The week belongs to Favre

With so many subplots to Brett Favre's unretirement, the king of NFL quarterback records is also the king of drama. The next five days will be Favre-intensive for sure as the national football spotlight begins to deploy in Minnesota.

The buildup to the Vikings' game against their archrival Green Bay on Monday night hasn't caused linebacker Ben Leber to lose his sense of humor. "I have no idea what you're talking about," Leber said when asked about the magnitude of this game. "It's just a regular game to me."

Leber said this with a twinkle in his eye, fully aware that nothing could be further from the truth. Under ordinary circumstances, the Vikings-Packers matchup is one that has emotions running high. But in this case some of those emotions stand to be off the charts for the nationally televised contest at the Metrodome.

That's because for the first time in his 18-plus year career Brett Favre will be playing against the Packers - the same organization he helped put back on the map. And he will be doing it while wearing Vikings' purple.

For many Packers fans, and perhaps some of the Vikings' faithful, this is a nearly unimaginable scenario. The thought of Favre playing for the New York Jets was hard enough for many to wrap their head around.

If you are simply a football fan this is a nearly too-good-to-be true scenario and promises monster ratings for ESPN. The curiosity factor stands to be huge.

Favre has attempted to tell people that he didn't end his second retirement so he could attempt to stick it to Packers general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy twice a season, but that is a bit hard to believe. Favre had admitted that revenge played a role in his desire to play for Minnesota last year, so how could that now no longer be the case?

The details of the divorce between Favre and the team have been well documented. Favre's tearful retirement in March 2008, his subsequent attempt to end that retirement later in the year and the Packers' insistence that they had moved on and committed to Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback.

If Favre had his way the Packers would have simply released him in the summer of 2008 and he would have signed with the Vikings. But there was no way Thompson was going to let that happen and so Favre spent a year in New York after being traded.

Now, he gets his shot to prove to Thompson and Co. that he still has the magic touch.

That certainly appeared to be the case last Sunday as Favre guided a late comeback by the Vikings that ended with him throwing a miraculous 32-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Greg Lewis with two seconds left in the fourth quarter to give Minnesota a 27-24 victory over San Francisco.

It marked the 43rd time Favre has led a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter or overtime. That leads all active quarterbacks and is four more than Peyton Manning of the Colts.

What will be interesting is to see how much of this game Favre tries to put on his shoulders. The Vikings are 3-0 this season, putting them a game ahead of Green Bay and Chicago. While Favre certainly has provided stability - this is the Vikings' first 3-0 start since Brad Childress took over as coach in 2006 - the reality is that for Minnesota to have its best chance for success, Pro Bowl running back Adrian Peterson needs to be the focal point of the offense.

Favre, who will turn 40 on Oct. 10, is at his best when he is providing guidance, making good decisions and letting Peterson lead the way. There is little doubt Favre is going to be sky high for this game but what the Vikings need most is for the veteran to stay within himself.

If that happens, that might end up being Favre's greatest revenge against the team that decided it was time to move on.

SERIES HISTORY: 96th regular-season meeting. Packers lead series, 49-45-1. This will mark the seventh time these teams have met on "Monday Night Football." Each team has won three games and the last time they played on a Monday night in the Metrodome was in December 1999. The Vikings won that game, 24-20.

BY THE NUMBERS: 31 — The number of teams Brett Favre has beaten in his NFL career. If he gets a victory Monday night against Green Bay he will have defeated every team in the league.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I did not like him at all growing up." — Vikings WR Greg Lewis, who was raised a Bears fan and never thought much of Packers quarterback Brett Favre at the time. Lewis' opinion changed a bit last Sunday when he caught the game-winning pass from Favre with 2 seconds left to lift the Vikings to a 27-24 victory over San Francisco.


  • C Jon Cooper was promoted from the practice squad and Kory Lichtensteiger was released from the roster as the Vikings made a change at backup center. Cooper was signed by the Vikings as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma.

  • WR Percy Harvin was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week after returning a kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown against the 49ers last Sunday. Harvin returned four kicks for 180 yards (45.0-yard average) and had four receptions for 51 yards. He did all this despite having missed practice the previous Thursday and Friday because of migraine headaches.

  • LB Erin Henderson has yet to be active for a game this season because of a calf injury but appears to be making progress and should be able to return to practice in the next couple of weeks.

  • WR Darius Reynaud suffered a left hamstring injury in the third quarter last Sunday against San Francisco returning a punt and his status for this game remains uncertain.

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