Favre Rests After Putting Lions Away
After Brett Favre's first three drives and three touchdowns, the Iron Man of the NFL took a rest on the sidelines and watched Craig Nall finish off the Detroit Lions 34-13. Ryan Grant scored the Packer's first TD with a 27 yard run while Koren Robinson and Bubba Franks soon caught five and four-yard touchdown passes respectively. Lion's QB Jon Kitna reached the 4,000 yard mark, and Shaun McDonald caught five passes for 69 yards, but with the Packers leading 21 - 3 with 14:12 left in the second quarter, the outcome of this game was never really in doubt. With a disappointing second half of the season and an ineffective offensive line, the Lions finished up with a 7-9 record.
The Packers were able to give a deserving rest to Greg Jennings, Aaron Kampman, Donald Lee, Ryan Pickett, Charles Woodson, and Donald Driver. Resting starters also gave some of the Packer youngsters time to shine. Brandon Jackson was particularly impressive with 145 total yards, 113 of them on the ground, and Atari Bigby intercepted a pass to set up Franks' touchdown. The bench time for the starters will come in handy in two weeks when the Packers play the winner of the Giants / Tampa Bay game in the NFC divisional playoffs at historic Lambeau Field.
The Packers tied their all time franchise record for wins, going 13-3 for the season. Virtually no one, including players and pundits, predicted such a fine campaign for the young Packers. Greatly underestimated all year, it looks like the Pack will go into the playoffs healthy. Any and all teams in the playoffs, including the Cowboys and the Patriots, would be well advised not to underestimate the Green Bay Packers; on a good day they are unbeatable.
While Packer fans pinch themselves and wonder what is next, the boys on the field just keep producing. A solid defense, a respectful offensive line, several tested receivers, and a quickly developing run game have put the Packers in a position to get to the Super Bowl. Unless the Redskins prevail next week against Seattle, the Packers will probably have to beat Dallas at Texas Stadium to earn the right to face the Patriots, but there is no question that the Packers can beat Dallas at home. The Packers had five starters injured earlier in Dallas, all of whom will be healthy this time around.
While little kids have Christmas dreams with sugarplums dancing in their heads, my Packer dream is short and simple. It's February 3, 2008. I'm watching the Packers play a football game at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The final seconds on the clock click down. Brett Favre is smiling with his arms held high over his head. Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and Bill Belichick are walking dejectedly toward the Patriot locker room.