Is it possible for a running back to gain more than yards in a game and still be considered an unsung hero?
Amidst the excitement unfolding on two fields more than 1,000 miles apart, Ahman Green forged a fitting end to his record-setting 2003 regular season with 218 yards on 20 carries in the Packers' 31-3 win over the Denver Broncos at Lambeau Field Sunday.
The afternoon's tally was a single-game record for the Packers, smashing his previous record of 192 set Nov. 10 vs. Philadelphia. Before Green's amazing season, the mark was held by Dorsey Levens with 190 yards vs. Dallas on Nov. 23, 1997.
A big chunk Sunday's yardage came on the first play from scrimmage after the Packers had shutout the Broncos in an air-tight goal line stand. With the ball resting on the Packers' 2 yard line, Favre told the team in the huddle that they had to ‘get out of here.' Green took it literally. He ran right, past a flattening block by Marco Rivera, and took off down the sideline for a 98-yard touchdown.
"It's kind of a misdirection play where we start of to our left and we try to bait them to the left and come back right and that's basically what happened to perfection," Green said. "The offensive line blocked who they needed to block and the only person I had to deal with is the safety and I think he got pulled in from the action of the whole play at the beginning. That was the start of it and running to the end zone was the end of it."
The long score put the Packers up 24-13 and put Green into the record books – again.
Green's run is the longest in Packer annals. The previous mark stood for 64 years. Andy Uram ran 97 yards for a touchdown vs. the Chicago Cardinals on Oct. 8, 1939.
The 98-yarder also put Green over the 200 mark for the game, making him the first Packer ever to reach that milestone.
Even without the 98-yard masterpiece, Green would have been comfortably over 100 yards, good for his 10th century mark of the season, also a Packer record.
The touchdown was good for another line in the record books. On his previous touchdown of the afternoon, , a 2-yard run just two minutes earlier, Green had tied Jim Taylor's season touchdown mark of 19. Green then made it 20, another new Packer mark.
"The biggest thing was the 'W' in this game. Like I said a couple of week ago, we do the things that we're supposed to do in the rest of the season for us and the chips fall where they may."
True, the Packers needed a bit of luck to get those chips to fall into the right places, but Green's performance went a long way toward taking the luck out of the Packers' side of the equation. It also caused quite a shakeup in the Packer media guide; anyone who happens to have 2003 edition, hang on to it. The pre-Green records are now antiques.