The phrase "4th and 26" is among the most painful in Packers' pantheon.
"You said 4th and 26," Donald Driver replied after being asked about 4th and 26 in Thursday's game. "I was thinking you were talking about something in the playoffs a long time ago."
Driver is the last remaining player from the Packers team that was eliminated from the playoffs by the Eagles in January 2004, after Donovan McNabb's 4th and 26 pass to Freddie Mitchell kept the game alive late in the 4th quarter.
On Thursday 4th and 26 took on new meaning when the Packers used a fake field goal on that down and distance. Tim Masthay took the snap and pitched the ball to Tom Crabtree who followed perfect blocks into the end zone 27 yards later.
"I sure hope this works," Tom Clements said Friday when asked what he was thinking before the play. "I don't know that the play is designed for that length. It worked out right where he had an alley. When he turned vertical there was no one around and he kind of just ran into the end zone."
"Hats off to coach for calling it," said Tim Masthay after "throwing" the first touchdown pass of his career at any level. "Because 4th and 26 in a 3-0 ball game toward the end of the first half, that takes some gall."
After the pitch from Masthay, Crabtree got to show off his wheels.
When all was said and done Thursday Jay Cutler, Aaron Rodgers and Tim Masthay all finished with the same number of touchdown passes, 1.
"It's funny because I shuttled passed it like 4 yards and have a 154 QBR, or whatever it is," added Masthay with a smile. "Hey, I'll take it though. "It's on the stat sheet."
It is one thing to catch Chicago completely off guard with the fake field goal, but it says a lot about the play when many Packers didn't even see it coming."
"I was watching up on the jumbotron," said Rodgers after the game. "Something just looked a little off at first. Somebody either got bowled over right away, it was going to be blocked or we muffed the (snap...we didn't catch it right. Then I saw Crabby running off the back side. I couldn't believe it."
"I must not watch special teams practice that much because I have never seen them run that play," admitted Charles Woodson. "That was a huge spark. Definitely unexpected it surprised us on the sideline."
"That's like the call of the year right there," proclaimed Tramon Williams who had two interceptions of Jay Cutler Thursday. "4th and 26, you would never think anyone would go for that."
"Two things," said Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy when asked why he called the play. "I was trying to send our team a message when I called it, and I would have been fine with the field position."
The play not only provided the Packers with all the momentum they needed heading into the second half; it brought new happier memories to the phrase 4th and 26.