Packers to Retire Favre’s Jersey Against Bears on Thanksgiving
Thursday night's match-up between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears is going to be special.
And not just because it's the oldest rivalry in the NFL. The Packers can tie the series win total with a win. Chicago leads the series, 93-92-6.
But on Thanksgiving Night, it will be about more than football. The Packers will honor Brett Favre and retire his number at Lambeau Field. Hopefully Bart Starr will be there, too. It's going to priceless having Starr, Favre and Rodgers at Lambeau all in one night. The time's finally came for Favre. Packers fans have forgiven No. 4 for playing for their rival, Minnesota, for two years. Back in July when Green Bay honored Favre, Packers' fans gave Favre a five-minute standing ovation at Lambeau. Thursday night will be the same, I'm sure. It will be bone chilling. There will be a lot of Favre chants. There will be smiles and tears. It's going to be cool. I know I'll be watching from home in my white Packers jersey with No. 4 and Favre stitched on the front and back. Gosh, I wish I was Lambeau to see Favre, Starr and Rodgers all together.
For me, I have a lot of memories of Favre. He was always like a kid running around on the football field. I was always on the edge of my seat when watching No. 4 in green and gold. He made a lot of spectacular throws and then throws that made you wonder when he why threw that. I loved watching him throw the football. Favre guided the Packers to a Super Bowl win in 1997 on my sixth birthday. Best birthday ever. He tossed six touchdowns on Monday Night Football the day after his dad passed away. Favre threw the game-winning touchdown to Antonio Freeman, who somehow turned a bobbling catch on the ground against the Vikings into a touchdown on Monday Night Football. He hit Greg Jennings on the first play of overtime in 2007 on Monday Night Football to defeat Denver. Favre set a lot of records, too. There's too many memories to tell. Th4nks for the memories, Brett. Th4nks for coming home to Green Bay on Thanksgiving night.
As for the game Thursday night, the Packers and Bears meet for the second time this season. Green Bay defeated Chicago on the road in Week 1. Both teams are different. The Packers (7-3) are coming off a 30-13 road win at division-rival Minnesota, while Chicago (4-6) lost to Denver last week at home. But the Bears are playing a lot better. With all their injuries, Jay Cutler has had different weapons to work with. Some games it's been Alshon Jeffery or Marquess Wilson or Martellus Bennett. Jeremy Langford has stepped in for Matt Forte, who's been injured. Forte is questionable. He had over 100 yards in Week 1 against the Packers.
Green Bay played a complete game last week against the Vikings. The offense, defense and special teams gave the Packers a complete team effort. Aaron Rodgers tossed two touchdowns despite a bum shoulder. Eddie Lacy got going and ran for 100 yards. James Jones had over 100 receiving yards and caught a touchdown. The defense had six sacks and Mason Crosby kicked five field goals. Can the Packers carry it over? Did they get their confidence back?
Rodgers is off the injury report this week. Last week, he was able to get out of the pocket and throw on the run. Rodgers found Jones and Randall Cobb for touchdowns. He got the deep ball going again. The Packers are tied the for lead in the NFL with the Steelers for most receptions of 25-plus yards with 27. Lacy and the run game sure helped Rodgers and passing game have success last week. That should be key again for the Packers going forward.
At kick-off, the temperature is supposed to be 36 degrees with rain forecasted. That means the run game could be counted on more. The Packers will need Lacy to keep it going and stop the Bears' run game. Last week, Green Bay held Adrian Peterson to 45 yards on the ground.
Packers: Jared Abberderis and Ty Montgomery are ruled out of Thursday's game. Micah Hyde, Corey Linsley, Mike Pennell and Damarious Randall are questionable. Davante Adams, David Bakhtiari, Bryan Bulaga, Morgan Burnett, Jayrone Elliot, Lacy, T.J. Lang, Clay Matthews, Aaron Ripkowski and Josh Sitton are probable.
Bears: Martellus Bennett, Eddie Royal and Ka'Deem Carey are listed out of Thursday's game. Forte, Jeffrey, Sherrod Martin, Pernell McPhee, LaRoy Reynolds and Antrel Rolle are questionable. Jarvis Jenkins and Marquess Wilson have injuries that have game decisions that aren't known.
The game can be seen on NBC and heard right here on ESPN 99.1.
Sam Tastad will have stories on the Packers all season with pre-and-post game previews. Follow him on Twitter @samtastad and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.