That role went to Jason David, a rookie defensive back who stole
the ball from one of Favre's receivers to clinch a 45-31 win for
Manning and the Indianapolis Colts over Favre and the Green Bay
The superstar quarterbacks certainly did their jobs.
Manning threw for 393 yards and five first-half touchdowns.
Favre threw for 358 yards and four TDs and the Packers rallied from
an 18-point halftime deficit to within a touchdown.
But the play of the game was made by David and Nick Harper.
David, burned all game by Favre, stripped Javon Walker after he
caught Favre's pass just across midfield and Harper returned it to
the Green Bay 36.
That set up Edgerrin James' 1-yard touchdown run with 1:49 left.
"You like to see that from a young kid," Colts coach Tony
Dungy said. "He had had a tough day. He got beaten on one coverage
and kind of made a mistake on coverage on another assignment. But
the thing you like about Jason is that he hangs in there and plays
with a lot of enthusiasm."
The game started with five touchdown passes in the first 11
minutes, three by Manning and two by Favre, a pace that would have
added up to 175 points between them if they had kept going.
Indianapolis threw 22 passes and did not have a running play in the
first quarter as Manning and Favre aired it out.
Both quarterbacks enjoyed watching the other work -- to a point.
"Because they were scoring too, we were right back on the
field. That kind of kept us in our rhythm," Manning said. "If
they had run off a 20-play drive they might have really taken us
out of our rhythm, but it was like 'Score, get back on the field
and score again.' "
Added Favre: "From their standpoint, I'm sure they thought they
could score every time and so did we."
Asked what he thought about Manning, he joked: "You mean aside
from throwing four touchdowns in the first quarter? I thought he
was average. Nothing surprised me. I felt it would be that type of
game, maybe a little more extreme than we thought."
The game inevitably slowed down. The Colts (2-1) gained just 96
yards total in the second and third quarters and scored just 10
points in the second half after leading 35-17 at intermission.
Green Bay (1-2) scored on its first possession of the second
half, a 65-yard drive capped by Favre's 12-yard pass to Walker, who
had the game of his life with 11 catches for 198 yards and three
Then the Packers forced Indianapolis to punt for the first time.
Mike Vanderjagt's 45-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter
made it 38-24. But Robert Ferguson's 71-yard kickoff return set up
Favre's fourth TD pass, a 27-yarder to Donald Driver and it was
The Packers got the ball again and were moving when David and
Harper made the big defensive play.
Favre and Manning, the NFL's most durable quarterbacks, had met
just once, a 26-24 Packers win in Green Bay four seasons ago. This
was Favre's 192nd consecutive start, most in NFL history, and the
99th straight for Manning, the second-longest current streak.
"We talked a lot before the game," Manning said. "I was out
there early with my receivers and he was out with his."
In between, Favre threw 36- and 79-yard TD passes to Walker.
Manning added a 27-yarder to Stokley and 1 -yard TD pass to James
Mungro in the second quarter. That made him the first quarterback
since Minnesota's Tommy Kramer in 1986 to throw five touchdown
passes in a half.
Favre's first TD pass made it his 28th straight game with one,
tying him for third-longest streak with Dave Krieg. He also became
the third quarterback with 4,000 completions; only Dan Marino and
John Elway have more.
Manning is on track to get there, too.
^NOTES: Favre had his 50th career game with three or more
touchdown passes and 17th with four. ... Vanderjagt set a Colts
record with his first field goal and now has 178. ... The combined
52 points in the first half were the third most in Packers history.
... Vanderjagt had to attempt the first extra point three times. He
made the first, then missed after a personal foul penalty set the
Colts back 15 yards. But the Packers were penalized for running
into the kicker, and he made the third. ... Colts safety Idrees
Bashir left the game in the third quarter with a groin injury and
did not return. ... Packers LB Nick Rogers left with an ankle