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

  • The Green Bay Packers’ 2015 season officially kicks off Thursday night when they travel to take on the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
  • For the fourth time in the last five years, the Packers will kick off their preseason slate away from Lambeau Field.
  • It will be the first preseason meeting between the clubs since they met in Green Bay in 2005 and the first time the Packers visited New England for a preseason game since 1993.
  • Thursday will be the 14th preseason meeting between the Packers and Patriots, with New England holding a 7-6 advantage in the series.  
  • Including the preseason, regular season and postseason, Green Bay and New England have met a total of 24 times, and each team has recorded 12 wins. The last overall meeting between the two was during the 2014 regular season, a matchup the Packers won, 26-21, at Lambeau Field. It was the first matchup between Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and Patriots QB Tom Brady as starters.
  • Rodgers (2011 and 2014) and Brady (2007 and 2010) have both been named NFL Most Valuable Player twice by The Associated Press. They are two of eight players to win the award multiple times.  
  • Green Bay and New England are the only teams to make the playoffs each of the last six years (2009-14).
  • The Packers and Patriots are one of three teams in the NFL (Denver) to win its division each of the last four seasons (2011-14).
  • Since 2006, Green Bay (40-13-1, .750) and New England (42-12, .778) own the two best records in the NFL against division opponents during the regular season.
  • The Packers and Patriots were two of five teams (Dallas, Denver, Seattle) to win a league-best 12 regular-season games in 2014.
  • Green Bay (101) and New England (122) own two of the top three marks for wins during the regular and postseaon since 2006 (Indianapolis, 105).
  • The Packers’ next preseason contest comes on Sunday, Aug. 23, at 12 p.m. CDT when they travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers at Heinz Field.

WITH THE CALL

  • Flagshipped by Milwaukee’s WTMJ-TV and in conjunction with WGBA-TV in Green Bay, the game will be televised over the 16-station Packers TV Network throughout the state of Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, northeastern Minnesota, the Quad Cities, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Waterloo in Iowa, Omaha in Nebraska, Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau in Alaska and Honolulu in Hawaii.
  • The top-notch broadcast team includes CBS’s Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) alongside fellow CBS broadcaster Rich Gannon (analyst), with Rod Burks of WTMJ-TV and Olivia Harlan serving as the sideline reporters. An informative half-hour pregame show will air prior to the game, hosted by Lance Allan of WTMJ-TV, and featuring former Packers tackle Mark Tauscher.
  • In addition to WTMJ-TV (Milwaukee) and WGBA-TV (Green Bay), preseason games will be televised over WKOW/ABC, Madison, Wis.; WAOW/ABC, Wausau/Rhinelander, Wis.; WXOW/ABC, La Crosse, Wis.; WQOW/ABC, Eau Claire, Wis.; WLUC/NBC, Escanaba/Marquette, Mich.; KQDS-TV/FOX, Duluth/Superior, Minn.; KGCW-TV/CW, Davenport, Iowa (Quad Cities); KWWL-TV/NBC, Cedar Rapids/Waterloo, Iowa; KCWI-TV/CW, Des Moines, Iowa; KMTV-TV/CBS, Omaha, Neb.; KYUR/ABC, Anchorage, Alaska; KATN/ABC, Fairbanks, Alaska; KJUD/ABC, Juneau, Alaska; and KFVE-TV in Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • In its fourth season, in conjunction with the Packers TV Network, Telemundo Wisconsin (WYTU-TV in Milwaukee, WACY-TV/My32 in Green Bay/Appleton and on Charter Cable elsewhere in Wisconsin) will broadcast four preseason games with Kevin Holden (play-by-play) and Epigmenio (Epi) Guerrero (analyst) calling the action.
  • 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 21st season calling Packers’ games. After originally being paired together in 1999, McCarren and Larrivee enter their 17th season of broadcasts together.

MEET THE DRAFT PICKS

  • Training-camp storylines always hover around new players and just how they figure into the depth chart. The Packers added to an already deep and talented roster with an eight-man draft class.     
  • CB Damarious Randall, the first defensive back from Arizona State to be picked in the first round since S Adam Archuleta (St. Louis Rams, No. 20 overall) in 2001, earned first-team All-Pacific-12 honors at safety as a senior. He led the Sun Devils in tackles (106) and passes defensed  (12), and tied for the team lead with three interceptions in 2014. Randall posted double-digit tackles in five games last season and finished fourth on the team with 9½ tackles for a loss on the season. He started 22 of 25 games played in two seasons for the Sun Devils. The Pensacola, Fla. native, joined ASU in 2013 after one year at Mesa (Ariz.) Community College, where he was named NJCAA first-team All-American after recording nine interceptions, and one year at Butler Community College (Kan.), where he was a shortstop on the baseball team.
  • The Packers selected CB Quinten Rollins out of Miami (Ohio) in the second round, making him the fifth player in school history selected in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft and the first defensive player since LB Bob Babich in 1969 (San Diego Chargers, No. 18 overall, first round). In his only season playing college football, Rollins started all 12 games and was named Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-MAC. He tied the school single-season record for most interceptions with seven, which also led the conference and ranked No. 3 in the nation. He finished No. 2 on the team with 53 solo tackles and tied for No. 1 with nine pass breakups. Rollins played basketball for four seasons at Miami (Ohio) and ranked No. 2 in school history and No. 12 in conference history in steals (214).
  • Green Bay drafted WR Ty Montgomery with their third-round selection. He became the first WR from Stanford to be selected in the first three rounds of the draft since Ed McCaffrey in 1991 (third round, N.Y. Giants). Montgomery finished his career at Stanford as the school’s all-time leader in kickoff return yards with 2,493 and posted 5,190 all-purpose yards (334 rushing, 2,125 receiving, 238 PR), the fourth most in school history behind Darrin Nelson, Glyn Milburn and Troy Walters. The Dallas, Texas, native earned second-team All-Pacific-12 honors as a return specialist and honorable mention All-Pac-12 recognition as a wide receiver as a senior.
  • In the fourth round, the Packers selected LB Jake Ryan out of the University of Michigan. He started 41 of 46 games he played in, appearing at inside linebacker as a senior after spending his first three seasons at outside linebacker and defensive end. Ryan served as a team captain for his final two seasons and was a three-time winner (2012-14) of the Roger Zatkoff Award, given to Michigan’s top linebacker. He is the only player to win the award, which was established in 1991, three times. As a senior, Ryan earned the Bo Schembechler Award, given to the team’s most valuable player.
  • Green Bay moved up in the fifth round in exchange for their fifth-and seventh-round selections to select QB Brett Hundley out of UCLA. The former Bruin finished his career ranked No. 1 in school history in passing TDs (75), total offense (11,713 yards) and completions (837) despite playing just three seasons. He ranks No. 2 in school annals in passing yards (9,966), 300-yard passing games (10), rushing yards by a QB (1,747) and rushing touchdowns by a QB (30).
  • With the first of three sixth-round picks, the Packers selected FB Aaron Ripkowski out of Oklahoma, one of five fullbacks chosen in the 2015 NFL Draft. The former walk-on played in 47 games, starting 17 contests in four seasons, and won the Don Key Award, presented annually to an Oklahoma Sooner senior who exemplifies all-around excellence in the classroom and on the field. Ripkowski was named first-team All-Big 12 by 247Sports.com and second-team All-Big 12 by the league’s coaches after the 2014 season.
  • Green Bay drafted DT Christian Ringo out of Louisiana-Lafayette with its second selection in the sixth round, the first of two compensatory picks. He was named the state’s Defensive Player of the Year by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association in 2014 after ranking No. 7 in the nation in tackles for a loss (20) and No. 12 in the country in sacks (11½). Ringo’s 11½ sacks tied the school single-season record.
  • The Packers selected TE Kennard Backman out of University of Alabama-Birmingham with their final choice of the sixth round and of the draft. He finished his career with 96 receptions for 979 yards (10.2 avg.) and seven touchdowns, registering at least one catch in 25 of his final 26 games. Backman started 37 of 48 games played in his four-year career at UAB.

THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT:

  • Packers at Patriots:
  • Regular season, all-time: 5-5
  • Preseason, all-time: 6-7
  • Preseason, all-time, in New England: 2-2
  • All-time, postseason: 1-0
  • Streaks: The Patriots won the last preseason meeting.
  • Last meeting, regular season: Nov. 30, 2014; Packers won, 26-21, Lambeau Field
  • Last meeting, preseason: Aug. 26, 2005; Patriots won, 27-3, Lambeau Field

COACHES CAPSULES

  • Mike McCarthy: 101-55-1, .643 (incl. 7-6 postseason) 10th NFL season
  • Bill Belichick: 233-118, .664 (incl. 22-9 postseason) 21st NFL season
  • Head to Head: Belichick 2-1
  • vs. Opponent: McCarthy 1-2 vs. Patriots; Belichick 3-3 vs. Packers

MIKE McCARTHY…Is in his 10th 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 sixth 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 seven playoff appearances in the last eight years (2007, 2009-14).
  • Has guided the Packers to top-10 finishes in scoring each of the past eight seasons (2007-14), joining the Patriots as the only other team to accomplish the feat; Packers finished first overall in scoring in 2014.
  • His .656 winning percentage during the regular season (94-49-1) ranks No. 3 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.

BILL BELICHICK…Is in his 16th year as the Patriots’ 15th head coach.

  • Is the only head coach in NFL history to win three Super Bowls in a four-year span.
  • Leads all active coaches and currently stands at fourth on the all-time NFL wins list with 233 total victories as a head coach after he passed Packers Hall of Famer Curly Lambeau in 2014.
  • His winning percentage of .664 ranks third in NFL history among coaches with 150 or more wins, trailing only George Halas (.682) and Don Shula (.666).
  • In the first 15 years as the Patriots head coach, he has won four Super Bowls, six conference titles and 12 division crowns.
  • His four Super Bowl titles tie him with Pittsburgh’s Chuck Noll for first on the all-time list.
     

THE PACKERS-PATRIOTS SERIES

  • This marks the 14th preseason meeting between the two teams.
  • The two teams first met in the preseason in 1975 at Green Bay (Milwaukee). The first time the Packers visited New England was in 1976. This will be Green Bay’s fifth preseason trip to New England, with the most recent visit coming in 1993.
  • New England holds a 7-6 overall record over the Packers in preseason play, having won its last meeting, 27-3, in Green Bay (2005).
  • This will mark the first preseason contest against the Patriots under the Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers era.
  • The series is split 2-2 when both teams have squared off in New England, with the Patriots coming away with a 21-17 victory the last time they met in 1993.

NOTABLE CONNECTIONS
Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers was a special assistant and secondary coach for the Patriots in 2008...Packers running backs coach Sam Gash played FB for the Patriots from 1992-97...Packers DT B.J. Raji played at Boston College from 2004-2008...Packers TE Richard Rodgers attended St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury, Mass. ...Packers head athletic trainer Bryan Engel spent time on New England’s training staff as a seasonal assistant and training camp intern from 1995-1997...Packers strength and conditioning assistant Thadeus Jackson was an athletic training intern for the Patriots during the team’s 2003 training camp...Patriots special teams coach Scott O’Brien is a native of Superior, Wis., and played collegiately as a LB for the University of Wisconsin-Superior from 1975-78. He also started his coaching career there in 1980...O’Brien coached special teams at the University of Pittsburgh while Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was on staff there and quarterbacks/wide receivers coach Alex Van Pelt played for the Panthers...Packers LB Julius Peppers played for Carolina and defensive line coach Mike Trgovac coached for the Panthers while O’Brien was the assistant head coach/special teams...O’Brien was also on the staff for the Miami Dolphins with Capers in 2006...Patriots QB Matt Flynn played for the Packers from 2008-2011 and in 2013-14...Packers DT Bruce Gaston signed with New England in 2014 and was high school teammates with Patriots LB Darius Fleming...Patriots RB James White played at the University of Wisconsin with Packers QB Scott Tolzien and WR Jared Abbrederis...Packers LB Clay Matthews was selected No. 26 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft with a pick acquired from New England in exchange for Green Bay’s second-round choice (No. 41) and two third-round picks (Nos. 73 and 83). The Packers also received a fifth-round selection in the trade...Matthews’ father, Clay Jr., played under Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and O’Brien for three seasons in Cleveland (1991-93)...In 2007, Capers coached for the Dolphins while Patriots DE Rob Ninkovich played for Miami...Packers DT Letroy Guion played for the Vikings while Patriots defensive assistant Brendan Daly was a defensive assistant and defensive line coach for Minnesota and Patriots wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea was an offensive assistant/wide receivers...O’Shea served as assistant special teams and linebackers coach while Packers assistant offensive line coach Mike Solari was the offensive line coach for Kansas City in 2005...Solari coached the offensive line while Patriots special teams assistant Ray Ventrone played for San Francisco from 2013-14...Packers defensive front assistant Jerry Montgomery coached Patriots DL Geneo Grissom at Oklahoma. Packers FB Aaron Ripkowski was playing for the Sooners at the same time...In 1998, Packers offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett played running back for the Chicago Bears while Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears coached receivers...Van Pelt was on the coaching staff for Tampa Bay while Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount played for the Buccaneers...Packers T David Bakhtiari played at the University of Colorado with Patriots T Nate Solder and while Patriots assistant strength and conditioning coach Moses Cabrera worked in the same position...Packers RB Eddie Lacy, S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, LB Adrian Hubbard and P Cody Mandell played at Alabama with Patriots LB Dont’a Hightower and DL Xzavier Dickson. Patriots special teams coach Joe Judge was on the Alabama staff at the same time as he helped Mandell receive SEC All-Freshman honors in 2010...Other college connections include: Packers C Corey Linsley and Patriots DB Nate Ebner (Ohio State), Packers T Bryan Bulaga, DT Mike Daniels, DB Micah Hyde and Patriots CB Bradley Fletcher and LB James Morris (Iowa), Packers DT Khyri Thornton and Patriots LB Jamie Collins (So. Miss.), Packers WR Ty Montgomery, LB James Vaughters and Patriots RB Tyler Gaffney, OL Cameron Fleming and DB Jordan Richards (Stanford), and Packers CB Casey Hayward, S Sean Richardson and Patriots WR Jonathan Krause (Vanderbilt).

LAST MEETING, PRESEASON

  • Aug. 26, 2005, at Gillette Stadium; Patriots won, 27-3.
  • QB Brett Favre completed 9 of 21 pass attempts for 69 yards and two interceptions while QB Aaron Rodgers completed 5 of 9 passes for 52 yds and one interception.
  • RB Ahman Green led the Packers in rushing and receiving with 11 carries for 23 yards and three receptions for 26 yards.
  • QB Tom Brady saw the majority of the action as he passed for 127 yards and one touchdown on 12-of-21 passing (90.8 passer rating).
  • TE Benjamin Watson led the Patriots in receiving with six receptions for 49 yards while RB Corey Dillon rushed for 70 yards and two touchdowns on 14 attempts.