SAN FRANCISCO – Brett Favre passed for 293 yards and hit Donald Driver for a 68-yard touchdown, and the Green Bay Packers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 30-19 victory over the slumping San Francisco 49ers.

Playing in the waterfront stadium that hosted some of his greatest playoff performances, Favre was steady and fearless while breathing life back into the Packers (5-8), who had been floundering on offense since early November.

Ruvell Martin also caught a long TD pass, and Driver had nine catches for 160 yards as Favre went 22-for-34 and surpassed 3,000 yards passing for the 15th straight season to extend his own NFL record.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy was the coordinator for San Francisco’s awful offense last season, but he came up with plenty of ways to embarrass former boss Mike Nolan’s defense – and Favre executed nearly all of them.

Frank Gore rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown for the 49ers (5-8), but Alex Smith was just 12-of-29 for 201 yards and two interceptions while facing constant harassment. Rookie tight end Vernon Davis turned a short pass into a late 52-yard touchdown, but San Francisco lost its third straight.

Both storied franchises’ playoff hopes are all but extinguished, yet Favre and his receivers reclaimed their groove in a familiar spot for the 37-year-old quarterback. He led the Packers against Steve Young’s 49ers in four straight postseasons in the late 1990s, with Favre winning three matchups – including two at Candlestick Park.

Young, the 49ers’ honorary captain for this game, finally beat the Packers on a last-second pass to Terrell Owens in January 1999, besting Favre’s gritty 292-yard effort. But overall, Favre has won 11 of his 12 meetings with the 49ers over 15 years, throwing a TD pass in each game.

Driver made the game’s most spectacular play after Smith threw a terrible interception to waste good field position midway through the third quarter with San Francisco trailing just 17-13.

The receiver ran under Favre’s long pass, then eluded a tackle and reversed his field before outrunning three defenders to the end zone, where Favre picked him up in a bear hug after sprinting down the field.

Ahman Green rushed for 77 yards and a score, and Dave Rayner kicked three field goals.

After consecutive road losses that erased San Francisco’s momentum from a three-game winning streak, the 49ers returned home with a muddled offensive effort that couldn’t overcome an early deficit.

Gore, the NFL’s third-leading rusher entering the week’s games, was held to a season-low 40 yards in last week’s loss to New Orleans. He broke two tackles for a 72-yard run on the 49ers’ opening drive against Green Bay, but San Francisco couldn’t punch it in from the 2.

Favre then ran a play-action pass that froze Walt Harris, the 49ers’ top cornerback. No defenders were within several yards of Martin as he caught a 36-yard pass for his first NFL touchdown.

After managing just five first downs while falling behind 17-6 at halftime, the 49ers opened the second half with an 80-yard scoring drive capped by Gore’s 1-yard plunge.

AP-ES-12-10-06 1923EST


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