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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

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In Sports

Green Bay Replay: Rams 23, Packers 20




Audio Podcast: Brett Favre says the 1-4 Packers are at a crossroads
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Welcome to Green Bay Replay, Week 5. We'll call this the "Slash" edition, because the crunching riff that the former Guns 'N' Roses axe man played in that Volkswagen commercial is burned into our brains.

The only thing more frustrating than seeing the same commercial repeatedly is seeing a team repeatedly screw up in key situations. The Packers were nowhere near perfect Sunday at Lambeau Field, but they had a chance to win until Brett Favre's red-zone fumble sealed a 23-20 loss to St. Louis.

The Packers will drag a 1-4 record into their bye week and will return to action with a game Oct. 22 at Miami.

In a break with recent tradition, we'll forgo the quarter-by-quarter, play-by-play, blog-type format in favor of a less structured, stream of consciousness observations.

Enjoy Week 5 of Green Bay Replay and look for the Slash-free GNR reunion tour, coming soon to a county fair near you.

Did anyone miss Ahmad Carroll today?

We aren't suggesting that Carroll was solely responsible for any of the three losses in which he participated, but it didn't look like his absence was a major factor. We'll have to look at the film, of course, but the Packers were having trouble getting the proper number of players on the field with Carroll around. That didn't change Sunday.

If Carroll was released for having one hideous game, what will the Packers do with Vernand Morency? After fumbling twice early, he may as well have been watched the game from the stands. Hats off to Morency's backup, Noah Herron, for capitalizing on his opportunity and gaining 106 yards in 20 carries.

Is Herron the next Walter Payton? Most certainly not. Is he this year's Samkon Gado? Maybe. The fact that Ahman Green can't get on the field would seem to indicate that his career in Green Bay will end with the season finale on New Year's Eve at Soldier Field (if he makes it that far).

Remember when the Packers and Brett Favre were unbeatable when someone gained 100 yards?

Remember when Favre could actually complete a late-game comeback? He's been stuck on 35 comeback victories for a long time and is 1 for his last 8.

The best thing the Packers have done this season is prevent Favre from getting killed. The protection was outstanding Sunday, right up until Leonard Little beat Mark Tauscher and smacked the ball out of Favre's hand. don't get too mad at Tauscher, though. He manhandled Little for much of the day and the final play truly was a group effort. Tony Moll failed to pick up a stunt in the middle of the line and Daryn Colledge could have set up a tying field goal by wrapping up the ball.

Back in high school, the fumble recovery drills were among the most violent (and fun) parts of two-a-day practices.

Maybe the Packers should have called a draw on that final play.

OK, so the Packers challenge a spot on a third down play. The referees agree that the ball was misplaced, move it, then measure and determine that the Rams still gained a first down. The Packers are charged with a timeout. Why? The Packers challenged the spot, not whether a first down was gained.

As usual, Favre gave a great quote in the post-game session: "OK, it was a tough loss, and it has been a tough season up to this point. We only have one win. Where do you go from here? You can keep competing, and who knows what will happen? Or you can just say, 'The heck with this.' And the reality is, we'll probably have some guys who will tank it and maybe at least action-wise in the locker room or in practice will do what they're supposed to do, but in their mind, 'Pfft, whatever. And we will have guys that don't know any different, which is the kind of guys you love to have. They go in there and they think they're 4-1. And I hope we have more of those guys than the negative guys. Now I'm not saying that we do have negative guys, but every team has them."

Fox Sports reported Sunday morning that Packers receiver Koren Robinson will be suspended one year for violating the National Football League's substance-abuse policy. Robinson will appeal the decision, but you get the feeling Sunday may have been his last game of the season. Last week, a Seattle judge sentenced Robinson to 90 days in jail for violating probation on a 2005 drunken driving arrest with another offense. Robinson is signed for two years, so he could be back with the Packers in 2007. The team won't have to pay him if he's suspended.

Now that Carroll is gone, Robert Ferguson may be the Packers player who gets the least production out of his athletic ability.

Packers defenders A.J. Hawk, Al Harris and Charles Woodson all dropped potential interceptions Sunday. Any one of them would have snapped Rams quarterback Marc Bulger's no-pick streak, but Harris' was the worst.

The Packers are 0-3 at home this season and 8-11 in their last 19 games at Lambeau.

McCarthy's 1-4 record after five games is the same as Mike Sherman's 1-4 mark in 2004. The Packers finished 10-6 that season. Green Bay went 2-3 in Mike Holmgren's first year, en route to a 9-7 mark. McCarthy is ahead of Lindy Infante, who was 0-5 when he started.

Stat of the week: The Packers are now 46-1 at Lambeau Field when Favre doesn't throw an interception.


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