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Vikings Only Throw Scare Into Packers

September 22, 1997|From Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Brett Favre was having such a good day that he began thinking about his golf game. Apparently he wasn't the only one who took a 24-point halftime lead for granted.

Favre tied a career-high with five touchdown passes as the Packers outlasted the Minnesota Vikings, 38-32, Sunday for their 21st victory in a row at Lambeau Field.

The Vikings were behind, 31-7, at halftime but nearly stole Green Bay's victory as Brad Johnson burned the weakened Packer secondary on four consecutive scoring drives.

"I'd be lying to you if I said I wasn't worried," Favre said. "When we were up 31-7, everyone was kind of coasting. We were talking about what we were going to do this week, where we're playing golf.

"The next thing you know, it's, 'Man, we'd better get a first down or we ain't playing nowhere.' We'd never been in that situation before, to be up 31-7 at the half and fighting for your life at the end."

After getting outscored, 24-0, in the second quarter, the Vikings (2-2) made a game of it when Johnson capitalized on two turnovers with touchdown passes to Cris Carter and Jake Reed to cut the deficit to 31-22.

Johnson led the Vikings to scores on their next two possessions, but failed when it mattered most.

After completing his first 13 passes in the second half, Johnson failed to connect on three attempts from midfield after the two-minute warning to kill hopes of a monumental comeback.

On fourth-and-10 from the Viking 46, Reggie White blew past right tackle Korey Stringer and hit Johnson's arm just as he released and the ball fluttered to the grass.

Green Bay (3-1) got the ball back with 1:38 left and ran out the clock.

"We proved nothing," said Reed, who caught nine passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns. "What can you prove when you lose the game?"

That no lead is safe, Packer Coach Mike Holmgren said.

"It's a lesson for our team," he said. "You get a couple of breaks and you can get right back in it."

Favre, with the first of two scoring passes to Antonio Freeman in the second quarter, broke Bart Starr's team record of 152 touchdowns passes. Favre has 156 touchdown passes in five-plus seasons and 83 games.

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