Game of the Week: Packers vs. Vikings
The media didn't need another reason to love Brett Favre, but they have one anyway.
In what was supposed to be a poorly-planned farewell tour, Favre’s (maybe probably) last season has turned into one with full-blown playoff potential.
The surprising Packers are 3-0 and sitting atop the NFC with the Cowboys. What is this, 1997?
Few observers expected these kind of results for the Pack, and even fewer expected the old quarterback to be leading the way.
Favre, to his credit, is playing great—not turning the ball over, and not throwing to Bubba Franks unless absolutely necessary.
The Green Bay defense is quickly becoming one of the league’s best units, with some of the most dynamic young playmakers in the conference. All of the preseason second-guessing is over, and the Packers are proving everyone wrong with their play on the field.
And then there are the Vikings.
Sitting at 1-2, Minnesota is walking a fine line between playoff hopeful and resounding underachiever. Of course, the fact that they’re doing so with Tarvaris Jackson and Kelly Holcomb as their quarterbacks isn't helping.
The Vikings’ defense is one-of-a-kind...in a good way.
The Vikings’ offense is one-dimensional...in a bad way.
Defensive players Kevin Williams and Antoine Winfield have two more touchdown catches than any other Viking wide receiver. Tarvaris Jackson is on the injured list with a bad groin, "bad groin" being code for "can’t throw worth beans."
Minnesota has surrendered fewer than 70 rushing yards per game, and has allowed the fourth-fewest points in the league. The Vikings’ offense has wasted no time sinking to the bottom of most offensive categories.
Sunday’s game has all the makings of a blowout, but there are plenty of storylines that make it worthy of Game of the Week honors.
First and foremost is the drama of Favre’s quest to break Dan Marino’s career passing touchdown mark. The media’s love affair with Favre is unparalleled, which should make Sunday’s game a sight to behold.
The pregame talk of Favre’s omnipotence will undoubtedly carry over to the broadcast, where you can expect streaming Favre stats, video montages to the hilt, and—dare I say?—Favre Cam.
If he does break the record, the collective yippee from the press will be heard around the world.
I can see the headlines now: Favre and Away! You Brett-er believe it! Jim Nantz Confesses Love for Favre in Awkward Postgame Comments!
I’ll bet they even stop the game—not because Favre breaks the record but rather because a single passing touchdown gives the Pack too much of a head start on the Vikings O.
Beyond the TD mark, there are several other important angles here. The Packers offense will be facing one of the toughest D’s it will see all year. They won't be able to run on the Viking defensive tackles, so the game will be completely in the hands of the Favre and his receivers.
Minnesota, too, has a chance to make a name for itself. With the Bears struggling, the Vikes have a great opportunity to make headway in the NFC North. Toppling the team du jour would give them some much-needed momentum.
There are other things at stake, too, like the Packers’ quest for a 4-0 start and Brad Childress’ quest for the perfect mustache.
But rightfully at the center of it all will be Favre—pursuing a record he'll have earned fairly and honestly, playing for a team that looks like it finally belongs again.
It’s enough to give any young quarterback hope.
But not you, Kelly Holcomb.
Packers 21, Vikings 7
For previews of all this week's games, go to www.kevanlee.com.
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