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NFL '97 WEEK 2 | PHILADELPHIA 10, GREEN BAY 9

Packers' Run to Undefeated Glory Stopped

September 08, 1997|From Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — So much for the Green Bay Packers' talk of an undefeated season.

Rookie Ryan Longwell missed what would have been the game-winning field goal with 11 seconds left, and Ty Detmer threw for the game's only touchdown with 1:56 to play as the Philadelphia Eagles defeated the defending Super Bowl champions, 10-9, on Sunday.

Longwell, who hadn't missed a field-goal attempt in 12 tries in either the exhibition or regular season, was wide right from 28 yards out, touching off a wild celebration at Veterans Stadium.

It was Longwell's first attempt at a game-winning kick in either college or the pros. He didn't blame the miss on a light rain that fell just minutes before his attempt.

"It may have an effect on it, but that's not why I missed the kick," said Longwell, a free agent from California. "I just have to learn to relax and take my time and not rush my kicks."

The Packers (1-1) lost for the first time in 10 games, including their playoff run to the championship last year. The Eagles (1-1) were coming off a 31-17 loss to the New York Giants in their opener.

It was the first time in 85 regular-season and playoff games that the Packers didn't score a touchdown. The last time was Oct. 18, 1992 in a 17-6 loss at Cleveland.

Defensive tackle Reggie White said it was the media, not the Packers, that talked about earning the NFL's first unbeaten season since the Miami Dolphins in 1972. "That talk was based on questions by you guys," White said. "There's always a possibility of an undefeated season. When you line up, you line up to win every game because if you don't do that, you don't need to be playing football."

In training camp, however, safety LeRoy Butler called an undefeated season a "realistic goal."

Detmer's two-yard touchdown pass to Freddie Solomon on fourth down capped an 80-yard, 19-play drive that took up 9:22. Solomon was cut by the Eagles during the exhibition season, but was activated this week because of an injury to Chris T. Jones.

The Packers had a chance to win after Solomon's touchdown when Bill Schroeder returned the ensuing kickoff to their 47.

After Brett Favre, who finished 19 of 41 passing for 279 yards, led the Packers to the Eagle 10, Longwell, who converted kicks from 22, 18 and 27 earlier in the game, missed the short field-goal attempt.

"This is an early wake-up call for us," Packer Coach Mike Holmgren said.

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