Though it threatens to become as over-played as the no-respect angle, did you notice how the revenge factor was all the rage in the NFL on Sunday?
We had Cincinnati's
In the NFL, there's no such thing as forgive and forget. Vindication is in.
Those were mere appetizers to the main course that will be served Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field, where we will be treated to the unprecedented tableau of
For sheer must-see theater, what could possibly top No. 4's first trip back to Lambeau, with the NFC North division race very much in the balance, the wounds of Favre's bitter divorce from Green Bay still fresh, and both sides still convinced the other side was largely at fault for the historic breakup?
So it's once again Revenge Week in the NFL, and that means nothing can keep us from fixating on the latest chapter of Favre-apalooza. In its honor, we've even come up with a list of our favorite top 10 revenge-themed games in NFL history. To be a true revenge game, there had to be some real animus involved, a palpable dislike or grudge against someone or some team that pervaded the backdrop of the pairing. We're not talking about nice guy
Does it ever end well for
Karma, baby. It's all about the karma. New York's ill-fated fling with Favre last season necessitated Pennington's departure in early August, and, of course, the longtime Jets quarterback wound up signing with AFC East rival Miami. Boy, did the worm turn by Week 17. It was Dolphins at Jets, with both teams still alive in the playoff chase at the beginning of the day. Playing in his old stadium, Pennington threw two touchdown passes as Miami upset New York 24-17 and became just the second team in NFL history to improve by 10 wins from one season to the next. Oh, and did we mention the loss ended both the Favre and
No team ever had a more acrimonious denouement with a player than Philadelphia's rollercoaster saga with Owens, who almost single-handedly tried to drive Eagles quarterback
The Eagles defense made the loudest statement of the game, limiting Owens to just three low-impact catches for 45 yards, with several drops. McNabb threw for two touchdowns and 354 yards, and ran for another score, in Philadelphia's gratifying 38-24 win.
By now, most NFL fans have heard about the Curse of Bobby Layne in Detroit. The Lions, who won three NFL championships in the 1950s with Layne on their team, traded their star quarterback to Pittsburgh two games into the 1958 season. Layne is famously said to have responded to the deal by declaring that Detroit wouldn't win for another 50 years. Lions players didn't like the trade, and Layne hated it.
In Week 7 of the 1959 season, the Steelers and Layne got their first shot at Detroit in the aftermath of the deal. The game ended in a 10-10 tie, with Layne being responsible for all of Pittsburgh's points. He kicked a 29-yard field goal in the third quarter, then threw a 20-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, converting the game-tying point after, as well. You know the rest of the story. The Lions have won just one playoff game in the 50 seasons since dealing Layne. Now that's revenge.
This one really didn't live up to the hype, but how can we overlook the first meeting between New England and New York after the never-ending firestorm set off by the Spygate saga in early 2007?
The Patriots won at New York 38-14 in Week 1, but the illegal video-taping incident that surfaced the next week wound up costing
New England won 20-10 to clinch homefield advantage in the playoffs and tie the 1972 Miami Dolphins' 14-0 regular-season mark, but it was becoming apparent by then that the Patriots had already peaked in 2007.
Let's not discount the significance of what Benson accomplished against his old team last Sunday, just because the payback is only two days old. Facing for the first time the club that he says attempted to "blackball'' him after cutting him in June 2008, Benson made it his personal mission to humiliate
The former Chicago first-round pick (fourth overall in 2005) ran for a career-high 189 yards and a touchdown on 37 bruising carries, highlighting Cincinnati's 45-10 demolition of the Bears. For a guy who looked like a total flameout in Chicago, Benson proved he can carry the ball as well as he can a grudge.
We're taking a little liberty here in that the legendary Brown actually needed two games against his former Cleveland team in 1970 -- the first year of the NFL-AFL merger -- to exact a measure of revenge against the Browns.
Fired by relatively new Cleveland owner
In Week 2 of 1994, his final NFL season, the legendary San Francisco quarterback got to play against the 49ers for the first and only time in his career. He won the duel that day with
But it was Young, the man who bumped Montana off the pedestal in San Francisco, who eventually got the last laugh that season, leading the 49ers to their fifth and most recent Super Bowl victory -- a win that punched his ticket to the Hall of Fame. Young threw for 288 yards and a touchdown against the Chiefs, but was picked off twice. Montana led Kansas City to a 9-7 mark and its fifth consecutive playoff berth in 1994, but retired shortly after the Chiefs were beaten in the first round by Miami.
While this week's return to Lambeau provides a two-way street when it comes to revenge, given that jilted Packers fans can voice their feelings about Favre's betrayal, you can't overlook the statement game No. 4 turned in against Green Bay less than four weeks ago. Facing the Packers for the first time, Favre was fabulous, throwing for three touchdowns without a turnover in Minnesota's convincing 30-23 win at the Metrodome. Favre was 24 of 31 for 271 yards, and held his emotions perfectly in check as the Vikings improved to 4-0 and took a two-game lead over Green Bay in the NFC North.
Indianapolis and New England have provided the NFL with its glamour rivalry of the decade, and there was no more memorable meeting between the Patriots and Colts than the 2006 AFC title game in Indianapolis -- the teams' third playoff showdown in a four-season span. The Patriots had owned
When the Patriots raced to a 21-3 second-quarter lead in the 2006 AFC title game, it looked like another New England rout was in store. But the Colts revenge would not be denied. Indy stormed back into a 21-21 tie, and then the two teams traded punches and the lead until Joseph Addai's 3-yard run gave the Colts a 38-34 margin with 1:00 remaining. Indy's