Broncos lose in OT
AP Sports Writer
DENVER ” It was another signature moment in a career that is full of them.
On the first play following the kickoff in overtime, Brett Favre connected on an 82-yard touchdown pass with Greg Jennings and the Green Bay Packers defeated the Denver Broncos 19-13 on Monday night.
Denver had tied the score at 13 on Jason Elam’s 21-yard field goal as time ran out in regulation, setting the stage for another Favre comeback.
Green Bay (6-1) won the coin toss and on the first play, Jennings was matched up in man-to-man coverage on the left side. Favre, who threw a 79-yard touchdown pass to James Jones in the first half, hit Jennings in stride at the Denver 40. Cornerback Dre’ Bly had no shot at catching the speedy wide receiver who trotted into the end zone as Favre rushed to celebrate Green Bay’s first 6-1 start in five years.
The Broncos (3-4) sent it into overtime with a drive that began at their own 7 with 2:27 left.
Out of timeouts, the field goal unit scrambled onto the field and Elam calmly nailed the kick, just as he did two months ago when the Broncos ran the same fire drill to beat Buffalo as time expired in the opener.
Denver almost had to share the spotlight with the Colorado Rockies, who were scheduled to play Game 5 of the World Series on Monday night at Coors Field before they were swept by the Boston Red Sox Sunday night.
Instead, they shared it with Favre, who was criticized for a series of underthrown passes against Washington last week.
Some of his best moments have come on Monday night, from his incredible game in Oakland following the death of his father to his game-winner to Antonio Freeman in overtime against Minnesota.
Now he’s 6-1 for the third time in his career.
In 1996, Favre and the Packers parlayed a similar start into their Super Bowl title. The Packers also started out 6-1 in 2002, when they finished 12-4 but were done in by injuries and bounced out of the playoffs in the first round by Atlanta.
Looking nothing like his 38 years, Favre outshone Broncos second-year quarterback Jay Cutler, widely considered the only passer in the league whose arm strength can rival his.
Favre finished 21-of-27 for 331 yards and a 142.4 passer rating.
Cutler was 21-of-34 for 264 yards. He was sacked twice by Aaron Kampman, who also sacked wide receiver Brandon Marshall on an ill-fated trick play.
Favre also drove Green Bay 98 yards for a field goal, and the Packers, last in the league in rushing, found a ground game against the NFL’s worst run defense.
Ryan Grant came in when DeShawn Wynn went down early with an injured shoulder and gained 104 yards on 22 carries. He became Green Bay’s first 100-yard rusher since Ahman Green on Dec. 3, 2006.
One thing that helped was the absence of safety John Lynch, who was sidelined early in the first half with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Favre began his night with a 79-yard TD pass to Jones, who sprinted past Champ Bailey and hauled in the pass at the 45, then cut across the field to tie it just 23 seconds after the Broncos capped an impressive drive with Cutler’s 5-yard touchdown toss to Tony Scheffler.
With Lynch playing up in the box, Favre looked left to keep Nick Ferguson on the left side, then threw the exact type of pass critics were suggesting just a week ago that he no longer could make.
Back judge Jim Howey was plowed over on the play and left the game with a strained hamstring, leaving six officials to call the game.
Both teams had trouble at the edge of the end zone.
Twice Green Bay stalled at the Denver 1 and settled for short field goals by Mason Crosby, who was a two-time All-American at Colorado.
Denver’s flub at the Packers’ 1 was worse.
On the first play of the second quarter, left guard Chris Kuper pulled right and accidentally punched the ball right out of Culter’s hands and linebacker Nick Barnett recovered.
When Lynch went out, the Broncos lost their rhythm and had trouble counting, sending either 10 men or 12 defenders out three times on one drive, costing them a timeout and two penalties.