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AP Story: Titans Beat Packers 27-3 After Weather Delay


Steve McNair made only a cameo appearance Thursday night. Brett Favre and Ahman Green didn't even do that.

They were the only ones who had a short night, however.

McNair took three snaps in the Tennessee Titans' 27-3 victory over the Green Bay Packers that included a 2-hour, 33-minute lightning delay and didn't end until early Friday morning.

Torrential rains made for a messy first half and maybe a fourth of the 69,126 fans -- who got a double dose of disappointment when Favre and Green sat out altogether -- stuck around to watch play resume at 11:01 p.m. CDT.

They got a hearty laugh when the two-minute warning was announced one play later, and let out a huge cheer when it was announced that the usual 12-minute halftime would last only one minute.

The fourth quarter didn't start until after midnight and the game ended at 12:46 a.m.

The teams cleared the field with 2:05 left in the first half when thunder shook the stadium with Tennessee leading 14-0 and Green Bay facing third-and-10 at midfield.

"We tried to make it to halftime ... but I got a little too concerned about how close it was,'' Packers president Bob Harlan said of the lightning.

Most fans immediately began clearing out of the aluminum bleacher seats and heading for the parking lots or the concourses that were widened during the recent $295 million renovation of Lambeau Field.

Several thousand fans stayed put and cheered every crack of thunder for 20 minutes before they were ordered to take cover.

The league wanted the game to resume.

"The main reason the league wanted the game to be completed is because of the integrity of the preseason,'' Harlan said. "The fans have paid to see it. The commissioner felt it was important that we make every attempt, as long as we didn't affect the safety of the fans or the players, to complete the game.''

After play resumed, Ryan Longwell kicked a 40-yard field goal. The press box announcer cracked that the eight-play, 31-yard drive took 1 minute, 24 seconds "although it may have seemed like longer.''

Packers' longtime spokesman Lee Remmel, for whom the press box is named, said he believed it was the first time a game had ever been suspended at Lambeau Field, which opened in 1957.

The Packers' preseason opener against Kansas City at Canton, Ohio, was called off with 5:55 left in the third quarter because of lightning.

Doug Pederson started at quarterback and Nick Luchey at halfback for the Packers (2-3), who had a losing preseason mark for the first time under coach Mike Sherman.

The Titans (4-0) had little trouble completing their first perfect preseason under coach Jeff Fisher even though McNair played so little.

McNair came out after his 35-yard pass to Justin McCareins at the Green Bay 3 was negated when tackle Brad Hopkins held Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, who still managed a vicious hit on the Titans' quarterback.

Team spokesman William Bryant said McNair wasn't injured on the play and that the plan was to have him take a few snaps.

McNair was replaced by Neil O'Donnell, who gave Tennessee a 7-0 lead by hitting Drew Bennett for 17 yards, Derrick Mason for 24 and McCareins for the final 16 yards at the height of the downpour.

Billy Volek threw touchdown passes of 46 yards to Tyrone Calico just before the delay and 41 yards to Shad Meier that made it 24-3 with 4:04 left in the third quarter.

Notes: Injured Packers included WR Carl Ford (twisted right knee) and LB Paris Lenon (strained neck). Titans RB Robert Holcombe (strained neck) and LB Keith Bulluck (sprained right knee) were hurt.

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