Work in Sports
GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (Ticker) -- Another fourth-quarter comeback engineered by Brett Favre ended in a snap.
Favre again flawlessly marched the Green Bay Packers downfield in the closing minutes, only to watch a bad snap lead to Bryan Robinson's field-goal block that preserved a 14-13 victory for the Chicago Bears.
"I'm still sort of numb right now," said Favre, whose team has lost two straight games at Lambeau Field in the same season for the first time since 1991. "We haven't lost two around here in a long time. I was thinking about coming down here and saying, 'It was another great come-from-behind win.' It just wasn't our day, I guess."
The Packers trailed by a point when they took possession on their 17-yard line with 3:19 to play. Favre, who pulled off late-game comebacks against Oakland, Minnesota and Tampa Bay, displayed his customary cool as he completed 6-of-6 passes for 55 yards. Four running plays and an interference penalty moved Green Bay to the Chicago 10 with seven seconds left.
Ryan Longwell, who earlier kicked field goals of 37 and 26 yards and had missed just twice in 15 attempts this season, prepared to put away the Bears. But the snap skipped and a hurried hold by Matt hasselback allowed Robinson, a third-year defensive end from Fresno State, to get penetration and smother the kick.
"Once I heard that second thud, I knew that we won the game," Robinson said. "This is the best moment of my career by far."
"I heard the snap was a little low; there's no excuse for that," Packers coach Ray Rhodes said. "We got into a position to win the game but we weren't able to get it done."
Although the snap and hold weren't perfect, Longwell refused to blame anyone.
"I hit it well," he said. "It was a good snap and hold and our rhythm was good. It was a great play by the middle of their line. I felt like there was heat from the middle."
"The snap and hold were typical and I heard it get blocked," Hasselback said.
Jim Miller, who replaced Cade McNown in the first quarter, completed the go-ahead touchdown pass to Bobby Engram late in the third quarter for the Bears (4-5), who ended a 10-game losing streak against the Packers (4-4). It was the longest slide by either team in the 157-game series history.
"They understand the rivalry," Bears coach Dick Jauron said.
"They understand it better now that they have been to Lambeau Field. ... After 10 lost games, this one was special."
The win capped an emotional week for the Bears. Walter Payton, the NFL's all-time leading rusher, died Monday of bile duct cancer and many current Bears attended memorial services Friday and Saturday. Chicago players wore a patch on their uniform sleeves commemorating Payton.
"I think that Walter Payton actually picked me up," Robinson said. "I can't jump that high."
"An icon was lost this week," Jauron said.
Favre completed 27-of-41 passes for 267 yards, one interception and a seven-yard TD pass to tight end Tyrone Davis in the final minute of the second quarter, capping a 49-yard drive against the clock that was set up by an interception by safety Darren Sharper.
The normally high-powered Packers have scored just one TD in each of their last two games, losing both. Favre, who made his record 117th start at quarterback, was at a loss to explain it.
"I just talked to (general manager) Ron Wolf and he asked me if I could pinpoint what our problem is on offense," Favre said. "I told him we have great talent. We just can't score any touchdowns."
With Shane Matthews injured, Chicago started rookie Cade McNown at quarterback. McNown was just 2-of-5 for 15 yards before he was replaced by Miller, who was 16-of-29 for 142 yards and three interceptions.
"They ran the football much more effectively than I thought they would," Rhodes said. "Milburn had a big run against us early."
Longwell's 37-yard field goal with 4:46 remaining in the opening period got the Packers on the board but the Bears answered with an 86-yard drive. Milburn scooted 11 yards before his TD run with 2:16 left in the quarter gave Chicago a 7-3 lead.
"It was a simple draw play," Milburn said. "I don't want to take too much of the credit. The guys blocked excellent up front."
The teams exchanged interceptions before Favre began clicking again, going 5-of-6 for 50 yards and finding Davis with just 30 seconds left in the half for a 10-7 lead.
In the third quarter, a fourth-down catch by tight end Jeff Thomason was overruled by replay and the Bears took over on their 40. Enis led a drive with four carries for 20 yards, but on 2nd-and-5 from the 12, he fumbled and rookie defensive back Mike McKenzie fell on it for Green Bay.
However, Chicago forced a punt and Miller found Marcus Robinson for 33 yards. Five plays later, he hit Engram on a crossing pattern in the left corner of the end zone, giving the Bears a 14-10 lead with 30 seconds remaining in the period.
Favre put together another drive but Chicago's defense stiffened in the red zone and the Packers had to settle for Longwell's 26-yard field goal. Bears kicker Chris Boniol missed a 34-yard field goal with 5:56 to go, leaving the door open for Favre.
Shut out in the first half, Robinson caught four passes for 66 yards. Engram had six catches for 48 yards.
Dorsey Levens gained 79 yards on 26 carries and Antonio Freeman caught eight passes for 71 yards for the Packers, who held a 344-311 edge in total yards.
"We can't keep waiting for the fourth quarter to win games," Freeman said.