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Packers pound Favre, Vikings’ playoff hopes
Tramon Williams intercepted Favre to stop a long Vikings drive, and Rodgers took the Packers the other way for a touchdown to James Jones in the final minute of the first half to give the visitors a 17-3 lead.
Favre and close friend Darrell Bevell, the offensive coordinator, were seen on TV snapping at each other on the sideline after the interception. Favre said he and Bevell were “fine” and said he’d have made the same throw again, crediting Williams — who’s having a Pro Bowl-caliber season — for an exceptional play.
The “Go Pack Go!” cry from the Wisconsin transplants and travelers grew louder as the game went on, with Vikings fans getting in a few “Fire Childress!” chants for good measure.
“I need to say a big thank you to our fans,” Rodgers said.
Wide receiver Sidney Rice made his season debut for the Vikings after missing the first nine games following hip surgery, finishing with three catches for 56 yards. But his return hardly gave Favre and the offense a spark. Favre finished 17 for 38 for 208 yards, sailing several passes over the heads of his receivers and facing heavy pressure most of the game.
Favre, who threw a career-low seven interceptions last season, has 17 of them this year. Opponents have taken his 22 turnovers and turned them into 71 points over 10 games, and the Vikings — who entered the weekend last in the NFL in giveaway-takeaway ratio — watched their turnover differential fall to minus-13.
With 10 players and five starters lost for the season on injured reserve, plus a stiff second-half schedule featuring a trip to NFC-leading Atlanta next week, McCarthy and the Packers have plenty of work in front of them.
“We’re going to be tough to beat when we’re playing that well,” Rodgers said.
The Dom Capers defense has yielded just 10 points in three games since beating the Vikings the first time.
“We’ve got a foot on the gas, hands on the wheel and we’re looking straight ahead,” McCarthy said.
The Vikings pressured Rodgers early the way they needed to, the way they did last season, after failing to take him down at all in last month’s loss. But he found a rhythm once the strong rush forced him from the pocket and delivered at just the right times.
Jennings had 152 yards on seven catches, giving cornerbacks Asher Allen and rookie Chris Cook a rough time. Cook also got beat for a 39-yard reception by Jones on third-and-10 from midfield before Green Bay’s first touchdown.
Safety Husain Abdullah had trouble, too, dropping a must-have interception at the goal line on that same drive and then letting Jennings get in front of him on the next play for an 11-yard touchdown catch after Rodgers ran left to flee the rush to make it 10-3.
“I don’t know how good we are. The stars are the limit to how good we can be,” Jennings said. “It’s all about what we’re willing to put forth.”
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
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