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AP Story: Green Leads Packers Over 49ers, 20-10


Ahman Green gets the records and most of the yards but humbly shares the credit.

Green ran through San Francisco's stingy run defense for 154 yards on 27 carries in the Packers' 20-10 victory Sunday.

When he was winded, the Packers lost little with backups Najeh Davenport and Tony Fisher, who combined for 87 yards on 17 carries.

"I consider it a 1-2-3 punch," coach Mike Sherman said.

Although Green is the NFC's leading rusher, both Davenport (6.3) and Fisher (5.7) have higher averages than Green's 5.2 yards per carry.

"Najeh's 250 pounds and just as fast as I am," Green said. "I told both of them in training camp that they'd be a big part of this. I keep telling them that they're just as important to the offense as I am."

The Packers gained 243 yards on 48 carries for a 5.1-yard average that would have been higher had Brett Favre not taken a knee three times at the end. That's their heaviest reliance on the run since Oct. 4, 1981, when they ran 49 times against the New York Giants.

"No wonder I'm sore," center Mike Flanagan said. "Hey, when it's clicking, it's clicking. It didn't matter who we put back there, those guys were all running hard and making the right cuts."

Green set franchise records with his fourth straight 100-yard game and his eighth of the season. He also surpassed John Brockington as the second-leading rusher in team history, trailing only Jim Taylor.

Green Bay won despite losing safety Darren Sharper (bruised ribs) and linebacker Nick Barnett (ankle) early in the third quarter.

The Packers (6-5) beat the Niners (5-6) for the 10th time in 11 tries behind Favre, who threw two touchdown passes, including a 66-yarder to Javon Walker. That gave Favre at least 20 TDs for the 10th straight season, tying Dan Marino's NFL record.

The Niners' fourth-ranked run defense had allowed just one 100-yard game this season, to Arizona's Marcel Shipp. But San Francisco's undersized front seven was no match for Green.

"He's great," San Francisco linebacker Jeff Ulbrich said. "He's got a little bit of everything. He's strong, he's fast, patient, smart. Obviously, he exploited us today."

Favre, who fumbled three times in a downpour against Philadelphia two weeks ago when the tape covering his broken right thumb got slippery, threw three interceptions in a misty rain despite having practiced with wet footballs during the week.

The 49ers failed to capitalize on the first two before converting his third pickoff into points. Terrell Owens caught a 24-yard pass from Tim Rattay in broken coverage on fourth down to pull San Francisco to 17-10 late in the third quarter.

Owens blew past cornerback Al Harris and safety Marques Anderson, who replaced Sharper and was playing too shallow.

Ryan Longwell's 37-yard field goal with 7:44 left gave Green Bay a 20-10 lead. His 174th field goal broke Chris Jacke's club record.

"It was nice to have it mean something, to put the game away," Longwell said.

Antuan Edwards intercepted Rattay's throw at midfield with 6:08 left and the Packers ran out the clock behind their great ground game.

The 49ers picked off two passes to Bubba Franks deep in Green Bay territory in the first half but self-destructed both times.

Todd Peterson hit the left upright on a 28-yard field goal attempt after Zack Bronson's pickoff put the Niners at the Green Bay 23.

And San Francisco had to punt after committing two penalties following Tony Parrish's interception at the Green Bay 22. The Packers then drove 83 yards in 10 plays for Robert Ferguson 's 16-yard touchdown catch that made it 14-0.

"It just killed us to get no points," 49ers coach Dennis Erickson said.

Favre completed just 10 of 15 passes for 138 yards, and the Packers improved to 6-1 when he throws for less than 200 yards.

Favre, who's gone 19 games without a 300-yard performance, said he doesn't mind watching the Packers go from a passing team to a pounding one.

"From my standpoint, it's fun to watch our offensive line," Favre said. "I would hate to be a defensive linemen against our guys. If one of our offensive linemen don't get you, one of our backs will."

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