<
>

Favre can't solve Vikes' previously porous D

10/21/2001

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- No matter how good they are, the Green Bay
Packers just can't seem to play well in the Metrodome.

Brett Favre threw for only 169 yards against Minnesota's poor
pass defense a week after shredding one of the NFL's top Ds, while
counterpart Daunte Culpepper threw for one score and ran for
another in the Vikings' 35-13 victory Sunday.

It was the Packers' worst regular season loss in eight years.

"We'll find out if we're as good as we think we are," Favre
said. "If we play like today, we'll be home for the playoffs."

Minnesota (3-3), which entered the game ranked 29th in the
league against the pass, won for the eighth time in its last 10
home games against Green Bay (4-2).

Favre completed 21 of 35 passes with two touchdowns and an
interception. Most of the yards, though, came in the fourth quarter
with Green Bay far behind. It was strikingly different from his
performance last week in a 31-23 victory over visiting Baltimore,
when Favre went 27-of-34 for 337 yards with three TDs.

Are the Vikings back among the favorites in the NFC?
I don't think you can say that yet.

The Vikings always play well against the Packers at home. Minnesota gets up
for this game because it's a big rivalry. If the Vikings become more
consistent, string some quality games together and play well on the road --
then you can say they're back among the NFC favorites.

Dennis Green has to be happy that he found a running game today in Doug
Chapman (90 yards on 22 carries). And the key skill guys -- Randy Moss, Cris
Carter and Daunte Culpepper -- all made big plays. Plus, the defense really
stepped up.

But the jury's still out on whether the Vikings can sustain this. For
instance, can they beat the Bears? They lost 17-10 at Chicago in Week 2.
We'll find out when the Bears visit Minnesota on Nov. 25.

ESPN.com NFL analyst Vinny Cerrato has served as director of player
personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.


width=200
height=4>

"It was apparent they wanted the football game more today than
we did," Favre said.

Culpepper was 18-for-27 for 184 yards through the air and ran
nine times for 70 yards. The rushing touchdown was his fifth of the
season. Doug Chapman, subbing for the injured Michael Bennett, had
the best game this year by a Vikings running back -- 90 yards on 22
carries.

The Packers, even with the help of two first-quarter fumbles by
the Vikings, were terrible in the first half. Ahman Green had 4
yards on eight carries.

Favre and Green were frustrated by a bigger Vikings defensive
line that included the recently acquired Stalin Colinet at end and
Fred Robbins playing most of the snaps at nose tackle.

Favre, in the shotgun for much of the half, twice had to
retrieve errant snaps deep in his own backfield.

"He wasn't comfortable," Vikings defensive end Lance Johnstone
said. "He made some bad decisions."

Backpedaling in his own end zone late in the first quarter, he
threw the ball directly to Kailee Wong -- who returned the
interception 27 yards for his first career touchdown and a 14-0
Vikings lead.

"A game like this gives us confidence," Wong said. "We know
we're a good defense, but we want to be just as good as our offense
is."

Earlier, the Packers' Chris Akins forced a fumble by hitting
Troy Walters while he fielded a punt. That gave Green Bay a
first-and-10 at the Vikings 16. But Robbins leveled Green for a
loss on fourth-and-1, and Minnesota took over.

The Packers started the second quarter at their own 46, but the
drive stalled when William Henderson was stuffed on third-and-1.
Ryan Longwell's 42-yard attempt sailed wide left _ his second miss
of the half.
The Vikings capped the next possession with a 43-yard touchdown
pass from Culpepper to Cris Carter -- who had slipped past Akins and
Tyrone Williams -- that made it 7-0.

Gary Anderson added a pair of field goals in the final four
minutes of the half to give the Vikings a 20-0 halftime lead.
Culpepper's 34-yard run on a draw play to the Green Bay 8 with 23
seconds left set up the second kick.

Green Bay looked like it might jump right back in it in the
third quarter when a 61-yard run by Green set up a 2-yard touchdown
pass from Favre to a wide-open Bubba Franks that cut the lead to
20-7.

"The opening of the second half made a great statement for
us," Packers coach Mike Sherman said. "Then that was the end of
it."

After nearly blowing a 31-6 lead in last week's win over
Detroit, the Vikings put the game away this time with a 14-play,
73-yard drive that took 9:34 off the clock. Jim Kleinsasser muscled
his way into the end zone from 2 yards out to make it 35-7.

"The guys said, 'Hey, we need to finish and learn from last
week,"' Vikings tight end Byron Chamberlain said.

Game notes
The Vikings lead the teams' series 40-39-1. ... Randy Moss,
who has been limited by a lingering injury to his right ankle, made
several tough catches -- twice getting pancaked by Darren Sharper --
and had eight receptions for 73 yards. ... Green Bay SS LeRoy
Butler, who started his 113th consecutive game, was carted off in
the first half with a bruised chest and didn't return. ... Bill
Schroeder, the Packers' leading receiver, was inactive with a
sprained ankle. ... This was Green Bay's most lopsided loss in the
regular season since a 36-14 defeat at Dallas on Oct. 3, 1993.

Comments

ESPN Fan Shop Powered By

  • Nike Toddler Home Game Jersey Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers #12Shop

  • Nike Men's Home Limited Jersey Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson #28Shop

NFL News