Raiders - Packers Gameday Primer

This is the 10th meeting between the Raiders and Packers. The Packers lead series 5-4 and have won the last four. The last Raiders win was Sept. 13, 1987, as the Los Angeles Raiders. In the previous meeting, Brett Favre passed for 399 yards and four TDs in a 41-7 win over Oakland on Monday night.

In the last game at Lambeau Field, Favre drove the Packers 82 yards in the final two minutes and hit Jeff Thomason with the game-winning touchdown pass with 11 seconds to play to beat the Raiders 28-24 in the debut of Rich Gannon as quarterback in the 1999 season opener.

KEYS TO THE GAME: Playing in inclement weather in Green Bay could be a culture shock for many of the young Raiders. The good news for Oakland is the emergence of RB Justin Fargas, who has three 100-yard games the past five weeks. They'll use the run to set up play-action, and look for rookie QB JaMarcus Russell to get in for a few series again.

Favre has every intention of playing, but don't be surprised if this is a game plan featuring an increased dose of RB Ryan Grant. The offensive line is starting to improve its run-blocking and in tough weather, this could be a good game to start preparing for playoff conditions.

The Raiders give up an average of 148.0 yards per game on the ground at 4.8 yards per carry, although they did limit Denver to 86 yards last week.

KEY INJURIES: Raiders: QB Daunte Culpepper (quadriceps) is uncertain. Packers: Favre (elbow/shoulder) will play; QB Aaron Rodgers (hamstring) is day-to-day; DT Johnny Jolly (shoulder) could land on Injured Reserve soon; CB Charles Woodson (toe) might be rested one more game; RT Mark Tauscher (ankle) and TE Bubba Franks (knee) are uncertain.

FAST FACTS: The Raiders have lost their past 10 road games in December. ... Packers WR Greg Jennings has 10 TD catches, making him the fist Packer to hit double digits since Javon Walker (12, 2004). The franchise record is 18 by Sterling Sharpe in 1994.


Nnamdi Asomugha, who has spent a lonely season paying for his breakout season a year ago, is looking forward to facing Brett Favre when the Raiders face the Green Bay Packers Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Favre, who is expected to make his 250th consecutive start despite left shoulder and right elbow injuries, isn't likely to shy away from challenging Asomugha. His history suggests he'll trust his receivers and take his chances.

It was that way the last time Favre faced the Raiders on Dec. 22, 2003, as he strafed Oakland for 399 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in a 41-7 Green Bay win.

The game was viewed by a national television audience on Monday Night Football and played the day after Favre's father died suddenly of a heart attack.

As much as the Raiders saluted Favre that night, they also were embarrassed on a national stage.

"This is what we've all been waiting for," Asomugha said. "It's definitely what I've waited for. The last time we played them everyone knows what happened. It was a tough game, hearing what people were saying about us. I was just a rookie and didn't play that much, but enough for him to get me a couple of times.

"I know he's going to throw all over the field. He's not going to be like everyone else we've played and choose one side."

Asomugha played three seasons and was in 49 games before getting his first interception in the third game a year ago. He got two against Cleveland that day and finished with eight, the top defender on a defense ranked No. 1 in the NFL in terms of fewest passing yards allowed.

With a newfound reputation as one of the NFL's top young corners, Asomugha has a single interception this season and has rarely been tested. He was warned of the possibility in the offseason by Charles Woodson, the former Raider who got the same treatment in Oakland and now plays for Green Bay.

Asomugha can void his contract following the season, and unless the Raiders manage to lock him up with a long-term deal, he could be slapped with the franchise designation as Woodson was in two consecutive seasons.

In an open market, only New England's Asante Samuel would be in the same price range among corners. If all goes well against Favre and the Packers, it will only enhance Asomugha's value.

"You do get up for those types of games, especially (Favre)," Asomugha said. "With the legendary type of players, you're definitely going to have some opportunities."


Brett Favre is ready to extend his starting streak to 270 games Sunday, when the 10-2 Packers host Oakland and try to wrap up the NFC North title with a win.

Though not out of the woods with a bruised throwing elbow and a separated non-throwing shoulder, Favre soldiered on for the entire practice Thursday.

Head coach Mike McCarthy said Favre took about 70 percent of his usual workload.

"I think Brett's going to be fine for Sunday," McCarthy said. "I'm not taking anything out or limiting anything ... that I would normally ask him to do."

Favre said Wednesday he was plagued with soreness in the elbow and didn't have all feeling back in his throwing hand, stemming from the game-ending shot he took to the elbow from the helmet of Dallas cornerback Nate Jones in the second quarter Nov. 29.

Favre, though, was well enough to make several throws in practice Thursday after he did little throwing in a limited practice Wednesday. He wore a protective sleeve on his right arm.

Having Favre take his customary spot under center Sunday has added importance because top backup Aaron Rodgers is out indefinitely with a strained hamstring. A scrambling Rodgers suffered the injury on the last play of a self-scout practice Tuesday.

A day after saying Rodgers could miss up to two weeks, McCarthy said Thursday that newly added Craig Nall would probably be Favre's backup this weekend.

The Packers had only two quarterbacks on the roster until re-signing Nall on Saturday. Nall was a fifth-round draft pick of Green Bay in 2002 and was with the team through 2005 before signing as a free agent with Buffalo last year.

Nall received a crash course on McCarthy's version of the West Coast offense when he ran the No. 1 offense in Favre's absence Wednesday.

"I think he's done a great job with the terminology," McCarthy said. "I've been impressed with the timing with his receivers. The language will be his biggest challenge."

Nall was cut by both Buffalo and Houston this season.

If Favre were to have a setback and need to come out Sunday, Nall has shown to be capable of directing the Packers offense. He played the final 2.5 quarters in relief of Favre in a meaningless 2004 regular-season-ending game for the division-champion Packers at Chicago and completed seven of 13 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown.

Meanwhile, McCarthy anticipates having defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila for the game Sunday and is waiting on possibly having cornerback Charles Woodson available. Both players were held out of last week's game as a precautionary reason for their respective ankle and toe injuries.

Gbaja-Biamila made it through the full practice Thursday without incident.

McCarthy said Woodson's condition is improving, though he hasn't gone through team drills to this point. He might be cleared to test the toe in practice Friday. Jarrett Bush is the fallback at Woodson's starting spot.

PREDICTION: Packers 30-17

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