NFL Nation: 2014 season predictions
Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
This isn’t breaking news in Wisconsin, but I wonder how many people around the division are aware of the significant event that almost certainly will take place Sunday at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay receiver Donald Driver is one catch away from breaking the franchise’s all-time record for career receptions. A seventh-round pick who slipped onto the team in 1999, Driver has averaged 77 receptions per season since 2002 and has matched Sterling Sharpe’s career record of 595.
(And lest you think we’re jinxing things, Driver has caught a pass in 115 consecutive games. I’m feeling pretty good about his chances Sunday against Detroit.)
“I would never have predicted it,” Driver told Wisconsin reporters this week. “In a million years, if someone said, ‘Well Donald, [a] seventh-round draft pick, you’re going to be the all-time leading receiver for the Packers,’ you would have never thought that would happen. To be this close to it, it means a lot. I think when it’s all said and done and the record is broken, I’ll be happy to put my name above Sterling for once in a lifetime. Not on everything, but at least I can say I got him on that one.”
Driver and Sharpe are close friends and spoke last week about the impending milestone. Driver hopes to keep himself together during the game -- “You don’t want on the first play of the game to be crying,” he said -- but isn’t downplaying the significance of the accomplishment.
“When I get home,” he said, “it will probably hit me then.”
Driver, 34, remains a vital part of the Packers' offense, leading the team this season in receptions (18), yards (288) and touchdowns (two). In fact, he made a one-handed catch Sept. 27 at St. Louis that he said might be the most memorable of his career.
“That’s the one I’ll probably never forget,” he said. “I still don’t know how I caught it.”
In the chart below, you’ll see the Packers’ top-5 all-time receivers.
Final Atlanta 24 Jacksonville 14 Final Detroit 23 Buffalo 0 Final Indianapolis 7 Cincinnati 35 Final New York 7 Philadelphia 37 Final St. Louis 13 Miami 14 Final Kansas City 14 Green Bay 34 Final Carolina 10 Pittsburgh 0 Final New England 13 New York 16 Final Washington 24 Tampa Bay 10 Final Baltimore 22 New Orleans 13 Final Chicago 13 Cleveland 33 Final San Francisco 40 Houston 13 Final Minnesota 19 Tennessee 3 Final Denver 27 Dallas 3 Final Arizona 9 San Diego 12 Final Seattle 31 Oakland 41