run for five months. He didn't participate in an off-season program to get his body prepared for the season, he had to come in and assimilate himself with a new organization after 16 years in Green Bay, and he also had to learn a new offensive system.
In addition to all those factors, Favre is 39 years old. If this is indeed it, he soaked everything in during one final run.
"It's been fun fighting with these guys, and whatever happens after this, happens. I think I'm way more aware of the situation I'm in, the surroundings, and appreciating it," he said. "It's hard to play 18 years. Most of the time they run you off way before that, so I'm thankful for the opportunity, not only this year but the ones I've had. I think if you ask most of those guys in the room, they would tell you I enjoy it as much as anyone."
He was happy with his decision to come back and play an 18th season. No matter what happens Sunday, there are no regrets.
"This was a gamble I guess you could say, a risk. I can honestly say that I was thankful I was given the opportunity here," he said. "It's been a lot of fun. It's been good and bad at times. I'm glad I came. I made the right decision."