Any time you have a game that finishes 9-7, one thing that is certain is that were a dozen or more plays that could be turning points. But, as the Vikings clung to a 7-6 lead with 4:47 to play, one thing they knew was that Brett Favre was going to get one more chance to make the Turning Point of the Game – which he did.
Favre started the drive on his own 33-yard line and was enduring one of the worst halves of his pro career. To that point in the second half, Favre had completed just six of 15 passes for 58 yards with two interceptions. But it was the fourth quarter, and he is still Brett Favre. He made the plays he needed to win.
On the second play of the drive from his own 37, Favre caught the Vikings selling out in a blitz. He knew that would likely mean single coverage on the outside receiver, which in this case was first-year man Ruvell Martin on Antoine Winfield. Favre audibled out of the play that had been called and launched a rainbow for Martin, who pulled it in at the Vikings 27-yard line for a 36-yard gain that put the Packers into field goal range.
Confident in his ability to convert on third down, the Packers called a pair of running plays that lost two yards, but ticked the clock down to the two-minute warning. After a false start backed up the Packers another five yards, Favre found running back Ahman Green on a perfectly designed screen pass. He rumbled 30 yards down to the Vikings 4-yard line, but the play was shortened by a holding call on Bubba Franks at the 17-yard line – making the play a 17-yard gain.
Content that they were in range for a game-winning field goal, the Packers ran the ball up the middle to get a good spot, forced the Vikings to call their second timeout and, when play resumed, kicker Dave Rayner connected on a 44-yard field goal to give the Packers the win.
Despite being throttled most of the half, when the Packers needed Favre to come through, he went 2-for-2 on pass attempts for 53 yards, proving once again why he is one of the best crunch-time quarterbacks to ever play the game and, in the process, found a way to have yet another Turning Point of the Game against the Vikings.
Turning Point: Favre's Fourth Quarter
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