Brett Favre and Darren Sharper have forgotten more motivational speeches than they can remember.
If the Green Bay Packers bounce back this season from their awful start, the pep talk head coach/GM Mike Sherman delivered the night before playing at Detroit will be memorable.
That did the trick. Favre threw two touchdown passes, and Sharper scored off an interception to lead the Packers to a 38-10 win over the Lions.
Green Bay (2-4) had lost four straight for the first time in 13 years and is 0-3 at home for the first time since 1988.
In an odd twist, Detroit (3-2) has won both its road games -- after losing an NFL record 24 straight -- but fell to 1-2 at home.
The lopsided game was close until Sharper stepped in front of Joey Harrington's forced pass early in the third quarter and returned it 36 yards -- with a juke move and a hurdle into the end zone -- to give the Packers a 24-10 lead.
Favre, who talked about retirement with his 5-year-old daughter as he drove her to kindergarten this week, was effective despite missing Robert Ferguson for the whole game and Javon Walker for much of it. Donald Driver made up for the losses with nine receptions for 110 yards and two TDs.
Favre was 25 of 38 for 257 yards. He extended his streak with a TD pass to 31 games, passing Dan Marino and trailing only Johnny Unitas' record run of 47 straight. Favre played in his 197th game with the Packers, passing Bart Starr for No. 1 in franchise history.
With 165 yards passing in the first half, Favre surpassed Fran Tarkenton for fourth place on the NFL career list with 47,106.
Ahman Green ran for 81 yards, the most against Detroit this season, and threw a 20-yard TD pass to Driver to put Green Bay ahead 38-10 early in the fourth. Najeh Davenport added 62 yards rushing and a touchdown.
The Packers hope this win will get them back into the playoff race in the NFC. Just eight teams have reached the postseason after a 1-4 start.
The Lions were booed at home, something the Packers have dealt with lately.
Most of the displeasure was voiced by Lions fans when Harrington made one of his many inaccurate, or short passes. Harrington completed 12 of 23 passes for just 101 yards with a TD and an interception.
It looked like Harrington would have much-needed help when Roy Williams was activated despite a sprained ankle, but the rookie receiver was relegated to the sideline in full uniform because of concerns about making the injury worse.
The backfield also didn't help Harrington, who ran for a team-high 12 yards.
Detroit went 67 yards on its TD drive in the first half, but gained just 40 on the other six first-half possessions. In the second half, the Lions gained just 18 yards and didn't have a first down.
The Lions were off to a good start -- and Green Bay wasn't -- because of turnover margin. Detroit created nine more turnovers than it gave up through four games while the Packers had a minus-9 differential. On Sunday, the Packers didn't have one turnover and Detroit had one.
Monday, October 18, 2004
AP Story, offical Packer site
Posted by Chris at 9:55 AM