Sport: Picking on the Packers

"The Green Bay Packers?" scoffs Tackle Alex Karras of the Detroit Lions. "Why, they're just an average team. They're going to get beat often." In past years, such talk would have drawn a chorus of mirthless laughter in any N.F.L. locker room. This season, Karras may have a point. In their first five games, Coach Vince Lombardi's Packers, champions in four out of the past six seasons, hardly looked like the terrors they were cracked up to be.

Against Karras' Lions in the season opener, Green Bay had to come from behind to escape with a 17-17 tie. They then barely scraped...

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