Green shows toughness, power, speed

Ahman Green's most impressive run of the day may have been his last.

With the Packers simply trying to gain a few yards and run down the clock, Green barreled off right tackle and lowered his shoulder into defensive back Corey Chavous. Chavous looked like a runner at Pamplona while Green resembled a bull, knocking Chavous onto his back en route to a 7-yard gain.

Not bad for a guy who was a question mark to participate in the second half.

Green hammered a woeful Vikings defense for 145 yards on 21 rushes, helping the Packers win 34-31 and tie their rivals for the NFC North lead. Sixty-five of those yards came in the second half, after he missed the final four minutes of the second quarter after the heal of a Vikings defender banged into Green's kneecap while the Packers were trying to set up a screen pass.

"We didn't think we were going to have him, but he taped it up and came back," said Packers coach Sherman. "I can't say enough about this kid. He did a great job of coming back out there and giving us everything he had."

Green was at his best Sunday, mixing powerful runs with explosive big plays. Green ripped off runs of 35, 21 and 17 yards to help fuel an offensive onslaught.

Green, as has been the case since coming under fire for his fumbling woes, did not talk to reporters. Packers quarterback Brett Favre, however, summed things up quite nicely.

"Nothing about Ahman surprises me. He ran the ball extremely hard, which is nothing new for him. Ahman plays hurt and he plays with great intensity. His work ethic is as good as anyone's," Favre said.

Before getting hurt, Green tore the Vikings' defense — worst in the league based on yards allowed per rush — to shreds. With the Packers up 14-10, Green broke off a 35-yard run off right tackle on the first play of the drive, and on the next play ran left for 17 more yards. Favre used a play-action fake on the next snap, and found Bubba Franks open by at least 10 yards for an easy touchdown.

"If we just sustain our blocks, Ahman will find the cracks," said Packers right guard Marco Rivera. "That's our forte and we're going to stick with it."

The Packers stuck to it to the tune of 206 yards rushing en route to an overall total of 442 balanced yards.

"When Ahman's running well, it opens up the passing game, and when we're working in the passing game, Ahman's all right running," starting receiver Donald Driver said.

With Najeh Davenport injuring his hamstring, third-string running back Tony Fisher received a larger role in the offense than usual. He cashed in, with 31 yards on eight rushes and three receptions for 36 yards, including a 25-yarder on a corner route that put the Packers in position to boot the winning field goal.

"Fish doesn't get a whole lot of opportunities at catching the ball, but he's our best pass-catcher out of the backfield," said Favre. "He does what we ask him to do and he made some great plays out there."

On Fisher's first play in the lineup after Green went down, he took a toss to the left and ran for 13 yards and a first down. On a half-ending drive that was capped by a 43-yard field goal, Fisher added runs of 4, 1, 1, 11 and 4 yards and caught a pass for 9 yards.

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