Smash-Mouth Packers Win Again

Behind a rushing attack that continues to steamroll defenses, the Green Bay Packers overcame Brett Favre's three interceptions by rolling up 243 yards rushing and won their first home game in nearly two months.

GREEN BAY – Ahman Green notched his fourth straight 100-yard rushing game with 154 on 27 carries as the Packers pounded their way to a 20-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Lambeau Field on Sunday. The Packers, who have rushed for more than 100 yards in eight straight games, improved to 6-5. San Francisco fell to 5-6 and dropped to 0-4 on the road.

The Packers have rushed for more than 200 yards four times this season. Before rushing for 190 yards in a 20-13 win over the Buccaneers last Sunday in Tampa, the Packers racked up 241 in a loss at home to Philadelphia and 261 in a victory over the Vikings in Minneapolis.

"Very impressive, very impressive," said Favre. "In those type of conditions playing the type of game we want to play. They knew it, we knew it, but yet they weren't able to stop us."

Green improved his season total to 1,326 yards, just 61 yards shy of his career best set in 2001 and within range of Jim Taylor's team rushing record of 1,474 yards set in 1962. Against the 49ers, he surpassed John Brockington as the No. 2 rushing leader in team history.

"It comes with the job, breaking records," said Green. "Records are made to be broken. I'm proud of it because I'm in a long line of other running backs that played here and things like that. I'm very proud of that, but I've still got a job to do. In the next month-and-a-half we've got a lot of football to play. Probably when the season is done in late April and May, I'll probably look at it."

Najeh Davenport ran for 62 yards on 11 carries and Tony Fisher had 25 yards on six attempts at the Packers averaged a whopping 5.1 yards per carry.

The Packers improved to 3-3 at home, winning for the first time since Oct. 5 against Seattle and winning their second straight for only the second time this season.

"I wouldn't say momentum is anywhere yet," said Packers coach and general manager Mike Sherman. "I think momentum is after four games, not two games. But, we haven't lost anything put it that way."

The Packers have won nine of last 10 against San Francisco with their lone loss in the 1998 playoffs at San Francisco.

Favre, who passed for two touchdowns to give the Packers a 14-0 lead, even got in on the rushing attack. His five-yard run to the 15 for a first down after the 49ers used their final timeout just before the 2-minute warning sealed the game. Favre took a knee on the final three plays as time expired. The non-scoring drive consumed the final 6:08 of the game after safety Antuan Edwards got his first interception of the season.

Favre, playing his fourth straight game with a splint and tape wrapped around his broken right thumb, was hot and cold. The veteran said the thumb wasn't a factor on the passes that were intercepted. He completed 10 of 15 passes for 138 yards.

But Green Bay's league-leading rushing attack and another impressive performance by the defense was enough to bail the Packers out of deep holes early in the first half. Green Bay has surrendered just two touchdowns in the last two games.

"Well, when you have transition like we had and I revamped the defense early in the season as you well know, and put that on me, it takes a while for guys to get used to one another ... how they are going to fit in to certain schemes and how if we play certain things, and that was a big part of that," Sherman said. "I do think, however, that several new faces have brought some chemistry to our defense as well and has been well received by our guys and I think they have helped us. But the guys who have been here are stepping up and making plays on a pretty consistent basis, at least they have for the last three or four weeks."

Green Bay gave up 192 total yards to a team that piled up 423 six days earlier on Monday night in a 30-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Quarterback Tim Rattay, who has had a hot hand in recent weeks, passed for 142 yards, completing 14 of 30. He was sacked four times and often under pressure.

"It's our best performance against a quality offense," said Packers defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. "This was a big game for both teams. They're an excellent running team and our guys responded. We're happy with the effort. Our offense also did a great job. Those guys ran the football great and that helps you get that (192)."

After tossing a 66-yard bomb to wide receiver Javon Walker for a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead, Favre was intercepted on Green Bay's next two series. Despite starting on the Packers' 20 and 22 yard lines, the 49ers failed to score thanks to Green Bay's blitzing defense and the Niners' penalties.

"The ball, in my opinion was right where I wanted it to be," Favre said. "The one was two or three inches too high, and the other one was thrown too far in front of him. But I'm not going to blame it on my thumb."

Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila got his sixth sack of the season, dropping Rattay on the Packers' 10 on third and goal. Todd Peterson, the 49ers' third kicker this season, then hit the left upright on a 28-yard attempt, allowing the Packers to dodge bullet No. 1.

Favre was off the mark again on a pass to Bubba Franks and was intercepted by safety Tony Parish, who ran it back to the Packers' 22. But the 49ers were flagged for holding and a false start on two straight plays. The Packers blitzed up the middle on Rattay, a pocket-passer, on the next two plays forcing incomplete passes and the 49ers to punt the ball away.

The Packers responded with a 10-play, 83-yard drive, highlighted by Favre's 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Robert Ferguson. Like they have done in recent weeks, the Packers used their rushing attack to pick up the bulk of the yardage. Green's 13-yard run ignited the drive, and Najeh Davenport burst through a huge hole on the left side for a 25-yard gain to the 49ers' 27. After Green plowed through the line for a two-yard gain on third and 1, Favre lobbed a pass to Ferguson, who beat Rumph to catch the pass, then stretch the ball over the goal line for his second touchdown of the season.

Peterson's 24-yard field goal with 2 minutes left in the half capped a 14-play, 54-yard drive to close San Francisco to 14-3. Linebacker Na'il Diggs made a touchdown-saving tackle on running back Garrison Hearst to force the field goal attempt.

Ryan Longwell broke Chris Jacke's team record of 173 all-time field goals by making a 38-yarder as time expired in the first half, and a 37-yarder midway through the fourth quarter. Longwell, who was picked up off waivers from the 49ers during the off-season in 1997, now has 174 career field goals.

"It's pretty special," Longwell said. "For a kid from Bend, Ore., to be here in the record books is pretty neat."


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