2004 Season In Review - 3rd Quarter

Taking a final look back at the 2004 season for the Green Bay Packers, Packers.com brings you the third installment in a four-part series recapping the Pack's run for their third straight NFC North Division title. Here's a game-by-game look at the third quarter of the 2004 season.

**Green Bay Packers 34, Minnesota Vikings 31

Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Packers.com Fan Poll Player of the Game: Brett Favre**

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Coming off of a much-needed bye week, the Packers opened the second half of the season riding a three-game winning streak and carrying with them a chance of jumping into first place in the NFC North with a win over their fierce rivals, the Minnesota Vikings.

This game figured to be an offensive shootout, and neither team disappointed with the two clubs combining for 858 yards of offense. The quarterbacks were the stars of the show, as Brett Favre and his counterpart Daunte Culpepper each threw four touchdown passes with no interceptions.

Favre completed 20 out of 29 throws for 236 yards on the day with each of his four scoring tosses finding different receivers. Javon Walker, Tony Fisher, Bubba Franks, and William Henderson all reached the end zone on the business end of passes from Favre, with Walker's score coming on a 50-yard heave down the right side of the field.

The quarterback spread the wealth not only on his touchdown passes but throughout the game, completing passes to nine different Packers. While Walker led the forces in pass-catching, Ahman Green was the focus of a ground attack that piled up 206 yards on the day, Green accounting for 145 of them on 21 carries.

With the offense posting big numbers, the game still came down to a pair of crucial plays by the special teams units. After the Vikings erased a 14-point deficit with a pair of touchdowns in a 93-second span late in the fourth quarter, special teams coordinator John Bonamego's forces sprung into action.

At the end of a 36-yard kickoff return, Robert Ferguson was stripped of the ball just shy of midfield, but largely unknown tight end Ben Steele was able to pounce on the loose ball amid a throng of Vikings and retain possession for the Green and Gold.

Four plays and 68 seconds later, Ryan Longwell lined up for a 33-yard field goal with three ticks left on the clock and booted the first of four last-second kicks he would make on the season through the uprights to push the Pack to 5-4 and first place in the division.

**Green Bay Packers 16, Houston Texans 13

Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Packers.com Fan Poll Player of the Game: Brett Favre**

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Week 11 saw the Packers head to Houston for their first-ever meeting with the Houston Texans, another prime time game, this one coming on Sunday Night Football. While it definitely wasn't the scoring festival put on in Green Bay the week before, there was plenty of excitement to be seen under the roof of Reliant Stadium.

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With an injury-depleted running game, the burden of the offense this night would fall to Brett Favre and his trio of wideouts, all three of them with strong ties to the Houston area. Favre was forced to throw 50 times against the Texans, and the line was able to keep him sack-free as he completed 33 of those passes for a season-high 383 yards with a touchdown. The passer did have two costly interceptions inside the Houston 20-yard line which kept the game closer than it probably should have been.

With Najeh Davenport sidelined with a hamstring injury, Walter Williams was signed from the practice squad to provide cover for Ahman Green, and he would be needed early as Green was forced out of the game with a rib injury on the game's first play from scrimmage. Williams carried the ball six times for 42 yards in his NFL debut before suffering an ankle injury of his own in the second quarter that would land him on injured reserve.

Favre and his receivers shouldered the load for much of the night. Playing in front of a large contingent of family and friends, Donald Driver led the way with 10 catches for 148 yards. His acrobatic grab of a 50-yard Favre bomb and fourth quarter 24-yard touchdown reception were the highlights of the night. Javon Walker chipped in, catching nine balls for 88 yards, and Robert Ferguson, another Houston native, made some key catches late in the game amongst his four receptions for 44 yards.

For the second week in a row, though, the Packers' fate came down to the right foot of Ryan Longwell. After leveling a 13-3 fourth quarter deficit, Favre drove Green Bay into range to set up for a potential game-winning kick from 46 yards out with :04 remaining. After holder Bryan Barker did a fantastic job of fielding a low snap and getting the ball in place, Longwell unleashed a line drive kick that snuck just inside the right upright to give the Packers a 16-13 win and send them back to Green Bay riding a five-game winning streak.

**Green Bay Packers 45, St. Louis Rams 17

Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI

Monday, November 29, 2004

Packers.com Fan Poll Player of the Game: Brett Favre**

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The Packers closed out a highly successful November with their second straight primetime contest as they hosted the St. Louis Rams in their third and final appearance on Monday Night Football for the season. After two weeks of last-second heroics, this one would be decided much earlier.

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Less than three minutes into the game, an opportunistic Green Bay defense struck with Joey Thomas forcing a fumble by St. Louis receiver Isaac Bruce. Fellow rookie Ahmad Carroll scooped up the ball and motored 40 yards to the end zone for the front half of the pair of bookend scores by the secondary. Carroll would add his first career interception later in the game before Michael Hawthorne ended the evening by returning a second Bruce fumble 34 yards for the final score of the night.

In between the two scores by the defense, the home team's offense had its way with the Rams defense. Najeh Davenport, filling in as Ahman Green rested his injured ribs, powered his way to a career-high 178 yards on 19 carries including a 40-yard run through a battered group of St. Louis defenders late in the fourth quarter.

With Davenport blasting through the defense on the ground, Brett Favre picked them apart through the air. The quarterback threw for 215 yards and three touchdowns in his 200th consecutive regular season start. Donald Driver led the receiving corps with six catches for 85 yards and a touchdown and was joined in the scoring parade by Bubba Franks and Javon Walker.

The game ran the Packers' winning streak to six games and the 45 points scored were the most in a single game for a Green Bay team since they hung 49 on the Arizona Cardinals in 1999's season finale. The win closed out a run that saw the Pack go from three games under .500 at 1-4 to three over at 7-4 and kept them level with Minnesota atop the NFC North.

**Philadelphia Eagles 47, Green Bay Packers 17

Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA

Sunday, December 5, 2004

Packers.com Fan Poll Player of the Game: Craig Nall**

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The winning streak had to end somewhere, and the eventual NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles put a stop to the Packers' six-game run with an overwhelming performance in all phases of the game.

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Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb fired darts all over Lincoln Financial Field and the Packers had no answers for him as he threw for 464 yards on the day and five first half touchdowns as the home team jumped out to a 35-0 lead before Ryan Longwell got the Packers on the scoreboard with a 40-yard field goal just before halftime.

The Green Bay rushing attack was neutralized by playing from behind all day and Brett Favre saw his consecutive games with a passing touchdown streak snapped at 36 games, second longest in NFL history. Favre completed 14 of 29 passes for just 131 yards and threw two interceptions before leaving the game after three quarters with the outcome long-since sealed.

Craig Nall came on to face the Eagles' relentless pass-rush and played the fourth quarter in Favre's place. The third-year quarterback threw for two touchdowns to narrow the final margin to 30 points and proved himself as a capable backup quarterback in his most extensive playing time to date. Nall hit William Henderson for a one-yard score and closed the game with a 17-yard pass to Javon Walker. Walker led the Green Bay offense with seven catches for 72 yards on the day.

The third quarter of the 2004 campaign was in the books, and thanks to a Minnesota loss at Chicago earlier in the day, the Packers' 7-5 record was still good enough to leave them in a first-place tie with just the final fourth of the season to go.

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