Chatman among prime-time performers

The Green Bay Packers played poorly in all three phases of the game on Monday against Seattle. All three phases showed various degrees of improvement during Saturday's 19-14 victory over New Orleans at Lambeau Field. Here are some performances of note.


— Quarterback Brett Favre had another good night, though he again failed to lead the team into the end zone. Favre played into the second quarter against Seattle, going 5-of-7 for 43 yards. On Saturday against New Orleans, he played the entire first half, going 11-of-17 for 149 yards.

"I have pretty good confidence in our offense," Packers coach Mike Sherman said. "I think we have enough weapons. When we get in the red zone, we have the same guys back from a year ago when we were second in the league. I think it's a matter of working on it and timing and rhythm. It's hard to work on the red-zone passing game that's specific to your opponents in the preseason, so you've got to roll the dice on some of what you call." — Favre's favorite target was neither Javon Walker nor Donald Driver, but Antonio Chatman. Chatman solidified his prospects of being the team's No. 4 wide receiver by catching two passes for 61 yards. On Green Bay's first drive, which led to a field goal, Chatman faked an inside move and ran a corner route, which Favre hit perfectly for 31 yards. On third-and-9 late in the first half as the Packers ran the two-minute drill, Favre rolled left and Chatman made a leaping grab in traffic for 30 yards.

"I think he earned the confidence of his quarterback. He jumped out of his shoes for that," Sherman said.

"I think I'm starting to get his confidence," Chatman said. "He's starting to throw me the ball now. Once he threw me the first ball, my confidence went up. I knew he had the confidence in me to throw me the ball in a tight situation."

— The running game was poor for the second straight game — 30 attempts for 98 yards (3.3 average) — but Ahman Green broke off a 24-yard gain on the first play of the second quarter. On the play, tight end Bubba Franks drove his man inside and fullback William Henderson stuffed a linebacker, opening a big hole for Green. The drive ended in a Ryan Longwell missed field goal.

— Quarterback Tim Couch heard the boo birds again with another disappointing performance. While he denies having any arm problems, Couch again showed no arm strength, preferring to lob just about every pass. He completed his first pass to fullback Kris Briggs for 11 yards and his third pass to wide receiver Sam Breeden for 11 yards. In between, he nearly had a slant route intercepted that would have given the Saints a touchdown.

Couch finished 6-of-17 for 64 yards. He was sacked twice, one of which he held onto the ball far too long.

"I thought he did a better job this week than last week," Sherman said. "I thought it was difficult at times. (His second pass), the linemen screwed up the protection."

— He won't make the team, but running back Walter Williams led the Packers with 40 yards on seven rushes during garbage time.

— Due to an infectious staph infection, second-year offensive tackle Brennan Curtin had missed all of training camp before practicing Wednesday. During the second possession of the third quarter, Curtin went down with what Sherman thinks is a torn medial-collateral ligament in his knee. If that's the case, Curtin's season has ended almost before it started.

— Tight end Bubba Franks caught three passes for 17 yards. His long catch of the night went for 10 yards, but he fumbled inside the New Orleans 20 while fighting for extra yards in the final two minutes of the first half.


— Safety Mark Roman, who has emerged as the favorite to beat out Marques Anderson for the starting spot opposite Darren Sharper, continued his strong training camp. Roman wasn't spectacular but seemed to be in the right spot and showed his typical sure tackling.

While Sharper's 90-yard interception return was the highlight of the game, Sharper cited a first-quarter tackle by Roman as vital. The Saints had just gained 11, 10 and 11 yards for three straight first downs on the game's opening possession. On first-and-10, Roman and linebacker Na'il Diggs blitzed. Diggs took care of the blocker and Roman dropped running back Deuce McAllister for a 3-yard loss. The Saints wound up punting moments later.

"That was the play that got us going and got us rejuvenated," Sharper said. "From that point on, you saw us play at a high level. That's all it's going to take; one guy to make a play and everyone feeds off it."

— Defensive end Tyrone Rogers is on the bubble of making the team. Saturday's showing won't hurt as he tallied two sacks and an interception. His first sack was particularly impressive as he beat the offensive tackle around the corner. His second interception forced a fumble that was recovered by James Lee. On the interception, Rogers capitalized on the Packers' steady pass rush.

"Kenny Peterson made a good play and made the pressure and got the quarterback to kind of loft it in the air. I saw it in the air and just reacted and picked it off."

Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila didn't get a sack but he was a frequent guest in the Saints' backfield. One of his excursions should have resulted in a Carroll interception.

— In addition to Diggs' play on Roman's key first-quarter stop, Diggs blitzed on the second-to-last play of the first quarter to stuff fullback Nate Schurman for a 5-yard loss on third-and-1.

— Linebacker Nick Barnett seems prepped for a huge year. Midway through the second quarter, Saints running back Aaron Stecker saw a huge hole and turned upfield. Almost instantly, Barnett was there, nailed Stecker and forced a fumble.


— Punters B.J. Sander and Nathan Chapman were terrible. See related story.

— Anderson made the tackle on the opening kickoff, holding the explosive Michael Lewis to just a 9-yard return. The Packers' second kickoff ended with Najeh Davenport stopping Lewis after a 19-yard return.

— Longwell made 4 of 5 field goals, including a 48-yarder.

— Chapman continued his training camp struggles as the punt returner. When he returned the ball he did fine, breaking two for double-figures while averaging 8.0 yards on three runbacks. He let a couple short punts roll, however, for an extra 10-plus yards. After Chapman was injured, Kelvin Kight did a nice job, returning three punts for a 17.3-yard average, including one for 35.

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