November 23, 2014

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Favre sets club record as Packers down Lions

DETROIT – Brett Favre sported a white T-shirt, carpenter`s pants and a scruffy beard.
It was the only time he looked like just another guy on Thanksgiving.
Favre set a Green Bay record with 20 consecutive completions and finished with a season-high 381 yards and three touchdowns in the Packers` 37-26 victory over the slumping Detroit Lions.
“I threw it. They caught it,” he said simply. “Nothing spectacular.”
Yeah, right.
The three-time MVP put together another sensational performance that made the
38-year-old quarterback look as if he`s back in his prime. Favre`s seventh 300-yard game of the season matched a team mark he set in 1995.
“He`s the greatest ever,” Lions quarterback Jon Kitna said.
Green Bay (10-1) matched its best 11-game record since 1929 and the NFC North leaders took a four-game lead with five games left in the regular season. The Packers can improve their chances of earning home-field advantage if they win next week at Dallas – also 10-1 after manhandling the New York Jets 34-3 later Thursday.
“One game is not going to define us,” Favre said. “It may have some implications for the playoffs, but we can`t worry about that right now.
“We`re going to enjoy this one today.”
The Lions would love to forget it.
Detroit (6-5) lost its third straight game, making its playoff picture bleak because it would lose wild-card tiebreakers against the New York Giants, Washington, Philadelphia and Arizona.
“We aren`t where we want to be, but we are where we need to be,” Kitna said. “We have to get to 10. Ten gets you in.”
Kitna said before the season he would be disappointed if Detroit didn`t win at least 10 games. Now, the Lions might struggle to finish .500 with tough games left including matchups with Dallas at home and on the road against Green Bay and San Diego.
“There`s no panic in my life,” Detroit coach Rod Marinelli insisted. “This is a tough challenge, but I believe in these players.”
Green Bay overcame a six-point deficit in the first quarter and Favre`s pinpoint passes helped it lead 34-12 early in the fourth.
Just when Detroit looked as if it was going to be routed for the fourth straight time in its marquee game, Kitna connected with Calvin Johnson in the end zone and Kevin Jones scored to pull the Lions within eight.
Green Bay got the ball back with 6:34 left and took time off the clock, setting up Mason Crosby`s third field goal to put the game out of reach with 1:44 to go.
Favre completed 31 of 41 passes, and his streak of 20 straight spanned the first and second halves to surpass the team record of 18 set by Lynn Dickey in 1983 and matched by Don Majkowski in 1989.
At one point, Green Bay called 17 straight pass plays.
“You never think he`s going to miss one,” Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said.
The streak ended when Koren Robinson was just out of bounds on a catch in the end zone.
“We blew it,” Greg Jennings said.
Jennings caught two TD passes and Donald Driver had 10 receptions for 147 yards, enjoying another day that Favre is his quarterback.
“When I came in 1999, he was playing the same way he`s playing now,” Driver said.
Like a kid, Favre was fired up when he saw an available ice cream sandwich on a table after walking away from his news conference.
“Oh yeah,” he said.
The only glaring mistake Favre made came after the first snap when a guard tripped him as he was trying to hand the ball off.
“Maybe I was a little slow coming out, but that`s never happened,” he said with a grin.
Ryan Grant had 101 yards rushing and a score after running for just 7 yards in the first half, helping Green Bay take time off the clock.
Kitna was 19-of-40 for 224 yards with a TD and an interception. Johnson had 83 yards receiving and a score. Jones added 93 yards rushing and a TD.
Too often, the Lions had to settle for field goals and Jason Hanson made each of his four attempts. They drove to the Packers 23 twice and their 32 on their first three drives, but came away with just two field goals.
“We didn`t make plays in the red zone early in the game, and that was the difference,” Kitna said.
The Lions finally played a game on Thanksgiving that meant something, but ended up losing for the fourth straight time to match their worst skid on the holiday in four decades. Under team president Matt Millen, they are 1-6 in the only game each season that the nation can watch on TV and have fallen to 33-33-2 overall.
“I don`t have all the answers, but we have to get better,” Jones said.