As most fans and former fans of Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback Brett Favre, I had one eye on Reliant Stadium in Houston tonight, when the Vikings took on the Houston Texans.
After Favre’s less-than-stellar debut for the Vikings last week (1-for-4, 4 yards), I think some of us were hoping Favre was washed up, that perhaps he took too much time off before unretiring this time, or that maybe his injuries have finally caught up with him.
Favre put those notions to rest tonight. Although he wasn’t spectacular, Favre turned in a solid, workman-like performance for the Vikings, leading the team to 17 points and going 13-for-18 for 142 yards. It’s important to note that Favre had nothing to do with seven of the Vikings points, as Adrian Peterson went untouched on 75-yard touchdown run to open the game.
However, Favre made good reads, he looked off defenders, he moved around in the pocket, he converted on 3rd down and more or less looked like a solid NFL quarterback. Most importantly, he didn’t throw any interceptions and didn’t try to force any balls, although we all know that won’t last.
Vikings’ coach Brad Childress seemed to keep the game plan pretty conservative for Favre, who relied on heavy doses of Peterson and his backup, Chester Taylor. When Favre threw, it was typically on a short route. His touchdown pass was a 28-yard screen pass to Taylor on which Taylor did most of the work, breaking a few tackles before crossing the goal line. Favre also seemed to rely heavily on tight end Visanthe Shiancoe.
Favre took some hits and got up from them, even though he said he thinks he has a cracked rib before the game. It was all pretty ho hum stuff, except when he threw an illegal crackback block (a pretty gutless move as far as I’m concerned) in the third quarter that cost the Vikings 15 yards.
Still, ho hum or not, Favre looked to be exactly what the Vikings need. ESPN’s Kevin Seifert says Favre’s steady play Monday night is the one thing the Vikings have lacked in the past.
None of this is revolutionary stuff. NFL starters are expected to get points regularly and run a two-minute drill professionally. The Vikings, however, haven’t had that kind of reliability for years. If Favre can get their offense to perform this way consistently in 2009, he’ll be worth the effort it took to bring him to Minnesota.
Now, Favre may fade as the season goes on, like he has the past two years. His injuries may catch up to him. We know he’ll throw a stupid interception at a very inopportune time. But right now, the Vikings look like a pretty solid team with Brett Favre behind center.
So, let’s not go and anoint the Green Bay Packers NFC North champs just yet.