Week 4: Vikings vs. Packers

My review of Week 4 comes quite late but is worth reviewing as the 30-23 final was, and wasn\’t, as close as it sounds.

The Vikings/Packers game is always the rowdiest game of the year and I was at the Metrodome for the game. The Favre drama added even more excitement and tension in the stands between the many Packer fans that were in attendance and the Purple faithful. A victory against the Packers, on Monday Night Football, would be something Vikings fans could hold over Packer fans for eternity. The closest thing I could think of to compare this for Minnesota fans would be if Kirby Puckett left the Twins in the early 90\’s and went to the White Sox or Indians and hit a game winning homerun in the playoffs against the Twins. There really has never been anything quite like this.

As for the game, I was very concerned with how the Packers were able to march down the field on their first 3 possessions. On the first drive the Vikings repeatedly blitzed and Rogers took advantage, but the Vikings were lucky/good enough cause a fumble on the first drive. On the second drive the Vikes blitzed themselves out of position giving up a 62 yard touchdown. On the third drive Rodgers again drove the Packers down the field only to have Winfield make a great play and jump an out route for an interception. Although it\’s worth mentioning that the Packers went for it on 4th and 3 on that third drive and got very lucky with a deflection caught by Jennings for a first down. What was even funnier on that play was watching assistant coaches chasing down Chili and tearing the challenge flag out of his pocket to throw it (late).

The Vikings defense then forced a three and out only to have Peterson get stripped on the first offensive play and have it returned for a touchdown. Theoretically at this point the score could have been 28-14, but at least 20-14 Packers.

Regardless, the offense played very well in the first half with Favre picking up the slack for Peterson as the Packers focused on stopping Peterson and letting their hero beat them. I also credit the offense for not giving up on the run.

The second half started right where the offense left off. A balanced drive (4 rushes, 4 passes) capped off with Favre taking advantage of the Packers selling out against the run by hitting Berrian for a 31 yard touchdown.

But the Packers kept the pressure on by driving down the Vikings 1 yard line only to have the Vikings come up with a brilliant goal line stand to take the Packers to 4th and 1. Sensing that the game could be a shoot out, McCarthy goes for it on 4th down only to have Donald Lee drop a sure touchdown.

From that point until late in the 4th quarter the offense did an excellent job of eating up the clock and Chris Kluwe deserved a game ball for his fantastic punts that pinned the Packers deep in their own end, leading to the Jared Allen Safety.

But after that safety something happened. The Vikings offense completely sputtered, and the Vikings defense went back to their first quarter play of blitzing themselves out of position and allowing Rogers to expose the middle of the field with tight ends. What should have ended up being a laugher ended up getting a little too close for comfort at the end.

Of course how much can you complain when an opponent has to go for two onside kicks to make the game even close?

Regardless, a win over the Packers with Brett Favre leading the Vikings was only made sweeter by the Packer fans leaving during the 4th quarter. 4-0 baby.

Skol Vikings!







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