However, there is one element that is different – the offensive line. The Vikings have replaced former Pro Bowl center Matt Birk with second-year player John Sullivan and swapped out right tackle Ryan Cook for rookie Phil Loadholt.
After giving up a combined nine sacks and many more knockdowns of Favre in the first three games, the Vikings looked as good as they have all year in protecting their quarterback Monday night against the Green Bay Packers.
Green Bay entered Monday night's game with only five sacks, but the Vikings shut them down even further, not allowing a sack and having Favre hurried only once. All of last year, the Vikings gave up at least one sack in each game and allowed a total of 43 for the season. The last time their quarterback wasn't sacked at all was on Dec. 9, 2007 against San Francisco, when Tarvaris Jackson was starting.
"I think the thing was they did a great job of pass protecting. (Favre) had his way back there. They were committing a lot of guys to the run," Childress said.
The Packers took away Adrian Peterson's effectiveness, limiting him to a 2.2-yard average on 25 carries, but Favre was able to take advantage in the passing game. He completed 24 of 31 passes for 271 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a 135.3 passer rating.
"Pass protection was great. Their style of defense has obviously been chaotic for the teams they've played, and they mixed it up again (Monday night)," Favre said. "I thought we had a good mix of short passes, and just in general, the passing protection was awesome. They stopped the running game better than I thought. I thought we'd run the ball better. I was hoping we'd run the ball better. You don't want to, against a defense like that, throw the ball too many times, but it was better than I thought it was going to be, if we had to throw the ball as much."
The Vikings had faced a 3-4 defensive front twice previously this season, against Cleveland and San Francisco, and didn't have nearly the success protecting Favre against those teams as they did against the Packers.
In the season opener in Cleveland, the Browns sacked Favre four times. The 49ers took him down twice. On Monday, he was rarely touched.
"It was pretty clean. (The offensive linemen) did a good job. They blocked some stunts very well and ran some people by the pocket. Guys will pick you apart if they can stand back there and have time," Childress said.
"They blitzed differently than we had seen. I would have to go back and check the exact count on how many they did and didn't, but they were bringing people from different directions at different times."
Former defensive end Aaron Kampman had 37 sacks from 2006 to 2008, but the Packers moved him to linebacker in their new 3-4 defensive scheme. Through four games, he has only one sack.
"Towards the second half we brought a lot of pressure," Kampman said. "Really, in the first half on third down we brought more pressure. What it came down to really is that we didn't execute our defense, particularly in the first half."
In the Twin Cities, the game had a 58.3 rating, according to the Star Tribune, which means that more than one million of the 1.7 million households locally were watching the game.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.