Two series and little more than one quarter was enough time for Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre to sway his many skeptics.
Favre, whose tendency to go for the big play last season resulted in more interceptions (24) than touchdowns (19), was almost perfect Saturday in Green Bay's 14-6 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in the exhibition opener for both teams.The five-year, $19 million contract Favre signed in the offseason is as much a topic of debate in Wisconsin as health care, but he looked to be worth every penny, completing 5 of 6 passes for 42 yards at Camp Randall Stadium.
Favre was even applauded for the one pass he didn't complete.
He received a standing ovation from the crowd of 52,149 and a huge smile from his coach on his second and last series when he spun out of what looked like a sure sack and then threw the ball away out of bounds.
"That was the loudest cheer of all," Favre said. "I could have went 10-for-10 or 20-for-20 and that throwaway would have been the most exciting thing that happened."
"Brett did a nice job throwing the ball away," Packers coach Mike Holmgren said. "I was happy to see that."
Ty Detmer and Mark Brunell split time after Favre departed. Detmer hit Robert Brooks for a 2-yard touchdown pass with 7:38 left in the third quarter, capping a 12-play, 78-yard drive that made it 14-3.
Detmer completed 6 of 13 passes for 55 yards, and Brunell was 5-of-7 for 23 yards and one interception.
Jamie Martin, former Weber St. star, overthrew Turhon O'Bannon on fourth-and-1 from the Green Bay 45 with 1:34 left in the game, ending L.A.'s last drive.
Dolphins 24, Steelers 14
At Miami, Dan Marino, playing for the first time since he was injured last October, threw a 78-yard touchdown pass to help the Miami Dolphins beat Pittsburgh 24-14 in an exhibition game.
Marino passed the biggest test yet of his surgically repaired Achilles tendon. He was in the game for 14 plays, looked smooth despite rainy weather and completed three of five passes for 99 yards, including the touchdown to Mike Williams.
Bucs 17, Bengals 16
At Tampa, Fla., it was a situation ripe for Sam Wyche's trickery.
With quarterback Casey Weldon lined up at wide receiver, single back Vince Workman took a snap direct from center and ran up the middle for a 2-point conversion that gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a 17-16 exhibition victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday night.
Tampa Bay (1-0) pulled within a point on Mazio Royster's 2-yard touchdown run with 1:58 remaining, then pulled off the game-winning conversion after calling a timeout to remove kicker Joe Allison.
Oilers 31, Chargers 3
At San Antonio, reserve quarterback Bucky Richardson led Houston to 19 second-quarter points, 16 off of four turnovers by San Diego, leading the Oilers to victory over the Chargers.
The Oilers (1-1) had five turnovers in all as Houston's defense picked up where it left off last season when it ranked second in the NFL with 43 forced turnovers.
Browns 24, Giants 15
At East Rutherford, N.J., Vinny Testaverde threw a 24-yard touchdown pass late in the first half to give Cleveland the lead and the Browns opened their exhibition schedule with a victory over the New York Giants.
Eric Turner also had 68-yard interception return for a touchdown and Matt Stover added three second-half field goals as the Browns handed New York its second straight loss.
Broncos 37, Falcons 16
In Denver, Tommy Maddox threw two touchdown passes, directing Denver to scores on three of the six series he worked, and the Broncos beat the Atlanta Falcons 37-16 Saturday night.
Denver (1-1) got scoring runs from Rod Bernstine and rookie Derrick Clark and another TD pass by Shawn Moore, and the defense contributed three interceptions.