The Game that Favre Built

Posted by Posted by Rich Brown On 6:01 PM

Game of the Week (In Review) – Minnesota Vikings-38, Green Bay Packers-26

It was expected to be a tight, physical, knock-down, drag-out battle between the top two teams in the NFC North. Instead of that happening, the Minnesota Vikings moved up and down the field with little difficulty, and Brett Favre’s return to Lambeau Field played out just the way he dreamt. The Vikings recovered quickly from their first loss, leaving Wisconsin with a 38-26 win, and a commanding lead in their division after half of the 2009 season.

Coming into this game, there were worries from many (including yours truly) regarding the offensive play-calling for the Vikings. Brad Childress, however, called an impeccable game, mixing the run and pass together perfectly. Adrian Peterson wore down the usually reliable Green Bay Front 7, and Favre’s passing was on target to all of his receivers, leading to the Vikings taking a 24-3 lead early in the third quarter. The Packers were in trouble, but there was still 28 minutes left.

With that time, Aaron Rodgers slung the ball down the field, moving his Green Bay offense quickly against a weakened Minnesota secondary. A Mason Crosby field goal and two Rodgers touchdown passes to Spencer Havner helped close the gap to 24-20. All the Packers needed their defense to do was continue to stifle the Minnesota offense on the next drive.

Turning Point: Brett Favre leads Vikings to TD with 13:35 left, 4th quarter

After their offense stalled in the third quarter, with a fumble and a 3-and-Out, the game tightened up to a one score affair. The Vikes, however, responded with a statement drive. It started with a tremendous kickoff return from Percy Harvin(editors note-My Rookie of the year hands down), putting them inside the Green Bay 40-yard-line. With a short field, an obviously crushing TD drive for Minnesota was set up. It was finished off by the “villainous” Favre passing to backup tight end Jeff Dugan for the two-yard score, making it 31-20. Green Bay would never get within one score again, and the Vikings were able to coast to victory.

Game MVP: Brett Favre, Quarterback, Minnesota Vikings

The numbers were very good, but not spectacular. He was, however, able to cash in four drives with TD passes, and more importantly, he controlled the offense, wasn’t forced to drop back 40 or 50 times, and kept his team composed and focused, even when the score was very close. This game was the “dream game” for the Vikings’ team as a whole, when they brought Favre into Minnesota in August.

Stat That Says It All: Adrian Peterson, 25 Carries, 97 Yards, 1 TD

The panic play-calling did not exist this week for Minnesota, and Peterson was able to use his talents against a very stout defensive front. It took lots of effort for him to get these numbers, but he never stopped giving maximum effort. He pounded his way to nearly 100 yards, and helped the Vikings’ offense stay on the field, allowing the defense to stay rested, and tee off on Aaron Rodgers.

So, where do both teams go from here? Minnesota is up big in the NFC North after this win and gets their bye week next week. That allows them to get healthy and rested for the stretch run, where they can look for a top seed in the NFC playoffs. Green Bay is in the thick of the NFC Wild Card race, but they get a break by facing the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9. They must win that game, plain and simple.

By C.J. Griger, for NFLandCollegeFootball.com

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