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(Sunday, October 24th)
Final Score: Green Bay 28, Minnesota 24
Green Bay, WI (Sports Network) - Brett Favre threw three interceptions in the second half, including one that was returned for a touchdown, as his Minnesota Vikings fell to the Green Bay Packers, 28-24, in a thriller from historic Lambeau Field.
The game almost ended with Favre bringing the Vikings back against his former team. Multiple penalties set up Minnesota with a 1st-and-30 from the Green Bay 35. Favre dropped back and threw a perfect pass to the back of the end zone for Percy Harvin, who caught the pass for an apparent touchdown. The booth quickly reviewed the play, and it was determined that Harvin had one foot out of bounds, and the original call was reversed.
A 15-yard pass to Adrian Peterson and two incomplete passes sealed the fate of the Vikings (2-4), who have lost two of three.
"As thrilling as it is to win those types (of games), it's devastating (to lose)," said Favre, who limped away from his press conference in obvious pain after injuring his knee and ankle during one of his interceptions. "I don't know how else to put it. I take a lot of pride and ownership in all phases of the game. You've got the ball in your hand, and you hope to win those. I feel like I let everybody down. It's tough.
"Who knows (if I'll play next week)? I hope I do. It'll be tough to get over this loss, as it's tough to get over any loss, but you've got to find a way to do it. If I can play, but not be effective, then it's not worth playing. I hope I use good judgment, so we'll see."
The story of the game was about Favre making his return to Green Bay, where he played for 16 seasons before parting ways with the organization prior to the 2008 campaign. Favre's return to Lambeau last November resulted in the Vikings winning by a 38-26 count.
Making his 119th start at Lambeau Field, Favre completed 16-of-29 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown. Favre set an NFL record for the most starts by a quarterback at a single venue, topping Denver great John Elway, who started 118 games at Mile High Stadium.
Aaron Rodgers connected on 21-of-34 passes for 295 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions for the Packers (4-3), who had lost two straight overtime games coming into Sunday night's contest.
Brandon Jackson carried the ball 13 times for 58 yards and a touchdown. James Jones caught four passes for 107 yards, while Greg Jennings and Andrew Quarless each caught a TD pass.
Desmond Bishop's 32-yard interception return for a touchdown with 7:45 to play in the third quarter proved to be the difference.
Minnesota got a big game from Peterson, who rushed for 131 yards and a score on 28 carries. Harvin caught five passes for 65 yards and carried the ball three times for 41 yards and a score.
Trailing 17-14, the Packers intercepted Favre twice in the third quarter to take the lead. Minnesota's first possession of the second half resulted in A.J. Hawk picking off Favre.
A 17-yard pass to Jones helped set up Jennings' 14-yard score for a 21-17 lead with 8:44 to go. On the second play of Minnesota's next drive, Bishop stepped in front of a Favre pass and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown.
"It still goes back to taking care of the football," said Vikings head coach Brad Childress. "You have to play within the confines of our system. Sometimes it's okay to punt the football. You can't give them seven points going the other way; not against this high-powered team."
The Vikings bounced back with a six-play, 58-yard drive that Randy Moss capped with a four-yard score to cut the gap to 28-24 with 4:12 remaining.
Green Bay had the ball in Minnesota territory early in the fourth. In fact, the first play of the period was a 4th-and-1 from the 45. John Kuhn rumbled two yards up the middle to gain a fresh set of downs. The Packers were faced with the same situation four plays later, but Kuhn was stuffed at the line this time.
The Vikings took over at their own 34-yard line with 12:10 to play. Peterson carried the load on the ground as he got Minnesota into Green Bay territory. Favre, though, was picked off this time by Nick Collins.
Minnesota forced the Packers to punt and took over at its own 17 with 6:07 remaining. Favre - the NFL's all-time leading passer - and the Vikings were faced with a 4th-and-1 from the 42. Peterson rushed for five yards to gain the first down.
With just under two minutes left, Moss caught a 13-yard pass on 4th-and-5. A 26-yard screen pass-and-run to Peterson set up a first down at the Green Bay 15. A false start penalty and 15-yard face mask infraction set up a 1st- and-30.
"I thought it was an excellent defensive stand," said Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. "I thought they were really put into a tough spot...I just can't say enough about our defensive lineman. Our defense had the turnovers, and our offensive was productive."
After forcing Minnesota to go three-and-out on the opening possession of the game, Green Bay marched the ball right down the field. A 13-yard pass to Jones set up the Packers at the 12-yard line of the Vikings. However, Rodgers was picked off by defensive end Jared Allen on the next play.
Minnesota's offense went three-and-out again, and the Packers needed just four plays to find the end zone. Jones' 45-yard catch put Green Bay at the one-yard line. Jackson then rumbled into the end zone for a 7-0 lead with 5:07 remaining in the first quarter.
Harvin returned the ensuing kickoff 48 yards to the Green Bay 44-yard line. The Vikings converted two third downs before Harvin took a handoff and went 17 yards for a score.
The Packers wasted little time in taking the lead right back. Quarless caught a pass in the back of the end zone to give the home team a 14-7 margin with 14:53 to play until halftime.
Minnesota responded with a nine-play, 76-yard drive to tie things up again. Faced with a 3rd-and-3 from the Green Bay 13, Harvin carried the ball down the right sideline and seemed to score a touchdown. But replay showed he stepped out at the one-yard line. Peterson plunged into the end zone on the next play with 10:16 left.
The Packers used some trickery on their next possession. Faced with a 4th- and-7 from the Minnesota 37, Green Bay lined up as if they were going to kick a field goal. The home team then quickly came out of the formation and Matt Flynn lined up at quarterback. Flynn threw a perfect pass down the left sideline for Quarless, who tripped over his own feet and was unable to catch the ball.
The Vikings had a Visanthe Shiancoe touchdown called back on their next drive. It was decided upon review that Shiancoe did not fully maintain the ball while hitting the ground. That led to Ryan Longwell's 28-yard field goal for a 17-14 edge with 3:59 left.
Madieu Williams picked off Rodgers on the ensuing Packers possession. That left the Vikings with 1:01 to put more points on the board. Moss caught a 49- yard pass, but he was called for offensive pass interference. Minnesota then decided to let the remaining time run out.
Green Bay leads the all-time regular season series with Minnesota, which dates back to the 1961 season, 50-47-1, but was swept by the Vikings last year for the first time since 2005. The Vikings were trying to win four straight games over the Packers for the first time since 1992-93...Peterson caught two passes for 41 yards...Jackson caught three passes for 46 yards...Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews returned to the lineup after missing one game due to a hamstring injury. The Packers were without offensive tackle Mark Tauscher (shoulder)...Quarless' TD was the first of his career...Moss hauled in three passes for 30 yards.
10/25 00:50:43 ET
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