Packers-Vikings: Post-game notes

Longwell, Sander struggle with field goals

MINNEAPOLIS - The normally reliable Ryan Longwell was anything but that when the Packers needed every point they could they could get against the Minnesota Vikings. Part of the problem is that he and holder B.J. Sander have yet to get comfortable with each other this season.

Longwell made just two of four field goal attempts and fell to six of nine for the season. He hasn't missed more than four field goal attempts in a season since he was 28 of 34 in 2002. Longwell also missed an extra point attempt Sept. 25 against Tampa Bay, which proved to be the decisive point. He and Sander also botched a field goal attempt in the season opener at Detroit.

Longwell's miss to the left from 42 yards out early in the fourth quarter proved to be especially detrimental in Green Bay's 23-20 loss to the Vikings Sunday in the Metrodome.

Longwell also missed from 53 yards in the first quarter. Longwell says the holds he is getting from Sander have not been as consistent as they need to be, though he declined to single out Sander.

"I've fed him ball after ball after ball," Longwell said about Sander, who is in his first season holding for Longwell. "The thing with (former holders) (Bryan) Barker, and Doug (Pederson) and (Matt) Hasselbeck is they were 100 out of 101. They just never missed. We're (Longwell and Sander) are not there. In games, the way they are in this profession, it has to be that way."

Longwell said that his miss from 42 yards was wide left because Sander did not place it the way it needed to be placed on the ground. "It's that low and left ball that we've been able to eliminate for the past eight-and-a-half years," Longwell said.

On his 53-yard miss, he said the ball caught off his foot and went right. On the attempts that he made from 53 and 49 yards, he said he swung straight through and powered the ball through the goal posts.

"You never want to miss both right and left," Longwell said. "I have been able through the years to eliminate the left miss. It comes down to just starting off online and it is just not quite there right now."

Longwell, Green Bay's all-time leading scorer, was impressed with Paul Edinger's 56-yard field goal to win the game as time expired. He could only admire the hold by veteran backup quarterback Brad Johnson.

"My initial reaction was great hold, great kick," he said. "It was an unbelievable hold to save that one and give him a shot at kicking it. Then I was thinking about the team. We certainly felt that we should have won the game. We had some chances. We had two scoring chances that we should have capitalized on but we didn't. Our standard over the years has been perfection. Anytime you give anybody a reason not to expect it, we're disappointed."

Franks, Green return
Ahman Green and Bubba Franks, who have been sidelined with knee injuries, returned to the starting lineup Sunday against the Vikings. Franks finished with three catches for 38 yards. Green carried the ball 16 times for 49 yards before leaving midway through the fourth quarter.

Green aggravated a quadriceps tendon injury in his right leg that he first sustained Oct. 3 at Carolina. His status for this Sunday's game at Cincinnati was not certain after the game.

"I don't feel that bad right now," Green said in the locker room. "We'll see tomorrow what the X-rays show. Right now, I'm just taking it one day at a time. We'll see what happens."

Franks missed all but one play of Green Bay's previous three games after he sustained a torn MCL in his left knee against the Cleveland Browns. He caught one pass for 14 yards from running back Tony Fisher on a halfback option, setting up Brett Favre's second-quarter 22-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Donald Driver.

Franks caught a 24-yard pass from Favre late in the third quarter, his longest reception of the season.

Did not suit up
The following players were not on Green Bay's 45-man game day roster: center Mike Flanagan, safety Earl Little, linebacker Na'il Diggs, defensive linemen Donnell Washington and Mike Montgomery, and center Chris White.

Craig Nall was listed as Green Bay's designated third quarterback.

Extra points
-- Paris Lenon started in place of Roy Manning at outside linebacker. Manning sprained his ankle in practice on Thursday. Lenon got his first sack of the season in the first quarter when he brought down Daunte Culpepper.

-- Scott Wells started his second consecutive game at center for Mike Flanagan, who has been recovering from hernia surgery earlier this month.

-- Rookie Brady Poppinga got his first career sack when he brought down Culpepper on a blitz to thwart Minnesota's first drive of the game.

-- Brett Favre's 13 consecutive pass completions at the start of the game was the third-best in his career. He completed 14 straight at the start of the game on Sept. 14, 2003 against Detroit and Sept. 10, 2000, at Buffalo.

-- Favre fell to 4-10 in games against the Vikings in the Metrodome.

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