FILE - In this Jan. 26, 1997, file photo, Green Bay Packers' Desmond Howard (81) heads out on a 99-yard kickoff return during the third quarter against New England Patriots in NFL football's Super Bowl XXXI in New Orleans. Howard, the Most Valuable Player
Mark Duncan, File
January 17, 2016

Super Bowl 31

Jan. 26, 1997

At New Orleans-72,301

New England 14..0..7..0-21

Green Bay 10.17..8..0-35

The NFL title returns to Titletown.

Brett Favre threw two touchdown passes and ran for one score as the Packers won their first Super Bowl in 29 years. The big play was Desmond Howard's 99-yard kickoff return in the third quarter. Howard, the Most Valuable Player, set a Super Bowl record with 244 return yards.

On the second play from scrimmage, Favre hit Andre Rison with a 54-yard touchdown pass. Following Doug Evans' interception, the Packers went ahead 10-0 just 6:18 into the game. The Patriots rallied with Drew Bledsoe's touchdown passes to Keith Byars and Ben Coates to give them their only lead of the game at 14-10.

Green Bay scored 56 seconds into the second quarter when Favre hit Antonio Freeman with a Super Bowl record 81-yard touchdown pass. Favre later scored on a 2-yard run to give the Packers a 27-14 halftime lead.

New England closed the gap on Curtis Martin's 18-yard run late in the third quarter. Howard took the ensuing kickoff all the way to stop the Patriots' momentum. The Packers' defense took over in the fourth quarter, intercepting Bledsoe twice, and preventing the Patriots from crossing midfield in four possessions.

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Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

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