We're one week away from the Vikings hosting the Saints on *Monday Night Football for the 2017 regular-season opener, and Vikings.com's writers have been taking a look each week at a "memorable Monday" in franchise history.*
Minnesota is 27-32 all-time on *MNF, and the Vikings are scheduled to play twice this season on the series that launched in 1970.*
*We'll continue the series with a 2009 contest in which the Vikings defeated the division-rival Packers for the first of two times that season. The evening marked Vikings quarterback Brett Favre's debut against his former team after playing for Green Bay from 1992-2007 and then spending the 2008 season with the New York Jets. Favre's 134.3 passer rating is the second-highest by a Viking on *Monday Night Football, *behind Randall Cunningham (145.9 in 1998). *
*Defensive end Jared Allen's 4.5 sacks of Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers set a Vikings MNF record and ranks second all-time in franchise history behind Randy Holloway (5.0 in 1989). Allen was part of a defensive charge that sacked Rodgers eight times and intercepted him once, in addition to holding Green Bay to 82 total rushing yards. *
Vikings 30, Packers 23
Weather:None (Played in a dome) **| Temp: *68 degrees Fahrenheit
Paid Attendance: 63,846 | Time of game: 7:40 p.m. (CT)
GB 7 7 0 9 | 23
MIN 7 14 7 2 | 30
A highlight performance by Favre and stout Vikings defense – that got off to an early start – helped Minnesota achieve a win at home over Green Bay.
"Voice of the Vikings" Paul Allen recalled the electric environment leading up to the game.
"The atmosphere in the Metrodome that evening was unbelievable. The sidelines [before the game] were littered with star power – I swear half the Minnesota Twins were there," Paul Allen said. – "I remember Denard Span, Joe Nathan, they definitely were there. The anticipation of Favre going against his former team was palpable on the sidelines."
The Packers started on a five-plus minute drive to the Vikings 24-yard line. On first-and-10, however, Rodgers was sacked by defensive end duo Allen and Brian Robison, causing the quarterback to lose the football. Robison recovered at the 33 to give possession to Minnesota.
Adrian Peterson rushed for the first four plays of the series, gaining 15 yards and a first down before Favre threw his first pass on second-and-7 from the Vikings 48. He made it count against his former team, finding Bernard Berrian for 16 yards and placing Minnesota in Green Bay territory. A 15-yard penalty against the Packers for taunting on the following play moved the Vikings to the 19-yard line.
After three completed passes, the Vikings were inches short of the first down and took a risk with Peterson, who successfully pushed behind Steve Hutchinson to move the chains. Two plays later, Favre threw his first touchdown as a Viking on a 1-yard pass across the field to Visanthe Shiancoe in the left of the end zone.
Favre pointed to the sky and threw his arms up in celebration – a sight Vikings fans had seen many times over the years but never from the star quarterback in Purple.
Paul Allen said, however, that it was Favre's demeanor leading up that moment that he most remembers.
"I remember him being very stoic early in that game," Paul Allen said. "You could tell that he focused on how he was going to act early in the game, going against his former team for the first time."
Rodgers answered back nearly immediately, launching a 62-yard pass to Jermichael Finley for a Green Bay score just three plays into the series.
Tied at 7 apiece, the teams then exchanged scoreless series, including an Antoine Winfield interception of Rodgers just 33 yards from a Packers score. Favre then led the Vikings on their second touchdown drive of the evening, this time finding Sidney Rice for a 14-yard score.
Minnesota forced Green Bay to go three-and-out on the following series, but an ensuing fumble by Peterson was recovered by Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, who returned the fumble 42 yards to even the score at 14 late in the second quarter.
With the final possession of the half, the Vikings drove the ball down the field with two quick passes of 19 yards and 43 yards to set them up at first-and-goal from the 3. Favre targeted Rice in the end zone. Packers safety Charles Woodson intercepted the pass but was flagged for pass interference, returning possession to Minnesota on the 1-yard line and setting up Peterson for a rushing touchdown.
Minnesota opened the third quarter on offense, and Favre continued to roll against the Green and Gold.
Eight plays in, the 39-year-old passer hit Berrian with a 31-yard strike in the end zone.
The Packers on the following drive made it to second-and-goal on the Vikings 1 but couldn't make forward progress. Fullback John Kuhn was stopped for no gain by Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway, and on third down Finley was wrapped up by Ben Leber short of the goal line. Green Bay went for it on fourth down but was unsuccessful.
The next three series saw punts by Minnesota, Green Bay and Minnesota again, respectively. The Packers started midway through the fourth quarter at their own 1, and Allen once again recorded a strip sack against Rodgers – increasing his takedown total to 3.5 on the night – and recovered the ball. The call was reviewed and unfortunately reversed, but Allen's sack in the end zone then was recorded as a safety, adding two points to the Vikings score and widening the deficit to 16 points.
"Everybody was focusing on Favre against his former team, but the biggest thing that tilted [the game] the Vikings way was that matchup between Jared Allen and [Packers guard Daryn Colledge]. The regular left tackle, Chad Clifton, was out that game, so Colledge had to replace him," Paul Allen said. "You knew they were going to have to do something to counteract Jared in that game – and obviously they didn't do it enough.
He added: "There's no disputing that Daryn Colledge needed help in that game, and Jared just ran rough-shod over him."
The Packers scored 10 points in the final seven minutes of the game, starting with a 33-yard touchdown to Jordy Nelson. They held the Vikings scoreless on the following series and attempted to find their way to the end zone, but a final sack by Allen for a loss of 5 drove Rodgers back, and Green Bay was unable to recover from second-and-15. Mason Crosby instead kicked a 31-yard field goal.
At the :55 mark, Favre needed only a pair of kneeldowns to seal the game and his first of two victories against the Packers that season.
"It was the most memorable season that I've had in my 16 years calling Vikings games," Paul Allen said. "I can remember moments involving Brett Favre during that season that I otherwise can't remember with some other quarterbacks in other years.
"Everything Favre did was so memorable that it was just a treat to even have a sliver of it that '09 season," he added.