Sacking the memories

The Packers' hopes of mounting a successful passing game Sunday hinge on whether the offensive line can block the league's single-season sack champion.

Ah, yes, Michael Strahan. With Strahan and the New York Giants coming to town for Sunday's Week 4 game, thoughts inevitably have turned back to just how Strahan recorded the record sack.

The Packers' offensive linemen haven't forgotten the episode, but in case you have: With the Packers running out the clock during their Jan. 6, 2002, victory at Giants Stadium, Favre called a running play to the left in the huddle but wound up running a bootleg to his right. Favre bootlegged right into an unblocked Strahan — apparently only Favre knew he had changed the play — and fell to the ground at the defensive end's feet. Strahan touched down Favre for sack No. 22.5 on the season, breaking Mark Gastineau's 1984 mark of 22.

Needless to say, quite a furor erupted over the legitimacy — or lack thereof — of the record. Strahan said the controversy took away the joy of setting the record. The Packers' linemen, particularly right tackle Earl Dotson, were not thrilled that Strahan set the record against them since they had shut him out the entire game. As for Favre, the episode is a rare black eye on an exemplary career.

"I'm sure Michael was confronted with it much more than I was," Favre said. "One play doesn't define a player, doesn't define a team and what Michael Strahan did that year, as well as other years says that. He is an outstanding player."

"I know Earl and the offensive line as a group wanted to keep that from happening. But it happened. It's over with. It's a new year," Packers tackle Mark Tauscher said.


Packers center Mike Flanagan, battling tendinitis in his left knee, sat out for the second straight day. Flanagan, listed as questionable on the injury report, is expected to practice Friday, however.

Also listed as questionable and hoping to practice Friday is running back Najeh Davenport, who hasn't played since aggravating a strained hamstring while returning a kickoff in the season opener at Carolina.

Starters Javon Walker (knee), Marco Rivera (groin) and Bubba Franks (knee) practiced Thursday after watching Wednesday's workout.


Favre was up for FedEx Air NFL Player of the Week honors after lighting up Indianapolis last week, but his Colts counterpart, Peyton Manning, got the nod from voters. Manning's 393 yards and five touchdowns trumped Favre's 360 yards and four scores.


Na'il Diggs was slapped with a $7,500 fine for a hit on Manning that cost the team a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty.

Diggs "earned" the fine for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Manning during the first quarter of last week's game in Indianapolis. Diggs blitzed on the play and leaped at the quarterback to either bat the ball down or nail the quarterback. According to the league, Diggs' helmet struck Manning's.

"I just don't understand how you're supposed to tackle people," a frustrated Diggs said, adding later, "Next time I'm just going to go after their knees. If they start blowing out ACLs, I'll just tell them, ‘Hey, that's what the league wants.'"


Packers coach Mike Sherman has never suffered a three-game losing streak, at least in the same season. The Packers, losers of their last two, hope to keep Sherman's streak streak alive.

The only time the Packers lost three straight spanned the 2002 and 2003 seasons. A beat-up Green Bay team lost the regular-season finale at the New York Jets, dropped a home playoff game to Atlanta, and then lost the 2003 regular-season opener against the Vikings.

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