What's wrong?

Three weeks ago, the outlook was pretty good for the Green Bay Packers: They had an opportunity for extremely strong start, playing weaker teams on the road ... Gutsy displays of mettle by Gilbert Brown and Marco Rivera buoyed team spirits ... Brett Favre was rested and ready ... The unveiling of Lambeau Field reinvigorated the league's most formidable home turf.<P> So what happened?<p>

"We're certainly not in sync right now to the degree that we need to be," Head Coach/GM Mike Sherman said. "We're certainly in a little bit of a funk right now, there's no question about that. I'd be blind not to admit to that."

There's plenty of blame to spread around.

Another rash of injuries left Javon Walker as the only healthy receiver. The would-be terrifying trio of Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, Joe Johnson and Cletidus Hunt have a single sack between them.

A chief concern is that Brett Favre is off to his worst start of his career with 6 interceptions and just 4 TDs. In 1993 Favre had 4 TDs and 5 interceptions through week 3. Two seasons ago, Favre had 6 interceptions by week 4, but countered that with 9 TDs. Now to meet that mark, he'd have to throw five TDs without an interception against the Bears. Not a bad game plan - and he's done it before (Nov. 12, 1995 in Green Bay's 35-28 win over Chicago at Lambeau Field.

"It's not because of age because he makes those plays in practice," Sherman said of Favre's game-ending interception Sunday. "Every day you see it happen. He definitely has all the zip on the football. Without making excuses, part of it is a lack of consistency in his personnel.

Good point. Should Favre - who had a touchdown pass to tight end David Martin early in the Arizona game and had marched the Packers toward a possible game-tying or winning TD in the final minute - had to force that ball in on the final play? Or should the Packers have already been beating the tar out of an opponent who lost 38-0 the previous week?

"Anyone associated with the Packers - fans, media, coaches, players - did not expect us to be 1-2 at this point," Favre said. "It's frustrating. I've been around a long time and I can't remember when we were really in this situation, where we've dug ourselves a deep hole."

It has happened before in Favre's tenure. In 1993, 1994 and 2000 the Pack started 1-2. Each time, they finished 9-7. They did not win the division (then Central) in any of those years, but reached the playoffs in '93 and '94, both times beating Detroit in the wildcard round before losing in Dallas. In Mike Sherman's inaugural campaign of 2000, Green Bay finished third in the division and did not make the post-season.

That's not the coach's vision for his fourth season in Green Bay:

"I know that the men that I'm dealing with ... can fix the problems that need to be fixed and I have confidence that we will."

Safety Darren Sharper backed him up.

"There's no doubt in my mind," Sharper said of the team's hopes for a turnaround. "We've done it in the past with guys that are still around. The talent always rises up eventually."


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