Line Rises to the Challenge

The Packers know where to give a large portion of the credit for Sunday night's performance: the offensive line. Laura looks at the challenge that was put down in front of the line, and how starters like Mike Wahle (pictured) rose to the occasion.

The offense finally put it all together in the Metrodome, with the running backs'  blockbuster  effort coupled with Brett Favre's best performance in the Vikings' house. To a man, every one of  Sunday's stars knew exactly where to give credit: Green Bay's offensive line.

"Our offensive line has gotten some good pub this year, but not enough," Favre said after the game. "Tremendous effort on their part and it has been all year…Whether you're passing or running the football, the front five is the key."

So dominating was the Packers' O-line that Ahman Green's impressive 137 yards amounted to just a hair more than half of the Packers' rushing total. Najeh Davenport (6-43) and Tony Fisher (4-38) took full advantage of the running room granted them.

"It's one of those situations as an offensive lineman, you can't be any happier with the way things turned out," guard Mike Wahle said. "We had the opportunity to run the football and close the game and we did it. Those guys talked trash all week about how we weren't physical enough and they could dominate us in that aspect of the game. And we took that to heart and we showed them up today."

Wahle was referring to comments made by several Vikings referring to the Packers as a "finesse" team which lacked toughness in the trenches. It comes as no surprise that the loudest voice seemed to be that of defensive tackle Chris Hovan. He finished with four tackles, but had none in the first half as the Pack rolled up 182 rushing yards.

"There's not a better feeling in the world than getting (that many) yards in the Metrodome," Wahle said.

The production doesn't crack the top 5 Packer rushing games (the standard is 366 yards on 50 attempts vs. Detroit in 1947), but their 261 yards was the most on the ground for the Packers in nearly 20 years. Green Bay gained 285 yards on rushing in a 43-10 win over Detroit on Oct. 6, 1985.

 "I don't' think anybody things they're ever going to run for 250," coach Mike Sherman said. "I challenged our staff to get 150 yards rushing and they gave me 100 more. We knew we had to come in here and do the job and I thought our guys rose to the challenge today and did what they had to do."

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