AP Story: Favre Razor Sharp As Packers Top Falcons 38-10


A couple of their touchdowns might have come on fluke plays, but the Green Bay Packers offense suddenly looked legitimate on Saturday night.

One week after being held to a single field goal in San Diego, the Packers put together several sustained scoring drives in a 38-10 preseason victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

Brett Favre was 16-of-22 for 134 yards, throwing two touchdown passes to cap long drives and leading the Packers to a field goal after an interception by Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.

"We drove the ball really well, ''Favre said in quotes distributed by the Packers. "We had some good drives. That was a good feeling, compared to San Diego.''

Falcons coach Jim Mora said he was happy with his first-team offense but needs to see more from his reserves.

"It's good to come to Lambeau Field and have Brett Favre on the other side of the field and have 69,000 people in the stands and see how those guys handle the pressure,'' Mora said. "Tonight, a lot of guys didn't handle it well.''

Vick played only the first two series for Atlanta, looking sharp on a seven-play, 80-yard drive on the first. Vick threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dwayne Blakley to give the Falcons a 7-0 lead.

"I felt good. I think everybody did their job,'' Vick said. "The first unit went out and played with a high level of intensity and we were able to make plays, move the ball, possessed great tempo. When we came out, it was up to the younger guys to pick it up.''

Mora didn't see that happen.

"After that, as everyone saw, it was downhill,'' Mora said. "You see we have a glaring deficiency in backups right now. Now that doesn't mean we don't have guys on this team that can't step forward and fill those roles.''

Favre answered by driving the Packers to the 3, where he threw a short pass that skipped off the hands of tight end David Martin and was caught by Bubba Franks to tie it at 7.

"We had to come out and punch those guys in the mouth early, and we did,'' receiver Donald Driver said.

Vick was intercepted by Packers rookie Tyrone Culver on the Falcons' second series, and left the game after completing 5 of 7 passes for 59 yards.

Atlanta backup Matt Schaub entered in the second quarter and had good field position after a 43-yard kickoff return by former Packer Allen Rossum.

Schaub got the Falcons into Packers territory, and Michael Koenen kicked a 51-yard field goal to tie the game at 10 _ another step toward solidifying Koenen's bid to handle both kicking and punting duties for the Falcons this season.

Favre threw his second touchdown pass to running back Najeh Davenport with 2:42 remaining in the half. Packers cornerback Jason Horton then intercepted Schaub's pass just before halftime, running it back 44 yards for a touchdown that gave the Packers a 24-10 halftime lead.

Rookie receiver Greg Jennings caught another Packers touchdown off a favorable bounce, snagging a tipped pass from backup Aaron Rodgers in the fourth quarter and running 85 yards for a touchdown, allowing the Packers to take a 31-10 lead.

"They caught a lot of breaks,'' Falcons linebacker Edgerton Hartwell said. "A tipped pass for a touchdown, another tipped pass for a touchdown. A blown coverage for another touchdown. ... Thank God for the preseason, it doesn't count.''

Packers rookie defensive lineman Johnny Jolly intercepted a tipped pass in the fourth quarter, setting up Rodgers' touchdown pass to Zac Alcorn to make it 38-10.

The Packers got improved pass protection from a revamped offensive line, that includes two rookie starting guards, and struggled to protect Favre against the Chargers last Saturday.

"I think we're definitely headed in the right direction,'' said Packers coach Mike McCarthy, who earned his first preseason victory as a head coach. "You could see that we were capturing the line of scrimmage.''

But Davenport, who is returning after missing most of last season with a broken ankle, carried 10 times for only 30 yards.

"I thought he played physical,'' McCarthy said.

Packers rookie linebacker A.J Hawk made a couple of solid defensive plays in the second quarter, tackling Justin Griffith for a two-yard loss and breaking up Schaub's pass two plays later.

"As a whole, we played a lot faster tonight than last week,'' Hawk said. "It's good to get a win, even though it's just a preseason game.''

Hawk was penalized 15 yards on the opening drive of the second half for roughing rookie quarterback D.J. Shockley, but later broke up an attempted pass by Shockley on third-and-15. Hawk's play should quiet some early criticism of the first-rounder.

"When he hits his comfort level, you're going to see what it's all about,'' McCarthy said.

Notes: Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall was injured in the second quarter, but Mora said it was minor. ... McCarthy said fullback William Henderson and tackle Todd Williams both sustained knee injuries.

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