Posts Tagged ‘Green Bay Packers’

Cardinals 51-45 win over Packers brings back memories of Packers 48-47 win over Redskins in 1983

January 11, 2010

Yesterday’s 51-45 win by the Arizona Cardinals over the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs brought back memories of another high scoring game the Packers were involved in a quarter-century ago.

On October 17, 1983, the Packers beat the Washington Redskins, 48-47 in the highest scoring game in Monday Night Football history.  It was a game that featured the most prolific scoring offense in the NFL at the time.  The Redskins finished that season scoring 541 points, then an NFL record.

The two games had a lot of similarities and some differences.  Yesterday’s game had 96 points; 26 years ago the Packers and the Skins scored 95.  That game resulted in 1025 total yards while yesterday’s battle had 1024 yards of offense.

While yesterday’s game featured a big comeback as the Packers tied it at 38 and 45 after being down by 21, the 1983 contest featured five lead changes in the final period.

Aaron Rodgers set a Green Bay playoff record with 422 yards passing, connecting on 28 of 42 attempts for four touchdowns.  So Rodgers, not Brett Favre, owns the Packers record for most passing yards in playoff game.  Even more impressive was that Kurt Warner, playing against the NFL’s second-ranked defense and without starter Anquan Boldin, was 29 of 33 for 379 yards with five TDs and no interceptions.

In 1983, Washington’s Joe Theismann completed 27 of 39 passes for 398 yards, two TDs, and no interceptions.  Green Bay’s Lynn Dickey completed 22 of 30 passes for 387 yards and three TDs.

Each game had one team with a great rushing attack.  The Cardinals had 156 yards on the ground.  The Redskins rushed for 184.

Interestingly, Russ Grimm was a part of both games.  The former Redskins guard is an assistant coach with the Cardinals.  Grimm is a future Hall of Famer and a future NFL head coach.

After the game, Theismann said, “It never stopped. Grimm said ‘Let’s go.’ I said ‘Why? We just scored.’ And he said ‘So did they.'”

After yesterday’s game, Warner said, “Whew.  Anybody else tired?”

Neil Rackers missed a 34-yard field goal at the end of regulation that would have won the game for Arizona.

Mark Moseley missed a 39-yarder with three seconds to go that would have won the game for Washington.

Washington won its next 9 games to finish 14-2, two points away from a perfect 16-0 record.  However, the Skins peaked in the first round of the playoffs during a 51-7 win over the Rams, and Washington got crushed in the Super Bowl by the Raiders, 38-9.  Giving up 48 points in a single game should have been a sign of things to come.

Likewise, it’s hard to imagine the Cardinals winning the Super Bowl after giving up 45 points in a playoff game.

The offensive performance may have been more impressive in 1983, because offensive statistics are up dramatically from where they were then.

The Skins-Packers game featured four future Hall of Famers:  John Riggins (98 yards, two TDs), Art Monk (five catches for 105 yards), Darrell Green, and Grimm (well, Grimm should be in and will probably make it this year).  Yesterday’s contest featured a lock for the HOF in Warner, a probable Hall of Famer in Larry Fitzgerald (six catches for 82 yards and two TDs, and other great players like Darnell Dockett of Arizona and Rodgers and Charles Woodson of Green Bay.  The 1983 game featured a player who would be named MVP that season (Theismann). Yesterday’s game featured a past NFL MVP (Warner).

(Theismann was NFL MVP in 1983.  He has the same number of MVP awards as Dan Marino, John Elway, and Tom Brady (1).  Theismann was better than Joe Montana that year and that’s a fact.  You don’t have to like it, but you do have to admit it is a fact.)

One of the things I remember most about the 1983 game was the missed field goal by Moseley at the end, because it was so uncharacteristic of him and because if he had made it the ending would have been so great.  I also remember thinking that a great team shouldn’t give up 47 points.  Because the Skins’ weakness was pass defense, they nicknamed themselves the Pearl Harbor Crew, because they were always being bombed.  Green was a rookie, Vernon Dean was a solid corner but not overly fast, and Curtis Jordan was a slow safety.  Charles Mann would become a great pass rusher but he was only a rookie too.

The thing I remember most about yesterdays game was Warner’s surgical prescision.  He just wouldn’t miss.  And I thought that it was a shame that the Packers didn’t go farther than the Vikings this year, though I think most Green Bay fans would be very happy with Rodgers’ year and performance yesterday.

2010:  Arizona 51,

Green Bay 45

1983:  Green Bay 48, Washington 47
Points 96 95
Yards 1024 1025
Final Field Goal Attempt Neil Rackers, 34-yard miss as time expired Mark Moseley, 39-yard miss with :03 left
Winning QB Stats Warner:  29-33, 379 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT Dickey:  22-30, 387 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Losing QB Stats Rodgers:  28-42, 422 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT Theismann: 27-39, 398 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT
Interesting Stat Two comebacks by Packers from 21 down 5 lead changes in 4th quarter
Quote Warner:  “Whew. Anybody else tired?” Theismann:  “It never stopped. Grimm said ‘Let’s go.’ I said ‘Why? We just scored.’ And he said ‘So did they.'”
Hall of Famers Warner (lock), Fitzgerald (probable), Rodgers (maybe), Charles Woodson (maybe) John Riggins, Art Monk, Darrell Green, Grimm (probable)
Russ Grimm’s role Cardinals Assistant Coach Redskins Pro Bowl Guard
Did the game feature an NFL MVP? Yes:  Warner (1999, 2001) Yes: Theismann (1983)

Using Disrespect to Motivate Yourself and Prove People Wrong

October 5, 2009

In sports, as in life, sometimes when you feel slighted and disrespected, it can give you extra motivation to do well to prove people wrong.

Michael Jordan was famous for it, Brett Favre is going through it now, and I’ve even used it myself for extra incentive.

“It” happens when people underestimate you.

A lot of people were put off by Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame induction speech last month, when he recounted many instances when people said he wasn’t good enough.  Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team, and he never forgot it, so he became the greatest player of all time.  Writers said he’d never win a championship, so he won six.

In 1993, LaBradford Smith of the Washington Bullets scored 37 points against Jordan and the Bulls and supposedly said, “Nice game, Mike.”  Jordan vowed to score 37 points against the Bullets the next game by halftime and he scored 36 by halftime, 47 in all in just 31 minutes.  The funny thing is that Jordan admitted later that Smith never taunted him, but he just made the story up to give him extra motivation.

Now, just hours before Brett Favre of the Minnesota Vikings takes on his former team, the Green Bay Packers, there’s a lot of talk of revenge.  This is different than the Jordan situation, though.  While the Packers decided to let Favre go a couple of years ago in favor of Aaron Rodgers, it was partly because Favre kept going back and forth and wouldn’t give Green Bay a decision about whether he wanted to come back instead of retire.  When the deadline had passed with Favre deciding to remain retired, the Pack decided to go with Rogers.

Last summer before Favre signed with the New York Jets, it was clear his first choice was to go to Minnesota because they were one of Green Bay’s major rivals.  Favre wanted revenge.  He would like nothing better than to prove the Packers wrong.  But the Packers made the right decision.  Favre broke down at the end of last season, and though he’s having success this year, it’s mainly because he’s on a very good team.  And most football insiders know that Favre takes away as much as he gives, as he has more interceptions than any QB in NFL history (Click on “Quarterbacks” on the right side of the blog to see what I wrote about Favre a year ago).

Still, the idea of proving someone wrong can be very strong, and if you can use it as motivation, more power to you.

You see this most often in sports when an underdog uses disrespect as extra motivation to win.

Three years ago I wrote about why I like working with kids with autism under my first FAQ at

I’ve always loved sports, and I root for the underdog. Anybody who has played sports or been a sports fan knows that when someone says you can’t do something, you love to prove them wrong. I prefer working with the kids who have the most severe disabilities because I love the challenge. One of the things I like most about working with kids with autism is the amount of progress that they have the potential to make.

I remember a time when an autism therapist asked why multiplication should be taught to a child who would never have a reason to use it.  About a year after that, the child mastered triple digit multiplication.

When I tried out for the junior high school tennis team in ninth grade, I was cut from the team.  I made the team the next year in high school, and during my junior and senior seasons I had a combined record of 23 wins and eight losses in doubles.  Then I lettered for four years at Division III Ohio Wesleyan University, albeit a small university.  I never forgot that the coach wrongly cut me in ninth grade and put other players on the team ahead of me whom I was better than.

Then in 2000, I signed up to play in a 4.0-level tennis league.  They told me I would play the first match and then I showed up and they said I wasn’t going to play the first match – I would have to watch.  So I went home, cancelled the check, and looked for a 4.5-level (higher level) league.  I found one and won six of the eight matches I played in doubles.  Some tennis board had to decide whether to let me play or not after cancelling the check and writing a new one.  Luckily, they did.

I’m not trying to compare Michael Jordan to me, I’m just saying that proving people wrong can be a powerful motivational tool.

How many times has the media counted someone out?  John Elway can’t win a Super Bowl (he won two).  Peyton Manning can’t win the big one (he won a Super Bowl).  Kobe Bryant can’t win an NBA title without Shaq (he did it last year).

Keep giving people motivation.  Keep saying they can’t do something.  But don’t put limitations on anyone.  I just searched on the word “limit” from the “Autism” category of my blog.  It came up three times:

I quoted from the book “Engaging Autism” by Stanley Greenspan:  “Schools tend to be very structured and to put a high priority on compliance and limit setting, rather than on engaging, interacting, problem-solving, and thinking creatively and logically.”

Then, from “Sports for Children with Autism,” which I wrote last summer:

“I never would have thought hockey would be a great sport for kids with autism because of the need to skate and handle a stick simultaneously, but it turns out that it can be great, and it just goes to show that we shouldn’t put limitations on anyone.”

And finally, this:  “A lot of people are familiar with the amazing story of Jason McElwain, an autistic teenager who scored 6 three-point baskets in a game for his high school team a few years ago. This type of success doesn’t happen a lot, but it would never happen if too many limitations are put on children who have autism and other disabilities who want to play sports.”

Brett Favre – Greatest Player in the History of the World?

December 15, 2008

Note – I originally wrote this in July so it’s a little outdated, but I stand by it.  I’m glad Favre is doing well now though so I won’t get accused of posting this after Favre played badly.  Because, trust me, he will play badly at times later this season, most likely in the playoffs.  Actually, the Jets at 9-5 already have doubled their win total from last year, but they made a bunch of great offseason acquisitions – offensive linemen Alan Faneca and Damien Woody, fullback Tony Richardson, and defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, who has been the best defensive player in the NFL, to name a few.  Meanwhile Green Bay has lost more games than they lost all of last year, but I still think they made the right decision by starting Aaron Rogers.  I have to admit, I am a little surprised and impressed by what Favre has done this year, and if he leads the Jets to the Super Bowl, maybe I’ll change my tune.  But I still think he’s one of the most overrated players of all-time.  Just a few weeks ago, he threw a ball away in the end zone.  The commentator said, “That was a smart play.  The old Brett Favre would’ve tried to force it.”  By “old Brett Favre,” do you mean the one from the previous 17 seasons?  Now, they have him “managing the game.”


This Brett Favre thing is getting pretty old.  Every year he says he’s going to retire only to come back.  For someone considered such a tough guy, he sure acts like a diva.  Actually he is tough – he never misses a game.   But he has to be one of the most overrated players ever.  He’s had a great career, but it gets a little tiring to hear the John Maddens, Tony Kornheisers, and other members of the media constantly fawn over him.  Actually, if any other quarterback did the things Favre regularly does – throw off his back foot, throw into triple coverage – basically make a lot of dumb plays – He would be considered much less of a player. 


Favre has won slightly more playoff games than he’s lost (12-10) but he’s choked big time in several playoff games.  He threw 6 interceptions in a loss to the Rams in 2002.  The next year, Favre’s Green Bay Packers lost at home to Michael Vick’s Atlanta Falcons after being undefeated at home.  I don’t think Favre belongs in the same sentence as all-time greats Joe Montana and John Elway, and I’ll only put him on the same level as Dan Marino because Favre won a Super Bowl and Marino didn’t.  But I still think Marino was better.  I strongly believe that Steve Young was better than Favre, and it wasn’t even a contest.  Young did everything Favre did but was a much better scrambler and decision maker. 


Also, the idea that Favre never had great receivers is ridiculous.  Just because he didn’t have a Hall of Famer who played 10 years doesn’t mean he didn’t have a lot of talent.  Sterling Sharpe was one of the best of his era, and Antonio Freeman was very good too.  So were Robert Brooks, Andre Rison, Javon Walker, Donald Driver, and Greg Jennings.  Plus he had two great tight ends, Bubba Franks and Mark Chmura.  Finally, Favre had a great head coach in Mike Holmgren, and more offensive coaches who went on to become head coaches in the league than just about anyone else, including Steve Mariucci, Andy Reid, and John Gruden. 


By the way, when quarterbacks such as Favre, Manning and Brady, as well as receivers such as Randy Moss and Terrell Owens put up numbers that are out of this world, let’s remember that passing statistics have exploded in recent years.   I originally published the table below at last January in my article advocating Art Monk to get into the NFL Hall of Fame.  Even football fans often don’t realize that not only was there a huge increase in passing stats during the second 14 years of the Super Bowl era, but that there was an even greater increase in these numbers during the past 14 years. 






Number of individual 4,000 – yard passing seasons




Number of individual 100 – catch seasons




Number of 1500 – yard receiving seasons





Favre will be in the Hall of Fame.  You can’t argue with his numbers.  Most TDs, most yards, most consecutive games, 7-1 record in overtime games, etc.  But he also holds the NFL record for the most interceptions at 305.  And counting.