Play and Drive of the Game

The predicted track meet was well under way. The Packers couldn't stop the Rams. The Rams couldn't stop the Packers. Something had to give before a Benglas-Browns game broke out.

What gave was Mike Martz. As in Martz gave into his love for the unorthodox.

The Rams trailed 21-10 early in the third quarter as they lined up for a 41-yard field goal that would have turned the contest into a one-score game. Instead of taking a relatively sure thing with accurate kicker Jeff Wilkins, Martz called for a fake field goal.

Holder Dane Looker, a wide receiver, ran sort of a quarterback-option play, with the kicker playing the role of the running back. The Packers looked like they were in the Rams' huddle, with cornerback Al Harris and safety Mark Roman pouncing on Wilkins almost immediately after he took the pitch from Looker.

If Martz was looking for a touchdown instead of three points, he would have been wiser to keep his star-studded offense on the field on the fourth-and-7 play. The Rams had piled up 225 first-half yards, marched the length of the field to start the third quarter only to have the drive end with an interception, and then marched down the field again on the drive that ended with Martz' ill-fated call.

The Packers, as all good teams do, made the Rams pay dearly. On the first play, running back Najeh Davenport slashed off right tackle for 37 yards to the Rams' 34. After a short Davenport run, Brett Favre threw a slant pattern behind Donald Driver, only to have Driver make a remarkable one-handed catch for a 16-yard gain.

On first-and-10 from the 16, Favre found Driver on a corner route for a touchdown. On the pass, it looked like Rams standout safety Aeneas Williams was anticipating a vintage Favre laser as he sprinted in front of Driver in anticipation of making a play on the ball. Instead, Favre outfoxed the veteran by lobbing the ball over Williams' head to Driver, who made a leaping grab for the touchdown.

The score put the Packers back up by 18 at 28-10, and they were barely challenged the rest of the way.


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