It was one of the games with the coldest temperatures; it was one of the most exciting National Football Conference Championship games; it was one of the most crushing defeats in Green Bay Packers history; it was Brett Favre’s final game as a member of the Packers.
It was Jan. 20, 2008, a date that will live in infamy among Packers Nation and as one of the happiest for those fans of the New York Giants.
Just moments before, their hero, Brett Favre, had thrown his final pass for the franchise after nearly 9,000 previous attempts. This one landed in the arms of Giants cornerback Corey Webster who had stepped in front of Packers wide receiver Donald Driver for the pick. After moving the ball into field goal range for Tynes, he made the kick that would send the Giants to the Super Bowl and end the storied run for Favre, who would “retire” a month later.
The temperature at gametime was -7 degrees with a windchill of -27 degrees. Packers weather. But the Giants also came to play and weren’t about to roll over.
In fact, it was the Giants, behind their strong running game and a passing combination of Eli Manning to Plaxico Burress that would eventually do in the Packers. Burress, working against the Packers’ All-Pro cornerback Al Harris, would catch 11 passes on the day for 151 yards, while Brandon Jacobs would pound for 67 yards and would be joined by Ahmad Bradshaw, who picked up another 63 yards on the ground.
But the Packers weren’t about to roll over either. Going back and forth in the first quarter, the only scoring would come from Tynes who hit a 29-yard field goal to give New York an early 3-0 lead. The Giants would add to that with another Tynes field goal early in the second quarter for a 6-0 lead.
However, Favre would connect with Driver who got behind the Giants defense down the right sideline and then outran everyone for a 90-yard touchdown that ignited the chilly crowd sitting on the aluminum Lambeau Field seats. The Packers defense continued to bend, but didn’t break through the first half and when Mason Crosby added a 36-yard field goal, Green Bay headed into the warmth of the locker room with a 10-6 halftime lead.
It was back and forth throughout the second half as the two teams slugged it out and exchanged scores during a high-scoring third quarter. Brandon Jacobs found paydirt first with a one-yard run to give New York a 13-10 lead. That was followed by a Green Bay drive that ended with a Favre to Donald Lee touchdown pass to give the Packers a 17-13 edge.
When Ahmad Bradshaw ran in from four yards out, the third quarter ended with the Giants up 20-17.
The battle of the heavyweights continued through the fourth quarter with the only scoring coming off the foot of Crosby, who tied the game at 20-20. Tynes missed two field goals in regulation, the first from 43 yards with 6:53 remaining. However, the biggest miss by Tynes came with four seconds left in regulation – a huge kick down the stretch that would have given the game to the Giants.That attempt was from 36 yards.
The game went into overtime and it seemed Favre wanted to end it quickly. After Koren Robinson returned the kickoff 19 yards, the Packers took over from their own 26 yard line.
On first down, Ryan Grant ran off left end for 2 yards and on second down and eight Favre threw the interception to Webster who caught it at the Packers 43 and returned it nine yards. After Bradshaw rushed for a total of five yards on first and second down, Manning threw incomplete on third down to force the 47-yard game-winning field goal by Tynes.
Instead of hitting the tight end over the middle or opting for a wide open check down pass to Ryan Grant, Favre threw the ball to the right outside sideline where Webster made history.
“I didn’t throw it outside enough,” Favre said in his post-season press conference. A gross understatement in the eyes of Packers fans.
The Giants would go on to win the Super Bowl that season, upsetting the previously undefeated New England Patriots.
If you want to look at indepth statistics from this game, visit http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/200801200gnb.htm#pbp_data::none.
If you dare watch video of the overtime period, click below:
If you want to watch something better, click below:
And here’s a flashback to years gone by: