Favre Versus Rodger 2009, Week 15

Doug DwyerContributor IDecember 21, 2009

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 20:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 20, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Brett Favre won last week’s head to head quarterback competition as he garnered almost a three to one voting by the readers.  Brett now leads the year 9-5.   Last week the Vikings beat the Bengals while the Packers beat the Bears on the road.


This week as a blizzard blankets the Eastern seaboard, the Packers travel to the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers.  Meanwhile the Vikings play the Panthers in Carolina. 


Aaron Rodgers  26/48 for 383 yards 3 TDs 0 INTs


What a game in Pittsburgh.  Rodgers got hit hard early twice, both hits could have drawn flags for helmet to helmet contact.  Both times, Rodgers got up slowly from the turf.   The Packers also went 3 and out their first two possessions. 


Big plays ruled early as Pittsburgh went up by 7 with a long pass.  Aaron and the Packers countered with an 83 yard touchdown to Jennings.  The Steelers answered  with a long drive and a touchdown.  The Packers used the spread offense to move the ball effectively.  The Packers receivers had trouble hanging onto the ball at times, and Rodgers overthrew receivers several times. 


The Packers missed a field goal, but then got a rushing touchdown from Aaron Rodgers.  Rodgers has rushed for 4 touchdowns and 20 first downs this season.  The Steelers led 21-14 at halftime.


In the second half, the Packers pretty much abandoned the running game as Rodgers operated out of the shotgun and spread offense.  In the fourth quarter the Packers made a big surge.  Jermichael Finley made an awesome grab for the Packers first of three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Ryan Grant surprised the Steelers with a 24 yard run for the second touchdown of the quarter. 


The score was 28-30 less than four minutes left after a Steelers' field goal.  The Steelers tried an onside kick, but touched the ball before it travelled 10 yards.  The Packers started their last drive on the Pittsburgh 39.  With just over two minutes left in the game, Rodger hit James Jones for a 24 yard touchdown on 3rd and 14.  I was thinking Jones should have taken a knee at the one yard line.  That way the Packers could have killed most all the clock.   The Packers had their first lead of the game with 2:12 left at 36-30.


Pittsburgh got the kickoff at their own 14.  Pittsburgh drove the field converting 4th downs and 3rd downs.  Woodson could have salted the game away with an interception on Pittsburgh’s last drive.  However, Pittsburgh had one play left with 3 seconds left from the Pittsburgh 19 yard line.  Pittsburgh tied the game on a great catch by Mike Wallace with no seconds on the clock.  Replay confirmed the play, and by rule the game was extended for the extra point.  Pittsburgh made the extra point to win the game.  Ben Roethlisberger threw for 503 yards, the most in the NFL in three years.


Brett Favre 17/27 224 yard 0 TDs 1 INT


The Vikings had won the NFC North before the game started in Carolina.  Favre opened up the game going 3 for 3 in passing, but he was sacked once each in the Vikings first two possessions.  The Vikings defense gave the ball back to Brett on the Panthers 25 yards line where the offense promptly turned it in into a missed field goal.  The Vikings offense got one first down in the first quarter.


The Panthers scored in the 2nd quarter on a 15 play drive.  Ray Edwards blocked the extra point, which happened to be the Vikings highlight of the game.  The Vikings finally got a drive via a short field and scored to go up 7-6.  As ugly as the first half was, the Vikings had the lead.  Favre was efficient passing, but for short gains only.


The Vikings got the ball first in the third quarter and opened up passing.  However, with 2 out of 3 incomplete it was another 3 & out.  The Vikings punted twice more and fumbled the ball away another time in the 3rd.  However, they still held onto that 7-6 lead.


Carolina opened the fourth quarter with a 42 yard touchdown strike to Steve Smith and never looked back.  The Panthers reeled off three touchdowns on three consecutive drives while the Minnesota offense foundered.  With 3:07 left, the Vikings were down 26-7.  Favre threw a pick after that, but the game was already lost.


The running game was non-existent as Adrian Peterson ran for 35 yards and Chester Taylor added six more.  Percy Harvin was a non-factor in his return to the line up catching only one pass for 10 yards.  Brett was harassed by Julius Peppers the entire game.  On the other side of the ball, Carolina’s quarterback Matt Moore had a perfect QB rating of 158.


The Pick


Again, the reader gets to vote and decide who was better in week 15.  Let the voting begin. 


Final Thoughts


Both teams laid an egg, but the Vikings looked horrible on the road in December. 


I thought the Vikings should have inserted T. Jackson after the first series.  First, it would allow Favre to recuperate; secondly, it would have allowed Jackson to get some playing time when the pressure is on.   Favre has more interceptions than touchdowns in December.  Compare that with his 8 to 1 TD ratio in the rest of the season, it looks obvious he could use the rest.


Aaron Rodgers put together another excellent performance after he looked like he might not survive the first quarter.  The defense let the team down, but I think the Packers still make the playoffs.  The Packers are still dangerous to anyone who plays them.  I think the Packers will beat the Vikings if they meet again.