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Rapid Reaction: Vikings 34, Browns 20

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert

CLEVELAND -- Ahem. For anyone wondering, this is Adrian Peterson’s team. Brett Favre can come along for the ride if he wants.

Favre might have made his regular season debut Sunday for Minnesota, but Peterson and a stifling defensive performance were the engines of a 34-20 victory at Cleveland. Peterson finished with 180 yards and three touchdowns, including a 64-yard scamper in which he broke five tackles to seal the game in the fourth quarter.

Don’t forget: The Vikings trailed this game 13-10 at halftime. Peterson managed 40 yards on his first 14 carries, but he lit up the Browns defense for 140 yards on his final nine carries. I don’t think anyone should be surprised when Peterson produces a dominant performance, but to me it was such a poignant illustration of what the Vikings will (and won’t) be with Favre as their starter.

They won’t be a dynamic downfield offense, at least based on Sunday’s performance. Favre completed 14 of 21 passes for 110 yards. I only counted four passes that traveled more than nine yards in the air. One was completed. But if you had to draw up an ideal early-season scenario for this offense, it would be what you saw Sunday: Peterson making big plays and Favre managing the offense.

I’ll expand on this idea in a lengthier post later this afternoon. Until then….