Grant, who entered the game with 27 total yards rushing for the season, stepped in for an injured DeShawn Wynn early in the second quarter after Wynn injured his shoulder. He proceeded to average 4.7 yards per carry and caught three passes for seven yards.
"Ryan Grant's running style is what you're looking for as far as his forward lean," said McCarthy. "He's a longer-lever body type. He just really needed the opportunity."
Grant, who was nearly a goat for fumbling the ball away late in the game against the Minnesota Vikings earlier this season, is now Green Bay's No. 1 running back. Wynn, who has been plagued by injuries since he was selected in the seventh round of the NFL draft last April by Green Bay, appeared to overcome a neck injury early last week, but then was unable to continue after ramming into a pileup deep in Packers territory for a one-yard gain.
Grant, meanwhile, ran hard, showed good burst, and made tacklers miss en route to the best game of his career.
"As a backfield we played well, and as an offense running the ball the line did a great job," said a humble Grant, who was acquired by Green Bay in a trade with the New York Giants on Sept. 1. "Hopefully this will help us build for next week. "The line executed. The line did a great job. Don't take anything away from the Broncos. They play hard, but our line did a great job of executing."
Of course, the Packers' output came against the worst run defense in the league, but it did represent progress. Brandon Jackson and Wynn had opportunities to start in games earlier this season, but neither have shown an ability to be durable and conistent. Grant now will get his chance.
"I want to win," Grant said. "I'm going to do whatever it takes to win; playing special teams, or whatever. It really wasn't that hard because my number one goal is to get a ‘W' for the team. Another one of my goals is to finish off the play and try to set a tempo for this offense."
Robinson, Wells inactive
Wide receiver Koren Robinson, who re-joined the Packers last Monday, was not activated for Monday night's game. Robinson was reinstated to the NFL by Commissioner Roger Goodell after serving a one-year suspension as a repeat offender of the league's substance abuse policy.
Though Robinson has showed that he is in good physical shape, it is likely that the coaches want to see him in better football shape. The NFL gave the Packers a roster exemption for Robinson, which expires at midnight on Tuesday. The Packers will have to decide to either activate or cut him prior to the deadline.
Center Scott Wells, who sustained a fractured eye socket Oct. 7 against the Chicago Bears, also was not activated for the Monday night game against Denver. Without Wells in the lineup, the Packers fielded the same offensive line as against Washington on Oct. 14 – Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher at tackle, Jason Spitz at center, and Daryn Colledge and Tony Moll at guard.
Junius Coston, who started four straight games at right guard before he sprained his ankle in practice, was activated for the Broncos game, but did not start.
Others Packers who were not activated against the Broncos included CB Will Blackmon, RB Brandon Jackson, CB Frank Walker, TE Bubba Franks, DT Justin Harrell, DT Daniel Muir, and DE Michael Montgomery.
The following Broncos were not activated for the Monday night game: RB Travis Henry, S Hamza Abdullah, CB Jeff Shoate, FB Mike Bell, DT Amon Gordon, G Isaac Snell, WR Javon Walker, and DE Jarvis Moss.
On offense, Selvin Young started in place of Henry, who has injured ribs.
Walker, who played for the Packers from 2002-05, aggravated his surgically repaired right knee (2005) during a preseason game against Dallas. He recently underwent arthroscopic surgery on the knee and is expected to miss three to four more games for the Broncos.
Running back DeShawn Wynn left the game early in the second quarter after sustaining a pinched nerve in his shoulder on his only attempt from scrimmage. Wynn was replaced by Ryan Grant, who finished with 104 yards on 22 carries. Broncos veteran safety John Lynch left the game in the second quarter with a neck injury and did not return.
? Greg Jennings and James Jones are the first pair of Packers receivers since Oct. 11, 2004 to finish a game with 100-plus yards receiving. Favre threw for 150 yards to Donald Driver (150 yards) and 159 to Javon Walker in Green Bay's 48-27 loss to the Tennessee Titans at Lambeau Field.
? Game time temperature was 71 degrees under mostly clear skies with 17 percent humidity.
? For the first time in 13 games, the Packers did not have an interception.
? Green Bay had 4 plays in first quarter and 28 in second quarter.
? The 77,160 tickets distributed for the game was an Invesco Field at Mile High record (now set successively over the last three home games). NFL counts its attendance as tickets distributed as all professional leagues (except the National League) do; the 76,645 in attendance would thus translate into the unofficial stadium high for all events as well. ONLY THE FIRST NUMBER IS OFFICIAL..
? In games immediately after the bye, the Packers have won nine of their last 12.
? Brett Favre has played in 246 straight games (266 including playoffs) and started 244 in a row (264 including playoffs), the NFL's record among quarterbacks and the second-longest recorded streak in NFL history. Only Minnesota's Jim Marshall (270, 1961-79) has been documented to have started more in consecutive fashion.
? Donald Driver has caught a pass in 87 consecutive games, the Packers' second longest streak behind Sterling Sharpe's 103 (1988-94).
? Cornerback Al Harris has played in 161 straight games (151 regular season, 10 playoffs), a streak that began in Philadelphia in 1998. Since coming to Green Bay in 2003, has started all 74 games (71 regular season, 3 playoffs) as a Packer.