GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Brett Favre's offseason work paid off in
his first action of the preseason.
Favre, who trained with a strength and conditioning coach in the
offseason for the first time, completed 9 of 10 passes for 91 yards
and a touchdown Thursday night in the Green Bay Packers' 10-7 win
over the San Diego Chargers.
"I think it's the best start he's had since I've been here,"
said Packers' sixth-year coach Mike Sherman. "We usually knock the
kinks out a little bit. But, he did a pretty good job tonight. It's
as good as I can remember."
Favre guided Green Bay on an 80-yard scoring drive in the second
quarter in which he completed 7 of 8 passes for 64 yards. He capped
the series with a 23-yard strike to Donald Driver and then jumped
into the arms of his center, Mike Flanagan, who missed most of last
season following a knee operation.
"We accomplished one goal: we went down the field and scored,"
Favre said at halftime of the game that was played in a steady
drizzle. "For the first preseason game, we played well and we
should do well in certain areas. But we don't want to get too
excited as we still have a lot of work to do."
Favre's revamped offensive line that lost stalwarts Marco Rivera
and Mike Wahle to free agency, protected him well but didn't open
many holes for Ahman Green, who carried eight times for 16 yards
and had two of his team's six fumbles in the rain. Three were
recovered by San Diego.
The Chargers didn't fumble at all. But they did have their own
weather woes as Nate Kaeding missed three field goal attempts in
the fourth quarter, allowing Green Bay to win it on Ryan Longwell's
53-yarder with 33 seconds remaining.
Kaeding, who missed a 40-yard field goal attempt in overtime of
the Chargers' playoff loss to the New York Jets last season, was
wide left from 45 yards and then wide right from 44 and 46 in the
"I've kicked hundreds of balls in the rain before, there's no
excuse for it," Kaeding said.
Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer stuck by his bedeviled
"I said it after the game against the Jets and I'm going to say
it again: I believe in the guy," he said. "The circumstances were
very difficult. And I'm going to tell you this, I'm going to keep
putting him out there. I'm a stubborn German and I'm going to put
him out there because I believe he'll do it.
"I know Longwell stepped up and made his, and good for him, we
didn't have to go to overtime."
After Kaeding's third miss, J.T. O'Sullivan drove the Packers to
the Chargers 35, and Longwell's kick barely cleared the crossbar.
Favre had to play into the second quarter because Green's second
fumble was recovered by linebacker Matt Wilhelm, ending the
Packers' second series after just two plays.
"It was slick," said Green, who recovered his own fumble on
his first carry. "It was like a fish out of water that first
carry, I had no control over it, even when I had it. We had a
torrential downpour. If I had played the whole game, I would have
been fine because I adjusted to it."
Philip Rivers' 34-yard touchdown pass to Willie Quinnie early in
the third quarter tied it at 7. Rivers completed 12 of 19 passes
for 97 yards and no interceptions after replacing starter Drew
Brees (2-for-5, 27 yards, one interception) to start the second
Green Bay's B.J. Sander averaged 46 yards on seven punts, a far
cry from his disastrous preseason a year ago that included a 5-yard
punt. He also held perfectly on Longwell's winner.
"I was proud of B.J. He had a lot of pressure from what
happened last year, and he handled it really well," Longwell said.
"And for a first hold for a field goal, you're not going to get a
worse situation than that. Fifty-three yards to win the game,
pouring down rain with a slick, wet ball.
"From that distance, the hold has to be perfect and he got it
Kaeding said he knew his misadventure would weigh heavily on him
and his team.
"Granted it's preseason or what have you, but I can't remember
giving that performance going back to Pee Wee League or Little
League, whatever you want to call it," Kaeding said. "I can't
recall playing that poorly in that short amount of time in any sort
of game. I've set a difficult course for myself the next couple
weeks, but I'm not one to back down from it."
The Packers' only injury was FB Vonta Leach's banged knee.
... Chargers WR Vincent Jackson left the game, bothered by ankle
and Achilles tendon soreness. ... Favre's only incompletion came
on a quick crossing route to Robert Ferguson in which defensive end
DeQuincy Scott injured a thigh. ... Rookie Aaron Rodgers replaced
Favre and completed 2 of 6 passes for 7 yards and got sacked twice.
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