Packers Periscope: Favre Ties Marino, Ekeler is a Dude and More

In this week's Periscope, we take a look back at Brett Favre tying Dan Marino in a dramatic 2007 win, closing the book on the L in the Steel City, and a peek ahead to a loaded offense wearing powder blue coming to Lambeau.

Sigh... another week, another gut-puncher. However, it does seem that the offense may be figuring things out a bit, although still many points left out there. But the performance from Jordan Love if you're watching the game and not the box score, is certainly a step in the right direction. But this column isn't about last week's efforts, but a look ahead at the past, present and future of this week's opponent, which happens to be another team riddled with disappointment, the San Die-- I mean -- Los Angeles Chargers (I still really hate saying that).

So let's raise up the periscope as we do every week and look into this week's opponent, which may be one of the few teams with a better uniform than our Packers.

The Past

A matchup with only a handful of games played, the Packers have dominated the series with the Chargers, going 10-2 since October 12, 1970, a 22-20 Packers win. The Chargers, however, did take the last game in 2019. If you recall, this was played in a soccer stadium while the SoFi Stadium was under construction and the Bolts had moved from San Diego. But prior to that, the Packers had won seven straight.

One of those seven straight, I, a college-aged budding young CheeseheadTV blogger, was lucky enough to be in the stands on September 23, 2007. This was Mike McCarthy's second season, and the Packers were off to a 2-0 start with wins over the Eagles and Giants, and in came the Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Vincent Jackson and LaDanian Tomlinson-led Chargers. The Bolts opened up the scoring in this one on a 27-yard Rivers-to-Jackson connection, but the Packers cut into the lead on a Mason Crosby field goal. At 7-3 in the second, the teams traded punches first with a Donald Driver touchdown from Brett Favre, then Rivers hit Craig Davis for another touchdown, and the Packers swung back with Bubba Franks from 5 yards out for a 17-14 halftime score.

The second half brought the drama. Tomlinson did Tomlinson things on a 21-yard touchdown reception to put the powder blues in front 21-17 in the third. In the fourth, on a third down, Favre hit rookie Greg Jennings on a 57-yard to put the Packers in front and tie Dan Marino's 420 touchdown record. They'd have a chance to break it late in the game after a Nick Barnett interception, but running back Brandon Jackson punched in the next one to all but ice the game at 31-21. Nate Kaeding put a very late field goal through to make it 31-24, but San Diego was unable to recover the onside kick and the game was over.

This game was SO MUCH FUN. Back and forth, huge names playing well, and Brett Favre shining like we hadn't seen in a few years. It also propelled the team to a surprise 3-0 start en route to the NFC Championship. Allow Rich Eisen (with a little hair!) guide you through these delightful highlights.

 

 

The Present

We've read about the Packers' loss ad nauseam this week. I'm, candidly, exhausted about talking about this team's failures and the "silver lining" every week. But the fact of the matter is, this team IS learning and IS improving, unlike their counterpart in LA. The Justin Herbert-led squad has been as marred with disappointment as it has success. This team doesn't seem to make much sense. They have all the talent to be one of the stronger teams in the AFC, but it does seem like their leadership fails them. The maligned head coach (and future Packers DC), Brandon Staley, has seemingly been almost-fired for the past couple seasons. And if the team keeps dropping games like they did against the Lions last week, it'll be one of the final nails in his coffin.

But as that pertains to this week, the Packers will have their hands full. Austin Ekeler is one of the league's best and is a home run threat every play. And Justin Herbert now has more passing yards than any QB in his first four seasons. He's a stud and can light you up. It'll certainly be an opportunity for the Packers offense to keep the progress moving, however. In the Chargers' last two road games, at the Chiefs and Jets, respectively, the Chargers were outscored 58-23 and Herbert threw only one touchdown to two interceptions. Perhaps a little Midwestern weather will be enough to keep this even.

The Future

Noon Lambeau time, Lambeau Field, Green Bay. It's going to be a GORGEOUS uniform matchup, with the Chargers powder blue and golds coming to the Packers 50s Classic uniforms. The forecast, for now at least, is looking at around 45 degrees at kick. A perfect November day in northern Wisconsin. And as for the spread, the Packers are currently +3 with an over/under of 43.5. So, at least a little confidence there will be some points scored. So, hooray for non-boring football, I guess!

This game, in my opinion, is all about the Packers defense and the ability to do anything to stop the Chargers. Ekeler is a monster and you'd think he'll be a focus in the run game, given the Joe Barry defense shows little resistance to rushing offenses. As is tradition, we'll monitor the injury report to see if Jaire Alexander and Quay Walker will be back. But frankly, given how the run defense performs when it's at full health, this team is just incapable of a game plan to stop chunk runs. But hey, more failure just increases the likelihood we'll be done with Barry after this year. So there's that!

In all, this is a game that may be a shootout. I'll be watching Love and his continued progression, and then cross my fingers the defense will defy the odds and, like, stop a running back who is actually good. As always, I can't wait to find out!

 

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Tony Wilson takes pride in journalism training from 2/3 of directional-Michigan MAC schools. A former Sporting News writer, Tony now focuses on the Packers from his home in Toledo, OH. His beer of choice is a Miller Lite from the bottom of the cooler. You can find him on Twitter @GlassCityPack.

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Comments (16)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
T7Steve's picture

November 15, 2023 at 12:34 pm

Tony, it's fun to look back, but too bad that's the most encouraging part of the article.

A win this weekend will be more encouraging though.

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Tony_Wilson's picture

November 15, 2023 at 01:07 pm

I'm with ya! Even when the present stinks, it's fun to reminisce. Here's to a W this week.

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Cheezehead72's picture

November 15, 2023 at 01:11 pm

You both have more faith in the Packers ability. I do not see them winning this game. Yes I know any team can beat any team but I go off of what is in front of me and I see a Packers loss. I will be looking to see what the spread is to see if I want to put money on the Chargers.

I want the Packers to win.

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T7Steve's picture

November 15, 2023 at 01:23 pm

We don't have any more faith in ability. Just trying to root for the team as fans sometimes do. If you can't have hope before the game, there's no fun at all.

If I show any negativity, I'll blame myself for the loss. I'd rather put the blame elsewhere.

Kind of like not voting and complaining about the outcome.

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mnbadger's picture

November 15, 2023 at 01:11 pm

Thanks again Tony for looking back as well as forward to Sunday's uniform color match up.
Packers 27 - Heat Lightnings (all color no heat or thunder) 26.
GPG!

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jont's picture

November 15, 2023 at 01:39 pm

"In all, this is a game that may be a shootout."

Hmmm.

I'd be happy to see a shoot out, but while I'm pretty sure the Chargers can put up points I am not convinced the Packers will.

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TarynsEyes's picture

November 15, 2023 at 01:46 pm

Heart, will the Chargers have enough of it to once again save Staleys' job?

Heart, will the Packers have enough to once again save Barrys' job, by getting a win for the MLF mindset?

When is a win not a win? When it saves the job of your biggest loser.

Many are talking about progress, but all progress isn't fruitful. Just look outside in society. Things that some, desire to be seen/true, do not always equate to the success of what they expect things to become, again look at society, though it is what some wanted. Now ask yourself the question, Is this the success that you expected, or willing to except by finding belief in what hasn't truly been progress?

I don't really see what others are claiming. I see a player make a catch, a QB make a throw, and everything be done, at least once, by a position player every game. What I do see, in a more consistent manner, is these things not multiplying into numbers that will dictate a game plan. Is it the game plan/play calling, or the inability to execute the play, due to, opponent's Defense, simplicity of the play (lack of Illusion), or the failure to execute due to lack of ability of the players? Are the coaches getting the players in position to succeed, to their strengths, or is the talent unable to be coached to executable levels?

I have no expectations for the game because the prior games have not allowed my expectations to be warranted. Progress can't be your middle name, it needs to wield authority, not meekness.

I know, I'm not a real Packer fan.

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T7Steve's picture

November 15, 2023 at 02:07 pm

I understand that you don't believe the team is progressing.

What would you consider as progress? Do you think there's no chance of progress the way the team is constituted?

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TarynsEyes's picture

November 15, 2023 at 02:36 pm

Progress is defined as moving forward, and most believe moving forward is for the better. Better is defined as less bad than previous. The progress with the Packers is a rotational stagnancy of one foot forward, one step backward, with each retracing the step, and the forward being heralded as a giant leap. I don't think this team, as constituted, can turn a step into a leap that goes forward, but has others leaping over them.
I want to be wrong, I do, but I can't see the light, they're all individually dim, though different levels of dim.

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T7Steve's picture

November 15, 2023 at 02:41 pm

Do you believe it's players, coaches FO or all?

100%
30-30-30?
70-15-15?

No hope forever?

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TarynsEyes's picture

November 15, 2023 at 03:24 pm

I'm not a stat person so assigning percentages to each is moot for me.

The players need to be upgraded, but the FO churns the bottom a bit too much, which creates a disadvantage for the coaches, which should be self-evident by the process/thinking.

I can't help but feel the team has slipped enough in the Draft and Develop arena, and it has affected the teams' player quality more than some would accept.

The starters appear more to be backups, so the ceiling-floor of team talent is lower than necessary to achieve what many believe should be. The problem with growth being given, too much time, is most will ignore the evaporation of what has already grown, while waiting. Thus, lost to FA or unable to replenish in FA.

Each facet has a hand in the failure of this team, some more than others based on what is controllable by each. None appear to be taking control of their parts, at least to a discernible/desirable level. As I've said, a play here and there in a game here and there is simply too far apart to decipher such as progress.

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Coldworld's picture

November 16, 2023 at 08:26 am

Progress is a slippery thing. It undulates and wriggles and flatters to deceive until it’s complete and either illusion or reality in hindsight.

I do see progress in players individually, but how much is hard to define because it ebbs and flows. It’s also not possible to see how far that will take anyone even where it’s real. How high is the ceiling individually and collectively?

What I don’t see is evidence of the team—mindset, tactics, techniques, personnel usage and collective learning. In the absence of that, we just repeat the same mistakes and failings. That inevitably dampens what could be, thus delaying at best, or retarding or even preventing the Potential of the pieces and groups. Until this changes, I don’t expect much.

The crew may acquire more skills but the ship will still founder if the officers continually hold to sailing her through shallows and reefs. Being a fan isn’t mindless optimism it’s about wanting the team to get better. That means not simply accepting repetition of failure.

Fans aren’t always right by any means but a true fan cares enough to not self-blind to what the team does. Deference in the face of continued repeated failures is complicity not loyalty. We won’t see the talent on this roster without significant changes off it. How much there is actually will only then become clear gradually, and the longer we take to get there, the less may be attainable.

Yes I see player progress, but the team as a whole is merely visibly circling, repeating with different faces. Until that ends it won’t mean or lead to much and any view of it will necessarily be through a thickly frosted lens.

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Bitternotsour's picture

November 16, 2023 at 09:28 am

I see a roster full of NFL talent, and a rudderless coaching staff. If the people here applied their same microscope to other teams in the NFL they'd find holes, and fill-in players, and misses in the draft etc etc etc.

The bigger issue for me, is a return to cap health, the sense again that the team is operating with foresight not reactivity (all-in version 2), and a true return to draft and develop and best player available.

Also, MLF has got to go. The GM has to be the one to hire a new coach and management staff, and they have to sink or swim with the hire.

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PeteK's picture

November 15, 2023 at 03:06 pm

I see progress from our 3 receivers, Doubs, Reed, and Musgrave. O line held back two very good pass rushers in Pitt. Progress lies not in what is ,but advancing to what will be.

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TarynsEyes's picture

November 15, 2023 at 03:45 pm

Like beauty, the eyes of the beholder sees what they see. I'm glad you see what you see. All I ask of anyone is to allow me to see what I see, even if not the same beauty.

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T7Steve's picture

November 16, 2023 at 09:51 am

It's just me, but that's a beautiful thought.

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