Once every 60 years

The Green Bay Packers released their final set of weekly notes to the media today. The season-ending release is packed with statistics on the team and players. One of the more interesting notes includes the odds of the Philadelphia Eagles converting a first down late in their playoff game against the Packers that eventually led to overtime and a 20-17 victory in the NFC Divisional playoffs.<p>

With 2:30 left in the game and a 17-14 lead, the Packers faced a fourth-and-1 at the Eagles' 41-yard line. The Packers tried unsuccessfully to draw the Eagles offside, took a delay of game, and punted, leaving the game in his defense's hands.

While some questioned Mike Sherman's call right away, it didn't backfire until on the ensuing drive when the Eagles converted an unbelievable fourth-and-26, with 1:12 left.

What were the chances that Sherman's decision was not the "correct" call? David Dolan, an assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, using available NFL data estimates the odds of converting that play at that time were 1 in 339, according to the Packers press release. Dolan and his colleagues estimate a play like that would occur once every 60 years.

Injury report: Five players are scheduled to undergo off-season surgery, including nose tackle Gilbert Brown (knee and possibly shoulder), fellow nose tackle Grady Jackson (knee), end Chukie Nwokorie (wrist), nose tackle Rod Walker (knee) and offensive lineman Marcus Spriggs (shoulder). Guard Marco Rivera also is likely to have minor surgery on his left knee, but it will be delayed until after Rivera makes his second consecutive appearance in the Pro Bowl (at Honolulu's Aloha Stadium Feb. 8).

The Packers coach also disclosed that 10 players failed their exit physicals, including end Earl Cochran (shoulder), safety Antuan Edwards (hamstring), safety Bobby Jackson (knee), cornerback Chris Johnson (knee), end Joe Johnson (triceps), wide receivers Devin Lewis (knee) and Scottie Vines (knee), nose tackle Rod Walker (knee), cornerback Bryant Westbrook (Achilles), and linebacker Marcus Wilkins (calf). Additionally, Sherman revealed that wide receiver Javon Walker, informed that he needs both knee and shoulder surgery, would seek a second opinion before making a decision.

Perfect attendance: Eleven Packers – seven on offense and four on defense – started all 16 regular-season games.

On offense – center Mike Flanagan, guards Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera and tackles Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher, quarterback Brett Favre and running back Ahman Green; on defense – end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, tackle Cletidus Hunt, linebacker Na'il Diggs and cornerback Al Harris.

Playoff leftovers: The Packers lost a game in which they did not fumble. The team had won eight straight games (all eight in 2003) in games without a fumble.

Green Bay in a road game held a lead entering the fourth quarter. The Packers were 15-2 in such games under Mike Sherman (2000-03), and 42-9 with Brett Favre under center (1992-2003). The Packers held the lead at halftime. In all five road wins during the season, they led at halftime.

Green Bay posted eight sacks, a franchise postseason record. The previous mark was six, set in Super Bowl I, Jan. 15, 1967, when the Packers sacked the Chiefs' Len Dawson four times and Pete Beathard twice. The eight sacks were the most by any NFL playoff team since Minnesota sacked Washington eight times in 1987. The league's postseason record is nine (four times). High octane offense: For those who may question offensive coordinator Tom Rossley and his play-calling, consider these 2003 facts compiled by the Packers:

Green Bay had one of the best overall offenses in NFL history. In fact, no other team in league annals has:

Rushed for at least 2,500 yards,

Passed for at least 3,300 yards,

Completed at least 65 percent of passes,

Rushed for at least 18 touchdowns and passed for at least 32 touchdowns

Only two NFL teams over the last 20 seasons have combined at least 2,558 yards rushing with at least 3,377 yards passing: the 2001 Pittsburgh Steelers and the 1988 Cincinnati Bengals.


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