Minneapolis Camera flashes illuminated the Metrodome on each of Brett Favre’s eight plays for Minnesota. Captured on film? Only one completed pass.
Favre’s debut was a dud in terms of on-field action, a predictably brief preseason performance in the 17-13 victory by the Vikings on Friday over the Kansas City Chiefs preserved by a goal line stand by the third-stringers.
“I just didn’t want to fumble the snap,” Favre said. “Wanted to make sure I got the handoffs. If you complete passes, great. But I was nervous about that.”
Cheered loudly by the same fans who used to loathe him when he played for Green Bay, Favre played two series and went 1 for 4 for a whopping 4 yards. He moved around all right and his passes had zip, just no direction.
Tarvaris Jackson, whose job was taken when Favre ended another retirement this week, was the more polished quarterback for Minnesota: 12 for 15 for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
Favre’s night ended with a jarring hit by Chiefs linebacker Corey Mays, who buried his head in the 39-year-old’s chest as he drove him into the turf to force an errant throw. Favre got up and walked off fine, his purple No. 4 jersey — such a strange sight, for sure — pulled down and exposing his left shoulder pad.
“He did tell me that no one’s tackled him off his tractor,” coach Brad Childress said. “Good for him to get hit.”
Favre worked out at his local high school all summer as he built his strength back following arthroscopic surgery on his throwing arm, but after initially telling the Vikings no, he didn’t join the team until Tuesday. Yet there he was, three days later, taking snaps with the first team and trying to find a rhythm with his new receivers.
“That’ll be an adjustment all year. It really will be,” Favre said.
His first pass was off target, intended for fullback Naufahu Tahi. Rookie Percy Harvin snagged a low throw into tight coverage on the next play, setting up fourth-and-1 near midfield. But Adrian Peterson, who carried 10 times for 44 yards, was smothered in the backfield for a big loss.
Favre was off the mark twice more on the next possession, misfiring toward Jaymar Johnson after an apparent route miscommunication and then chucking one out of everyone’s reach on the pressure by Mays.
Kansas City’s Matt Cassel is in the same mode, his adjustment still in progress after coming in a trade with New England. He led the Chiefs on two scoring drives, including a 4-yard touchdown toss to Dwayne Bowe early in the second quarter once Minnesota’s second-string defense was in. Cassel faced plenty of pressure, taking three sacks, and finished 9 for 14 for 99 yards without a turnover.