GREEN BAY (2-2) VS. MINNESOTA (2-2)

Thursday, Oct. 2 - Lambeau Field - 7:25 p.m. CDT

PACKERS TAKE ON THE VIKINGS

This is an abbreviated version of the Dope Sheet. Read the full version here (PDF).


  • The Green Bay Packers return to Lambeau Field to play the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night
  • Over the last 23 regular-season games between the border rivals, 17 have been decided by seven points or less.
  • Thursday’s game will be the third NFC North opponent the Packers have played in a 12-day span.
  • This is the earliest in a season, by date, Green Bay and Minnesota have played each other since the 2008 season opener.
  • Through 107 meetings, which includes two postseason contests (1-1), the Packers hold a 56-49-2 edge over the Vikings in the all-time series.
  • Including the postseason, the Packers are 7-1-1 in the last nine games between the teams, including 4-0-1 in the last five against the Vikings at Lambeau Field.
  • The Packers have scored 30-plus points in five of their last seven regular-season games against Minnesota, averaging 33.7 points per game over that span. That included a 44-point outing at Minnesota last season in Week 8, the most points ever scored by Green Bay at the Metrodome, and a 45-point effort at Lambeau Field in 2011.
  • Since Head Coach Mike McCarthy took over in 2006, the Packers have an 11-4-1 record (.719) against the Vikings in the regular season.
  • Since 2006, the Packers have scored 20-plus points against the Vikings in 14 of 15 regular-season games. The Packers’ 453 points scored in the regular-season since 2006 are the most against the Vikings in the NFL, and Green Bay’s 28.3 points per game leads the league among teams that have played Minnesota at least four times over that span.
  • Including the postseason, Green Bay is 8-4 against Minnesota with Aaron Rodgers as the starting quarterback and have won seven of the last eight contests.
  • In the 12 games as the starter against the Vikings, Rodgers has completed 277 of 388 passes (71.4) for 3,382 yards, 27 touchdowns and four interceptions with a passer rating of 116.8. His passer rating is the highest of any opposing quarterback vs. Minnesota (min. 100 att.).
  • Rodgers has recorded a 100-plus passer rating in eight of the last 10 games against the Vikings, including the postseason.
  • In 2010-11, Rodgers posted a passer rating of 140.0 or better in three contests against Minnesota, becoming the first NFL quarterback since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to register a 140-plus passer rating in three consecutive games against the same opponent (according to the Elias Sports Bureau).

Packers and Vikings in primetime

  • Thursday will mark the 16th time the Packers and Vikings have met in a primetime game during the regular season.
  • This will be the third time Green Bay has played Minnesota on a Thursday night. The Packers beat the Vikings 9-7 at home on Dec. 21, 2006, and the Vikings won the first matchup, 13-10 (OT) on Oct. 20, 1994, in Minnesota.
  • Green Bay is 9-6 against Minnesota in primetime games, including winning the last three and eight of the last 10.
  • Of the 15 matchups between the Packers and Vikings, 10 have been decided by seven or fewer points, and two have gone to overtime.
  • Green Bay has won the past two primetime games against Minnesota (2011, 2013) by a combined score of 89-38.
  • Dating back to 1970, the Packers’ 15 primetime games against the Vikings are the second most they have played against any team (Chicago - 18).

WITH THE CALL

  • Thursday night’s game will be televised to a national audience on CBS and NFL Network with play-by-play man Jim Nantz and analyst Phil Simms handling the call from the broadcast booth and Tracy Wolfson reporting from the sidelines. 
  • In Wisconsin, CBS affiliates around the state, including WFRV (Ch. 5) in Green Bay and WDJT (Ch. 58) in Milwaukee, will carry the Thursday night contest.
  • Milwaukee’s WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since November 1929, heads up the Packers Radio Network that is made up of 50 stations in five states. Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (analyst) call the action. McCarren first joined the team’s broadcasts in 1995 and enters his 20th season calling Packers’ games. McCarren, who is in his 26th year in Green Bay television, has four times been voted Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. After originally being paired together in 1999, McCarren and Larrivee enter their 16th season of broadcasts together.
  • Westwood One will air the game across the country. Ian Eagle (play-by-play) and Boomer Esiason (analyst) will call the action, with Hub Arkush reporting from the sideline. Scott Graham will host pregame and halftime shows.
  • The broadcast is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio (WTMJ feed).
  • DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game on channel 212.

THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT:

  • Packers vs. Vikings:
  • All-time regular season: 55-48-2
  • All-time, postseason: 1-1
  • All-time, at Lambeau Field: 21-17-2
  • Streaks: The Packers have won seven of the last 10 meetings.
  • Last meeting, at Green Bay, regular season: Nov. 24, 2013, at Lambeau Field; Tie, 26-26

COACHES CAPSULES

  • Mike McCarthy: 90-52-1, .633, (incl. 6-5 postseason); 9th NFL season
  • Mike Zimmer: 2-2, .500; 1st NFL season
  • Head to Head: 0-0
  • vs. Opponent: McCarthy 12-4-1 vs. Vikings; Zimmer 0-0 vs. Packers

Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthyMIKE McCARTHY…Is in his ninth year as the Packers’ 14th head coach.

  • Joined Vince Lombardi and Mike Holmgren as the only coaches to guide the Packers to a Super Bowl title with a win over Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV.
  • Led the Packers to their fifth consecutive playoff appearance last season, joining New England as the only two NFL teams to do so over that span. Has also led the team to six playoff appearances in the last seven years (2007, 2009-13).
  • Has guided the Packers to top-10 finishes in scoring each of the past seven seasons (2007-13), joining the Patriots as the only other team to accomplish the feat.
  • His .640 winning percentage during the regular season (84-47-1) ranks No. 5 among active NFL coaches (min. 50 games).
  • Was named Packers head coach on Jan. 12, 2006, his first head-coaching job after 13 years as an NFL assistant.

MIKE ZIMMER…Is in his first year as the Vikings’ ninth head coach.

  • Spent 20 seasons as an assistant coach in the NFL, including the last 14 as a defensive coordinator for Cincinnati, Atlanta and Dallas.
  • Has been a part of 11 playoff teams and seven teams that have won division titles.
  • From 2008-13, he was the defensive coordinator for a Bengals defense that ranked in the top 10 four times. In the 18 years prior, Cincinnati had only cracked the top 10 once.
  • Led top-10 defenses for Dallas in both a 4-3 and 3-4 scheme.
  • Has had eight defensive players selected to the Pro Bowl a total of 23 times.
  • Was the defensive backs coach for the Cowboys when they won Super Bowl XXX.

THE PACKERS-VIKINGS SERIES

  • This marks the 108th overall meeting between the border rivals.
  • The Packers own a 56-49-2 advantage over the Vikings (including playoffs) in the all-time series. 
  • Green Bay’s five-game winning streak that was snapped in the 2012 finale was the longest by the club since a five-game streak against Minnesota from 2006-08. Prior to that, the longest streak for either team was Green Bay’s five-game winning streak 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 20 seasons (1994-2013), these teams have accounted for 15 NFC Central/North division championships.

NOTABLE CONNECTIONS

Packers DT Letroy Guion played for the Vikings from 2008-13 after originally being selected in the fifth round...Vikings WR Greg Jennings was drafted by Green Bay in the second round in 2006 and played for the Packers for seven seasons (2006-12)...Vikings WR Charles Johnson was drafted by the Packers in the seventh round (216th overall) in 2013 and spent the early part of last season on Green Bay’s

practice squad...Vikings special teams coordinator Mike Priefer’s father, Chuck, was an assistant coach for the Packers from 1984-85...Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy was the offensive coordinator, tight ends coach Jerry Fontenot played center and secondary-safeties coach Darren Perry played free safety for New Orleans while Vikings head of strength and conditioning Evan Marcus was the assistant strength and conditioning coach from 2000-02...In 2007, Packers secondary-cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. was the assistant defensive backs coach for Atlanta, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer was the defensive coordinator and assistant defensive backs/quality control coach Jonathan Gannon was a defensive assistant/quality control coach...From 1991-93, Packers defensive quality control John Rushing played defensive back at Washington State while Zimmer was the defensive coordinator...Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers and Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards were on the Dolphins defensive coaching staff together in 2006-07...In 1991, Packers senior personnel executive Alonzo Highsmith played running back for the Cowboys while Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner worked in the same position...Highsmith played for Tampa Bay while Vikings wide receivers coach George Stewart coached special teams...Packers defensive line coach Mike Trgovac and Vikings offensive line coach Jeff Davidson coached on the staff together in Carolina...Trgovac coached the defensive line for Washington while Turner was the head coach and Wilson was the running backs coach in 2000...Packers running backs coach Sam Gash played fullback for New England while Davidson, running backs coach Kirby Wilson and defensive line coach Andre Patterson were on the coaching staff in 1997...Gash coached running backs in Detroit while Vikings FB Jerome Felton was with the Lions...Packers QB Scott Tolzien spent training camp with San Diego in 2011 while Turner was the head coach...Packers assistant offensive line coach Steve Marshall was the offensive line coach for Cleveland in 2007-08 while Vikings assistant offensive line coach Hank Fraley played center for the Browns...Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements (offensive coordinator, 2004-05), Gash (FB, 2003) and quarterbacks coach Alex  Van Pelt (QB, 1995-2003, volunteer offensive quality control, 2005) were all with the Bills while Vikings defensive backs coach Jerry Gray was the defensive coordinator (2001-05)...Packers LB Julius Peppers was teammates with Vikings DE Corey Wootton in Chicago from 2010-13...In 2009, Peppers was teammates with Vikings CB Captain Munnerlyn in Carolina...Former college teammates include Packers LB Clay Matthews and LB Nick Perry and Vikings DE Everson Griffen, FB Rhett Ellison and T Matt Kalil (Southern California), Packers DE Datone Jones and Vikings LB Anthony Barr and P Jeff Locke (UCLA), Packers WR Jarrett Boykin and Vikings S Antone Exum (Virginia Tech), and Packers TE Andrew Quarless and Vikings LBs Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti (Penn State)…Packers area scout Lee Gissendaner went to training camp with the Vikings in 1996 and spent parts of that season on Minnesota’s practice squad...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).

LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON

  • Nov. 24, 2013, at Lambeau Field; Tie, 26-26.
  • QB Matt Flynn, who came on in relief of QB Scott Tolzien, threw for 218 yards and helped spark a rally from a 16-point deficit early in the fourth quarter to force overtime.
  • Each team scored a field goal in overtime to finish with a tie.
  • RB Eddie Lacy led the Packers with 110 yards on 25 carries with one touchdown, while also recording six receptions for 48 yards.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

  • A win would make McCarthy 85-47-1 during the regular season as the Packers’ head coach.
  • Green Bay’s defense has recorded five interceptions in the last three games.
  • The Packers’ defense is looking to hold the opposing quarterback to a passer rating below 85.0 for the fourth game in a row (CHI-Jay Cutler, 82.5 / NYJ-Geno Smith, 64.1 / DET-Matthew Stafford, 61.6).
  • Green Bay’s offense scored on six of seven drives in Week 4 at Chicago.
  • The Packers have recorded 111 interception return yards this season, the third most in the NFL (HOU-150 / NYJ-116).

OFFENSE

  • QB Aaron Rodgers has registered two games with a 100-plus passer rating this season and 53 in his career. In Week 4, he registered a rating over 150.0 (151.2) for the second time in his career (155.4, Oct. 25, 2009 at CLE).
  • Rodgers looks to record the 34th 300-yard passing game of his career during the regular season.
  • If Rodgers throws for at least four touchdowns it would mark the second time in his career he has registered at least four touchdown passes in back-to-back games (4 at SD, Nov. 6, 2011, and 4 vs. MIN, Nov. 14, 2011).
  • WR Jordy Nelson (335) is 10 receptions shy of tying WR Max McGee (345) for ninth most in Packers’ history.
  • Nelson is two touchdown receptions short of TE Paul Coffman (39) for 10th place in franchise history.
  • With 10 receptions last week against Chicago, Nelson has recorded at least nine receptions in three games this season and in eight games in his career, including the postseason, passing WR Antonio Freeman (7) for the third-most games with at least nine receptions among Packers players, dating back to 1960 (Sterling Sharpe, 13 / Donald Driver, 12).
  • Nelson has registered at least one reception in the last 27 games he has played in, including the postseason. Is tied for the longest streak of his career (27 games, 2010 postseason - 2012 regular season).
  • Since the start of 2013 (including the postseason), Nelson has nine games with at least seven receptions, including three games this season. It marks the third-most games with seven-plus receptions in the league over that time span (WAS Pierre Garcon, 12 / NE Julian Edelman, 11 / DEN Demaryius Thomas, 9 / PIT Antonio Brown, 9).
  • WR Randall Cobb is the first Packer to record five touchdown receptions in the team’s first four games of a season since 1956 when Billy Howton and Gary Knafelc both had five.
  • Cobb has recorded at least one reception in 32 consecutive games, including the postseason.
  • Cobb has seven receiving touchdowns in his last five regular-season games, dating back to last season.
  • Dating back to the start of the 2013 season, RB Eddie Lacy has registered at least 20 carries in 10 regular-season games to rank No. 2 in the NFL (PHI LeSean McCoy, 11 / MIN Adrian Peterson, 9 / SEA Marshawn Lynch, 9). The Packers are 7-2-1 when Lacy carries the ball at least 20 times in a regular-season game.
  • Last week, TE Richard Rodgers registered a 43-yard reception. It was the longest reception by a Packers’ rookie tight end.

DEFENSE

  • LB Julius Peppers registered a sack against Detroit in Week 3. It gave him 119.5 sacks for his career during the regular-season, putting him a half sack short of becoming the 17th player in the NFL (since 1982) to record at least 120 sacks.
  • On the sack, Peppers forced and recovered a fumble, giving him 40 forced fumbles in his career, the sixth most in the NFL since 1994.
  • Peppers has played in 100 consecutive games, which is tied for the longest active streak among NFL linebackers (NO Curtis Lofton, 100).
  • After recording a sack in a Week 2 victory over the New York Jets, LB Clay Matthews (51.0) is three sacks shy of tying DE Aaron Kampman (54.0) for No. 4 on the team’s career sacks list.
  • Matthews recorded the fifth interception of his career in Week 4 at Chicago. It was the second interception he has registered against the Bears (2011). He needs one more interception to join Peppers as two of five active NFL players with at least six interceptions and 40 sacks (BAL-Terrell Suggs / TEN-Shaun Phillips /  PIT-James Harrison).
  • Matthews’ 40-yard interception return in Week 4 was the second longest of his career (62t vs. DAL, 11/7/10).
  • In eight career regular-season games against the Vikings, Matthews has 7.0 sacks, the second most he has recorded against any opponent (Chicago, 7.5). He also has registered two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery aganst Minnesota.

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Cobb needs either a punt return for a touchdown or a kickoff return for a touchdown to take sole possession of second place in Packers history for combined returns for touchdowns (Travis Williams, 6). Cobb, who has three returns for touchdowns, currently is tied with six other players.
  • Crosby has played in 116 consecutive games, the longest active streak among kickers.
  • Crosby looks to extend his consecutive-games-scoring streak to 117 regular-season games. It is the second-longest streak in franchise history (Ryan Longwell, 144).
  • P Tim Masthay needs to land one punt inside the 20-yard line to tie P Craig Hentrich (104) for the franchise record.
  • In Week 4, the Packers and Bears did not record a punt, making it just the second regular-season game in NFL history without a single punt (Buffalo vs. San Francisco, September 13, 1992). There has been one playoff game in NFL history with zero combined punts (Kansas City vs. Indianapolis, AFC Divisional, January 11, 2004). Including the postseason, it was the third time in Masthay’s career he did not record a punt in a game.

stat of the week

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers reached 25,000 yards passing during the regular season in 3,065 attempts. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Rodgers reached the mark in the fewest attempts in NFL history:

Player - Pass Attempts To 25,000 Yards
1. Aaron Rodgers, GB - 3,065

2. Kurt Warner, STL/NYG/AZ - 3,076
3. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT - 3,109

By reaching the 25,000-yard mark in his 98th regular-season game, Rodgers is the fourth fastest to get to the mark in NFL history:

Player - # Games To 25,000 Yards
1. Dan Marino, MIA - 92
2t. Peyton Manning, IND/DEN - 97
2t. Kurt Warner, STL/NYG/ARI - 97
4. Aaron Rodgers, GB - 98