GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- They lived up to Reggie White's legacy on
the day his number was retired, playing with a menacing mix of
passion, poise and precision.
Trent Dilfer won for the first time in nine trips to Lambeau
Field, guiding Cleveland over the mistake-prone Packers 26-24 for
new coach Romeo Crennel's first win. Dilfer threw an 80-yard
touchdown pass to Braylon Edwards and a game-icing 62-yarder to
Steve Heiden with 1:50 remaining.
Dilfer, who lost six times as a starter at Green Bay, completed
21 of 32 passes for 336 yards -- the second-highest total of his
career -- and three touchdowns. His 62-yarder to Heiden, who slipped
a tackle by safety Mark Roman, made it 26-17, too much for the
Packers to overcome even behind Brett Favre.
The Packers wanted desperately to honor White with a win. So did
Dilfer, who like so many others, counted himself a friend of the
"Minister of Defense," who died unexpectedly last year at age 43.
"I guarantee you,he and my son were watching the game together
today," said Dilfer, who lost his 5-year-old son, Trevin, to a
rare infection in 2003.
Dilfer recalled White's "kind words after football games when
they beat us up. That meant the world to me."
"I think I'm third all-time on his sack list. Reggie and I got
to know each other pretty intimately on the football field,"
Dilfer added. "What a special day for his family to honor him that
way. In my 12 years, by far the classiest person I've ever met in
this league. He had a huge influence on me personally,
"I've been 'Favre'd' twice up here," Dilfer said. "So, I was
a wreck on the sidelines. It was big to erase some of those
The Browns were backed up and facing a crucial third down after
Favre, who also joined Dan Marino and Elway in the 50,000-yard
passing club Sunday, pulled the Packers to 19-17 with a 19-yard TD
to Robert Ferguson with 3:40 remaining.
With the crowd chanting "Reg-gie! Reg-gie!" in honor of the
late White, whose number was retired at halftime, Dilfer calmly hit
running back Reuben Droughns for a 12-yard gain on third-and-5.
Then, following the 2-minute warning, he found Heiden over the
middle to put the game out of reach.
"We blew the coverage," Roman said. "But I still have to get
the guy down."
The Packers (0-2) looked at first like they wouldn't miss Javon
Walker, their star receiver who went down with a season-ending knee
injury last week. They went ahead 7-0 on their first possession
when Donald Driver caught a short pass over the middle and raced
past Ray Mickens and Chris Crocker for a 42-yard score.
The Browns (1-1) responded with an 80-yard drive capped by
Dilfer's 1-yard throw to Heiden.
Phil Dawson added field goals of 21 and 39 yards to give the
Browns a 13-7 halftime lead. His first field goal followed the
first of Favre's two interceptions.
The Packers came out of the locker room early to watch White's
No. 92 unveiled beneath the north end zone alongside those of Don
Hutson, Tony Canadeo, Bart Starr and Ray Nitschke. White's widow,
Sara, spoke to the crowd, and highlights were shown of White
sacking quarterback after quarterback and holding the Lombardi
Trophy aloft after the Packers' Super Bowl win following the 1996
Then, it was back to 2005, and the Packers continued their
sloppy play in losing their home opener for the third straight
"A loss is a loss, I don't care what day it is," Packers
linebacker Nick Barnett said. "It hurts regardless of if it's
Reggie White's day or Brett Favre's day or Bart Starr's day."
"It's very disappointing that we lost in front of Reggie's
family," cornerback Al Harris said. "We didn't give him much of a
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