HOUSTON (AP) -- Brett Favre sat silently as his Green Bay
teammates anxiously chatted during halftime.
Trailing by 10 points and down to only one healthy tailback, the
Packers were desperately searching for an offensive spark. They
found the solution in a familiar place.
"I just listened because I knew what we needed to do," Favre
said. "And the talk wasn't going to get it done."
Favre led the Pack all the way back in the fourth quarter and
Ryan Longwell kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired, sending
the Packers to their fifth straight win, 16-13 over the Houston
Texans on Sunday night.
Favre completed 6 of 7 passes for 42 yards on the final drive --
the only incompletion came when he spiked the ball to stop the
clock -- to complete Green Bay's rally from a 10-point deficit in
the final quarter.
He finished 33-of-50 for 383 yards with two interceptions and a
touchdown to Houston native Donald Driver in the fourth period.
Driver had quite a homecoming, catching 10 passes for 148 yards.
Favre "gives you confidence that he is going to do something
special in those situations," Packers coach Mike Sherman said.
"To be able to rely on his leadership and abilities at those times
gives us an opportunity to win a game like this."
The Packers sputtered on offense throughout the first three
quarters and clearly missed injured star tailback Green, who was
knocked out of the game with a rib injury in the second quarter. He
finished with 15 yards on only five carries.
Relying on a third-string tailback (Tony Fisher) and a guy
called up from the practice squad Saturday (Walter Williams), Favre
was forced to shoulder much of the offensive burden.
"At one point, we were totally out of running backs," Favre
said. "We had to alter our game plan some and had to abandon our
running game a little bit."
That proved to be a good move.
Favre finally got going in the fourth quarter, leading the
Packers on a seven-play, 81-yard drive he capped with a 24-yard
touchdown pass to Driver. Favre made a deft pump fake on the play,
fooling rookie cornerback Dunta Robinson and giving Driver a
wide-open path into the end zone.
It also extended Favre's streak of games with a touchdown pass
to 35 games, second in NFL history to Johnny Unitas' 47 games.
The Packers scored again on Longwell's 38-yard field goal midway
through the quarter, tying the game at 13.
Favre failed on his first attempt to break the tie, throwing an
interception to Robinson, who was running step for step with
receiver Antonio Chatman.
But the Texans went three plays and out for the third straight
time, and Favre predictably came through in the clutch.
Green Bay (6-4) stayed tied with Minnesota for first place in
the NFC North.
The Texans (4-6) played on national TV for the first time since
their inaugural game against the Dallas Cowboys in 2002, a span of
40 games. Houston came through that night with a stunning 19-10 win
over the heavily favored Cowboys.
Before a record crowd of 70,769 at buzzing Reliant Stadium, the
Texans hoped to summon a little more prime-time magic.
The third-year team came up short, losing its third straight and
learning a valuable lesson about letting a veteran team hang
"You don't get many chances to play in front of big audiences
like tonight," said Andre Johnson, who had 107 yards receiving on
six catches. "When you get no points in the second half, you just
can't do that, playing against a team like that with Brett Favre."
Texans quarterback David Carr started fast, but finished with a
Midway through the second quarter, Carr connected with Johnson
for a 49-yard pass to the Green Bay 6. Carr found Domanick Davis in
the flat on the next play for a 7-3 lead.
At halftime, Carr was 8-of-15 for 115 yards. After the break, he
went 5-for-11 for 49 yards as the Texans were so bad on offense the
crowd started booing. Davis was held to 65 yards on 21 carries --
about right for a team that ranks 31st in yards per carry.
"To go out and not score anything in second half is not
acceptable," Texans guard Todd Wade said. "It's embarrassing."
After being decimated by Jake Plummer and Peyton Manning in
consecutive weeks, Houston's beleaguered defense held Favre in
check for three quarters. The fourth quarter, though, is the one
that matters most with Favre: The 14-year veteran engineered his
32nd final-quarter comeback.
The Packers hadn't visited Houston since 1992, Favre's
first year as a starter with Green Bay. ... Bhawoh Jue started at
free safety for Green Bay in place of Darren Sharper for a second
straight game. Sharper is still recovering from a knee injury. ...
Packers DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila had two sacks Sunday, moving past
Ezra Johnson for third in franchise history with 43½ in his career.
The NFL says it is close but still has yet to interview the four players named along with Peyton Manning in a report five months ago that linked them to PEDs.
ESPNDallas columnist Jean-Jacques Taylor and NFL Nation reporter Todd Archer discuss what Randy Gregory needs to do to have a long future with the Cowboys, plus a Dez Bryant-Russell Westbrook comparison.
ESPN Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson discusses how Kevin White looked in Chicago's OTA on Wednesday.
ESPN Redskins reporter John Keim says Preston Smith and the defense, including safety DeAngelo Hall, had a big day against the offense Wednesday.
ESPN Browns reporter Pat McManamon explains that perennial Pro Bowl tackle knows the wear and tear on his body; if he needs a day off in OTAs and during the season, Cleveland Browns are wise to give it to him.
DeSean Jackson has missed too many voluntary workouts to collect his $500,000 bonus, but Washington isn't concerned about his absences.