Favre makes history as Packers outlast LionsSep 24, 2006 - 8:48 PM DETROIT (Ticker) -- During the offseason, Brett Favre had to decide whether to become history or keep making it. The record shows he made the right choice.
Favre threw for 340 yards and three touchdown passes, becoming the second quarterback to reach 400 for his career, in guiding the Green Bay Packers to a 31-24 victory over the Detroit Lions in a battle of NFC North rivals.
The 36-year-old icon joined former Miami Dolphins great Dan Marino (420) as the only quarterbacks to surpass 400 in a career. Favre hit the mark with a 75-yard scoring pass to rookie Greg Jennings in the first quarter.
He added two more TD strikes in the second half, the latter putting Green Bay (1-2) ahead, 31-21, and raising Favre's career total to 402. He connected with Donald Driver from five yards out in the third quarter and running back Ahman Green on a 10-yard score in the fourth.
"We needed a win a lot more than I needed 400 touchdown passes," Favre said. "That's icing on the cake. We have a long ways to go, obviously we did some good things. I said to some people that the good thing about it is that I've been able to be around for a long period of time.
"It wouldn't have been near as special if we had lost."
Favre accomplished the feat in his 228th game - one more than Marino - and it came against one of his favorite opponents. He is 20-9 all-time in the regular season against the Lions, who fell to 0-3 for the first time since 2002.
"There's nothing like winning, but there's nothing like playing, period," Favre said. "I hate to think if I was home and didn't come back this year. What would I be thinking?"
The Lions had a chance to tie the game but wideout Roy Williams couldn't latch onto Jon Kitna's desperation heave into the end zone as time ran out.
Kitna later paid homage to Favre, who completed 25-of-36 passes in his second straight 340-yard game.
"He played a great game," Kitna said. "That's why he is who he is. He looked like he was in complete control. It's unfortunate in this day and age with how much media we have and the scrutiny, the fact that we're really into negative things, that people have tried to pick apart his game.
"That guy is a winner to the utmost. He plays the football game the way it's supposed to be played. Anybody wants to know how to play quarterback, they should put a tape on of him."
First-year Packers coach Mike McCarthy basked in his first win.
"That's the way you're supposed to spend Sunday afternoon," McCarthy said. "It was an excellent win for us. I'm just really happy how they scrapped and fought for 60 minutes. I'm very pleased with their effort and the outcome."
The Lions failed to sack Favre or put any sustained pressure on him, which helped the Packers convert on 7-of-15 third-down attempts.
"Third-down conversions on defense - we weren't good enough and we have to get better," first-year Lions coach Rod Marinelli said. "The ball was coming out quick and Brett did a heck of a job but we still have to get better pressure than that."
The teams traded two touchdowns apiece in an opening quarter that ended in a 14-14 tie. Favre flipped a short pass to Jennings over the middle, but the rookie cut across the field and down the right sideline for a 7-0 lead.
"Anytime you're playing with a guy as great as Brett and you're able to achieve something with him, and with the team, and to have caught that touchdown pass, that definitely means a lot," Jennings said. "As young as I am, to become a part of that greatness, it puts a lot of joy in my heart."
The Lions responded with a 37-yard TD pass to Shawn Bryson, but the Packers regained the lead on a 29-yard interception return by Marquand Manuel. Kitna came right back from the pick by finding Williams on a 42-yard score on the final play of the opening quarter.
Kitna completed 25-of-40 passes for 342 yards and a pair of scores, with Williams hauling in seven balls for 138 yards and a TD.
"It hurts a lot," Williams said. "I'd rather have one catch for one yard with a win instead of what I had."
Dave Rayner's 24-yard field goal gave the Packers a 17-14 halftime lead, which they extended to 24-14 when Favre directed a 10-play, 80-yard drive, capped by the short pass to Driver, on their opening possession of the third quarter.
The Lions answered with a seven-play, 58-yard match, with Kevin Jones taking it in the final five yards to cut it to 31-21 with 3:24 left in the third. Jones rushed for 81 yards on 17 carries.
But Favre gave the Packers breathing room again when he found Green with 12:19 to play and the Lions could only get within seven points on Jason Hanson's 40-yard field goal with 2:45 remaining.
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