Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings-Packers postgame

Posted by: under Vikings, Packers, Brad Childress, Vikings defense, Vikings players, Adrian Peterson, Antoine Winfield, Ben Leber, Bernard Berrian, Brad Childress, Brett Favre, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Sidney Rice, Visanthe Shiancoe Updated: October 6, 2009 - 1:48 AM

The Vikings emerged from a wild and crazy night at the Metrodome on Monday with a 4-0 record after defeating the Packers 30-23 in Brett Favre's first game against his former team.

Here are some notes, quotes and thoughts from the postgame:

  • Brett Favre admitted he was extremely nervous before the game, but he certainly looked poised and under control once the game started. He completed 24 of 31 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions and a 135.3 quarterback rating. Favre handled the hype and hoopla very well and didn't force the issue against his former team.
  • Coach Brad Childress said Adrian Peterson "tweaked his leg" on the run when he was stripped of the ball and returned for a touchdown. The Packers stacked the box to stop Peterson, holding him to 55 yards on 25 carries. His longest run was 12 yards. 
  • Jared Allen had a career performance with 4.5 sacks, five quarterback hurries, seven tackles, a forced fumble and safety. His sack total was the second most in team history. Randy Holloway had 5 sacks vs. Atlanta in 1984. Allen, who abused emergency left tackle Daryn Colledge, lobbied for the extra 1/2 sack after the game because he hit Aaron Rodgers first and forced a fumble. Bet he gets credited with the full sack this week.
  • Kevin Williams on Allen's performance: "Jared made them pay and cashed the checks."
  • As a team, the Vikings had eight sacks, one shy of the team record.
  • Rodgers did a nice job of getting the ball out quickly on inside screens, slants and other quick-hitting passes. The Packers knew the Vikings were coming hard so they took advantage by dumping the ball off and breaking tackles. Rodgers passed for 384 yards. He is an impressive quarterback. 
  • Antoine Winfield gave the Vikings defense a B-minus. They gave up a ton of passing yards, but they also forced two turnovers, had a huge goal-line stand in the third quarter, forced a safety, got eight sacks and held them to 63 yards rushing.
  • The goal-line stand at the end of the third quarter was obviously huge. Ben Leber made the biggest play on third down when he tackled tight end Jermichael Finley  for no gain on a pass to the flat. Finley had a monster performance otherwise with six catches for 128 yards and a 62-yard touchdown in the first quarter. 
  • The Vikings offensive line did a much better job of keeping Favre off the turf. Favre was not sacked and the Packers were credited with only one hurry. "Pass protection was great," Favre said. "Their style of defense has obviously been chaotic for the teams they've played and they mixed it up again. I thought we had a good mix of short passes and just in general, the pass protection was awesome."
  • Bernard Berrian said last week that his timing with Favre could be better, but he bounced back from a tough outing against the 49ers with his best performance of the season. Berrian caught six passes for 75 yards and one touchdown. Sidney Rice added five catches for 70 yards and one touchdown. "We want to show teams that we are a balanced offense," tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said. "We're not just a running offense. We made it a point to show the Packers that we can throw the ball and to show the NFL that we can throw the ball to prevent them from stacking the box like they do."
  • Favre looked a lot more comfortable with all his receivers, which is understandable. He talked about that process. "A lot of plays we made tonight, believe it or not, we haven't practiced. I've said this from day 1, it's a work in progress. It's just impossible to practice throws like the fade route I threw to Sidney in front of our sideline. That was actually a quick out and he adjusted to it and I gave him a back shoulder throw. We haven't practiced that. It's hard to practice that. In fact, against Cleveland, I actually threw a fade route to him and he ran an out. We weren't on the same page. So getting to know each other, what I like, when I'll throw the ball, some of the things I like to do and reads I'll make is going to take some time and vice versa. That is part of this game. You have to learn on the fly sometimes."
  • Anyone who has watched Favre zing the ball around this season has to realize the surgery to repair his torn biceps tendon was a success. "The arm feels great," he said. "It didn't feel that great last year. I'm not going to make any excuses, as the season progressed last year I didn't make good decisions. I did not play as well as I would have liked, and my arm didn't feel very good. It feels a lot better and I feel like it is showing. ... It all starts with my arm, first and foremost. If I have to second guess pulling the trigger than I shouldn't be here, and it feels pretty good. Now the rest of me doesn't feel too good all of the time, but I'm still doing it."
  • Packers cornerback Charles Woodson on Favre's success throwing the ball. "We had plays called that should have stopped those long balls and for whatever reason we weren't in the positions to make plays that we needed to," Woodson said. "[Favre] has been doing this a long time, so when he sees something there isn't any question in his head. A lot of it is on us and we give him credit."
  • Favre on whether Monday's game will help him prepare for playing in Lambeau Field on Nov. 1: "I don't know. The preparation will be difficult again. I'm not going to really focus on where we play it. It's going to be tough either way, as it was tonight. I hope the Packers fans know how I feel about them. The fans were awesome tonight. I'm telling you man, that place was rockin' all night. But I know what it is like to be on the other side. It's pretty tough. I have been able to see both the good Lambeau and the good and bad here. I have had [the fans] cheer against us, but it was awesome here tonight. That was a great environment tonight and it will be in several weeks."
  • Our friend Paul Allen pointed this stat out in the locker room after the game -- the Vikings have now outscored their opponents 38-3 in the third quarter this season. 
  • Jaymar Johnson showed some burst in place of Darius Reynaud as the punt returner. Johnson returned two punts for 42 yards.
  • Rice said he was hoping to throw the ball to Berrian deep down the middle of the field on the trick play out of the Wildcat formation in the fourth quarter. Rice said he saw the safety provide help over the top so he elected to throw the ball away. The thing with Rice is he is a major threat because of the strength of his arm. 

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