Brett Favre was at his dazzling best after a miserable start that put the Minnesota Vikings in a hole.
There would be no classic comeback this time, though, for the record-breaking quarterback.
Hit hard early and often by Rex Ryan's physical defense, Favre nearly led the Vikings back with a milestone night, but Dwight Lowery returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown with 1:30 left as the New York Jets beat the Vikings 29-20 on Monday night in a game that lacked fireworks early and was delayed 45 minutes at the start by lightning.
Nick Folk kicked five field goals for the Jets (4-1), two after fumbles by Favre, and now the 41-year-old quarterback is left wondering if an even bigger punishment is in store from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Favre finished 14 for 34 for 264 yards for the Vikings (1-3) hours after he apologized to teammates for the distraction caused by an NFL investigation into allegations that he sent racy messages and lewd photos to a Jets game hostess in 2008.
Brushing off those issues, he became the first NFL player to throw 500 touchdown passes and for 70,000 yards. But two early fumbles against his former team helped put the Vikings in a 12-0 hole.
Favre, who played for the Jets during the 2008 season, threw three touchdowns, including two to Percy Harvin. The second — an 11-yard pass — brought the Vikings within two points with 3:09 left in the game.
The Vikings had the ball with 1:43 remaining and poised for a winning drive — until Favre's last big mistake sent Minnesota to its seventh straight loss to New York.
The game marked the Vikings debut for Randy Moss, who finished with four catches for 81 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown late in the third quarter.
With the Jets leading 12-0 and the Vikings facing third-and-17 from the Jets 37, Favre reared back and lofted the ball perfectly into Moss' hands in the back right corner of the end zone with 2:10 left in the quarter. Favre zipped down the field and jumped into Moss' arms in the end zone to celebrate the score. Favre also became the first to reach 70,000 yards passing on the drive that cut the Jets lead to 12-7.
Moss, acquired from New England last Wednesday, was defended mostly by Antonio Cromartie despite the return of Darrelle Revis from a strained left hamstring.
Adrian Peterson had 88 yards on 18 carries for Minnesota.
Less than 5 minutes after connecting with Moss, Favre hit Harvin for a 34-yard touchdown that made it 15-13. But Favre's tying 2-point conversion try was intercepted by Cromartie in the end zone.
Shonn Greene's 23-yard touchdown run with 4:30 left in the game gave the Jets a 22-13 lead that appeared to seal the victory, but Favre still had plenty of time to try for a comeback.
New York's offense struggled for the first time since Week 1, failing to get much going — other than field goals — until late.
Mark Sanchez was 21 of 44 for 191 yards, and still hasn't thrown an interception this season, although he came close a few times. Santonio Holmes played his first game with the Jets after being suspended the first four for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He finished with three catches for 41 yards.
LaDainian Tomlinson had another solid game for the Jets with 94 yards rushing on 20 carries.
Folk's fifth field goal, a 31-yarder, made it 15-7 with 49 seconds left in the third. The score was set up by Brad Smith's 86-yard kickoff return.
Folk kicked a 25-yard field goal to give the Jets a 3-0 lead with 4:55 left in the opening quarter. The drive was all Tomlinson, who had three runs for 30 yards and two catches, as well.
Folk made it 6-0 with a 53-yard field goal.
Favre was just 1 for 3 — a 19-yard pass to Harvin — in the first quarter, and 3 for 7 for 31 yards in the first half as Minnesota had 52 yards of total offense.