That loud thud you heard late last night was the sound of the door closing on Brett Favre’s career and the season for the Minnesota Vikings. With his first win against his former “mentor”, Aaron Rodgers made the Green Bay Packers relevant again in the division and in the conference. It took 3 interceptions by the Packers defense who recovered from the two picks Rodgers threw as well. At the end when the whistle blew, the Packers were back in the hunt and the Vikings were drifting further away from any shot at a season recovery.
The Chicago Bears are now tied with the Pack at the top at 4-3 while the Vikes’ are now two games back and sliding. For Green Bay, it was a solid performance against a division rival. Surely it would have been nicer to see a more lopsided win, but this is divisional football and those games are always tough. After the Pack took the lead in the 3rd quarter the team simply got defensive and held their ground as the 4th quarter ended scoreless.
Defensively, the Packers survived Adrian Peterson’s 131 yard effort and the Percy Harvin – Randy Moss pair. Harvin put up the yards while Moss, who seemed to quit on plays most of the night, caught 3 passes. One for a touchdown. Moss’s impact thus far for the Vikings has been the opening he creates for Harvin. The Packers did a good job of keeping Moss out of the yardage game.
It was however, the play of the linebackers that in the end kept Favre out of the win column and Aaron Rodgers in it. Desmond Bishops’ 30 yard return for a TD took place on Favre’s second possession in the 3rd quarter which followed a first drive INT to start the half that was picked by AJ Hawk. Nick Collins would steal the 3rd. Favre felt the pressure from the defensive front all night and as the game inched towards the final whistle, Favre was a mess and lingering questions about how he will finish the season was on the mouths of the NBC hosts.
Offensively, Brandon Jackson had a solid day as he combined for over 100 yards and scored a TD running ( and to think I benched him in my fantasy league). Jackson kicked off the night with a one yard dive and Aaron Rodgers while playing more up and down than consistent, made the throws when he needed to. In fact for the first time this year, Greg Jennings played a focal point in the offense. Something they had been trying to do for the last 5 weeks since Jennings’ best performance in week 1. He caught 6 balls for 74 yards a TD.
While Jennings saw a lot more action Donald Driver found the end to his consecutive game streak with a reception as he hauled in no passes on Sunday night. With the Vikings game now on the shelf and in the win column, the Packers will now try and focus on their next task. A brutal trip to New York where they will face the number 1 ranked team in the NFL, the Jets.
Can Rodgers bring some of his Lambeau magic to the city of lights? We will see.