This Week in the NFL: September 27, 2009

Three weeks into the NFL season and we are already seeing a number of unexpected things.

Who would have thought that the Steelers would be 1-2 with losses to the Bengals and Bears, two teams that have been confused about the concept of offense in recent years?  New England may be 2-1 but have looked nothing like the champs of old.  Can you believe that the Jets are 3-0 and with a rookie quarterback?

This season so far has been proof positive that any team can win on any given Sunday; that is what makes the NFL still great.  While there are plenty of things and people to root against (Michael Vick, a player work stoppage next season, players that don’t appreciate being able to play in the NFL, aka Tony Romo and any fool that jumps offside when they have a 4th and goal at the 1) there are still many things to root for (Detroit ends their losing streak, Father Time has skipped Brett Favre and Kurt Warner, and Michael Irvin is on Dancing With the Stars).

Monday night will provide a match up that will give everyone something to root for as one of the classic rivalries in the game take on a whole new meaning as the Green Bay Packers travel to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis to take on their old QB with his new team, the Vikings.

The rivalry alone would make this a good game to watch.  Add the extra drama involved with Brett Favre playing against his old team and this one becomes a little bit sweeter.  Take away all the rivalry and Favre drama and this game is still one to watch.

Brett Favre proved last week against the 49ers that he still as what it takes to lead the Vikings to victory.  When need be he can still throw one heck of an aerial assault at a defense.  It certainly helps to have a talented receiving group in Bernard Berrian, rookie Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, and Greg Lewis to catch the bombs Favre can toss.  Oh yeah, they have that Adrian Peterson guy running the ball.

Aaron Rodgers learned from one of the best for three years before stepping on the field.  Last year saw some growing pains as he became the starting qb in Green Bay, but he is only getting better.  Having a young group of receivers like Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, and James Jones to throw to along with a veteran the caliber of Donald Driver sure make the growing pains not hurt as much.  Although their running game is not the caliber of Minnesota’s, Ryan Grant can pound it when the Packers need to.

Both teams have formidable defenses that are not that far apart statistically.  Both teams have scored one touchdown off of defense.  The Packers have three more interceptions than the Vikings; the Vikings have three more sacks than the Packers.  Both teams have recovered two fumbles so far this year.  Even though Green Bay has given up 335 yards per game to Minnesota’s 259 they have only given up 6 more points (63 points allowed for Green Bay to 53 for Minnesota).

With two teams so evenly matched it is tough to judge who is going to come out on top.  This is one of those games where it very well may come down to who has the ball last.  With that being said I would have to say the Vikings have a slight edge.  Brett Favre has an intangible knack for pulling out the miracle win (just ask the 49ers about that from last week).  Add in a tenacious running attack in Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor and Brett looks to be able to control the clock and keep the ball out of his protégé’s hands.

This will be a heck of a game that will see Brett pull another one out 28-24.

august schellWhen watching Brett and the Vikings Monday night why not drink a beer that is as one with Minnesota as cheese is to Wisconsin?  August Schell has been brewing beer in Minnesota since 1860, and is one of the oldest breweries in the nation.   Since the game is being played in October why not give August Schell Oktoberfest a try?

August Schell brews this beer just once a year.   The brew masters create this beer by taking a mix of caramel, pale, and black malt along with cara pils, and then add it to cascade and nugget hops to create this full bodies, seasonal beer.  Known for its complex but smooth taste this beer brings pleasure to your palate.   At 5.5% alcohol by volume it has a decent little kick to help all the Packer fans forget that they use to love Brett.

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