LeRoy Butler intercepted two passes and returned one of them 90 yards for a touchdown as the Green Bay Packers crushed the San Diego Chargers 42-10. The win improved the Packers record to 3-0 on the season and they had outscored their opponents 115-36.
Brett Favre threw for 231 yards and three touchdowns while wide receiver Robert Brooks caught eight passes for 108 yards to lead the offense.
The Packers’ defense was dominant. Reggie White had a pair of sacks for the Packers defense which held the Chargers to just 141 total yards for the game and 11 first downs. They sacked quarterback Stan Humphries five times in the game and got consistent pressure on the quarterback without having to blitz anybody.
“The most important thing for us was first down,” defensive tackle Santana Dotson said. “They wanted to come out and run the ball. It was real critical to put them in second-and-long and third-and-long situations.”
“I felt sorry for Stan [Humphries],” Favre added. “It wasn’t his fault. Our guys were just bringing it.”
The Chargers entered the game with a 2-0 record and had a potent offense, but they were no match for the Packers.
Chargers head coach Bobby Ross was blunt about his team’s performance. “We just got a good old-fashioned butt-kicking out there in every phase,” Ross told reporters after the game. “It started early and never stopped.”
The Packers set the tone early when Sean Jones sacked Humphries to force a three-and-out on the first offensive possession of the game. The Packers responded with a seven-play, 55-yard drive that culminated with a 10-yard touchdown run off the left side by Edgar Bennett.
San Diego kicked a field goal to make it 7-3 late in the first quarter, but that was as close as they would get. Favre threw second quarter touchdown passes to Antonio Freeman (10 yards) and fullback William Henderson (eight yards) to give Green Bay a 21-3 halftime advantage.
Favre found Keith Jackson in the third quarter for a seven-yard scoring pass to extend the lead to 28-3. The Chargers answered with their only touchdown of the game, a nine-yard pass from Humphries to Tony Martin.
In the fourth quarter, the Packers put the game away with big plays. With the score 28-10 and the Chargers driving, Butler stepped in front of a pass and ran it back 90 yards for a touchdown. Unfortunately, Butler had trouble doing the Lambeau Leap. He only made it halfway up the wall in the end zone when trying to do the move he had invented just three years earlier.
“If you don’t make it up into the stands, you’re going to hear about it all week,” Freeman joked with reporters about Butler’s leap attempt. “There’s pretty strict criteria, and you get graded by your coaches and teammates.” Because Butler did run 90 yards before attempting it, Freeman added, “I’m going to cut LeRoy some slack, he ran a long way.”
The big plays continued when punt returner Desmond Howard ran one back 65 yards for a touchdown to close out the scoring and make the final score 42-10. That meant the Packers scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams in the game.
“When you see defense, offense and special teams score, you just say it’s a great game,” Jackson said. “You just smile about it.”
In their first three games, the Packers won by an average of 29.7 points. It was clear this team was capable of being dominant.
“I don’t think a lot of people know what we have here,” Butler explained. “I think they’re starting to see, and we’re not going to sneak up on anybody, but I really don’t think they know what we have…I love that domination we have. We don’t just want to win any more, we want to dominate.”
This wasn’t a perfect game for the Packers, but they overcame Bennett’s first fumble in 726 rushing plays, 10 penalties and a Favre interception but they still won by 32 points.
“It’s really scary what this team is capable of doing,” safety Eugene Robinson said.
Robinson was right. The Packers finished the season 13-3, had the league’s top ranked offense and the number one defense while winning their first Super Bowl since 1968.
Follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers
Click here for more great Packers coverage