Rollercoaster ride ends in stunning OT loss

Rollercoaster ride ends in stunning OT loss

A stomach-churning turn of events left a dejected Ahman Green sitting alone on the bench long after the game ended, left a stadium full of fans in stunned silence and left Kansas City among the ranks of the unbeaten as the Chiefs beat the Packers 40-34 in overtime at Lambeau Field Sunday.<p>

Regulation provided enough of a rollercoaster ride. The Packers build a 17-point lead and keep Dante Hall out of the end zone, only to blow a double-digit lead - twice - and find themselves in a 34-34 deadlock.

That was nothing compared to the events of overtime, which were enough to sicken even the most even-tempered fan:

The Packers lost the toss, which put them at a distinct disadvantage before the extra frame began. Priest Holmes ran through the battered Green Bay defense with ease, setting up a field goal well within range of future Hall of Famer Morten Anderson.

Then the real ride began. Here are the next three plays:

1. Rod Walker blocked Anderson's 48-yard field goal attempt with 9:09 left in OT to give the Packers (3-3) possession at their 39 and the wind at their back.

2. Ahman Green -- who ran 26 times for 139 yards -- broke through the line on a run up the middle on first down, but fumbled the ball which bounced neatly into the hands of KC linebacker Mike Masloski.

3. On the very next play, Chiefs quarterback Trent Green threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Kennison with 8:42 left in the extra period.

"Everything is a blur for me right now," Packers coach Mike Sherman said. "I never really thought we had the game under control. They're an explosive unit."

It was a crushing end for Green, who had rushed for a 139 yards on 26 carries. Sunday ended the Packers' perfect 16-0 mark when Green rushes for more than 100 yards.

"This is a tough one to take," quarterback Brett Favre said. "I'm sure Ahman will be beating himself up over the fumble."

Favre also committed a costly turnover which came with the Packers up 10 points and rolling toward another score. Looking for Donald Driver on third down Favre's pass went off Driver's right hand. Safety Jerome Woods intercepted it at his knees and returned it 79 yards for a touchdown with 8:46 left to make it 31-28.

Favre was 25-of-36 for 272 yards and two touchdowns. Only the costly interception marred his otherwise outstanding afternoon.

A bright spot buried in the demoralizing loss was Green Bay special teams' relative containment of KC's phenom returnman Dante Hall.

Hall's streak of four consecutive games with a touchdown return was broken, and he averaged only 13.5 yards on his four kickoff returns. He even committed a potentially costly error on his team's last possession of overtime by picking up a ball before it rolled out of bounds near the 10. (The mistake was negated by a personal foul face mask call against the Packers on the next lay.) The Packers Antonio Chatman actually put on more of a show on kickoff returns, averaging 24.2 yards on five returns, with a long of 34.

Hall did provide two highlights, which was instrumental in sending the game into OT. In the second quarter, Hall and everyoneone else on the field probably thought he broke one as he sped up the sidelines. Everyone, except Packer punter Josh Bidwell who was the only man left between Hall and the end zone. Bidwell took him on and tripped him up.

"I should have been in the end zone," Hall said. "He had a four-leaf clover in his pocket. And then a little monster came up from the field and tripped me. No, he made a great play. He's a little faster than I thought."

Hall gave the Chiefs a spark early in the fourth quarter by returning a punt 32 yards to the Green Bay 42. Ironically, the Packers had 12 men on the field for that one, although the 12th man was not involved in the play but was slow exiting the field before the snap.

Anderson's 34-yard field goal tied it at 31 with 5:41 left, and he added a 31-yarder with 1 second remaining to send the game to OT after Ryan Longwell's 41-yarder restored Green Bay's lead at 34-31.

Green Bay built an early 14-0 lead. Brett Favre went 6-of-6 on a masterful first drive, culminating in the "Bubba Franks Special" - a one-yard touchdown reception. The 11-play, 80-yard drive ate half of the first quarter. Ahman Green's 4-yard TD run capped a drive on which he had back-to-back runs of 21 and 13 yards and tight end Wesley Walls caught a 36-yard pass.

KC quickly made up the deficit, starting on a 26-yard touchdown pass to Tony Gonzalez. Joe Johnson was injured on the play, leaving Green Bay short-handed on the D-line with Chukie Nwokorie and Aaron Kampman inactive due to injury.

The game was tied midway through the second quarter on a KC drive powered by Priest Holmes and Johnnie Morton, who caught a 10-yard TD pass from a red-hot Trent Green.

Green was 27-of-45 for an even 400 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He had a close call in the most crucial of moments. On the third-down play just before Anderson's miss, Darren Sharper got a hand on a wayward pass but couldn't pull it in although nothing but the Lambeau grass stood between the safety and victory.

The Packers went on a tear, scoring 17 points in just over 10 minutes spanning the second and third quarters. Ahman Green put the Packers back ahead 21-14 with an 11-yard reception from Favre just before the two-minute warning. The Pack came out after half time on the same note. This time it was Najeh Davenport with an 18-yard touchdown run capping another long Green Bay drive and giving Green Bay a 28-14 lead. Ryan Longwell made it 31-14 with a 50-yard field goal with six minutes to go in the third quarter.

The Packers were still rolling when the interception turned the game around.

"It was an incomplete pass - I couldn't even tell you what happened," Driver said. "Words can't explain it right now. Guys right now are just - it's hard to let this one go. We worked so hard to win this one and we lost."

Sherman said the only thing to do is look ahead:

"I have tremendous confidence in this football team. I believe in them and I think that we fought well," Sherman said. "When you start the season – it's an old cliché – but it's like running a race. Each season, the goal is the same, but sometimes because of the talent or circumstances, you may slip here or you may have to get up or run here, but it's a long race. Right now we fell down and we've got to get back up, but the race still goes on and our players will continue to run and hopefully pick up more speed. We're coming into a place this week that's difficult to play in, but if we can respond to that challenge and maybe have a surge here and then see what happens. Really, it's how you measure it at the end of the game that really counts. I believe that these guys have the character that you need to run this type of race. There's going to be different obstacles you've got to go over, but the goal is the same as it always is."

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