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Like old times: Favre’s passes to Packers make the difference

It lived up to the hype.

Take away the fan hatred, the off-field distractions, the injuries, the tired storylines, and you had a fantastically entertaining, hard-fought, and occasionally sloppy football game on Sunday night.

You had a 41-year-old Hall of Fame quarterback falling to the ground with the entire game on the line, getting up and tossing the ball 25 yards to the Hall of Fame wide receiver ready to leap for the potential game-winning score.

For the second straight play, the ball sailed over Randy Moss’ head. The Packers finally had a win over Brett Favre and the Vikings by a final score of 28-24.

The play was frenetic, desperate, and almost successful. Like much of Favre’s night.

Just minutes earlier, it looked for a moment like Brett Favre had pulled another Greg Lewis out of his hat with a scrambling touchdown toss to Percy Harvin. But the would-be 35-yard score was correctly overturned because Harvin was out of bounds.

Minnesota remained in the game despite three interceptions by Favre, two on terrible decisions. Aaron Rodgers was better overall, completing 21-of-34 passes for 295 yards and two scores, but his two red zone interceptions took points off the board.

The Vikings wasted 172 yards from scrimmage from Adrian Peterson, largely because their passing game and defense remains erratic. The Vikings haven’t been able to put together a complete game. Parts of the team play well for stretches, but their pass defense struggled early, and their pass rush didn’t get to Aaron Rodgers all day.

It’s a fine line between a playoff bye and mediocrity in the NFL. With a much tougher schedule and Favre throwing interceptions like a kid out there again, the Vikings are now coming up short in these close games.

They are 2-4, with a trip to Foxborough next week. There is still time to turn things around in a watered down NFC, but the Vikings have shown precious signs that they are ready to go on a run considering their brutal upcoming schedule.

“We’re a team of coulda-shoulda-woulda,” Jared Allen said after the game. “A team of ‘almosts’ right now.”

The Packers, meanwhile, still look like the favorites in the division with the Bears imploding. They finally won a close game and got the Favre monkey off their back.

The lasting image from Sunday was of Favre, hobbling off the field to the tunnel in Lambeau Field, to a loud chorus of boos. It’s an image we could have hardly imagined a few years back.

Then again, the heartbreaking interceptions that preceded Favre’s walk of shame probably looked pretty familiar to Packers fans.