Favre Bowl I: Favre on fire against Packers; Vikings lead 28-14 after 3 quarters

By Jon Krawczynski, AP
Monday, October 5, 2009

antoinewinfieldVikings lead Packers 28-14 after 3 quarters

MINNEAPOLIS — An amped up Brett Favre was nearly perfect in the first three quarters against his former team, throwing for 242 yards and three touchdowns to help the Minnesota Vikings to a 28-14 lead after three quarters over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night.

Favre completed 20 of 24 passes in the first three quarters against the team he helped put back on the map in 16 seasons in Green Bay. He threw a 1-yard TD pass to Visanthe Shiancoe in the first quarter and zipped a 14-yarder to Sidney Rice in the second quarter.

His replacement, Aaron Rodgers, completed 18 of 25 passes for 246 yards, including a 62-yard scoring pass to Jermichael Finley. But he was sacked five times, lost a fumble and threw his first interception of the season, with both turnovers led to Vikings touchdowns.

Favre’s third TD of the game — a 31-yarder to Bernard Berrian in the third quarter — put the Vikings up 14 points and in control and the defense came up with an inspired goal-line stand to close out the period.

The Packers drove to the Vikings 1-yard line. But John Kuhn was stopped on second down, Ben Leber made a brilliant open-field tackle on Finley on third down and then Donald Lee dropped a touchdown in the end zone to give the Vikings the ball.

After saying all week that it was just another game, Favre’s actions and the packed Metrodome crowd proved otherwise on Monday night.

Rodgers fumbled while being sacked by Jared Allen and Brian Robison on the opening drive, and Favre completed all five passes down the field, including the 1-yarder to Shiancoe that got the crowd roaring.

Favre met fellow former Packer Ryan Longwell at the 30-yard line for a leaping body bump.

But Rodgers came right back, stepping up in the pocket to draw cornerback Antoine Winfield in and then hitting a wide open Finley for a 62-yard touchdown to tie the game.

Packers linebacker Clay Matthews ripped the ball out of Adrian Peterson’s hands and returned it 42 yards to tie the game at 14 with just over 3 minutes to play in the half — far too much time for Favre, who has been itching for this game ever since Green Bay traded him to the New York Jets before last season.

Favre completed a 26-yard pass to Rice and a 43-yarder to Percy Harvin to set up Peterson’s 1-yard touchdown run with 30 seconds to go that gave the Vikings a seven-point lead going into the break.

Favre received a thunderous ovation when he walked onto the Metrodome field before the game.

“It wasn’t very exciting to be on the opposite side,” Favre said of his days for the Packers in this building. “It’s a crazy place to play. You don’t have to deal with outside elements, but it’s a frenzy. Being on the good side now, it feels good.”

The Packers selected Rodgers as a captain for the game, so the two met at midfield for a handshake and the coin toss.

It is the showdown that many have been waiting for, ever since Vikings coach Brad Childress picked Favre up at the airport on Aug. 18 and drove him to the team’s headquarters.

Despite his long-standing status as Public Enemy No. 1 in Minnesota, all of Favre’s perceived misdeeds with the Packers have not only been forgiven, it’s as if they have been stricken from the record.

In Favre, Vikings fans see what the team has been missing for so long — a quarterback capable of winning a game. That idea was never more evident than last week, when Favre drove the Vikings 80 yards in 1:29 with no timeouts, capped by a 32-yard touchdown pass with 2 seconds to play, to lift the Vikings over the 49ers.

In Favre’s 16 seasons in green and gold, the Packers had just one losing season. He took them to two straight Super Bowls, winning one, to restore the nickname of “Titletown” to the NFL’s smallest market.

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