It was the perfect addition to the legend of Brett Favre.
In case you missed it, Favre and the Minnesota Vikings dominated the Green Bay Packers 30-23 Monday night at the Metrodome. Although the final score may indicate it was a close game, the Vikings were clearly in control throughout the night.
Minnesota’s largest lead was 30-14 midway through the fourth quarter, and though Aaron Rodgers and the Packers made a strong effort to get back in the game, Favre and the Vikings simply outperformed their opponents.
In fact, in the most-hyped game so far in the 2009 season, the quarterback that everybody loves or loves to hate went head-to-head with his former team and played the best game he has since his glory days in Green Bay.
When he announced his return in August, everyone circled this game on his or her calendar. Favre no doubt did the same, and the result was one of the greatest performances of Favre’s illustrious career.
In the end, he threw for 271 yards on 24-of-31 passing with three touchdowns. More importantly, he did not turn the ball over and spread the ball around with incredible effectiveness. Favre completed at least one pass to eight receivers in the game and a different player for each of his touchdown passes.
It should come as no surprise that Favre performed so well on such a big stage, however. The Gulfport, Miss., native has made a career of exceeding expectations in big games, and last night was just another chapter in that story.
And with a trip to Lambeau Field coming in November, and the Vikings at 4-0 easily looking like the best team in the division, there will be plenty left to write about in Favre’s story.
But the best part about Favre’s story is that everyone knows the best parts, and nobody knows how it will end.
For example, Favre will always be tied to Monday Night Football because of his performance on Dec. 22, 2003, against the Oakland Raiders.
In a game played a day after his father’s death, Favre threw for four first-half touchdowns and 399 total yards in the Packers’ 41-7 victory.
“I knew that my dad would have wanted me to play. I love him so much, and I love this game,” Favre said afterward. “It’s meant a great deal to me, to my dad, to my family, and I didn’t expect this kind of performance. But I know he was watching tonight.”
Yet, another great chapter in Favre’s story actually came the last time he played in the Metrodome before this season. In week four of the 2007 NFL season, Favre and the Packers defeated the Vikings 23-16.
More importantly, though, Favre connected with Greg Jennings in the first quarter for his 421st career touchdown pass, the one put him ahead of Dan Marino for the most career touchdown passes.
Following that game, the then-Packers’ quarterback brushed aside one of the biggest personal accomplishments of his career and opted to focus on the team instead.
“He cares about the record, but it’s not the most important thing,” defensive end Aaron Kampman told reporters following the game. “He cares about winning. That’s when you know you have a special teammate.”
Favre clearly does care about winning, and he has won everywhere he has gone. His career record in the regular season after last night is 175-100, with his 175 victories marking the most in NFL history.
Yesterday’s victory over the Packers is one that will likely take on legendary status as well, and though not quite at the level of his 2003 MNF performance, it certainly will be one of his most memorable games.
Favre easily could have struggled against a defense that knew his tendencies better than he knew them himself. And he certainly could have been overambitious in the passing game and thrown an interception, something he also has been known to do over his career.
But he did not do any of those things.
Instead, Favre played one of the best games of his career and even though running back Adrian Peterson did not perform as well as the Vikings would have liked, Favre used the threat of the run game to his advantage.
And the game added to the long list of Favre accomplishments: He became the only quarterback ever to record a victory over every NFL team, fittingly, with the Packers being the last one.
Jordan is a senior majoring in journalism and political science. He is neither a Packers nor a Vikings fan. Have a favorite memory of Brett Favre? Want to share your reaction to last night’s game? Send your thoughts to [email protected]