Jason Elam kicked a 49-yard field goal with 3:10 remaining, and the Denver Broncos defeated the Green Bay Packers 34-31 Monday night in an exhibition rematch of January's Super Bowl teams.
The Broncos, who also beat the Packers 31-24 seven months earlier, built leads of 21-10 and 28-17 in an otherwise evenly played game that saw each team's defense and special teams score touchdowns.
Brett Favre and John Elway dueled to a near standoff, each throwing a touchdown pass in the first half.
Elway, who played only the first half for the Broncos, completed 13 of 22 passes for 179 yards. Favre, whose stint lasted through the first series of the third quarter, was 13-of-23 for 155 yards.
Elam's 35-yard field goal had given Denver a 31-24 lead with 11:01 remaining, but the Packers, behind backup quarterback Doug Pederson, tied it with 6:53 left.
Pederson drove the Packers to Denver's 37-yard line when the march stalled and Sean Landeta punted. George Coghill fumbled the punt and Mike Prior recovered at the Denver 17. Pederson passed 16 yards to Bill Schroeder, and Raymont Harris scored from the 1.
| Terrell Davis didn't have to win it for the Broncos this time. (AP) |
Rookie Brian Griese helped move the Broncos in position for Elam' winning kick with a 34-yard pass to tight end Byron Chamberlain.
Denver led 21-17 at halftime.
The Packers scored 44 seconds into the game when safety LeRoy Butler intercepted a tipped pass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown.
Denver tied it midway through the first quarter when Elway hit Rod Smith on an 80-yard scoring pass. Smith separated from cornerback Craig Newsome and caught Elway's pass down the right side at the Green Bay 40.
Late in the quarter, Denver defensive end Marvin Washington stripped Travis Jervey of the ball, and safety Tyrone Braxton ran 7 yards with the fumble for a 14-7 lead.
After a Green Bay field goal early in the second quarter, Darrien Gordon camped under a punt and, sprung by blocks from Dwayne Carswell and Detron Smith, dashed 65 yards down the left sideline for a 21-10 lead with 9:15 left in the half.
Roell Preston's 21-yard punt return, along with a late-hit penalty against Denver, gave Green Bay good field position late in the half, and Favre passed 11 yards to Derrick Mayes for a touchdown with 1:07 left.
Bubby Brister, replacing Elway in the third quarter, went 6-of-7 for 58 yards on a 74-yard, 13-play march that culminated in Derek Loville's 1-yard TD run. On the ensuing kickoff, however, Preston went right, then cut up the middle on a 99-yard scoring return.
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