OK, so maybe it wasn't any 40-year-old. It was Brett Favre, and it doesn't seem to matter what color his cleats are.
Favre threw for 232 yards and a touchdown a day after a milestone birthday, leading the undefeated Minnesota Vikings to a 38-10 rout over the hapless and helpless Rams on Sunday.
» Brett Favre became the 12th QB in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) to start at the age of 40 or older. Favre is 5-0 for the first time.
» The Vikings have scored 27-plus points in five straight games for the first time since 1998.
» The Rams have lost 15 straight games (longest losing streak in franchise history and longest active losing streak in the NFL).
» The Rams have scored four touchdowns in five games this season.
Showing no signs of a letdown just six days after an emotional win over Green Bay, his former team, Favre didn't put up big numbers and didn't have any last-second heroics. He was simply spry and efficient, dodging defenders and winging passes in every direction in his 274th straight regular-season start.
Now Favre is 5-0 for the first time in his career, 1-0 as a 40-year-old.
"I hope there's many more to come," Favre said. "I'd be lying if I said I thought I'd still be playing at 40 and not miss a game at this point. I just hope I can lead this team to bigger and better things."
It's a good start.
The Vikings are 5-0 for the first time in six years by winning last-second games, emotional games, games they were supposed to win.
Minnesota led 14-0 by the midpoint of the first quarter, let up a bit, then methodically wore down St. Louis. Jared Allen returned one of his two fumble recoveries 52 yards for a touchdown, Adrian Peterson rumbled in for a pair of touchdowns and the Vikings forced four turnovers for their 400th win (400-322-9).
"We think we're a good football team," Allen said. "The worst we can finish now is 5-11."
St. Louis (0-5) wore throwback uniforms from 1999, a nod to the team's only Super Bowl victory. The Rams looked nothing like the Greatest Show on Turf, bumbling their way to three turnovers inside the 10-yard line in an NFL-worst 15th straight loss.
St. Louis has scored four offensive touchdowns this season, none rushing; allowed at least 35 points in three straight games; and has seven turnovers the past two games while getting outscored 73-10.
No, it can't get much worse.
"This is extremely tough," Rams guard Richie Incognito said. "It wears on you, but to be a professional, you don't let it show. You just keep preparing hard to go out and get a win."
Favre, sporting pink-and-black cleats for Breast Cancer Awareness month -- his wife, Deanna, is a breast cancer survivor -- came out firing early. He threw for 66 yards on Minnesota's first drive to set up Peterson's 5-yard scamper around left end.
He also hit Sidney Rice on a 47-yard pass early in the third quarter, then connected with Visanthe Shiancoe on 13-yard pass that put the Vikings up 24-3. Favre finished 18 for 24 with one interception and seems to be getting more comfortable with his receivers.
"It's a work in progress," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "It's going to be still until we get done playing this year. I just see him getting incrementally better."
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Quarterback Kyle Boller, starting for the second straight game in place of Marc Bulger (shoulder), fumbled without being hit on St. Louis' fifth play from scrimmage, the ball popping out like a half-melted ice cube to the turf. Allen, who had 4.5 sacks against Green Bay last week, scooped it up and ran 52 yards for a touchdown to put the Vikings up 14-0.
Another St. Louis drive in the second quarter ended inside the Vikings 5-yard line, where Steven Jackson couldn't handle the exchange with Boller and Allen recovered. The Rams got to Minnesota's 10-yard line after Favre's interception, settling for Josh Brown's 29-yard field goal after Boller was dropped for a loss and threw two errant passes.
They weren't finished.
Driving late in the first half, St. Louis lost another chance to score when tight end Daniel Fells was hit from behind by Chad Greenway and coughed it up on the 2.
The Rams started the fourth quarter with another turnover. On fourth-and-6 from the Vikings 9, Tyrell Johnson intercepted Boller's pass in the end zone. Peterson scored at the other end from 7 yards to make it 31-3.
"I've never seen anything like that," Fells said. "We've got to get better than that."
Boller finished 20 for 31 for 209 yards and missed the final 10 minutes after being shaken up late in the third quarter. He was replaced by Bulger, who hit Donnie Avery on a 27-yard TD pass late in the fourth quarter.
By then, it was much too late: Minnesota led 31-10.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press