Wrap-up: Vikings 27, 49ers 24
September, 27, 2009
By Kevin Seifert | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
As Larry David might say, I’m feeling pretty, pretty good about my decision to leave the nest this weekend.
While I watched Green Bay and St. Louis slug it out at the Edwards Jones Dome, Detroit played its most significant game in two years. Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre added another chapter to his legend and Chicago kept pace with an important victory in Seattle. (More on the Bears in a bit.)
Favre turned up the hype level on what was already going to be a dramatic "Monday Night Football" matchup Oct. 5 with the Packers. If there were any questions about whether he still has magic in his right arm, I think Favre answered them Sunday with an 80-yard game-winning drive. His 32-yard touchdown pass to receiver Greg Lewis is one that recent Vikings quarterbacks would not have attempted, much less completed.
In my book, the Vikings have already gotten their money's worth -- to the tune of $12 million -- out of Favre. There’s no way they beat San Francisco with Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels as their quarterback.
But the most compelling part of the day’s events was that Lewis, of all people, was on the receiving end of the play. (In truth, Lewis’ catch was far more difficult than Favre’s throw.) Talk about chance.
Lewis, you might recall, signed Sept. 10 to provide the Vikings depth at their slot and outside positions. He had played for coach Brad Childress in Philadelphia (2003-05) and was unexpectedly released earlier this month by New England.
Lewis was inactive for the Vikings’ first two games and was in uniform Sunday only because rookie Percy Harvin was suffering from migraines for several days last week. In fact, Lewis was on the field for the touchdown play only because Harvin was winded and Darius Reynaud was injured.
The touchdown catch was Lewis’ fourth play of the game. That’s right, his fourth. Favre literally didn’t know who he was throwing to. He said he had thrown a few practice passes to Lewis and that’s it. “A couple of hitches,” Favre said.
“I didn’t know who caught it,” he added. “I just saw one of our guys streaking across.”
Lewis made the type of catch that hasn’t been seen at the Metrodome since the days of Cris Carter and Randy Moss. Many of us laughed when Childress signed Lewis to replace Bobby Wade, assuming he was another in a line of marginal players Childress has plucked from his days with the Eagles. But Childress said he told receivers coach George Stewart not to be “afraid to put Greg Lewis in the game. He will do just fine.”
Score one for Childress. His decision to pursue Favre, and to a lesser extent Lewis, has already netted one victory this season.
And along the way, he’s given us ESPN types a few more nuggets for Minnesota-Green Bay I. The hype machine will officially start Tuesday here on the NFC North blog.