Through all the offseason hoopla, the fickleness and the nauseating coverage of his every move, Brett Favre reminded people on Monday night why he’s a legend.
Favre completed 24 of 31 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings’ 30-23 win over the Packers in game that lived up to the hype. On a night where Green Bay did an excellent job containing Adrian Peterson (25 carries, 55 yards, 1 TD), Favre stepped up and delivered one of those games where you couldn’t help but shake your head in amazement about a guy his age making the plays he does.
One of the biggest questions coming into this season was whether or not Favre could step up and make enough plays in the passing game when an opponent shut down Peterson. Tonight, Brett answered that question.
Every time Minnesota faced a third and long, Favre stepped up and made a play. Granted, he faced zero pressure from Green Bay, but that shouldn’t take away from some of the bullets that he was firing into his receivers’ hands. The guy is about to turn 40 in five days and he’s still playing like he’s 25.
Favre didn’t win this game on his own, though. Jared Allen was an absolute beast, racking up 4.5 sacks and fully taking advantage of a decimated Green Bay offensive line. On the night, Minnesota produced eight sacks and constantly harassed Aaron Rodgers.
Speaking of Rodgers, he more than held his own in the battle of quarterbacks while completing 26 of 37 passes for 384 yards and two touchdowns. But he made a couple of huge mistakes that doomed Green Bay in the end. He fumbled on the opening series of the game, which led to Minnesota’s first touchdown, then threw an interception late in the first half that led to another Vikings’ score. Both turnovers came in Minnesota territory when the Packers were moving the ball with ease.
On a whole, Green Bay shot itself in the foot countless times and it wasn’t just Rodgers. Down 28-14 early in the third quarter, Mike McCarthy decided to go for it on 4th and 1 from Minnesota’s 1-yard line. Rodgers scanned the entire end zone before finding an open Donald Lee, who dropped a pass right in his breadbasket. Defensively, the Packers couldn’t generate a rush on Favre and Brett picked them apart. Dom Capers’ unit did a great job shutting down AP after the first quarter, but nobody laid a hand on Favre the entire night.
There’s nothing the Packers could do about their offensive line. They were already without Chad Clifton because of an ankle injury, and then they lost Daryn Colledge (Clifton’s replacement) in the second half due to a knee injury. The Packers’ game plan to use short, quick passes was effective in the beginning of the game, but once Minnesota adjusted McCarthy didn’t have an answer.
Back to Favre – does he tarnish his legacy in Green Bay with this victory? True Packer fans couldn’t have appreciated what they saw tonight, as Favre celebrated every touchdown like he won the Super Bowl and carried on like a woman scorned. I imagine that once he does stop playing, Packer fans will begin to love him just as they did throughout his playing days in Green Bay. But in the here and now, I wouldn’t blame Packer fans if they wanted to torch their #4 collection after what they witnessed tonight.
And don’t forget, he still has to go back to Green Bay later this year. What happens if he beats the Packers at Lambeau?
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