Thursday, December 21, 2006

Packers vs ViQueens: Lots of Happenings

Tonight, that small percentage of the U.S. population who actually has access to the NFL Network or lives in either of the two teams' designated home markets will watch the Packers play the ViQueens at Lambeau Field. With both teams at 6-8, it is a game both teams need to stay in second place in the NFC North division and keep slim playoff hopes alive. Looking back over the last few years' history, the game favors the road team, believe it or not. The Packers have beaten the 'Queens three out of the four last games at the Hump Dome, while the 'Queens have returned the favor at Lambeau winning the last three out of four there.

That aside, there will be a number of other things to watch or at least be aware of during this game:

  • Packers CEO Bob Harlan will be overseeing his last game at Lambeau. He will retire in May after 36 -- count 'em -- 36 years with the team. There will be a video tribute to Harlan during the game. There really couldn't be enough tributes to Harlan for all that he has done for the Packers.

  • QB Brett Favre might be making his last home start tonight. (Gulp!) Yes, it's possible. In his regular press conference earlier this week, Brett said he really didn't know. Some of the language he used made it sound as if he was talking about his career in the past tense. But he's done that before. He also said some good things about what he sees ahead for this young team. My bet is: he'll be back.

  • Right tackle Mark Tauscher will be returning to the lineup. Last week it was a maybe. Tonight, a definitely. How long he will be able to play after coming off the groin injury remains a guess. Hopefully, he can at least give a boost to the running game against a very stout 'Queens run defense.

  • The ViQueens will be starting rookie quarterback Tarvaris Jackson in place of old-timer Brad Johnson tonight. Nobody knows much about him other than he has a good arm and is quick. Shades of Michael Vick begin to haunt one's mind. On the other hand, he is a rookie. And our defense played very well last week. Another good performance from the Packers' D, and even an average performance of the offense should secure a tight win for the Pack.

The Packers are favored by 3 points going into this game. There have been more close games than blow outs recently in this series, which is tied at 45-45-1...can't get much closer than that. But let's give the Pack the edge by 6 points.

Go Pack Go!