Patriots knock out Favre, right ship with win vs. Pack

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Brett Favre wasn't around to finish the

Vinny Testaverde was.

The New England Patriots forced the Green Bay Packers'
three-time MVP off the field with an elbow injury near the end of
the first half, then snapped their first losing streak in nearly
four years with a 35-0 victory at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

"It was just one of those days where a lot of things went right
for us and not too many went right for Green Bay," Patriots coach
Bill Belichick said.

Tom Brady threw for 244 yards and four touchdowns before he was
replaced by backup Matt Cassel late in the fourth quarter.
Testaverde, who was signed by New England earlier this week, then
came in to run out the clock.

"There is not a whole lot of stuff out there that we did
poorly," Brady said. "Now you just have to try to carry it over
to next week. But there is a not a whole lot of carryover, just
like last week didn't mean a whole lot to this week."

New England (7-3) had lost two straight games at home -- its
first losing streak since the end of the 2002 season -- but is 5-0
on the road this year.

The Patriots had Sunday's game well under control even before
Favre was injured.

New England had run up a 21-0 lead with under two minutes left
in the first half when linebacker Tully Banta-Cain wrapped Favre up
in the backfield and Tedy Bruschi jumped in to finish the sack.
Bruschi's hit slammed Favre to the ground on his throwing arm, and
the three-time MVP got up wincing.

"It doesn't matter if he's a quarterback or not, he's one of
the toughest guys in the league," Bruschi said. "You know when he
can't come back like that something's probably up."

Favre, who made his 251st consecutive start on Sunday including
playoff games, was replaced by second-year player Aaron Rodgers.
Favre walked back out of the locker room shortly after halftime,
but Rodgers played the remainder of the game.

"It was a surprise when Brett couldn't come back in, because
he's always been the iron man of the NFL," Packers rookie
linebacker A.J. Hawk said.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Favre likely injured a nerve in
his elbow. McCarthy said Favre wasn't in pain, but was unable to
muster enough strength in his hand to grip the football properly
after halftime.

McCarthy said he did not know whether Favre would be able to
play in the Packers' next game.

To make matters even worse for Green Bay, Rodgers was limping
through the locker room after the game.

"I ain't talking," Rodgers said.

Favre also did not speak to reporters. He struggled with his
accuracy before the injury, going 5-for-15 for 73 yards and leading
the Packers to only two first downs in the first half. Rodgers
didn't fare much better, as the Packers finished the game with only
five first downs.

"When you can count the number of first downs on one hand, it's
embarrassing," center Scott Wells said.

Brady didn't have any such problems, taking advantage of strong
pass protection.

"They were great, they were great," Brady said.

The Packers (4-6) couldn't take advantage of a chance to reach
.500 under rookie coach Mike McCarthy, but he will likely have
bigger problems on his mind this week after the Packers' second
shutout loss at Lambeau this season.

McCarthy said he didn't see it coming after the Packers had won
three of their last four games.

"We can't jump on that roller coaster that exists," McCarthy
said. "We took a step back today, but there's a lot of positive
things over the last four to five weeks that we need to help move

The last time Favre left a game with an injury and failed to
return was Oct. 3, 2004, when the New York Giants knocked him out
of the game with a concussion. He will have an extra day of rest
before the Packers' next game, at Seattle next Monday night.

The Patriots successfully converted fourth downs on their first
two scoring drives, including one for a touchdown on their first
possession. They went for it on fourth-and-1 at the Green Bay 2.
Brady faked a handoff, then threw to tight end Daniel Graham for a
touchdown in the back of the end zone.

Game notes
With the Patriots missing three defensive backs because
of injuries, wide receiver Troy Brown played at nickelback and was
flagged for defensive holding near the end of the first half. The
penalty was declined. ... Packers tight end David Martin injured
his ribs, but McCarthy said x-rays were negative. ... Dillon hurt
his arm on the touchdown run but returned later in the game.


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