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December 18, 1994

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Cheesehog, Dec 18, 2006.

  1. Cheesehog

    Cheesehog Cheesehead

    Jun 12, 2005
    Final Game at County Stadium, Dec. 18, 1994 --

    For 62 seasons, the Packers split their home games between Green Bay and Milwaukee. The final 42 Milwaukee games were played at County Stadium, onetime home of baseball's Milwaukee Braves and Milwaukee Brewers. The tradition ended in 1994, when the Packers repaid their Brew City fans with one last exciting finish.

    The finale also foreshadowed what kind of quarterback Favre would become.

    The Packers hosted the Atlanta Falcons, the team with the growing regret for having given up on Favre two years earlier. With 1:58 remaining, Atlanta led 17-14. The Packers had the ball on their own 33-yard-line, but without Sharpe, their star receiver, who had been injured in the second quarter. Favre completed six of eight passes, landing his team at the Falcons' 9-yard-line with 14 seconds left. The Packers had no time-outs, which meant that running a play was risky: If they didn't score, there might not be enough time to kick a field goal to put the game into overtime.

    There wasn’t that much time left (21 seconds when the play started), and if he’d just have thrown the ball away, the Packers had a “gimme” field goal to take the Atlanta Falcons into overtime.

    But in the unpredictable, fearless and heart-stopping way that has become his signature, Favre took a chance and went for the whole nine yards, literally.

    He got them, chugging to the end zone and diving over the goal line to give the Packers a 21-17 win over Atlanta in their last game in Milwaukee and County Stadium.

    Playoff chances that were on their deathbed now live and prosper into the regular-season’s final week.

    “The whole season was carrying on my shoulders,” Favre said. “(Coach) Mike (Holmgren said, ‘Did you know if you didn’t get in, we might not have enough time left?’ I said I never even thought of that. I knew I was going to get in from the 5-yard line.”

    What would’ve happened if he’d been stopped short of the goal line? There were 14 seconds left when he scored and the Packers had no timeouts. Could they have lined up quickly enough to stop the clock with a spike, so Chris Jacke could punch through the game-tying field goal?

    “You never know because we didn’t have to do it,” center Frank Winters said. “Yeah, I think we had enough time.”

    They very well might have. But it wasn’t a sure thing, and this was a time that seemed to call for sure things.

    The Packers’ most anticipated season in years was in the balance. A loss would have meant no playoffs and utter failure. Instead, this nervy 9-yard run puts them back in command of their playoff destiny. A win at Tampa Bay on Saturday and they’re in.

    Not only that, but it left the quarterback thinking that despite many disappointments and only an 8-7 record, the Packers might be a charmed team.

    “I knew if we scored here, we may have a shot to win the Super Bowl,” Favre said. “That was exactly what we needed. With the way our season has been, up and down, I’d rather take that win than a 40-3 win.”

    “When we won 40-3 (last week over Chicago), everyone was, ‘We’re pretty good, we should have been doing this all year.’ All of a sudden today it’s back to reality: We may lose it. There’s two minutes left. Are we that good? Can we score?”

    But if the Packers are charmed, they are also shaky.

    For all it had on the line, and all the Falcons didn’t without realistic playoff hopes, Green Bay was precariously vulnerable.

    The Packers were facing the NFL’s worst-rated defense and jumped to a 14-3 lead but could not put it away. After they lost receiver Sterling Sharpe to a game-ending head injury in the second quarter, they didn’t score until that final touchdown.

    “That’s the one spot where we struggled,” Favre said. “Guys haven’t played in Sterling’s spot much all year.”

    They had a few chances for a cushion but blew them.

    With 1½ minutes left in the first half they were creeping into field goal range, but Favre misread Robert Brooks for his only interception of the day.

    In the third quarter a promising drive was derailed by three holding penalties. And Jacke missed a 37-yard field goal that would have put them up eight points.

    So when backup quarterback Bobby Hebert, playing for injured Jeff George, took the Falcons 76 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown, the Packers were down by three and short on time.

    They got the ball with just under six minutes left, but three plays later punted. They got it back again with 1:58 to play.

    “Everybody was saying, ‘This is it, this is our season’,” guard Guy McIntyre said.

    Before taking the field, Favre talked on the headset with quarterbacks coach Steve Mariucci, who has been a calming influence. Mariucci reminded him he had only one timeout, and if someone wasn’t wide open over the middle, then throw toward the sidelines.

    As Favre ran toward the huddle, County Stadium’s odd set-up, with both teams on the same sideline, kept him within earshot of his former Atlanta Falcons teammates.

    “They’re all, ‘Hey Brett, you’re going to blow it’,” Favre said.

    Favre, throwing to tight end Mark Chmura and Brooks, got the Packers downfield quickly, but with 21 seconds left they had to use their final timeout.

    It was third-and-one from Atlanta’s 9. Favre, Mariucci and backup quarterbacks Mark Brunell and Ty Detmer immediately said take a shot at a touchdown pass.

    “(Holmgren) said, ‘Do you realize what down it is, and distance?’” Favre said.

    But he quickly agreed — no timeouts and no extra downs — and looked for a play. Favre wanted to run the same play they had the down before when he hit Chmura for an 8-yard gain over the middle. But Holmgren wanted a play with more options.

    Favre took a seven-step drop but everyone was covered, so he rolled out of the pocket. He briefly considered throwing the ball away. Then he saw rookie Terry Mickens run past, but Mickens wasn’t in the end zone and had a defensive back on his tail.

    So Favre took the final option, because “there was a big enough hole where I thought I could get in.”

    “As much control as a coach would like to have with any player,” Holmgren said, “particularly a quarterback, there’s something to be said for his ability to make something happen out of nothing. It’s happened more than once, and I think he’s special that way.”

    ``I probably couldn't have wrote it any better. It was either get in, or we lose it," Favre said.

    "I kept telling everybody somebody was going to make a play. I just didn't think it would be me."

    The Packers' 21-17 victory was a dramatic farewell to Milwaukee, where they finished with a 107-63-1 record. They clinched a playoff spot with a win the next week.

    When Holmgren left the field, he climbed a pile of snow near the first-base dugout, pumped his fists into the air and blew kisses to the crowd of 54,885. "Thank you, Milwaukee! Thank you!" he hollered over and over.

    The win also signaled a turning point in Favre's development as a leader.

    ''He came into the huddle, calmed everybody down and just took control," said tight-end Mark Chmura. "That's the first time I really saw him like that."

    Defensive end Reggie White thought Favre's play presaged a much bigger Packers' victory.

    ''If he keeps playing like he's playing," White said, "he's going to take us where we want to go."

    A little more than two years later, Favre would lead the Packers to a win in Super Bowl XXXI.

  2. PackerChick

    PackerChick Cheesehead

    Jun 3, 2005
    I remember the game well. They are truly a home team in Lambeau.
  3. umair

    umair Cheesehead

    Aug 12, 2006
    thanks for posting the article, it was a great read.

    i guess favre is in a similar sitituation this season.
  4. TOPackerFan

    TOPackerFan Cheesehead

    Dec 8, 2004
    Uhhhhh, this game was in Milwaukee.
  5. Bobby Roberts

    Bobby Roberts Cheesehead

    Jun 14, 2005
    That was the 2nd game I got to see. I'd never been to a Packer game before and my freshman year in college met a friend who offered me tickets to the Detroit game and then the Atlanta game -- Milwaukee season tickets. He had an extra ticket for the Atlanta game, so I was able to bring my Dad with us.

    It was awesome! The worst part was that the seats were in the opposite endzone. So when Favre scrambled, we were thinking that he's the biggest idiot in the stadium. He dove for the endzone, but we didn't get the signal right away. So we thought that we just lost the game. Then we saw them signal touchdown and the who stadium went nuts!!

    It was great to be there. It was also great to see the coaches and players waving to the crowd after the game. That was the only game my Dad and I have been to together, and it would be difficult to pick a better one to be at.

    GO PACK GO!!!
  6. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

    Dec 11, 2004
    thanks for posting the article, it was a great read
  7. TheStone

    TheStone Cheesehead

    Feb 27, 2006
    whaaaa Where am I?

    I've been dreaming nicely while reading this post and now I

    All I want for christmas is a QB of the future. :)
  8. yooperfan

    yooperfan Cheesehead

    Dec 4, 2004
    Great read!
    I like these historical posts with real information.
  9. WinnipegPackFan

    WinnipegPackFan Cheesehead

    Sep 22, 2005
    Great read Cheesehog,

    Thanks for the post :thumbsup:
  10. longtimefan

    longtimefan Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Mar 6, 2005
    I think she is saying the Packers were not really a "home" team at county stadium they had to travel and it wasnt really set up to be a football stadium..

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