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He was spry enough, though, to throw a pass from his own end zone and sprint upfield past a zig-zagging Bernard Berrian to put his body into linebacker Patrick Willis for a block at the end of that 36-yard catch-and-run.
Favre was worn out from this, further raising the question about his ability to complete a full season. For now, the Vikings will take his clutch touch.
"He's been in many, many, many, many situations like that," coach Brad Childress said, "so it never hurts you to have a veteran like him going down the field."
Until the end, Favre was being outplayed by Shaun Hill, a former Minnesota third-stringer who threw two touchdown passes to tight end Vernon Davis. The second was a 20-yard toss over three defenders that gave the Niners a 24-20 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
They sacked Favre twice and applied plenty of pressure. The Hill-to-Davis combination led to seven completions and 96 yards. And they survived the early exit of star running back Frank Gore to an ankle injury by rallying on the road to the verge of victory.
Naturally, the players were devastated, but coach Mike Singletary wouldn't have it.
"You have nothing to be looking at the floor for!" Singletary yelled, not worried reporters were in the adjacent room. "You didn't steal anything! You didn't do anything wrong! OK? We're going to get better! We're going to get there! We will see them again in the playoffs, all right? You hold your head up!"
NOTES: Favre's last 300-yard game was on Nov. 22, 2007, a 381-yard performance at Detroit. ... Minnesota's Darius Reynaud was hurt, apparently his left hamstring, while returning a punt in the third quarter. ... Glen Coffee filled in for Gore and had 54 yards on 24 carries. ... The Vikings gave up another special teams TD: Clements picked up a blocked field goal right before the half and returned it 59 yards. Harvin answered in the third quarter with a 101-yard kickoff return for a score.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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