Neither Seahawks nor Snowstorm Deny Packers NFC Championship Date
The Green Bay Packers earned an opportunity to continue their incredible season by dominating the Seattle Seahawks Sunday by a score of 42 - 20. The Seahawk game will go into the Packer play-off record books as one of the most memorable in Packer history because of the amazing comeback displayed by the NFL's youngest team. The victory means the Packers will play the New York Giants in Lambeau next Sunday to determine the NFC championship.
This game could not have gotten off to a worse start for the Packers as the normally sure-handed Ryan Grant fumbled and turned the ball over twice in the first minute of the game setting up two easy scores for the Seahawks. Spotting Seattle an early 14-point lead, even the most partisan Cheesehead had to wonder if the young Packers were going to cave-in under the pressure of the big game. Cheeseheads didn't have long to wait to get their answer as the Packers came storming back to tie the game by the end of the first quarter.
To Mike McCarthy's credit, he stood by Grant and gave him an opportunity to redeem the two early mistakes. Grant came back with a vengeance, running with his typical reckless abandon for 201 yards and three touchdowns. Brett Favre was also on fire, turning in one more rendition of his patented virtuoso performances despite the raging snowstorm. Favre had three touchdown passes. At one point the dominating Packer offense scored six touchdowns on six consecutive possessions.
Other than the two early miscues, this game was the Packers' finest overall performance of the season. On defense, defensive backs Atari Bigby and Al Harris were outstanding. Nickel-back Tramon Williams turned in a nice performance as did the Packer defensive line. Led by Cullen Jenkins, the Seahawks running game was completely stifled, no doubt leaving Seahawk Coach Mike Holmgren completely frustrated.
The weather and the crowd also factored into how this game will be remembered. Lambeau Field is forever stereotyped with images of frigid temperatures and raging snowstorms. Sunday was the later as maintenance crews struggling to clear the field of snow. These are sweet images for dyed-in-the-wool Cheeseheads"¦. images of how classic football games should be played. The crowd at Lambeau was totally into the effort the Packers exerted against the Seahawks. Cheeseheads are the greatest football fans in the whole world and that was evident again Sunday.
The Giants stand between the Packers and an opportunity to compete in Super bowl XLII for the championship of professional football. The Packers beat up the Giants early this season and they can do so again. The Packers seem to match up nicely with the Giants. Look for Favre and company to attempt to exploit the Giants' suspect and injury-riddled defensive secondary. The early weather reports are predicting another wintry scene next weekend in Lambeau"¦ perfect for Packer football. Go Pack!!