|Favre-to-Driver gives Packers a 10-6 halftime lead over Giants|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 20 January 2008 15:25|
Favre, looking to return to the Super Bowl for the first time in 10 years, hadn't done much until he found Driver down the right sideline. The completion came one play after Koren Robinson failed to cleanly catch a kickoff and needed Tramon Williams to cover up the loose ball at the Green Bay 10.
On the scoring play, Favre made a quick fake on both a short pass and a draw before spotting Driver open behind Giants cornerback Corey Webster, who missed jamming Driver.
From there, it was a foot race as Driver outran Webster and New York safeties James Butler and Gibril Wilson for a 90-yard effort, the longest passing play in Green Bay playoff history and Driver's first TD catch since Week 3.
That seemed to spark the Packers' defense on the next possession. Safety Atari Bigby began hitting hard, sending a shoulder into Plaxico Burress, who held on despite flipping hard to the ground.
New York was forced to punt after three straight incompletions by Eli Manning, and the Giants went nowhere on their next drive, either, punting deep from their own territory after a costly holding call on left tackle David Diehl.
Meanwhile, Favre again found Driver, who flashed a big smile after a 20-yard catch over the middle put Green Bay on the Giants 21. That drive stalled, though, and rookie Mason Crosby made a 36-yard field goal with 1:30 left to give the Packers a 10-6 lead.
With the gametime temperature at 1 below zero with a wind chill of 23-below and dropping, the Giants could have had a big lead early after going 14 plays and 71 yards on their first possession, taking over half the first quarter. But they only managed a 29-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes.
Tynes added a 37-yard field goal early in the second quarter to give New York a 6-0 lead.
Brandon Jacobs also had his way with Packers cornerback Charles Woodson, running him over on the Giants' first offensive play and also leaving him behind without a helmet in the second quarter after Woodson failed to make an ankle tackle. Jacobs finished the half with 34 yards on nine carries.
Manning was sharp early, converting a third-and-10 on a slant route to Burress for 19 yards as the lanky wide receiver was the most potent weapon for the Giants in the first half, making seven catches for 105 yards.
But New York failed to convert both times it got close to the end zone, first when Manning threw two straight incompletions out of the shotgun from the Packers 11.
The Giants squandered their second opportunity for a touchdown after Burress found a seam and made a 21-yard catch to put it deep in Packers territory. Manning threw two more incompletions and the Giants settled for Tynes' second field goal setting up Favre's pass to Driver.
With the cold, heaters were used under the Lambeau Field tarp up until two hours before kickoff, but the harsh conditions seemed to affect both teams and most players sprinted to the locker rooms at halftime.
The winner goes to the Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. on Feb. 3, against the New England Patriots, who beat San Diego 21-12 earlier Sunday.