Green Bay Packers Down Minnesota Vikings 28-24: Favre Struggles...Again

Tyler WardAnalyst IOctober 25, 2010

GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 24:  Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings reacts as Desmond Bishop #55 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates his interception for a touchdown at Lambeau Field on October 24, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jim Prisching/Getty Images)
Jim Prisching/Getty Images
By Tyler Ward
It was an epic return for Brett Favre in Green Bay, but it wasn't the type of game Favre and the Vikings fans had hoped for. To be completely honest, the only reason the Vikings (2-4) lost the game is because of Favre. The legendary quarterback threw three interceptions in the game, all in the second half and within seven passes. Not a good game for the player that many consider the best of all-time.

Personally, I think Favre has lost his luster. He should not have come back to Minnesota because frankly, he's getting old and has had too many injuries over the past few seasons. He is clearly on the decline. 
Favre, statistically, had the best season of his 20-year career last year. Now, he's on track to have one of the worst seasons of his historic career. Through six games, Favre has not had a 300-yard passing game. He has thrown more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (7). Four of the six games have seen him yield a quarterback rating under 72.

Minnesota is 0-3 on the road thus far. He has also led the Vikings, who played in the NFC Championship game last season, to a lousy 2-4 record and the team is currently third in the NFC North.

This team is absolutely struggling. It's a mixture of problems—injuries, lackluster defense, poor play by Favre, and the loss of Sidney Rice. It's clearly going to take a lot for the Vikings to win the division and it only gets worse next weekend when they take on the Patriots in New England. Not looking too good. I'm not liking their odds.
I'll be the first to tell you that I had all the respect in the world for him when he retired the first time. Now, he's doing the same idiotic, media-loved act every single year. Simply, it gets annoying. With this still going on, I have little to no respect for Favre. If he weren't such a great quarterback over his career, I would probably lose all respect.

I'm tired of turning on ESPN during the summer and seeing whether he'll return or not. It's just amazing that a player can't make up his mind. It is clear that I will never know what it's like to retire from the NFL, but it seems that Favre is haunted by something. He seems to be scared of retirement and just doesn't want to deal with a lifelong retirement from the game he loves right now.

That's understandable, but usually, a quarterback does not last 20 years. At some point, he will get too old and there will be an increase of injuries. When it comes to be like that, just retire. It's better for the team, fans, and spectators. No one wants to see a player like Favre struggle and that's what he's doing this season.

If he weren't Brett Favre, he'd be benched by head coach Brad Childress with the snap of a finger. But, he is, and I really don't see Favre being benched in favor of incumbent Taravaris Jackson, who has showed that he is not a prototypical starting NFL quarterback.
But, anyway, back to the game. The Vikings marched into Lambeau Field in hopes of finally getting to the .500 mark. They failed to do that as Favre threw three interceptions, which one of them was returned by linebacker Desmond Bishop for a touchdown. That was the key turnover and it pretty much ruined the game for the Vikings.

When a starting quarterback plays like that, they're not going to win unless the opposing quarterback plays worse. Aaron Rodgers didn't play worse. He outdueled Favre, although he threw two interceptions. Rodgers did pass for two touchdowns and 295 yards. The Packers were just the better team and they showed it.
However, Favre tried to make another amazing comeback, but it just didn't work out in the end. With 48 seconds left in the game, Favre threw a touchdown to Percy Harvin to give the Vikings the lead. But, it just wasn't meant to be.

The ruling on the field was incomplete and later in the drive, the Vikings had to resort to a 4th-and-15 on the 20-yard line. It was their last hope. There was no magic left in Favre, as he threw the pass out of bounds and the ball was turned over on downs. The Packers would win the game by that same score, 28-24. 
The Packers and Vikings traded blows in the first quarter, with the Packers getting on the board first with a one-yard run by Brandon Jackson. The Vikings would answer on their drive, with wide receiver Percy Harvin running in for a 17-yard touchdown. The game was tied at 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Green Bay would quickly come back down field and score on a Andrew Quarless nine-yard touchdown from Aaron Rodgers. The drive only lasted 1 minute and 18 seconds.

However, this game appeared back-and-forth and on the next drive for the Vikings, running back Adrian Peterson would get his only touchdown of the game to tie the game up again at 14-14. Vikings kicker Ryan Longwell would kick a 28-yard field goal with 3:58 left to give the Vikings their first lead of the game, 17-14. The game would be at that same score at halftime. 
And then, Favre starting playing like Ryan Leaf. The second half was one to forget for the Vikings, especially Favre. Starting the third quarter, Green Bay received the ball and after a quick three-and-out, they punted it away. Favre would complete two passes on the drive to Percy Harvin, but on his third attempt, Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk picked it off for Favre's first interception of the game.

In return, Green Bay would receive great field position at Minnesota's 41-yard line. On the fifth play of the drive, Rodgers was able to hit Greg Jennings for a 14-yard touchdown to put the Packers up 21-17. The Packers would not relinquish the lead. 
After the Packers' third touchdown of the game, they kicked off to Minnesota and it turned out to be the shortest drive of the game. Starting at their own 21-yard line, Adrian Peterson was able to break off a 4-yard run.

However, Favre would then throw his second consecutive interception—this one to Desmond Bishop, who returned it 32 yards for a touchdown. It was just what the doctor ordered for Packers fans. After being "shunned" by Brett Favre, the Packers were completely dominating the quarterback, who had spent 16 years with the Packers faithful.

As boos rained throughout the stadium for Favre, Packers fans realized that the Vikings would more than likely walk out of Green Bay with their fourth loss of the year. However, the 41-year-old quarterback shouldn't be counted out just yet.
Packers kicker Mason Crosby was only able to kick the ball off for 30 yards, giving the Vikings great field position. After a few short plays, Favre was able to launch a 37-yard pass to Harvin to put the Vikings at Green Bay's 12-yard line. Minnesota would gain eight yards on the next two plays, thus leading to Favre's four-yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss. The Vikings were now only down 28-24 with a quarter left to play.
Both defenses seemed to stiffen up in the fourth quarter, as both teams could not score on each other. On a 4th-and-1, the Packers were not able to convert on a John Kuhn run and the Vikings would receive the ball at their own 34-yard line.

Four plays later, on the Packers' 35-yard line, Favre threw his third interception in seven passes—this time, by Nick Collins at Green Bay's 20-yard line. The game was consequently over at the point. The Packers would not move down the field and were forced to punt and punter Tim Masthay landed a punt on the Vikings' 17-yard line. Minnesota had a long way to go if they wanted to steal a victory.
With time ticking away, Favre was able to look like the vintage version and he led the team down field, even though it took much time off the clock. They were able to get down to the Packers' 20-yard line, but a facemask penalty by Phil Loadholt knocked the Vikings all the way back to the 35-yard line. On 1st-and-30, Favre was able to launch a 35-yard pass to Harvin and it was ruled complete.

However, since it was less then two minutes in the game, the play was challenged by the reply assistant in the booth. The play would subsequently be overturned and the Vikings were still down. After a 15-yard pass to Adrian Peterson, the Vikings were able to get in the redzone again at the 20-yard line.

On 3rd-and-15, Favre threw an incomplete pass to Moss, perhaps setting up the last play for the Vikings. On 4th-and-15, Favre threw another incomplete pass to Moss, ending the game. Aaron Rodgers would proceed to kneel on the next play and the Packers escaped with a 28-24 victory.
The Packers (4-3) are currently second in the division behind the Chicago Bears - the Bears are also 4-3, but lead the division due to their victory over Green Bay earlier this season. The Vikings (2-4) sank even further in the division and are only one game ahead of the Detroit Lions for the bottom spot. 
Minnesota will travel to New England next weekend and it is now a must-win for the struggling Vikings. Green Bay will also travel to the east, where they will take on the Jets. The Packers aren't at the "must-win" point, but they need to win and hope for a Bears loss to take control of the NFC North.

Note: At the postgame press conference, it was clearly noticeable that Favre had a strong limp. He was having to hold on to objects and was putting zero pressure on his left foot. To me, he just seemed mentally-crippled. I firmly believe that if there was a game that Favre would miss, it would be their upcoming game against the Patriots.

Of course, it is unclear if he will play or not, but we can always expect Favre to somehow play in the game. But, if he does play, I know the Patriots are going to be after his left foot and if he gets hurt again, it could possibly be the end of Favre's historic career. We'll see.