SAN FRANCISCO -- In these desperate days for the San Francisco 49ers, they can see even one score as an encouraging sign.
"It was good to get a touchdown last week but we need to build on that and make that a routine thing," said Steve Stenstrom, making his third start at quarterback for the 49ers Monday night against the Green Bay Packers (5-5)."Every time we step on the field, we've got to believe we're going to go down the field and score. We've moved the ball well, but we haven't scored enough points."
The 49ers (3-7) have lost their last six games, their longest skid since 1980, and a stagnant offense that has produced one touchdown in the last four games has been at the center of their problems.
Stenstrom and Jeff Garcia, both relatively inexperienced, have gone a combined 1-6 in the absence of Steve Young.
Even though Stenstrom has yet to throw a touchdown pass this season, coach Steve Mariucci opted to give him another start, believing Stenstrom is more in sync with the team's receivers.
Stenstrom, yanked during the third quarter for ineffectiveness last week, said he won't be looking over his shoulder.
"I'm going to go out and play and not have to worry about what's going to happen if we have a bad series," he said. "I'm not going to give that a second thought. I owe it to this football team to have myself focused on the Green Bay Packers. We're going to see what we can do as an offense to be productive and successful come Monday night."
San Francisco has barely been in any of its last six games, including last week's 23-7 loss to St. Louis in which the 49ers' offense managed its first touchdown in four games.
"We're going to have to execute and play well in order to move the football," Mariucci said. "We need to put some 10-12 play drives together and keep Brett Favre on the sidelines and score more points."
Favre can't help but have some sympathy for the 49ers, whose season ended in playoff losses to Green Bay in 1995, '96 and '97 before San Francisco turned the tables with a 30-27 wild card victory over the Packers last January.
"They have a lot of injuries," said Favre, who has been troubled by a bad thumb. "Steve Young is the glue that holds everything together, and when he goes down, the whole team is going to go down."
It has been especially trying for San Francisco in the last three weeks during which the 49ers failed to score in double digits for the first time in franchise history.
It took a 1-yard run by Fred Beasley last week to break a 13-quarter touchdown drought by the 49ers' offense.
Still, neither Favre nor anyone else on the Packers will dismiss San Francisco, which has lost five of its six meetings with Green Bay since 1995.
"The 49ers have been on top for so long. They have a lot of pride," Favre said. "Not only the players, the coaches, the fans but the whole organization. They're used to that team winning 10 games and going to the playoffs. And really, we are, too. If for one second, we let our guard down, it will be an embarrassing night for us."
The Packers, who snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Detroit last week 26-17, need a victory to stay in the NFC Central race.
"Right now, the division is so bunched up, and we play three of our division opponents within the next six weeks," coach Ray Rhodes said. "So, I really feel like we're still in the hunt, and I know our players feel that way.