Two years after he co-founded the Packers with Curly Lambeau, George Calhoun began writing a piece called The Dope Sheet, which served as the official press release and game program from 1921-24.
Honoring Calhoun, the first publicity director, the Packers are running this weekly feature as their release, which is being made available to fans exclusively on Packers.com.
This is an abbreviated version of the Packers-Lions Week 4 Dope Sheet. To read the full version, download the PDF by clicking here.
Here are some highlights from the Packers-Lions Week 4 Dope Sheet:
DETROIT (0-3) at GREEN BAY (2-1)
Sunday, Oct. 3 - Lambeau Field - Noon CDT
PACKERS HOST LIONS IN DIVISIONAL MATCHUP
- No other NFL teams have played every year since 1932, when the Packers and the Lions, then known as the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans, began their yearly home-and-home series.
- The rivalry actually kicked off in 1930 at City Stadium in Green Bay, a 47-13 Packers win. Some two seasons later, the teams began a yearly series. Sunday marks meeting No. 162 in the all-time series.
- Now rivals in the NFC North, the Packers own a 88-64-7 advantage over the Lions in the regular season and have won both playoff matchups.
- Green Bay’s current nine-game winning streak is the longest in the series in over 50 years, dating back to Detroit’s 11-game winning streak from 1949-54.
- Longer still is Green Bay’s current win streak over the Lions in the state of Wisconsin. It spans 19 consecutive games, including a 1994 playoff game, and eight Lions head coaches.
- Sunday marks the second straight divisional matchup for each team, as Green Bay played at Chicago on Monday night while Detroit traveled to Minnesota on Sunday. The Packers have a 17-8 (.680) mark against NFC North opponents under Head Coach Mike McCarthy, which ranks first among NFC North teams over that span. Green Bay has posted a 4-2 record or better in the division each season under McCarthy.
- This is the earliest in the season that the teams have met at Lambeau Field since they squared off on Sept. 14, 2003.
- Green Bay will take on the Redskins next Sunday in the team's first trip to Washington since 2004, while the Lions return home to host the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
MORE ON THE STREAK
- The Packers’ 19-game home winning streak over Detroit began at County Stadium in Milwaukee on Dec. 6, 1992.
- On a snowy day, the Packers took control early, scoring on their first three possessions in the eventual 38-10 victory.
- Eighteen games have been played in the state of Wisconsin since then, each resulting in a Green Bay victory.
- The teams met late in December at Lambeau Field in each of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s first three seasons with the Packers, but the Lions will be visiting Lambeau Field in October for the second straight season.
- Taking away the ’94 Wild Card playoff win at Lambeau Field, the Packers’ 18-game regular-season home winning streak over the Lions ranks tied for first among active NFL streaks:
18: *Green Bay over Detroit
18: Washington over Detroit
14: *Dallas over Arizona
14: *Pittsburgh over San Diego
* — Green Bay defeated Detroit at Lambeau Field in 1994 playoffs; Arizona defeated Dallas at Texas Stadium in 1998 playoffs; San Diego defeated Pittsburgh at Three Rivers Stadium in 1994 playoffs.
WITH THE CALL
- FOX Sports, now in its 17th season as an NFL network television partner, will broadcast the game to a regional audience.
- Play-by-play man Thom Brennaman and color analyst Brian Billick will have the call from the broadcast booth with Charissa Thompson serving as the sideline reporter.
- Milwaukee’s WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since 1929, heads up the 53-station Packers Radio Network, with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (color) calling the action. The duo enters its 12th season of broadcasts together across the Packers Radio Network, which covers 43 markets in five states.
- For out-of-town listeners, the broadcast is available to NFL Field Pass subscribers on www.packers.com as well as on Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 125 WTMJ feed) as part of the network’s NFL Sunday Drive.
- DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game in HD on channel 708.
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT:
Packers vs. Detroit Lions:
All-time regular season: 88-64-7
All-time, postseason: 2-0
All-time, in Green Bay: 27-10-3
Streaks: Green Bay has won nine straight and 17 of the last 19 meetings.
Last meeting, regular season: Nov. 26, 2009, at Ford Field; Packers won, 34-12
Last meeting, regular season, at Lambeau Field: Oct. 18, 2009; Packers won, 26-0
Mike McCarthy: 41-29-0, .586, (incl. 1-2 postseason); 5th NFL season
Jim Schwartz: 2-17-0, .105; 2nd NFL season
Head to Head: McCarthy 2-0
vs. Opponent: McCarthy 8-0 vs. Lions; Schwartz 0-2 vs. Packers
MIKE McCARTHY…Is in fifth year as the Packers’ 14th head coach.
- Has led his team to the playoffs two of the past three years.
- One of only two coaches, along with New Orleans’ Sean Payton, to have his offense ranked in the top 10 in total yardage each of the last four years.
- Was named Packers head coach on Jan. 12, 2006, his first head coaching job after 13 years as an NFL assistant.
- Honored as the 2007 Motorola NFL Coach of the Year and NFL Alumni Coach of the Year.
- Became the first Packers coach since Vince Lombardi to lead the team to a championship game in his second season.
JIM SCHWARTZ…Is in second year as the Lions’ 25th head coach.
- Before coming to Detroit, spent 10 years with the Tennessee Titans, including the last eight as defensive coordinator.
- Broke into the NFL as a college and pro scout for the Cleveland Browns from 1993-95 before becoming a defensive assistant coach for the Ravens after the franchise moved to Baltimore.
- Coached as a graduate assistant and then position coach at four different colleges (Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina Central, Colgate) after a playing career as a LB at Georgetown University.
THE PACKERS-LIONS SERIES
- No other NFL teams have played every year since 1932, when the Packers first met the Lions, then known as the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans. Including a pair of playoff clashes in the early 1990s, this week marks Game No. 162 in the all-time series.
- The Packers are looking for their 10th straight win in the series, which would mark the longest winning streak by either team since the Lions won 11 straight from 1949-54.
- The Packers have scored more points (3,355 in reg. season) against the Lions than any other franchise.
- The Packers have won 19 consecutive contests over Detroit in Wisconsin, including the 1994 playoffs. The streak spans eight Lions head coaches: Wayne Fontes (1992-96), Bobby Ross (1997-99), Gary Moeller (2000), Marty Mornhinweg (2001-02), Steve Mariucci (2003-04), Dick Jauron (2005), Rod Marinelli (2006-08) and Schwartz (2009).
- The 18 straight regular-season wins in Wisconsin is tied for first among active NFL streaks at one team’s home field (Wash. over Det., 18).
Detroit def. coord. Gunther Cunningham held the same position in Kansas City for four seasons (1995-98) when McCarthy was an off. asst. for the Chiefs; also on staff in Kansas City was Packers strength & cond. asst. Dave Redding...Cunningham was on the staff of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (CFL) in 1981 when Packers QB coach Tom Clements played QB for Hamilton...Packers RB coach Edgar Bennett and Lions GM Martin Mayhew were teammates for one season at Florida State...Lions O-line coach George Yarno finished his playing career with the Packers in 1990 but did not appear in any regular-season games...Lions DT Corey Williams was a Packers’ sixth-round draft choice in 2004 and played four seasons in Green Bay (2004-07)...Lions LB Spencer Havner played two seasons for the Packers (2008-09) as a LB and TE...Packers RB Brandon Jackson was born in Detroit...Packers G Josh Sitton blocked for Lions RB Kevin Smith at Central Florida. Both were drafted in 2008...Lions T Jeff Backus and Packers CB Charles Woodson were teammates on Michigan’s 1997 national championship team...Packers DE Cullen Jenkins (Belleville), WR Greg Jennings (Kalamazoo), LB Brad Jones (East Lansing), G/T T.J. Lang (Birmingham), LB Frank Zombo (Sterling Heights) and G/C Nick McDonald (Sterling Heights) are Michigan natives...Jennings and Lions TE Tony Scheffler were teammates at Western Michigan and were both drafted in the second round in 2006; Jennings (52nd overall) was taken nine spots before Scheffler (61st)...Jennings and Lions S Louis Delmas played together for one season (2005) at Western Michigan...Lions G Rob Sims and Packers LB A.J. Hawk were Ohio State teammates both drafted in ‘06, while Lions CB Amari Spievey and Packers T/G Bryan Bulaga were both drafted out of Iowa this past April...Packers secondary-safeties coach Darren Perry and Lions RB coach Sam Gash were teammates at Penn State...Packers T/G Marshall Newhouse blocked for Lions RB Aaron Brown at TCU...Lions LB Zack Follett and Packers LB Desmond Bishop played in the same LB corps at Cal, while Lions S John Wendling and Packers S Derrick Martin were in the same secondary at Wyoming...Lions S Randy Phillips and Packers CB Sam Shields played in the same secondary at Miami (Fla.) last year; Lions T Jason Fox was also their college teammate...Other college teammates include Lions T Gosder Cherilus and Packers NT B.J. Raji (Boston College), Lions QB Matthew Stafford and Packers DE Jarius Wynn (Georgia), Lions CB Chris Houston and Packers LS Brett Goode (Arkansas), Lions DE Lawrence Jackson and Packers LB Clay Matthews (USC), Lions DT Ndamukong Suh and Packers RB Brandon Jackson (Nebraska), Lions DE Turk McBride, CB Jonathan Wade and Packers C Scott Wells (Tennessee), and Lions WR Derrick Williams and Packers TE Andrew Quarless...Lions LB DeAndre Levy played collegiately at Wisconsin and attended Milwaukee Vincent H.S.
INDIVIDUALLY VS. LIONS
QB Aaron Rodgers has topped 300 yards passing in each of his four career starts against Detroit. Three of those efforts rank in Rodgers’ top six for passing yards in a regular-season game. Combined, he is 102-of-145 for 1,342 yards with 11 TDs and one INT vs. the Lions, good for a 121.7 rating...WR Greg Jennings has three TD receptions and three 100-yard efforts in seven career games against the Lions. His 167 yards against Detroit in Week 2 of 2008 is a career high...WR Donald Driver matched his career high with 11 receptions against the Lions on Nov. 10, 2002. His 91 catches for 1,233 yards and eight TDs are his most in each category against any opponent...Three of WR James Jones’ eight career TD catches are against the Lions, including one in each game last year...WR Jordy Nelson caught his first career pass, a 29-yard TD, in the first meeting in 2008, while TE Jermichael Finley snagged his first in the season finale that year...Two of CB Charles Woodson’s five two-interception games and two of his nine career INT returns for TDs have come against Detroit...DE Cullen Jenkins’ first career INT came in the first meeting last season.
LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON
- Nov. 26, 2009, at Ford Field; Packers won, 34-12.
- The Packers overcame an early 7-0 deficit to win easily on Thanksgiving as QB Aaron Rodgers threw for 348 yards and three TDs.
- TE Donald Lee, WR Donald Driver and WR James Jones all caught TD passes as the Packers scored 27 unanswered points following a turnover on the opening kickoff that set up an early Detroit score.
- CB Charles Woodson had two of the Packers’ four INTs against Detroit QB Matthew Stafford, returning one 38 yards for a TD for the game’s final points.
- Driver finished with seven receptions for 142 yards, his highest single-game yardage total since the 2007 Thanksgiving contest in Detroit, when he had 147.
- After recording six sacks in Week 1 at Philadelphia, the most by any NFL team on opening weekend, the Packers have now followed that performance up with seven more sacks in the next two games.
- Green Bay’s 13 sacks as a team through Week 3 lead the NFL, and the Packers also rank No. 1 in the league in sack yardage with 90 yards. Green Bay’s opponent this week, Detroit, ranks tied for second in the NFL with Philadelphia with 11 sacks.
- The Packers' 13 sacks rank tied for second in franchise annals for the most in the first three games of a season, trailing only the 15 registered by the 2001 squad. Green Bay also posted 13 sacks in the first three contests of 1966 and 1977.
- The 13 sacks are tied for the most in a three-game span in Head Coach Mike McCarthy's four-plus seasons, matching the total posted in Weeks 7-9 in 2006.
- Six of the sacks have come courtesy of LB Clay Matthews, who leads the NFL in that category. DE Cullen Jenkins has posted a sack in each game as well, the first time in his seven-year career that he has posted one in each of the first three games of a season and the only time in his career he has posted a full sack in three straight contests.
- The Packers’ six sacks in Week 1 were the most in a season opener by Green Bay since 2001, when the Packers registered seven sacks against the Lions on Sept. 9 at Lambeau Field. It was also the most under McCarthy, matching the total of six vs. Detroit on Dec. 17, 2006.
- The Packers are already well ahead of their sack pace from last season. Green Bay’s 13th sack as a team didn’t come until Week 9 at Tampa Bay in 2009.
- Green Bay posted four or more sacks in a game three times in 2009 on the way to 37 for the season, which ranked tied for 11th in the league.
CLAY FINDS A WAY
- With three sacks against the Buffalo Bills in Week 2, second-year LB Clay Matthews became the first Packer to post three sacks in back-to-back games since it became an official league statistic in 1982.
- The performance vs. Buffalo came a week after Matthews registered a career-high three sacks in the Packers’ 27-20 season-opening victory at Philadelphia.
- Matthews was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 2, the second time in his career he has earned the honor. He also won the award last year for his two-sack outing vs. Baltimore in Week 13 on Monday Night Football.
- Matthews also became the first NFL player to register consecutive three-sack games since Seattle’s Patrick Kerney accomplished the feat (Nov. 18-25, 2007).
- Matthews’ league-leading six sacks were the most by a Packer in the first two games of the season, and they match DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (2001) for the most in the first three contests. Matthews will have his work cut out for him if he hopes to duplicate Gbaja-Biamila’s total of nine in the first four games of ’01.
- His 33 sack yards vs. Buffalo were the most by a Packer since DE Reggie White’s 35 on two sacks vs. Minnesota on Oct. 22, 1995. Matthews leads the league with 44 sack yards on the season.
- His six sacks over a two-game span rank second in team history behind only Bryce Paup, who recorded 6½ sacks in Weeks 3-4 in 1991. Paup posted 4½ sacks vs. Tampa Bay on Sept. 15, and then followed that up with two more the next week at Miami on Sept. 22.
- In just 19 career games played, Matthews now has posted two or more sacks in a game five times. That is a franchise record for the most two-sack games over that span to start a Green Bay career, breaking White’s mark of four in his first 19 games with the Packers (1993-94).
- Matthews’ 16 sacks since 2009 rank third in the league over that span behind only Denver’s Elvis Dumervil (17) and Indianapolis’ Dwight Freeney (16.5).
- In 2009, Matthews set a Packers rookie record with 10.0 sacks on his way to earning Pro Bowl honors, the first Green Bay rookie to be named to the all-star game since Hall of Fame WR James Lofton in 1978.
AFTER THE BREAK
- The opening drive of the second half always helps set the tone for a team, and Green Bay’s offense is off to a fast start in that area this season.
- The Packers have scored 14 points on their opening drives of the second half this season, which is tied with the Seattle Seahawks for the NFL lead.
- With those 14 points through the first three games, Green Bay is already well ahead of its pace from 2009 when it scored 20 points all season on opening second-half-drives, which ranked No. 20 in the NFL.
- The Packers did not score a touchdown on the first drive of the second half all of 2008, part of a 34-game span without a TD on the first possession after halftime that started late in 2007 and ran all the way until Week 16 vs. Seattle last season.
- Green Bay snapped that streak with a 6-yard TD run from RB Brandon Jackson against the Seahawks last season, and have now scored on the opening drive of the second half in four of the past five regular-season games.
- Green Bay looked to be in position to come away with three points on the first second-half drive on Monday night, but K Mason Crosby’s 37-yard field goal attempt was blocked by DE Julius Peppers.
- The Packers’ top mark since 1995 came in 2004, when they led the league with 55 points on opening second-half drives. Green Bay posted 50 points in 2007, which was tied for third in the NFL.
- Of the teams that have led the league in the category since 2003, all seven have advanced to the playoffs.
STAT OF THE WEEK
- With a team-high 115 receiving yards on Monday night at Chicago, third-year TE Jermichael Finley became only the second tight end in franchise history to post back-to-back 100-yard receiving games.
- Finley’s performance on Monday night followed up his four-catch, 103-yard game in Green Bay’s 34-7 win over Buffalo in Week 2.
- The only other Green Bay tight end in team annals to register consecutive 100-yard games was Paul Coffman, who accomplished the feat back on Oct. 21-28, 1979.
- Finley also matched his career high with nine receptions at Chicago on Monday night, which ranks tied with three other tight ends (Coffman, Bubba Franks, Jackie Harris) for the single-game franchise mark. Finley also hauled in nine passes at Pittsburgh last season in Week 15.
- Finley leads all NFL tight ends and ranks eighth among all players with 271 yards (90.3 per game) in the first three games, including seven receptions of 20-plus yards, which is tied for the NFL lead with Denver WR Brandon Lloyd.
- His yardage number sets a franchise record for most receiving yards by a tight end through three games, easily eclipsing Coffman’s mark of 171 yards in the first three contests in 1982.
AN EMERGING PLAYMAKER
- After returning from a knee injury last season in Week 11 that had forced him to miss the better part of four games, TE Jermichael Finley was one of the more productive players in the league at his position down the stretch. Through three games in 2010, he looks to be picking up where he left off.
- Finley ranks first on the team and leads all NFL tight ends with 265 yards receiving on 17 receptions (15.6 avg.) through three games. He is the only tight end in the league to record two 100-yard receiving games this season.
- With a team-high 115 receiving yards on Monday night at Chicago, he became only the second tight end in franchise history to post back-to-back 100-yard receiving games, joining Paul Coffman (Oct. 21-28, 1979).
- It was the third 100-yard game of Finley’s career in the regular season, which moves him into the No. 2 spot in franchise annals behind Coffman (6). He had been tied with Mark Chmura and Ed West, who each had two 100-yard games.
- In his past 16 games, Finley has had at least 50 yards receiving 10 times. He set a team record for TEs with eight in 2009 despite missing three games.
- Finley matched a franchise record for tight ends with nine catches at Chicago on Monday night. He also posted that total last season in Week 15 at Pittsburgh, and three other TEs in team annals have caught nine passes in a game.
- Finley posted three 20-yard receptions on Monday night (20, 26, 28), giving him seven for the season. That is tied for the NFL lead with Denver WR Brandon Lloyd.
- Finley has excelled on the Monday Night Football stage. In three games on MNF over the past two seasons, he has caught 22 passes for 322 yards (14.6 avg.) and three touchdowns.
- His average of 25.8 yards per catch (103 yards on four receptions) vs. Buffalo in Week 2 was the second-best single-game performance in team history (min. four receptions) by a tight end. Coffman’s 30.5-yard mark on four receptions at Chicago on Dec. 18, 1983, sits atop the record book.
- In 2009, a season in which he set career highs in every statistical category, Finley’s coming-out party came on the team’s first appearance on Monday Night Football at Minnesota in front of the largest television audience in cable history. That game, he set a regular-season career high and matched a team record for TEs in receiving yards (128), highlighted by his 62-yard catch-and-run TD. The catch marked the longest reception by a Green Bay tight end since Jackie Harris caught a 66-yard scoring pass against Denver on Oct. 10, 1993.
- If the Week 4 game last season at Minnesota served as a coming-out party, the Wild Card playoff game at Arizona showed Finley’s potential to take over a game. His 159 receiving yards set a franchise postseason record and ranked second in NFL postseason history for a tight end.
- A look at where Finley ranks among NFL tight ends since returning from his injury in Week 11 last season.
Player - Receptions
1. Jason Witten, DAL - 60
2. Dallas Clark, IND - 57
3. Jermichael Finley, GB - 55
Player - Receiving yardage
1. Antonio Gates, SD - 731
2. Jason Witten, DAL - 726
3. Jermichael Finley, GB - 681
Player - 25-yard receptions
1T. Jermichael Finley, GB - 8
1T. Antonio Gates, SD - 8
GETTING A RETURN
- After taking over the kickoff-return responsibilities last year following Will Blackmon’s season-ending knee injury in Week 4, third-year WR Jordy Nelson is off to a fast start in 2010.
- Nelson ranks tied for fourth in the NFC and tied for eighth in the NFL with a 26.2-yard average on 12 returns. Nelson has returned six of his last eight kickoffs to the 34-yard line or beyond.
- The Packers rank third in the NFL through Week 3 in average starting field position after kickoffs at the 33.0-yard line. That trails only Seattle (38.5) and Pittsburgh (34.1), who both have had kickoff returns for touchdowns this season.
- Nelson posted a career-best 31.2-yard average (min. three returns) on five kickoff returns in Week 1 at Philadelphia, highlighted by a 51-yarder in the third quarter, the longest return in the NFL on Kickoff Weekend, that helped set up 32-yard TD pass from QB Aaron Rodgers to WR Greg Jennings just four plays later.
- That 31.2-yard average was the best by a Packer with five or more returns in a game since WR Roell Preston’s 32.0-yard average on eight returns vs. Minnesota on Oct. 5, 1998.
- Nelson’s 51-yard return at Philadelphia was the second-longest return of his career behind a 54-yard pickup in Week 17 at Arizona last season, the longest return by a Packer in 2009.
- The performance against the Eagles was the first time in Nelson’s career that he posted two kickoff returns of 40-plus yards, and he became the first Packer to accomplish that feat since WR Koren Robinson recorded returns of 43 and 66 yards at St. Louis on Dec. 16, 2007.
- Nelson has now posted a kickoff return of 45-plus yards in each of his three seasons in the league. He becomes the first Packer since Corey Harris (1992-94) to record a 45-yard kickoff return in three consecutive seasons.
- Nelson’s 25.4-yard average last season ranked 11th in the NFL, and was the best mark by a Packer (min. 25 attempts) since Allen Rossum registered a 25.8-yard average in 2000.
ETCHING HIS NAME
- Packers K Mason Crosby put his name into the franchise record book when he connected on a 56-yard field goal as time expired in the first half at Philadelphia in Week 1.
- Crosby’s kick topped the previous team record of 54 yards held by Chris Jacke (at Det., Jan. 2, 1994), Ryan Longwell (at Ten., Dec. 16, 2001) and Dave Rayner (at Phi., Oct. 2, 2006).
- Crosby’s 56-yarder ranks No. 2 in the history of Lincoln Financial Field behind David Akers’ 57-yarder vs. New England on Sept. 14, 2003, the first year the stadium was open.
- It was the second long field goal of the afternoon from Crosby, as he drilled a 49-yarder early in the second quarter. It was the first time in his career that he made two field goals from 49 yards or more in the same game. He became the first Green Bay kicker to do so since Longwell posted field goals from 51 and 53 yards at Atlanta on Nov. 13, 2005.
- Crosby’s 49-yard field goal gave him 400 points for his career. By hitting that mark in just 49 career games, he tied for the second-fewest games needed to reach 400 points in NFL history, behind Jan Stenerud (47) and tied with Gino Cappelletti (49). Crosby’s total of 397 points from 2007-09 were the most in NFL history by a player in his first three seasons.
- Crosby, who currently has 421 career points, has connected on five of his six field-goal attempts this season, and ranks tied for seventh among NFL kickers with 24 points through Week 3.
TAKEAWAY POINTS KEY FOR PACKERS
- In the second year of Dom Capers’ 3-4 scheme, the Packers are once again showing their knack for taking the ball away, which the offense has continued to turn into points this season.
- The Packers have registered four takeaways in the first three games, turning three of those turnovers into touchdowns. Green Bay’s 21 points off of takeaways so far this season ranks fifth in the league.
- Scoring points off of turnovers has become a trend for the Packers at Lambeau Field, as they have a current streak of 11 straight games at home with points scored that were set up by a takeaway. That streak ranks first in the NFL.
- The Packers will be facing a Detroit team that has turned the ball over eight times this season, which is tied for fifth most in the league.
- Green Bay posted 30 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries in 2009, which it turned into 141 points. The 40 takeaways led the NFL, and its 141 points scored off those 40 takeaways tied New Orleans for most in the league.
- The 30 interceptions led the league and was the team’s highest single-season total since 1981, when it also had 30.
- Since 2009, 12 players on defense have intercepted a pass. Only Buffalo (13) has had more players record an INT over that span.
- Green Bay surpassed its 2008 total of 124 points off takeaways, which led the NFL in ’08.
- It also eclipsed its ’08 total in interceptions (22) and fumble recoveries (six) while at the same time protecting the ball at a better clip. Green Bay’s 16 giveaways was the lowest total in the NFL in 2009.
- If the Packers don’t commit a turnover, like they didn’t against Buffalo in Week 2, they’re almost guaranteed to win. They have now won 39 of 43 games playing turnover-free football, since a loss at Dallas, Nov. 18, 1996. Green Bay’s only losses in such games during that stretch came three times against Minnesota, twice in Minneapolis (2005, ’08) and once at home (2009), and in Week 15 last year at Pittsburgh.
- Including playoffs, the Packers have won 42 of their last 46 games without a giveaway.
ROOKIE D-BACK TANDEM MAKING IMPACT
- When the Packers lined up in their nickel formation to start the game at Philadelphia in Week 1, the secondary featured a pair of rookies for the first time in a Green Bay season opener since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970.
- Morgan Burnett, a third-round pick out of Georgia Tech, got the nod at strong safety next to veteran Nick Collins. CB Sam Shields, a non-drafted free agent out of Miami, opened up as the third corner with veteran corners Charles Woodson and Tramon Williams.
- Collins was part of the last rookie defensive-backfield tandem to start a game for the Packers. He and rookie nickel CB Mike Hawkins both started on Dec. 19, 2005, at Baltimore on Monday Night Football.
- With the start in Week 1, Burnett became only the second rookie safety since Chuck Cecil in 1988 to start a season opener for Green Bay. Collins, who started all 16 games as a rookie in ’05 out of Bethune-Cookman, was the only other one.
- Burnett posted the first interception of his career on in Week 2 against Buffalo when he took the ball away from WR Roscoe Parrish on a Trent Edwards pass in the flat. He is tied for third among NFL rookies in interceptions and has registered 12 tackles, while Shields has six tackles in three games as the nickel back.
- They are part of a secondary that has helped the defense allow only 144.0 passing yards per game in the first three contests, good for the No. 3 passing defense in the NFL. That included just 62 net passing yards by Buffalo in Week 2, the fewest allowed by Green Bay since it gave up only 27 vs. Minnesota on Dec. 21, 2006.
ZOMBO NO. 58
- For the second straight season, Green Bay’s defense is receiving a contribution from a rookie outside linebacker.
- In 2009, it was a pair of draft picks, Pro Bowl rookie Clay Matthews and Brad Jones, who gave the Packers their first rookie tandem with four-plus sacks in team history. This season, it is LB Frank Zombo, a non-drafted free agent out of Central Michigan.
- With Jones inactive on Monday night at Chicago due to a knee injury, Zombo got the starting nod at ROLB as Green Bay opened up in its nickel package. He posted a 10-yard sack of Bears QB Jay Cutler on the third play of the game, registering his second sack of the season.
- That ties him for the sack lead among NFL rookies with Lions DT Ndamukong Suh, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.
- Zombo posted his first career sack in the season opener at Philadelphia, bringing down Michael Vick for an 8-yard loss in the fourth quarter.
- With the sack, Zombo became the first Packers rookie to record a sack in his first game since DE Jamal Reynolds did so in his debut on Dec. 3, 2001, at Jacksonville.
- Zombo played defensive end in college, but made the transition to outside linebacker in defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ 3-4 scheme this offseason. During the preseason, he led the Packers in tackles (18) and sacks (two), and added a forced fumble en route to becoming one of three non-drafted rookies to make the team, joining CB Sam Shields and G Nick McDonald.
- With a win at Lambeau Field in Week 2 over Buffalo, Head Coach Mike McCarthy became just the second coach in team history to win four consecutive home openers.
- McCarthy joined the legendary Curly Lambeau as the only coach in franchise annals to win four or more consecutive home openers. Lambeau accomplished the feat three times (1923-27, 1929-32, 1938-41) in his 29-year coaching career in Green Bay.
- Green Bay is one of only six NFL teams and one of just two (Washington) in the NFC to win its home opener each year from 2007-10. The others are Baltimore, Denver, New England, and Pittsburgh.
ANOTHER FRANCHISE MARK
- WR Donald Driver, now in his 12th season, established yet another team mark last year in Week 13. Last season, it seemed as though franchise records fell on a weekly basis for Driver.
- Driver became the 10th player in franchise history to reach the 50-touchdown plateau. No other NFL franchise has 10 players with 50-plus TDs.
- Earlier, Driver topped the 50-catch plateau for an eighth straight season (2002-09), a new franchise record.
- Though he was the oldest player on the active roster at age 34, Driver showed no signs of slowing down in 2009. He led the team in catches (70), ranked second in receiving yards (1,061) and first in touchdown catches (6).
- Driver also extended his own franchise record by recording a seventh overall season and sixth straight with 1,000 yards. He is one of only two players in the league (Reggie Wayne) to have a 1,000-yard season each of the past six years (2004-09).
- The most significant record still within Driver’s grasp is career receiving yards. James Lofton ranks No. 1 with 9,656 yards. Driver is No. 2 with 9,179. Driver should surpass the mark sometime this season.
- Against Buffalo in Week 2, Driver scored on a 7-yard TD pass, the 51st receiving TD of his career. That moves him into sole possesion of the No. 4 spot in team history; he had been tied with Max McGee (50).
- The touchdown catch against the Bills was Driver’s 20th career at Lambeau Field, moving him into a tie for second place with Sterling Sharpe, behind only Antonio Freeman (36). Driver already holds the Lambeau records for receptions (315) and receiving yards (4,323).
- Driver has been the model of consistency for the Packers, catching at least one pass in 130 consecutive games (136 including playoffs), also a franchise record. His consistency also serves as a great example for younger teammates, as Driver has rarely missed a practice in his NFL career.
- While his reputation is as a slot guy who will make the tough catch over the middle, Driver made his share of big plays in 2009. His five catches of 40-plus yards tied for ninth in the NFL.
- Driver leads the team this season with 18 receptions in the first three games, and is tied for the team lead with two TD catches. His nine receptions on Monday night at Chicago were the most he has hauled in since he caught 10 passes at Detroit on Nov. 22, 2007.
- Along with TE Jermichael Finley, Driver was part of the first Packers tandem since Nov. 21, 2004, to each record nine receptions in a game. In the 16-13 win at Houston, Driver posted 10 catches and Javon Walker hauled in nine passes.
PROTECTION THE KEY
- Green Bay’s offensive line didn’t allow a single sack of QB Aaron Rodgers on Monday night at Chicago, the second straight game that the sixth-year QB was not sacked. The Packers and the Cowboys are the only teams in the league to not allow a single sack the past two games.
- The Chicago game was the fifth time in Rodgers’ last six regular-season starts that he has been sacked either once or not at all. Over the past 10 games, Green Bay has allowed just 13 sacks, tied for fifth fewest in the NFL over that span.
- In his two-plus years as the starting quarterback, there have been 13 games where the line has given up either one sack or no sacks of Rodgers. The Packers have a 10-3 mark in those contests.
- The effect that protection has is evident in Rodgers’ numbers in those games, as he has completed 291-of-427 passes (68.1 percent) for 3,462 yards and 26 TDs with just five INTs for a 108.1 passer rating.
- When Rodgers has been sacked four or more times in a game during his career, the Packers are 4-7.
- Injuries and performance issues affected the offensive line in the first half of 2009, as Rodgers was sacked 41 times over the first nine games. Once the line regained some continuity down the stretch, it allowed just 10 sacks of Rodgers over the final seven games, a pace that would have put the Packers in the top five in terms of sacks allowed if kept up over a 16-game season.
- After allowing three sacks at Philadelphia in the first half in Week 1 this season, the line has settled in and not given up a sack of Rodgers in the last 10 quarters, which is tied with Dallas for the longest current streak.
SPREAD IT AROUND
- With back-to-back 1,200-yard rusher Ryan Grant lost for the season after sustaining an ankle injury in Week 1 at Philadelphia, the Packers will look to a couple of backs to carry the load.
- Brandon Jackson, who excelled in his role as a third-down back in 2009, started in Week 2 against Buffalo, his first start since early in his rookie campaign of 2007 (vs. San Diego, Sept. 23).
- Jackson rushed for 29 yards on 11 carries, and scored on a 1-yard run at the end of the first quarter. He leads the team with 104 rushing yards on 36 carries (2.9 avg.) this season.
- John Kuhn, who worked primarily at fullback during his first three seasons in Green Bay, can expect to see more opportunities carrying the ball. In Week 2 against the Bills, he posted career highs in both carries (nine) and rushing yards (36). He started for the first time in his career at RB in Chicago, and registered a career-long 18-yard run.
- Grant, Jackson and Kuhn have all posted explosive runs this season (12 yards or more), making Green Bay one of only three teams (San Diego and N.Y. Giants) in the league to have three backs with 12-plus yard runs.
- Each of those backs registered a 12-yard run in the season opener at Philadelphia, the first time since Dec. 19, 2005, that the Packers had three RBs post an explosive gain. Samkon Gado, Tony Fisher and Noah Herron each rushed for a 12-yard gain at Baltimore in 2005.
- Green Bay’s 10 runs of 10-plus yards ranks tied for No. 11 in the NFL.
DEFENSE GETTING THE JOB DONE
- After finishing No. 2 in the league’s final overall defensive rankings in 2009, the unit is off to another strong start this season under second-year defensive coordinator Dom Capers.
- Green Bay’s defense currently ranks tied for No. 2 in the NFL, allowing an average of just 260.7 yards per game through the first three contests this season.
- That includes a No. 3 ranking in the league against the pass, with opponents averaging only 144.0 yards through the air in the first three contests. The Packers have given up just seven pass plays of 20-plus yards, which ranks tied for No. 5 in the league, and opposing QBs have a passer rating of 72.9.
- The Packers lead the NFL with 13 sacks and have given up just 47 points in three games. That 15.7-point average ranks tied for No. 7 in the NFL.
- After leading the NFL in run defense for the first time in 2009 as it allowed a franchise-record 83.3 yards per game, Green Bay hasn’t been quite as stingy against the run thus far this season, ranking No. 18 in the league (116.7 yards per game).
- A good chunk of that yardage came from Eagles QB Michael Vick, who posted 103 yards on 11 carries (9.4 avg.) in Week 1.
- Green Bay’s defense hasn’t allowed a running back to rush for 100 yards for 16 straight games, the longest current streak in the NFL. Rams RB Steven Jackson was the last to do it, posting 117 yards on 27 carries last season in Week 3 at St. Louis.
- Under Capers, the Packers thrived in their new 3-4 scheme in 2009. The team finished the season ranked No. 1 against the run and No. 5 against the pass.
- The previous top ranking in franchise history in run defense came in 1972, when the team finished No. 2.
- Green Bay allowed an average of 284.4 total yards per game, second behind the N.Y. Jets (252.3) and ahead of No. 3 Baltimore (300.5).
- Green Bay’s improved defense against the run kept opponents in long down-and-distances, enhancing the defense’s ability to get off the field on third down. Through the first four games, the unit ranked No. 28. As soon as Green Bay began to stop the run, it shot up the league rankings in third-down defense, finishing the year at No. 9.
- One constant for the defense was its ability to take the ball away, registering 39 of the team’s 40 takeaways. That takeaway total led the NFL in 2009, and it’s something that has become a habit for the defense. It has registered at least one takeaway in 18 of its last 19 games.
- In the first two years of the Mike McCarthy tenure, Green Bay’s defense was close to being a top-10 unit, finishing at No. 12 in 2006 and No. 11 in 2007. In 2008, it slipped to No. 20 before making the jump up to No. 2 last year.
- In Capers’ previous stints as a coordinator, his units made a jump in the rankings in his first season. In Pittsburgh, the defense went from No. 22 to No. 13 in ’92 under Capers, then continued to rise to No. 3 in ’93 and No. 2 in ’94. In Jacksonville, the defense climbed to No. 4 under Capers in ’99 after ranking 25th the previous season. The Dolphins ranked No. 4 in 2006, Capers’ first year, after ranking No. 18 in ’05.
AS GOOD AS HE’S EVER BEEN
- At age 33, CB Charles Woodson enjoyed the finest season of his career in 2009, his first year in the 3-4 scheme.
- Woodson achieved the highest individual honor bestowed upon a defensive player, taking home The Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year award. He also was named an AP first-team All-Pro.
- Woodson became the fourth player in NFL history since sacks became an official statistic to record at least nine interceptions and two sacks in a single season. One of the players who previously accomplished the feat (Ed Reed - 2004) also went on to win Defensive Player of the Year. Woodson also led the Packers with four forced fumbles.
- Against Dallas, Woodson became the first NFL player to record two forced fumbles, an interception and a sack in a game since Steelers linebacker James Harrison accomplished the feat two years prior to the day vs. Baltimore on Nov. 15, 2007. In that contest, Harrison posted three forced fumbles, 3½ sacks and an interception.
- Against the Lions in Week 12, Woodson tallied two interceptions, including one he returned for a score, a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery, and held Calvin Johnson to two catches for 10 yards.
- Woodson was named NFC Defensive Player of the Month for October, November and December, becoming the first defensive player in the NFL to win a monthly award three times.
- Woodson’s INT return for a score against Arizona in Week 17 was his seventh with Green Bay, giving him eight defensive touchdowns with the Packers to establish a new franchise record. The seven INT returns for scores with Green Bay ties him for first on the franchise’s all-time list with Hall of Famer Herb Adderley.
- In addition to his team-high and career-best nine interceptions, he established a new career high with 81 tackles, third most on the team. His previous career high had been 79, a total he accomplished twice before (OAK, 2000; GB, 2008).
- His four forced fumbles tied for second among NFL defensive backs in 2009, and he is tied for the league lead this season among defensive backs with two forced fumbles.
- There’s no doubt Woodson’s career has undergone a revitalization since coming to Green Bay. He now has 45 career interceptions, fifth among active NFL players. Of his interceptions, 28 have come in 65 games with Green Bay. In 106 games with the Raiders, he had 17.
CLOSING IN ON THE RECORD
- Eighth-year LB Nick Barnett is poised to move into the No. 2 spot this in team annals for most career tackles.
- Barnett enters Sunday’s game against Detroit with 1,001 career tackles, which is tied with Johnnie Gray (1975-83) for second in team history (statistic kept since 1975).
- Barnett also stands just 20 tackles shy of breaking John Anderson’s franchise record (1,020), a mark he could hit in the next few games.
- “An organization like this with so many great players and so many great teams, to be able to lead anything or to take any records, that’s huge,” Barnett said after the Buffalo game.
- “It feels good to be able to do that. You don’t see in this day and age a lot of players staying on one team for so long, and I’ve been blessed to be able to do that, and I hope to continue that.”
- Barnett currently ranks ??? on the team with 15 tackles (12 solo) through the first three games. Last season he led the team in tackles (122) for the fifth time in his career, a franchise record.
TOO MANY MISCUES SPELL DEFEAT
- A game full of mistakes was ultimately decided by mistakes.
- A fumble by Green Bay receiver James Jones with just over two minutes to go in a tie game and then a pass interference penalty on rookie safety Morgan Burnett set up a last-second, game-winning field goal for the Chicago Bears on Monday night.
- Robbie Gould’s 19-yard chip shot was good with 4 seconds left, giving the Bears a 20-17 win over the Packers in front of 62,179 at Soldier Field and separating the two NFC North rivals by one game in the division race.
- Chicago improved to 3-0 while the Packers fell to 2-1, with each team scheduled to play 12 more games before they meet again in the regular-season finale. That gives the Packers plenty of time to ponder the missed opportunities, special-teams miscues and franchise-record 18 penalties that all contributed to a frustrating defeat.
- “It’s disappointing, … to give away a game like this,” linebacker Nick Barnett said. “We’re not Santa Claus. We’re not in the business of jumping down your chimney and letting you have a game.”
- But that’s what the Packers did, letting this one get away despite outgaining the Bears by more than 100 yards (379-276) and possessing the ball for 11½ minutes longer (35:49 to 24:11).
- The blunders at the end by Jones and Burnett were by no means the only costly ones, either.
- After the Packers took a 10-0 lead in the first half, the Bears got back to within three when Tim Masthay’s low, line-drive punt was returned 28 yards by Devin Hester, setting up the Bears for a four-play, 44-yard touchdown drive right before half.
- A bad night for the special teams continued in the second half when Mason Crosby’s 37-yard field-goal attempt was blocked just two snaps after an apparent 15-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jermichael Finley was wiped out by a holding penalty on Mark Tauscher.
- Then, after the Bears failed to score on fourth-and-goal at the 1, the Packers failed to get a first down to get out of the hole, hurting themselves with three pre-snap penalties. Masthay’s punt from his own end zone was a high, deep 57-yarder, but Hester found a lane and ran it back 62 yards for the score, giving the Bears a 14-10 advantage in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.
- “We were trying to change the field position and you’ve got to cover the ball once in a while,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “We’ve been covering the football better, but it didn’t happen tonight and obviously that was a huge play in the game.”
- The Packers responded with a 72-yard touchdown drive, as quarterback Aaron Rodgers (34-of-45, 316 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 92.5 rating) scrambled around the right side for the 3-yard score on third-and-goal. That put Green Bay ahead 17-14 with 6:52 left.
- But from there, seemingly nothing went Green Bay’s way. The Packers appeared to have a potentially game-changing turnover when Barnett intercepted Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (16-of-27, 221 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 82.5 rating) on the first snap of the ensuing drive.
- Rookie linebacker Frank Zombo was called for roughing the passer, however, as his helmet caught Cutler under the chin just as he made the throw, and the penalty got the Bears started on their drive for a game-tying field goal.
- Then, with the Packers trying to drive for the game-winning score, Jones caught a short pass in the flat and was scurrying up the right sideline when Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher knocked the ball out. With the fumble sitting barely inside the boundary, Bears cornerback Tim Jennings recovered at the Green Bay 46 with 2:18 left.
- The Bears overcame a holding penalty with a 21-yard completion to tight end Greg Olsen to put them on the outer edge of Gould’s range. Then, Cutler tried to go deep down the right side to WR Earl Bennett, and Burnett was called for interference as safety Nick Collins swooped across and intercepted the ball.
- It was the Packers’ 17th penalty – they added the record-breaking 18th with an illegal forward pass on the desperation, lateral-filled kickoff return following Gould’s game-winning kick – and it capped an ugly night that ended with an ugly result.
- “Seventeen penalties, that doesn’t cut it,” McCarthy said. “You can’t play football like that.”
- Not if the Packers are going to fulfill the expectations they have for themselves in 2010. It’s only one loss and it’s still early, but the Packers are suddenly chasing a division rival in the standings, and they have no one but themselves to blame.
- “You can’t win a game like that, having that many penalties, letting them return the ball and get that field position,” Barnett said. “You can’t win a game like that. We just have to clean it up on all sides of the ball and play better football.
- “We can play a lot better than the way we played. The good thing about NFL football is we get to see them again. This is not all lost. We’re not going to throw everything away because we lost one time.
- “We have to go watch this film and be very critical of ourselves, kick ourselves in the mouth, and come out and be very hungry for the next game.”
Excerpts from Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s post-game press conference at Chicago.
(Is it good to have the quick turnaround and have this short week to prepare for Detroit to get past this one right away?)
You could look at it that way. Losing this game I don’t think is ever a good thing. This is a game that is very competitive, I think that was illustrated and I thought both teams played hard, it was a tough, physical game. I thought our players had a good week of preparation coming into this. We did not do some things very well in Week 1 and Week 2 and we wanted to improve on those things. We’ll take a look at the film, but 17 penalties, that doesn’t cut it, you can’t play football like that so we need to evaluate that and apply that to our preparation for Detroit.
(Did you consider letting them score on their last drive to give your offense time on the clock to come back?)
No, I did not. I did not consider letting them score at the end. I felt that if they missed the field goal, we’d win the game. It was talked about, but that was not the decision I went with.
(Was your game plan coming into the game to throw it as much as you did?)
Frankly, I don’t remember calling a game against [Bears’ defensive coordinator] Rod Marinelli and I was curious to see how they played us. The matchups, the pass protection and how the game flows, we didn’t run the ball at all in the first half very well, and we were able to get it going a little bit in the second half, but we just took advantage of the things that were there. I thought we moved the ball very well, but you’ve got to score points, and the penalties factored into our point generation tonight.
(What went wrong with your special teams tonight?)
They performed better than we did, I think that was obvious. They won the field position battle I would think – I haven’t looked at the statistics. I thought their coverage teams covered better than ours did, their return game was more productive than our game, I felt we had some things going into the game that we’d be able to take advantage of, but we did not. I thought their specialists handled the football better, so that was not a positive for us tonight.