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Michael Taylor 31st Oct 2009 - 12:35

Favre’s Green Bay return is a tough one to call

Brett Favre achieved just about everything possible for an NFL quarterback in 15 glorious years with Green Bay yet, on Sunday evening, he returns to Lambeau Field as one of the most hated men in the state of Wisconsin.

Sports fans are fickle and while they'll never forget the seven division championships, two Super Bowl appearances and one Championship Favre led the Packers too, they will remember for even longer the betrayal he committed by joining their massive NFC North rival, the Minnesota Vikings.

Fair enough, we all thought, when he chased one last pay cheque in New York in 2008.

The Jets are in a different conference, there is no real rivalry between the franchises and, most importantly, everyone knows the Jets will collapse at some point in the season - they always do.

However, another long off season of the Favre 'retirement' scenario followed, and, when he pinpointed the Vikings as the team of preference, his former loyalty, class and production became worthless to angry Green Bay fans.

You might have thought the numbers he put up at the end of the 2008 season would have brought at least a little smirk to the faces of the Lambeau crowd, but he's come back this year nearly as good as ever.

It's bad news for the Packers, but brilliant news for the Vikings, who had been desperate for a quarterback for far too long.

Tarvaris Jackson was showing no signs of realising his potential, Gus Frerotte was hopeless when called upon and far too much emphasis and pressure was put on Adrian Peterson - although he did handle it amazingly well.

Favre now looks like the final piece of the jigsaw though, especially if he can keep up his early season form for the duration.

He isn't throwing the ball quite as much as he used to but he's managing the game and, sorry to repeat myself, he has Adrian Peterson to call on to keep the downfield momentum churning away.

They could maybe do with one more, All-Star type receiver, but they should have enough here to put a fair few points on the Packers - it's a case of how well the defence locks in on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offence.

In the week four game at the Dome, Jared Allen came up big with 4.5 sacks and although Rodgers managed to throw for 384 yards he was never really allowed to settle.

Mike McCarthy will be sending out the message that the offensive line needs to protect their quarterback better and not allow the Williams Wall to collapse the inside quite so easily.

If Green Bay can't establish a rush then they will be in trouble no matter how well they pass the ball because this Minnesota defence will intercept and they'll return for big yardage.

In terms of betting this looks like a really tough one to call.

The Vikings ran the Pittsburgh Steelers tight last week as they were subjected to a first loss of the season while the Packers are riding a two game winning streak, albeit both victories coming against two of the NFL's weakest sides.

But then you can only beat what is in front of you and Green Bay have done that with real style, showing loads of flashy defence in conceding just three total points in their games against Cleveland and Detroit.

Despite this I think I'd still rather take the Vikings and Favre both at 8/5 for the match and at evens if you want +3 points insurance on the spread.

Even if it is just because Brett Favre would love yet another week of his face dominating the sporting pages.


8/5 Minnesota winning the game

6/4 Green Bay committing most turnovers



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