Packers snap skid, beat 49ers, 30-19

The Green Bay Packers bounced back from their worst defeat of the season with a convincing 30-19 victory Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers at Monster Park in San Francisco. The Packers snapped their three-game losing streak and beat the 49ers for the sixth straight time.

Green Bay won its fifth game of the season, surpassing last year's four-win victory total, by capitalizing on three San Francisco turnovers and dominating the second half after the 49ers closed to 17-13 early in the third quarter.

Brett Favre connected on a 68-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Donald Driver late in the third quarter that helped the Packers stretch their lead to 24-13. The Packers then held off the 49ers after Alex Smith's 52-yard touchdown pass to tight end Vernon Davis with 5 minutes, 19 seconds left in the game by controlling the ball for all but the final 37 seconds of the game for the final score.

The Packers improved to 4-3 on the road and 5-8 overall, beating San Francisco for the 11 time in the last 12 games overall behind first-year coach Mike McCarthy, who served as San Francisco's offensive coordinator in 2005. The 49ers slipped to 5-8.

Favre passed for 293 yards (completing 22 of 34 passing attempts) and two touchdowns, raising his career total to 413, seven short of Dan Marino's NFL record of 420. Driver finished with nine catches for 160 yards, tying a team record with his third consecutive 1000-yard season with Hall of Famer James Lofton (1983-85) and Sterling Sharpe (1992-94).

The Packers were out-scored 107-34 in their last three games, including a 38-10 loss to the New York Jets at Lambeau Field last Sunday. But Green Bay played hard with a balanced running and passing attack to send San Francisco to its third straight loss.

"It's been a long month for us," McCarthy said. "I'm very proud of the way they stayed the course. It's a great victory for us to come out here. We've kind of got the road game solved. Now we've got to get the home game solved."

Frank Gore, the NFC's leading rusher, finished with 130 yards, including a 72-yard burst on the 49ers' second play from scrimmage. However, the Packers' leaky pass defense, ranked 30th in the league, held Smith to just 12-of-29 for 201 yards and two interceptions while under constant pressure.

Driver made the game's most spectacular play after Smith was intercepted by safety Nick Collins with 3:54 left in the third quarter, Collins' first interception of the season. The receiver ran under Favre's long pass, then eluded a tackle and reversed his field before out-running three defenders to the end zone, where Favre picked him up in a bear hug after sprinting down the field. It was Favre's 33rd career touchdown pass to Driver.

"That play was all Donald Driver," Favre said. "You've got to give him a lot of credit for making such a great play. This wasn't a championship game or a playoff game, for that matter, but I've grown to appreciate him over my career."

Ahman Green led Green Bay's rushing attack with 77 yards and a score. The Packers finished with 139 yards on the ground, its second straight 100-plus yard game rushing. Kicker Dave Rayner made all three of his field goal attempts from 23, 44 and 21 yards.

Gore broke attempted tackles by safety Marquand Manuel and defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila for a 72-yard run on the 49ers' opening drive against Green Bay, but San Francisco couldn't punch it in from the 2, and settled for Joe Nedney's 24-yard field goal and a 3-0 lead.

Favre then ran a play-action pass that froze Walt Harris, the 49ers' top cornerback. No defenders were within several yards of Ruvell Martin as he caught a 36-yard pass for his first NFL touchdown.

After managing just five first downs while falling behind 17-6 at halftime, the 49ers opened the second half with an 80-yard scoring drive capped by Gore's 1-yard plunge as the Niners closed to 17-13.


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