Offense on road to recovery

The cure for any NFL ailment is a win. The offense's remarkable performance in Green Bay's big win at Detroit should go along way toward healing the wounds of the past four weeks.<P>

Part of the Packers' recovery Sunday was the variety show put on by the offense, even in the absence of wide receiver Robert Ferguson and offensive coordinator Tom Rossley.

The team stats further reveal Green Bay's good news: The Packers had 28 first downs to Detroit's 5, out-gained the Lions 434-125 yards, and doubled up Detroit on both plays and time of possession.

Ball control plus no turnovers with a few surprises thrown in -- is the Mike Sherman-run offense superior to that of his O.C.? Sherman took over the duties as Rossely remains out following an angioplasty.

"This is not about (calling) plays," Sherman said after the game. "This is about players making plays."

The Packers made the most of their unusual situation as Brett Favre turned in a practically perfect game, going 25-of-38 for 257 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He threw to 7 receivers, led by Donald Driver's 9 catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns. Favre also boosted Antonio Chatman into the spotlight. The second-year receiver had five catches for 50 yards and converted a key third-down.

"Mike passed the test today," Favre, with a grin, said of Sherman's play calling.

Just as Favre returned to form with help from both familiar and surprising sources, the Packer ground game got back on track thanks to a trio of strong performances and notable supporting cast.

Ahman Green had 21 carries for 81 yards - he looked strong, provided extra effort for key first downs early and most importantly held on to the ball. Green had been on the unfortunate forefront of the Packers' turnover woes in their four losses, but despite facing the Lions' ferocious defensive line, he showed no signs of letting his reputation get him down.

Green also accomplished a rare feat with his option-pass touchdown to Donald Driver. The 13-yard sneak attack made him the first running back to throw a TD since Paul Ott Carruth in 1987. The Packers, victimized by a similiar play last week, don't walk on the wild side often; tight end Bubba Franks had a touchdown pass in 2002.

The offense revealed another new wrinkle today with an RB trio: Green, the emerging Tony Fisher and Najeh Davenport, back from a hamstring injury. While Davenport's absence was felt acutely in past weeks, his full recovery paid dividends. He battered his way for 62 yards on 10 carries. Fisher's four carries for 11 yards are deceptive. He added two catches for 30 yards including a 13-yard touchdown pass from Favre which put the Packers ahead to stay. On that second-quarter TD catch-and-run Fisher looked like a lot more than a third-string RB as he out-hustled Lion defenders and deftly found the end zone.

Throw in a few key blocks by Nick Luchey, and the Packers' offense turned from desperate to dominating. Here's hoping Rossley feels better after Sunday's game. Sherman, the Packers and their fans definitely do.

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