MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - It was a nightmare come true for Green Bay fans on Monday as Brett Favre, their quarterback and inspirational leader for 16 years, guided fierce rivals Minnesota to a 30-23 victory over the Packers.
Favre, playing for the first time against the Packers, threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns in a vintage passing performance, leading the Vikings to their first 4-0 start to a season since 2003.
The NFL's all-time leading passer, Favre won three consecutive MVP awards with Green Bay and a Super Bowl title in 1997 before an acrimonious split with the Packers following his short-lived retirement in 2008.
After spending a season with the New York Jets, and another flirtation with retirement, the 39-year-old returned to the game this year to join Green Bay's division rivals Minnesota.
"That was a lot of fun. It was everything it was billed to be," Favre told reporters.
"I'm emotional, but I'm always emotional. I knew there was a lot riding on this game and it carried more weight.
"One game good or bad does not define my career."
Favre threw a one-yard touchdown to Visanthe Shiancoe in the first quarter, a 14-yard strike to Sidney Rice in the second and gave Minnesota some breathing room with a 31-yard touchdown pass to Bernard Berrian in the third.
Green Bay (2-2) quarterback Aaron Rodgers put up a valiant effort, throwing for a career-high 384 yards and two touchdowns to Jermichael Finley and Jordy Nelson.
Rogers, who served as Favre's backup for three years, was sacked eight times and taken down in his own end zone for a safety.
"Unfortunately they covered our guys well and got after me," Rogers said. "It was a combination of their extra effort and maybe me not getting the ball out of my hands as quick as I should've."
Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby slotted a 31-yard field goal with just under a minute left to narrow the deficit to seven points but the Packers' onside kick was recovered by the Vikings.
Favre, who turns 40 next week, completed 24 of his 31 passing attempts without throwing an interception. With the win, he also became the only quarterback to defeat all 32 NFL teams.