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. GREEN BAY (3-1) AT WASHINGTON (2-2)
This is an abbreviated version of the Packers-Redskins Week 5 Dope Sheet. To read the full version, download the PDF by clicking here.
Here are some highlights from the Packers-Redskins Week 5 Dope Sheet:
Sunday, Oct. 10 - FedExField - Noon CDT
PACKERS MAKE RARE TRIP TO FACE REDSKINS
- Green Bay travels to Washington for the first time since 2004 on Sunday to play the Redskins. It is just the second matchup between the teams in Washington over the past 31 seasons.
- The Packers 2004 visit, a 28-14 Green Bay win on Oct. 31, was their first trip to Washington since Dec. 2, 1979, a 38-21 Redskins win.
- The initial meeting between the teams came in 1932, which was the first year the Redskins franchise, then known as the Boston Braves, was in existence.
- The teams squared off 17 times between 1932-52, including the 1936 NFL Championship, the fourth title game in NFL history.
- Green Bay holds a 17-12-1 edge in the all-time series against the Redskins, which includes wins in each of the last four meetings (2001, 2002, 2004, 2007). Prior to ’01, the teams hadn’t met since 1988.
- Head Coach Mike McCarthy, who is also the offensive play-caller, will be facing an opposing coach he worked under for four seasons. Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett was the head coach in New Orleans for each of McCarthy’s five seasons there (2000-04) as offensive coordinator.
- It will be the first of two consecutive matchups for McCarthy against a head coach he served under. Mike Nolan, who was the head coach of San Francisco in 2005 when McCarthy served as the offensive coordinator there, is now the defensive coordinator in Miami. The Packers host the Dolphins in Week 6.
- Last Sunday, the Packers beat the Lions, 28-26, Green Bay’s 19th straight regular-season home victory over Detroit. That ranks No. 1 among current NFL home streaks, eclipsing Washington’s mark of 18 consecutive home victories against Detroit.
- The victory was the Packers’ sixth straight at home, which matches the longest winning streak at home (2007-08) during McCarthy’s tenure.
- Green Bay will return home next Sunday to face Miami for the first time at Lambeau Field since 2002 with the Dolphins coming off of their bye, while the Redskins host the Indianapolis Colts next Sunday night.
WITH THE CALL
- While the teams haven’t seen as much of each other in recent years, the all-time series has been headlined by a couple of memorable games.
- The NFL championship game in ’36 was the first for both franchises, and the Packers beat the Boston Redskins, 21-6, at the Polo Grounds in New York City.
- The game was played in New York because Redskins owner George Preston Marshall, upset with his fans’ lack of support, was moving his team to Washington and didn’t want to host the championship in Boston.
- In front of 29,545, Don Hutson caught a 48-yard touchdown pass from Arnie Herber in the first three minutes, and Green Bay never trailed. It was the first NFL title contest won by the Packers under coach Curly Lambeau, after winning league championships awarded by league standing in 1929, 1930 and 1931.
- The teams met in one of the more memorable regular-season games in Packers history on Monday Night Football on Oct. 17, 1983. Facing the defending Super Bowl champions, Green Bay won, 48-47, in a game that is still the highest-scoring contest ever on MNF as well as in Packers team history. Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy started at free safety for the Redskins in the game.
- 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 Joe Buck and color analyst Troy Aikman will have the call from the broadcast booth with Pam Oliver reporting from the sidelines.
- 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 126 WTMJ feed) as part of the network’s NFL Sunday Drive.
- DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game in HD on channel 712.
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT:
Packers vs. Washington Redskins:All-time regular season:
1-1All-time, in Washington, D.C.
: The Packers have won the last four meetings, dating back to 2001. Last meeting, regular season:
Oct. 14, 2007, at Lambeau Field; Packers won, 17-14Last meeting, regular season, in Washington, D.C.:
Oct. 31, 2004; Packers won, 28-14COACHES CAPSULESMike McCarthy:
42-29-0, .592, (incl. 1-2 postseason); 5th NFL seasonMike Shanahan:
156-105-0, .600 (incl. 8-5 postseason); 17th NFL season (1st with Redskins) Head to Head:
McCarthy 1-0vs. Opponent:
McCarthy 1-0 vs. Redskins; Shanahan 2-3 vs. PackersMIKE McCARTHY…Is in fifth year as the Packers’ 14th head coach.
MIKE SHANAHAN…Is in first year as the Redskins’ 22nd 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.
THE PACKERS-REDSKINS SERIES
- His 148 regular-season wins rank second among active coaches, behind only Bill Belichick’s 151.
- Served as an NFL head coach for 16 seasons with two teams: Los Angeles Raiders (1988-89) and Denver Broncos (1995-2008).
- One of only six coaches to win back-to-back Super Bowls, doing so with Denver (1997-98), including the Broncos’ triumph over the Packers in Super Bowl XXXII.
- During 25-year NFL career as a head and assistant coach, has coached in 10 conference title games and six Super Bowls.
- The Packers first met the Redskins (then Boston Braves) in 1932, five days after Franklin D. Roosevelt won his first presidential election.
- The two clubs met several times in the early years, most memorably in the 1936 NFL championship game. That year, Redskins owner George Preston Marshall, upset with his fans’ lack of support, was moving his team to Washington and didn’t want to host the championship in Boston. So, the NFL moved the game to New York’s Polo Grounds, where Green Bay claimed its fourth title, 21-6.
- In the other playoff meeting in the series, an NFC divisional game on Christmas Eve 1972, Bill Kilmer hit Roy Jefferson on a 32-yard TD pass, and Curt Knight kicked three FGs in a 16-3 Washington win, spoiling the Packers’ Central Division crown.
- The Packers and Redskins played the highest scoring game in Monday Night Football history on Oct. 17, 1983, at Lambeau Field, in a game that featured 11 TDs and six FGs.
- The Packers own a four-game series winning streak (2001-07). That streak began at Lambeau Field, Sept. 24, 2001, the historic first Monday night game after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy played eight seasons (1977-84) with the Redskins, serving as co-captain from 1980-84, playing on the Super Bowl championship team of 1982, and earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in 1983...Packers VP of football administration/player finance Russ Ball spent the 2001 season as director of football administration for the Redskins...Packers director of football operations Reggie McKenzie played for the Raiders in 1988 when Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan was Los Angeles’ head coach...Packers DL coach Mike Trgovac held the same position with the Redskins for two years (2000-01). The ’01 Washington staff also included Packers strength & cond. asst. Dave Redding...Redskins def. coordinator Jim Haslett was the head coach in New Orleans when McCarthy served as off. coord. there (2000-04)...Packers special teams asst. Chad Morton played two seasons with Washington (2003-04) and also played for New Orleans (2000) under Haslett...Haslett was also Packers asst. head coach/inside LBs Winston Moss’ position coach with the Raiders in 1993-94, and Moss also later coached on Haslett’s staff in New Orleans...Packers WR coach Jimmy Robinson held the same position on Haslett’s staff in New Orleans from 2004-05, and Packers safeties coach Darren Perry played for Haslett in New Orleans in 2000...Redskins DB coach Bob Slowik was a def. asst. for five seasons in Green Bay (2000-04), the last as def. coord. ...Redskins DL coach Jacob Burney coached one season at the Univ. of Wisconsin (1989) and OL coach Chris Foerster is a Milwaukee, Wis., native...Redskins TE coach Jon Embree was a teammate of Packers LB coach Kevin Greene with the L.A. Rams (1987-88) and a coach on the UCLA staff when Packers LB Brandon Chillar played there...Redskins strength & conditioning coach Ray Wright was an assistant for the Houston Texans when Packers def. coord. Dom Capers was head coach there...Redskins DL Vonnie Holliday was a 1998 first-round pick of the Packers who played five seasons in Green Bay (1998-2002)...Redskins P Josh Bidwell played four seasons in Green Bay (2000-03)...Redskins C Casey Rabach played collegiately at Wisconsin...Redskins DT Albert Haynesworth was a teammate at Tennessee of both Packers T Chad Clifton and C Scott Wells in different years...Redskins DE Adam Carriker and Packers RB Brandon Jackson were teammates at Nebraska and ’07 draft picks...Other former college teammates include Redskins LB Lorenzo Alexander and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (Cal), Redskins NT Anthony Bryant and Packers S Charlie Peprah (Alabama), Redskins TE Fred Davis and Packers LB Clay Matthews (USC), Redskins DE Jeremy Jarmon and Packers P Tim Masthay (Kentucky), Redskins S LaRon Landry, LB Perry Riley, RB Keiland Williams and Packers QB Matt Flynn (LSU), Redskins LB Brain Orakpo and Packers TE Jermichael Finley (Texas), and Redskins CB Carlos Rogers and Packers CB Pat Lee (Auburn).INDIVIDUALLY VS. REDSKINS
TE Donald Lee’s career-long reception of 60 yards came vs. Washington in 2007...Also in 2007, CB Charles Woodson recorded his one career fumble return for a TD. LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON
LAST MEETING, IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
- Oct. 14, 2007, at Lambeau Field; Packers won, 17-14.
- CB Charles Woodson’s 57-yard return of a fumble by WR Santana Moss late in the third quarter gave the Packers the come-from-behind win. Moss had taken a handoff on an end-around and was stripped by DT Corey Williams.
- LB Nick Barnett stopped RB Ladell Betts on a swing pass on fourth-and-1 midway through the fourth quarter to help preserve the Packers’ lead.
- QB Brett Favre threw two INTs to the late Sean Taylor in the second half. The first one broke the NFL record for the most career INTs.
- Redskins TE Chris Cooley had nine receptions for 105 yards, including a 14-yard TD late in the first half that put Washington up 14-7.
- Oct. 31, 2004, at FedExField; Packers won 28-14.
- RB Ahman Green recorded the first three-TD performance of his career. He scored two TDs in the first half as the Packers led 17-6.
- The victory was overshadowed by an injury to QB Brett Favre in the third quarter. After a LaVar Arrington sack, Favre was carted off the field and did not return. An MRI the following day revealed no significant damage to his knee.
- Backup QB Doug Pederson replaced Favre in the third quarter and led the team on three scoring drives to close out the game.
CLAY FINDS A WAY
- After recording six sacks in Week 1 at Philadelphia, the most by any NFL team on opening weekend, the Packers have followed that performance up with 10 more sacks in the next three games.
- Green Bay’s 16 sacks as a team through Week 4 are tied for the NFL lead with the N.Y. Giants and Tennessee. The Packers lead the league in sack yardage with 113 yards.
- The Packers' 16 sacks through the first four games are the most by a Green Bay defense to start the season since the 2001 squad registered 20 in the opening four contests.
- The 16 sacks are also the second most in a four-game span in Head Coach Mike McCarthy's four-plus seasons, trailing only the 17 posted by the Packers in 2006 (Weeks 7-10).
- Seven of the sacks have come courtesy of LB Clay Matthews, who leads the NFL in that category. DE Cullen Jenkins, who ranks second on the team with four sacks, has posted a sack in each game as well, the first time in his seven-year career that he has recorded one in four straight games. Green Bay is one of only two teams in the league to have two players with four-plus sacks (Kiwanuka/Umenyiora, N.Y. Giants).
- With Jenkins registering a sack in four consecutive games, this is the second straight year that the Green Bay defense has had a player accomplish that feat. Matthews posted sacks in four straight contests in 2009 (Weeks 12-15). The last Packer to register a sack in five straight games was Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (2000-01).
- 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 in a game 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, when Green Bay’s 16th sack didn’t come until Week 10 vs. Dallas.
- 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.
- 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’ six sacks in the first two games of the season were the most ever by a Packer to start a year.
- 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 48 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 20 career games played, Matthews 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 20 games with the Packers (1993-94).
- Matthews’ 17 sacks since 2009 rank tied for first in the league over that span with Denver’s Elvis Dumervil (17).
- In 2009, Matthews set a Packers rookie record with 10 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.
- Matthews’ 17 sacks in his first 20 games are the most ever by any NFL player to start a career. It tops the previous mark of 16.5 set by San Diego’s Leslie O’Neal (1986, 1988) and the N.Y. Jets’ John Abraham (2000-01).
STAT OF THE WEEK
- The opening drives of a half set the tone for a team, and Green Bay’s offense is off to a fast start in that area this season.
- When QB Aaron Rodgers connected with WR Donald Driver on a 29-yard TD pass on the opening drive of the game vs. Detroit last Sunday, it was the second time in four games that the Packers scored a TD on their first drive. Their 17 points this season on the first drives of the game rank No. 2 in the NFL behind only Indianapolis’ 21 points. Green Bay ranked tied for No. 6 in the NFL in 2009 with 37 points on opening drives.
- The Packers have also scored TDs twice in four games on their opening drive of the second half. Those 14 points rank tied for No. 3 in the NFL, and Green Bay is already well ahead of its pace from 2009 when it scored 20 points all season on opening second-half-drives (No. 20).
- 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 six regular-season games.
PLENTY OF PRODUCTION INSIDE THE 20
- CB Charles Woodson’s 48-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter against Detroit on Sunday was his eighth career with the Packers, which set a franchise record. He had been tied with Hall of Fame CB Herb Adderley (seven, 1961-69) for the team mark.
- It was also Woodson’s ninth defensive TD (eight INTs, one fumble return) in a Green Bay uniform, which further extended his franchise record.
- The touchdown gave Woodson 10 interception returns for touchdowns in his career (two with Oakland), which moved him up in the NFL record books as he became just the third player in league history to post 10 career interception returns for touchdowns.
- Woodson now ranks No. 3 in NFL history in the category, trailing only Rod Woodson (12) and Darren Sharper (11).
- Woodson has now posted an INT return for a touchdown in five straight seasons, all five of his years in Green Bay (2006-10), to become the first player in NFL history to record an INT return for a TD in five consecutive seasons.
- The score on Sunday was also the third straight year that Woodson has registered an INT return for a TD against Detroit. He is the first player in NFL history to post an INT return for a TD in three consecutive seasons against the same team.
- Woodson’s 14 tackles on Sunday against Detroit was his career high, eclipsing his 13 posted vs. Kansas City (Dec. 5, 2004) when he was with Oakland.
- Since 2008, Woodson has more interceptions (17) and interception returns for touchdowns (six) than any other player in the league.
TAKEAWAY POINTS KEY FOR PACKERS
- Green Bay has had one of the more efficient red-zone offenses in the league over the past two seasons, finishing in the top 10 in the NFL both years in that category.
- Through four games this season, the Packers are off to an even more productive start, having scored touchdowns on nine of 12 trips inside the opponent’s 20. That 75.0 percent touchdown rate ranks No. 2 in the league behind only Philadelphia (80.0 percent).
- Green Bay’s 66 points in the red zone this season (nine touchdowns, one field goal) rank No. 6 in the league. The only times the Packers did not score when they got inside the opponent’s 20 was at Chicago in Week 3 when Mason Crosby’s 37-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter was blocked, and in Week 4 when the they drove inside Detroit’s 20 on the final possession of the game but ran out the clock in the 28-26 win.
- The highest red-zone conversion mark under Head Coach Mike McCarthy came in 2008, when the Packers ranked No. 6 in the NFL with a 60.4 percent touchdown rate.
- Much of Green Bay’s success in the red zone has to be credited to the play of QB Aaron Rodgers, who has been one of the more prolific signal-callers in the league inside the 20 since taking over as the starter in 2008.
- According to STATS, Rodgers’ passer rating of 124.2 this season in the red zone ranks No. 2 in the league (min. 10 attempts) to only San Francisco’s Alex Smith (124.6). Rodgers has connected on 12-of-16 passes (75.0 percent) for 77 yards and five TDs with no INTs in 2010.
- Even more impressive, in 36 career starts with Green Bay, Rodgers has yet to throw a single interception in the red zone, posting a 109.0 rating on 97-of-158 passing (61.4 percent) for 615 yards and 41 touchdowns.
ZOMBO NO. 58
- In the second year of Dom Capers’ 3-4 scheme, the Packers are once again showing their knack for taking the ball away, which they have continued to turn into points this season.
- The Packers have registered seven takeaways in the first four games, turning five of those turnovers into touchdowns. Green Bay’s 35 points off of takeaways so far this season rank second in the league to only San Diego (38).
- Scoring points off of turnovers has become a trend for the Packers at Lambeau Field, as they have a current streak of 12 straight games at home with points scored that were set up by a takeaway. That streak ranks first in the NFL.
- Green Bay posted 30 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries in 2009, which it turned into 141 points. The 40 takeaways led the NFL, and the 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.
287 AND COUNTING
- 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 in Week 3 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.
- Zombo got the starting nod again in Week 4 vs. Detroit, and recorded a career-high six tackles, including one for loss.
- He ranks second among NFL rookies with two sacks, trailing only the Lions DT Ndamukong Suh (3.0), 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.
- Another packed house at Lambeau Field against the Lions in Week 4 brought the stadium’s consecutive sellouts streak to 287 games (271 regular season, 16 playoffs).
- The 2009 home game against Minnesota saw the largest regular-season crowd in Lambeau Field history (71,213).
- The league’s longest-tenured stadium, Lambeau Field is hosting its 54th season of football this year. A total of 565,666 fans made their way through the turnstiles in the eight home contests in 2009.
- Across American professional sports, only Boston’s Fenway Park (1912) and Chicago’s Wrigley Field (1914) have longer tenures.
ANOTHER FRANCHISE MARK
- 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.
CLOSING IN ON THE RECORD
- 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 9,268. 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 moved him into sole possession of the No. 4 spot in team history, and he currently has 52 career TD grabs.
- His TD catch on Sunday vs. Detroit was his 21st at Lambeau Field, moving him into sole possession of the No. 2 spot behind only Antonio Freeman (36). Driver already holds the Lambeau records for receptions (318) and receiving yards (4,412).
- Driver has been the model of consistency for the Packers, catching at least one pass in 131 consecutive games (137 including playoffs), also a franchise record. That streak ranks third among active NFL players behind only Pittsburgh’s Hines Ward (182) and Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez (151).
- 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 is tied for the team lead with 21 receptions in the first four games, and is also tied for the team lead with three TD catches. His nine receptions in Week 3 at Chicago were the most he had hauled in since he caught 10 passes at Detroit on Nov. 22, 2007.
- Along with TE Jermichael Finley at Chicago, 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 nearly six years ago, Driver posted 10 catches and Javon Walker hauled in nine.
VICTORY DOESN’T COME EASY
- Eighth-year LB Nick Barnett is poised to move into the No. 1 spot for most career tackles in franchise history.
- Barnett enters Sunday’s game at Washington with 1,013 career tackles, good for second in team history (statistic kept since 1975).
- Barnett stands just eight tackles shy of breaking John Anderson’s franchise record (1,020), a mark he could hit against the Redskins.
- “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 earlier this season.
- “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 third on the team with 27 tackles (21 solo) through the first four games. Last season he led the team in tackles (122) for the fifth time in his career, a franchise record, returning from a season-ending knee injury sustained in Week 10 of 2008.
- Sometimes winning can be more like a matter of survival, and that’s what the Green Bay Packers did on Sunday. They survived.
- That’s why there wasn’t exactly a euphoric feeling in the locker room following Sunday’s 28-26 victory over the Detroit Lions at Lambeau Field. The win was badly flawed and full of anxious moments against a currently winless team that hasn’t won in the state of Wisconsin in 19 years.
- But the Packers won, thanks to an exhausted defense that got a stop in Green Bay territory midway through the fourth quarter and thanks to a frustrated offense that managed to milk the final 6 minutes, 32 seconds off the clock to seal it, preventing a 14-point second-half lead from getting away.
- “There’s nothing lucky about winning in this game,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. “I think our team showed a lot of resiliency, fought through a lot of tough spots.”
- Players said even McCarthy had to remind them a couple of times that they won, because the post-game mood was so sour. McCarthy even quipped in his post-game press conference that it didn’t “feel like” the Packers were 3-1 at the season’s quarter pole.
- But the Packers will make no apologies. None are needed in the NFL. Not even when the Lions gain 170 more yards (431 to 261), run almost twice as many plays (78 to 40), convert seven more third downs (10 to 3), and possess the ball for more than a full quarter longer (37:37 to 22:23).
- Just ask the Atlanta Falcons, who needed a late field goal at home to squeak by the winless San Francisco 49ers, 16-14. Or the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, who topped the winless Carolina Panthers at home by that same score.
- The wins all count the same, even the ones that aren’t all that satisfying.
- “(McCarthy) knows we don’t feel the way we need to feel right now off of a win,” linebacker Nick Barnett said. “We won the game, and we’re excited about that, but at the same time we know that this performance needs to pick up. We need to be a better team.”
- The Packers felt as though there’d be no question who was better on Sunday with a 28-14 lead early in the third quarter.
- The offense had scored on its opening drive of the game, as Aaron Rodgers hit Donald Driver for a 29-yard touchdown just 2:20 in, and it took advantage of a fumble deep in Detroit territory by Lions running back Jahvid Best – on great penetration at the line of scrimmage by rookie defensive end Mike Neal – to assume control.
- Rodgers fired a pinpoint pass over the middle against tight coverage to Jermichael Finley for a 13-yard score three plays after the fumble and then, following a three-and-out, went 68 yards in four plays for another TD. Driver’s 48-yard grab when Rodgers knew he had a free play (the Lions jumped offsides at the snap) set up Greg Jennings’ 17-yard score and the Packers led 21-7 midway through the second quarter.
- The Lions countered with a 21-yard TD pass from Shaun Hill to Calvin Johnson with just eight seconds left in the first half, Johnson’s second score of the game. But any momentum from that was snatched back on the opening drive of the third quarter, when Charles Woodson made a diving interception of Hill’s pass, got up behind a convoy of blockers and raced 48 yards for a touchdown and a 14-point lead.
- It was a record-breaking touchdown for Woodson – his eighth interception return for a score with Green Bay, breaking a tie with Herb Adderley in team annals – and it had the 70,729 fans at Lambeau all fired up.
- But from there, smooth sailing it was not.
- Over the next 17½ minutes, the Lions had four drives and kicked four field goals to get close. During that span, Rodgers threw two interceptions and kickoff returner Jordy Nelson fumbled one away, the special-teams turnover giving the Lions a first down at the Green Bay 18-yard line trailing just 28-23.
- But the defense rose up, forcing three straight incompletions from Hill (34-of-54, 331 yards, two TDs, two INTs, 77.0 rating) after a first-and-goal at the 6, which led to the fourth field goal to keep the Packers ahead, 28-26 with 11:51 left.
- “Anytime as a defense you can go back out and make a stand after a turnover,” Packers cornerback Tramon Williams said, “whether it’s on the 20-yard line, whether it’s on the 1-yard line, if you can make a stand, that can shift the momentum quick.”
- Rodgers (12-of-17, 181 yards, three TDs, two INTs, 105.3 rating) then tried to seize that momentum by firing deep to Jennings on the first snap of the ensuing drive, but it resulted in his second interception when cornerback Alphonso Smith outfought Jennings for the ball as they crashed to the ground.
- The Lions then drove all the way to Green Bay’s 38-yard line, not far from kicker Jason Hanson’s field-goal range, as Hanson had drilled a 52-yarder in the third quarter. But Woodson came up big, tripping up Best after just a 1-yard gain and then breaking up back-to-back pass attempts to Johnson (six catches, 86 yards, two TDs) to force a punt with 6½ minutes left.
- “If you want to be a good team, you want to be a team that is known to go out in adverse situations and come up big, then that’s what you’ve got to do,” said Woodson, who led the team in tackles and played superbly despite Johnson’s productive day. “It doesn’t matter if he throws a pick, if Jordy fumbles, it doesn’t matter. Defensively we still have to go out and do our job, and we did a great job today throughout that second half of just keeping them to field goals, and getting off the field late in the game when we needed to.”
- The offense finally did its job, too, picking up five consecutive first downs – having not recorded one since 7 minutes remained in the third quarter – to kill the rest of the clock. Running back John Kuhn carried seven times for 34 yards on the drive and Rodgers moved the chains with completions to Driver (three catches, 89 yards) and Donald Lee. Kuhn’s 8-yard run on third-and-7 with under a minute left and Detroit out of timeouts made it official.
- “To finish that game right there, I thought was a real statement for our offense,” McCarthy said. “We had plenty of tough moments through the game, but to finish the game off like that is something we can build on.”
- The Packers will need to, because there are two ways to look at a game like Sunday’s, and both have value.
- There’s one school of thought that says the Packers can’t afford to continue playing like this, giving up so many yards on defense, sputtering at times on offense, and turning the ball over too much. All true.
- But there’s also the view that teams that go somewhere when it’s all said and done are battle-tested and can find ways to win when they don’t play their best. It’s not the easy way, but it’s worth something.
- “These are the type of wins that we need,” Woodson said. “I don’t think you feel like, ‘We’re glad the game’s over and we snuck out of there.’ You’re going to need games like that down the stretch. It’s going to be a long season, and they’re not all going to be blowouts of course. You’ve got to win some close games, and today was a close one. We won.”