EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Much like it did in Week 1, the Packers' ground game struggled again on Sunday.
But unlike last week, Green Bay finally broke through for a big running play, and rookie DeShawn Wynn showcased the potential the coaching staff has been talking about since finding him for the bargain price of a seventh-round draft pick.
On the Packers' final offensive rush of the game, Wynn burst through a hole through the left side of the line, faked out a charging defensive back and sprinted for a 38-yard touchdown to seal Green Bay's 35-13 win over the Giants.
It was one of the only bright spots for a running game that gained just 47 yards on 26 carries (1.8 per rush) to that point between rookie starter Brandon Jackson and Wynn.
But more importantly, it put on display the talent Wynn possesses but hadn't had much chance to show when a slew of ailments (calf injury, stomach virus, quad strain) kept him out of numerous practices in mini-camps, OTAs and training camp.
"I really don't know when I'm going in other than third down so far," Wynn said. "I just sit there and wait for (a coach) to call my name and when he does, I run in and try to make the best of the opportunity."
His long TD run came on third down, and was originally a pass play. Quarterback Brett Favre audibled to a run, and Wynn found the biggest hole a Packers running back had seen all day.
"I saw it coming wide open from the left side, so I just hit it," he said. "I saw the safety coming down, tried to make a man miss, which I ended up doing, and then just tried to get in the end zone."
It was actually Wynn's second TD on the day, and in his young career. His first NFL score came midway through the second quarter, when he charged up the middle on a draw play out of a shotgun formation. The 6-yard run put the Packers ahead 7-0.
"It was a good call because there was only one linebacker in the box," said Wynn. "We pretty much spread them out. The O-line got a good push up front, and I saw the linebacker hanging back side, so I tried to set him up front side. As soon as I went that way, the lineman came off, I'm not sure who it was, and sealed him off and opened up a nice lane for me to get to the end zone."
Wynn had a chance to make his mark early in the game, getting the call on third-and-1 at the Giants' 25-yard line on the Packers' first possession. But he was stuffed by defensive tackle Fred Robbins for no gain, and the offense had to settle for a field-goal try, which was missed.
The short-yardage failure was a sign of rough times for the ground game on the day. Wynn and Jackson combined for 17 carries that gained 2 or fewer yards, including nine for zero or negative yardage, which led to the short passing game substituting for a running game for most of the second half.
"It's not what it needs to be," guard Daryn Colledge said of the ground game. "We want to run the ball better. We'd like to run for 300 yards a game. But it's building slowly. Guys are getting integrated into the game, running backs are making better reads and the line is holding up fundamentally better. We feel like it's getting stronger and stronger."
Perhaps right along with Wynn, who seems to be gaining the trust of the coaching staff after not being available to practice much through the spring and summer.
"Obviously by them putting me in the game, they have to have a little trust in me," Wynn said. "But as far as how much trust, I'm not sure. I think that will come with time.
"It's something that I have to keep building and keep showing them in practice, and when I get my opportunity in the game, make plays like I did a few times today, and I think they'll have a lot more confidence in me as the season grows."