The players and coaches realize the buildup to the Monday night will be crazy, but Brad Childress is still trying to go about business as usual this week.
If Brad Childress had his way, the Vikings coach would snap his fingers and make this week just like any other. Only that isn't going to be possible.
Ordinarily, the two weeks per season the Vikings play the Green Bay Packers
are special because of the rivalry between the two NFC North foes, but this week the buildup is going to be off the charts.
That's because the Monday night game between the Vikings and Packers is going to take a backseat to Brett Favre
's matchup against his former team.
Favre's divorce from Green Bay after 16 seasons has been well-documented as has his offseason-long flirtation with the arch-rival Vikings.
With this game being played on a national stage, it will make for that much more drama. And that is exactly what Childress is trying to guard against.
With the Vikings sitting at 3-0 for the first time since 2003, Childress wants to keep the focus on his team and not specific matchups. No matter how interesting they might be.
Childress did say he would discuss the matter of this game with his players.
"I know it won't be crazy in here," Childress said of the atmosphere he expects around Winter Park. "The place won't be vibrating or anything like that. We just kind of go about our business. ... All the rivalry stuff, that will take care of itself. I know there are some mitigating circumstances, but for us it will be a good week of preparation."
QB Brett Favre had an up-and-down game Sunday but it certainly ended well as he hit Greg Lewis on a 32-yard touchdown pass in the back of the end zone with 2 seconds left. Favre had a season-low 78.3 passer rating but threw for 301 yards, making him the first Vikings quarterback to reach that yardage total since Brad Childress took over as coach in 2006. Favre also attempted 46 passes after throwing 48 in the first two games combined.
QB Tarvaris Jackson was the backup to Brett Favre for the third consecutive game. That means Sage Rosenfels has been the No. 3 (emergency) quarterback. Jackson saw action in the first two games because the Vikings had a big lead late but this time he ended up as a spectator for all four quarters.
RB Adrian Peterson was held below 100-yards rushing for the second consecutive game. Peterson gained 85 yards on 19 carries and did not score a touchdown in a game for the first time this season. Peterson averaged 4.5 yards per carry but that was a bit deceiving because he gained 35 yards on a first-quarter carry. Take out that gain, and he had 50 yards on 18 carries. That's an average of 2.8 yards per carry.
RB Chester Taylor has only 17 rushing attempts this season but remains an important part of the offense. That is because Taylor continues to play in third-down situations and in the 2-minute drill and remains a primary receiving option out of the backfield. In fact, Taylor's 15 receptions lead the Vikings through three games. His catches have gone for 103 yards with a long of 30.
TE Visanthe Shiancoe dropped a pass on Sunday against San Francisco and has only six catches for 49 yards through the first three games. That is a surprise considering how much Brett Favre likes to throw to his tight end. Shiancoe has been targeted by Favre a total of 11 times this season.
WR Bernard Berrian is third on the Vikings with 10 receptions but he also had a couple of drops on Sunday, including one that could have gone for substantial yardage. Berrian was sidelined for much of the preseason by a hamstring injury and did not catch a pass in the opener. Since then he has been thrown to 15 times. A team-leading six passes were directed his way in Week 2 against Detroit and he caught all of them. On Sunday, he had nine passes thrown to him and caught four of them for 56 yards. He is averaging only 10.2 yards per catch after averaging an NFL-leading 20.1 yards per catch last season.
WR Percy Harvin scored his third touchdown in three games on Sunday, taking a kickoff return 101 yards for a score. Harvin also caught four passes for 51 yards and now has 12 catches for 128 yards and two receiving touchdowns. His yardage and reception total leads the team's wide receivers.
DE Jared Allen had his second sack in two games on Sunday and leads the team by a half-sack over Ray Edwards. Allen leads the NFL in sacks since 2003 with 59.5.
CB Cedric Griffin intercepted his second pass in three games on Sunday, tying him for the team lead with linebacker Chad Greenway. Griffin also tied his single-season high for interceptions after having two in his rookie season in 2006.
LB E.J. Henderson was listed as questionable for last Sunday's game against the 49ers but then had a game-high 13 tackles and two tackles for a loss. Henderson's tackle total was seven more than Chad Greenway or Jared Allen, who were second with six.