Favre And Offense Forced Into Comeback Mode

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The Packers have only led for six minutes all season, and playing from behind represents a challenge for Brett Favre and the offense.

"Playing catch up is hard," Favre said. "I would much rather be up. It makes things easier on our team, on our coaching staff."

Their lone lead of the season came on a 42-yard Donald Driver touchdown reception with 9:48 left in the first quarter of Week Two's Cleveland Browns game. The Browns answered when quarterback Trent Dilfer threw a one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Steve Heiden with 3:48 left in the first quarter.

The Packers would never again have the lead in that game or against their next two opponents.

Because the Packers have trailed for the majority of the season, it has changed their playcalling. Trying to rally with the clock winding down, the Packers have relied heavily on the pass, attempting 159 through four games.

"It takes us out of opportunities in the run game that you would like to have," head coach Mike Sherman said. "It takes a lot out of you."

Running back Ahman Green, who has received more than 259 carries the last five seasons, has 61 through four games.

Favre, however, has proven adept at coming from behind. During his career he has rallied the Packers to fourth quarter comebacks 34 times. In 1999 he won three of the first four games on the last play.

"The game's never out of reach because of him," New Orleans Saints head coach Jim Haslett said. "You can't ever let your guard down."

Favre almost came up with magic again during Monday's game versus the Carolina Panthers. Trailing 32-13 with 14:44 left in the game, he threw two touchdowns and two two-point conversions to cut the lead to 32-29 before their final drive ended on the Carolina 41-yard-line with 1:04 left.

Despite the challenge of playing from behind, part of Favre's gunslinger mentality relished playing in that high-action, must-score mode.

"That was fun," he said. "From a receiver's standpoint or other skill guys, you've got to live for this opportunity to make a play."

To produce that high-scoring attack, the Packers played a no-huddle offense during most of the fourth quarter with great results. However, the Packers likely will not employ that strategy unless they fall very far behind.

The Packers have an array of injuries. Center Mike Flanagan (hernia) will not play, and the team has listed left tackle Chad Clifton (ankle) as questionable. The receiving corps will be without Terrence Murphy (neck), Javon Walker (knee) and possibly tight end Bubba Franks (knee). A quadriceps injury has left Green questionable.

With some fresh faces forced into the lineup, they may not have the familiarity to run the no-huddle offense as seamlessly as in the past.

"I don't know if that's the smartest thing," Favre said.

As that team battled from behind on Monday, Favre said that game served as a microcosm of the season.

"A lot of people probably turned off the game. I'm sure everyone thought we were out of it," Favre said. "It looked bad, but we found a way to come back. I hope the season is like that."

After reviewing the game tape four times, Sherman came to a similar conclusion. Although the heartbreaking loss caused the Packers to fall to 0-4, Sherman saw some positives in the fourth quarter comeback.

"We did some pretty amazing things in that fourth quarter," he said. "Guys rose above it and fought for everything in that game."

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