It was a surreal image: Brett Favre running out of the Vikings locker room, through the huge inflatable ship, and over to the Vikings' side of the field -- all while wearing a #4 purple jersey. Even before he played a single down, one couldn't help but be struck by the image of Favre warming up with his new teammates.
When he hit the field for his first drive of the game, the results were anticlimactic. The first play was a handoff to Peterson. Then Favre was under pressure, misfiring on a pass intended for Tahi but avoiding the sack. He came back on third down and completed a pass to Harvin -- which was just short of the first down marker. Chilly opted to go for it on fourth and short, but Peterson was stuffed. The Chiefs took over on downs.
While the initial plans for the evening indicated that Favre would only play a single drive, Chilly deviated from the script and sent Favre out to the field for the Vikings' second offensive drive of the game. Favre fired two more incompletions on that drive, missing on a throw to Jaymar Johnson that was the result of a quarterback and receiver who aren't quite used to each other yet. He took a big hit on third and long right after releasing the ball.
And that was that. T-Jack took over, and Favre's first game as a Viking had reached a conclusion.
Bottom line: He was rusty. You could tell he hasn't been with an NFL team for these last several months. You could also tell that he's new to this team and isn't acclimated with the receiving corps yet. But he made the veteran moves this team wants him to make. He attempted to draw the Chiefs offsides. He made a couple of tough throws and took a couple of tough hits on plays that a less-experienced quarterback might have taken a sack on.
Ultimately, the results were less than spectacular. He went 1-4 for four yards. One yard per pass attempt. But none of that matters at this point. Games like this are all about getting Favre back into the swing of an NFL season, getting him accustomed to his receivers, and getting him ready to run this offense. I could not care less about the stat line coming out of this game -- I want him to stay healthy and prepare for games that count.
Although he took some hits -- more hits than Chilly would have liked -- he stayed healthy. And although he misfired on three of his four passes, this is all part of the important process of getting a feel for his receivers.
Sure, Vikings fans would have preferred a highlight reel bomb to Percy Harvin. Or a strike to Sidney Rice in the endzone. But simply seeing Favre under center for the Vikings was more than enough to make this a memorable evening for the organization and its fans. We'll save the highlight reel bombs and endzone strikes for September.