Brett's Party: 2 TDs, High-Fiving a Ref, and A Pratfall
Next game: NFC Semifinal
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Brett Favre knew he wasn't going to be in the game very long, so he made the most of his touchdown celebrations by finding referee Pete Morelli.
Favre directed three TD drives, including one he celebrated with a surprised Morelli, before being pulled as the Green Bay Packers' key starters played sparingly in a 34-13 victory over Detroit on Sunday.
Favre helped Green Bay out to a quick 21-3 lead when he found Bubba Franks for a 4-yard touchdown less than a minute into the second quarter. Favre held Morelli's hand out and gave him a slap.
"It's what struck me at the time. I turned around, he was standing there," Favre said. "I was looking for someone to celebrate with. He just happened to have stripes on."
Making his 253rd consecutive regular season start, Favre went all-out -- even without starting wide receivers Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, who rested as a precaution.
On one play, Favre scrambled 21 yards before being hit and driven out of bounds for his longest run in 10 years. Ryan Grant finished the drive with a 27-yard touchdown run of his own, his sixth straight game with a score, to make it 7-3.
Favre found Koren Robinson for a 5-yard TD on the Packers' next drive to extend it to 14-3.
It was Robinson's first TD with the Packers after signing last season and then serving a yearlong suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Robinson awkwardly celebrated his score with a bizarre Lambeau Leap.
"I should have went in backward," Robinson said. "But you know, I'm a novice at it, so I have to learn how to do it."
Favre finished 9-of-11 for 99 yards and two touchdowns before handing the ball to his longtime backup, Craig Nall.
Nall returned to Green Bay earlier this month after being Favre's hunting buddy from 2002-05. He got in the act, too, with a 32-yard TD pass to Ruvell Martin in the third quarter that left Favre falling down on the sidelines after he appeared to trip on his overcoat. It was Nall's first TD pass since 2004.
But despite the laughs on the sideline, Favre was far from confident about the upcoming playoffs even though Green Bay finished 13-3 to tie for the most wins in franchise history.
The Packers still haven't forgotten about an ugly loss in Chicago last week.
"It was only a few days ago where we were a little concerned and that concern hasn't changed. I'm always concerned," Favre said. "I'm pleased with the way we played today. ... It's what I expected and with that in mind, yeah, I feel pretty good about going into the playoffs."
Still, many of their top players rested, including cornerback Charles Woodson, defensive end Aaron Kampman, tight end Donald Lee and defensive tackle Ryan Pickett.
The Packers have a first-round bye and will be at home on Jan. 12, but Dallas has home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. The Packers also showed off just how deep they were against the lowly Lions.
"Guys get excited when they have an opportunity to play. You had a lot of older guys that didn't get to play a whole lot, and you had young guys that stepped in and did an excellent job," said starting center Scott Wells, considered a veteran in his fourth season. "It shows a lot that our team, even though it's young, is highly motivated."
Detroit, meanwhile, squandered most of its opportunities while extending its losing streak in Wisconsin to 16 years.
Jon Kitna went 22-of-48 for 246 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for the Lions, who started 6-2 but collapsed down the stretch and finished 7-9 this season.
"We started the season off fast, but in the second half we made too many mistakes," defensive tackle Cory Redding said. "We did make steady improvement, but at the end of the day our goal was to make the playoffs and we didn't do that."
The Lions also had to deal with multiple media reports that offensive coordinator Mike Martz would be fired or step down after the season. Coach Rod Marinelli declined to discuss the reports, but the Lions' players said they should shoulder the blame and would like continuity.
"You can keep changing coaches, but every time you change them that's a new system," Kitna said. "The reality is, the games that we lost, the majority, the times that things didn't go right, it was self-inflicted stuff. It wasn't a coaching thing."
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)