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Gado Provides a Cure for What Ails the Packers

November 14, 2005|From Associated Press

Dr. Gado, paging Dr. Gado.

You're needed in the Green Bay Packers' backfield.

Making his first start on his 23rd birthday, doctor-in-waiting Samkon Gado scored three touchdowns to give the Packers only their second win of the season, a 33-25 upset of the Falcons on Sunday at Atlanta.

"It was surreal," said Gado, who was given the game ball. "I didn't even think it was a reality. But I'm here. I'm just enjoying it as much as possible."

Brett Favre threw for 252 yards and engineered a drive that led to Ryan Longwell's fourth field goal, a 51-yarder with 4:01 left that gave Green Bay (2-7) a nine-point lead.

Gado, unemployed less than a month ago, was the fifth player -- and certainly the most improbable -- to start at running back in Green Bay's revolving door backfield after season-ending injuries to Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport.

The Nigerian-born Gado started only two games at Division I-AA Liberty, where he was a premed major and planned to become a doctor. He rushed for 103 yards in 25 carries, and even a pair of fumbles didn't hurt -- the Packers recovered both.

"I just hope I'm here at the end of the year," said Gado, who scored on runs of one, two and nine yards.

Less than a minute after Longwell's kick, rookie receiver Roddy White finished off the Falcons (6-3) with their sixth fumble. Nick Barnett recovered it and returned it to the Atlanta two, from where Gado scored his third touchdown.

"It doesn't surprise me," Favre said. "In some ways, [Gado] came out of nowhere, but in some ways I did too. I just told him this week, 'You just need the opportunity.' "


Pittsburgh 34, Cleveland 21 -- Ben Roethlisberger (knee injury) sat out a second game in a row, and his replacement, Charlie Batch, left because of a broken right hand, but the Steelers (7-2) prevailed at Pittsburgh with some improvisation.

Tommy Maddox replaced Batch to run an efficient and time-consuming offense in the second half, and college quarterback-turned-wide receiver Antwaan Randle El threw a 51-yard scoring pass to Hines Ward on a reverse early in the third quarter to put the Steelers up, 24-7.

Batch, shaky the week before, looked smooth before being hurt on a one-yard touchdown run with six seconds left in the first half that put Pittsburgh ahead, 17-7. He completed 13 of 19 passes for 150 yards.

Ward made eight catches for 124 yards to give him 543 receptions, breaking John Stallworth's team record of 537.


Indianapolis 31, Houston 17 -- Peyton Manning threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns at Indianapolis, keeping the Colts (9-0) the NFL's only unbeaten team. Houston fell to 1-8.

Manning completed 26 of 35 passes, and Marvin Harrison had seven catches for 108 yards and one touchdown, making Manning and Harrison the only tandem to top 10,000 career yards. The duo has hooked up for 755 completions, 10,034 yards and 90 touchdowns -- all NFL records.


Carolina 30, N.Y. Jets 3 -- The Panthers (7-2) won their sixth consecutive game as Will Witherspoon returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown and Ken Lucas grabbed two of the Panthers' four interceptions against Brooks Bollinger at Charlotte, N.C.

Carolina forced six turnovers, four of which came on consecutive possessions by New York (2-7). Carolina scored 20 points off turnovers.


Buffalo 14, Kansas City 3 -- Taking over after Kelly Holcomb's second-quarter injury, J.P. Losman led touchdown drives on two of his first four possessions, sending the Bills (4-5) past the Chiefs (5-4) at Orchard Park, N.Y.

Losman finished nine for 16 for 137 yards, hitting Lee Evans for touchdowns of 29 and 33 yards. Holcomb was shaken up when his head snapped back after he was sacked by Jared Allen.

The defense limited the Chiefs to 316 yards while generating three interceptions, a fumble and six sacks. Kansas City's three points were the fewest Buffalo has given up since the Bills beat New England, 31-0, in 2003.


Detroit 29, Arizona 21 -- Roy Williams caught a career-high three touchdown passes from Joey Harrington to lead the Lions at Detroit.

Detroit (4-5) ended a two-game losing streak, and Arizona (2-7) lost its third in a row.

Williams, playing an entire game for the first time since Oct. 2, had seven receptions for 117 yards and caught touchdown passes of seven, 21 and 29 yards.

Harrington was 22 for 32 for 231 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in his second straight start in place of Jeff Garcia (leg injury).


Jacksonville 30, Baltimore 3 -- Greg Jones ran for a career-high 106 yards and a touchdown, Matt Jones had a career-high 117 yards receiving and a score, and the Jaguars (6-3) beat the Ravens (2-7) at Jacksonville, Fla.

Jacksonville (6-3) ended its NFL-record 58-game streak of not scoring at least 30 points. The Jaguars tied Cleveland's mark last week.

The Ravens (2-7) had quarterback Kyle Boller back for the first time since the opener. Boller was sacked four times and had three passes intercepted. He completed 19 of 33 passes for 142 yards.

Baltimore lost its fourth consecutive game and eighth in a row on the road. The Ravens also extended their streak of not scoring a touchdown to 11 quarters.

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