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Packer Partisan (09/26/2007)
By Dave DeLano


     
2007 Packers are for Real

The Green Bay Packers proved skeptics wrong Sunday by upsetting the San Diego Chargers by a score of 31 - 24. The well-deserved victory was the outcome of one of the most entertaining games in recent memory as Brett Favre tied the all-time NFL record for most touchdowns thrown" # 420.

The Chargers have a very good football team. Some pundits predicted before the season that they would be Superbowl bound in 2007. For the second year in a row, the Packers have the youngest players in the NFL. That being the case, it was somewhat surprising to see the Packers playing the Chargers "toe to toe" in the first half. The Pack actually held a 17 - 14 lead at halftime.

Coach McCarthy tried (a little bit) to establish a running game early, but that didn't work. McCarthy quickly figured out that he needed the golden arm of Favre to score points. When it was over, the Packers' running backs got the call only 11 times whereas Favre threw 45 passes. On many occasions Favre lined up alone in the backfield. These obvious passing situations can lead to defensive linemen "teeing-off' on the quarterback and sacks. But Favre had an excellent tempo Sunday and was often able to frustrate the Chargers with quick slant passes.

The Chargers' quarterback also was on fire Sunday. Tight end Antonio Gates is almost unstoppable and a couple other Charger receivers had some great catches. Like the Packers in this game, the Chargers had little success with their running game. LaDainian Tomlinson, last year's Most Valuable Player, was shadowed all day by Nick Barnett, who later got a key interception with only a minute to play, which sealed the victory.

But for the second week in a row, this game would belong to Brett Favre who finished off this beauty with great drama. Trailing 21 -17, with just two minutes left in the game, Favre hit Greg Jennings on a 57-yard touchdown pass. It was Farve's third TD pass on the day and the one that tied the all-time record. For Cheeseheads who like "nail-biter" finishes, this was the 38th time that Favre has led the Pack to victory after being down in the fourth quarter.

Next week the 3 - 0 Packers invade the Humptydump in Minneapolis to play the Vikings. The 1 - 2 Vikings started this season without a proven quarterback and it would seem that, at least thus far, they are paying the price. The Vikings do have a very talented rookie running back in Adrian Peterson, who likely will get the shadow treatment by Barnett next week. The Packers match up pretty well against the Vikings, but they will have to guard against overconfidence.

With the Packer running game almost non-existent and Favre with the hot hand, look for more of the same next week. The Packers' special teams have improved so much, perhaps they will be the difference against the Vikings. Better yet, how sweet it would be for the Cheesehead Nation if Favre were to set the all-time touchdown record in the Humptydump. 

 

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