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PACKERS 31, BEARS 14

Favre makes short work of Bears in rout

CHICAGO -- Brett Favre worked up a sweat, threw two touchdowns passes in a short workday, and got the Green Bay Packers tuned up for the playoffs.

Green Bay's defense wasn't bad, either, tying a team record with nine sacks -- three by Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila -- and the Packers routed the Chicago Bears, 31-14, yesterday.

Now the Packers (10-6), who were already locked in as the No. 3 seed in the NFC, can get ready for an opening-round playoff game next Sunday at home against the Vikings.

"Playing a team three times. We're very familiar with them and vice versa, but it really doesn't matter," Favre said.

The Packers had no intention of completely resting their starters because they wanted to be sharp before the playoffs. So, as promised by coach Mike Sherman, the starters played.

Favre was in for the first quarter and one series in the second, going 9 of 13 for 196 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Packers beat the Bears (5-11) for the 21st time in the last 26 meetings -- including 11 straight on the road. Wearing "92" on their helmets in memory of former teammate Reggie White, the Packers gave up an early touchdown before roaring to a 28-7 halftime lead. Favre went to work early and didn't stop before leaving the game. He completed five straight passes in an 84-yard drive, capping it with a tying 17-yard TD toss to Bubba Franks. Ahman Green, who also played sparingly, had the big play in the drive with a 23-yard catch-and-run on third and 17.

Early in the second quarter, Favre made quick work of the Bears' defense for a go-ahead score. He hit Donald Driver on a 48-yard pass and then passed to a wide-open William Henderson for a 38-yard TD after Bears defensive back Mike Green fell down.

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