Packers-Rams game notes

Coach Mike McCarthy might want to consider taking a page out of Vince Lombardi's approach to getting a handle on the football. Irate over fumbles and dropped passes, Lombardi once picked up a pigskin and waved it in front of his troops, shouting, "We need to get back to basics. THIS is a football!" Whereupon receiver Max McGee famously said, "Hey, coach, slow down. You're going too fast!"

The story still gets a lot of laughs but what is happening to this edition of the Packers is no laughing matter. The Packers are killing themselves with fumbles, dropped passes and blown opportunities to make interceptions – all big plays that could be winning ballgames. A.J. Hawk, Al Harris and Charles Woodson all muffed opportunities to make key interceptions.

Running back Vernand Morency's first quarter fumble set a disturbing tone for the game – a game which ended on a fumble by Brett Favre as the Packers were moving in for the tying or winning score.

"Turnovers continue to plague us and we need to get that fixed," McCarthy told reporters after the game.

Asked about his fumble, a subdued Morency said he was just "trying to make something happen."

An irate McCarthy yanked Morency from the contest and gave him an earful in front of the Packer bench.

"He just said I've got to have two hands on the ball when I go down," Morency added. "That's just football. The turnover's big and you've got to have two hands on the football. This loss was tough. We had it right in our hands. We've got to go back to the drawing board and get it right. This is going to leave a bad taste in our mouth during Bye Week and we're going to get it fixed. As a football player, you want to have short-term memory so you forget about it and move on and try to make a play the next time."

Morency's turnover was his third of the season since he joined the Packers from Houston in a trade for Samkon Gado in Week 3.

Past meets present
Former Packer running back Tony Fisher had a fine run after a short pass from Marc Bulger early in the fourth quarter, scampering down the sidelines for 39 yards before being shoved out of bounds. Fisher also played on special teams for the Rams and wound up making the tackle on unlikely returner William Henderson who fielded a short kickoff by Jeff Wilkins.

Injury report
Cornerback Charles Woodson injured his knee in the first half but stayed in the game. Guard Jason Spitz was taken into the locker room in the second half after being kicked in the stomach. Safety Nick Collins was shaken up after breaking up a pass over the middle but returned after sitting out a few plays.

Other notes and tidbits from Sunday's game:

-- Ahman Green missed his second straight game as he continues to battle hamstring problems. That left Morency to start his second straight game until his untimely bobble. The move was surprising because Green practiced Friday and he appeared to be set to play this game.

-- Running back Noah Herron found himself in the action after Morency's fumble and he took advantage of it. Herron finished with a career-high 106 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown. How did he feel about notching the first 100-yard game of his career?

"It was nice but I'd exchange it for a victory," said Herron. "It's always a good career mark but at the same time we want to win. Individual stats don't really matter if you get a loss."

Said offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski: "It's what you're supposed to do. He did his job. That's what we expect our backs to do – make yards – and he did today. Two weeks in a row a different back did it. It doesn't matter who is in there. That's what they're supposed to do."

-- Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett played his first game against his former teammates. "It was definitely different," Pickett said with a smile. "I talked to them the whole game and it was weird playing against them. We went against one of the top three backs in the NFL (Steven Jackson), in my opinion. I think you can only contain him. You can't really stop him. We feel bad (about this loss) but the good thing is we are getting better. We didn't give up as many big plays as we have been and we played a whole game, not just a half. The ball's going to start bouncing our way and we're going to get some victories."

-- Favre started his 226th consecutive game, extending his record streak for NFL quarterbacks. Favre also appeared on the injury report last week for the 45th time during the streak.

-- Former Packer running back Dorsey Levens served as the honorary captain for the game as the Packers continue their salute of the Super Bowl XXXI championship team.

-- Attendance: 70,804 It was the second largest crowd in Lambeau Field history after this year's opener against the Bears (70,819).


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