Game Notebook: Ferguson Steps Up

Laura brings us additional stories from today's game, including notes on Robert Ferguson stepping up, and a late-breaking injury report...

For the first time this season, the Packers won a game in which Ahman Green did not reach the century mark. Taking his place as the "Pack-o-meter" this week is receiver Robert Ferguson.

The third-year receiver led the team in receiving for the sixth time this season, with the Pack winning all six games. Ferguson's 79 yards came on  a career-high seven receptions. That eclipsed his mark of six catches, which he accomplished twice vs. Minnesota at Lambeau Field. The first time he reached six receptions was in a 26-22 win vs. Minnesota one year ago (Dec. 8, 2002). Ferguson matched that mark in this season's opener vs. the Vikings.

 "Week in and out, someone steps up," Favre said. Today (Robert Ferguson) had some big catches. Last week Javon (Walker) had a couple of big catches, today he had, obviously a real big catch, and a week before against 'Frisco he did… The guys give great effort. They block, they do what they're asked to do and, for the most part, the balls that I've thrown to those guys, they've caught."

Cornerback Mike McKenzie's two interceptions tied his career high. He had two interceptions vs. Arizona in 2000 season finale. His 90-yard touchdown was the second of his career, and longest return. McKenzie returned a pick 38 yards for a touchdown  on Dec. 30, 2001 in a 24-13 win over Minnesota when he intercepted the Vikings' Spergon Wynn.

As always, Favre weighed in with his weekly milestones. After taking the first snap, the game was halted to give the 13-year veteran a game ball to mark his team record-setting 188th consecutive game. He eclipsed the previous mark held by Forrest Gregg, who played in 187 straight. Gregg forged his streak from 1956-1970, with an exemption for the final game of '56 and all of  the '57 season when he served in the U.S. Army.

Favre holds the No. 3 spot on the Packers' all-time games played list. He is behind Ray Nitschke (190) and Bart Starr (196).

Other streaks extended Sunday were Favre's consecutive start streak of 186, his consecutive-game TD pass skein which tied Cecil Isbell's team record 22, and Favre's run of 24 straight games with a touchdown pass vs. the Bears. That streak vs. one opponent ties Dan Marino's NFL record forged at the expense of the New York Jets.
Although the ground game was limited in Sunday's win, the Packers continue to pile up remarkable mileage. With 97 yards, the team stands at 2,057 and has surpassed the 2,000-yard mark for the first time since 1985.

The impressive season total gives a "glass is half full" twist to the disappointment of Green missing the opportunity to establish his all-but-inevitable season rushing record at home. Now he needs just 22 yards to pass Jim Taylor's mark of 1,474 set in 1962 and will almost certainly do that early in next Sunday's game at San Diego.

 "For us, it's getting the win," guard Marco Rivera said. "Personally I would have liked to see Ahman get the record today, but hopefully that will happen this year. It better happen this year. And if not this week, hopefully next week."

Injury news:
Two of the game's standouts, Rivera and Ferguson, suffered injuries but were able to contribute further. Rivera sprained his ankle on the Packers' first touchdown, and Ferguson was shaken up when linebacker Brian Urlacher appeared to initiate helmet-to-helmet contact.

"Marco (Rivera) sprained his ankle on Walker's TD catch, but was able to continue to play," coach Mike Sherman said in his post-game press conference. "Maybe not many guys could have, but Marco Rivera can and he did and played well. Robert Ferguson had a blow to the head. He had to come out for a little bit. He hurt his back a little bit, but he returned."

Bhawoh Jue suffered a groin pull in the first half but was unable to return. The extent of his injury is unknown.

Jue's status leaves the Packers with a major question mark after safety Antuan Edwards was placed on injured reserve this week with a torn hamstring and thus is lost for the season.

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