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.