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Packers Run It Up on Lions

September 15, 2003|From Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. — It took a mere 52 seconds for the Green Bay Packers to rediscover their running game and their home-field advantage.

Ahman Green rushed 23 times for 160 yards, including a 65-yarder for a score on his first carry as the Packers rolled past the Detroit Lions, 31-6, Sunday, ending a two-game home losing streak.

Green topped 100 yards by halftime, and the Packers (1-1) intercepted three of Joey Harrington's passes in the second half to send the Lions (1-1) to their 17th consecutive road loss.

Green scored when he found a hole created by guard Mike Wahle, broke a tackle by safety Corey Harris and raced 65 yards for the touchdown on a field drenched by nearly three inches of rain in 48 hours.

"This is our type of weather," Packer quarterback Brett Favre said. "When we're running the ball like that, we're tough to beat. Anybody would be."

The play accounted for more yards than Green had in either of his previous two games.

He had 53 yards against Minnesota a week earlier and 34 yards against Atlanta in the playoffs -- both of them losses at Lambeau Field.

Against the Vikings, the Packers passed on their first six snaps and trailed by double digits before Green got his first carry.

"We were bound and determined to get Ahman his carries," Packer Coach Mike Sherman said.

Not only were the Packers still smarting from their season opener, but their receivers were banged up.

Sherman said even free-agent pickup Antonio Freeman, who led Green Bay with four catches for 32 yards, was limited by foot tendinitis during practice.

Green's run was his longest since he went 83 yards for a touchdown against the Lions on Sept. 9, 2001.

"It is one of our bread-and-butter plays," Green said. "If it's blocked right and I have the right speed, the only person I've got to deal with is outrunning the safety."

Said Lion end Robert Porcher: "We played it right. Everybody was where they were supposed to be. We just missed the tackle."

Harris accepted the blame.

"That was a basic football play," he said. "You can't let that happen."

Green became the fourth running back in Packer history to top 4,000 career yards.

He had 109 yards by halftime as the Packers built a 17-6 lead.

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