Notebook: Group Effort Replaces Jennings, Favre Scores Rushing TD


Brett Favre made his first 'Lambeau Leap' Sunday after scoring a 1-yard rushing TD.

With Greg Jennings missing Sunday's game with an ankle injury, the Packers were forced to find other weapons in the passing game to prevent the Cardinals from being able to concentrate solely on Donald Driver.

A collection of individuals came through.

Tight end David Martin and fullback Brandon Miree caught four passes apiece, receiver Ruvell Martin added two catches, and he and receiver Chris Francies combined to draw three pass interference penalties. The entire cast of characters helped quarterback Brett Favre compile a 102.1 passer rating and complete his third straight game without an interception.

"We always talk about guys having to step up and make plays, and we felt real good about our game plan and the people on the field today," said Miree, whose four catches gained 31 yards. "It's just about us hitting our groove. It's not about who we play, it's about ourselves.

"You figure at any given time when you've got No. 4 back there, if you're open, he's going to get it to you. You go in there expecting it."

Miree found himself wide open over the middle for a 20-yard gain that helped set up the Packers' first touchdown. In the red zone, Francies drew consecutive pass interference calls on Antrel Rolle to put the ball on the 1-yard line, and Favre found David Martin for a short TD pass.

David Martin was a key weapon the rest of the first half, catching passes of 22 and 23 yards on the Packers' next two scoring drives. Not that the Packers didn't miss Jennings, but big gains like that certainly helped compensate for his absence coming on top of losing Robert Ferguson and Koren Robinson the past couple of weeks.

"With our receiver issue, three of our top four guys out, it's up to us to go out there and do it," said David Martin, who finished with 48 yards receiving. "When your number is called you have to go out there and do it, and I was given the opportunity so I wanted to take advantage of that."

Ruvell Martin added a 19-yard catch-and-run late in the first quarter and also drew a pass interference penalty in the end zone on the Packers' third-quarter scoring drive, setting up Favre's 1-yard scramble.

In all, the various contributions allowed Favre to have an efficient, productive day (17 of 25, 180 yards) despite Driver having a relatively quiet five catches for 48 yards.

"That's how it's designed to work," Ruvell Martin said. "Brett's going to find the open guy depending on what the coverage is, and then it's just up to us to make the plays. It wasn't really guys out there beating guys on routes necessarily, it was just finding the open spots and Brett hitting them."

Long time coming

Favre's rushing touchdown in the third quarter, a 1-yard scramble, was his first in nearly five full years, and he celebrated by making his first-ever Lambeau Leap into the south end zone stands.

Favre's last rushing TD came on Dec. 3, 2001, at Jacksonville. He now has 13 rushing touchdowns in his career.

"When he did it, everybody was jumping up, hugging and clapping, and he gets to me and I look at him, and I said, 'Don't even try to give me a high-five. Go do a Lambeau Leap,'" Driver said. "He turns around, smiles, and I didn't think he was going to do it, and he went up there and jumped. I was just going nuts because I knew that was his first one."

Favre said: "I hope it's the last one."

It wasn't the most dynamic jump into the crowd, and some of his teammates gave him grief for it. Favre made a rookie mistake of sorts, going toward the stands by the corner of the end zone where the wall is higher than it is closer to the goal post.

"I tried to go over that same fence a couple years ago and failed so I can't really say anything about it," David Martin said.

Favre also surpassed 25,000 passing yards at Lambeau Field in the fourth quarter, reaching 25,019 and becoming only the second player in NFL history to throw for that many yards in a single stadium. John Elway is the other with an NFL record 27,889 passing yards at Denver's Mile High Stadium.

It should be noted Favre also had 2,411 passing yards at Milwaukee County Stadium earlier in his career before the Packers moved all their home games to Green Bay. Had those games been at Lambeau, he would be just 460 yards from Elway's mark.

Green moves up list

Ahman Green's two rushing touchdowns give him 51 as a Packer, which moves him past Paul Hornung (50) and into second place on the franchise list. Jim Taylor holds the No. 1 spot in the team's record book with 81 rushing TDs.

With his 133 yards (106 rushing, 27 receiving) from scrimmage, Green also surpassed the 10,000 mark for his career. He now has 10,042 career yards from scrimmage, tops in franchise history. Green took over the top spot last week at Miami.

Sack master

Aaron Kampman's two sacks on Sunday give him 81/2 for the season, a new career high with nine games left to improve on that number.

Kampman's previous career high was 61/2, set last year. Sunday also marked his third career game with at least two sacks and second this season.

Bodiford fills in

Receiver Shaun Bodiford, picked up this week off waivers from Detroit, came in unexpectedly to return a punt for Charles Woodson late in the first quarter.

Woodson limped off with a knee injury on Arizona's third-down incomplete pass, forcing Bodiford to take his place as the punt returner. Bodiford nearly broke free on the runback, slipping through the first wave of tacklers and getting a seam to his left. But he saw the opening a split-second too late and was brought down after a 16-yard return.

Woodson returned to the game on the Packers' next defensive series and resumed his role as punt returner as well.

Catching a break

The Packers caught a break on a deep throw by Matt Leinart to the end zone in the second quarter.

Receiver Bryant Johnson appeared to be interfered with by Marquand Manuel as he tried to haul in what almost was a 55-yard touchdown pass. But Johnson was penalized for illegal touching because he had gone out of bounds near the line of scrimmage on a strong jam by Woodson and was the first player to touch the pass upon coming back in bounds.

As a result, there was no flag on Manuel and the Cardinals had to punt.

Taking the blame

Head Coach Mike McCarthy took the blame for making a bad call on the fake field goal in the first quarter on the Packers' opening possession.

Facing fourth-and-1 at the Arizona 24-yard line, Dave Rayner lined up for a 42-yard field goal attempt, but holder Jon Ryan took the snap and rolled right looking to throw. No one was close to being open and Ryan was sacked for an 11-yard loss.

Had McCarthy known the Packers were on their way to a 200-yard rushing day, a handoff would have been the obvious choice.

"In hindsight, I should have gone with my first reaction, which was to run it," McCarthy said. "Fourth-and-6 is a better time to call a fake field goal than fourth-and-inches, so that's a bad call."


Running back Vernand Morency injured his lower back in Sunday's game and was being evaluated afterwards. Miree hurt his elbow and David Martin had his jaw x-rayed.

McCarthy said more information would be available on all three as the week progressed.

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