MINNEAPOLIS – Brett Favre proved to the Green Bay Packers he has plenty of fire left inside, and in his right arm.
Favre’s first game against his former team was all fun for the Minnesota Vikings and all frustration for the Packers, as the graying quarterback connected for three touchdown passes and 271 yards in a 30-23 victory on Monday night.
Favre went 24 of 31, without a turnover. He did an awkward body bump with kicker Ryan Longwell, also a former Packer, and stayed poised in the pocket all night.
“Lot of fun; it was a big win for us,” Favre said. “We did what we had to do.”
The Vikings (4-0) sacked Favre’s replacement, Aaron Rodgers, eight times. Jared Allen was credited with 41/2 of them, a career high, including a safety in the fourth quarter that stretched the lead to 16. Rodgers had his first two turnovers of the season, and Favre turned both of them into vintage touchdown passes in the first half.
Favre hugged Rodgers, Donald Driver and several other Packers (2-2) once the game was over. Rodgers tried to engineer the kind of drive his predecessor is famous for, but came up short.
Favre, meanwhile, had plenty of time to throw throughout the game.
Rodgers had the exact opposite experience. He finished 26 of 37 for a career-high 384 yards, many of them in desperation down the stretch, and two touchdown passes.
This was a highly anticipated and heavily hyped game. Everybody in the stadium stood all the way through the Vikings’ first possession, instead of sitting after the first few snaps like usual. Cameras flashed constantly.
Favre was clearly uncomfortable this week with all the attention on this reunion, trying to downplay the significance and stumbling through denials that his main motivation to unretire last year was revenge on general manager Ted Thompson for not letting him come back and compete for his old job with Rodgers.
“My statement has been what I’ve done over my career,” Favre said. “One game does not define my career good or bad. I know what I’ve done. I’m proud of what I’ve done. I know I can play.”
Vikings 30, Packers 23
Min—Shiancoe 1 pass from Favre (Longwell kick)
GB—Finley 62 pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick)
Min—Rice 14 pass from Favre (Longwell kick)
GB—Matthews 42 fumble return (Crosby kick)
Min—Peterson 1 run (Longwell kick)
Min—Berrian 31 pass from Favre (Longwell kick)
GB—Nelson 33 pass from Rodgers (pass failed)
GB—FG Crosby 31
|Total Net Yards||424||334|
|Time of Possession||28:16||31:44|
RUSHING—Green Bay, Grant 11-51, Rodgers 2-16, D.Wynn 2-10, Kuhn 2-5. Minnesota, Peterson 25-55, Taylor 2-8, Dugan 1-2, Favre 2-(minus 2).
PASSING—Green Bay, Rodgers 26-37-1-384. Minnesota, Favre 24-31-0-271, Rice 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING—Green Bay, Finley 6-128, Driver 4-55, Grant 4-50, D.Lee 4-28, Nelson 3-47, Jennings 3-31, J.Jones 1-34, D.Wynn 1-11. Minnesota, Berrian 6-75, Rice 5-70, Taylor 3-35, Shiancoe 3-18, Harvin 2-39, Dugan 2-26, Tahi 2-8, Peterson 1-0.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—None.