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Barber, Giants put a hurt on Favre, reeling Packers

New York's Tiki Barber (21) breaks away for a game-tying 52-yard touchdown run  Sunday afternoon against the Green Bay Packers.
New York's Tiki Barber (21) breaks away for a game-tying 52-yard touchdown run Sunday afternoon against the Green Bay Packers.
Darren Hauck, Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The New York Giants legitimized their fast start Sunday by leaving Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers wobbly.

Tiki Barber rushed for 182 yards and scored on a 52-yard touchdown run, and Kurt Warner threw a touchdown pass to Jeremy Shockey in a 14-7 victory at Lambeau Field, where Favre was knocked from the game with a head injury.

The Giants improved to 3-1 despite a series of missed opportunities, including three errant field goal attempts by Steve Christie.

The Packers, mired in a mess with cornerback Mike McKenzie and trying to overcome infighting and injuries, fell to 1-3 for the first time since 1993 and have their first three-game losing streak under fifth-year coach Mike Sherman.

The Packers had one last chance to avoid the upset when Christie missed from 33 yards with 26 seconds left, but third-string quarterback Craig Nall hit Robert Ferguson at the New York 32 down the middle of the field and the clocked expired before the Packers could spike the ball.

Favre sustained a head injury when defensive lineman William Joseph knocked him to the ground in the third quarter and missed the next two plays. But he ran back on the field, apparently without medical clearance, on fourth-and-5 and waved backup Doug Pederson to the sideline.

Favre then floated a 28-yard touchdown pass to Javon Walker, who plucked the pass out of the air at the 3 between cornerbacks Frank Walker and Terry Cousin, then fought his way across the goal line for a 7-0 lead.

Despite his lobbying on the sideline, however, Favre was done for the day.

The Giants quickly responded with their own score. On second-and-1 at the Giants 48, Barber rumbled for a 52-yard blitz-beating touchdown that tied it at 7. He finished with 23 carries on the day.

Warner appeared to have made a costly mistake when he did a hook slide 18 inches shy of the goal line when he could have just lunged across for the score. But Shockey juked cornerback Michael Hawthorne and grabbed a 4-yard TD pass on third-and-goal to give New York a 14-7 lead with 12 minutes left.

STEELERS 28, BENGALS 17: At Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger, showing uncommon poise for a rookie not expected to play this season, twice rallied the Steelers and Duce Staley ran for 123 yards. Roethlisberger went 17-of-25 for 174 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions to easily better Carson Palmer in a QB duel that may be repeated for years in the AFC North. Palmer drove the Bengals (1-3) to touchdowns on their opening drives of each half, but ended the game with consecutive interceptions. The Steelers are 3-1 for the second time in four seasons and are 2-0 since Roethlisberger became the starter when Tommy Maddox injured his right elbow. Maddox isn't due back until next month at the earliest.

EAGLES 19, BEARS 9: At Chicago, David Akers kicked four field goals, and Donovan McNabb threw for 222 yards and a touchdown as the Eagles picked apart the injury-riddled Bears. Terrell Owens caught eight passes for 110 yards and a touchdown, which he celebrated with sit-ups in the end zone. Brian Westbrook ran for 115 yards and caught nine passes for 63 yards as the Eagles improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1993.

All of Philadelphia's victories have been by double-digits, and this one wasn't even as close as the score indicated. The Bears fell to 1-3.

McNabb was 24-of-38 for 237 yards, but he was intercepted in the third quarter, snapping a streak dating back to last season of 161 consecutive passes without a pick.

TEXANS 30, RAIDERS 17: At Houston, after 36 games, the Texans have their first winning streak. That means it's finally time for a haircut, David Carr. Carr vowed last September he wouldn't cut his hair again until the Texans won consecutive games. Now he can happily head to the barber. Carr's defensive teammates made it possible by harassing Raiders (2-2) new starting quarterback Kerry Collins into five turnovers, including each of his last four drives. Houston (2-2) turned the first three of Collins' mistakes into 13 points: two field goals by Kris Brown, with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Carr to Andre Johnson in between.

BROWNS 17, REDSKINS 13: At Cleveland, Lee Suggs, who missed Cleveland's first three games with a neck injury, rushed for 82 yards and scored on a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. From his first carry of the season, a 25-yard dash in the first quarter, the speedy Suggs gave the Browns (2-2) the spark their ground game had been missing. Jeff Garcia went 14-of-21 for 195 yards and a TD for the Browns, who didn't secure the win until Washington's Laveranues Coles fumbled with two minutes left.

The Redskins (1-3) can pin their third straight loss on going just 1-for-11 on third downs. Mark Brunell finished 17-of-38 for 192 yards.

FALCONS 27, PANTHERS 10: At Charlotte, N.C., the Panthers finally found a way to contain Michael Vick. And it didn't matter. The Falcons still found a way to win, moving to 4-0 to match the best start in franchise history. Warrick Dunn had a 38-yard touchdown run and Kevin Mathis returned an interception 35 yards for another score. The Falcons last opened the season 4-0 in 1986.

Normally unable to stop Vick from racking up astronomical numbers, the Panthers (1-2) held him to 148 yards passing and 35 yards rushing in this meeting. But with all the focus on keeping Vick in check, Carolina was a mess in other areas.

CHARGERS 38, TITANS 17: At San Diego, Drew Brees, who's had a tenuous grip on his job since last season, threw for three touchdowns, including a 58-yarder to Reche Caldwell midway through the fourth quarter. LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 147 yards and one touchdown for the Chargers (2-2). The Titans (1-3) played without quarterback Steve McNair, who was reduced to being the emergency third quarterback after bruising his sternum in a loss to Jacksonville last week. Billy Volek threw for 278 yards and two TDs, but it wasn't enough to keep the Titans from losing their third straight.

BRONCOS 16, BUCS 13: At Tampa, Fla., Jake Plummer threw a 5-yard TD pass to Patrick Hape and Jason Elam kicked three field goals for the Broncos (3-1). Plummer completed 13 of 31 passes for 138 yards, saving his best for the fourth quarter when he took advantage of a 37-yard pass interference penalty to set up Elam's 24-yard field goal that snapped a 13-13 tie with 9:03 to go. The winless Buccaneers got their only touchdown on a play on which safety John Lynch, making his emotional return to Tampa, failed to knock down a receiver who was getting up off the ground. Instead, Lynch merely touched Michael Clayton, whose helmet was knocked off when his head was brushed by Lynch's knee, stood up and took off for the end zone to complete a 51-yard pass play.

JETS 17, DOLPHINS 9: At Miami, the Jets came up with four turnovers by quarterback Jay Fiedler in the second half, including an interception returned 66 yards for a touchdown by Donnie Abraham, to improve to 3-0 for only the third time in franchise history. New York also won its first three games in 1966 and 2000. The Dolphins fell to 0-4 for the first time since their expansion season in 1966. They've scored two touchdowns this year while committing 14 turnovers and will need dramatic improvement on offense to avoid their first losing season since 1988.

New York's Curtis Martin topped 100 yards rushing for the third game in a row and the 50th time in his career, moving into 10th place on the NFL's all-time rushing list. He totaled 110 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown, and became the 11th NFL player to rush for 12,000 yards. He has 12,094, passing Thurman Thomas, who has 12,074.

RAMS 24, 49ERS 14: At San Francisco, Marc Bulger passed for 186 yards, Marshall Faulk rushed for 121 more and St. Louis sent the woeful 49ers to their first 0-4 start in 25 years. Isaac Bruce had seven catches for 100 yards as the Rams (2-2) got their ninth victory in 11 games against their longtime rivals. This one was out of reach early: St. Louis built a 24-0 halftime lead, and the sellout crowd booed San Francisco off the field while heading for the exits. Shaun McDonald caught a touchdown pass and Joey Goodspeed and Steven Jackson had 2-yard scoring runs for the Rams, who met little resistance while scoring on all four of their first-half drives.