Packers and Eagles Square off in First Round: Notes and Key Matchups
Every Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers fan remembers where he or she was on January 11, 2004. The Packers were just one stop away from advancing to the NFC Championship game to take on the Carolina Panthers. All that was standing in their way was a 4th and 26 play. Green Bay’s “Cover 2” defense left the middle of the field wide open, and when Nick Barnett followed tight end Jeff Thomason instead of staying deep, Donovan McNabb found Freddie Mitchell on a post down the middle for 31 yards. David Akers would later kick a game-tying field goal on that drive as time expired and the Eagles went on to win the game in overtime.
The Packers were able to extract some revenge in their first trip back to Philadelphia since “4th and 26” with a 27-20 victory in Week 1 of this season, but the memories have far from faded in the minds of Packers fans. Sunday the Packers will travel back to Philadelphia in the first round of the NFL Playoffs in an attempt to fully erase that fateful play, but it will be no easy task.
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