(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Lambeau Field in November—rain, snow, wind—miserable.
Miracles happen in one place—Lambeau Field.
There have been many fourth quarter comebacks over the years for the Packers at Lambeau, but this day saw one specific player missing: Brett Favre.
Instead, the snow that fell on the sloppy, snowy field in the fourth quarter turned out to be the perfect conditions for Steve Smith and Jake Delhomme to accomplish what they've set forth to do so many times—make a miracle with the game on the line.
The opportunity seemed both unlikely and just within reach that it would prove to be what dreams are made of.
What had been a 21-10 Panthers lead at halftime was erased in the second half by the Packers, who scored 18 unanswered points, leaving Carolina behind at 28-21.
Weather conditions worsened as flurries began to fall, but something exciting happened. As the weather got worse, the Panthers' play improved.
Panthers wide receiver and return man Mark Jones started the Panthers' drive on a 50-yard kickoff return.
On 3rd-and-11, Smith zipped up the field, and like Superman, leapt near the goal line and snared a 36-yard pass from Delhomme while crashing down at the one-yard line.
One play later, running back DeAngelo Williams scored, and the Panthers were tied with the Packers less than three minutes after losing their comfy lead.
The Packers took the ball back down the field in an attempted response to Carolina's scoring drive, but the Panthers' defense did not relent, twice keeping the Packers out of the endzone on a crucial goal-line stand at the one-yard line, including an incredible third-down play that saw Lewis, Peppers, and the entire defensive front envelope Green Bay fullback John Kuhn.
The Packers were forced to settle for a 19-yard Mason Crosby field goal, which helped the Pack take the lead yet again.
On this drive, there was a light of hope as the Panthers were only down by three points with enough time to work downfield. Worst case scenario, the Panthers could get John Kasay close enough to kick the game into overtime.
Fifteen seconds later, Smith appeared from nowhere with his second acrobatic catch of the quarter, a contorting, off-balance grab in which he maintained complete body control in mid-air, grabbed the ball, and eluded defenders until landing at the Green Bay one-yard line with 1:03 remaining.
DeAngelo Williams crashed into the endzone for his fourth score on the ensuing snap, giving the Panthers and fans a cardiac victory, while maintaining a share of first place in the division.