Friday, October 1, 2004

More Bad News

Oops, as Chris Berman might say, "that's why they play the games." After fumbling the game away against the Bears, they found themselves in a shoot-out against the Colts, somewhat reminiscent of the game Joe Theisman calls the "shoot-out at Lambeau Field," the famous 1983 Monday night game against the Redskins, featuring overpowering offenses and non-existent defenses by both teams. That game wasn't decided until Mark Moseley missed a field goal at the end of the game, preserving the Packers' 48-47 game. The Colts' victory on Sunday was not assured until Javon Walker's disastrous fumble in the fourth quarter. What a shame. Walker had a monster game. The Packers had pulled to within 7 points, at 38-31, had the ball back and had just crossed midfield in an effort to tie up the game when Walker was stripped of the ball. The Colts scored again, to go ahead 45-31, and the game was effectively over.

So, the Packers find themselves at 1-2 after three games. Ironically, that is exactly the record I would have predicted at the end of the pre-season, but it is demoralizing to get there after such a great opening day game. And, today comes word of more bad news. The Packers' starting center, Mike Flanagan, will undergo season-ending knee surgery. So much for the experience and continuity of the Packers' offensive line. This is a very unfortunate development, leaving Grey Ruegamer as the Packers' starting center. Ruegamer was acquired last year as an unrestricted free agent.

Anyway, here come the New York Football Giants to town, for the first game between the two teams since the 2001 season. It is truly remarkable to contemplate how much the world has changed since the last meeting. You may recall that the Packers were scheduled to play the Giants, in New Jersey, on September 16, 2001. The attack on the U.S. by Islamic terrorists ended up canceling all of the games for that weekend, and those games were rescheduled for the very end of the season, in January, 2002. When the Packers finally came to the New York area for the game, New York native Marco Rivera led a group of players and coaches to the World Trade Center site to pay their respects. The game itself is memorable mostly for being the game in which Michael Strahan "sacked" Brett Favre as the clock was winding down, giving Favre's friend Strahan the all-time record for sacks in a single season. The Packers won the game, 34-25. Let's hope that by the fourth quarter of this week's game, the Packers will again be far enough ahead to be able to afford to give away free sacks to the Giants.

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