Brett Favre vs. Green Bay, Part One. I’m willing to be ESPN is ticked this game isn’t in Green Bay because let’s face it: While watching Favre play Green Bay gets ratings enough—it would KILL having the game in Lambeau be the first time this happened. Having Favre in Green Bay will be huge for FOX November 1, but you know ESPN would rather that was the game Monday night. Please keep this close, guys! Minnesota is really, kinda good—stay in it and I might have a bit of hope.

1) Opening kick to Green Bay. Opening drive TD’s are nice to work with.

2) Fifth play of the game and we have a penalty on Green Bay. On Allen Barbre. Can we please not have a game filled with these for once?

3) Great. A sack. Oh, look at this, a fumble too! AND the Vikes recover. Barbre once again is taken to school by a defender and I feel sorry for Darryn Colledge having to defend Jared Allen this evening. Ruh-roh!

4) As the Vikes go to the line with Favre under center, via Mike Tirico: “For the first time, Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers, on the same field but on different sides.” WRONG!! In 1991, Green Bay played in Atlanta. Sure, Favre never played in the game but he was there on the sidelines. For the record, Atlanta won that afternoon, so on an extremely technical standpoint—Favre has been on the winning sideline against every NFL team already. He just hasn’t played against every team. Until now.

5) I know he’s worn it all year, but I’ll say it now since it appears in a game I’m writing about: Brad Childress looks like a pop singer on stage with that headset of his. Britney Spears with a beard? He has about the same brain capacity, or so say Vikings fans.

6) Brandon Chillar is called for a taunting penalty after stopping Adrian Peterson for a 2 yard gain. WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!?? You taunting him because he got ‘only’ two yards?  If not, I don’t really want to know.  It can’t be because you think you’re better than him.

7) Favre throws a TD pass and I feel sad watching him actually celebrate against Green Bay.

8 ) One of the bigger car dealerships up here used to use Favre as their spokesman. While the product being advertised is current, the end of it is an old ending promoting visiting the website, with Favre: “It’s so easy…even a Vikings can do it.”  How immature are we?

9) Aaron Rodgers responds in his own way with a 62-yard pass to Jermichael Finley! About time he came back into the picture. Rodgers is holding his own with 6/8 and 124 yards—minus that fumble thing.

10) The Brett Favre Sears commercial is entertaining.

11) Late in the first quarter we get a shot of Green Bay GM Ted Thompson. My friend: “Hey, there’s your buddy!” Ted Thompson, the man who ran Favre out of town. Ted Thompson, the man who looks like a serial killer about to snap.

12) Another sack, a terrific play by Greg Jennings catching a ball that deflects off Donald Driver’s hands on a 4th down to keep a drive alive—and then Rodgers is picked off for the first time this season.

13) It’s close to mid-way through the 2nd quarter and NOW I’m getting ticked off at the announcers. I like Mike Tirico and always have since he was doing SportsCenter back when I started getting hooked on ESPN in the early ’90’s. I enjoy listening to Ron Jaworski because outside of Cris Collinsworth I think he’s the best the color analyst. I am not at all impressed with Jon Gruden so far and I REALLY hope he gets a coaching job next year. I don’t understand any of the love this guy gets. Yes, he’s an upgrade over Kornheiser, but in my mind he’s terrible and comes off too much like he’s only reading from his teleprompter when he’s giving stats or giving a pre-written talk (like an opening to a game or a half) and not putting enough emotion into his words. Anyways—from here out I can’t take this anymore.

14) Gruden on Al Harris, after a run play: “Bump and run artist in coverage. No one does it better.” Uh, hey, Jon? Watch some Packer games! EVERYONE does it better!

15) After the very next play, where Bernard Berrian is WIDE open. Al Harris was assigned to him and wasn’t even close. Ron Jaworski: “Very few quarterbacks make this throw on a consistent basis.” So, Ron? He was wide….freakin’…..OPEN! No quarterback can hit a wide-as-heck open receiver anymore?

16) After a TD pass to Sidney Rice, Jaworski and Gruden sound like they’re having an orgy over the Favre throw. “Looks left, pumps left, falling backward.” Yes, it’s hard to look one way then suddenly put your attention the other and make the throw—but come on. It’s Favre. He’s done this for how long? Eighteen years? Just stop already.

17) Green Bay gets back in the game! While Cullen Jenkins and Brandon Chillar are having problems tackling Adrian Peterson near the sideline—a problem every other team has—Clay Matthews comes over and literally rips the ball out of his hands and 42 yards later, we’re tied once again. Most players would keep the ball after their first TD. Clay just fires it as hard as possible up into the stands. Okay.

18) After a 43 yard pass to Harvin that’s slung in on a line drive—and I mean this sucker is zipping—once again it’s a Favre orgy. He zipped it in like he hasn’t lost any juice; that it was a difficult throw—um, okay, once again—the guy is WIDE OPEN!! There is no one even CLOSE TO HIM!! I’d hope a vet like Favre could make that throw otherwise he should be out of the league. Seriously, Jaws and Gruden—just shut up.

19) As much as I’d like to argue an ensuing pass interference call on Charles Woodson in the end zone that nullifies an interception was an extremely cheap call—I won’t because the way this is already looking it’s not going to matter. Next play touchdown Adrian Peterson.

20) Just 21-14 at the half, but Green Bay already has six penalties. Favre is 14-17 for 154 yards and has 2 TD passes. This needs to stop if you want any chance to win, guys. The face Minnesota has not even had a single whistle towards them doesn’t help either.

21) This is Mall of America Field. Corporate sponsorship is going way over the top. It used to be just the stadium, now we’re having the FIELD named too? This isn’t even Minnesota exclusive which is what makes it worse.

22) Penalty on Minnesota! Unfortunately it comes after a one yard gain by AP so it’s declined since it’d only be a five-yarder in this case—the strategy backfires.

23) How long should a QB have to throw the ball? Maybe three seconds at the absolute most, right? How about 7.34? Yes, 7.34. Brett Favre literally had that much time to look for a receiver. Jaws: “This is almost embarrassing for the Green Bay Packers.” Yes, it is Jaws. Glad you’re finally realizing what I’ve found out this year: The Packers have zero pass rush.

24) Minnesota has touchdown drives now of 67, 77, 84 and 80 yards. That defense looked great in preseason, but like I questioned in my preview writing—was that because it was legit or just because it was too overpowering? In other words—Green Bay was using it’s regular season stuff against other teams trying out various things on offense that they wouldn’t go so heavy on during the season?

25) Great, another kickoff and another holding penalty. I hate this team.

26) Replays of Favre’s touchdown pass on the previous drive, “He sees Al Harris disoriented.” That’s not insight, that’s just commentating on any average play he’s out there for.

27) JORDY NELSON!! “The second year receiver from Kansas State University.” I smile.

28) Quote taken from Charles Woodson: “Aaron Rodgers would be the best in the league if we could protect him.” Yes, yes he would.

29) And another sack. Come on. Please, for everything in the world, let Aaron have ONE drive where he isn’t rushed. A dropped pass by Donald Lee in the end zone on 4th down and Aaron nonverbally looks to be asking to the heavens “Why me!?”

30) “You can’t do it any better than this,” as Bernard Berrian makes a grab against Al Harris. Seriously, shut up already. Green Bay has no pass defense. Not a slam on Favre here, but TJ Rubley could put up the numbers Favre is putting up tonight against this defense. Don’t know who TJ Rubley is/was? You’re lucky.

31) Green Bay throws a challenge flag HOPING a call is overturned FOR a safety. Well, it works. Minnesota now leads 30-16. A friend whom I’m chatting with: “Words can’t describe how much i hate Brett Favre. I hate him more than you hate Raji, Harris, and Suppan combined.” That, dear readers is a LOT of hatred. No, it’s not possible to hate someone as much as I hate those three combined, but I imagine his hate of Favre is awfully close.

32) TOUCHDOWN JORDY NELSON!! As wrestling fans would say when the overreact in a positive way to a wrestler or an exciting move, “I am marking out!”

33) Donald Driver ties Sterling Sharpe’s record for receptions as a Packer, so congrats to him! Ah, Sterling. I remember those days.

34) Now, honestly. EIGHT sacks? Jared Allen now has 4.5 by himself tonight, so his imaginary lasso is probably beginning to fray from the twirling. This is a Monday Night Football record for one player. Green Bay’s line is like the Milwaukee Brewers’ starting rotation. There’s nothing there.

35) Mason Crosby hits a 31-yard field goal to close out the scoring. Uh…yeah, great.

Final score: Minnesota 30, Green Bay 23

My friend, and I sorta censor this myself: “I bet John Madden was (getting to know himself better) to Brett throughout the entire game. So was everyone in the announcer’s booth, for that matter.”

Goods:

–Rodgers sets a career high mark for yardage in a game with 384 on 26/37 throws to go with two touchdowns.

–After getting 26 yards in the opening drive, Adrian Peterson basically becomes a non-factor the rest of the way, only getting 55 total rushing yards and was nonexistent in the second half: 11 carries for 11 yards.

–Only one penalty in the second half.

–Donald Driver ties the reception mark and does so in front of his buddy Brett.

–Ryan Grant had more than three carries in the second half, so McCarthy didn’t give that up.

–The challenge flag to cause a safety instead of giving Minnesota a 1st and goal on the one.

–Uh….Mason Crosby hit a field goal.

Bads:

–Everything else. There is NO pass rush what-so-ever. Seriously. I think you can count the number of rushes the Packers had on Favre on one hand.

–The offensive line disintegrated. Seriously—eight sacks?? This is the NFL, not high school freshmen. I get that with having your best player injured and subsequent line shuffling there are going to be problems. I understand if you happen to have a bad week. But this is becoming a trend, folks. Aaron Rodgers is great but he needs to not be rushed so much. He seemed to hold the ball a bit longer than normal this week and when he DID throw it away towards the end of the game it was like, “That’s actually legal to do?”

–Somehow BJ Raji was involved with four tackles…and a couple of those were just a matter of him standing there and being run into by the carrier. Four tackles for him? That just signals “Bad day defensively.”

–Minnesota was called for two penalties all game, not including the declined one.  I’m not going to blame refs or anything because Green Bay was attrocious and did not deserve to win this game.  I’m not saying Minnesota was committing a penalty on every play, I’m just saying “Really?  Only two?”

–The announcers. Tirico was fine. Jaws and Gruden were….I don’t know what to think. I understand Gruden was on the coaching staff with Holmgren during Favre’s early years up here in Green Bay so he holds a lot of pride for him. I understand Jaworski is in awe of him because Favre’s a great quarterback. I personally don’t like Favre is a Viking, but he’s always been a great player (most of the time).

I’ll tangent here and say that covering women’s basketball (okay, make your jokes, I’ll wait………) there were a few players I admired for their skill set and how they played the game. If you get me started on two specific ones, especially since I’ve met both of them, I’ll probably go on and on about them like they were my own daughters and I’m sure you’d get to a point of “I get it. Shut up already!” One of those two was a freshman the year I was the main women’s basketball reporter for the Kansas State student radio station and after watching her play, I knew she had a huge future and the last game I called I, on the air mind you, almost never shut up about her after she scored or had a steal or whatever. In my defense I was right—she just finished her rookie season this summer with the Atlanta Dream.  See?  I’m doing it already.

So yes, I know what it’s like to be in awe of a player and that it’s EASY to get caught up and just be in adoration of said player for a whole game. The difference is that I was in college on a student station doing that. These guys are on ESPN and should have enough experience/know better to be able to keep their emotions in check—especially Jaworski. If Favre completes a zinger of a throw between two defenders closely together on a receiver, by all means, be flabbergasted and compliment him for a couple minutes. But if he’s making throws any QB should be making or he’s just managing the game—sure, say “that was a good job there,” but leave it at that. Don’t be all “OMG!” every time.

Bye week next week which is needed since Darryn Colledge was injured. At least he has an extra week to heal and hopefully Chad Clifton can be ready to go as well so the O-Line won’t be a complete disaster. After that, it’s the Detroit Lions. The cynic in me says “At least they won once already, a loss won’t be a huge embarrassment,” while the positive side says, “Beatable team, there’s brighter days right around the corner.”  At least Trevor Hoffman resigned with the Brewers today–it wasn’t all bad.