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Brady passes for four TDs, Favre leaves with elbow injury

Nov 19, 2006 - 9:21 PM GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- Brett Favre clutched his right elbow in pain. Tom Brady pumped his fist in jubilation.

Favre left the game with an injury late in the first half while Brady passed for four touchdowns as the New England Patriots rolled to a 35-0 victory over the Green Bay Packers in an interconference contest.

It marked the first time since 1934 that the Packers (4-6) were shut out twice at home in the same season. They lost the opener here to Chicago, 26-0, on September 10.

"It's tough for us to take because we are known for putting points on the board," Packers wide receiver Donald Driver said. "I can't believe we embarrassed ourselves here at Lambeau Field."

The Patriots limited Green Bay to 120 total yards and five first downs. Linebacker Mike Vrabel and defensive end Ty Warren each had 1 1/2 sacks for New England.

"We came out with a lot of energy and we had a lot of fun," Patriots right end Richard Seymour said. "We put it all together today."

The second career meeting between premier quarterbacks Favre and Brady was supposed to be a shootout.

But Favre, the NFL's only three-time MVP, left the game with an elbow injury late in the second quarter and did not return. However at the time, the Packers were trailing, 21-0, and appeared to be no match for the first-place Patriots (7-3).

Making his 251st consecutive start, including playoffs, Favre was wrapped up low by linebacker Tully Banta-Cain and appeared to be on his way down when linebacker Tedy Bruschi hit him. Favre landed on his right arm and throwing shoulder.

"He (Favre) took a shot on the elbow and was not able to gain strength in his (throwing) hand, as far as holding the football, controlling the football," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "He had weakness in his hand strength."

The last time Favre left a game with an injury and did not return was on October 3, 2004 against the New York Giants when he suffered a concussion.

Favre was ineffective even before the injury, completing just 5-of-15 passes for 73 yards.

Aaron Rodgers, a first-round pick in 2005, replaced Favre and was just 4-of-12 for 32 yards.

"I think I put him in a tough situation," McCarthy said of Rodgers. "He made some plays with his feet and I think you could see his athletic ability. Without seeing the film, I thought he was OK."

But the day belonged to Brady, the two-time Super Bowl MVP. He completed 20-of-31 passes for 244 yards before being replaced by Matt Cassel late in the fourth quarter.

"Our offensive line did a great job today and we got a lot of players involved in the offense," Brady said. "Our tight ends made some big plays, our backs out of the backfield got into the passing game and our wide receivers did a nice job. But it all starts with the line and those guys were great today."

Brady hit tight end Daniel Graham with a two-yard scoring toss with 10:47 left in the first quarter and connected with Reche Caldwell on a 54-yard scoring pass with 2:22 remaining in the second quarter.

Brady threw an eight-yard touchdown to tight end Ben Watson with 43 seconds left in the third quarter and hit rookie running back Laurence Maroney with a 19-yard scoring play with 8:49 remaining in the fourth quarter.

"Our scheme today dictated getting the tight ends involved," Brady said. "They are a big part of our offense. It is just a matter of getting them the ball and getting them some space to work on linebackers. Anytime you have them on a linebacker, you got to feel that they can get open and take advantage of that mismatch."

It was the seventh straight road win for the Patriots, who increased their lead over the New York Jets in the AFC East to two games.

"We played a good football game for 60 minutes and we obviously need to do more of that," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "Things really seemed to go our way today."

On the Patriots' first possession, Brady fired a 36-yard pass over the middle to Watson, who fumbled at the Green Bay 15 but recovered the ball at the 11.

Then on a 4th-and-1 at the 2, Brady faked a handoff and lofted a pass in the back of the end zone to Graham.

"It was play-action and I just got behind the defenders," Graham said.

After Vrabel - a linebacker who also lines up as a tight end and fullback - almost made an acrobatic catch in the end zone, Corey Dillon scored on a one-yard run with 10:54 left in the second quarter to increase the lead to 14-0.

Caldwell caught a short pass over the middle for his 54-yard touchdown with 2:22 left in the second quarter.

"We had communication problems in the secondary," McCarthy said. "Our pass coverage was not very good, especially on the play where we missed their receiver (Caldwell) over the middle."

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