NFL at 100: Brett Favre flawless vs. Raiders after dad's death

NFL at 100: Brett Favre flawless vs. Raiders after dad's death

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Brett Favre played in plenty of meaningful games with 24 playoff starts, five appearances in the conference title game and two trips to the Super Bowl on the way to the Hall of Fame.

Favre had plenty of prolific ones with two games with at least 400 yards passing and four more with at least five touchdown passes.

When it comes to emotional games, one stands out above all the rest.

Perhaps the signature moment of one of the NFL's most storied careers for a quarterback came Dec. 22, 2003, when Favre took the field in Oakland for "Monday Night Football" the day after his father, Irv, died of a heart attack while driving in Mississippi.

Few would have questioned if Favre decided to skip the game after getting the news, but he believed his father would have wanted him to play so he took the field the following night at the Oakland Coliseum for his 205th consecutive game.

"It's the most nervous I've ever been in a game," Favre told NFL Network for a special on the 100 greatest games in NFL history. "I was so worried I would lay an egg. I think people who were watching would say, 'Hey it's understandable. His father just passed away.' I didn't want that, I wanted to play better than I had ever played before."

He did just that, throwing for 311 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone on an emotional night that featured a respectful ovation from the usually hostile Raiders crowd.

Favre finished the game 22 for 30 for 399 yards — 3 shy of his career best at the time — then embraced his wife, Deanna, on the field in the fourth quarter before flying back home to Mississippi after the game.

The game left a lasting impact on NFL fans everywhere, especially those in Wisconsin who were die-hard Packers supporters. That included one 14-year-old high school freshman in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, who would become a star of his own one day.

"I remember it extremely well. I mean I don't know the stats, but I'm pretty sure that back in the state of Wisconsin there was probably 100 percent of televisions turned into that game," Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt said. "It's really hard to explain what it felt like, I was young, so it's not like I really understood everything that was going on. But even I could tell that something special was happening that night. ... Favre was just chucking the ball up and it ending up in the Packers' hands. It was a magical, special thing to watch and the emotions that you saw out of him and his family, it was cool to watch."

Here's a look at how that memorable game affected each team in subsequent seasons:

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