GREEN BAY, Wis. – Pittsburgh and Green Bay both had to dig down on their offensive depth charts. Only the Steelers had the defense to make up for it.

Troy Polamalu returned Brett Favre’s fumble 77 yards for a touchdown, and Tyrone Carter’s interception set up the offense’s only touchdown in the Steelers’ 20-10 win over the Packers.

The Steelers (6-2) became the first team since the 1989-90 San Francisco 49ers and the fourth team overall to win 11 straight road games. And they did it without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (knee) and running back Jerome Bettis (thigh), who were joined on the sideline in the second half by starting tailback Willie Parker, who turned his left ankle.

Duce Staley had his first carries since the AFC championship in January, running for 76 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

The Packers fell to 1-7 at the halfway point for the first time since 1986 under Forrest Gregg.

Carter grabbed his fourth career interception and first for the Steelers when the ball bounced off Donald Driver and into his hands at the Packers’ 20 with 8:11 left and Pittsburgh clinging to a 13-10 lead.

Four plays later, Staley slipped a backfield tackle by Nick Barnett and trotted in from 3 yards out.

Steelers backup quarterback Charlie Batch made his first start since Dec. 2, 2001, when he was with Detroit. He completed 9 of 16 passes for 65 yards and one interception.

Favre was 20-of-35 for 214 yards and an interception.

Polamalu’s big play came in the first half, when Green Bay trailed 6-3 and was about to forge ahead thanks to his 33-yard pass interference penalty that put the Packers on the Pittsburgh 3.

Consecutive false starts backed up the Packers to the 12, when they went to an empty backfield on third-and-goal.

Big mistake.

Cornerback Bryant McFadden blitzed and wrapped up Favre for an 11-yard sack. Favre lost the ball when McFadden spun him around and Polamalu scooped it up and ran 77 yards for a touchdown that gave the Steelers a 13-3 lead.

McFadden wasn’t just satisfied with his first NFL sack on the play. He also provided the block on speedy tight end Donald Lee that allowed Polamalu to reach the end zone, something Pittsburgh’s offense failed to do until it got the short field thanks to Carter’s interception in the fourth quarter.

Pittsburgh settled for short field goals by Jeff Reed to take a 6-0 lead, which Ryan Longwell cut in half with a 40-yarder that made him the first Green Bay player to score 1,000 points in his career.

Longwell, however, was wide right from 31 yards after a promising 18-play drive by Green Bay that ate up 91/2 minutes but stalled at the 13.

The Packers finally punched it in when Samkon Gado scored his first career touchdown from a yard out with 7:26 left in the third quarter, cutting Pittsburgh’s lead to 13-10.

Gado’s 62 yards on 26 carries were a season high for the Packers, who are averaging a franchise-worst 72 yards per game.

The Packers, who have been hobbled by a spate of serious injuries, were down to their fifth-string running back in Gado, who had just one carry before Sunday, after Tony Fisher (bruised ribs) was deactivated and ReShard Lee fumbled away on his second carry Sunday.

AP-ES-11-06-05 1920EST


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