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Favre's Feat Is Staying on Feet

October 16, 2000|From Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Time might be catching up with Brett Favre. For once, the pass rushers weren't.

Behind two rookie tackles, the Green Bay Packers' weary quarterback got enough time to stay in the pocket and guide his team on five scoring drives Sunday.

He capped his performance by putting Ryan Longwell in position to kick a 35-yard field goal with 54 seconds left for a 31-28 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

When pressured, the 31-year-old Favre looked like his old--or young--self, scrambling away from blitzing defenders, slipping tacklers and turning broken plays into big gains.

"Favre has been taking the slack," Packer receiver Antonio Freeman said. "He's still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL."

After struggling most of the last two seasons because of roster turnover and his own gunslinger mentality, Favre played the way he did during his three-year, most-valuable-player run.

"He looked like he had his 21st birthday out there today," Packer Coach Mike Sherman said.

He's 31, plays like 21 and feels like he's . . .

"Fifty-one," Favre said. "Nah. I feel like I could go another four quarters--next week."

Actually, the Packers are off next Sunday and they feel good about going into the open date at 3-4.

"We've got a chance to make a push for the playoffs," safety LeRoy Butler said. "That would have been hard to do at 2-5."

Don't the 49ers know it.

"I can honestly say this is the best 2-5 team I've been around," receiver Terrell Owens said. "We're just coming up short and eventually it's going to turn around."

Favre barely outperformed 49er quarterback Jeff Garcia, who completed 27 of 42 passes for 336 yards and four touchdowns, giving him an NFL-best 19 touchdown passes.

Favre completed 20 of 27 passes for 266 yards and hooked up with Freeman on a 67-yard touchdown pass play. Freeman finished with six catches for 116 yards, his first 100-yard receiving day in 14 games.

"We let Favre make a couple plays on the last couple drives, getting out of the pocket and doing some of those miraculous things," 49er Coach Steve Mariucci said.

After Longwell's field goal, the 49ers' desperation drive ended when Scott McGarrahan tackled Charlie Garner at the Packer 28 after a 33-yard catch-and-run. The 49ers had scored touchdowns on each of their three previous second-half possessions.

"You would like to have a few more seconds, maybe one or two timeouts," Garcia said.

The 49ers lost for the second week in a row despite erasing a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit behind Owens' two touchdown catches.

The Packers ran for three scores, tripling their season total.

Ahman Green scored two touchdowns in a game for the first time, and Dorsey Levens' first touchdown of the year came on a one-yard dive midway through the third quarter and gave Green Bay a 21-7 lead.

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