Johnnie Gray: Post-game review

Favre leads 'run-and-gun' Packers past Vikings; run-defense mistakes correctable

Congratulations to quarterback Brett Favre for his record-breaking touchdown toss. The way that he got it was vintage Favre. He recognizes the defense, taps the tight end to run a drag (outside pattern) opening up the middle for receiver Greg Jennings to catch the Hall of Fame bound football.

Favre talks a great deal, about how talented these players are and that they all need to get on the same page for this team to secure wins. After the game, you could see his emotions as he talked about how hard these guys work to be students of the game, to be in the right place at the right time and to give as much to the game as he does. You could also tell how proud he is of this team and the success it has had so far and even prouder that it can continue to get better.

The offense passed its way for another victory against a very good run defense and next week it will be up against the Chicago Bears, so I wouldn't expect any different. The rule of thumb is that you take what the defense gives you and the Vikings played man-to-man defense a majority of the game. Therefore, the Packers took advantage of the one-on-one-matchups for what I consider an easy victory.

The confidence level of this team is soaring as tight ends Bubba Franks and Donald Lee continue to get more involved and productive in the offense. Because of the lack of the run game the offense has shifted from the West Coast to the run-and-gun, and at this point in time that's not a bad thing.

Now if the defense could have stopped running back Adrian Peterson from carving them up the middle, the Packers could have had the best game ever played in the dome. Linemen Kabeer-Gbaja-Biamila and Aaron Kampman did a fantastic job of getting up field on the edge without creating running lanes. Several times the tackles were in too much of a hurry to get outside, leaving the middle wide open for Peterson and Chester Taylor. Trust in your teammates to do their job and you do yours. That's a correctable mistake, and next Sunday night should be a fantastic game.

Great job of cornerback Al Harris playing hurt, but a better job needs to be played by cornerback Jarrett Bush in man coverage. Giving up too much cushion got Bush in trouble all day, especially when he was trying to get through traffic. If he's up tight on the receiver and is rubbed off by another receiver, he will get the (pick) call from the ref. You have to show contact.

Fake punt? That was a gutsy call and a great run by Jon Ryan.

The Bears are banged up and will be a bit nasty for next Sunday's showdown in front of a national audience. The Packers will need to have Harris healthy. His ability allows the defense to be creative. I'm still going with the Pack for a 5-0 start.

Johnnie Gray

Former safety Johnnie Gray played for the Packers from 1975-84. He was inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame in 1994. E-mail him at

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