GREEN BAY (6-3) AT MINNESOTA (3-6)
Sunday, Nov. 21 - Mall of America Field - Noon CSTPACKERS AND VIKINGS SET TO SQUARE OFF FOR 100TH TIME
WITH THE CALL
- Coming off their bye, the Packers go on the road to face the division-rival Minnesota Vikings at noon on Sunday in the 100th overall meeting between the teams.
- Green Bay enters Sunday’s game on a three-game winning streak following victories over Minnesota, the N.Y. Jets and Dallas before the bye. It was the first time since 2004 that the Packers won three straight contests heading into their bye.
- The Packers last played the Vikings in the game immediately following Green Bay’s bye in 2005, which was the third straight year that the teams faced each other following the Packers’ week off.
- In games immediately following their bye week, the Packers have won 10 of their last 14, and under Head Coach Mike McCarthy, the team is 3-1. Since 2000, the Packers over the balance of their season after the bye are a combined 62-36 (.633), including a 9-3 mark in 2009.
- The Packers come out of the bye with back-to-back games on the road at Minnesota and Atlanta. It is the third time in four seasons that Green Bay has had consecutive road games (2007, 2008) after the week off.
- Of Green Bay’s first five games following the bye, four of them will be away from Lambeau Field. Since the NFL introduced a bye week to the schedule in 1990, the Packers have never played four road games in its first five contests after the bye, and they are one of only two teams (St. Louis) in the NFL to do so this season.
- The last time the Packers played four road games in a five-week stretch was in 2007 (Weeks 12, 13, 15, 16).
- The Packers have a 19-8 (.704) mark against NFC North opponents under McCarthy, which ranks first among NFC North teams over that span. Green Bay’s divisional record since ’06 is tied for third in the NFL, and the Packers have posted a 4-2 record or better in the division each season under McCarthy. Green Bay is 2-1 in divisional games this year.
A COMPETITIVE SERIES
- 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.
- Sports USA Radio will broadcast the game with Larry Kahn (play-by-play), Ross Tucker (analyst) and Troy West (sideline reporter).
- 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 122 WTMJ feed) as part of the network’s NFL Sunday Drive.
- DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game in HD on channel 709.
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT:Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings:
- Few rivalries in sports have exhibited the parity of the Green Bay-Minnesota series since it began in 1961.
- Through 99 meetings, which includes one postseason game, the Packers hold a slight 50-48-1 advantage over the Vikings.
- Fans can bet on a back-and-forth contest when these two clubs meet, one that always seems to come down to the final possession. In fact, 14 of the past 16 regular-season games have been decided by seven points or less, the lone exceptions being the Packers’ 34-0 blanking of the Vikings in 2007 at Lambeau Field and Minnesota’s 38-26 victory in Green Bay last season.
- Not only do the games seem to always come down to the last possession, but more recently they have come down to a final kick. From 2004-2008, six out of the 10 contests were decided by a field goal at the end of the fourth quarter. Vikings K Ryan Longwell kicked two game-winning field goals – for the Packers – in the ’04 meetings.
- The Packers snapped the Vikings’ three-game winning streak in the series earlier this season with a 28-24 victory at Lambeau Field in Week 7. Prior to that, Green Bay had won each time against Minnesota in Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s first five games vs. the Vikings.
All-time regular season:
0-1All-time, in Minnesota
: The Vikings have won three of the last four meetings. Last meeting, regular season:
Oct. 24, 2010, at Lambeau Field; Packers won, 28-24Last meeting, in Minnesota:
Oct. 5, 2009; Vikings won, 30-23COACHES CAPSULESMike McCarthy:
45-31-0, .592, (incl. 1-2 postseason); 5th NFL seasonBrad Childress
: 40-36-0, .526 (incl. 1-2 postseason); 5th NFL season Head to Head
: McCarthy 6-3vs. Opponent
: McCarthy 6-3 vs. Vikings; Childress 3-6 vs. PackersMIKE 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.
…Is in fifth year as the Vikings’ seventh head coach.
THE PACKERS-VIKINGS SERIES
- Led Minnesota to back-to-back NFC North titles the past two seasons, reaching the NFC Championship last year.
- In his 33rd season of coaching and his 13th in the NFL. Broke in as Colts’ quarterbacks coach (1985) and spent seven years (1999-2005) in Philadelphia, where he was offensive coordinator.
- Also coached at four colleges, including the University of Wisconsin (1991-98). The staff at Northern Arizona (1986-89) included future NFL head coaches Bill Callahan, Marty Mornhinweg and Andy Reid.
- In his past 10 seasons in the NFL with Minnesota and Philadelphia, has won six division crowns and made seven playoff appearances.
- This marks the 100th meeting between the border rivals.
- Few, if any, rivalries in sports have exhibited more parity. The Packers own a slight advantage over the Vikings (50-48-1, including playoffs) in the all-time series.
- The Packers’ five-game winning streak that was snapped in 2008 was the longest streak for either team since the Packers won five straight from 1983-85.
- The series began when the Vikings entered the league in 1961, and Vince Lombardi’s Packers won nine of the first 10.
- Over the last 16 seasons (1994-2009), these teams have accounted for 12 NFC Central/North division championships.
Vikings QB Brett Favre played 16 seasons for the Packers (1992-2007), leading the team to four NFC Championship Game appearances and two Super Bowls, and setting all the major NFL passing records for career attempts, completions, yards, TDs and INTs as a member of the Packers...Vikings K Ryan Longwell is Green Bay’s all-time leading scorer, having racked up 1,054 points in nine seasons with the Packers (1997-2005)...The Vikings’ coaching staff has several ties to the University of Wisconsin, where Childress (1991-98) and asst. offensive line coach Jim Hueber (1992-2005) worked together, where offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell played QB (1992-95), and where asst. DB coach Matt Sheldon coached DBs (1997-99) and special teams coordinator Brian Murphy (2000-05) held various recruiting and administrative roles...Bevell also was a Packers offensive asst. coach from 2000-05, including QB coach (2003-05) for Favre, while Sheldon grew up in Wausau, Wis. ...While running Seattle’s drafts, Packers GM Ted Thompson selected Vikings G Steve Hutchinson in the first round in 2001; Hutchinson and Packers CB Charles Woodson were teammates on Michigan’s 1997 national championship team...Packers NT Howard Green spent 2007 training camp with Minnesota...Vikings TE coach Jimmie Johnson played for Kansas City for one season (1994) when McCarthy was an offensive asst. there...Vikings DB coach Joe Woods held the same post at Western Michigan when Packers WR Greg Jennings played there (2002-03)...Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers and Vikings LB coach Fred Pagac coached on the staff together at Ohio State in the early 1980s...Vikings OL coach Pat Morris was a college teammate of Packers LB Clay Matthews’ dad at USC in the mid-1970s...Packers asst. OL coach Jerry Fontenot played for the Bengals in 2004 when Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was on Cincinnati’s staff...Packers LB Matt Wilhelm and Vikings LB Ben Leber were teammates in San Diego from 2003-05...Packers C Scott Wells and Vikings G Anthony Herrera blocked on the same offensive line at the University of Tennessee...Other former teammates include Packers LB Brandon Chillar and Vikings P Chris Kluwe (UCLA), Vikings CB Asher Allen and Packers DE Jarius Wynn (Georgia), Vikings DE Everson Griffen and Matthews (USC), Packers WR Brett Swain and Vikings LB Heath Farwell (San Diego State), and Vikings RB Albert Young and Packers T/G Bryan Bulaga (Iowa)...Green Bay director of research and development Mike Eayrs (similar capacity, 1985-99) previously worked for the Vikings, as did Packers VP of football administration/player finance Russ Ball (1999-2000), VP of sales and marketing Tim Connolly (1998-99), and staff writer Tom Fanning (1999-2007).
INDIVIDUALLY VS. VIKINGS
QB Aaron Rodgers’ first NFL start came against Minnesota at Lambeau,
and he was 18-of-22 for 178 yards with a TD for a 115.5 rating. His 81.8
completion percentage was the second-highest in league history for a QB making his first start. Rodgers also threw for a regular-season career-high 384 yards in the first meeting last season, at the Metrodome...WR Greg Jennings has 35 catches for 460 yards and three TDs in nine games against the Vikings. He also caught Favre’s record-breaking 421st TD pass against Minnesota...WR Donald Driver established a career high for receiving yards with 191 against the Vikings at Minnesota (Nov. 12, 2006), topping the 162 he had on Dec. 24, 2004, also at the Metrodome. Driver also had a career-high 11 receptions (tie) in that 2004 contest, as well as a career-long 45-yard run on Nov. 2, 2003. In 22 career games, his 84 receptions for 1,223 yards and six TDs are second-most in all categories against any opponent (Detroit)...S Atari Bigby made his first NFL INT to seal victory at Minnesota in 2007; his INT in 2008 (Sept. 8) clinched another victory. LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON
LAST MEETING, IN MINNESOTA
- Oct. 24, 2010, at Lambeau Field; Packers won, 28-24
- The Packers picked off Vikings QB Brett Favre three times in the second half and held off a late Minnesota rally for the win.
- Packers LB Desmond Bishop’s 32-yard return of an INT for a TD in the third quarter gave Green Bay a 28-17 lead, but Favre brought the Vikings back with a TD pass to WR Randy Moss and two drives into Green Bay territory in the fourth quarter.
- The first ended with an INT by S Nick Collins, and the second ended when heaves to Moss in the end zone on third and fourth downs were overthrown. Just a few snaps before, WR Percy Harvin caught what appeared to be a 35-yard TD pass with under a minute left, but replay review showed Harvin was out of bounds.
- Favre finished 16-of-29 for 212 yards. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was 21-of-34 for 295 yards with two INTs and two TDs, to WR Greg Jennings and TE Andrew Quarless. WR James Jones had four receptions for 107 yards.
TAKEAWAY POINTS KEY FOR PACKERS
- Oct. 5, 2009; Vikings won, 30-23
- In his first game against his former team, Favre completed 24-of-31 passes for 271 yards with three TDs and no INTs. WRs Bernard Berrian and Sidney Rice, plus TE Visanthe Shiancoe, all caught TD passes while RB Adrian Peterson (22 carries, 55 yards) ran for another.
- Rodgers threw for a regular-season career-high 384 yards (26-of-37, 2 TDs, 1 INT) but was sacked eight times. Vikings DE Jared Allen had 4 ½ of them, including a safety in the fourth quarter that put Minnesota ahead 30-14.
- Packers TE Jermichael Finley had six catches for a regular-season high 128 yards, with a career-long 62-yard TD. WR Jordy Nelson added a 33-yard TD in the fourth quarter as the Packers tried to come back, but following Mason Crosby’s 31-yard FG with 55 seconds left, the Vikings recovered the onside kick.
DOME AWAY FROM HOME
- After tying for the league lead in points off of takeaways last season, the Packers are once again sitting atop the NFL rankings in 2010.
- Green Bay leads the NFL with 80 points off of takeaways, 13 points ahead of No. 2 Detroit. The Packers are tied for No. 4 in the NFL with a plus-6 turnover ratio, and have a plus-7 mark in just the last two games.
- Of the Packers’ 19 takeaways this season, 11 of them have been converted into TDs. That 57.9 TD percentage ranks No. 3 in the NFL behind only Buffalo (62.5) and Kansas City (58.3), and Green Bay’s 11 TDs off of takeaways lead the NFL.
- Green Bay is tied with four other teams for the No. 2 spot in interceptions (14), and the Packers are tied with Tampa Bay and New England for the NFL lead in INTs for TDs (three).
- With LB Clay Matthews’ INT for a TD in Week 9 vs. Dallas, the Packers have now posted at least three INTs for TDs in each of the last three seasons. That is the first time in franchise history that Green Bay has accomplished that feat. The Packers have posted at least three INTs for TDs in four of five seasons under Head Coach Mike McCarthy.
- Scoring points off of turnovers has become a trend for the Packers at Lambeau Field, as they have a current streak of 15 straight games at home with points scored that were set up by a takeaway. That home streak ranks first in the NFL.
- The Packers have had 10 different players post an interception this season, which is tied with Atlanta for No. 1 in the NFL, and that number is the most by the Packers in a season since 11 in 2002.
- Green Bay posted 30 INTs 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 takeaways tied New Orleans for most in the NFL.
- The 30 interceptions led the league and was the team’s highest single-season total since 1981, when it also had 30.
- Last season Green Bay surpassed its 2008 total of 124 points off takeaways, which led the NFL. 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 Dallas in Week 9 for the second straight week, they’re almost guaranteed to win. They have now won 41 of 45 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. Green Bay hasn’t turned the ball over in the last 10 quarters of play.
- Including playoffs, the Packers have won 44 of their last 48 games when they don’t turn the ball over. Under McCarthy, Green Bay is 18-3 (.857) when its turnover margin is plus-2 or better.
- During McCarthy’s tenure, the Packers have a 33-6 (.846) record when they come out ahead in the game in turnover ratio, and a 6-17 (.261) record when they lose the takeaway battle.
DEFENSE GETTING IT DONE
- Three of the Packers’ next four games will be played in domes, an environment that they have had some success in during McCarthy’s tenure.
- Since McCarthy took over as head coach in 2006, the Packers are 9-3 (.750) in the regular season in domes. That winning percentage ranks No. 1 in the league among teams with eight or more road dome games.
- McCarthy won his first six dome games as a head coach before the Packers fell just short at Minnesota in a 28-27 loss on Nov. 9, 2008.
- Green Bay’s offense has been productive indoors, averaging 375.3 yards of total offense and 31.4 points in the 12 dome games compared to averages of 355.3 yards per game and 23.9 points per game in outdoor contests over that span. In eight of the 12 dome games, the Packers posted at least 380 yards of total offense.
- QB Aaron Rodgers has a 103.4 passer rating in seven career starts in domes, with 1,954 passing yards, 13 TDs and just four INTs on 150-of-230 passing (65.2 percent).
- The Packers’ defense has done its part as well, posting 27 takeaways and six touchdowns in dome games since ’06, including five contests with at least three takeaways. That has contributed to Green Bay’s plus-10 turnover ratio in dome games since 2006.
- The dome stretch starts Sunday against a Minnesota team whose home record since 2008 is tied for No. 2 in the NFL. The Vikings are 17-3 (.850) at the Metrodome over the past three seasons, and have allowed just 268.2 yards per game and 16.8 points per game in those contests.
- Only twice in that 20-game span has Minnesota given up 400 yards of total offense, and the Packers were one of the teams who posted that number. Green Bay registered 424 yards of total offense last season on Oct. 5, 2009, as they became the first team to eclipse the 400-yard mark at Minnesota since the St. Louis Rams recorded 416 on Dec. 31, 2006.
Team (Rushing Yds. Allowed Per Game)
- After finishing No. 2 in the league’s final overall rankings and No. 7 in points allowed in 2009, the defense is off to an even more productive start when it comes to keeping opponents off the scoreboard.
- The Packers rank No. 1 in the league in points given up, allowing the opposition an average of just 15.9 points per game, an improvement over last season’s mark of 18.6 per contest. Green Bay currently ranks No. 13 in the NFL in overall defense, allowing an average of 326.0 yards per game through Week 10.
- The last time Green Bay led the league in scoring defense this late in a season was when it finished No. 1 in the league in that category at the end of the 1996 Super Bowl season (13.1 per game).
- The defense has limited opposing signal-callers to a passer rating of just 68.3, which ranks No. 1 in the NFL. The defense has recorded 14 interceptions, which is tied for No. 1 in the league, and opposing quarterbacks have completed 57.2 percent of their passes (No. 7). The Packers have given up only nine TD passes, which ranks No. 4 in the NFL. The 68.3 rating is a shade below what the defense allowed in 2009 when it finished No. 4 in the league rankings in that category with a 68.8 rating by opposing QBs.
- After leading the NFL in run defense for the first time in 2009 by allowing a franchise-record 83.3 yards per game, the Packers haven’t been as stingy against the run thus far this season, ranking No. 20 in the league (114.2 yards per game), but have really come on of late.
- In the win over Dallas in Week 9, the Packers limited the Cowboys to just 39 rushing yards on 14 carries (2.8 avg.). That was the fewest yards given up by a Green Bay defense since Detroit was limited to 33 yards on the ground on Oct. 17, 2004.
- At the N.Y. Jets in Week 8, the defense registered the first road shutout by the Packers since 1991 against an offense that entered the game ranked No. 2 in the league in rushing offense at 159.2 yards per game.
- Facing LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene, the Packers limited the tandem to just 76 yards on 22 carries (3.5 avg.), their lowest combined effort of the season.
- Until Vikings RB Adrian Peterson rushed for 131 yards in Week 7, Green Bay’s defense hadn’t allowed a running back to rush for 100 yards for 19 straight games.
- That streak was the second longest in in team history since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, trailing only a 24-game game stretch from Sept. 20, 1970-Nov. 22, 1971.
- Under defensive coordinator Dom 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 in ’09, second behind the N.Y. Jets (252.3) and ahead of No. 3 Baltimore (300.5).
- 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.
- A look at some of Green Bay’s defensive numbers since Capers took over as coordinator in 2009:
1. Pittsburgh (80.3)
2. Minnesota (91.8)3. Green Bay (94.4)Team (Rushing TDs Allowed)1. Green Bay (9)
2t. Minnesota (11)
2t. Pittsburgh (11)Team (Opponent Passer Rating)
1. N.Y. Jets (66.4)2. Green Bay (68.6)
3. New Orleans (70.5)Team (Interceptions)1. Green Bay (44)
2. Philadelphia (41)
3. Tennessee (34)Team (Sacks)
1. Pittsburgh (71)
2. Philadelphia (70)
3. Miami (67)4. Green Bay (65)