MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Brett Favre felt pain on every pass. It
didn't stop him from picking up a rare win in the Metrodome.
Ignoring the broken thumb on his throwing hand, Favre passed for
194 yards and three touchdowns and the Green Bay Packers saved
their season Sunday night with a 30-27 victory over Minnesota.
"If you're going to play, suck it up," said Favre, who
improved his career record at the Vikings' noisy home to 3-9 after
resting his injured thumb during Green Bay's bye week.
After two straight losses at home, the Vikings (6-2) saw their
NFC North lead over the Packers (4-4) shrink to two games.
Ahman Green rushed 21 times for 137 yards to lead a ground game
that gained 261 yards. He also had five catches for 52 yards and a
score. Two of Javon Walker's three receptions went for Green Bay
"The Vikings have nothing to be ashamed of," Favre said,
"because we played about as flawless as we can play."
Favre completed 18 of 28 passes and threw one interception.
"He's a special player, and that's why he's going to be in the
Hall of Fame," Minnesota coach Mike Tice said. "He was very, very
Favre extended his consecutive starts streak to 198, an NFL
record by a quarterback.
"I'm not worried about that guy," Green said. "As long as
he's playing, I know we'll be fine."
Daunte Culpepper threw two touchdown passes without an
interception for Minnesota and plunged in from the 1 with 33
seconds left to cut Green Bay's lead to three. The onside kick was
recovered by the Packers' Darren Sharper.
"We had a chance to put ourselves in a better position,"
Culpepper said. "But at the same time, we've got to feel good with
our 6-2 record."
Culpepper completed 21 of 34 passes for 202 yards, and Randy
Moss caught six balls for 87 yards.
Two field goals by Minnesota's Aaron Elling in the third quarter
tied the game at 20, but the Packers moved the ball at will the
rest of the game. Green Bay took a 27-20 lead on a 12-yard
touchdown pass from Favre to Walker on third-and-11 with 13:14
Following a touchback on a Minnesota punt, the Packers put the
game away with a 12-play, 71-yard drive that took 6:40 off the
clock. Ryan Longwell's third field goal, a 27-yarder, gave Green
Bay a 30-20 lead with 3:27 remaining.
"We made the game way too hard," Vikings linebacker Chris
Claiborne said. "We needed to get off the field and give our
offense a chance."
Minnesota running back Michael Bennett completed his comeback
from two operations to fix a bone in his left foot he broke while
running on a treadmill in March.
Bennett, who grew up in Milwaukee, played for the University of
Wisconsin and had an uncle who played for the Packers, rushed eight
times for 43 yards. He drew a loud roar after his first carry from
the crowd of 64,482 -- a franchise-record 61st consecutive sellout
by the Vikings and their highest attendance ever.
Green Bay dominated the first half, racking up 317 total yards,
an average of 8.3 per play. Yet because of a 43-yard touchdown pass
from Culpepper to Moss on a third-and-1 in the first quarter and
one glaring mistake by Favre, the Packers led only 20-14.
Favre, 7-2 in his career playing with a significant injury,
showed no effects from the injured thumb, which he fractured
beneath the fingernail two weeks ago against St. Louis.
The Packers used a simple game plan, keeping Favre's throws
mostly short. He spread them around the field to eight different
receivers while letting Green do almost all the work.
Favre messed up once, when Corey Chavous darted in front of a
throw to Walker for his league-high seventh interception and
returned it 25 yards to the Green Bay 45.
The Vikings capitalized with a 4-yard touchdown pass from
Culpepper to Jim Kleinsasser that put them ahead 14-13 just before
the 2-minute warning.
Plenty of time for Favre, who capped a seven-play, 73-yard drive
with a 12-yard TD toss to Walker with 21 seconds remaining.
"He's a magician," Chavous said.
With 119, Favre tied Johnny Unitas for fourth on the NFL's
all-time victory list for quarterbacks. ... Vikings offensive
tackle Bryant McKinnie sprained his left ankle in the first
quarter, reaggravated it before halftime and didn't return. X-rays
were negative, and McKinnie will be re-evaluated Monday.
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