Back in the saddle

Back in the saddle

The Packers' near perfect performance last week was missing a crucial element: a break-out game by Ahman Green.<P> This week, the running back returned to his record-breaking form in the Packers' 41-20 win over the Cowboys Sunday, completing the best 60 minutes of Green Bay offensive football in recent memory.<P>

Green gave the Lambeau crowd reason to cheer again with 15 carries for 163 yards and two touchdowns, including a 90-yard scoring run in the third quarter.

"We didn't even know if he was going to play due to his Achilles," said coach Mike Sherman, referring to the injury Green suffered last week. "He couldn't practice for awhile and the trainers did a great job of getting him back because we don't want to minimize his carries if we don't have to."

While that's an understatement, it wasn't the quantity but rather the quality of Green's carries that made the difference in this game. Green and Najeh Davenport shared the load, with Davenport carrying 12 times for 37 yards. Overall Green Bay outrushed the Cowboys 220-66 yards.

"Ahman just wants to win," Sherman said. "If he can share his carries with someone else, he will if it will get us a win. He and Najeh and Tony Fisher complement eachother very well. I've never been around guys in skill positions like that who are so unselfish and cheering eachother on."

While Fisher threw a touchdown pass and Davenport turned in flashy return yardage, it was Green who wrote the story of the day with his record-setting performance.

With his 32-yard dash to open the second quarter, Green passed No. 4 Sterling Sharpe on the Packers all-time list simply as a warm-up. Green, who entered Sunday's game with 8,178, just 29 behind Sharpe's 8,206, had Don Hutson's No. 3 mark of 8,275 in sight next. That fell quickly, too.

So did Green's quest for 10,000 career yards. He passed that milestone in the second quarter, on the play before Favre's 5-yard touchdown pass to Javon Walker.

Numbers fell like leaves throughout the first half, but Green wasn't finished. Dallas punted to Green Bay in the waning minutes of the third quarter. Green took the hand-off from Favre on first down and ran left into a wide open field. He outran one Cowboy pursuer, staying a step ahead of a diving tackle attempt, and sailed into the end zone for a 90-yard touchdown.

That set off a barrage of flashbulbs from the stands and a similiar cascade of keyboards clicking in the pressbox.

With that run:

Green became the second player in NFL history to have two rushing touchdowns of 90 yards or more. Only Bo Jackson (92 yards vs. Cincinnati and 91 yards vs. Seattle) accomplished the feat.

Green busted out of his tie with Jim Taylor atop the team's list of 100-yard rushing games. Green and Taylor shared the top spot with 26 games at the century mark, and now owns it alone with 27.

He established the longest run in history vs. the Dallas Cowboys.

He turned in the third-longest run in franchise history. He holds the record with his 98-yard TD run vs. Denver in the season finale last year. Andy Uram's 97-yard touchdown run vs. the Chicago Cardinals in 1939.

Green politely declined to speak with the media in the locker room. He did not appear at the post-game press conference because he was receiving treatment for his injured Achilles, a Packer spokesperson said.

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