Vikings 34

(1-0, 1-0 away)

Browns 20

(0-1, 0-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, September 13, 2009

FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland, OH 

1 2 3 4 T
MIN 3 7 14 1034
CLE 3 10 0 720

Top Performers

Passing: B. Quinn (CLE) - 205 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: A. Peterson (MIN) - 25 CAR, 180 YDS, 3 TD

Receiving: R. Royal (CLE) - 4 REC, 60 YDS, 1 TD

Favre throws 6-yard TD pass, Peterson rushes for 3 TDs in Vikings win

Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- After rolling into the end zone with his first NFL touchdown, Vikings rookie wide receiver Percy Harvin had to absorb an unexpected hit.

Brett Favre flattened him.

More From

Brett Favre did what all Vikings QBs must do: hand the ball to Adrian Peterson early and often, writes Gene Wojciechowski. Story

If you thought the arrival of Favre would usher in a dramatic new dynamic in Minnesota, well, you should join the Optimists Club, writes Kevin Seifert. Blog

• NFC North blog

If we learned anything in the debut of coach Eric Mangini, it's that the Browns simply don't have the horses to run in this 2009 race, writes James Walker. Blog

• AFC North blog

"I thought we were going to bump chests or something," Harvin said. "He wasn't slowing down. I took it and we fell to the ground. It was a great feeling."

For Favre, the ageless quarterback with a boundless love for football, career touchdown pass No. 464 was as enjoyable as his first.

Favre looked pleasing in purple, throwing a 6-yard TD pass to Harvin in his debut with Minnesota, and Adrian Peterson scored three touchdowns and ran for 180 yards as the Vikings overcame a sluggish start to beat the Cleveland Browns 34-20 on Sunday.

"I had a blast," Favre said. "It wasn't a 400-yard passing game, but it doesn't have to be. As long as we win, that's what it's all about."

Making his 270th consecutive start after a will-he-or-won't-he flirtation that dominated NFL headlines this summer, the 39-year-old Favre, who holds every significant passing record, showed he can still fire it with authority -- and that he hasn't lost his joy for playing.

After hooking up with the speedy Harvin, Favre sprinted into the end zone and tackled the young wideout who was just 4 years old when his QB began his storied career.

Favre's downfield weakness

QB Brett Favre didn't have a spectacular performance in his first victory with the Vikings, as he threw only four passes of six yards or more. Favre's weakness last season was throwing downfield, and he did little Sunday to show he's capable of success.

Favre by pass length Sunday
Dist. thrown 5 or less 6 or more
Comp-att 12-18 2-4
Pass yards 80 30
TD-Int 1-0 0-0
Passer rating 94.7 75.0

"You don't find too many players like that who still love the game," said Harvin, a first-round pick from Florida. "That's what makes him special and separates him from a lot of people. For him to be that old -- he's got a daughter my age -- and still has a love for the game, going to meetings and all that stuff. He's by himself."

So is Peterson.

The league's leading rusher last season scored on a pair of 1-yard plunges and capped his day with an electrifying 64-yarder in the fourth quarter, breaking five tackles along the way, to make it 34-13.

Peterson was held to just 25 yards in the first half, when he needed treatment for a badly cut left arm. He felt light headed and received intravenous fluids at halftime.

"I gagged myself a couple times trying to get everything in my stomach out," he said. "Normally it makes me feel better and it did. I came in and got an IV and felt recharged and rejuvenated and was ready to go to work."

On his long TD run, Peterson used a devastating stiff arm to get away from would-be tacklers before finally busting free and scoring.

"It was pretty good," Peterson said. "The only thing I did wrong was that I didn't go untouched. I was just determined to get into the end zone, and try to stick that dagger in."

It certainly put away the Browns.

"When you play a player of Adrian Peterson's caliber, it only takes once," Mangini said. "He only needs that one time and he can exploit it."

Favre was 14 of 21 for 110 yards and appeared to be fully recovered from offseason surgery to repair a torn biceps tendon, an injury that plagued him down the stretch last season with the Jets. Favre threw nine interceptions in New York's final five games, a slide that cost his team a playoff spot and led to coach Eric Mangini's firing.

Fast Facts

• Adrian Peterson rushed for 180 yards and three touchdowns, the third straight season he's surpassed the century mark in Week 1. The 180 yards are a Week 1 franchise record.

• Peterson's three touchdowns matched his single-game high and was his 17th career 100-yard rushing game.

• Brett Favre finished his 270th consecutive start by completing 14-of-21 passes for 110 yards and one touchdown pass. The 110 yards are the fewest Favre has thrown for in Week 1 in his career.

• The Browns are 1-10 in Week 1 openers since returning to the NFL in 1999.

• In his fourth start, Brady Quinn completed 21-of-35 passes for 205 yards with a touchdown, an interception and was sacked five times.

• Rapid Reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

Mangini is now with Cleveland, and one game into his tenure, little has changed with the Browns. They fell to 1-10 in season openers since 1999, but did score their first offensive touchdown in seven games when Brady Quinn hit tight end Robert Royal with 28 seconds left.

Quinn, picked by Mangini to start after a drawn-out battle with Derek Anderson, had a rocky opener. He went 21 of 35 for 205 yards, but most of his completions came on dumpoffs and short routes. He had one interception and the game's most comical moment when he had the ball pop out of his hand and fall behind him following a scramble.

"I didn't take care of the ball like I needed to," Quinn said. "It's going to hurt you in the end. The one ball that slipped out, I was trying to make a play. That sort of thing can really help you and maybe get you back in the game, but a lot of the time they end up hurting you if that ends up being the result."

Josh Cribbs scored on a 67-yard punt return for Cleveland's first TD.

Favre and Mangini greeted each other warmly on the field before the game, hugging and sharing a few laughs. Their relationship wasn't always so buddy-buddy in New York, ending with Mangini's ouster, which many blamed on Favre's arm injury.

All seems to be forgiven, if not forgotten, between the pair. Favre found it strange to play in the Metrodome for the first time as a visitor last month. He said seeing Mangini on the opposite sideline wasn't nearly as uncomfortable.

"I shouldn't say it felt weird looking across. If you play long enough, that happens," Favre said. "Guys come and go, coaches come and go, I've come and gone."

Game notes

Cribbs' seventh career TD punt return tied Eric Metcalf for the most in club history. ... Minnesota improved to 10-3 against Cleveland. ... The Browns have opened every season since '99 at home. Their only win came in 2004 against Baltimore. ... The Vikings tried an onside kick to start the game that was recovered by the Browns. ... Cleveland rookie running back James Davis, who was slightly injured in a one-car accident on Saturday, sustained a shoulder injury in the second half.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1917
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays6360
Total Yards310268
Yards per play4.94.5
Total Drives1313
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-51-2
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs01

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

cleFG11:33Phil Dawson 37 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 31 yds, 3:32
minFG0:06Ryan Longwell 21 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 12 plays, 46 yds, 6:52
minTD11:17Adrian Peterson 1 Yard Run (Ryan Longwell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 23 yds, 1:47
cleFG6:00Phil Dawson 20 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 73 yds, 5:12
cleTD1:46Joshua Cribbs 67 Yard Punt Return (Phil Dawson Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 67 yds, 0:00
minTD10:10Adrian Peterson 1 Yard Run (Ryan Longwell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 55 yds, 4:53
minTD1:12Percy Harvin 6 Yard Pass From Brett Favre (Ryan Longwell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 82 yds, 7:32
minFG6:59Ryan Longwell 37 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 6 plays, 14 yds, 3:06
minTD6:11Adrian Peterson 64 Yard Run (Ryan Longwell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 64 yds, 0:00
cleTD0:35Robert Royal 26 Yard Pass From Brady Quinn (Phil Dawson Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yds, 2:35