Green going strong

In his stellar performance in Sunday's season-opening win over Atlanta, Packer running back Ahman Green overcame frustrations that followed him into Lambeau Field, as well as those he found when he got there.<p>

Green shook off a frustrating preseason campaign, only to find 100-plus degree heat standing in his way Sunday. It may have cost him two fumbles and two bags of IV fluid, but Green managed to smash the 100-yard mark anyway.

"It was tough out there today because of the heat," Green said. "You just have to keep plugging along in that kind of game. I'm glad to have a tough game early. It gest you ready for the rest of the season."

The Packers are 11-0 when Green goes over 100 yards. A year ago, Green gained 157 yards and scored two TDs in the Packers' opening win vs. Detroit.

Green had 155 yards on 27 carries Sunday. That included 88 yards on 17 carries in the second half and overtime, plus a key - possibly game-winning - push to help William Henderson into the end zone.

"When I saw he was having trouble getting in, I ran up there and started pushing," Green said. "I was tired, but I just put my body in there and pushed." Henderson scored to give the Packers the lead in the final minutes of regulation.

Call it an "It's a Wonderful Life" moment. What if Green hadn't been there to give that helpful shove? It was entirely possible, because the running back had to leave the game early in the third quarter due to cramping in his abdominal muscles. Green, who also suffers from asthma which also puts him at risk in extreme heat, received IV fluid and was able to return.

"It helped a lot, " Green said. "I didn't have any breathing problems today, but my abs really started cramping. Once I coudl get fluids back into me, I was ready to play again."

Green fumbled twice in the first half. One of the turnovers resulted in an Atlanta TD.

"I sweat profusely, so it made it hard in that weather," said Green. "I didn't let the fumbles bother me, though."

Coach Mike Sherman put the fumbles behind him, too.

"I never like to see a fumble, but Ahman is a hard worker and wants to fix it," Sherman said. "It's not like he is making a mistake that leads to them. He does sweat profusely, and that contributed to it. But, he kept with it and made some big plays later in the game."

Green and Mealey made a bid Sunday as a great 1-2 punch for the Packers. Mealey had five carries for 30 yards.

"Rondell did a great job of picking me up while I was out. That's what we have to do as a team. We work and pick each other up like that.

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