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Favre 20-for-33 for TD with sore hand

10/31/2004

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- Clinton Portis celebrated the apparent
winning touchdown with a leap into the end zone, capping a 43-yard
reception that gave the Redskins a one-point lead with 2:35 to
play.

Oops. Scratch that. Flag on the play.

Receiver James Thrash was whistled for illegal motion, a call
Thrash didn't understand and one that Washington coach Joe Gibbs
called "an absolute mystery."

The Green Bay Packers had a different feeling: sheer relief.

Al Harris intercepted a pass on the next play, and the Packers
drove for an insurance touchdown to cap a 28-14 victory Sunday that
pulled Green Bay (4-4) back to .500 after a 1-4 start.

Brett Favre had an erratic game, playing with a sprained hand, a
banged thumb and the distraction of his wife undergoing breast
cancer treatment. He completed 20 of 33 passes for 289 yards and a
touchdown and three interceptions.

But the play everyone will remember is the negated touchdown.

"I was exhausted," Washington tackle Chris Samuels said. "I
was chasing Clinton all over the field after we scored the
touchdown trying to hug him. I was like, 'Slow down, man. I'm
trying to celebrate with you.' Then, I turned around and saw the
officials calling us back. It's just disappointing. It's tough."

The other perspective?

"I won't even lie to you -- my heart sank when I saw him run
into the end zone," said Green Bay's Bhawoh Jue, who made his
first start since 2001 in place of injured safety Darren Sharper.
"I have full confidence in my offense, but I'm glad they didn't
have to go back out."

The flag was apparently thrown because Thrash was not set for a
full second after going into motion on the play. He said he didn't
want to comment on the call because he "didn't know for sure" if
it was the right one.

Gibbs didn't seem satisfied with the explanation the officials
gave him.

"They said it was James Thrash," said Gibbs, whose team
dropped to 2-5. "I know it wasn't James. He's super-smart and
doesn't make mistakes like that. ... It's an absolute mystery to
me."

Favre was brilliant early and awful late. The Packers scored on
their first three possessions to take a 17-0 lead, but two
interceptions by Shawn Springs set up Washington's two touchdowns,
and Fred Smoot's interception set up the penalty-negated touchdown
pass to Portis.

Favre grimaced at times as he grabbed the throwing hand he
sprained in last week's victory over Dallas, and he banged his
thumb somehow in the third quarter, but he downplayed the injuries.

"I'm pleased with the win, but I can't be satisfied with the
way I played," said Favre, who extended his streak to 33 games
with at least one TD pass in his 199th consecutive regular-season
game. "It would be nice to sit here and blame it on something
else, but I'm not going to do that."

Since learning of his wife's breast cancer three weeks ago, an
ordeal that became public only last week, Favre has completed 68 of
100 passes and the Packers have outscored their opponents 107-44.
They now have a bye week to get several players healthy.

"It's hard to believe we're sitting here talking about 4-4 is a
great place to be," Favre said. "But considering we were 1-4 not
long ago, I'll take it."

The Packers gained 361 yards, becoming the first team this
season to tally more than 300 yards on the Redskins, whose defense
entered the game ranked No. 1 after facing a string of weak
offenses.

Washington, meanwhile, still hasn't scored more than 18 points
in a game. Fans booed quarterback Mark Brunell frequently and
chanted for backup Patrick Ramsey several times.

"You don't feed off it, you never want it to happen and you
certainly hear it," said Brunell, who went 25-for-44 for 218 yards
with two touchdowns to Rod Gardner, two interceptions and was
sacked four times. "It's frustrating because you're not going to
be perfect. You're not going to hit every throw. You'd certainly
like to, but you just go out there and do your best."

The Packers' first three drives included completions of 41, 48
and 48 yards, equaling the number of 40-plus passing gains by the
Redskins all season. Favre picked on a secondary missing strong
safety Matt Bowen, out for the season with a knee injury, and
rookie Sean Taylor, inactive following his arrest Thursday on a
drunken driving charge.

Game notes
Washington kick returner Chad Morton injured a ligament in
his right knee and will have an MRI on Monday. ... Green Bay
linebacker Paris Lenon injured his left knee. ... Favre passed John
Elway at No. 2 on all-time completions list, giving him 4,133 to
Elway's 4,123. Dan Marino is the all-time leader with 4,967.

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