Brett Favre began Sunday's game by living up to his billing for occasionally throwing ill-advised passes. He ended it by showing why he's been the NFL's MVP the last three years.
Overcoming a first half in which his two interceptions helped Carolina take a 10-point lead, Favre threw for 388 yards and five touchdowns to rally the Green Bay Packers to a 37-30 victory."I knew we would be OK," Favre said. "I didn't want to be down 10-0, and I don't think anybody expected to be down 10-0. But we felt like we would come back."
The rally got a big boost from Green Bay's defense, which limited Carolina to 13 first downs, including just five in the first 52 minutes. The result was the Packers' first 4-0 start since 1966, the year they won the inaugural Super Bowl.
"We're 4-0 and there's room for improvement. That's the good thing," Favre said. "If we were playing our best and we were barely escaping, then there's a sense of urgency to get better. Not that there isn't, but we've found ways to win, and we're not playing our best."
Favre, throwing for five scores for the third time in his career, linked with Derrick Mayes on three of the TD passes.
"For us to win, he has to play well," Green Bay coach Mike Holmgren said of Favre, who completed 27 of 45 passes. "We try to help him a little bit with the running game, but he made some great plays."
Favre wound up with three interceptions the Panthers turned into 17 points, but it wasn't enough to prevent Carolina (0-3) from losing its fifth in a row.
Even with all their problems, the Panthers had a late chance, getting the ball at their 35-yard line with two minutes remaining. Carolina moved to the Green Bay 5 with two seconds left, but Kerry Collins' pass into the end zone was batted by several players and fell to the ground at the 2.
Favre buckled down after getting picked off for the second time six minutes into the second quarter. He completed 16 of 27 passes the rest of the way for 235 yards and three touchdowns.
Favre's 4-yard toss to Mayes early in the third quarter put the Packers ahead to stay 27-20.
Carolina linebacker Jeff Brady picked off Favre twice. His second interception, late in the third quarter, set up one of the Panthers' few second-half highlights, a career-best 56-yard field goal by John Kasay.
BRONCOS 38, REDSKINS 16: Super Bowl champion Denver won for the first time in nine years without John Elway at quarterback. With a 38-16 rout of winless Washington, the Broncos (4-0) broke an 0-7 streak without Elway, out with a hamstring injury.
Bubby Brister was 16-for-24 for 180 yards and two touchdowns for the Broncos, who had lost seven straight without Elway, dating to a 1989 game at Washington when he had the flu. Gary Kubiak, now Denver's offensive coordinator, subbed in the 14-10 victory.
The Redskins (0-4) have been outscored 83-26 at home.
JAGUARS 27, OILERS 22: The Jaguars haven't overwhelmed anyone, but they're also 4-0 after a win at Tennessee. Rookie Fred Taylor rushed for 116 yards as the Jaguars came from behind for the best start in the team's three-plus seasons. Mark Brunell struggled and the Jaguars turned the ball over three times, but the defense had four sacks and two interceptions against the Oilers (1-3). Eddie George was held to 25 yards on 14 carries, and coach Jeff Fisher promised changes in the lineup.
VIKINGS 31, BEARS 28: Randy Moss and veteran Cris Carter each hauled in their fourth TD receptions, while Robert Smith and Andrew Glover also scored on Cunningham's passes.
Cunningham finished 16-of-25 for 275 yards. Erik Kramer was 25-of-29 for 372 yards and four scores for Chicago (0-4), which has led at halftime in all its games - and lost each of them.
SAINTS 19, COLTS 13 : Danny Wuerffel passed for touchdowns of 15 yards to Andre Hastings with 41 seconds left in regulation and 33 yards to Cameron Cleeland at 8:50 of overtime.
Top draft pick Peyton Manning and running back Marshall Faulk, both natives of New Orleans, appeared to have the game won for the Colts (0-4) with a 78-yard touchdown connection in the fourth quarter. But the Saints converted a fourth-and-17 with a 44-yard completion to former Colt Sean Dawkins, and tied it with the TD pass to Hastings.
CARDINALS 20, RAMS 17: The biggest cheer at the TWA Dome went to Mark McGwire when he homered a few blocks away at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals, in their first trip back to St. Louis since moving to Arizona after the 1987 season, spoiled the day for the host Rams (1-3).
Joe Nedney's 29-yard field goal with 4:04 to play gave Arizona (2-2) its second straight win. The score was set up by a 43-yard pass interference penalty on Dexter McCleon.
CHIEFS 24, EAGLES 21: In the Chiefs' first visit to Philadelphia, Rich Gannon was 17-for-25 for 262 yards as Kansas City (3-1) won its ninth straight against NFC opponents. Donnell Bennett ran for three scores.
The Eagles (0-4) are off to their worst start in 26 years. Duce Staley had all three touchdowns for Philadelphia.
RAIDERS 13, COWBOYS 12: Oakland (2-2) drew only four penalties for 20 yards and got fortunate with a lucky bounce on a 75-yard touchdown pass.
On third-and-12 late in the first half, Jeff George heaved a long pass downfield to James Jett. The ball hit cornerback Kevin Smith in the left shoulder pad and bounced into the arms of Jett, who ran 30 yards untouched to complete the play.
Charles Woodson also intercepted a pass in the end zone to stop another drive by Dallas (2-2).
GIANTS 34, CHARGERS 16: New York picked off rookie Ryan Leaf four times in less than three quarters. He was benched following the final one, which was returned 20 yards by Percy Ellsworth for a touchdown. In the last two games, Leaf has accounted for nine turnovers for San Diego (2-2).
The Giants (2-2) won on the West Coast for the first time since beating San Francisco in the NFC championship game Jan. 20, 1991.
STEELERS 13, SEAHAWKS 10: Pittsburgh (3-1) got back to basics, which means Jerome Bettis running the ball. Bettis gained 138 yards, going over 100 yards for the 33rd time in his six-year career and the 23rd time with Pittsburgh by early in the third quarter.
Seattle (3-1), one of the NFL's surprise teams so far, couldn't overcome four turnovers as it was denied the first 4-0 start in franchise history.
RAVENS 31, BENGALS 24: Seldom-used Priest Holmes had a breakout game, while Jermaine Lewis scored on two long plays for Baltimore (2-2).
Holmes, making his first NFL start, ran for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Lewis caught a 73-yard pass from Eric Zeier and returned a punt 87 yards.
Tampa Bay (1-2) at Detroit (0-3), 6:20 p.m. EDT (Ch. 4): Charlie Batch, a rookie out of Eastern Michigan, gets his second NFL start as Detroit goes for its first victory of the season.