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Fumbling away Green's good name

The reputation as a "fumbler" that the running back worked so hard to shake is back with a vengeance.<P>

Ahman Green's fumble - his fourth of the season - gave the Titans the ball in Packer territory, marking only the second time this season that Tennessee started a drive on opponents' ground. The Titans went on to Chris Brown's second touchdown, a 14-point lead and a blowout the likes of which Lambeau has rarely seen.

"It's tough, but we have to find out what we're made of as a team and individually," Green said after Monday night's loss.

Green's fumbled early and often last season, an auspicious start to a year which turned out to be his best as a pro, forever etched in team history.

This year, no one is talking about Green's yards (a humble 402 through 5 games) or his records. The talk is about fumbles, which are magnified by their cost to the team.

Week 1: Everything was going Green Bay's way at Carolina. Green committed his first fumble of the season after a nine-yard gain near midfield. Javon Walker recovered the fumble, then realized he was untouched and rambled 11 more yards to the Panther 33. Green carried twice more on the drive, for 3 yards and no gain. The drive resulted in Ryan Longwell's 41-yard field goal.

Week 2: In the Sept. 19 loss to Chicago in the home opener, Green's turnover caused a 14-point swing. Feeling confident with a first-and-goal from the two-yard-line, Green saw his would-be touchdown plunge knocked loose by Brian Urlacher, then scooped up and returned for a 95-yard touchdown by Mike Brown. That gave the Bears a 14-3 lead. They'd never look back, at least not in that game. That's the Bears' only win so far, Brown is out for the season and Urlacher has been sidelined by injury as well.

"We put ourselves in a hole with the turnover at the two-yard line going in," Sherman said at the time. "That was a 14-point differential - seven not for us, seven for them. Obviously that was a huge play in the game, a great play by Urlacher." Week 4: Looking for a break in a 0-0 deadlock with the Giants at Lambeau, the Packers got one when safety Darren Sharper picked off Kurt Warner extremely deep in Packer territory near the end of the first quarter. Green wrapped the opening period with an 11-yard run, but on the first play of the second quarter, Green broke for 19 yards before his fateful fumble. Linebacker Barrett Green forced the fumble, which was recovered by safety Brent Alexander. Donald Driver was able to take down Alexander for no gain. The Giants drove into field goal range but Steve Christie missed from 49 yards.

"Well the turnovers, as it turned out, I don't think were a factor in the ballgame...usually they are," Sherman said after the loss to the Giants. I don't think they scored any points off of turnovers, I don't believe they did. Usually that is not the case, but you certainly don't want them. You certainly guard against them, but that in itself this week, one of the very few times you lose a turnover battle I don't think that determined the outcome of the ballgame."

Week 5: It may have just been one rock in the avalanche, but Green's fumble to Tennessee came early when the game was still up for grabs, and the miscue helped set the tone for disaster.

In the only game in which Green didn't fumble, the usually sure-handed Javon Walker committed a turnover which slammed the door on the Packers' hopes for a comeback.

Green was responsible for only one of six turnovers in the Monday Night mess. The others were Donald Driver's fumble, Antonio Chatman's muffed punt and a trio of interceptions by Brett Favre.

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