<
>

Favre's rally falls short in the desert

9/22/2003

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Jeff Blake wore out the Green Bay Packers on
a day of record heat in the desert, then Dexter Jackson sealed it
with a clutch interception at the finish.

Jackson, last year's Super Bowl MVP, intercepted Brett Favre's
pass in the end zone with 10 seconds left to save the Arizona
Cardinals' 20-13 victory Sunday.

Question on the Packers: Is this going to be a long season for the Packers?
Yes, this looks like a potential 8-8 season for the Packers. This may be the type of team that gets a big win one week only to lose the next week to a team they should beat.

Question on the Cardinals: Can the Cards build some momentum from this win?
Yes, this was a huge win for them. Last week, Emmitt Smith let his team have it after their dismal performance and they answered the call. That bodes well for this team.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

Blake completed 20 of 31 passes for 273 yards, including a
1-yard pass to James Hodgins for the winning touchdown with 3:59 to
play in the Cardinals' 20-13 victory over the Packers on Sunday.

Blake directed a field-goal drive of 7 minutes, 29 seconds in
the third quarter and used up 7:09 of the fourth with the 11-play,
68-yard drive for the winning score.

Favre, 23-for-33 for 226 yards and a touchdown, drove the
Packers (1-2) to the Arizona seven in the final seconds. But on
third-and-goal, his pass was picked off by Jackson, who helped
Tampa Bay win the Super Bowl last year, and returned it to the
Arizona 22. The Cardinals (1-2) took a knee and earned their first
victory of the season, and second in their last 12 games.

A sign hanging from the second level at Sun Devil Stadium read
'We'll have the grilled cheese,' and there were a lot of melted
cheeseheads in the crowd of 58,784, most of them Green Bay fans.

Favre, 35-1 when it's 34 degrees or colder, is 12-18 in games
when the kickoff temperature is above 70, and this one was way, way
above 70.

The 102-degree temperature at kickoff equaled the hottest game
ever for the Packers. It warmed up to 105 at the start of the
second half, and 106 at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

That's hot, even by Arizona standards. The 106 at nearby Sky
Harbor Airport was a record for the date, surpassing the 105
recorded in 1949 and 1984.

Arizona took the second-half kickoff and used up 7:29 on a
13-play, 62-yard drive that ended with Bill Gramatica's 38-yard
field goal that gave the Cardinals a 13-10 lead with 7:31 left in
the third.

But Favre drove the Packers 37 yards in eight plays following
Antonio Chatman's 33-yard return of Scott Player's 58-yard punt,
and Ryan Longwell's 40-yard field goal tied it at 13-13 with 11:08
remaining.

A 28-yard pass interference penalty against Al Harris ignited
Arizona's fourth-quarter touchdown drive.

The Cardinals committed their 10th turnover of the season, but
only one of the day, on their first possession after driving to the
Green Bay 45. Blake threw to Anquan Boldin, who was hit by Darren
Sharper just as the ball arrived. The ball bounced off Boldin and
into the arms of the Packers' Nick Barnett.

But on the next play, Ahman Green fumbled as he was hit by
Barron Tanner, and Ray Thompson recovered for Arizona at the
Packers 39. It was the Cardinals' first forced turnover of the
season.

Blake's 38-yard pass to a wide-open Boldin moved the ball to the
1, where the Arizona quarterback dived on top of two defenders for
the touchdown to put the Cardinals up 7-0 with 4:16 left in the
first quarter.

Favre completed his first 10 passes, including 4-of-4 for 49
yards on an eight-play, 61-yard drive that tied it at 7-7 with 6:44
left in the half. His 23-yarder to a diving Tony Fisher put the
ball on the Arizona 9. On third-and-goal from the 4, Favre threw to
a wide-open David Martin in the right corner of the end zone.