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Johnson Goes the Distance

September 11, 2000|From Associated Press

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — In a game that Green Bay Packer quarterback Brett Favre continued to play through injury, his Buffalo Bill counterpart Rob Johnson also showed toughness.

Johnson, despite being sacked five times and hit on numerous other occasions, showed his resilience by completing 18 of 26 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns Sunday to lead the Bills to a 27-18 victory over the Packers.

Asked about one vicious hit he took from Packers' Vonnie Holliday in the third quarter, Johnson said: "I was clear-headed. I just was seeing different colors."

But he didn't raise a white flag, especially after he was knocked out of last Sunday's 16-13 victory over Tennessee by a nerve "stinger" in his lower left leg.

"I didn't want to go out again. It was going to take a lot more than that to get me out," he said.

Favre, extending his NFL record with his 127th consecutive start, wasn't coming out either.

Favre, playing with tendinitis in his right elbow and a sprained right thumb, completed his first 14 passes and finished 25 for 35 for 269 yards and two touchdowns.

"I'm physically and emotionally exhausted," said Favre, whose Packers opened a season 0-2 for the first time since 1992. "If you win a game like this, the aches and pains are better. When you lose, they're twice as bad.

"I felt I did everything I could do today. I left it all on the field."

The difference was he couldn't do it alone.

While the Buffalo defense held Favre in check, the offense finally got going.

Tight end Jay Riemersma had his second career two-touchdown game, and Jeremy McDaniel scored his first career touchdown as the Bills opened the season 2-0 for the first time since 1996. Steve Christie had field goals of 45 and 20 yards, both set up by Green Bay fumbles.

The Bills scored on three consecutive possessions, going ahead 17-0 on Riemersma's first touchdown--a six-yard reception--three minutes into the third quarter.

Not clicking was the Bills' running game, which--led by Shawn Bryson's 31 yards--accounted for a mere 89 yards. Green Bay's running game was also virtually nonexistent with 40 yards.

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