Favre may have started the game -- pushing his NFL record to 292 straight -- but he didn't finish as he was carted off the field after taking a rough hit from Patriots defensive tackle Myron Pryor midway through the fourth quarter. Favre suffered a laceration under his chin that required 10 stitches to close, Vikings coach Brad Childress said after the game.
Favre was replaced by Tarvaris Jackson, who threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Naufahu Tah on his first play and then hit Percy Harvin for the two-point conversion on his second.
Jackson's two passes cut the deficit to 21-18, but the Patriots then proceeded to march right down the field for a touchdown themselves to seal the win.
A few thoughts on the game:
• Despite all the pregame chatter about his ankle, Favre looked like he was moving around as well as he usually does: Favre is never going to be a threat to make plays running the ball, but when he needed to buy himself some extra time by moving around in the pocket, he was able to do it.
• The Vikings came out focused and looking like a team that knew its back was against the wall. They shut down the Patriots' offense early and then embarked on a 12-play, 76-yard drive that culminated with a one-yard Adrian Peterson touchdown plunge to give Minnesota a 7-0 lead.
• That touchdown drive appeared to be costly, however, as Harvin suffered an ankle injury and limped off the field. But the resilient Harvin got back on the field and had a big catch and run on the Vikings' next drive.
• Vikings defensive back Madieu Williams should have had an easy interception in the second quarter, but a Tom Brady pass went right through Williams' arms and turned into a 32-yard completion to Brandon Tate.
• In the third quarter Williams made another terrible play against Tate, failing miserably to make a tackle in the open field as Tate ran past him for a 65-yard touchdown, the Patriots' longest pass play of the season.
• The Patriots have a very talented all-around football player in running back/receiver Danny Woodhead, who took a direct snap in the second quarter and ran up the middle for a touchdown. Woodhead is one of the best running backs in the history of small-college football, but he was met with plenty of skepticism coming into the league about whether he really had the size and speed to play in the NFL. Doubt no longer: Woodhead, from Chadron State, is a legitimate NFL player.
• It was clear throughout the game that the Patriots' priority on defense was not to allow Moss to beat them deep. Safety Brandon Meriweather was lining up 25 yards deep and making sure Moss couldn't get behind him.
• The Patriots' defense generally stopped Moss from getting open downfield, although in the fourth quarter Moss did manage to draw a big pass interference penalty when Favre threw deep to him. Meriweather correctly recognized that Moss was going to get open and Favre was going to hit him in the end zone, so Meriweather wisely took the pass interference penalty and prevented the score.
• For the Vikings' their offensive game plan was first and foremost about putting the ball in Adrian Peterson's hands. Peterson had 18 carries in the first half, the last of which was a stuff on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line.
• Minnesota had a very good drive to start the second half, with Favre marching the Vikings' offense down the field 68 yards in 11 plays to set up a 24-yard Ryan Longwell field goal, giving the Vikings a 10-7 lead.
• Favre hit Harvin right in the hands with a pass in the third quarter, but Patriots cornerback Devin McCourty took it right out of Harvin's hands for an interception. The interception was the fault of Harvin, who failed to secure the ball when he got his hands on it.
• The Patriots marched right down the field after that interception and scored to make it 21-10 late in the third quarter, and it seemed like all the momentum was with New England.
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