Favre dissects Giants, Packers win, 35-13

Brett Favre and Green Bay's offense came to life against the New York Giants Sunday afternoon as the Packers improved to 2-0.

Brett Favre gave Green Bay's ailing offense a boost by throwing for three touchdowns on the Packers' first three possessions of the second half en route to a 35-13 victory over the New York Giants Sunday afternoon at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Favre notched his 149th win to become the NFL's all-time winningest quarterback and also raised his career touchdown pass total to 417, three shy of Dan Marino's all-time record of 420.

Rookie DeShawn Wynn added touchdown runs of 6 and 38 yards for the Packers.

The Packers, who struggled on offense a week earlier in a 16-13 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, overcame a 10-7 halftime deficit and sent the Giants, who played with ailing quarterback Eli Manning, to 0-2. The Packers are off to their best start since 2001 when they started 3-0 under former coach Mike Sherman and finished 12-4 before losing in the NFC Divisional playoffs. The Giants haven't started 0-2 since 1996 -- the year Dan Reeves got fired.

The 2007 version of the Packers is much different than in 2001 when the team featured a number of veterans. The Packers are the youngest team in the league, though, their 37-year-old quarterback played as well as he did today during his prime in the mid-1990s, and he had fun in the process.

"That's how he always plays," said Donald Driver, who caught one of Favre's touchdown passes. "That's why we love him."

Favre completed 29 of 38 passes for 268 yards and had one pass intercepted when it bounced off Driver's pads in the second quarter. More importantly, he led an offense that struggled again to run the ball, but prospered with short passes to backs and receivers. Favre also wasn't sacked and usually got ample protection when he set up to pass.

"I thought he was sharp today, did a really good job of re-directing some protections against their pressure packages, and he dealt the ball to everybody," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy, whose team has won six straight games dating back to last season. "That's what you're looking for and our guys did a nice job with yards after the catch. That's what you're looking for in the passing game."

Favre threw to eight different players. Rookie James Jones led the Packers with 75 yards receiving on four catches. Driver caught eight passes for 73 yards, and Favre also got the tight ends more involved. Donald Lee had four catches for 35 yards and a touchdown, and Bubba Franks also had four catches, including his first touchdown in nearly two years.

Favre completed his first 14 passes of the second half and the Packers took a 21-13 lead on Lee's 3-yard touchdown reception with 13:33 left in the game.

"I thought we were executing the short passing game as well as we have in recent memory and to me I think that offsets the running game if we are struggling," said Favre. "They go hand-in-hand. As we threw the ball better, when we spread them out and did run the ball, what DeShawn (Wynn) did at the end there is what can happen."

Franks scored his first touchdown since Oct. 30, 2005 on a 2-yard pass from Favre as the Packers opened the second half with an 11-play, 51-yard drive to take a 14-10 lead. The Packers got a shot in the arm on Tramon Williams' 41-yard kickoff return to the 49 to open the second half. Favre then dissected the Giants defense, which entered the game ranked last in the NFL, by completing five straight passes to three different receivers.

Green Bay benefited from a couple of penalties on New York deep in Packers' territory. Amani Toomer's unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting in the third quarter pushed the Giants back into a third-and-goal from Green Bay's 23, instead of a third-and-goal at the 8. Lawrence Tyne's 32-yard field goal closed the Giants to 14-13, but that was as close as they came to Green Bay.

Favre completed his first four passes of the ensuing series, including a 14-yard strike to Lee on third-and-2 to New York's 43. Favre hit Driver with a 19-yard pass to the 8, then found Driver again with a five-yard pass on a slant to the 3 before making a perfectly thrown touch pass to Lee in the right corner of the end zone for the score.

Green Bay's special teams, which sparked the Packers to a win over the Eagles, forced the Giants to turn the ball over on the ensuing kickoff. Safety Charlie Peprah jarred the ball loose from return man, Ahmad Bradshaw, and linebacker Tracy White notched his second fumble recovery of the season. Last week, White scored his first touchdown of his career by recovering a fumble in the end zone.

"I thought we hit some bumps in the second quarter, but I think our football team really responded in the second half," McCarthy said. "We were very physical. The big play that really ignited us in the second half was the fumble on the kickoff coverage."

Starting on New York's 22, Favre completed a seven-yard pass to Franks to the 15 followed by a 5-yard pass to Driver to the 10 before firing a laser to Driver in the back of the end zone for a 28-13 lead.

Defensive tackle Corey Williams got his first career interception midway through the fourth quarter by picking off a pass from Manning. The Packers capitalized on the turnover by driving 53 yards, highlighted by Wynn's 38-yard touchdown run.

"That was an impressive run on third down," said McCarthy. "We caught them in two-man. They spiked the end, and (Wynn) bounced it outside. He showed excellent vision and broke the two tackles."

Wynn had 50 yards rushing on 10 attempts and helped salvage what was otherwise another poor rushing attack. The Packers averaged 2.9 yards per carry against the Giants and finished with 83 rushing yards for the game. The Packers were held to 46 yards on the ground against Philadelphia.

We need to keep working on the running game," McCarthy said. "We've misidentified some things and allowed some penetration that should not occur. We'll get that fixed, but, hey, it's an excellent win for our team. We're 2-0, but we still have some work to do as we prepare for San Diego."

Manning finished 16 of 29 for 211 yards and a touchdown before giving way to Jared Lorenzen in the fourth quarter. Manning's playing status was uncertain all week because of a sprained shoulder, but he led New York to scores on three consecutive series bridging the second and third quarters.

The Packers took 7-0 lead in the second quarter on rookie Wynn's six-yard touchdown run, but the Giants scored 10 unanswered points for a 10-7 halftime lead. Manning decided a few hours before the game to play, then went out and completed 10 of 16 passes for 143 yards against Green Bay, which did not apply much pressure early on. Manning wasn't sacked in the first half and had all day to complete a 26-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Plaxico Burress to tie the game at 7-7 midway through the second quarter.

New York's touchdown came two plays after the Packers marched 71 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead on Wynn's first touchdown of his pro career. Favre, who completed 11 of 17 passes for 164 yards in the first half, completed a 46-yard pass along the right sideline to Jones, and Ryan Grant's 21-yard reception on a screen pass moved the Packers to the Giants' 7. One play later, Wynn scored on a draw play out of the shotgun formation.

New York bounced right back on Manning's 40-yard completion to Toomer, who shed an attempted tackle by cornerback Charles Woodson and bolted to Green Bay's 26. On the next play, Manning found Burress, who got past cornerback Al Harris, then used his 6-foot-5, 232-pound frame to catch the ball over safety Atari Bigby in the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the season.

Tynes, who missed a 34-yard field goal attempt early in the first quarter, put the Giants ahead 10-7 with a 48-yarder with 1:38 left in the first half. The Packers caught a break when Giants tight end Jeremey Shockey was penalized for delay of game after he spiked the ball following a 12-yard reception to the Packers' 12. Shockey's penalty, combined with Aaron Kampman's off-side penalty, put the Giants in a third-and-4 situation on the 30. New York was forced to attempt the field goal when Shockey dropped a pass from Manning.

The Packers scored on all four times that they were in the red zone, and also were 6 of 11 (55 percent) on third down conversions. The Giants were 0-3 in the red zone and 5 of 12 (42 percent) on third down conversions.

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