Offense breaks the touchdown barrier

It took nearly 10 quarters of preseason football, but the Packer offense finally got into the end zone. The play made it worth the wait.<P>

Wide receiver Robert Ferguson ran a perfect route and Brett Favre answered with a perfect pass for a 52-yard touchdown with 6:20 remaining in the second quarter Friday night in Jacksonville.

"He ran a great route," Favre said. "Just like usual, it was set up by the running game. Ahman (Green) made a great fake and the offensive line put a great mask on it. That brought the safeties up and Ferg was right there."

Ferguson was sidelined by a sore hamstring for the first two games, then missed practice this week with an excused absence to attend to personal business in Houston. He let the team know he's back physically and mentally with a strong performance Friday.

"I was happy to see that for Fergie because he's had a tough week," Head coach/GM Mike Sherman said in his post-game press conference. He had some things to take care of back in Houston one day this past week and then he also is coming off an injury. ... It was nice to see him get in the end zone."

While Sherman and Favre had high praise for the receiver, no one was happier about his return than Ferguson himself.

"It feels great to be able to get my first score of the preseason and it feels great to get that off my back," he said.

Ferguson's first catch was impressive as well - even at half the distance of his touchdown. The fourth-year receiver caught a 26-yarder on third and long late in the first quarter.

The touchdown was not only the first for the starting unit, it was also the first for the offense and only the second for the entire team this preseason. Safety Darren Sharper ran back an interception for a touchdown in last week's win over the Saints.

Unfortunately it stood as the only score of the game for the Packers, who have only a lone field goal to show from the red zone. Last week just one of Longwell's field goals came from inside the 20 as he connected on a 32-yarder. His other four treys have been 40 yards or longer.


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