Gold Jacket Spotlight: Brett Favre’s longevity stands test of time

Gold Jacket Spotlight Published on : 4/1/2024
Prior to the 1992 season, only two quarterbacks in Green Bay Packers history had started more than 100 games: BART STARR (157, 1956-1971) and Lynn Dickey (101, 1976-1985).

A second-round pick the year prior, quarterback BRETT FAVRE was acquired by the Packers in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons on Feb. 11, 1992.

Little did the franchise realize they had traded for the most durable quarterback in league history. The quarterback who found a way to take the field for 321 game days in a row finds his way into this week's Gold Jacket Spotlight.

Week 4 of the 1992 season saw the 1-2 Packers take the field with Brett making his first career start. It would be a long time until his last.

From that point on, the Hall of Fame signal-caller battled countless injuries, playing through elbow tendonitis, broken bones, torn ligaments and many other ailments. From his first start until his last, on Dec. 5, 2010, Brett started an NFL-record 321 consecutive games (297 regular season and 24 playoff games) over 18½ seasons.

Brett broke defensive end Jim Marshall's streak of 271 consecutive starts in 2009 for the Vikings, a record Marshall had held since 1979. During Brett’s streak, 238 other quarterbacks had started an NFL game, and 117 coaches had led their teams onto the field.

Before Brett, no quarterback had started 200 consecutive games in the NFL.

He made 275 of those consecutive starts for Green Bay (1992-2007), 16 for the New York Jets (2008) and 31 for the Minnesota Vikings (2009-2010). At the time of his final retirement in 2010, Brett held other records that included most career passing yards, attempts, yards and touchdowns. He stated, however, that of all the records, he is most proud of the consecutive starts.

“It's been a great run. I will not hang my head one bit because it ended today,” Brett said after an injury kept him out of a Week 14 matchup between the Vikings and the New York Giants, ending his streak. “I think about as a kid – goals and dreams. I have far exceeded all of those. I never dreamed of playing 300-plus straight games; I dreamed of playing in the NFL.”

Future Hall of Famer quarterback PEYTON MANNING held the next-longest consecutive games at that time. It stood at 205 games, and later ended at 227, including the postseason.

Entering the 2024 NFL season, Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Jake Matthews holds the longest active streak — 162 games since 2014. Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills holds the longest active streak among quarterbacks at 88 games.

Cal Ripken Jr., a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, played a record 2,632 consecutive Major League Baseball games from 1982 to 1998.

“Brett has had an incredible career, and his consecutive games streak is remarkable,” Ripken Jr. said through a spokesman at the time Brett’s streak ended. “As a football fan, I cannot fathom his accomplishment, and I appreciate his dedication to and passion for the game. He is a true gamer and has provided us all with a lot of wonderful memories.”