The Vikings (6-10) closed out a lost season by putting the three-time MVP quarterback on the inactive because of a concussion, with rookie Joe Webb making his second start.
The Lions (6-10) tripled last season's win total by closing with four straight victories in their best finish since 1995.
Minnesota opened the season with Super Bowl hopes, but week after week of team turmoil took its toll, especially on the 41-year-old Favre. He sustained a series of injuries and wound up sitting out 2½ of the Vikings' final three games. Brad Childress also was fired during the season, with Leslie Frazier finishing out as interim coach.
Shaun Hill threw for 258 yards and a touchdown for the Lions, who took a 13-0 lead and sealed the win with Maurice Morris' 4-yard TD run with 9:29 left.