Packers save season with win over Vikings

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 3, 2003

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Ignoring the broken thumb on his throwing hand, Brett Favre passed for 194 yards and three touchdowns and the Green Bay Packers saved their season Sunday night with a 30-27 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Favre, who improved to 3-9 in his career in the Vikings' noisy, climate-controlled home, completed 18 of 28 passes and threw one interception. He extended his consecutive starts streak to 198, an NFL record by a quarterback.

After two straight losses at home, the Vikings (6-2) saw their NFC North lead over the Packers (4-4) shrink to two games.

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Two of Javon Walker's three receptions went for Green Bay touchdowns, and Ahman Green rushed 21 times for 137 yards - plus five catches for 52 yards and a score.

Colts 23, Dolphins 17

At Miami, Peyton Manning threw for 266 yards and survived a potentially disastrous interception in the closing moments.

Indianapolis and Manning had lost four in a row to the Dolphins, and Manning was 2-8 against Miami entering the game. But the Indianapolis defense turned away a scoring threat with two minutes left when Brian Griese was sacked by Dwight Freeney and fumbled.

The Colts improved to 7-1, matching their best start since 1977.

The Dolphins fell to 5-3, the same record they had at midseason in 2002, when they missed the playoffs. All of their defeats have been at home.

With the help of two Colts turnovers, Miami tried to rally from a 23-14 deficit in the final four minutes.

After Olindo Mare's 23-yard field goal trimmed the margin to six, Terrell Buckley intercepted Manning's short pass, giving the Dolphins the ball at the Colts 15 with 2:45 left. But on second down, Griese fumbled when Freeney sacked him. Raheem Brock recovered, and Indy ran out the clock.

Saints 17, Bucs 14

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - John Carney kicked a 47-yard field goal with eight seconds left, lifting New Orleans (4-5) past the Super Bowl champions, leaving the Bucs at .500 and without a two-game winning streak this season.

Deuce McAllister ran for 110 yards, while New Orleans forced six turnovers and sacked Brad Johnson four times.

Ashley Ambrose returned an interception 73 yards for a touchdown that put the Saints ahead 14-0 going into the fourth quarter. Ambrose also had a second-quarter pick to set up Aaron Brooks' 38-yard TD pass to Michael Lewis.

The Bucs (4-4) drove 97 yards to trim their deficit to 14-7 on Brad Johnson's 26-yard pass to Michael Pittman. They pulled even when Johnson threw 30 yards to Keenan McCardell on fourth-and-10 with 2:08 remaining.

Lions 23, Raiders 13

DETROIT (AP) - Joey Harrington threw a 33-yard touchdown pass and Jason Hanson kicked three field goals as Detroit won its first game since beating Arizona on opening day.

The Lions (2-6) had lost six straight and 14 of 15 dating back to last season. Detroit turned two turnovers into 10 first-quarter points, and scored 13 more on its first three second-half possessions.

Oakland (2-6) is off to its worst start since 1964, when it was 1-7-1.

Raiders quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo, in his first NFL start in place of Rich Gannon, was sidelined with a left knee injury late in the first half. Rick Mirer made his first appearance since playing one game for San Francisco three years ago.

Texans 14, Panthers 10

HOUSTON (AP) - Billy Miller's one-handed touchdown catch early in the fourth quarter gave the Texans (3-5) the win.

Carolina (6-2) took a 10-7 lead on John Kasay's 23-yard field goal at the end of a third quarter in which each team had one possession. But Tony Banks, filling in for the injured David Carr, connected with Miller for the winning points from the Panthers 20 with 9 1/2 minutes left.

Banks was 10-of-15 for 121 yards and did not throw an interception or lose a fumble.

49ers 30, Rams 10

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Tim Rattay passed for 236 yards and three touchdowns in his first NFL start, and Cedrick Wilson returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a score for the 49ers (4-5).

While San Francisco's defense dominated the first three quarters, Rattay threw TD passes to Terrell Owens, Tai Streets and rookie Brandon Lloyd. Jeff Garcia's longtime backup went 19-of-29, leading an emphatic victory.

Marc Bulger was 26-of-42 for 378 yards for St. Louis (4-5), but also threw two interceptions and fumbled as the Rams' four-game winning streak ended.

Bears 20, Chargers 7

CHICAGO (AP) - Chris Chandler passed for 224 yards and Anthony Thomas rushed for 111 yards and two scores to lead the Bears (3-5).

But just 10 days past his 41st birthday, Doug Flutie nearly pulled off another comeback after replacing Drew Brees in the fourth quarter. He found Tim Dwight on a 22-yard pass, and rushed for another 17 yards to set up LaDainian Tomlinson's 3-yard score that pulled San Diego (1-7) within 13-7 with 9:13 to play.

Cowboys 21, Redskins 14

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Dallas overcame four first-half turnovers to tighten its grip on the NFC East midway through the season.

Troy Hambrick atoned for two lost fumbles with two short touchdown runs for Dallas (6-2), which now has won more games in a half-season than in each of the last three seasons. Quincy Carter was 17-of-33 for 196 yards and Hambrick had 100 yards on 21 carries, helping the Cowboys win for the sixth time in seven games.

Washington (3-5) had 11 yards in the first quarter and minus-11 yards passing at halftime.

Ravens 24, Jaguars 17

BALTIMORE (AP) - Matt Stover kicked three field goals and the Ravens benefited from two fourth-quarter fumbles by Byron Leftwich.

The Jaguars held Jamal Lewis, the NFL rushing leader, to 68 yards on 21 carries - ending his run of successive 100-yard games at six. Lewis did surpass 1,000 yards (1,045) by the halfway mark of the season.

But the Jaguars (1-7) couldn't overcome their own miscues, especially those of Leftwich, the seventh overall pick in the 2003 draft. His two fumbles led to 10 points by the Ravens (5-3), who remained in first place in the AFC North.

Giants 31, Jets 28, OT

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Brett Conway atoned for a missed field goal early in the extra session by kicking a 29-yarder with four seconds to go, and the Giants overcame four touchdown passes by Chad Pennington.

Kerry Collins threw two TD passes. The Giants (4-4) left the Jets (2-6) with little room for error.

Pennington, making his first start of the season, threw a 9-yard TD pass to Anthony Becht with 29 seconds left in regulation after the Giants led by 14 with less than 10 minutes left.

Seahawks 23, Steelers 16

SEATTLE (AP) - Darrell Jackson scored a fourth-quarter touchdown on a 14-yard pass from Matt Hasselbeck and set up another late score with a 43-yard catch-and-run for Seattle (6-2).

The Steelers (2-6) lost their fifth straight game, their longest losing streak in four years. But this time, they were in it to the end, cutting the deficit to 16-13 before Jackson's long play set up Shaun Alexander's 1-yard touchdown.

Eagles 23, Falcons 16

ATLANTA (AP) - Donovan McNabb took advantage of an entirely revamped Atlanta secondary to throw for a season-high 312 yards, including a 37-yard touchdown pass to Freddie Mitchell for the Eagles (5-3).

Atlanta (1-7) lost its seventh in a row, taking on the look of an increasingly desperate team. Embattled coach Dan Reeves tried to shake things up by starting four new defensive backs, but it didn't do much to slow McNabb, who had been the NFL's lowest-ranked quarterback coming in.