Green gobbles up Lions' defense
Ahman Green equaled his two-touchdown effort in the Packers' season-opening win over Detroit Friday, November 23, 2001
Green Bay News Chronicle

Ahman Green equaled his two-touchdown effort in the Packers' season-opening win over Detroit

By Todd McMahon
News-Chronicle

PONTIAC, Mich. - Halfback Ahman Green enjoyed a sampling of Thanksgiving dinner earlier than all but one of his Green Bay Packers teammates Thursday.

What a delectable couple bites they were for Green, who along with quarterback Brett Favre was a co-recipient of the turkey legs annually bestowed by Fox TV analyst John Madden. Green earned the honor by carving up the Detroit Lions for almost half of the Packers' offensive output in their 29-27 win.

"If I could have, I would have eaten the whole thing," Green quipped. "It was good."

Green racked up 150 total yards and scored two touchdowns, coming within one touch of the football of the 25 head coach Mike Sherman desired for the Packers' second-year workhorse.

Twenty-two of Green's touches evolved out of handoffs from Favre. Green amassed 102 yards, including a dazzling 26-yard touchdown scamper 5 1/2 minutes into the game.

It was Green's first 100-yard rushing game in three outings. He's reached the century mark four times this season, increasing his season total to 938 yards.

"Seeing guys like Barry Sanders over the years having it, it's kind of a dream come true," Green said of the postgame nod from Madden. "Not a lot of guys can say they had a chance to eat the turkey leg and had a great game and won the game out there."

A 35-yard touchdown reception early in the third quarter helped ensure the Packers had enough points at game's end to outlast the Lions.

Green churned out the final 30 yards of the play after taking a middle screen from Favre. There were no Lions defenders between Green and the end zone as he motored down the right side.

"We know how the defense reacts when we do playaction," Green said. "They drop the (middle) linebacker or the (weak-side) linebacker. That's what happened today - (middle linebacker Chris) Claiborne fell out (in coverage).

"What's usually between a 3- and 5-yard gain for us turned into 35-yard touchdown pass."

Green notched his second two-touchdown game of the season and seventh with the Packers. He had scoring runs of 31 and 83 yards in the 28-6 season-opening win over the Lions.

Green supplemented his running prowess Thursday with two catches for 48 yards.

His second catch, also underneath for 13 yards, came during the Packers' next series.

Although the Packers ultimately punted the ball away, the Green-dominated possession was pivotal for the Packers. They ran nine plays, intermixed with a couple penalties, and exhausted more than six minutes on the game clock. Green had three rushes for 24 yards.

"Sometimes, when the offense kind of stalls, the next thing you want to do - if you can't get it into the end zone and can't kick the field goal - is run the clock down," Green said. "That puts a lot of pressure on their team to make big plays."

Sherman also praised the play of Green's backup, Dorsey Levens. He had a season-high 25 yards in three catches while giving Green a periodic breather.

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