Panthers hold on; Pack 0-4 for first time since '88

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Brett Favre stood alone at midfield,
watching in frustrated disbelief as the Carolina Panthers
celebrated the end of his improbable rally. It was vintage Favre,
but despite his best efforts, the Green Bay Packers are off to
their worst start in 17 years.

Favre threw four touchdown passes Monday night but couldn't
overcome two early turnovers that the Panthers used to build a big
lead, and Carolina held on for a 32-29 victory.

The Packers fell to 0-4 for the first time since 1988.

"It's hard to express in words how disappointed I am. I left it
all on the field," Favre said. "I've never been 0-4, but it's a
hand we've been dealt."

Rallying Green Bay from a 19-point deficit in the third quarter,
Favre threw two touchdown passes and two 2-point conversions in the
fourth quarter and had the Packers in position to win the game on
their final drive.

But with running back Ahman Green sidelined by an injured knee
and no timeouts, Favre had to do it all on his own when Green Bay
got the ball back with 1:58 to play. He completed two passes before
Carolina (2-2) stopped the Packers on a fourth-and-2.

Favre threw the ball to Donald Driver past the first down line,
but Chris Gamble knocked the ball out of his hands and it fell

"You definitely don't want to be in that situation with Brett
Favre," said Carolina safety Mike Minter. "Once you give them a
chance to get back in their rhythm, Brett Favre will be Brett

Favre, a 15-year veteran and future Hall of Famer who is
possibly playing his final season, stood alone on the field as the
Panthers celebrated.

One by one, the Panthers approached him in a show of respect.
Among them was Mike Wahle, the left guard who spent seven seasons
protecting Favre before signing with Carolina. The two embraced.

"You're never safe -- No. 4 can do some amazing things back
there," Wahle said. "I've seen him do it many times."

Jake Delhomme threw two touchdown passes and Stephen Davis ran
for two more as the Panthers built an early lead and put themselves
in position to ride out an easy win.

Perhaps that's just where Favre wanted them.

"I was just praying for our defense to get a stop," Delhomme
said. "He was awesome tonight. I'm just honored to be on the same
field with him."

Delhomme was 17-of-24 for 206 yards and Davis carried 19 times
for 51 yards. Steve Smith, who scored three touchdowns last week
against Miami, caught only two passes for 12 yards.

"They tried to take Steve Smith out of the game, which they did
a bit, but that opened up things for other people," Delhomme said.

Green, who ran for 119 yards and three TDs in a win over
Carolina last season, was held to 36 yards before leaving the game
with the leg injury in the third quarter.

Trailing 26-7 midway through the third quarter, Favre turned it
up a level, and suddenly looked again like he was having fun doing
it. He led by example on an 80-yard scoring drive, sprinting up the
middle for a 12-yard gain on third-and-8 and finishing it off with
a 26-yard TD pass to Driver.

Favre finished 28-of-47 for 303 yards and four touchdowns -- his
19th game of four or more touchdown passes, second to Dan Marino's
record 21. The pass to Driver was Favre's 50th touchdown pass on
Monday Night Football, second only to Marino's 74, and it cut
Carolina's lead to 26-13.

The Panthers pushed it to 32-13 on Davis' second score of the
game, a 1-yard run with 14:44 to play that gave them what seemed to
be an insurmountable lead.

But after a Packers punt, Delhomme fumbled, Green Bay recovered
and Favre made the Panthers pay for it one play later with a
16-yard scoring strike to Donald Lee.

His finest work, though, came on the Packers' next drive. Favre
was 8-of-12 on a 90-yard march, hitting Antonio Chatman on a 4-yard
touchdown in the back of the end zone.

Favre threw the 2-point conversion to Robert Ferguson to make it
32-29 with 3:07 to play.

But in the end, it was Favre's two early turnovers that he
couldn't overcome.

He was sacked on the third play of the game, fumbling the ball
away on Green Bay's 7-yard line. It took the Panthers three plays
to turn that miscue into a touchdown, with Delhomme throwing a
2-yard TD pass to Kris Mangum for a 7-0 lead.

Favre shook off the mistake with a 10-play drive, tying the
score on a 21-yard TD to David Martin.

Favre's second costly mistake right before the half as Green Bay
was driving. His pass to Ferguson wasn't strong enough and Carolina
corner Ken Lucas ripped it away for an interception.

The Packers were hit with two personal fouls on the play that
pushed the ball to the Green Bay 32. Davis scored two plays later
on an 11-yard run that put the Panthers up 23-7.

Kasay's 38-yard field goal in the third quarter made it 26-7.

Game notes
Wahle was made an honorary captain before the game because
of his Packers ties. ... Mike Rucker set Carolina's all-time sacks
record with a first quarter takedown of Favre. He has 42, breaking
the mark of 41.5 set by Kevin Greene. ... Green Bay defensive
tackle Cullen Jenkins blocked a PAT, recovered a fumble and had
three tackles. He is the younger brother of Carolina DT Kris
Jenkins, who is out for the year with a knee injury.

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