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 for 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 4 1⁄2 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.
“I definitely wanted to get this win for Brett,” teammate Adrian Peterson said. “He downplayed it all week, but I just knew it meant a lot to him. I could see it in his eyes.”
Favre hugged Rodgers, Donald Driver and several other Packers once the game was over. Rodgers tried to engineer the kind of drive his predecessor is famous for, but he came up short.
Favre also had plenty of time to throw throughout the game.
Rodgers had the exact opposite experience. He finished 26 for 37 for a career-high 384 yards, many of them in desperation down the stretch, and two touchdown passes.
The Vikings were relentless in their rush, particularly Allen on left tackle Darryn Colledge, who left in the third quarter with a right knee injury. Colledge moved from left guard two weeks ago when Chad Clifton got hurt.
Rodgers’s receivers let him down, too, though. On fourth-and-goal at the 1 in the third quarter, Rodgers found tight end Donald Lee open in the end zone. But the ball bounced off Lee’s chest and onto the turf, as Rodgers snapped his head back with his hands on the sides of his helmet.