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SPORTS WEEKEND

Lions Take Advantage of Favre's Mistakes and Defeat the Packers

Pro football: Green Bay quarterback throws three interceptions and Detroit comes from behind to win, 27-20.

October 16, 1998|From Associated Press

PONTIAC, Mich. — Brett Favre continued to make mistakes while Charlie Batch plays error-free football.

The Detroit defense intercepted three of Favre's passes and Batch played like anything but a rookie in the Lions' 27-20 victory over the Green Bay Packers in an NFC Central Division game Thursday night.

"I never felt like Charlie wasn't confident," said Detroit Coach Bobby Ross, who benched veteran Scott Mitchell in favor of Batch after only two games. "There are just things he needs to see that he continues to see.

"This is the third straight game he hasn't turned the ball over. In this league, that's something special."

It was the second consecutive loss for the Packers (4-2) and dropped them further behind the Minnesota Vikings (5-0) in the division race. The Lions (2-4) fought back from a 10-0 deficit and outscored Green Bay, 17-7, in the fourth quarter.

Batch, who was 16 of 19 for 218 yards without an interception, threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to fellow rookie Germane Crowell to give the Lions a 17-13 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter. Barry Sanders, who had 155 yards in 25 carries, sprinted 73 yards for another touchdown with 8:05 left. Sanders had an 80-yard touchdown run nullified by a penalty about two minutes later.

"He [Batch] gives you an ability to do some things," Ross said of his second-round draft pick out of Eastern Michigan. "You can move him in the pocket, you can sprint him some, you can boot it. It's just very gratifying to have a young man like that to work with. I just love him."

It was the third consecutive game in which Favre has thrown three interceptions. His third Thursday night set up Jason Hanson's 36-yard field goal to clinch the victory with 2:08 left. Favre, who was 22 of 43 for 300 yards, threw a 67-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Freeman in the first quarter and a 14-yarder to Freeman with three seconds left in the game.

Roell Preston's 47-yard return with the second-half kickoff helped set up Ryan Longwell's 40-yard field goal to give Green Bay a 13-10 lead.

The Lions then drove from their nine to the Green Bay two, only to have Vardell's fumble kill that drive.

On their next possession the Lions went 69 yards in three plays for the go-ahead touchdown on the pass to Crowell.

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