The Green Bay Packers stopped their two-game skid even though they couldn't put an end to their sloppy play.
"We're going to enjoy the win, no matter how sloppy," safety Pat Terrell said after the Packers beat the Baltimore Ravens 28-10 Sunday. "A win's something special in the NFL no matter how good you are or how bad you are."
The Packers remain a little bit of both right now.
Brett Favre broke out of his three-week funk by throwing for two touchdowns and running for one, Roell Preston got his third TD return of the season and LeRoy Butler finally was turned loose on the blitz.
But Travis Jervey averaged just 2.5 yards on 29 carries and the still one-dimensional Packers committed nine penalties that prevented a blowout.
"We were sloppy in some areas, no question about that," coach Mike Holmgren said. "But it was a great win for us. We needed it."
The Packers, who lost back-to-back games after their first 4-0 start in 32 years, won for the first time since Sept. 27.
| Green Bay's Roell Preston breaks away from Baltimore's Jamie Sharper for a 71-yard punt return in the first quarter. (AP) |
"It's always good to get back on track, especially after two tough losses," said Antonio Freeman, who caught nine passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. "Our defense got some turnovers, we scored on special teams and our offense howed phases of getting back in sync."
And Favre's not one to haggle over the method of victory.
"When you're winning it's fun," he said. "Nothing's fun about losing."
Don't the Ravens (2-5) know. They extended their skid to 13 quarters without an offensive touchdown and lost their third straight behind bungling quarterbacks Eric Zeier and Jim Harbaugh.
"We're in games all the time, but we're not winning them," said cornerback Rod Woodson, who got his fourth interception of the season. "That's very frustrating and disappointing, especially for the talent we have on this team."
Green Bay bounced back because the defense returned to what it was doing early in the season, stopping the run on early downs and forcing favorable down-and-distance situations. And Butler blitzed for the first time this year, disrupting the Ravens' game plan all day.
The All-Pro strong safety's biggest play was his first interception of the season at the Baltimore 27 in the third quarter. That led to Favre's 4-yard TD run that made it 28-3.
Favre's slump had the league wondering if his three-game, nine-interception binge was a return to his undisciplined play. But Favre handled the zone blitz well and hit Freeman and Robert Brooks for touchdowns. His two interceptions came on deflected passes.
The Ravens, who had minus-1 yard passing in the first half, punted on all eight of their possessions before halftime, and none hurt them more than the first.
Preston, who has returned two kickoffs for touchdowns this season, returned Kyle Richardson's first punt 71 yards for a 7-0 lead.
"This is a tough team to spot seven points to early in a game," Ravens coach Ted Marchibroda said. "We have to do better on offense. We can't just beat them on one side of the ball."
Favre then ran the no-huddle on a 69-yard scoring drive, hitting Freeman with a 4-yard bullet for a 14-0 halftime lead.
It could have been much worse, but by halftime the Packers had committed six offensive violations, including three on left guard Ross Verba, who was yanked for one play so Holmgren could chew him out on the sideline.
"I like to focus my energy on play calling and my sideline sheet," Holmgren said. "I don't like to rant and rave if I can help it. But it was bordering on the ridiculous."
"I deserved that," Verba said.
The Packers began the second half with another flag, a holding call. But they covered 89 yards in four plays to make it 21-0. Freeman made a one-handed grab while spinning around for a 44-yard reception at the Ravens 27, then Favre then hit Brooks with a 28-yard scoring toss.
For the second half, Harbaugh replaced the ineffective Zeier, who was 8-of-19 for 30 yards after getting the nod despite a bad thumb on his throwing hand. Harbaugh was 9-for-20 for 174 yards, hitting Jermaine Lewis with a 46-yard TD to make it 28-10.
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