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With TD, Favre in top group

By KEVIN KELLY, Times Staff Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 5, 2003

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- With his 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Donald Driver with 10:26 left in the third quarter Saturday, Packers quarterback Brett Favre moved up on two lists of legendary performers.

The three-time MVP has thrown a touchdown pass in 13 consecutive playoff games, tying Dan Marino for the record. It also moved him into a tie for third place with Terry Bradshaw with 30 touchdown passes in the playoffs.

Joe Montana threw 45 touchdowns in the playoffs, and Marino had 32.

INJURY NOTABLES: The Packers offense received some good news before the game when Driver was included in the starting lineup. His status was in question after spraining his right shoulder early in the second quarter against the Jets last weekend.

Driver, who caught one pass in that game and returned to practice Thursday, became Favre's favorite target this season. He set career highs in receptions (70), receiving yards (1,064) and touchdowns (nine).

Driver aggravated the shoulder injury and left after his touchdown catch.

The news wasn't so good for Green Bay's secondary. Starting free safety Darren Sharper, whose seven interceptions in the regular season trailed only Brian Kelly's eight in the NFC, was inactive. Fourth on the team in tackles, he sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee returning an interception against the Bills on Dec. 22. Matt Bowen started in his place against the Falcons.

A RARITY: The Packers, who trailed 24-0 at halftime, had allowed 24 or more points in the first half of a playoff game four times in 34 postseason games before the Falcons. The Falcons had scored 24 or more in a playoff game four times.

ICE BOWL ALUM: Falcons coach Dan Reeves played in the Ice Bowl game. He threw a 50-yard touchdown to Cowboys teammate Lance Rentzel in the 1967 NFL championship game that Green Bay won 21-17.

ODDS AND ENDS: Packers nose tackle Gilbert Brown injured his hip on the second play of the game. X-rays showed no damage, but he did not play in the second half. ... Green Bay wide receiver Terry Glenn caught one pass in the first half but missed the second half with a concussion. ... Falcons running back Warrick Dunn, a former Buc, led Atlanta with 927 yards rushing and was second on the team with 50 receptions in the regular season. In the four regular-season games in which he rushed for 100 yards or more, Atlanta was 2-1-1.

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