Another Dynamite Day For Driver

Late in the third quarter of Sunday's game, receiver Donald Driver took off down the left sideline, fought off an interfering cornerback, Demarcus Faggins, with his right arm, and came down with Aaron Rodgers' rainbow throw with nothing but his left for a 37-yard gain.

It was a near-carbon copy of his spectacular one-handed grab in St. Louis three weeks ago, when he hauled in a 46-yard pass by corralling the ball between his left arm, shoulder pad and helmet, while the flag was thrown for defensive pass interference.

"It was crazy because James Jones made a statement that the St. Louis catch was luck," Driver said of his teammate and fellow receiver. "But when I caught this one today he said, 'I don't know, maybe it's just one of those things -- you can catch with one hand.'"

Continuing to catch passes any way possible, Driver finished Sunday's game as the Green Bay Packers' all-time leader in receptions. Coming into the contest tied with Sterling Sharpe for the top spot on the franchise list with 595 catches, Driver broke the record early.

On the second play of the Packers' second possession in the first quarter, he caught a quick hitch from Rodgers at the line of scrimmage and gained five yards to pick up a first down. From there he went on to have a dynamite day in the Packers' 26-0 victory over Detroit, catching seven passes for 107 yards, including a 27-yard grab on a flea-flicker and the remarkable falling-down one-hander in the second half.

"It feels good," Driver said of getting the team record. "I'm happy. It's a long time coming. You never expect it to happen. But it couldn't have come at a better place, at home in front of your home crowd. It feels good."

Driver now has 602 career receptions for 8,384 yards, trailing only James Lofton (9,656) in franchise annals in the latter category. On Sunday, he also notched his 21st career 100-yard game and first this season - after coming close with 99 yards vs. Cincinnati in Week 2 and 95 at St. Louis in Week 3 - to break a tie with Antonio Freeman for fourth in team history. He trails only Lofton (32), Sharpe (29) and Don Hutson (24) in that department.

For good measure, Driver also went over 4,000 career receiving yards at Lambeau Field, increasing his stadium record to 4,068. He also holds the stadium mark for receptions with 290 and has now caught a pass in a team-record 116 straight games (121 including playoffs).

"What a significant thing for him," linebacker Aaron Kampman said of this latest team record. "Just so happy for him to do it at home. I can't say enough about the professional that he is, the friend he is, the teammate he is. Very, very happy for him."

The career totals and franchise marks are impressive for a player drafted in the seventh round in 1999 out of Alcorn State who was the proverbial longshot to even make the team as a rookie.

Combine that with the fact that - unlike receivers Lofton, Sharpe and Freeman - Driver had minimal impact in his first few seasons, and the heights he has reached seem all the more unlikely. Driver caught a cumulative 37 passes for 520 yards in his first three pro seasons, but recorded at least 70 catches and 1,000 yards in six of his last seven seasons coming into 2009.

"There's some great guys that played here before me, and to be mentioned in the same breath as those guys, it's an honor," Driver said. "I told (former team president) Bob Harlan a long time ago, and (former GM) Ron Wolf, if I never make it to Canton, Ohio, as long as I'm in the Packers Hall of Fame, that's all that matters to me. I'm excited about it."

{sportsad300}With a team-best 25 catches and 395 yards so far this season through five games, he's on pace for another "typical" Driver year. In the locker room after the game, Driver was presented with the game ball and thanked his teammates for helping him accomplish what he has.

"Once I got the record, when I got to the sideline there were so many guys hugging and saying, 'Congratulations, you deserve it,'" Driver said. "That's when you can't do nothing but smile."

When informed he had reached 600 career receptions as well on Sunday, Driver cracked another smile.

"Is that what I've got? Oh, that is good," he said. "If I can get to 1,000, that would be great, wouldn't it?"

Yes it would, and Driver has said many times that he'd like to play until he's 40 years old. At 34 and seemingly as good as ever, it's hard to bet against him.

"I've got a long way to go," he said. "I'll take the 600 right now."

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