Brett Favre is one of the few people who can relate to what Peyton Manning is going through this week.
Like Manning, Favre played in a lot of big games in his NFL career, including two Super Bowls. But in a very honest interview with NFL Network on Sunday morning, Favre said the Super Bowls and NFC title games were nothing compared to his first game back at Lambeau Field with the Minnesota Vikings in 2009. He had started 128 games at Lambeau Field as the Packers quarterback, including playoffs. Manning returns to Indianapolis as quarterback of the Broncos for a huge "Sunday Night Football" game this week.
"After all the years I played football, and had been fortunate enough to play in two Super Bowls, you’d think I wouldn’t be as nervous," Favre told NFL Network. "That game by far was the most nervous I’d been in my career."
There's little question Manning will experience some of the same things Favre talked about with NFL Network. Manning was the Colts starting quarterback for 13 years. Like Favre in Green Bay, he brought a long-anticipated Super Bowl title to Indianapolis.
"Not that he has to prove anything to anyone, but if he ever wanted to play well, it would be in a game like this," Favre said.
Despite the emotions, Favre played very well in his first game as a visiting quarterback at Lambeau. He had 244 yards and four touchdowns and the Vikings beat the Packers. Favre said it was pretty incredible, considering how he felt during the game.
"Each play I had success with, the next play I was like, ‘Please don’t fail; can this game get over with?'" Favre said.
Favre talked about the drive into the stadium, how it was unusual to see the town he made home for 16 years in a different way, as an opposing player.
"This time instead of people waving at my truck, we were getting “You’re No. 1” signals to the bus," Favre joked.
Even with Manning's legendary focus, it will be impossible to block out the same things that Favre experienced.
"The roads, the town, the restaurants, the things we had grown accustomed to for 16 years, it was like home," Favre told NFL Network. "To come back into that environment, that setting, as an enemy, was very awkward."
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