Packers vs. Vikings: Favre protects Packers' win

Mistake-free play leads to dome win

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Associated Press
Packers quarterback Brett Favre completed 24 of 42 passes for 317 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
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MINNEAPOLIS -- If Green Bay was going to beat Minnesota, Brett Favre was going to have to throw the ball to his own team, not the other guys.

Favre followed through on the plan, making sure to savor a hard-to-come-by win at the Metrodome.

Favre threw two touchdown passes without a turnover and Donald Driver had a career-high 191 yards receiving in a 23-17 victory against the Vikings yesterday.

"I thought he made great decisions," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said, praising Favre's performance with Minnesota's league-best rushing defense holding down Ahman Green (22 carries, 55 yards).

The Packers (4-5), who have won three of their past four games, were boosted by a strong pass rush and even better pass protection. Favre completed 24 of 42 passes for 347 yards and no interceptions.

"At least for another week it gives us a little hope," said Favre, who improved to 5-10 against the Vikings in their noisy dome.

Brad Johnson went 18 for 30 for 257 yards, one touchdown and two turnovers for Minnesota (4-5), which lost its third in a row after again struggling in several areas.

"They made some clutch plays. It's amazing to watch Favre convert some of those third downs," said Johnson, sounding a bit envious of his opponent's success.

Vikings coach Brad Childress, who was upset with some of Johnson's on-field choices in recent weeks, directed his criticism at the rest of the struggling offense.

"We need to play better around Brad Johnson," Childress said, asked whether his quarterback's limited mobility was a factor in the turnovers and Green Bay's four sacks. "Again, I'm not going to stick that on him. Are there plays that maybe he would have liked back? Sure there are, but I think basically those other 10 need to play around him better."

Dave Rayner made three field goals, besting former Packers kicker Ryan Longwell, who only got a chance to kick one, a 34-yarder with 58 seconds left.

The Vikings (4-5) had three first downs on that desperation drive, the only time they were able to move the chains after halftime without the help of a penalty.

They recovered the onside kick, but Artose Pinner was whistled for being offside.

Johnson briefly sparked the offense with consecutive first-half drives that ended in touchdowns by Billy McMullen, but after the break it was more of the same.

Bethel Johnson's kickoff return for a touchdown was called back by an illegal-block penalty on Pinner, an inauspicious start to the second half.


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