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SAM FARMER / ON THE NFL

Brett Favre and the Packers plan their reunion

Vikings quarterback will have the chance to beat his former team, which has the advantage of inside information on the veteran, in much-anticipated matchup.

September 30, 2009|SAM FARMER | ON THE NFL

Over the course of his illustrious career, Brett Favre has defeated 31 of 32 NFL teams.

The only team he hasn't beaten? The Green Bay Packers, of course.

Monday, he'll get his first chance, as Minnesota plays host to Favre's former team in a much-anticipated matchup.

Favre, who has more interceptions than any quarterback in league history, has been picked off just once this season. He had several dangerous throws last Sunday, however, before tossing the winning touchdown pass against San Francisco with two seconds to play. (Of all Favre's comebacks, by the way, that was his first winning touchdown pass in the final 10 seconds of the fourth quarter.)

Nobody knows Favre the way the Packers do, and their defense is playing especially well against the pass. Green Bay is tied with New Orleans atop the league with seven interceptions and 23 passes defended.

Think pink

In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, players all over the league beginning Sunday will be outfitted with pink gear, including towels, hats, wristbands, gloves and even cleats. There will also be a very noticeable pink-ribbon decal on the game balls.

Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams came up with the idea of pink cleats, a version of which will be worn by at least 100 players.

"That's something that's very, very important for NFL players," Williams told the New York Times. "If you have a great cleat and a firm foot in the ground, you can do anything."

The issue is personal to Williams, whose mother, Sandra Hill, is a breast cancer survivor. Hill's three sisters died of the disease.

It's a win-win-win-win situation

Somewhat lost in all the hubbub surrounding Detroit's victory Sunday was that all four NFC North teams won, only the second time that's happened in the same week since realignment in 2002.

The only other time the Lions, Bears, Vikings and Packers won on the same Sunday under the current division system was Nov. 13, 2005.

Won't happen this week because the Packers are playing the Vikings and the Lions are playing the Bears.

Magnificent seven

Seven teams are 3-0, the most since there were seven in 2002. One of those teams, the Oakland Raiders, wound up making the Super Bowl. But it was Tampa Bay that won it all that season, and the Buccaneers began with a home loss to New Orleans.

Lightning flashback

San Diego on Sunday night plays at Pittsburgh, where the Chargers were eliminated from the playoffs in the divisional round last season. The Steelers did a terrific job of shutting down Darren Sproles that game, limiting him to 15 yards in 11 carries a week after he shredded Indianapolis in a wild-card game.

Sproles will get a chance to exact some revenge Sunday because he'll get the ball early and often. LaDainian Tomlinson, who missed last season's game, is now nursing an ankle injury he suffered in the opener.

It was Steelers running back Willie Parker who did the most damage in that 35-24 victory by Pittsburgh, rushing for 146 yards and two touchdowns.

Getting defensive

All this hand-wringing about how Denver's offense would change with Kyle Orton at quarterback instead of Jay Cutler, and yet the big story so far has been Denver's defense.

The Broncos (3-0) have allowed an NFL-low 16 points this season and haven't given up a touchdown the last two weeks.

They play host to the Cowboys, who will be coming off a short week after beating Carolina on Monday for their first victory at their new stadium. Although Dallas has run for 200 yards in consecutive games -- the first time since 1979 -- a lot of responsibility will rest on the shoulders of quarterback Tony Romo in Denver. The Cowboys' top running backs, Marion Barber and Felix Jones, are nursing injuries.

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sam.farmer@latimes.com

twitter.com/LATimesfarmer

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