But the Favre story isn't the only one to watch in this game. There's a number of interesting stories to look at for two teams that have been mentioned as playoff teams.
Jared Allen's Hit on Matt Schaub's Knee
The Houston Texans 2009 was partially derailed by two low shots by Vikings DE Jared Allen into QB Matt Schaub's knees during a regular season game. He wasn't flagged for either hit but was fined $50,000. The Texans haven't forgotten it, and though a number of them went out of their way to say it wasn't dirty, Texans RT Eric Winston is still angry about, knowing that the the offensive line needs to take responsibility because the refs or fines won't deter such hits:
"Like I said, I watched it yesterday and I'm still angry about it. That's something, like I said, that never leaves you. It'll always be a little part of you and you have to do everything you can to prevent that."Here's a video that shows the shots:
Texans Defense Embarrassed, Angry
Preseason games don't count, but the game against the Saints was an embarrassment to the Texans in all three phrases of the football. The defense performance was particularly bad, not being able to force third downs, and allowed Saints RB Mike Bell to average 6.4 yards per carry. That number can't give them any confidence given that they are about to face RB Adrian Peterson.
Texans MLB DeMeco Ryans, one of the leaders of the defense, has taken responsibility for the poor play against the Saints and says that the showing against the Vikings on Monday night will be much better. Hard for him to say, as he isn't responsible for substandard defensive tackle or defensive back play.
Favre cannot be ignored when talking about the Texans defense as a number of the Houston defensive linemen want a shot at sacking him before he dons his wranglers and tractor rides permanently into the sunset. Rookie DE Connor Barwin mentions this in a recent interview, and DE Antonio Smith included it in a blog post entitled "Get My Hands on Favre." DT Amobi Okoye says that fans have been asking him to get a hit on Favre because they are sick of hearing about him.
Hard to say who wins this matchup. Favre coming off of surgery with a team that he doesn't have his timing down with? Does he pick on an inexperienced defense with injured and disgruntled players sitting out? Or does an angry Texans team try to show off on one of its few Monday Night Football opportunities? The two times DE Mario Williams has played in prime time games, he's had 6 1/2 sacks and a forced fumble.
As an aside, backup Vikings QB and former Texan, Sage Rosenfels was very popular in Houston, with many friends in the Texans locker room. He went to Minnesota to finally get a shot to compete for a starting job, and it didn't work out that way. It has crossed my mind that Texans players would like Favre to have a poor showing so Rosenfels might gets a shot to play.