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September 15, 2009

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Favre makes good start as Vikings beat Browns

ADRIAN Peterson ran for three touchdowns to help veteran quarterback Brett Favre make a winning start for the Minnesota Vikings with a 34-20 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Favre, who signed with the Vikings last month to end a second retirement, threw for one touchdown and 110 yards to start his 19th National Football League season.

His six-yard TD pass to Percy Harvin with a minute to play in the third quarter helped secure the opening-day win. "I was pretty excited," the NFL's all-time leading passer told reporters after the TD pass, the 464th of his career.

"Had we scored running the ball, I would have been equally excited," said Favre, who will turn 40 next month. "But that one ranks up there near the top as well."

After hooking up with Harvin, Favre sprinted into the end zone and tackled the young wide receiver.

"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."

Favre connected on 14 of 21 attempts with no interceptions and played into the fourth quarter. He was sacked four times and most of his passes were for short gains.

"There is a lot of chemistry yet to gain, and we are doing it on the fly," said Favre.

Elsewhere, it was: Falcons 19, Dolphins 7; Jets 24, Texans 7; Saints 45, Lions 27; Broncos 12, Bengals 7; Ravens 38, Chiefs 24; Cowboys 34, Buccaneers 21; Eagles 38, Panthers 10; Colts 14, Jaguars 12; Seahawks 28, Rams 0; Giants 23, Redskins 17; 49ers 20, Cardinals 16; and Packers 21, Bears 15.

In Cleveland, Ohio, Peterson's 64-yard fourth-quarter TD run put the Vikings ahead 34-13. He also scored on two one-yard runs and finished the game with 180 yards rushing on 25 carries.

"I haven't played with a running back like that," Favre said of Peterson. "That guy is pretty awesome."

Minnesota, expected to be a playoff contender with Favre at the controls, trailed 10-13 at halftime before Peterson's second TD put it in command in the third quarter.

The running back's first TD had given Minnesota a 10-3 advantage in the second quarter.

But the Browns seized the momentum on a short field goal by Phil Dawson and Joshua Cribbs' 67-yard punt return to go ahead 13-10.


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