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9-on-9: Favre justifies, Allen sacks, Pack regroups

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Let's do a wrap on Brett Favre's(notes) Birthday Party the Monday Night Game first, and then we'll look at the news of the day.

Checking the Vikings: Green Bay stacked the box against Adrian Peterson (25 carries, 55 yards, TD, fumble lost) and dared Brett Favre to beat them, and Favre was more than happy to oblige (24-for-31, 271 yards, three TDs). Favre wasn't sacked or even bothered in the pocket for most of the night, which allowed the Vikings to finally take some deep shots down the field (something that was lacking in the first three weeks). Bernard Berrian(notes), welcome to the season (6-75, TD). Sidney Rice(notes) shows signs of a possible breakout (5-70, TD), and he proved useful on the hands team, securing a pair of onside kicks.

Had Favre not been in the game, Jared Allen(notes) would have been the story of the night. He collected 4.5 of Minnesota's eight sacks (one of which turned into a safety), forced a fumble and gave us plenty of looks at his goofy headband and celebration dance. The Packers have a makeshift line to begin with, but Allen would have been hard to corral by anyone Monday night.

The Vikings have one more cupcake in Week 5 (St. Louis) and then the big kids get out of school: Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Green Bay follow after that. [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]

Checking the Packers: There's two ways for Aaron Rodgers(notes) owners to look at this result - you can be thrilled at his statistical production (384 passing yards, two scores) or be paranoid at the abuse he took in the pocket. Rodgers held the ball too long on a few plays and some of the eight sacks were his fault, but there's no denying that Green Bay has a major problem with its protection scheme and this is likely to be a season-long problem. The Pack is probably getting its bye at the right time (Week 5); after the week off, Green Bay faces Detroit, Cleveland, the Minnesota rematch and Tampa Bay. You can make hay against that schedule.

Jermichael Finley(notes) had a coming-out party, piling up 128 yards on six grabs including an electric 62-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. I realize it's the year of the tight end and all that in fantasy, but find room for this guy. Donald Driver(notes) (4-55) and Greg Jennings(notes) (3-31) didn't do that much given how often the Packers were throwing the ball; Jennings in particular gets hurt by the protection issues. Ryan Grant(notes) found a way to get 101 total yards but once again the Packers weren't too interested in him around the goal line.

The Packers defense continues to get gouged in the pass game, and it's a chicken-egg thing: do you blame the non-existent pass rush or the shaky coverage in the secondary? Favre was rarely hit on the evening, let alone sacked. [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel]

Although Willie Parker(notes) (turf toe) could be limited in the early part of the week, Mike Tomlin hasn't named Rashard Mendenhall(notes) the Week 5 starter yet. The gig is particularly juicy this week, a date with the Detroit Lions front seven (5.2 YPC allowed). [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]

Michael Crabtree(notes) and agent Eugene Parker are set to reopen talks with the Niners, but to me this is almost a fantasy non-event - it's too late in the season for Crabtree to do a lot in 2009. The pro game is too complicated, simple as that. Feel free to stump for Team Crabtree in the comments if you see a positive angle. [San Francisco Chronicle]

We'll be playing the waiting game with Marion Barber(notes) for another week as he deals with his sore quad. The Pokes, for now, think Barber will be able to go Sunday against the Chiefs, but in the meantime keep Tashard Choice(notes) stashed on your roster. The Chiefs defense, incidentally, has improved against the run (4.1 YPC) but it's getting gashed in the yardage stats because the offense can't score. In short, this becomes a favorable rushing matchup for opposing backs, despite the fact that the defense is actually respectable. [Dallas Morning News]

Braylon Edwards(notes) has been accused of throwing a punch at an entertainment promoter early Monday morning, an incident that Roger Goodell will be sure to examine closely. Should Edwards fall into a team or league suspension from this, it just means more potential targets for Mohamed Massaquoi(notes). [Cleveland Plain Dealer]

Just when it looked like we were out of JaMarcus Russell(notes) punch lines, here comes a doozy: apparently he's been fined a handful of times by the club for being overweight and blowing off meetings. I know it's easy to pick on the Lions and the Browns and the Rams and so many other downtrodden NFL clubs, but to me the Raiders have a firm grip on No. 32. Oh, and if you want to poke fun at Darren McFadden(notes), come back in 2-4 weeks (torn meniscus). [Oakland Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle]

The Seahawks are hoping to get Matt Hasselbeck(notes) (ribs) at practice Wednesday but he's still very questionable for Week 5's game with Jacksonville. I don't know about you but watching Seneca Wallace(notes) jitterbug around the pocket just unnerves me. [Oregon Live]

Eli Manning's(notes) status for Sunday probably comes down to his pain tolerance and how much risk the Giants want to take against an inferior opponent (hello, Raiders). The New York schedule gets significantly harder after this week, with the Saints, Cardinals, Eagles and Chargers waiting. [ESPN's Adam Schefter, Newark Star-Ledger]

Ted Ginn's in-and-out play has put him in the Miami doghouse; although he started against the Bills, he saw his snaps reduced as the game went along and he finished with just one catch for four yards. Ginn's 10-reception game against Indianapolis in Week 2 might go down as one of the fluke lines of the season. [Miami Herald]

If you're wondering what's wrong with Tony Romo(notes), here's a breakdown of his recent struggles from Pro Football Weekly. Yeah, we're over the link count, but that's how it goes sometimes. [Pro Football Weekly]

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