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Green Bay-Minnesota matchup might not come down to Brett Favre

October 05, 2009|Sam Farmer

Brett Favre might be downplaying tonight's game against the Green Bay Packers, but his Minnesota Vikings teammate Adrian Peterson isn't taking a just-another-game approach.

"Coming up against these guys, it's a Monday night game, a big rivalry to take a firm hold right now on our divisional lead, it's a big game," said Peterson, whose team is 3-0 for the first time since 2003. "Not only for Brett but for the Minnesota Vikings. But inside I definitely want to get this win for him, too."

It will be the first time Favre has faced his former team, where he spent 16 seasons and broke all sorts of records. In fact, he has beaten all but one of the NFL's 32 teams over the course of his career -- Green Bay.

That said, the deciding factor might not be the quarterback at all. A major challenge for the Packers (2-1) will be containing Vikings running back Peterson, who has an NFL-best average of 119.0 yards rushing per game.

The Packers have the league's 24th-ranked run defense, allowing 128.7 yards per game, and Green Bay has yet to face a back of Peterson's caliber.

In three of his four career games against the Packers, Peterson has had big rushing performances: 112, 103 and 192 yards.

The Packers also need to find a way to stymie Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen, who can be extremely disruptive. Through three games, Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers had been sacked a league-high 12 times.

One trend is definitely on the side of the Packers. They have won five of six meetings with the Vikings, with all but one of those games being decided by seven points or fewer.

"We want to beat the Vikings," Packers Coach Mike McCarthy said. "We want to beat everybody on the Vikings, Brett Favre included. There is no doubt about that."


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