In a performance that could only be described as "Brett Favre being Brett Favre(notes)", the Minnesota Vikings (Featuring Brett Favre) beat the Cleveland Browns, 34-20, at Browns Stadium. Running back Adrian Peterson gained 180 yards on the ground and ran for three touchdowns, assisted mightily by Brett Favre's 120-yard day. Brett Favre competed 14 passes on 21 attempts and was sacked four times. Only four of those passes went six or more yards in the air, which allowed the Vikings (Featuring Brett Favre) to run Peterson more and more often. It is a testament to Favre's boyish love for the game that he was able to subjugate his own statistical glory for the good of the team; his ability to overthrow open receivers in the end zone and unleash his rocket arm on dinky screen after dinky screen inspired Peterson, and the Vikings' (Featuring Brett Favre) defense, in the victorious effort.
You could say that Peterson's incredible 64-yard touchdown run was the high point of the game, but you would be wrong, The obvious high point of the game was the joy with which Brett Favre ran to the end zone to celebrate with rookie receiver Percy Harvin(notes) after a six-yard TD pass in the third quarter. Speaking as a fan of the game, I haven't been this inspired by a spontaneous, unstaged gesture since Brett Favre's last Wrangler commercial.
Peterson and the Vikings' (Featuring Brett Favre) defense may have had many great games in previous years, but you know that these yards and performances had to mean more than any other, just because of the gunslingin', boyish, Mangini-huggin' spirit that ol' Number 4 brings to the game. Nobody in the NFL hands off play after play with such skill; such panache; such glory -- and those analysts who are crediting Brett Favre as such after the game are exactly on point. We are luckier for having seen him again, and I know the Vikings feel the same way. Even the Browns, as disappointed as they must have been to drop their first game, have to know what a special privilege it is to lose a game this way.
Congratulations, Brett. Your Adrian Peterson rushing performance was the most notable of the day.
Photo: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE