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(Monday, October 5th)
Final Score: Minnesota 30, Green Bay 23
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - For 16 years Brett Favre tortured opponents as the star quarterback of Green Bay. Monday night, the tables were turned on the Packers as the three-time league MVP threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns, and Minnesota remained unbeaten with a 30-23 victory at the Metrodome.
It was a picture-perfect night for Favre, who turns 40 this Saturday. Starting his NFL-record 273rd straight game, Favre, who holds every significant career passing record, set a milestone by becoming the first QB in league history to beat all 32 NFL teams. He connected on 24-of-31 passes.
"I was about as nervous as I've ever been before a game going into this one," said Favre. "I didn't think I would be, but when I got to the hotel yesterday it kind of dawned on me.
"I had church today at 3 o'clock and I was sitting there and throwing all kinds of prayers out. I said 'man I'm losing it.' But I'm so thankful the way this game went and we were able to win it. The good lord answered my prayers I guess."
Adrian Peterson rushed 25 times for 55 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings (4-0), who have won their first four games to a season for the first time since 2003 when they captured their first six contests, but finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs.
Aaron Rodgers, who replaced Favre as Green Bay's starting quarterback in 2008, threw for a career-best 384 yards. He went 26-of-37 with a pair of touchdowns and was picked off once.
Clay Matthews returned a fumble 42 yards for a touchdown and Jermichael Finley had six catches for 128 yards and a score for the Packers (2-2), who faltered thanks to Minnesota's defense.
Jared Allen led the relentless attack with a career-high 4 1/2 sacks, one forced fumble and one safety. Minnesota had eight sacks of Rodgers, bringing the total times he's been sacked to 20 this season.
"It's obviously an issue, it's gone on for four weeks," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. "You can't play this way. We're playing way too up and down."
In 2008 Favre announced his retirement -- for the first time -- and his tumultuous divorce from the Packers came when the team wouldn't budge from naming Rodgers their starting QB. After playing one year for the Jets, Favre had a second brief retirement before finally joining Green Bay's NFC North nemesis.
Last Sunday the 10-time Pro Bowl selection added another chapter to his legendary status by leading the Vikings to a dramatic 27-24 home win over the 49ers when he threw a 32-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Greg Lewis with two seconds to play.
There was more Favre magic on Monday before a national television audience.
"He has still great command of the football and he is what he is...a great competitor," said Vikings coach Brad Childress. "Some games tickle you a little bit more than others and it's a good win. I'm sure he's glad just like all of us are."
Favre is set to return to Lambeau Field for a November 1 game.
"The preparation will be difficult again," said Favre. "I'm not really going to focus on where we're playing. It's going to be tough either way, as it was tonight. But I hope the Packer fans know how I feel about them.
"I know what it's like to be on the other side. That's pretty tough. I've been able to see both the good Lambeau, and the good and the bad here. I've had cheering against us, but it was awesome here tonight. That was a great environment here tonight and it will be in several weeks."
The Vikings opened the second half by moving 80 yards in eight plays for a two-touchdown lead. Favre was 4-for-4 passing for 72 yards. The offensive line was masterful in protecting the future Hall of Famer, as Favre hit Jeff Dugan over the middle for a 25-yard gain, and on the next play led Bernard Berrian perfectly down the left sideline for a 31-yard score.
A goal-line stand maintained the 28-14 lead. Green Bay drove from its own 18 to the one, but fullback John Kuhn was stopped for no gain on second down. Finley couldn't get to the end zone after making a reception, and Rodgers' fourth down low pass to tight end Donald Lee barely fell incomplete in the end zone.
Allen sacked Rodgers in the end zone for a safety with 7:21 left in the game for a 30-14 lead. Rodgers actually fumbled and Allen came up with the recovery just outside the end zone, but McCarthy challenged the call. Replays showed Rodgers' knee was down in the end zone, which resulted in the two points.
"We just have to stay patient," said Rodgers. "Unfortunately they had a good scheme and covered up our guys and got after me a little bit."
Green Bay's Jordy Nelson caught a 33-yard TD pass with under four minutes left to cap a 96-yard drive, but the two-point shovel-pass conversion was incomplete. After a Minnesota punt, Rodgers drove the Packers into field goal position and Mason Crosby connected from 31 yards away with 55 seconds to go.
Minnesota then recovered the ensuing onside kick to seal the victory.
The Vikings converted a turnover into a 7-0 lead. Rodgers drove the Packers to the Vikings 24, but was then sacked and stripped of the football by Allen. Chad Greenway recovered for Minnesota.
Peterson ran four straight times before Favre connected on his first pass of the night, a 16-yarder to Berrian on a slant pattern, moving the ball to the Green Bay 36. Peterson ran off left guard for a two-yard gain on 4th-and-1, moving the ball to the eight.
Two plays later, Favre threw across the field to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe in the end zone for a one-yard score with 3:20 remaining in the opening quarter. Favre completed all five of his passes during the march.
Green Bay needed just three plays to tie the game as Rodgers hit Finley over the middle and the second-year tight end eluded tacklers before finally stretching the ball over the goal line as he was being grabbed from behind.
Rodgers was picked off by Antoine Winfield at the Minnesota 23, and Favre was at it again, going 5-for-5 on the ensuing drive, which gave the Vikings a 14-7 lead. It ended in familiar fashion with Favre pump-faking to the left before gunning the ball over the middle to Sidney Rice for a 14-yard scoring play with 4:59 left in the half.
On the first play following a punt, Peterson ran around left end, but as he was being held up by tacklers, Matthews ripped the ball away and ran uncontested to the end zone.
Then came another vintage Favre drive as Minnesota moved 84 yards to take the lead, 21-14. The gunslinger completed 3-of-4 passes for 78 yards, moving his team to the three. He was then picked off by Charles Woodson, who was whistled for pass interference for impeding Rice's pattern. On the next play, Peterson jolted up the middle for a one-yard score with 30 seconds to go in the half.
After the game, Woodson complimented Favre on his play.
"I didn't expect him to do that," said Woodson. "I thought we would have played better, but obviously we didn't. Give him a lot of credit. He played a great game and apparently he got his wish tonight and he stuck it to us pretty good."
Green Bay wide receiver Donald Driver had four catches for 55 yards. He has 595 career catches, tying Sterling Sharpe for the franchise record...Packers left tackle Chad Clifton was inactive because of an ankle sprain. Daryn Colledge, Clifton's replacement, was injured in the fourth quarter...Green Bay heads into a bye week before hosting Detroit...The Vikings will play at winless St. Louis this coming Sunday...Green Bay's Will Blackmon suffered an apparent left knee injury when he went down to the turf while running back a punt in the second quarter...Allen's 4 1/2 sacks sets a record for a Monday night game...The result moved the Vikings to within one victory of 400 regular-season wins as an organization (399-322-9)...A total of 13 of the last 14 regular-season meetings have been decided by seven points or less...The Vikings haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 27 straight games. The last player to rush for 100 yards against the Vikings was Packers RB Ryan Grant on November 11, 2007. Grant had 51 yards on 11 carries in this game...Berrian had six catches for 75 yards, while Rice caught five balls for 70 yards.
10/06 01:13:34 ET