Green’s 218 yards breaks own team rushing record
Monday, December 29, 2003
By Dylan B. Tomlinson
On Ahman Green’s first big run of the day he looked back one too many times.
He didn’t make the same mistake twice.
In the third quarter, Green scrambled for 47 yards before being caught at the 7-yard line by Denver cornerback Lenny Walls. On Green Bay’s first drive of the fourth quarter, Green took the ball and ran off right guard for a 98-yard touchdown up the sideline.
This time, there was no catching him.
“I took one too many peeks the first time,” Green said. “I took just one peek the second time.”
The beginning of the fourth quarter saw the Denver Broncos deep in Green Bay territory, threatening to score their first touchdown of the game. But, on fourth down the pass from Danny Kanell to Charlie Adams fell incomplete and the Packers took over on downs.
“Did I expect to score on the next play? Absolutely not,” Packers quarterback Brett Favre said.
“I just wanted for us to get a little room to punt it and then I turned around and saw Ahman around the 50.”
The run was the longest in team history, beating the previous record of 97 set by Andy Uram against the Chicago Cardinals on Oct. 8, 1939.
In the first half, the Packers didn’t have a great deal of success running the ball. Green had a respectable 52 yards on 14 carries, but had not broken a run of more than 10 yards.
“We were a shoestring tackle away from breaking one early,” Sherman said. “Our patience in the run game paid off for us.”
For Green, his record-setting day wasn’t limited to the 98-yard run. He rushed for a franchise-record 218 yards on just 20 carries for a 10.9 average. Green broke his own single-game record of 192 yards set earlier this season against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Green’s timing could not have been better. Favre said the strong winds at Lambeau threw off his passing game a bit, so it was crucial that the running game was able to control the game’s tempo.
“The running game needed to dominate,” Favre said. “We did a lot more than just dominate.”
With a pair of touchdowns on Sunday, Green also set a team record for touchdowns during a season, with 20. Jim Taylor set the previous record of 19 in 1962.
With 1,883 yards rushing, 20 touchdowns and 10 100-yard games, Green had the best season by a running back in team history, and one eclipsed by only a few in NFL history.
He also became the first Packers running back to lead the NFC in rushing since John Brockington did it in 1973.
None of that seemed to matter to Green, who just shrugged it off when told of all of the records he broke Sunday.
“The biggest thing is the win,” Green said. “None of this other stuff matters at all. I don’t think anybody would have cared about anything any of us did if we didn’t make the playoffs.”
With the Packers now heading to the postseason, Green said he expects himself and the rest of his teammates to bring their play up another notch.
“That’s what we’re going to have to do if we’re going to win,” Green said. “In the playoffs the intensity switches to another gear.”
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