Inspired Favre leads Packers in rout

GREEN BAY, Wis. (Oct. 9, 2005) -- Brett Favre and his patchwork Packers made up for a month's worth of misery.

Favre threw three touchdown passes despite playing without four offensive starters and losing running back Najeh Davenport to a season-ending ankle injury in the second quarter of Green Bay's 52-3 rout of the New Orleans Saints.

After going three-and-out and giving up a field goal, Green Bay (1-4) scored 52 unanswered points.

"When you have a lot of pent-up frustration, you can kind of explode like that," kicker Ryan Longwell said after Green Bay's most lopsided win since Oct. 23, 1966, when it routed Atlanta 56-3.

Davenport scored twice before breaking his right ankle just before halftime, and cornerback Al Harris intercepted two passes, broke up three more and recorded a sack as the Packers piled up their most points since scoring 55 against Tampa Bay in 1983.

"That's the first time I've ever played in a game where we scored 50 points," Favre said. "Who would have guessed it? We're 0-4, struggling, more guys hurt and even lose guys during the course of the game. But I've played long enough to know that if you do things the right way, if you study, prepare and believe, things will go your way."

All afternoon.

The Saints (2-3) couldn't stop a depleted Packers offense that was missing Pro Bowlers Javon Walker, Ahman Green and Bubba Franks (for all but one snap), and starting center Mike Flanagan and also had both tackles playing on gimpy left legs.

It wasn't the type of homecoming Mike McKenzie anticipated a year after forcing a trade from the Packers.

"They were excellent in every phase of the game," said McKenzie, who saw no evidence of over-the-hill from the team he cited in wanting his walking papers.

"The only thing I can see is 52-3," McKenzie said. "The Packers are looking quite good."

Favre completed 19 of 27 passes for 215 yards and no interceptions before giving way to rookie Aaron Rodgers to start the fourth quarter.

Green Bay's defense, ranked last in the NFL in turnover differential at minus-9, recovered two fumbles and picked off three passes, including one thrown by backup Todd Bouman that was returned 95 yards for a touchdown by linebacker Nick Barnett with 8:19 remaining.

Barnett raced down the Saints' dejected sideline for his first career score and the second-longest interception TD return in franchise history.

Bouman replaced Aaron Brooks, who went to the bench midway through the third quarter after completing 9 of 22 passes for 146 yards and no TDs. He wasn't surprised by the Packers onslaught.

"We knew they were desperate," Brooks said. "I knew personally and the team knew they were going to come out and play their best football. Most teams do when they're in that type of situation."

Davenport, who made his second career start with Green (thigh) deactivated, hopped in from 1 yard to give Green Bay a 7-3 with 2:24 left in the first quarter for the Packers' first touchdown run of the season.

The Packers, who had just two takeaways in the first month, made it 14-3 when Harris jumped in front of Donte' Stallworth and returned the interception 22 yards for his third career TD.

On the next series, Harris wrestled a deep ball from Stallworth, setting up Davenport's second score, from 4 yards.

Favre's 25-yard touchdown pass to Robert Ferguson, whom he hollered at on the sideline Monday night after an interception, made it 28-3. Kenny Peterson recovered Ernie Conwell 's fumble at the Saints' 19, and three plays later, Favre hit tight end David Martin with a 1-yard TD toss to make it 35-3.

Favre added a 26-yard touchdown strike to Donald Lee and Longwell added a 26-yard field goal following Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila's recovery of Bouman's fumble at the New Orleans 30.

"Really the game came down to this: We had 13 penalties, five turnovers, two missed field goals, dropped balls, missed tackles and bad coverage," Saints coach Jim Haslett said. "It doesn't get any worse than that. We were bad today."

And for a change, the Packers were good.

"It's only one win," Favre said. "But it's a real big win."
Notes

  • The Packers' 35-point first-half outburst was their biggest one-half output since Dec. 6, 1992, against Detroit.
    • Flanagan, who hopes to return after the upcoming bye week, watched from the sideline. "It was bittersweet," he said.
    • Saints RB Deuce McAllister will get an MRI exam on his right knee, which he sprained in the third quarter.
    • Green said he'll return after the bye week.
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