Favre heroics set up monumental game

Brett Favre's last-second touchdown pass will make the hype for the Green Bay game even greater. Seven days until one of the biggest regular-season Vikings games in a long time.

Any question about why the Vikings wanted Brett Favre to end his retirement this offseason was answered Sunday at the Metrodome.

Favre, as he has done so many times in his 19-year career, threw a last-second touchdown pass to give the Vikings a 27-24 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. That was the 42nd time in his career Favre had rallied his team from a fourth-quarter deficit or tie.

It is with that performance fresh in everyone's mind that Favre will enter next Monday night's game against the Green Bay Packers.

The same team with whom Favre spent 16 seasons, leading them to one Super Bowl title and two appearances in the game.

The same team with whom Favre decided to retire tearfully in March 2007, only to change his mind months later and announce he wanted to come back. The same team with whom Favre had such a bitter falling out after Packers management decided he had changed his mind too late.

Now, after one season with the New York Jets and yet another retirement, Favre finally will get his chance to play the Packers on a national stage, five days before his 40th birthday. There is little doubt this will be considered one of the NFL's biggest regular-season games ever.

Not surprisingly, Favre tried to downplay the significance of the game after the victory over San Francisco.

"I am going to enjoy this one," he said. "It was a great win, but we have a lot of things that we have to get better at and that is pretty obvious to everyone. ... It will be a big game for a lot of reasons (against the Packers). They are a good football team. We are going to have to play better than we did (against San Francisco) to win it. To win any games."

Favre's 32-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Greg Lewis with 2 seconds left moved the Vikings to 3-0 and kept them atop the NFC North. The Packers will bring a 2-1 record into the game.

The rivalry between the two already is one of the most heated in the NFL without Favre factored into the equation. Of course, the Vikings and Packers are both likely to go out of their way to downplay any feelings of hostility this week but there is little doubt it exists. Favre's presence should make it that much more interesting.

TRENDING: The Vikings used a much different run-to-pass ratio Sunday against San Francisco than they did in the first two games. After running the ball 62 times and attempting 46 passes in the first two games, the Vikings had Favre throw 46 times and attempted 27 rushes versus the 49ers. The Vikings are considered a run-first team but obviously felt they could have more success through the air in this case. It would be surprising if Minnesota made this ratio any type of habit.

BY THE NUMBERS: 301 — Passing yards for Favre on Sunday, the first time since Sept. 25, 2005 that the Vikings had a quarterback throw for 300 yards. Daunte Culpepper threw for exactly 300 that day against New Orleans.

NOTES

  • WR Percy Harvin played Sunday despite missing practice Thursday and Friday because of migraine headaches that have troubled the rookie in the past. Coach Brad Childress deflected a question about the team's concern on this issue. Harvin has touchdowns in each of his first three games, including a 101-yard kickoff return for a TD on Sunday.

  • WR Greg Lewis, who ended up being the hero by making a spectacular catch on Favre's last-second pass, was active for the first time this season and for the first time since signing with the Vikings earlier this month. Lewis was on the field for only four plays.

  • DE Jayme Mitchell was inactive for the first time this season as the Vikings decided to dress Lewis as an extra wide receiver because of concern about Harvin.

  • WR Darius Reynaud appeared to suffer a hamstring injury while returning a punt on Sunday but his immediate status wasn't clear. WR Bernard Berrian took over the punt return duties.

  • Sage Rosenfels was the No. 3 quarterback for the third consecutive game as Tarvaris Jackson remains the primary backup.


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