Plays of the game

For all of Green Bay's defensive shortcomings Sunday in Indianapolis, the Packers had a couple chances to get back into the game. <p>

The first came in the second quarter, with the Packers behind 28-17. After a couple of third-down completions to William Henderson, the Packers faced a third-and-11 from the Indianapolis 41-yard line. Packers quarterback Brett Favre hit Javon Walker for 7 yards to set up a fourth-and-4 at the 34 — and a big decision.

The Packers could elect to try a 52-yard Ryan Longwell field goal. The kick was at the edge of Longwell's range, and a miss would give the Colts the ball at the 42-yard line.

The other option was to go for the first down. The risk of failing is obvious, but with the way the Colts' offense had been motoring up and down the field, the Packers were in danger of getting blown out.

Packers coach Mike Sherman elected to try a field goal, and Longwell's kick plunked off the cross bar.

Taking over with great field position and 3:24 on the clock, Peyton Manning led the Colts to their fifth touchdown of the first half to take a commanding 35-17 lead at intermission.

Despite a monstrous first half by Manning, the Packers had two cracks to tie the game at 38. The first drive went nowhere and ended in a punt. The second drive showed promise, with the Packers starting from their 21 and advancing it to the 43 on a pass to Ahman Green and two passes to Donald Driver. But on a first-and-10 play, Javon Walker caught a short pass, was stood up, and had the ball was stripped by rookie Jason David.

The Colts wound up scoring the clinching touchdown on a nine-play drive that included seven Edgerrin James runs, capped by a 1-yard James plunge.


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