Adding a league record to his overflowing collection is merely a bonus.
“Every game I play in at this point, I’m pretty grateful,” he said. “I know how difficult it is.”
The Lions, meanwhile, know how tough it is to simply win a game. They haven’t done it in almost 21 months.
Detroit looked like it might finally earn a victory with a 10-0 lead midway through the second quarter, but mental and physical miscues led to their 19th straight loss to match the second-longest skid in league history. The Chicago Cardinals, in the 1940s, and the Oakland Raiders, in the 1960s, also lost 19 straight.
“We can’t keep making mistakes, and we can’t keep taking penalties,” center Dominic Raiola(notes) said. “We were fine in the first half, and then we stunk in the second half. I’m not pointing fingers at any one guy. This is on all of us.
“We didn’t do our jobs in the second half, and that’s very frustrating,” he added. “We’re better than that.”
If the Lions don’t prove it on the field, they may march toward another infamous milestone.
Detroit, which became the NFL’s first 0-16 team last season, desperately hopes it doesn’t approach Tampa Bay’s record of 26 losses in a row set during the 1976-77 seasons.
“It starts with my fumble,” Smith said. “I think that’s what hurt. It was 10-10 and I can’t fumble the ball. I give it up and AP comes back and scores.”
“That was probably the most important drive of the game,” Favre said.
Favre, though, continues to play a young man’s game less than a month away from his 40th birthday.
Favre was 23 of 27 for 155 yards with TD passes to rookie Percy Harvin(notes) and Shiancoe. He appeared to hurt his right hand when he got hit just before connecting with Harvin midway through the fourth quarter.
“It’s all right,” Favre insisted.
Minnesota coach Brad Childress said he didn’t see Favre look at his hand and shake it after getting banged up.
“He’s probably shaking everything he’s got,” Childress said.
On his first snap, the three-time MVP set another NFL mark. Defensive end Jim Marshall had the previous mark for consecutive starts, 270 games in a row for Minnesota from 1961-1979.
Favre’s streak started 17 years ago.
“Think about what you were doing in 1992,” Childress said. “It’s a long time.”
Minnesota shut down Stafford after he and the Lions had some success early, taking control in the second half on Peterson’s TD, Favre’s second pass for a score and Ryan Longwell’s(notes) field goals. Chad Greenway(notes) had two interceptions and recovered a fumble for the Vikings (2-0).
Stafford, the No. 1 pick in the draft, was 18 of 30 for 152 yards with a TD and two interceptions.
“Matt Stafford is our starting quarterback,” Detroit coach Jim Schwartz said, when asked about a possible quarterback change.
NOTES: The Vikings invited Marshall to attend the game, but he politely declined to spend time with his wife on their first anniversary. … Ernie Harwell, an honorary captain wearing a No. 1 Lions jersey, was given a rousing ovation before the game. The 91-year-old Baseball Hall of Fame honoree and longtime broadcaster for the Detroit Tigers has inoperable cancer.