NFL Report

When the Green Bay Packers decided that Aaron Rodgers was their man for quarterback before last season, they told Brett Favre that he’d have to sit on the bench as Rodgers backup if he still wanted to return to the team.
Then they traded Favre to the New York Jets because they didn’t want him coming back to haunt them with the Minnesota Vikings. Now the Packers have realized their worst nightmares.
Favre beat them again in Week 8, this time 38-26 at Lambeau Field, his old stomping grounds. Favre was 17 of 28 for 244 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. In the Vikings 30-23 Week 4 win over Green Bay, Favre went 24 of 31 for 273 yards, three TDs and no picks. That’s two wins, 517 yards, seven TDs and no INTs combined against his former team.
And now the Vikings are in a great position to win the NFC North title, and own the head-to-head tiebreaker if needed against the Packers.
Favre noticed fans awaiting his homecoming on the way to the game on Nov. 1. “I saw just a mixture of everything: cheers and a couple of (middle) fingers,” Favre said.
The former Packer great was booed by Packers fans when he entered the field and on every Viking possession. After the game, Favre hoped that the fans appreciated him at least.
“I hope everyone in the stadium watching said, ‘I sure hate those jokers on the other side but he does play the way he always played, with his excitement and passion for the game,’” Favre said. “What I’ve done here speaks for itself.”

Big Upcoming NFC Games

Here are several key games in the second-half of the season involving NFC teams that could help determine playoff positions:

  • Atlanta at N.Y. Giants, Nov. 22: The winner of this contest could be a wild-card entry come playoff time.
  • Minnesota at Arizona, Dec. 6: An important home game for the Cardinals to win, considering they have four road games sandwiched around it. Could Vikings clinch the NFC North with a win?
  • Dallas at N.Y. Giants, Dec. 6: The Giants won at Dallas earlier in the season, so the Cowboys will be looking for revenge. Possible division, wild-card implications.
  • New Orleans at Atlanta, Dec. 13: If Saints falter and Falcons fly high leading up to this contest, it could make things interesting in the NFC South. At the very least, a big one for the wild-card chase for Atlanta.
  • Green Bay at Chicago, Dec. 13: The long-time rivals might be playing for a wild-card slot by then.
  • Arizona at San Francisco, Dec. 19: The way they’re going, both teams could be playing for the division lead. 49ers won the first matchup between the teams.
  • Dallas at New Orleans, Dec. 19: This might be the last major hurdle to an unbeaten season for the Saints if they keep winning, and the Cowboys should be in the playoff hunt.
  • Philadelphia at Dallas, Jan. 3: The last regular-season game for these teams could be for the NFC East title, or a wild-card berth.

Awards

  • Best Peyton Manning Impersonator: Colts’ running back Joseph Addai, who threw the team’s only touchdown pass in an 18-14 victory over the 49ers in Week 8.
  • 100-Yard Man: Miami’s Ted Ginn, who ran kickoffs back for TDs of 100 and 101 yards against the Jets on Nov. 1. He’s the first to return two kickoffs for scores in the same quarter since the Packers Travis Williams in 1967.
  • Audition For New Position: Bills WR Terrell Owens, who ran for a 29-yard touchdown in Week 8, his first rushing TD since 2002 with San Francisco.
  • Best Trash-Talking Fans: Green Bay Packers faithful. They tried their best but Brett Favre whipped their team, again.

Did You Know?
Through Week 8, there were 81 touchdowns of at least 50 yards, the most in the first eight weeks since 1970. The previous high was 80 TDs of 50 or more yards in 1998.

StatsWatch
Who was getting the least protection in the first half of this season? Here is the list of quarterbacks who were sacked the most times:

  • Aaron Rodgers, Packers, 31 sacks
  • Matt Cassel, Chiefs, 24
  • JaMarcus Russell, Raiders, 23
  • Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, 20
  • Jason Campbell, Redskins, 20
  • Trent Edwards, Bills, 19
  • Brett Favre, Vikings, 18
  • Shaun Hill, 49ers, 18
  • David Garrard, Jaguars, 17
  • Philip Rivers, Chargers, 16

Quotable
“I’m not happy about anything. I’m not happy we lost. I’m not happy I got pulled out. I’m not happy about anybody’s play… my play, nothing. I haven’t been happy.”
-Cleveland Browns QB Derek Anderson who went 6-17 for 76 yards with 2 INTs, a lost fumble and a 10.5 rating in 30-6 loss to Chicago in Week 8.

Copyright © 2009 Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.


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