By Drew Olson Special to Published Oct 01, 2007 at 5:15 AM

Two years ago, when the Packers were scuffling in the early stages of what proved to be their final season under coach Mike Sherman, Brett Favre was the story.

"Favre has lost the magic," the headlines said.

"Favre should retire," former players and fans said.

"The Packers need to turn the page," was a prevailing attitude at many tailgate parties.

Well, he didn't quit.

After a tense 23-16 victory over Minnesota Sunday afternoon at the Metrodome, the Packers are 4-0 and Favre is generating heat as an MVP candidate.

Working head coach Mike McCarthy's "dink and dunk" attack to perfection, Favre completed 32 of 45 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns, the first of which -- an audibled 16-yard slant to Greg Jennings in the first quarter -- was the 421st of his career and moved Favre into sole possession of the top slot on the all-time list.

Retire? The guy looks like he's could play another five years and the Packers, who face the Bears next week, look like a team that could, barring injury, make a spirited run into the playoffs.

Some other observations from the game:

Twinkle toes: Reports that the Packers have totally abandoned their running game are totally false. Punter Jon Ryan turned in one of the more electrifying runs of the season on a fake punt that gained seven yards.

In their last two games, the Packers have attempted 100 passes and run the ball 38 times. Vernand Morency, back from a hamstring injury, showed some bursts of speed but also some rust from inactivity.

At some point, the Packers are going to have to mix in a running play. Or not.

A fine whine: The Vikings and their fans no doubt will be complaining about a couple of key calls that didn't go their way.

Korey Hall's apparent fumble, which may have led to a touchdown for Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway, was ruled incomplete. Then, on Minnesota's final drive, Green Bay cornerback Charles Woodson appeared to interfere with receiver Bobby Wade on a pass that caromed into the arms of Atari Bigby, who marked his first pro interception.

The Vikings can complain, but it's a loser's lament.

Minnesota lost this game for one reason: their quarterback was Kelly Holcomb and not Brett Favre.

Holcomb should have thrown a touchdown pass to Sidney Rice on the second play of the game, but he grossly overthrew the receiver and his day went downhill form there.

Holcomb no doubt gave everything he had, but that wasn't enough. He held the ball too long several times, taking sacks when he could have hit check-down receivers or thrown the ball away.

He just wasn't good.

Paying tribute: Here are some tributes to Favre, as provided by the National Football League's PR staff:

Dan Marino's videotaped message to Favre after touchdown pass 421: "Hey Brett, it's Dan Marino. I'd like to take a minute to congratulate you on breaking one of the great records in sports. I loved holding the touchdown record for the past 13 years, but if someone was going to break it, I'm glad it was someone like you, who has always competed at the highest level and always played only to win. Over the past 17 years, you've been a credit to the Packers, and to the National Football League and to the sport that we all love so much. Brett, congratulations on touchdown 421!"

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell: "Brett Favre is one of the greatest players in NFL history. He's so much fun to watch not only because of his talent but also because of his competitive spirit. He is the only player to win three MVP awards and his consecutive games streak at quarterback is a tribute to his toughness and passion for the game. Brett has been a leader on the field and in the community and his long list of accomplishments is truly remarkable. We have been fortunate to be able to watch him play this long and we all look forward to seeing him set many more records."

Former Packers quarterback / Hall of Famer Bart Starr: "It's a remarkable accomplishment and richly deserved. Brett is a fabulous competitor and personifies leadership by example. I've never seen a more enthusiastic player and leader."

Seattle coach Mike Holmgren: "As proud and amazed as I am of what Brett is and has accomplished on the playing field, the thing that impresses me the most is what kind of a man and leader he has become off the field. I have taken great joy in watching him develop as a person and father over his career."

Hall of Famer Joe Montana: "I honestly thought Danny's records might never be broken. What Brett has done is a tremendous accomplishment. Congratulations you old fart!!!"

Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw: "Brett Favre is the best I have ever seen. And I've never said that about anybody. He's simply the best. He's got the strongest arm, athleticism, field presence, leadership, poise and tenaciousness. He plays hurt, he's fun, he's infectious. He has everything I want to see, including the game-time decisions, the strengths, and all the intangibles."

Hall of Famer Steve Young: "If you haven't played quarterback in the NFL you truly don't understand just how difficult it is, let alone to be great at it. Throwing one touchdown is hard but to do what Brett has done, come on. You can't give that record enough respect. Couple that with the consecutive games streak and what he has accomplished is beyond imagination. To have one of those records is astronomical and he's got them all. It was an honor to compete against him and an honor to be his friend."

Those tributes are nice, but the most impressive tribute came from the Fox broadcast crew, which decided not to go to commercial while Favre celebrated the record with his teammates, Packers fans in the stands and his wife, Deanna. Fox didn't even show the point-after attempt by Mason Crosby. Given the success rate of teams on P.A.Ts, it's a wonder the networks don't blow them off more often.

Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.