PACKERS AND BEARS SET TO SQUARE OFF ON CHRISTMAS NIGHT
- Green Bay returns home after three road games in four weeks to face the division-rival Chicago Bears tonight, only the second time in franchise history that the Packers have played on Christmas.
- Green Bay’s only other Christmas game came in 2005, also against Chicago, a contest the Bears won, 24-17, at Lambeau Field. The Packers and Bears are joined by the Dallas Cowboys (2006 and 2010) as the only teams in the league to have two Christmas games over the past six seasons.
- The Packers can clinch home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win over the Bears tonight. Green Bay is aiming to be the top seed in the conference for the first time since 1996.
- Green Bay’s loss at Kansas City last Sunday marked the first defeat for the Packers in nearly a year, with their last loss coming at New England on Dec. 19, 2010, at Gillette Stadium.
- The loss to the Chiefs snapped the Packers’ 19-game winning streak (including playoffs), the longest winning streak in franchise history (12-game streak in 1961-62). It is the second-longest winning streak in NFL history, including the postseason, behind only the 2003-04 New England Patriots’ 21-game winning streak.
- This will be the fourth meeting between the Packers and Bears in 2011 (including postseason), only the sixth time in NFL history that two franchises have met four or more times in a calendar year (according to STATS LLC).
- Green Bay will be looking to become only the second NFL team to beat another club four times in a calendar year (L.A Raiders over Denver, 1994). The Packers beat the Bears in the 2010 season finale at Lambeau Field and the 2010 NFC Championship in Chicago, and also topped Chicago earlier this season in Week 3 at Soldier Field.
- Tonight will mark game No. 184 in the NFL’s oldest rivalry. The Bears hold a 92-85-6 edge in the series, which includes two postseason meetings. Green Bay has won five of the last six meetings between the teams and will be looking to sweep the season series for the second time in the last three seasons (also 2009).
HOME SWEET HOME
- The Packers have won 11 straight contests at Lambeau Field and 17 of their last 18 at home. It is the longest regular-season home winning streak by Green Bay since an 11-game streak from 2001-02 and the longest current home winning streak in the NFL.
- Green Bay’s 17-1 (.944) home mark since Week 10 of 2009 ranks No. 1 in the NFL over that span, ahead of New England (16-1).
- The Packers are off to their first 6-0 start at home since 2002. That season, Green Bay went on to post a perfect 8-0 mark at Lambeau Field.
- The Packers are one of only three teams in the league that are unbeaten at home this season (Baltimore, 7-0; New Orleans, 6-0).
- Green Bay is averaging a league-best 40.2 points per game at home this season. The Packers’ franchise record is 38.0 ppg at home in 1942.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- With a victory this evening, the Packers would set the franchise mark for the most wins in a season, topping the record of 13 wins in 1962, 1996, 1997 and 2007.
- The Packers rank No. 1 in the NFL in scoring at 34.3 points per game...Green Bay’s 480-point total this season already ranks No. 1 in the franchise record books, topping the previous mark of 461 points in 2009...The Packers’ point total is tied for the third most through 14 games since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger behind only the 2007 New England Patriots (523) and the 2009 New Orleans Saints (483).
- QB Aaron Rodgers – Needs 99 passing yards to break the franchise single-season passing yardage mark held by Lynn Dickey (4,458 yards in 1983)...Has registered a 100-plus passer rating in 12 games this season, which is tied with Steve Young (1994) and Tom Brady (2010) for the most 100-rating games in a season...Currently ranks tied for No. 3 in NFL history for the most three-plus TD games in a season with nine, trailing only Brady (12 in 2007) and Dan Marino (10 in 1984).
- WR Donald Driver – Is 21 yards shy of the 10,000-yard receiving mark for his career. Would be the 36th player in NFL history to register 10,000 receiving yards.
- WR Jordy Nelson – Needs 14 yards receiving for his first 1,000-yard season.
- TE Jermichael Finley – Ranks No. 4 all-time among Green Bay tight ends for the most receiving yards in a season with 683, trailing only Paul Coffman’s totals of 814 yards in 1983, 711 in 1979 and 687 in 1981.
- LB Clay Matthews – Is tied for No. 1 all-time (since 1982) among Green Bay players for the most sacks in his first three seasons in the NFL with LB Tony Bennett (29.5).
- CB Charles Woodson – Needs one interception to tie S LeRoy Butler (38 INTs) for the No. 4 spot in franchise history.
- As per team tradition, the Packers select game captains each week.
- Tonight’s captains will be TE Jermichael Finley (offense), NT B.J. Raji (defense) and P Tim Masthay (special teams).
WEARING THE STRIPES
- Tonight’s officiating crew includes referee John Parry (132), umpire Dan Ferrell (64), head linesman Derick Bowers (74), line judge Rusty Baynes (59), field judge Scott Edwards (3), side judge Keith Washington (7) and back judge Perry Paganelli (46).