NFL Preseason Preview - New England (1-1) at Green Bay (1-1)


Dec 15, 2004
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Lambeau Midwest
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NFL Preseason Preview - New England (1-1) at Green Bay (1-1)

By Tony Moss, NFL Editor (Sports Network) -

A pair of the top quarterbacking talents in the NFL will convene at Lambeau Field on Friday night, when Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers play host to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

Favre, an eight- time Pro Bowl selection who has started an NFL-record 205 consecutive games at QB, will be at the helm of a Green Bay club that has split its first two preseason contests of '05.

The Packers were 27-7 road losers against the Bills last Saturday. Brady's Patriots also come off a defeat, theirs a 37-27 setback at the hands of the New Orleans Saints last Thursday.

Brady, who has been named to three Pro Bowls and has three Super Bowl rings in just four seasons as a starter, will this season be attempting to lead New England to what would be a league-record third consecutive Super Bowl title.

Among the big stories for New England on Friday night will be the first Patriots appearance for wideout Andre' Davis, who was obtained earlier this week in a trade with Cleveland.

Davis' a former second-round draft choice who has 93 catches and 13 touchdowns in three NFL seasons, will try to inject himself into the receiving mix that includes holdovers David Givens, Deion Branch, and offseason acquisition David Terrell.

Of that group, only Givens has a catch in the preseason. Following Brady in the quarterback rotation this week will likely be longtime backup Rohan Davey, who was held out against New Orleans in the interest of getting veteran Doug Flutie some live repetitions.

Flutie (3-4 passing, 52 yards, 1 TD), who threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to wideout Jason Anderson in the third quarter against the Saints, is attempting to win the top backup job from Davey (4-7, 42 yards, 1 INT in the preseason).

On the injury front, defensive end Ty Warren (leg) and right tackle Matt Light (leg) are considered questionable. The Packers have scored just two touchdowns through their first two preseason games, though it should give Green Bay fans peace of mind that both scores have come off Favre touchdown passes.

The veteran is a solid 13-of-16 for 132 yards and two TD strikes in two games. Favre will be followed in the lineup by either first-round draft choice Aaron Rodgers (6-15, 28 yards, 1 INT), who has struggled in the preseason, or incumbent No. 2 Craig Nall (5-13, 39 yards).

The Packers will want to see a better effort out of both the backup quarterbacks and running back Ahman Green, as Green has just 38 rushing yards on 15 carries in the preseason to date.

Tight end Bubba Franks, who ended a contract dispute with the team earlier this week, is unlikely to be in uniform versus the Patriots. Franks will join nose tackle Grady Jackson (knee), defensive tackle Cletidus Hunt (knees, shoulder) and linebacker Na'il Diggs (knee) on the list of Packers who will not play on Friday.

The all-time preseason series between New England and Green Bay is knotted at 6-6, with the Packers' even-ing the series on the strength of a 7-3 home win prior to the 1997 campaign.

The Packers have a 4-3 lead in the regular season series, breaking a deadlock with a 28-10 road victory in 2002.

The most memorable matchup between the clubs occurred following the 1997 season, when the Packers were 35-21 winners over the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI from New Orleans.


Jun 5, 2005
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Whoever LOSES this game has no chance to win the superbowl...

Sorry, I couldn't resist...LOL


Apr 14, 2005
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Citrus Heights CA
Here is one from AP posted on

GREEN BAY, Wis. --The Super Bowl champions could be in for a long night Friday, and not because Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre will get his most snaps of the preseason.

With the first round of cuts coming Tuesday, New England coach Bill Belichick wants his Patriots to view their first trip to Lambeau Field in eight years as more than a mere exhibition.

"Every player that dresses for the game, I've told them to be ready to go for 60 minutes just like it's a regular-season game," Belichick said.

Favre will only go 30, at most.

"We're not evaluating Brett," Packers offensive coordinator Tom Rossley said. "We're just trying to get a little tempo going with the first group."

Favre is ready for the regular season, having completed 13 of 15 passes so far. The rest of the team is a work in progress, however, especially on defense.

The Patriots are trying to get their linebacking corps in order after losing Tedy Bruschi to a stroke, Ted Johnson to retirement and Roman Phifer, who was not re-signed. At quarterback, there is little intrigue except for the No. 3 job, where rookie Matt Cassel appears to have supplanted Rohan Davey, who's in his fourth year.

At wide receiver, where the Patriots are deep, the trade for Andre' Davis could convince some of the role players that their jobs are less secure than they thought.

The Patriots also are trying to get their coaching staff in sync after the departures of offensive coordinator Charlie Weis to Notre Dame and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel to the Cleveland Browns.

Impressed by the 60,000 that showed for Green Bay's scrimmage earlier this month, Belichick expects the sellout crowd to give the Patriots the feeling that this game counts in the standings.

And he views Green Bay as a solid barometer even with its many unsettled positions because of new defensive coordinator Jim Bates, who came over from Miami, and the Packers' high-powered, diverse offense.

"This is our best opportunity to pull everything together in terms of substitution, communication, execution, playing on the road, playing in a hostile environment, all of those kinds of things," Belichick said.

Davis, acquired from Cleveland this week, will get his first chance to impress his new team, but the speedy, former second-round selection in 2002 has his work cut out for him.

"He's adding to a really strong group of receivers as it is," Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said. "With every new guy, he has to find a role on the team. He's a very smart player. He came out here (Monday) and almost knew what he was doing on every single play, which was great to see."

The Packers have many more unanswered questions than the Patriots.

Three-time Pro Bowl tight end Bubba Franks, who sat out all of training camp before signing a seven-year, $28 million contract Wednesday night, will be on the sideline for the game, unable to serve as Favre's safety valve or help spring Ahman Green downfield.

Green Bay still hasn't settled on replacements for guards Marco Rivera and Mike Wahle, whose free-agent departures broke up one of the NFL's elite offensive lines over the winter.

The Packers signed veterans Adrian Klemm and Matt O'Dwyer, but they are being pushed by second-year pro Scott Wells and rookie Will Whitticker, who will get the start at right guard over O'Dwyer.

"We want to find out if he can do it," Rossley said of the seventh-round pick who has been the camp's biggest surprise.

On defense, the Packers haven't gotten interior linemen Grady Jackson (knee) and Cletidus Hunt (knees, shoulder) on the field, and their starting roles could be in jeopardy. Linebacker Na'il Diggs is out until the opener with a knee injury, and the secondary is unsettled.

Mark Roman and Earl Little are fighting for a starting job opposite rookie Nick Collins at safety and Joey Thomas, who moved ahead of Ahmad Carroll at cornerback in the offseason, has missed so much time with injuries he's no longer a sure shot to start opposite Al Harris.

Also, wide receiver Robert Ferguson was cleared to play Friday night after missing practice this week because of a heart murmur.

Nothing new other than they are expecting enthusiastic noise at Lambeau. They actually are wanting that Lambeau environment and feel of a regular season game.

If you watch NFL network you see all the empty seats elsewhere for exhibition season.

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