Brett Favre soap opera can get respite … for a while


The self-generated saga which has been Brett Favre’s career over the least three years saw a new chapter Monday night that should let the future Hall of Fame quarterback and football fans move on.

At least for the time being, that is.

Raise your hand if you were really surprised Favre placed the Packers defense in the meat grinder. I’m still typing.

His three touchdown passes and 271 yards made him look like Peyton Manning today and the guy who won back-to-back MVPs in the ’90s for the same Green Bay franchise which was lit up Monday…what was his name?

Favre told USA Today that he was as nervous as his most memorable game outside of his two Super Bowls, another Monday-nighter in 2003 when he vaporized the Raiders for four touchdowns the day after his father died.

Favre also said he went to church Monday but was unable to calm his nerves at playing his former club. “I was throwing all kind of prayers out … I said, ‘Man, I’m losing it.’ ”

While Favre might want to reconsider the power of prayer, it’s almost certain the melodrama which dominated ESPN over the past week will renew itself prior to Nov. 1 when Favre returns to the hallowed ground of Lambeau Field in enemy purple.

In the meantime the Vikings are at the top of an increasingly intriguing NFC North.

The 3-1 Chicago Bears have turned decades-long perceptions on their heads with former Denver quarterback Jay Cutler slicing defenses with precision while a porous run defense struggles to compensate for a season-ending wrist injury to linebacker Brian Urlacher. It seems likely now – and granted it’s early – that the Nov. 29 game at the Metrodome and the Dec. 28 rematch between the two teams at a frozen Soldier Field may determine the division and have pronounced impact on the NFC wild card race.

The Packers biggest challenge is keep quarterback Aaron Rodgers upright. An injury-riddled offensive line must give Rodgers time to operate for Green Bay to have a shot at contention. The talent in the receiving corps with Greg Jennings and Donald Driver plus running back Ryan Grant is substantial.

Even the Detroit Lions, who finally won a game, are not quite the moribund doormat they were a year ago. As long as rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford recovers from a knee injury suffered Sunday at Chicago, he and fleet wide receiver Calvin Williams could prove to be an effective combination over time.

Someday the Favre drama will end, which could be as soon as this year if his surgically repaired shoulder goes south as it did down the stretch for the Jets in 2008. And face it, the guy is 40, he can’t play forever.

The hype machine can slow down – for recharging.

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