When the Green Bay Packers defense does what it did to Rick Mirer on Sunday, Brett Favre is going to be impossible to beat.
Favre was at his MVP best, throwing four touchdown passes, and Mirer was at his worst with a career-high four interceptions and a lost fumble as the Packers routed the Seattle Seahawks 31-10.
“That was awesome, that was huge,” usually low-keyed Green Bay coach Mike Holmgren said of the five takeaways that gave the NFL’s most opportunistic defense 22 for the season.
“We’ve been creating turnovers all year,” said free safety Eugene Robinson, who had the Packers’ first interception in his return to Seattle, where he played for 11 seasons.
A pro-Green Bay crowd of 59,973, with hundreds of Packers fans wearing cheeseheads, provided the Kingdome’s first sellout of the season and those fans saw what they wanted.
“It was incredible,” said a smiling Reggie White. “I knew we had some fans out there, but this was incredible.”
The Packers, an NFC favorite, improved to 4-1 after a loss at Minnesota last Sunday. The Seahawks dropped to 1-4, including 0-3 at home.
Green Bay now has 16 interceptions and six recovered fumbles to give it six more takeaways than it had in 1995, when the Packers were last in the NFL.
“That’s what we’ve been concentrating on this season,” cornerback Doug Evans, who had Green Bay’s fourth interception. “We worked hard on it in training camp.”
Favre, the league’s top-rated quarterback, converted Mirer’s mistakes into 24 of Green Bay’s points, coming within one of his career-best five-touchdown performance that he had against Chicago last Nov. 12.
He had touchdown passes of 13 and 4 yards to Antonio Freeman, 4 yards to Dorsey Levens and 10 yards to Keith Jackson. He was 20 for 34 for 209 yards with no interceptions. In the second half, he was 11 for 14 for 141 yards and two touchdowns.
Favre was unhappy with his own performance. The Packers had 344 total yards to Seattle’s 329.
“We could have played a little better on offense, obviously,” Favre said. “We struggled early.”
“It wasn’t our best offensive game, but when you win a game like this when you’re not playing that well offensively, then that’s a good omen,” Holmgren said.
Mirer was 10 for 30 for 156 yards with no touchdowns. Chris Warren of the Seahawks had his first 100-yard rushing game and accounted for their only touchdown on a 37-yard run. Warren, who had 129 yards yards in Seattle’s first four games, had 103 yards on 18 carries.
Green Bay’s Edgar Bennett had 94 yards on 22 carries.
Favre has 16 touchdown passes and two interceptions for the season. Mirer has one touchdown pass, nine interceptions and three lost fumbles.
Seattle coach Dennis Erickson replaced Mirer with John Friesz with 6:28 to go after Mirer received a hard shot from White as he threw an incomplete pass. Friesz was 1-for-4 for 15 yards.
Erickson was asked if he will look at his quarterback position for Miami next Sunday.
“We’re going to look at a lot of things and a lot of positions,” Erickson said. “I don’t expect a lot of changes, but I expect some changes.”
Said Mirer: “Crazy things happen to us too often. Turnovers are a killer and today shows how it takes you out of everything you’re trying to do.”
Added Friesz: “I wish everybody knew the things that went out there that are out of Rick’s control. We’ve simplified our scheme from last year, but we’re not running our bread-and-butter plays very well.”
The Packers took the second-half kickoff and drove 77 yards for a 24-7 advantage on the Favre-to-Jackson TD before Seattle’s Todd Peterson responded with a 44-yard field goal.
MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: PACKERS 31 SEAHAWKS 10 Key play: The Seahawks trailed 24-10 and were driving when Rick Mirer threw his fourth interception, leading to a Green Bay touchdown. Where Hawks stand: Seattle is 1-4. Next game: at Miami, 10 a.m.