Brett Favre Still Can Make The Big Plays

Monday, September 24th 2007, 7:44 am
By: News On 6

Brett Favre was thinking about only one thing. It wasn't a record.

Well, actually, it was: Green Bay's perfect mark this season. The Packers moved to 3-0 Sunday with a 31-24 comeback victory over the San Diego Chargers in which their star quarterback threw touchdown pass No. 420 to tie Dan Marino's NFL record.

``I could care less about the record,'' Favre said after his third TD throw, a short pass Greg Jennings took 57 yards for the winning points. ``Everyone's over there celebrating, cheering and congratulating me and I said 'Look, this will mean nothing if we don't win this game.'''

So they won it. Favre was 28-of-35 for 369 yards on the way to his 38th career fourth-quarter comeback. A series earlier, the Packers had a first down on the Chargers' 1 and couldn't score.

But they got another chance and made good on it.

``I think this team is capable of some great things, we've seen that up to this point, but it's hard to maintain this level of play and the right attitude,'' he said. ``That's what we have to be focused on.''

In other NFL games Sunday, it was: Philadelphia 56, Detroit 21; Dallas 34, Chicago 10; New England 38, Buffalo 7; Seattle 24, Cincinnati 21; Oakland 26, Cleveland 24; Jacksonville 23, Denver 14; Pittsburgh 37, San Francisco 16; Indianapolis 30, Houston 24; New York Giants 24, Washington 17; New York Jets 31, Miami 28; Baltimore 26, Arizona 23; Carolina 27, Atlanta 20; Kansas City 13, Minnesota 10; and Tampa Bay 24, St. Louis 3.

On Monday night, Tennessee visits New Orleans.

While the Packers celebrated Favre's achievement and their own fast start, the Chargers fell to 1-2. They went 14-2 a year ago.

LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for just 62 yards, but Antonio Gates finished with 11 catches for 113 yards. Both of them and quarterback Philip Rivers got into an animated discussion on the sideline in the third quarter that they dismissed as competitive talk.

``This isn't where we expected to be. We expected to be 3-0 right now,'' linebacker Shawne Merriman said. ``There's no way they should be scoring that many points against us. There's no excuse for that.''

Eagles 56, Lions 21

A few days after he complained that black quarterbacks are more heavily scrutinized than white ones, Donovan McNabb shrugged off any negative reaction and threw for 381 yards and four touchdowns. Kevin Curtis had 221 yards receiving and three scores, while Brian Westbrook had 110 yards rushing, 111 more receiving, and scored three TDs before leaving in the third quarter with injured ribs.

The host Eagles (1-2) scored touchdowns on their first five possessions and had a franchise-record 42 points in the first half. It was the most points they scored in a regular-season game since a 56-17 victory at the Chicago Cardinals in 1953. They also beat Detroit 58-37 in the playoffs in 1995.

``I'm not surprised by what we were able to do,'' Westbrook said. ``We're an explosive offense when things work out the way we want.''

The Lions (2-1) failed to earn their first 3-0 start in 27 years.

Cowboys 34, Bears 10

At Chicago, Tony Romo passed for 329 yards after a rough start and Anthony Henry had two interceptions for the second straight week. The Cowboys showed just how serious a contender they are in the NFC during the second half, outscoring the Bears 31-7 and starting 3-0 for the first time since 1999.

Romo went 22-for-35 with two touchdowns and an interception.

The Bears (1-2) lost four Pro Bowl players to injuries: linebacker Lance Briggs (groin), cornerback Nathan Vasher (groin), defensive tackle Tommie Harris (knee) and guard Ruben Brown (ankle).

Rex Grossman had another rough outing, going 15-of-32 with 195 yards. He threw three interceptions, did not have a touchdown and heard more boos from the home crowd.

Patriots 38, Bills 7

Tom Brady threw two of his four scoring passes to new deep threat Randy Moss, and the Patriots (3-0) rolled to their third straight rout.

The pair has combined for five touchdowns and 403 yards. Moss became the first receiver in NFL history to gain at least 100 yards receiving in each of his first three games with a new team. Moss, obtained from Oakland in a draft-day trade, finished the day with five catches for 115 yards.

The visiting Bills (0-3) lost quarterback J.P. Losman to a knee injury when he was sacked and lost a fumble on his third play.

Seahawks 24, Bengals 21

At Seattle, Nate Burleson caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck with 1 minute remaining. Shaun Alexander, who finished with 100 yards on 21 carries, ran 14 yards on fourth-and-1 to set up the go-ahead score.

Glenn Holt then fumbled when he was hit by Lance Laury while returning the following kickoff. Deon Grant recovered the fumble with 54 seconds remaining to seal the win for Seattle (2-1).

Kenny Watson, subbing for ineffective and then injured Rudi Johnson, ran 8 yards with 2:42 left for a 21-17 lead for Cincinnati (1-2). T.J. Houshmandzadeh tied his career high with 12 catches and had 141 yards receiving with a touchdown.

Raiders 26, Browns 24

At Oakland, first-year coach Lane Kiffin successfully used a late timeout against Cleveland kicker Phil Dawson, the same strategy Denver used to help beat the Raiders (1-2) the previous week. On the second attempt, Tommy Kelly blocked Dawson's low last-second field goal attempt.

The Raiders broke an 11-game slide, with LaMont Jordan rushing for 121 yards and Sebastian Janikowski making all four field goal attempts.

Cleveland is 1-2.

Jaguars 23, Broncos 14

At Denver, Fred Taylor rushed for 84 yards as the Jaguars (2-1) controlled the clock for nearly 39 minutes and shut down the league's top tailback and its most prolific offense.

Denver's Travis Henry ran just 11 times for 35 yards. The Broncos (2-1), who piled up 911 yards of offense in their first two games, managed just 265.

Steelers 37, 49ers 16

At Pittsburgh, Mike Tomlin improved to 3-0 as Steelers coach and Pittsburgh played nearly error-free for the third week in a row. Allen Rossum returned a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and Willie Parker ran for 133 yards against San Francisco (2-1).

The Steelers shut down the 49ers the same way they did the Browns (34-7) and the Bills (26-3) the last two weeks, allowing no big plays and repeatedly coming up with key third-down stops.

Colts 30, Texans 24

At Houston, Joseph Addai ran for two touchdowns and Adam Vinatieri added three field goals to lead the Colts (3-0).

Houston (2-1) entered the game without star receiver Andre Johnson, who sprained his knee last week, and lost running back Ahman Green to a knee injury on the first series of the second quarter. Rookie receiver Jacoby Jones also separated his left shoulder.

Giants 24, Redskins 17

After allowing 80 points in its first two games, New York (1-2) gave up only 81 yards after halftime and made a decisive goal-line stand in the final minutes. The Giants rallied from a two-touchdown deficit at Washington (2-1).

Plaxico Burress, who had three drops and no catches in the first half, had five receptions for 86 yards in the second as the Giants rallied from a 17-3 deficit. A 33-yard catch-and-run in which he put a move on Carlos Rogers before outrunning Sean Taylor to the end zone provided the winning margin.

Reuben Droughns scored on a pair of 1-yard runs, New York's first rushing touchdowns of the season.

Jets 31, Dolphins 28

Showing no ill effects from an ankle injury that sidelined him last week, Chad Pennington threw two touchdown passes and ran for another as he consistently moved the offense.

Leon Washington returned a kickoff 98 yards for a score, and Thomas Jones had his first big game for the Jets (1-2) by rushing for 110 yards on 25 carries.

At 0-3, Cam Cameron is off to the worst start for a first-year Miami coach since George Wilson dropped his opening five games with the AFL expansion team in 1966.

Ravens 26, Cardinals 23

At Baltimore, Matt Stover kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired.

The Ravens (2-1) led 20-3 at halftime and 23-6 entering the fourth quarter, but struggled in the final 15 minutes. Backup QB Kurt Warner rallied the Cardinals (1-2) to a tie at 23 with 1:50 left.

The Cardinals had used Warner in no-huddle situations in practice, and first-year coach Ken Whisenhunt decided the veteran was the best man to engineer the comeback.

Kyle Boller replaced an ailing Steve McNair in the fourth quarter, then went 5-for-5 for 32 yards, and the Ravens benefited from a questionable personal foul call on safety Adrian Wilson to get into position for Stover's kick.

Panthers 27, Falcons 20

At Atlanta, the Panthers overcame a 361-yard, two-touchdown performance by Joey Harrington and an injury to Jake Delhomme.

DeShaun Foster rushed 122 yards and scored twice, but Carolina (2-1) may have lost Delhomme, who injured his throwing arm in the third quarter and didn't return.

Atlanta (0-3) went ahead 17-10 on Harrington's second TD pass, but blew it in part because cornerback DeAngelo Hall lost his cool.

When Delhomme went deep down the sideline for Steve Smith, Hall dragged down Smith for a 37-yard interference penalty. On the next play, Hall gave Smith a shove to the upper chest, drawing a 15-yard personal foul. Then, after Delhomme was sacked, Hall drew an unsportsmanlike penalty for continuing to jabber at Smith.

Delhomme took advantage with a tying 5-yard scoring pass to Jeff King. Hall even appeared to get into it with his own coach, Bobby Petrino, before being dragged away by a couple of teammates.

Chiefs 13, Vikings 10

At Kansas City, Damon Huard hit rookie wide receiver Dwayne Bowe with a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to help the Chiefs (1-2) beat Minnesota (1-2) to avoid what would have been just their second 0-3 start in 27 years.

Chiefs RB Larry Johnson, struggling following his 25-day holdout, was held to 42 yards on 24 carries.

Buccaneers 24, Rams 3

At Tampa, Jermaine Phillips and Phillip Buchanon intercepted passes and seldom-used running back Earnest Graham scored on runs of 8 and 28 yards for Tampa Bay (2-1).

St. Louis (0-3) remained winless despite finally getting Steven Jackson involved in an offense that has suddenly found it difficult to score. The fourth-year running back had 115 yards on 30 carries and caught four passes for 18 yards.