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Warner, Barber extend Giants' strong start

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- The New York Giants left Brett Favre and
the Green Bay Packers wobbly.

Tiki Barber rushed for 182 yards and scored on a 52-yard
touchdown run, and Kurt Warner threw a touchdown pass to Jeremy
Shockey in a 14-7 victory Sunday at Lambeau Field, where Favre was
knocked from the game with a concussion.

The Giants improved to 3-1 despite a series of missed
opportunities, including three errant field goal attempts by Steve
Christie.

"This was a phenomenal win for us," defensive end Michael
Strahan said. "Our rate of improvement has been quicker than I
expected."

And the rate of Green Bay's descent has been equally surprising.

The Packers, mired in a mess with cornerback Mike McKenzie and
trying to overcome infighting and injuries, fell to 1-3 for the
first time since 1993 and have their first three-game losing streak
under fifth-year coach Mike Sherman.

Favre sustained a concussion when defensive lineman William
Joseph knocked him to the ground in the third quarter and missed
the next two plays. Favre went back in on fourth-and-5, waved
backup Doug Pederson to the sideline and floated a 28-yard
touchdown pass to Javon Walker for a 7-0 lead.

"I wasn't surprised that he came back in and threw a touchdown
pass like he did," Strahan said.

The Packers' medical staff sure was -- they hadn't cleared Favre
to return to action.

Sherman said he turned to Favre and asked if he was OK. Favre
said yes, so in he went.

"The doctors told me after that they didn't want him back in
the ballgame," Sherman said.

So, Favre was done for the day.

And soon the Packers were, too.

"Brett Favre is Brett Favre," Giants cornerback Terry Cousin
said. "We couldn't underestimate Doug Pederson. He's a good
quarterback who's been in the league a long time. But only Brett
Favre can make some of those throws and make something out of
nothing. That's the difference between him and everybody else."

Favre, who extended his NFL quarterbacks record to 212 straight
starts, counting playoffs, didn't speak to reporters afterward.
Several teammates said they doubted his starting streak was in
jeopardy.

Warner said that when they spoke on the field afterward, Favre
was fuzzy.

"I talked to him just for a minute to see how he was feeling.
He didn't remember the touchdown play," Warner said. "You knew he
wasn't quite right."

Two plays after Favre's TD, Barber beat the blitz with a 52-yard
touchdown run to tie it at 7.

"We had to strike right away," said Barber, who carried 23
times. "Rarely do you get a run like that. It takes good blocking
and luck."

Warner appeared to have made a costly mistake when he did a hook
slide 18 inches shy of the goal line, but Shockey juked cornerback
Michael Hawthorne and grabbed a 4-yard TD pass on third-and-goal to
give New York a 14-7 lead with 12 minutes left.

"Next time, I'll dive head first," Warner said.

Pederson hurt his side on a hit near the sideline but stayed in
until the final play, when third-stringer Craig Nall threw a
24-yard pass to Robert Ferguson to the Giants 32. But the clock
expired before he could spike the ball and take a shot at the end
zone.

The Packers have been a team in turmoil and are now in full
crisis management.

McKenzie was deactivated for the second straight game with a
mysterious hamstring injury. He wasn't on the sideline Sunday even
though the other injured players all were. Sherman said he came in
for treatment only.

Since ending his holdout without retracting his trade request
three weeks ago, McKenzie has been paid more than $485,000 but has
played just nine snaps, all against Chicago, leading fans to wonder
whether he's still holding out but getting paid anyway.

Neither team did much offensively in a scoreless first half, the
first time since Oct. 6, 1980, that the teams had gone into their
locker rooms at Lambeau Field without any points.

Game notes
Warner's streak was ended at 127 passes without an
interception when he threw into triple coverage from the 2 in the
first half and Darren Sharper picked it off. ... The Packers have
lost six of their last 12 home games after going 22-3 in their
first 25 under Sherman. ... Favre has thrown a TD pass in 29
straight games, third-longest streak in NFL history. ... DE R-Kal
Truluck (stinger), LB Hannibal Navies (shoulder), KR Antonio
Chatman (ankle), Hawthorne (ankle) and Sharper (back) all were hurt
for Green Bay.