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Off-season Game of the Week

Thanks to their "old man," the Green Bay Packers were able to pull out the third of their four one-point victories in 1989.<p>

Veteran cornerback Dave Brown made two interceptions in the final four minutes to preserve the Packers' 20-19 triumph over the Minnesota Vikings Nov. 26, 1989 before 55,592 at Milwaukee County Stadium.

The "picks" were the 58th and 59th of Brown's 15-year NFL career and helped the Packers pull even in the Central Division with the Vikings at 7-5.

"You've got to give that man all the credit to be out there at his age and still run with these young guys fresh out of college," Packer cornerback Mark Lee said of his 36-year old teammate after the game. "He's staying right with them."

Brown's effort made certain that a sparkling effort by Pro Bowl combination Don Majkowski and Sterling Sharpe did not go to waste.

Sharpe caught 10 of Majkowski's 26 completions for 157 yards and two touchdowns.

This was one of Majkowski's best performances in the green and gold. "Majik" survived injured ribs, four sacks and one interception to throw for 276 yards as the Packers avenged a 26-14 loss at Minnesota Oct. 15.

Majkowski began the game with 15 consecutive completions. He didn't throw his first incompletion until 1:47 remained in the first half despite playing with tightly taped ribs.

"He went out there Thursday and tried but he couldn't take the snap and hand it off," coach Lindy Infante said of his quarterback's painful rib injury. "He didn't take any snaps Friday or Saturday and then he comes out and plays a whale of a football game."

What made Majkowski's performance even more impressive was that he spent much of the game rolling out to avoid the hard-charging the Viking pass rush which included defensive end Chris Doleman, who would finish the season with 21 sacks.

Minnesota sacked Majkowski eight times in the team's first meeting in 1989.

"They wanted to get me so bad but I was rolling outside and getting first downs," Majkowski said. "It tired them out and discouraged them, too."

After the team's swapped field goals in the first quarter, Majkowski gave the Packers their first lead with a 34-yard TD pass to Sharpe.

Sharpe, who would finish the season with a Packer record 90 catches, got some help from rookie receiver Jeff Query on the play.

"It was a great call and I got a great – so to speak – pick from Jeff Query," Sharpe said in the days before he was boycotting the media. "He really made his guy and my guy run into each other so I was wide open."

The Vikings then scored 13 consecutive points to take a 16-10 lead in the third quarter.

Herschel Walker capped the Viking run with a 6-yard run.

The Packers pulled to within 16-13 early in the fourth quarter on a 42-yard field goal by Chris Jacke.

Green Bay took the lead for good when Majkowski hit Sharpe with a nine-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter.

Sharpe snared the pass in traffic at the four and then dragged Viking defensive back Joey Browner into the end zone.

"I was so close to the end zone I knew if I started running, someone would probably hit me and knock me in," Sharpe said. "Joey came into the game hurting real bad. I was going full speed and he wasn't."

The Vikings had three shots at victory in the final six minutes but could only manage three points.

Minnesota had a shot at the lead with 6:07 left but let Rich Karlis kick a 19-yard field goal instead of going for the TD on fourth-and-goal from the one.

The Packers stopped Walker three times before Karlis' three-pointer.

Brown squelched the last two Viking drives with his third and fourth interceptions of the season.

The first INT came after nose tackle Bob Nelson got a hand on a Wade Wilson pass. The second pick came with 1:31 left and touched off a wild celebration by Brown's defensive colleagues.

"I landed on the ground and was rolling over, making sure I had it – leaving no doubt the ground would cause a fumble or drop the ball – when someone came over and stepped on my foot," Brown said.

"Then I tried to get up and somebody jumped on me. Then a whole lot of people jumped on me and I kind of lost my breath because somebody jumped on my chest and I said, 'Please get off me!' Then there were a lot of people there, very excited.

"This is what we wanted to accomplish."

Editor's note: This is another in a series of memorable Packers games.


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