Ineffectiveness Of Rushing Offense And Defense Results In Loss

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The Packers lost two battles on Monday night with one leading to the other.

They lost the battle along the line of scrimmage and hence the game to the Minnesota Vikings, 20-17.

The Packers' running game, which showed so much promise when Samkon Gado became the first Packers running back to rush for more than 100 yards a week earlier, managed a paltry total of 21 yards.

Head Coach Mike Sherman cited the reason for the running game's lack of production.

"It's pretty obvious," he said. "We didn't block their defensive front."

The Williams' along the defensive interior -- Kevin and Pat -- combined for seven tackles. Pat Williams set the tone with 3:42 left in the first quarter by penetrating through the offensive line and dropping Gado for a five-yard loss.

"They have two Pro Bowl defensive linemen that were pretty prevalent in our lack of success," Sherman said.

Those players proved to be a difficult matchup for guards William Whitticker and Scott Wells. Whitticker, a rookie, and Wells, who made his first start at left guard on Nov. 13, struggled with their technique and fundamentals at times.

"They were outmanned," Sherman said.

On the opposite side of the ball, the Packers defense entered the game allowing 3.7 yards-a-carry and remained stout in the first half, allowing only 48 yards. Sixteen of those yards came on a scramble by quarterback Brad Johnson.

In the second half, the Vikings wore down the Packers. Running back Mewelde Moore ran for 90 of his 122 yards during that period.

But the Vikings did not come up with any special gimmicks during halftime to account for that second-half performance. Instead Moore relied on cutback runs, starting his run toward an inside hole before bouncing outside.

"It wasn't anything schematically different," Sherman said.

The Packers will look to fix the errors along both sides of the line of scrimmage as they face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Green Bay has a record of 2-8 and has not suffered a losing season since 1991 -- the longest current streak in the NFL.

"This is a big week for us," Sherman said.

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