Favre breaks Marino’s NFL touchdown passes record

BRETT FAVRE broke Dan Marino’s National Football League record for career touchdown passes, inspiring the unbeaten Packers to a 23-16 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Favre, 37, tossed his record-breaking 421st career touchdown pass on Green Bay’s second possession of the game.

He hit Greg Jennings on a 16-yard crossing pattern to give the Packers a 7-0 lead with 4:56 left in the first quarter.

The 17-year veteran, who completed 32-of-45 passes for 344 yards, added to his record by tossing a 33-yard TD strike to rookie James Jones with 5:46 remaining in the fourth quarter.

“Right away it didn’t hit me that it’s finally over and done with,” said Favre.

“Maybe 30 seconds later it kind of hit me that that’s the record.

The Packers needed that score as the Vikings nearly turned a dream afternoon for Favre into a nightmare finish.

After the Vikings closed to 23-16 on Kelly Holcomb’s 16-yard TD pass to Sidney Rice with 1:55 remaining, Favre fumbled after Green Bay recovered an onside kick.

Minnesota reached the Green Bay 34 before Atari Bigby sealed the win with an interception on a tipped pass.

“That’s a big win for our football team, especially to come up here and win,” Green Bay coach Mike

McCarthy said. “This is a tough place to play. This is a great win for our football team and great to break (the record).”

Favre is enjoying a magical season in which he is re-writing the NFL record book. Two weeks ago in a 35-13 triumph over the New York Giants, he registered his 149th career victory to become the most successful quarterback in NFL history.

A rejuvenated Favre has sparked resurgent Green Bay to its first 4-0 start since 1998.

In addition to the career passing records, Favre also set a longevity mark. By starting his 241st consecutive game, Favre moved past Mick Tinglehoff to top the list of consecutive starts by an offensive player.

The Packers posted their eighth straight victory, having ended last season with four straight wins to finish 8-8.

The Packers haven’t lost since a 38-10 defeat to the New York Jets on December 3.

“Everyone said, ‘I hope you get the record’, and I thought to myself, I would much rather win this game, but I think in order for us to win, I’m going to have to throw a touchdown pass,” said Favre, whose team has struggled to establish a running game.

The reigning Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts also improved to 4-0, rallying from a first-half deficit to beat the Denver Broncos 38-20.

Peyton Manning threw two touchdown passes to tight end Dallas Clark as the Colts overcame the premature departure of injured Marvin Harrison, who left the game late in the first quarter with a twisted left knee.

Manning had been somewhat unhappy with the Colts’ execution in the red zone, but that was not an issue Sunday as Indianapolis scored touchdowns on all five trips inside the 20 yard line.

In Dallas, Tony Romo passed for three touchdowns and ran for another score as the Cowboys improved to 4-0 with a 35-7 victory over the winless St. Louis Rams.

The New England Patriots will have a chance to get to 4-0 on Monday when they visit Cincinnati. But the Pittsburgh Steelers’ suffered their first defeat of the season when they fell 21-14 at the Arizona Cardinals.

In Cleveland, Jamal Lewis rushed for a touchdown against his former Baltimore Ravens team and Derek Anderson was efficient at quarterback as the Browns posted a 27-13 victory.

The Atlanta Falcons posted their first win of the season as quarterback Joey Harrington threw two touchdown passes and Michael Jenkins found the end zone twice in a 26-16 victory over the Houston Texans.

The victory spoiled the return to Atlanta of Matt Schaub, a onetime back up quarterback in Atlanta who was traded to Houston in the off season.

Quarterback Duante Culpepper’s return to Miami was more productive as he accounted for all five touchdowns in the Oakland Raiders’ 35-17 victory over the Dolphins.

In other games, Buffalo posted their first win of the season, a 17-4 victory over the New York Jets, Detroit downed Chicago 37-27, Tampa Bay beat Carolina 20-7, Seattle routed San Francisco 23-3.

The San Diego Chargers’ disappointing season continued as they fell 30-16 to Kansas City, and the New York Giants used a dominant defensive performance to defeat NFC East rivals Philadelphia 16-3.

The Eagles became just the second team in NFL history to score eight touchdowns in one week and none in the next game — matching the 1973 Atlanta Falcons.

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