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Lions capitalize on Favre's turnovers 17-3

DETROIT (Sept. 11, 2005) -- Brett Favre slumped over in the middle of the field after his third turnover of the day.

The three-time MVP, who will turn 36 next month, limped to his news conference about an hour later with gray in his hair and a scruffy beard.

"I'll probably feel worse (Monday), but I could play another game now," Favre said after two of his three turnovers led to 10 points in a game in which scoring was scarce, helping the Detroit Lions beat the Green Bay Packers 17-3. "Inside, it hurts the most."

The game marked the fewest points Green Bay scored with Favre as its starting quarterback.

Tampa Bay beat the Packers 31-3 on Sept. 13, 1992, two weeks before Favre began his record streak of starting 227 consecutive games, including the playoffs.

"We obviously have a ways to go offensively," Favre said. "But if you would've told me we would score three points, I would've said you were crazy."

After kicking a field goal in the second quarter, Green Bay didn't have a first down in the second half until its sixth drive.

"It wasn't just us," Lions linebacker Earl Holmes said. "The special teams bottled up their return game and the offense kept us off the field so we could catch our breath."

Detroit won its opener for a third consecutive season, but the Lions hope this season doesn't wind up like the past two -- or the two before that. Since 2001, the Lions have lost an NFL-high 48 games.

Joey Harrington threw two touchdown passes, including one to rookie Mike Williams with 4:13 left.

"We have been in too many of these games in the last couple years, where we had a chance to put a team away and didn't -- and too many of them have been against No. 4," Harrington said. "I have one in mind from last year."

The Lions were leading at Green Bay last season by 13 at halftime before being handed one of their 10 defeats.

Favre fumbled on the opening possession of the second half, leading to Jason Hanson's 21-yard field goal. His interception midway through the fourth quarter, snagged by a diving Kenoy Kennedy, whose fumble was caught by teammate Holt, led to Williams' 3-yard TD catch.

Then Green Bay drove to Detroit's 12 before Favre was sacked twice and suffered his second interception. He finished 27-for-44 for 201 yards with two interceptions and one fumble.

The three-time defending division champions had beaten the Lions in eight of the previous nine meetings.

"To beat a team of that caliber that has been so tough for us to beat, it's an accomplishment," kick returner Eddie Drummond said.

Harrington was 15-for-28 for 167 yards with two TDs, and no turnovers. Kevin Jones ran for 87 yards and Marcus Pollard caught five passes for 58 yards, including a 9-yard TD.

Green Bay's Ahman Green was held to 58 yards and Donald Driver had four catches for 48 yards.

In a game expected to be high-scoring, both teams struggled offensively.

"There was no finesse at all in this game," Lions coach Steve Mariucci said. "This was a Norris Division, Black-and-Blue Division slugfest."

Green Bay's offense took a hit when Javon Walker, Favre's favorite target, injured his right knee in the third quarter. Walker will have an MRI on Sept. 12.

The Packers hurt their chances with 14 penalties for 100 yards and Favre argued for at least a few calls that were not made against the Lions. Green Bay cornerback Ahmad Carroll was flagged for illegal use of hands three times, including twice on one drive.

"We didn't play real smart," Green Bay coach Mike Sherman said.

Detroit's first-string offense didn't score a TD in the preseason, but did on its second drive. Harrington threw a 9-yard TD pass to Pollard after an earlier pass in the end zone was broken up by Mark Roman.

Green Bay got to the Lions 4 on the ensuing drive, but holder B.J. Sander mishandled a good snap on a botched field-goal attempt.

On the Packers' next possession, Ryan Longwell kicked a 50-yard field goal, then Favre's fumble gave the Lions great field position, but Detroit had to settle for a field goal.

GAME NOTES:

Favre is 65 yards from joining the 50,000-yard passing club with Dan Marino (61,361) and John Elway (51,475). Hanson was limited to extra points and short field goals because of a hamstring injury. There was a moment of silence before the game in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and victims of Hurricane Katrina. The Red Cross collected donations. Green Bay WR Robert Ferguson played with calf cramps and Detroit CB Fernando Bryant hurt his jaw.

AP NEWS The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) rushes during an NFL football game between the between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)

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