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Packers' Second Half Play Leads To Win


If the Green Bay Packers can build on the momentum from the second half of the last preseason game, they will have a strong regular season.

The Packers scored 14 unanswered points in the second half to defeat the Tennessee Titans 21-17. The much-maligned defense allowed 107 yards, six first downs and zero points during that period.

Neither the offense nor the defense produced that way in the first half. The game started on a terrible note for the Packers faithful. The Packers went three-and-out on their first series, and defensive end Antwan Odom hammered Favre to force a fumble on third down.

That fumble gave the Titans the ball on the 14-yard-line and led to running back Chris Brown's a five-yard touchdown run.

Favre took a beating, including a leg whip from defensive tackle Rien Long that sent him hobbling to sideline.

But much like the rest of the team, he rebounded. Following an 0-for-3 start and that Odom hit, which forced him out of the game briefly, he completed four of his next five passes for 49 yards and touchdown on an 11-play, 80-yard drive.

Many speculated Favre would not even play because of the distractions he faced after Hurricane Katrina destroyed his hometown and put his family in peril, but he played more than one quarter. He left the game for good with 11:28 in the second, and rookie Aaron Rodgers replaced him.

Rodgers also rebounded from a subpar preseason to date. He completed three third quarter passes in a row to Jamal Jones, Nick Luchey and Darren Bragg. Those plays led to a Rodgers pass to Ben Steele -- the first touchdown pass of Rodgers' NFL career.

The rookie finished 9-of-13 for 92 yards and a touchdown.

Titans quarterback Billy Volek did not play as well. After an accurate throw to thread the needle between cornerback Chris Johnson and wide receiver Drew Bennett for a 21-yard touchdown pass, he threw two interceptions.

Packers linebacker Corey Jenkins, signed on Wednesday, intercepted the latter.

Kenny Peterson, playing defensive tackle, forced the first interception in a very important game to help him land a roster spot. Peterson, who has shifted between defensive tackle and defensive end, also stuffed running back Larry Croom for a three-yard loss in the fourth quarter.

Starting in place of injured Na'il Diggs at strongside linebacker, Paris Lenon roamed from sideline to sideline, tackling ballcarriers and covering receivers. Lenon broke up Steve McNair passes intended for fullback Troy Fleming and tight end Greg Guenther in the first quarter. He made four tackles on the day.

Two other Packers players made impressive statements. Defensive tackle Colin Cole, who hopes to land a spot on the roster, sacked Volek on a stunt. Rookie linebacker Brady Poppinga received his most extended action. Slowed by a hamstring injury during much of training camp, he collected five tackles.

The Packers also rebounded from the first half by limiting their penalties. The Packers suffered eight penalties, including four personal fouls but only five total penalties in the second half.

Quarterback Craig Nall also had his ups and downs, throwing a bad interception to cornerback Tony Beckham but completing the go-ahead touchdown pass, a 10-yard score to running back Walt Williams. He finished 4-of-8 for 57 yards.

Quarteback J.T. O'Sullivan did not see any action.

Williams and Najeh Davenport, however, received considerable playing time and rushed for 14 and 15 yards respectively. Davenport started for Ahman Green, who attended the game but did not dress after missing this week's practices for personal reasons.

Isolated on wide receiver Roydell Williams, cornerback Mike Hawkins made an interception, one of three Packers picks on the night, with 2:33 left to seal the game.

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