Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Same Favre, Different Team: Favre's Vikings Stomps Packers

I’ve read about this specific topic, and heard the endless hype for a week. I’ve felt animosity from Cheesehead maniacs who’ve suddenly turned on Brett Favre because of his unforeseen and flaky notion to hold the Green Bay Packers hostage for months.

But lastly, it was the surreal transition after Favre un-retired and signed with the Minnesota Vikings, wearing purple, and drawing much hype in the most-anticipated and highly publicized Monday night showdown.

Wearing a purple jersey is hard imaging, emotionally disappointing a confounded town. Now, the starting quarterback of the Packers' archrivals is unbearable and the last thing Wisconsinites wanted to see.

And it has to be more painful for general manager Ted Thompson, who unsympathetically traded the egotistic veteran to the New York Jets, weary of his off-and-on retiring.

He made it clear that it was time to move in a new direction, when Favre clearly had difficulty making up his mind. Certain he was unwelcomed, Favre needed to make a statement that he wasn’t washed up, which is why he urged the Vikings to sign him.

It perfectly suited an obscured franchise that desperately needed a franchise quarterback to rejuvenated optimism and vitality inside the Metrodome. But it cynically shattered emotions on the other side, taking much energy away from myriad of fans that expressed loyalty to an admirable legend.

Whether he came back to obtain revenge, or attempt winning a Super Bowl and finally retire on top, Favre came away victorious. And he painfully brought back memories of the same man who guided the Packers for 16 seasons, with a powerful throwing arm, invaluable mobility and accuracy that symbolized the fortitude of the Packers.

Even though Favre made a decisive statement, Thompson doesn’t regret yielding on him and is satisfied with Aaron Rodgers. They’ve clearly moved forward, and promised the most-analyzed job in football to Rodgers, who is committed to following the steps of a legendary icon handling challenges as a humble and respectable leader.

But now, even though they’ve moved on with Rodgers, still Favre is an inimitable gunslinger. Notice he beat his former team and won the quarterback duel over his successor Rodgers, avoiding a week of humiliating criticism.

Just image, if he’d had loss to his former team at home in front of a loud and sold out crowd. Just image if he’d had failed in a quarterback duel, and allowed Rodgers to beat him at his game. If he specifically returned for revenge, a loss would have backfired and created irrelevant hype.

Favre, as usual, prevailed on the grandest stage. Given history, he’s the greatest to rule Monday night games adding to his resume. The intensity level inside an energized dome, nearly blew off the roof when Favre exploited savvy awareness and mobility, delivering a 1-yard pass to Visanthe Shiancoe.

Reacting as a passionate kid, scoring his first ever touchdown against his former team, he pumped his fist and pointed skyward. Amid emotions, he body bumped kicker Ryan Longwell, blissful scoring on a night emotions were heavy facing long-time friends and former teammates.

Knowing the Packers schemes, Favre executed his passes. His shoulder is more robust than ever, giving him strength to make powerful throws. Playing as a Viking, he’s on a team that improvises Super Bowl possibilities and before retiring he has a shot at winning a title.

Maybe he’ll consider retiring if he wins. But until then, he’s playing like a young and raw talented player that has just entered the league. In five days, he’ll turn 40-years old and still can manipulate defenses and his psyche is the same way it was 15 years ago.

As a rival, he rebelliously killed his former team, throwing for three touchdown passes. During one of his touchdown celebrations, Favre chest bumped running back Chester Taylor and knocked him to the turf.

At times, the Packers secondary seemed a bit inferior, especially when Favre lofted an incredible pass to receiver Bernard Berrian on a play defensive backs Al Harris and Derrick Martin were burnt.

Whether Favre is a wishy-washy future Hall of Famer who cannot make up his mind, misleading teams and constantly retiring, still it’s hard not to love the guy for his passion and exceptional dominance.

Oh, but it’s hard to ignore a blistering defense, especially when a relentless defensive end Jared Allen had 4½ sacks, harassing and pressuring Rodgers. That made the night rigid, having to nearly escape on every play and drive to avoid been sacked. Of course, Rodgers nifty footwork and awareness inside the pocket gave him an advantage to execute passes, but that wasn’t enough as Favre dazzled and led the Vikings to 30-23 victory.

Assuming Favre had retired for good, the Vikings would’ve ran things offensively with either an erratic and inconsistent Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels. So now, it’s understandable why coach Brad Childress lobbied for Favre, knowing the toughness and damage he could create with his arm strength.

Since arriving, he has built a strong bond with receiver Sidney Rice, finding the explosive wideout on a 14-yard touchdown pass to complete a well-designed 77-yard drive, of which he was a perfect 5 for 5.

While it was difficult slowing down Favre’s passing game, the Packers didn’t have much problems stopping the rush attack of Adrian Peterson, who was held to a staggering 55 yards on 25 carries. They forced him into a critical mistake, when Clay Matthews amazingly ripped it out of Peterson’s arms and returned it 42-yards for a touchdown.

But Favre stole the show, calmly handling the 3-4 scheme of defensive coordinator Dom Capers. However, the Vikings won the defensive matchup. In the first quarter, Allen forced Rodgers to fumble, which changed the momentum and generated energy.

But impressively Favre emphasized that he remains the best quarterback to ever play the game, finishing the night 24 of 31 for 271 yards with no interceptions. There’s perhaps just one accomplishment left on Favre’s Vikings agenda. That’s obviously to win a Super Bowl, and trusts me, they have the ingredients.

Just alone, with Favre nothing is impossible. After all, he’s the Vikings main ingredient.