Bills Defense forces four turnovers in victory over Favre, Packers


Welcome back to Throwback Thursday. The Buffalo Bills play host to the Green Bay Packers this week, and believe it or not the Packers have never won in Western New York. Brett Favre brought his club into Western New York on a chilly November day looking to extend their winning streak to three and get back to .500, a mark that they had not been at since starting the season at 0-0. J.P. Losman led the Bills in his third season, hoping to snap the Bills’ three-game losing streak, also hoping that the bye would put things back together for this team. Now let’s throw it back to Nov. 5, 2006 and the Bills vs. the Packers:

It was a game that had everything. It mixed the old with the new, whether that was good or bad. Favre and Donald Driver led the 3-4 Green Bay Packers into Ralph Wilson Stadium to take on the struggling 2-5 Buffalo Bills, led by new head coach Dick Jauron, on a perfect afternoon for November football. Also mixing old with new, it brought two teams with historically good pasts together in a season in which they had been struggling. Neither team would finish above the .500 mark, let alone make the playoffs. This extended the Bills’ streak of missing the postseason to 7, whereas the Packers will miss it for the second straight season after making it their previous four and 10 of the last 12.

The first half at The Ralph was definitely the less boring of the two. All the scoring in the first quarter came of the foot of Rian Lindell, as he booted a 28-yard field goal to give the Bills a 3-0 lead at the end of one. But that was not what people were talking about, as Willis McGahee went down with bruised ribs in the quarter after only four carries for 19 yards and would not return. This was an omen for the offense, as they did not have a very good day, only going for 184 yards of total offense but still getting the win. How? Their defense.

The vaunted Buffalo defense forced the always turnover-prone Favre and his offense into four turnovers, including three in the second quarter alone. The first turnover of the day immediately cost the Packers points, as Favre’s pass was intercepted by Bills linebacker London Fletcher, and he took it 17 yards to the house to give the Bills a 10-0 lead after the extra point. That would stand going into halftime.

Even though this Packers offense was turnover prone at times, it still knows how to score points. It finished ninth in total offense and 26th in turnovers just to show the discrepancy for this team. With 4:22 to go, Favre hooked up with his favorite target in Driver for a one-yard TD and through three quarters it was 10-7 Green Bay. The Packers got the ball back 18 seconds into the fourth, and six plays and 24 yards later, Dave Rayner tied the game at 10 with a 49-yard field goal. 

More from Bills History

After the teams traded punts, the Bills got the ball back at the Packers’ 33-yard line with 8:28 left in the game. After a holding call, Losman and Lee Evans hooked up for a 43-yard touchdown that would give Buffalo the lead for good with 8:08 to play in the fourth. Favre looked to have the Packers in answering position after he had them first and goal at the one-yard line. However, his pass was intercepted three yards deep in the end zone by then-rookie Ko Simpson after it was deflected by Nate Clements, and he returned it 76 yards back into Packers territory at the Green Bay 27.

Three plays later, Anthony Thomas sealed the deal with a 14-yard touchdown run to give the Bills a 24-10 lead with just over three minutes remaining in the contest.

The Bills would finish the year going 4-4 in their final eight games, putting their record at 7-9. This year started a streak of three straight that would finish at that same record. The defense that year finished 10th in the league in points allowed, but were bottom feeders when it came to stopping the run, finishing 28th in total yards and 29th in yards per attempt.