Other Side of Favre Gets Exposed

MINNEAPOLIS - Brett Favre's evil twin showed up Sunday to quarterback the Green Bay Packers.

Just a week after future Hall of Fame Brett threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns into the teeth of one of the best defenses in NFL history, Bad Brett reared his ugly head in Minneapolis.

He's the guy who overthrows receivers, fires interceptions that are returned for touchdowns, scrambles after bobbled shotgun snaps from center, and runs for his life when chased out of the pocket. And that's who showed up Sunday as the Minnesota Vikings pasted the Packers 35-13 at the Metrodome - not Hall of Fame Brett's favorite place to play.

"It's well documented what happens to us when we play here," said Favre, who has won only twice in 10 games at the Metrodome. "But we had opportunities, and we didn't take advantage. And when that happens, you don't come away with anything, and you give them a second chance. They're too good a team to give away chances to."

The Packers started fine, moving to the Viking 33, but Ryan Longwell missed a 51-yard field goal. On Green Bay's second possession, running back Ahman Green lost four yards on a fourth-and-1 at the Minnesota 7. Longwell missed a 42-yard field goal on the third possession, and on the next drive Favre threw an interception to linebacker Kailee Wong, who returned it 27 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.

Favre completed 21 of 35 passes for just 169 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. But he had less than 100 yards passing with two minutes left in the game, and stumbled over the feet of his own center in the fourth quarter.

"They outplayed us today," Favre said. "Do I expect more out of my team than this? Yes. Maybe this is an eye-opener for this team. Somehow we have to find a way to win here. If we continue to play like this, we'll probably be sitting at home for the playoffs."

Butler injured: Safety LeRoy Butler bruised his chest in the first quarter, left the game, and put a huge crimp in the Packer's defensive game plan.

Butler apparently suffered a bruised sternum tackling tight end Byron Chamberlain at the end of a 4-yard catch near the end of the first quarter. Butler, who started his 113th consecutive regular season game, went to the sidelines, and was later carted off the field.

His absence forced Green Bay to play third-year pro Chris Akins in the team's base defense and rookie Bhawoh Jue more in the team's passing defenses.

"He's a special player," said defensive coordinator Ed Donatell about the 12-year veteran Butler. "He's our quarterback on defense, and is a tremendous part of what we do. Without him in there, it took away some things, but I hoped we could overcome things like that."

More injuries: Linebacker Nate Wayne injured his knee early in the second quarter, but missed only one play. Special teams coach Frank Novak got hit in the chest with a ball with about three minutes left in the half. The Vikings brought out a cart for the 62-year-old coach, but he refused to leave the game.

Did not play: Inactive for the Packers Sunday were running back Herbert Goodman, linebacker K.D. Williams, offensive guard Bill Ferrario, wide receiver Bill Schroeder, wide receiver Robert Ferguson, defensive tackle Rod Walker, defensive end Jamal Reynolds. Henry Burris served as the emergency quarterback.

Starting something: Fourth-year wide receiver Corey Bradford made his fifth career start and first of 2001 in place of the injured Bill Schroeder.

He finished the game with four catches for 32 yards. Bradford came into Sunday's game while 11 catches for 161 yards and one touchdown. Last week in the Packers' 31-23 win against the Baltimore Ravens, Bradford made one catch for 47 yards.

Bradford started two games last season when the Packers opened with three wide receivers, but did not catch a pass. He broke his left leg in the preseason, and came back to start against the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 29. Bradford started two games in 1999 while playing in all 16 games. He finished with 37 catches for 637 yards - a 17.2 yards per catch average - and five touchdowns.

Rossum returns: Kick returner Allen Rossum returned to the lineup after missing the last four games with a sore hamstring. He didn't do much against the Vikings, returning one punt for minus-1 yard, and making one fair catch. He also returned six kickoffs for 111 yards, a 18.5 yard average, and a long of 27.

Rossum played in the season opener against the Detroit Lions, and returned three kickoffs for 62 yards and one punt for four yards.

The fourth-year player from Notre Dame tweaked his hamstring during training camp, and aggravated the injury against the Lions. In his place, wide receiver Antonio Freeman returned punts and running back Rondell Mealey brought back kickoffs. Neither had much success. Freeman returned 11 punts for 63 yards, but made seven fair catches. Mealey returned four kickoffs for 63 yards with a long of 24 yards.

Something amiss? Kicker Ryan Longwell's miss of a 51-yard field goal try in the first quarter was his second miss in a row this season – the first time that has ever happened in his career.

Then he went out and missed his third in a row - a 42-yarder - in the second quarter. Longwell missed a 47-yard attempt last Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. The 51-yarder against the Vikings had the distance but drifted wide right. The 42-yarder hooked left.

"I had a great pregame, and I never expect to miss," Longwell said. "I'm sure my teammates never expect me to miss. I'm mad at myself, but you have to move on and get ready for the next game."

The fifth-year kicker, who signed a multi-million dollar contract in the offseason, had always scattered his misses during the seasons, and had never missed two in a row, much less three in a row. He also never started a season with a miss until this year. He missed his intial kick of 2001, a 48-yard attempt against the Lions.

Longwell missed six kicks as a rookie in 1997, the most he ever missed. He missed four in 1998, five in 1999 and five last season.

"Everything was perfect on those kicks, the snaps, the holds," Longwell said. "Those were big kicks, and I need to make those." Third-down blues: Minnesota converted 9 of 14 third down chances (64%). On the Vikings last scoring drive, which ate up almost 10 minutes, they made three third downs in a row.


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