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Favre’s performance vaults him to No. 3 rating, but last pass was a head scratcher

Last night’s 30-23 win by the Vikings over the Packers included a 24-for-31 passing performance from Brett Favre, with 271 yards and three touchdowns.

The performance puts Favre at No. 3 in passer rating with 104.7, behind only Peyton Manning (114.5) and Drew Brees (108.4).

As Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press points out, it’s actually a step backward for Favre. After four games in 2008, Favre led the league with a passer rating of 110.8.

But while Favre currently is the toast of the league, we’ve still got major issues with the last pass he threw last night.

With 3:27 to play and the Packers out of timeouts and the Vikings facing third down and 10 yards to go from the Green Bay 45, Favre faked a handoff out of shotgun formation and then fired it deep to Bernard Berrian, who caught the ball out of bounds.

And so the Vikings blew a chance to run 45 seconds or so off the clock, along with a chance to secure a first down that would have then allowed them to burn off most of the rest of the time.

Instead, the Packers drove from the 18 into field-goal range, cut the 10-point lead to seven, and then had a chance to recover an onside kick with 55 ticks remaining.

If the Vikings had kep the clock moving on that third-down play, the Packers would have had a much lower chance of forcing overtime, if Sidney Rice (or, if you’re Ron Jaworski, Sidney Crosby) hadn’t made like Sidney Moncrief and fielded the onside kick like it was a rebound off the front of the rim.

So why did the Vikes go for the low-percentage death blow? Did coach Brad Childress call the play? Or did Favre, with a full tank of “vanity and hatred,” freelance in the hopes of ensuring that he fully and completely “stuck it” to Ted Thompson?

Regardless, it was a huge blunder, and the Vikings were lucky that they didn’t get burned by it.