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-Dolphins Week 6 Dope Sheet. To read the full version, download the PDF by clicking here.
Here are some highlights from the Packers-Dolphins Week 6 Dope Sheet:
MIAMI (2-2) AT GREEN BAY (3-2)
Sunday, Oct. 17 - Lambeau Field - Noon CDT
PACKERS RETURN HOME TO HOST DOLPHINS
- Green Bay returns home this Sunday to host the Miami Dolphins in the first matchup between the teams at Lambeau Field since 2002.
- This is only the Dolphins’ fifth visit to Green Bay in their team history, with the other meetings taking place in 1975, 1985, 1997 and ’02. The teams also met in Milwaukee in 1994.
- The most recent meeting between the teams was in Miami on Oct. 22, 2006, a 34-24 Packers’ win in Mike McCarthy’s first season as head coach.
- The Dolphins hold a 9-3 advantage in the all-time series, but Green Bay has won three of the last four matchups.
- Sunday’s contest starts a stretch of three home games in four weeks for the Packers before they have their bye. Green Bay enters the game with a six-game home winning streak, which matches the longest winning streak at Lambeau (2007-08) during McCarthy’s tenure. It is the longest current home streak among NFC teams, and third longest in the NFL behind New England (11) and San Diego (7).
- McCarthy, who is also the offensive play-caller, will be facing an opposing coach he worked under for the second straight week. Mike Nolan, who was the head coach of San Francisco in 2005 when McCarthy served as the offensive coordinator there, is Miami’s defensive coordinator. Last Sunday, Green Bay played at Washington, where Jim Haslett is the defensive coordinator. Haslett was the head coach in New Orleans for each of McCarthy’s five seasons there (2000-04) as offensive coordinator.
- Last Sunday, the Packers lost at Washington in overtime, 16-13, while Miami had its bye. Green Bay will host the division-rival Minnesota Vikings next Sunday at 7:20 p.m. (CDT) in a nationally televised contest, while the Dolphins will return home to host the Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday at noon (CDT).
THE MEDICAL REPORT
- Every team in the league has to deal with injuries at some point in the season, and the Packers have already had to deal with a season’s worth in just the opening five weeks.
- On Sunday at Washington, the Packers were without six players who started on opening day at Philadelphia on Sept. 12. Four of those were on the defensive side of the ball, with S Morgan Burnett (knee/IR), LB Nick Barnett (wrist), nickel LB Brandon Chillar (shoulder), and nickel CB Sam Shields (calf) sidelined against the Redskins. On offense, RB Ryan Grant (ankle/IR) and T Mark Tauscher (shoulder) were out due to injury.
- As if that wasn’t enough, two more starters went down on the opening four plays from scrimmage at Washington. TE Jermichael Finley sustained a knee injury and DE Ryan Pickett suffered a sprained ankle that sidelined both for the remainder of the afternoon.
- LB Clay Matthews, who leads the NFL in sacks, left the game in the third quarter with a hamstring injury, and QB Aaron Rodgers sustained a concussion on Green Bay’s final play on offense in overtime. TE Donald Lee (chest) and S Derrick Martin (knee) also left the game with injuries that could sideline them for some time.
- The status of most of the injured starters for this Sunday’s game against Miami is unclear, although Finley and Barnett will not play against the Dolphins with both scheduled to undergo surgery this week.
WITH THE CALL
- The Packers make their second of two appearances this season on CBS. The network will air the contest to a regional audience.
- Play-by-play man Ian Eagle and color analyst Dan Fouts will have the call from the broadcast booth.
- In Wisconsin, CBS affiliates around the state, including WFRV (Ch. 5) in Green Bay and WDJT (Ch. 58) in Milwaukee, will carry the contest.
- 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 123 WTMJ feed) as part of the network’s NFL Sunday Drive.
- DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game in HD on channel 704.
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT:
Packers vs. Miami Dolphins:
All-time regular season: 3-9-0
All-time, in Green Bay: 2-2-0
Streaks: The Packers have won three of the last four meetings.
Last meeting, regular season: Oct. 22, 2006, in Miami; Packers won, 34-24
Last meeting, regular season, at Lambeau Field: Nov. 4, 2002; Packers won, 24-10
Mike McCarthy: 42-30-0, .583, (incl. 1-2 postseason); 5th NFL season
Tony Sparano: 20-17-0, .541 (incl. 0-1 postseason); 3rd NFL season
Head to Head: Never met
vs. Opponent: McCarthy 1-0 vs. Dolphins; Sparano 0-0 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.
TONY SPARANO…Is in third year as the Dolphins’ eighth head coach.
- Took over a Dolphins team that had gone 1-15 in 2007 and led them to an 11-5 mark and the AFC East title in 2008, his first season as an NFL head coach.
- The 10-game improvement had been achieved only once previously in league history (1999, Indianapolis Colts). Only two other times had a 1-15 team posted a winning record the following year.
- Was named as 2008 NFL?Coach of the Year by the NFL Alumni and the Pro Football Weekly/PFWA, and AFC Coach of the Year by the Kansas City 101 Committee.
- Was an assistant coach for the Dallas Cowboys in various offensive roles from 2003-07. Also previously served as an offensive assistant with the Cleveland Browns (1999-2000), Washington Redskins (2001) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2002).
THE PACKERS-DOLPHINS SERIES
- Beginning in 1971, the two teams have met just 12 times. The Dolphins won the first eight meetings in the series, including the first three (’71, ’75, ’79) by a combined 85-20 score.
- The Packers beat Miami for the first time in 1997, a 23-18 triumph at Lambeau Field, and have now won three of the last four meetings.
- Since those three initial meetings in the 1970s, all with 20-plus-point margins, only one game has been decided by more than 10 points, the Packers’ 24-10 win in 2002.
- The Dolphins have visited Lambeau Field only four times and at one point went 12 years between visits (1985 to 1997). The teams played in Milwaukee once during that span, in 1994.
Packers TE Donald Lee was a fifth-round draft choice by the Dolphins in 2003 and played two seasons in Miami (2003-04)...Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers had defensive-coordinator responsibilities for two seasons with the Dolphins, holding the titles of special asst. to the head coach (2006) and defensive coordinator (2007) in Miami...Packers asst. head coach/inside LBs Winston Moss is a Miami native and was a four-year letterman at the University of Miami…Miami defensive coordinator Mike Nolan was the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers when Mike McCarthy was their offensive coordinator in 2005...McCarthy and Dolphins head strength and conditioning coach Evan Marcus coached on the staff together in New Orleans from 2000-02…Packers TE coach Ben McAdoo also served on Nolan’s staff in San Francisco in 2005...Packers defensive line coach Mike Trgovac and Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano served on the Redskins staff together in 2001, and Trgovac also coached with Dolphins offensive coordinator Dan Henning in Carolina...Trgovac and Dolphins LB coach Bill Sheridan were both graduate assistants at the University of Michigan in 1985...Packers president/CEO Mark Murphy played for the Redskins when Henning was on Washington’s staff...Packers director of public relations Jeff Blumb worked for the Dolphins in PR from 1986-89 before coming to Green Bay...Dolphins WR coach Karl Dorrell was the head coach at UCLA for Packers LB Brandon Chillar’s final collegiate season (2003)...Dolphins S Tyrone Culver was a sixth-round draft choice of the Packers in 2006... Packers CB Sam Shields was a four-year letterman at the University of Miami...Packers CB Pat Lee is a Miami-area native, along with fellow DBs Al Harris and Atari Bigby (both on PUP)...Former college teammates include Dolphins WR Roberto Wallace and Packers WR Brett Swain (San Diego State), Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall and Packers G Josh Sitton, along with Bigby (Central Florida), Dolphins S Reshad Jones and Packers DE Jarius Wynn (Georgia), Dolphins RB Ronnie Brown and Lee (Auburn), Dolphins CB Jason Allen, DE Tony McDaniel and Packers C Scott Wells (Tennessee), Dolphins LB Bobby Carpenter, WR Brian Hartline and Packers LB A.J. Hawk (Ohio State), Dolphins G Richie Incognito, T Lydon Murtha and Packers RB Brandon Jackson (Nebraska), Dolphins TE Jeron Mastrud and Packers WR Jordy Nelson (Kansas State), and Dolphins DE Jared Odrick and Packers TE Andrew Quarless (Penn State), both 2010 draft picks.
INDIVIDUALLY VS. DOLPHINS
In three career games vs. Miami, WR Donald Driver has 13 receptions for 153 yards and one TD...CB Charles Woodson has posted four passes defensed -- one shy of his career high -- in two different games against the Dolphins, one while with Oakland in 1999 and the other with Green Bay in 2006, when he also ran back an INT for a TD...Also in that 2006 game, then-rookie G Daryn Colledge made his first career start at LT as an emergency replacement for Chad Clifton, who had fallen ill the night before the game.
LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON
- Oct. 22, 2006, in Miami; Packers won, 34-24.
- Playing with three rookies on the offensive line, the Packers limited the Dolphins to just two sacks and withstood the high 80s heat to give Mike McCarthy his second victory as head coach.
- Trailing 10-6 at halftime, the Packers took the lead for good in the third quarter when CB Charles Woodson intercepted a Joey Harrington pass and returned it 23 yards for a TD. Harrington attempted 62 passes in the game and threw for 414 yards but was picked off three times.
- WR Donald Driver (10 receptions, 93 yards) added a 34-yard TD reception later in the third, a spectacular diving catch in the end zone that was initially ruled incomplete but overturned by a replay challenge.
- RB Ahman Green posted a 70-yard TD run in the fourth quarter, the Packers’ longest run of the season, on his way to 118 yards on 18 carries.
LAST MEETING, IN GREEN BAY
- Nov. 4, 2002; Packers won, 24-10.
- On a Monday night, RB Ahman Green scored on a 1-yard run and 23-yard pass, and S Darren Sharper returned an INT 89 yards for a TD, as the Packers jumped out to a 24-0 lead through three quarters.
- Green Bay’s defense recorded five sacks and four turnovers in holding the Dolphins scoreless for the game’s first 51 1/2 minutes.
- Green finished with 143 yards from scrimmage (71 rushing, 72 receiving) as the Packers improved to 7-1 at the season’s midway point.
- After recording six sacks in Week 1 at Philadelphia, the most by any NFL team on opening weekend, the Packers have followed up that performance with 15 more sacks in the next four games.
- Green Bay’s 21 sacks as a team through Week 5 rank No. 2 in the NFL behind only Tennessee (22). The Packers lead the league in sack yardage with 148 yards and have had eight different players record a sack.
- The Packers' 21 sacks through the first five games are the most by a Green Bay defense to start the season since the 2001 squad registered 21 in the opening five contests. It is tied for the second-best start behind only the 1978 team that posted 23 sacks in the opening five games.
- The 21 sacks are also the most in a five-game span in Head Coach Mike McCarthy's five seasons.
- Green Bay recorded five sacks at Washington on Sunday, the Packers’ second five-sack game this season to match the Titans for the most in the NFL through Week 5.
- Of the team’s 21 sacks, 8.5 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 and tied for seventh in the NFL, posted a sack in each of the first four games. Green Bay is one of only four teams in the league to have two players with four-plus sacks (N.Y. Giants, San Diego, Tennessee).
- 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 21st sack didn’t come until Week 11 vs. the 49ers.
- Green Bay posted four or more sacks in a game three times already this season, which matches its 2009 total. The Packers finished with 37 for the season, which ranked tied for 11th in the league.
- The Packers’ highest sack total under McCarthy came in his first season of 2006 when they recorded 46 sacks, which ranked No. 4 in the NFL.
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’ 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 53.5 sack yards on the season.
- His six sacks over a two-game span rank second in team history behind only Bryce Paup, who recorded 6.5 sacks in Weeks 3-4 in 1991. Paup posted 4.5 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 21 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 21 games with the Packers (1993-94).
- Matthews’ 18.5 sacks since 2009 lead the NFL, ahead of Denver’s Elvis Dumervil and Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware (17 each).
- 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 were the most ever by any NFL player to start a career. It topped 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).
- The opening drives of a half set the tone for a team, and Green Bay’s offense is off to a productive start in that department 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 in Week 4, it was the second time in the first 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 tied for No. 2 in the NFL behind only New Orleans’ 214points. Green Bay ranked tied for No. 6 in the NFL in 2009 with 37 points on opening drives.
- The Packers have also scored two TDs and one field goal on their opening drive of the second half. Those 17 points rank tied for No. 1 in the NFL with Houston, and Green Bay is already on the heels of the 2009 team that scored 20 points all season on opening second-half-drives (No. 20).
- Green Bay has averaged 56.2 yards on its first possession of the second half this year, and the shortest drive, a 39-yarder vs. Buffalo in Week 2, resulted in a touchdown after LB Brandon Chillar returned an interception to the Bills’ 39 to set the offense up with a short field.
- 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 a TD on the opening drive of the second half in four of the past seven regular-season games. They have scored points on the first possession of the second half in five of those seven games.
STAT OF THE WEEK
- On Sunday at Washington, the Packers posted a season-high 157 rushing yards as a team, Green Bay’s finest performance on the ground since it registered 158 yards at Chicago last season in Week 14.
- What made the Packers’ performance even more impressive was that the yardage came on just 17 attempts, a gaudy 9.2 average per carry.
- According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time in franchise history that the Packers rushed for over 150 yards on fewer than 20 attempts in a regular-season game.
- The only other time in franchise annals that Green Bay accomplished the feat came on Jan. 16, 1983, when the Packers posted 158 rushing yards on 17 carries (9.3 avg.) in an NFC second-round playoff contest at Dallas.
- WR James Lofton posted the big run of the day in that contest, a 71-yard run for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Coincidentally, the Packers’ long gain on Sunday against the Redskins was a career-long 71-yard pickup by RB Brandon Jackson on his first carry of the afternoon.
- It was the 14th run of 70-plus yards in franchise history, and the first since RB DeShawn Wynn scored on a 73-yard run vs. Detroit on Dec. 28, 2008.
- The Packers’ rushing average of 9.2 yards per carry at Washington was the best single-game performance (min. 15 attempts) in a regular-season game in team history.
TAKEAWAY POINTS KEY FOR PACKERS
- In the second year of Dom Capers’ 3-4 scheme, the Packers are once again showing their knack for producing takeaways, which they have continued to turn into points this season.
- The Packers have registered eight takeaways in the first five games, turning five of those turnovers into touchdowns. Green Bay’s 35 points off of takeaways so far this season rank No. 5 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 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.
- Last season 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 when they don’t turn the ball over.
PLENTY OF PRODUCTION INSIDE THE 20
- 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 in 2008 and 2009.
- Through five games this season, the Packers are off to an even more productive start, having scored touchdowns on 10 of 15 trips inside the opponent’s 20. That 66.7 percent touchdown rate ranks tied for No. 4 in the league.
- Green Bay’s 76 points in the red zone this season (10 touchdowns, two field goals) rank tied for No. 5 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, in Week 4 when they drove inside Detroit’s 20 on the final possession of the game but ran out the clock in the 28-26 win, and this past Sunday at Washington when they didn’t convert a fourth-and-goal from the 1 in the second quarter.
- 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 efficient signal-callers in the league inside the 20 since taking over as the starter in 2008.
- According to STATS, Rodgers’ passer rating of 122.1 this season in the red zone ranks tied for No. 3 in the league (min. 10 attempts). Rodgers has connected on 17-of-23 passes (73.9 percent) for 104 yards and six TDs with no INTs.
- Even more impressive, in 37 career starts with Green Bay, Rodgers has yet to throw a single interception in the red zone, posting a 109.4 rating on 102-of-165 passing (61.8 percent) for 642 yards and 42 touchdowns.
- CB Tramon Williams etched his name into the team’s record books with
- a pair of big plays on Sunday at Washington.
- With a 52-yard punt return in the second quarter and a 64-yard interception return in the fourth quarter, Williams became the first player in franchise history to post a 50-yard punt return and a 60-yard interception return in the same game.
- Showing just how rare the feat is, no player in team annals has ever posted both of those returns in the same season.
- Williams became just the third NFL player since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to accomplish the feat in a game, joining Dallas’ Deion Sanders (Sept. 21, 1998) and the late Darrent Williams of the Denver Broncos (Nov. 13, 2005).
- Explosive plays are nothing new to the fourth-year CB who went undrafted out of Louisiana Tech in 2006. Williams recorded a 94-yard punt return for a score vs. Carolina on Nov. 18, 2007, as well as a 67-yard kickoff return vs. Chicago that season (Oct. 7). Last season he posted his career-long interception return with a 67-yarder vs. Chicago (Sept. 17).
- Williams is only the third NFL player whose career began since the 1970 merger to post a 90-yard punt return and interception and kickoff returns of 65 yards in a career, joining Adam Jones and Lemar Parrish.
- He ranks fifth in the NFL this season with an 11.6 average on 11 punt returns after averaging 10.4 yards on 13 returns last season.
- Williams posted a career-high 22 passes defensed in 2009, and is tied for the team lead this season (with S Nick Collins) with seven.
287 AND COUNTING
- 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.
THE LAMBEAU ADVANTAGE
- The crown jewel of the National Football League, Lambeau Field has long been known as one of the tougher venues to play in, particularly during the harsh Wisconsin winter.
- Re-establishing home-field advantage after a 4-4 mark in 2008 was one of the goals of 2009, and with the Packers finishing at 6-2 at home, they accomplished that goal.
- Head Coach Mike McCarthy stated consistently upon his arrival in Green Bay that one of the team’s goals would be to reclaim the mystique of playing at Lambeau Field. Mission accomplished. The team is 21-7 at home since 2007 including playoffs, a marked improvement over the prior three seasons (10-14 combined).
- Since Ron Wolf and Mike Holmgren began the revitalization of the franchise in 1992, Green Bay owns the best home record in the NFL. A look at the top regular-season home W-L records since the ’92 season:
Team - W-L record (Pct.)
Green Bay - 109-37-0 (.747)
Pittsburgh - 105-40-1 (.723)
Denver - 104-42-0 (.712)
Minnesota - 101-45-0 (.692)
New England - 98-48-0 (.671)
Dallas - 97-49-0 (.664)
- 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 9,326. 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 in Week 4 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 132 consecutive games (138 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 (152).
- 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 25 receptions in the first five 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.
PROTECTION THE KEY
- Green Bay’s offensive line didn’t allow a single sack of QB Aaron Rodgers in Week 3 at Chicago, the second straight game that the sixth-year QB was not sacked. The Packers rank tied for No. 11 in the league with nine sacks allowed in five games this season.
- Prior to Rodgers being sacked in the second quarter vs. Detroit in Week 4, the offensive line had not allowed a sack in 11 straight quarters, the longest streak for the team since 2007.
- Over the past eight regular-season games, Rodgers has been sacked either once or not at all in four of those contests. Since Week 12 of last season, Green Bay has allowed just 17 sacks, tied for sixth fewest in the NFL over that 11-game 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 4-8.
- 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.
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 have turned to a couple of backs to carry the load.
- Brandon Jackson, who excelled in his role as a third-down back in 2009, posted a career-high 115 yards on 10 carries (11.5 avg.) at Washington on Sunday, highlighted by a career-long 71-yard run on his first carry of the game.
- Jackson leads the team with 252 yards on 55 carries this season (4.6 avg.).
- The Packers rushed for 157 yards as a team on Sunday on just 17 carries (9.2 avg.). It was the first time in team history that the Packers rushed for 150 yards in a regular-season game on fewer than 20 carries.
- John Kuhn, who worked primarily at fullback during his first three seasons in Green Bay, has been given more opportunities to carry the ball at RB. Against Detroit in Week 4, Kuhn posted 34 of his career-high 39 rushing yards on the final series, as the Packers ran out the final 6:32 in the 28-26 win.
- Grant, Jackson, Kuhn and QB Aaron Rodgers have all posted runs of 17 yards or more this season, making Green Bay the only team in the NFC to have four players each register a run of that length.
- Each of the 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 17 runs of 10-plus yards rank tied for No. 7 in the NFL. It is ahead of the Packers’ pace from last season, when they ranked No. 23 in the league with 42 runs of 10 yards or more.
PACKERS’ LOSS A TOUGH ONE TO SWALLOW
- The Packers came into Sunday’s game without six of their opening-day starters due to injury, and lost two more in the opening four plays from scrimmage in Washington on Sunday. The offense converted just 2-of-13 third downs on the afternoon. Even with all of that, they were still in position to come away with a win in the closing seconds against the Redskins.
- But it didn’t happen. With the game tied at 13, Mason Crosby’s 53-yard field goal attempt with one second remaining in the fourth quarter bounced wide left after hitting the left upright, and an Aaron Rodgers interception in overtime helped set up Graham Gano’s 33-yard field goal nearly midway through the extra session to give Washington the 16-13 victory in front of a crowd of 87,760 at FedExField.
- The loss was Green Bay’s second in three weeks, with both losses having the feeling of games it could have easily won, and dropped the Packers to 3-2 on the season with back-to-back home games against Miami and Minnesota up next.
- “Don’t let opportunities slip away,” wide receiver Donald Driver said. “It is like in that in life; if you let an opportunity slip away it’s hard to come back from it. But one thing we know is we let this one slip away and we’ve got a bunch of guys in this locker room that believe that. When you have got guys that believe they let one slip away, it’s easy to fight back. We know right now that is what we have got to do coming into next week.”
- After the Packers’ offense and special teams put the defense in some challenging field-position situations last Sunday against Detroit, they did that again on just the second play of the game against Washington. On second down at the Green Bay 16, Rodgers found tight end Donald Lee for a 17-yard gain, but safety LaRon Landry forced a fumble that fellow safety Kareem Moore returned to the Packers’ 21.
- But like it did last week against Detroit, the Packers defense held firm, with center Casey Rabach’s snap on third down sailing over the head of quarterback Donovan McNabb, who was tackled by linebacker Clay Matthews for a 22-yard loss all the way back to the Washington 44 to force a Redskins punt.
- Taking over at its own 10-yard line, Green Bay’s offense struck quickly behind the legs of running back Brandon Jackson. On first down, Jackson took a draw up the middle, made one tackler miss, and then bounced it out down the right sideline for a career-long 71 yard gain all the way to the Washington 19. Five plays later on a third down, Rodgers connected with Lee for a 5-yard score and a 7-0 lead.
- Just two possessions later, the Packers appeared poised to add to their lead, quickly moving the ball down the field again after starting out at their own 14. Rodgers made a nice deep throw into a tight spot to wide receiver James Jones (team-high 65 yards on four catches) down the left sideline for a 35-yard gain, and two plays later found Jones again for an 11-yard pickup to the Washington 9.
- But after Rodgers hooked up on quick pass to wide receiver Jordy Nelson for an 8-yard gain down to the 1, the offense wasn’t able to punch the ball in for points on three straight plays. Running back John Kuhn was stopped for no gain up the middle on second down, and then a Rodgers sneak up the middle had the same result. After a timeout, Rodgers was pressured on a pass to tight end Andrew Quarless, and the pass was bounced off the helmet of linebacker Lorenzo Alexander.
- The special teams set up the offense on the next series, with a 52-yard punt return from Tramon Williams giving the offense the ball at the Washington 33, but a Brian Orakpo sack of Rodgers on third down forced Green Bay to settle for a 52-yard field goal from Crosby. Washington would add a field goal of its own just before the half, and the Packers took a 10-3 lead into the break.
- Green Bay quickly moved into scoring position on the first drive of the second half, but it would be the last time on the afternoon that it made it into the red zone. Jackson picked up 12 yards on a dump-off pass and 15 on a run up the middle, and Rodgers connected with Driver for a 34-yard pickup to the Washington 26. But the offense couldn’t convert on third-and-2, and Green Bay was forced to settle for the 36-yard Crosby field goal and a 13-3 advantage.
- After the Packers’ defense kept McNabb and the Washington offense in check for the first three quarters, allowing the Redskins to convert just on three of their first 11 third-down opportunities on the way to just three points, the veteran signal caller began to find his rhythm in the fourth quarter.
- McNabb and his offense got a boost from special teams, with wide receiver Brandon Banks returning a Tim Masthay punt 30 yards out to the Washington 40. Two plays later, McNabb (26-of-49 for 357 yards) lofted a deep pass down the middle that receiver Anthony Armstrong made a leaping grab of over safety Charlie Peprah for a touchdown that trimmed Green Bay’s lead to 13-10 while also energizing a dormant Washington crowd.
- Washington tied the game at 13 on a 45-yard field Gano field goal with just 1:07 remaining in the contest, and Green Bay took over at its own 21 with just one timeout left. But Rodgers moved the offense down the field in a hurry, completing a pair of passes to Quarless for 9 and 21 yards respectively, with those receptions sandwiching a 14-yard run by Rodgers. After the 21-yard completion to the rookie tight end put the ball at the Redskins’ 35, Rodgers rushed up to the line to spike the ball with seven seconds remaining to give Crosby a shot to win it, but the kick that had plenty of distance hit the left upright.
- “To not be able to capitalize there at the end was very disappointing,” Crosby said. “Obviously we thought we would get it in overtime and we came in here without the win, which was our ultimate goal. I’m just sick to my stomach about missing that kick.
- “I hit it all the way up the upright. I lined it up and thought I hit it the way I wanted to, but obviously it didn’t go in. It just turned left on me and hit the upright.”
- The Packers won the toss to start the extra period, but their first drive quickly stalled thanks to a Bryan Bulaga false-start penalty and then a sack of Rodgers by Orakpo on third down, the fourth of the afternoon for the Redskins. McNabb didn’t waste any time once he took over, completing a pair of passes to wideout Santana Moss (seven catches for team-high 118 yards) to put the ball in Green Bay territory. But the Packers came through on third down with a sack of their own, with Brady Poppinga coming through untouched for a 9-yard loss that forced a Redskins punt.
- Just two plays later, Green Bay gave the ball back, with Rodgers’ throw behind Greg Jennings and into the arms of Landry, who after a replay review was ruled down at the Green Bay 39.
- The Redskins moved into field-goal range courtesy of a pair of penalties, the first a holding call on Poppinga to convert a third-and 1 from the 30 and the second a pass interference call on Charles Woodson on second-and-15. McNabb kept the ball and picked up 7 yards on the next two plays up the middle to set up Gano, whose 33-yard kick split the uprights to give Washington the 16-13 victory.
- “We just let an opportunity slip away,” Jones said. “There is no explanation for the way we lost this game. We lost it ourselves.
- ”That’s always the most frustrating part; as bad as you play, you still have a chance to win the game at the end and you still let the game slip away. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth, but at the same time you’ve got to put it behind you now. We are 3-2, and we’ve got to go get better and try and get Miami.”