Monday, January 9, 2012

A Look Back at the 2007 NFC Championship Game

Well, the Packers got (in my opinion) the least favorable matchup for their first playoff game next Sunday.  I thought that either the southern dome team (the Falcons) or the northern dome team (the Lions) would have been easier for the Packers to handle than the Giants, who both play outdoors in cold weather, and have the confidence booster of having beaten the Packers in the NFC Championship game four years ago (Giants 23, Packers 20, in overtime - Favre's last game as a Packer).

There were at least 15 Packers who played in that ice cold overtime game four years ago who will be expected to play on Sunday.  The Green Bay Press-Gazette informs us that there was exactly one current player who suited up for that game but did not play: Aaron Rodgers.  Will he be the difference-maker?  I hope so.

Kevin Seifert of ESPN describes that game as one of the most disappointing Packer games ever, and it is hard to argue with that (although there are certainly other candidates: Super Bowl XXXII, the 4th and 26 Eagles game, and the Michael Vick playoff game come to mind).  I remember well the elation we all had when the no. 2 seed Packers, unexpectedly, got to host the NFC Championship game after the Giants knocked off the no. 1 seed Cowboys.  But the Packers did not play well that night, and of course everyone remembers Favre's final pass as a Packer, which was intercepted in overtime and led to the game-winning field goal.  To be sure, Favre was not the only one who played poorly.  My son and I went to this game, and I can remember saying to him, at the beginning of the overtime session, that the Packers might end up winning this game, but they certainly don't deserve to win it.

This is one of those games that I don't think I have ever gone back to watch again, even though I recorded it at the time (Super Bowl XXXII was another one).  But thanks to the NFL Network (I love these guys!) I am watching it again tonight, as they are replaying it right now.  There were some great individual plays (like the Driver 90 yard touchdown that took place while I was in the Lambeau Field bathroom), but overall, the Packers suffered from the total lack of a running game, an inefficient passing game, an inconsistent defense, and of course the interceptions.

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In the midst of getting ready for this week's game against the Giants, the Packers' family has been struck by a terrible tragedy, as Offensive Coordinator Joe Philbin's 21 year old son, Michael, was first reported missing, and then was found dead after having fallen through the ice of the Fox River.  As the father of two young adults in their early 20's, I cannot imagine the anguish of the Philbin family.  My prayers are with them.  


  1. One aspect of this game I will always remember is ball control. On at least two drives, the Packers scored quickly and did not allow their defense to rest. (One of those drives you mention above). The end result was a gassed defensive unit that could not control the line of scrimmage. Favre's pick to Corey Webster certainly did not help matters.

  2. RvGBPacker: that is really true. Plus (and closely related), I believe the Giants' time of possession was close to twice what the Packers' was. Something like 40 minutes to 22.

  3. I'll be watching from Amsterdam with some Wisconsin natives who moved abroad. I hope we aren't left disappointed.


  4. Sarah - it is a dangerous matchup for us, but I think the Packers will be OK. When they beat the Giants in week 13, it was without Hawk, Bishop and Clifton and it was at NY. When they gave up all those points to Detroit in Week 17, they were playing without Woodson and Matthews. I have a feeling that Dom Capers will cook up something special for the Giants. Have a great time in Amsterdam and don't forget to try some rijsttafel!