Fantastic Football

Packers comeback season begins

Claire Schoenemann

More stories from Claire Schoenemann


Photo by Marisa Valdez

If there is one sound that will bring a Wisconsin household to the living room on a crisp, early-winter evening, it is the sound of NFL on Fox signaling the start of yet another Sunday football game. 

For the first time this fall, I was back at my roots, rural south-central Wisconsin, for the start of a Packer football game. 

Just in time for the last few nail-biting minutes of the Bills vs. Vikings game, my dad brought in a Sunday afternoon feast fresh off the grill. 

This meant enjoying the 3:30 p.m. Packer kickoff over a fresh-off-the-grill pork chop and homemade potatoes. 

On Sunday, Nov. 13, the Packers came up against the NFC East Dallas Cowboys. 

Coming into the game, the Cowboys held a 6-2 season record up against the Packers’ long-standing losing streak and season record of 3-6. 

The record wasn’t the only thing with high stakes on Sunday’s game, though. Former Packer head coach Mike McCarthy came head-to-head with current Packer coach Matt LeFleur in Lambeau Field. 

McCarthy is now the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. To say that he was on the rollercoaster of Wisconsin football on Sunday would be somewhat of an understatement. 

When I left the game day feast on Sunday afternoon to head back to Eau Claire, the Packers and the Cowboys were still tied 0-0 at the end of the first quarter. Relative to the rest of the game, it was uneventful. 

A short while into the road trip back to school, I received an enthusiastic text from my mom exclaiming that despite Green Bay’s five-game losing streak, they were headed into halftime clutching onto a 14-14 tie against the Cowboys. 

Prior to this heart-racing text message, there was lots of action on the football field that I had missed. The Cowboys were the first on the scoreboard. With 9:52 left in the second quarter, CeeDee Lamb managed a touchdown with a three-yard touchdown catch. 

What happened next kickstarted the Packer comeback game against the Cowboys. After a strip-sack on Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay could have easily been down 14-0 heading into halftime. 

Instead, Packer defensive back Rudy Ford intercepted a pass by Cowboy quarterback Dan Prescott that was headed for the end zone. 

After getting a hold of the pass, Ford returned it 34 yards to the Packers’ 33. This interception was only the second of Ford’s career. 

With 4:54 left in the first half, Green Bay was on third-and-one when rookie wide receiver Christian Watson got the Packers on the scoreboard. 

Watson caught a 58-yard touchdown pass for the Packers. Not only was this his first receiving touchdown, but was also the Packers’ longest completion so far this season. 

Ford managed another interception on third-and-one, returning the ball 34 yards to the Cowboys’ 24. The Packers seized the opportunity, and running back Aaron Jones scored on a 12-yard touchdown run. 

Just before halftime, the Cowboys answered the 7-14 upset with a five-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dalton Schultz to tie the game 14-14. 

In the third quarter, the game was up in the air for the Packers. The Cowboys scored two more times in the third quarter, and the game was in the favor of the Cowboys, 28-14. 

In the fourth quarter, a few miraculous things happened. 

With 13:23 remaining in the fourth quarter, a 39-yard touchdown pass to Watson put the Packers back in the game, nearing a win at 21-28. 

The Cowboys’ offense pushed to a third-and-nine, pressuring Prescott into an incomplete pass and giving the Packers another offensive opportunity. 

On a seven-yard running route and with 2:29 remaining in the fourth quarter, Watson completed his third touchdown of the game. The Packers and the Cowboys were tied 28-28 going into overtime. 

Coming off of a five-game losing streak, overtime was an excitement for Wisconsinites, to say the least. 

After a facemask penalty on a five-yard run by Jones’, a first-and-goal was set up at the Dallas seven-yard line. At the Dallas ten, Rodgers kneeled the ball down. Mason Crosby hit a game-winning field goal from 28-yards. 

This secured the win for the Packers, 31-28. 

The Packers will face the Titans during Thursday night football on Nov. 17 at 7:15 p.m. 

Schoenemann can be reached at [email protected]