Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
Favre might have made his regular season debut Sunday for Minnesota, but Peterson and a stifling defensive performance were the engines of a 34-20 victory at Cleveland. Peterson finished with 180 yards and three touchdowns, including a 64-yard scamper in which he broke five tackles to seal the game in the fourth quarter.
Don’t forget: The Vikings trailed this game 13-10 at halftime. Peterson managed 40 yards on his first 14 carries, but he lit up the Browns defense for 140 yards on his final nine carries. I don’t think anyone should be surprised when Peterson produces a dominant performance, but to me it was such a poignant illustration of what the Vikings will (and won’t) be with Favre as their starter.
They won’t be a dynamic downfield offense, at least based on Sunday’s performance. Favre completed 14 of 21 passes for 110 yards. I only counted four passes that traveled more than nine yards in the air. One was completed. But if you had to draw up an ideal early-season scenario for this offense, it would be what you saw Sunday: Peterson making big plays and Favre managing the offense.
I’ll expand on this idea in a lengthier post later this afternoon. Until then….