Thursday, November 29, 2007

Carving Up the Thanksgiving Lions

Packers 37 - Lions 26

"I threw it. They caught it. Nothing spectacular."

You've gotta' love Brett Favre's humility this year. A year in which he's not only breaking Packers team records and NFL records, but one in which he's breaking personal records he set in his MVP years. At this point in the season, it's unfortunate that the Patriots are undefeated because it makes everyone take notice of a pretty regular QB in Tom Brady and naturally assume he's a shoo-in for this year's MVP. As a team, sure, the Pats are playing some amazingly consistent football. But is Tom Brady better than Brett Favre this year? No way. Not by a long shot. Again: He's playing better this year than in any of his previous years, and he has already been the NFL's MVP more times than any other player. If you improve on that greatness, how could you not be considered the MVP?

Of course, having said all that, the first play snapped to Favre in this game probably isn't exactly the representative play you want to put on your reel to make your case. He tripped as he pitched the ball back to "Dorsey" Grant and the Lions recovered with excellent field position. Then the D really tightened, though, and we held them to just a field goal. Kampman didn't have quite as many sacks as I had expected he would (just two), but his presence was definitely felt. KGB and Williams both got a sack in, too.

The excitement started just after we said our Thanksgiving dinner prayer (I say it much differently than most, especially when the Packers are playing). Aaron Rouse got a pick early in the second quarter and ran it back 34 yards to the 11. One play later, Favre and the Jennerator had chalked up another TD and we were up 7-6. We didn't really turn it off again after that until the fourth quarter. More on that in a moment.

The most remarkable thing about this game was probably the passing streak that Favre set up. In the two-minute drill at the end of the first half, he had seven straight. In the third quarter, he did not have an incompletion. By the beginning of the fourth, he had broken the Packers team record and the league's record was in sight. Two straight incomplete passes in the end zone meant that he stopped at an amazing 20 straight passes... and we had to settle for just 3 points on that drive. Meanwhile, though, the Lions had done nothing of consequence -- one field goal to our 20 points.

But the rest of the fourth quarter was a little unnerving. Perhaps the tryptophan of hundreds of thousands of fans on one side of the TV screen somehow reached the defense on the other, because all of a sudden, they had allowed Detroit to score touchdowns instead of field goals, and the lead was down to just 8 points. Same thing happened last week. I don't want that to become a habit. I don't know what's more stressful: Having to come from behind to win it or being up and going all conservative and having to hold on by the skin of our teeth. Now, an 11-point victory isn't skin-of-our-teeth close, but it should have been more like 20. We need to have that Patriots don't-just-plunge-the-dagger-into-their-hearts-but-twist-that-sucker-a-few-times-too mentality and just own these games. That's what I want to see happen tonight, anyway.

I have not been this giddy about a game in a loooooong time. Two 10-1 teams meeting on a national stage, both in the NFC, playing for what could end up meaning home-field advantage in the Playoffs. Holy fucking shit.

Here's hoping Romo's too distracted by Jessica Simpson's boobs to play well in the spotlight.

Wait, what was I saying?

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