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THE NFL / 1996

With Favre, It Doesn't Matter Who Packers Have at Receiver

NFC: Green Bay quarterback throws four touchdown passes in 28-18 victory over Lions.

November 04, 1996|From Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Brett Favre didn't miss Antonio Freeman or Robert Brooks on Sunday.

Without his two best receivers, Favre still passed for four touchdowns as the Green Bay Packers defeated the ailing Detroit Lions, 28-18, for their 12th consecutive victory at Lambeau Field.

"I'm not surprised," Favre said. "I'm actually a little disappointed we didn't do more."

Favre, who had only one touchdown pass in his last two games, completed 24 of 35 passes for 281 yards and one interception as the Packers (8-1) won their fifth in a row.

Terry Mickens caught two touchdown passes and Don Beebe had four catches for 106 yards, including a 65-yard score that made it 28-10 in the third quarter.

Making his first start at flanker, Beebe put a scare into the Packers and their fans when he took vicious hits in the first half.

"I was concerned. He took two big-time hits," Packer Coach Mike Holmgren said. "The way our luck's been going with our wide receivers. . . ."

Mickens, who hadn't played all season because of a severe ankle sprain, started at split end and made two diving grabs in the end zone--the first touchdowns of his three-year career--and doubled his career total with seven catches for 52 yards.

Barry Sanders broke out of his six-week slump, rushing for 152 yards in 20 carries. But former Packer quarterback Don Majkowski, filling in for injured Detroit starter Scott Mitchell, completed only 15 of 32 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown as the Lions fell to 4-5.

"You give Barry the ball enough and good things happen to it," Detroit Coach Wayne Fontes said.

Sanders ended the longest drought of his eight-year NFL career--six games without 100 yards rushing--against the league's stingiest run defense, and he had 105 yards by halftime.

"I expect better things from our defense," Holmgren said. "Of course, Barry Sanders can make any defense look average. And in the first half, boy, was he good."

With Mitchell impaired, the Lions will be hard-pressed to repeat last year's seven-victory surge that sent them to the playoffs and saved Fontes' job.

"Our chant right now is seven in a row," Fontes said. "We've done it before."

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