Posted at 12:18 p.m., Sunday, September 30, 2007
NFL: Favre throws for 344, two TD's in Packers' win
Associated PressMINNEAPOLIS - Brett Favre was as good as ever, becoming the NFL's all-time leader in career touchdown passes with a couple of vintage third-down zingers to help Green Bay stay unbeaten.
Favre was the obvious difference in today's 23-16 victory by the Packers, who hung on against the pass-deficient Minnesota Vikings.
He threw No. 421 in the first quarter to Greg Jennings and No. 422 in the fourth quarter to James Jones and went interception-free against a defense determined to make him the league's all-time leader in that category, too. Favre remained three picked-off passes away from passing George Blanda on the career list.
Kelly Holcomb is, well, not quite in Favre's class.
He threw a touchdown pass to Sidney Rice with 1:55 left to pull the Vikings within seven, and a nearly disastrous fumble gave Minnesota (1-3) a chance to tie it.
Favre's handoff to Ryan Grant was not clean, and Chad Greenway fell on it at the Vikings 46. Holcomb's tipped pass from the Packers 34 was intercepted by Atari Bigby.
Winning for the fourth time in the last five meetings here, Favre went 32-for-45 for 344 yards. Green Bay is 4-0 for the first time since 1998.
Holcomb was 21-for-38 for 258 yards, numbers boosted by the late rally. Adrian Peterson rushed 12 times for 112 yards and had a 51-yard kickoff return in the second half.
The Packers don't really have a running game this season, and they didn't try to fake it against one of the league's toughest run defenses. They had 18 attempts for 48 yards.
Punter Jon Ryan had the longest carry by Green Bay in the first three quarters, a 7-yard dance on a called fake that made several Vikings miss and extended the opening drive of the second half. Favre fired a 16-yard pass to a wide-open Ruvell Martin on third-and-11 and moved the Packers close enough for a 44-yard field goal by Mason Crosby, who went 3-for-3.
Minnesota can sure run the ball, thanks to Peterson, the rookie with the quick moves and the power to run right through the secondary. He tore off gains of 55 and 37 yards, but Holcomb was too ineffective to build off them. Ryan Longwell was on target all three times he tried a field goal, the only hope the Vikings had of staying competitive.
In honor of former running back Chuck Foreman's induction to the team's Ring of Honor during a halftime ceremony, Minnesota wore the old-style uniforms with thick gold stripes on the sides.
The Packers, led by Aaron Kampman, applied a strong, steady rush, but Holcomb didn't show any poise in the pocket. He threw balls into the line, held onto others too long, and nearly had a couple of interceptions. He overthrew Rice in the first quarter when the rookie was wide open down the sideline.