I know, you’re probably thinking I’m insane. How could I possibly think that the ’07 Championship was a great game?
That’s because it was.
First of all, I understand the Packers lost the game … At Lambeau … When it was minus-7 degrees and with a windchill of minus-27.
We all know that’s Packers weather … A game of “Ice Bowl proportions.”
But it was also time the Packers learned that other teams have been built to play in tough conditions … Such was the case with the Giants. They came ready to play and from their first play from scrimmage when Brandon Jacobs slammed into Charles Woodson, all the way to the final 47-yard winning field goal, they showed they were the team of destiny that season … And they demonstrated it two weeks later in the Super Bowl.
But that’s not to say the Packers were not up to the task that day … With a catch by Ruvell Martin here, a fumble recovery by Jaret Bush there and a better throw by Brett Favre on his final pass as a Packer, the story may have been written differently.
But it wasn’t to be and that’s precisely why this was a great game.
There was so much wrapped into the story of this game … Let’s start with the matchup between Al Harris and Plaxico Burris … While he did the majority of his damage in the first half, Burris had some clutch catches to keep drives alive. His 155 yards on 11 catches was the tipping point in the game.
Consider the QB matchup of Favre vs Manning … The old gunslinger vs the young gun.
Their statistics were similar – Favre was 19 of 35 for 236 yards, two touchdowns, but more importantly, two interceptions.
Manning was 21 of 40 for 251 yards, but it was the zero interceptions that helped his cause.
Manning didn’t have a touchdown pass, but Favre had a 90-harder to Donald Driver and about a 20-harder to Donald Lee late in the game.
However, the Giants made up for the passing deficiency with their ground game.
While not overpowering, Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw combined for nearly 130 total yards and chewed up a lot of the clock … They also kept the ball out of Brett Favre’s hands.
Consider the kicking game and how the irony played to New York when Lawrence Tynes made the game-winning 47-yard kick after missing two fourth quarter tries … The second coming at the end of regulation.
Consider that this was Brett Favre’s last game as a Packer. Would it have been his last game in Green Bay had he completed that pass to Donald Driver?
Would Favre have stayed with the team for at least one more season? If he had, would Aaron Rodgers be a Packer today?
Would Donald Driver still be playing? How about Charles Woodson or Chad Clifton?
Both Woodson and Driver went on record in describing how deeply hurt they were by this loss.
Did this game provide the deep-seated desire to get back to the championship game … And this time to win it?
That’s what has made this 2007 game so interesting.
And these are just a few of the reasons I find this game one of the most intriguing in years.
Bottom line is that from its devastating results came Aaron Rodgers and the drive toward a championship in 2010.