Who knew the Jacksonville Jaguars were a cold-weather team? Byron Leftwich threw two touchdown passes, Fred Taylor rushed for 165 yards and a touchdown and Rashean Mathis intercepted...
GREEN BAY, Wis. Who knew the Jacksonville Jaguars were a cold-weather team?
Byron Leftwich threw two touchdown passes, Fred Taylor rushed for 165 yards and a touchdown and Rashean Mathis intercepted Brett Favre’s passes twice, helping the Jaguars stay in the thick of the AFC playoff race with a 28-25 victory over the Green Bay Packers yesterday.
Temperatures were in the single digits, with a wind chill below zero.
“A team that plays in Florida in the 80s and 70s, you just can’t condition your body for the temperatures you are going to feel,” Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. “But you can condition your mind, and I felt we were ready from that standpoint.”
Said Packers coach Mike Sherman: “They have the talent to play in any conditions.”
For once, it was the Packers who played as if they couldn’t wait to get inside.
Favre turned the ball over four times and fell to 31-4 at home after Dec. 1, losing for just the second time in 40 cold-weather games at home.
Nevertheless, the Packers (8-6) became the ninth team in NFL history to reach the playoffs after a 1-4 start. They clinched before kickoff because the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers and New York Giants all lost.
“We’re in the playoffs?” Packers lineman Mark Tauscher asked incredulously. “I’ll take your word for it.”
The Packers fell into a tie with Minnesota atop the NFC North after the Vikings edged Detroit 28-27 yesterday. The Packers travel to Minneapolis for a Christmas Eve matinee that will decide the division.
“Our goal is to win the division, and that is still out there,” Sherman said.
Favre hit Antonio Chatman with a 6-yard touchdown throw and found Donald Driver for the two-point conversion to pull Green Bay to 28-25 with 1:08 left. But Jacksonville safety Nick Sorensen recovered the onside kick, and the Jaguars handed the Packers their fourth loss at Lambeau Field this season.
It was typical Green Bay winter weather: 12 degrees at kickoff with a wind chill of minus-3. As Leftwich said, “This was beyond cold.”
But it was the Packers who looked out of their element.
Green Bay committed 12 penalties for 101 yards, Ryan Longwell’s streak of 45 straight field goals inside 40 yards ended and the Packers turned the ball over four times inside the Jacksonville 23.
“They beat us in supposedly our elements,” Tauscher said. “The AFC is just a better conference this year.”
|From 1-4 to playoffs|
|Green Bay became the ninth NFL team to make the playoffs after a 1-4 start. Each of the previous eight clubs won its division.|
|2002||Jets||9-7||Lost divisional playoffs|
|2002||Titans||11-5||Lost AFC championship|
|1993||Oilers||12-4||Lost divisional playoffs|
|1992||Chargers||11-5||Lost divisional playoffs|
|1983||Lions||9-7||Lost divisional playoffs|
|1976||Steelers||10-4||Lost AFC championship|
|1975||Colts||10-4||Lost divisional playoffs|
|1970||Bengals||8-6||Lost divisional playoffs|