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Packers-Vikings press box notes

Posted Jan 5, 2013

PACKERS HOST VIKINGS IN NFC WILD CARD CONTEST

  • The Packers (11-5) will face the Vikings (10-6) tonight for the second straight week, this time in an NFC Wild Card contest at Lambeau Field, as the two clubs square off in the postseason for just the second time in the 52-year history of the series.
  • The only other playoff meeting between the division rivals also came in a Wild Card contest at Lambeau Field when the Packers hosted the Vikings in the 2004 season (Jan. 9, 2005).
  • This will be the first meeting in the history of the series (since 1961) where both teams entered the game with 10-plus victories.
  • It will mark the sixth time that Green Bay has faced a divisional opponent in the postseason since the league went to a divisional format in 1967. The Packers have a 4-1 mark (.800) in those games, which is tied for the No. 2 winning percentage in the NFL among teams with three or more playoff games against divisional opponents behind only Pittsburgh (9-0).
  • This will be the third time the Packers have faced the Vikings in the last six games. Green Bay played Minnesota at Lambeau Field in Week 13 and the teams met last Sunday in the season finale at Minnesota.
  • Tonight’s game will mark the third time in team history that the Packers have played an opponent in the season finale and then faced that same team in the playoffs the following week. Green Bay played at Detroit in both the season finale and in a Wild Card contest in 1993 and also played at Arizona both in the finale and in a Wild Card game in 2009.
  • Through 104 meetings, which includes the one postseason game, the Packers hold a 54-49-1 advantage over the Vikings in the all-time series.
  • Fans can bet on a back-and-forth contest when the teams meet. In fact, 16 of the last 21 regular-season meetings have been decided by seven points or less. The Packers have won five of the last six games overall between the clubs and have won six of the last seven at Lambeau Field.
  • Over the last 19 seasons (1994-2012), the Packers (nine) and the Vikings (five) have accounted for 14 NFC Central/North Championships.

 
BACK IN THE POSTSEASON

  • The Packers have won two straight NFC North titles for the first time since 2002-04, when the team captured three consecutive divisional crowns.
  • This season’s NFC North title marks the Packers’ 20th division crown in franchise history.
  • With the Week 15 win at Chicago, Green Bay clinched its 28th postseason berth in team history and its 15th appearance in the last 20 seasons.
  • The Packers have made the playoffs in each of the last four seasons and five of the last six, the only NFC team to accomplish those feats.
  • Green Bay ranks No. 3 in NFL history with its 28 playoff appearances, trailing only the N.Y. Giants (31) and Dallas Cowboys (30).
  • The Packers’ 15 postseason appearances in the free-agency era (since 1993) are the most of any team in the NFL.
  • Green Bay has an all-time record of 29-17 in the postseason, a .630 winning percentage that ranks No. 1 in NFL history.
  • Since the NFL went to a 12-team playoff format in 1990, the Packers have been the No. 3 seed three other times (1995, 2002, 2004).
  • This will be the 10th time that the Packers have played in the Wild Card round in their 15 playoff appearances since 1990. Green Bay has a 6-4 (.600) record in Wild Card games, including a 1-1 mark under Head Coach Mike McCarthy.

 
WHAT TO WATCH FOR

  • Green Bay has won 20 of its last 21 and 26 of its last 28 at Lambeau Field in the regular season. Green Bay’s .929 winning percentage (26-2) at home since Week 10 of 2009 is No. 1 in the league over that span.
  • The Packers have a plus-45 turnover differential (78 takeaways, 33 giveaways) at home since 2009, No. 1 in the NFL over that span.
  • Green Bay has won nine straight games at home against NFC North opponents, the longest regular-season streak since a 10-game streak from 2000-02.
  • In their final three regular-season games, the Packers scored TDs on 12 of 13 red-zone trips (92.3 percent).
  • Green Bay averaged 32.0 points per game in its last five regular-season contests, No. 3 in the NFL over that span.
  • QB Aaron Rodgers has a combined 116.4 passer rating in 10 career starts against the Vikings, having connected on 230 of 326 passes (70.6 percent) for 2,823 yards and 24 TDs with four INTs. Rodgers has a combined 132.5 passer rating in his last five starts against Minnesota (124-166, 74.7 percent, 1,537 yards, 16 TDs, one INT).
  • Rodgers ranks No. 1 in NFL postseason history with a career passer rating of 105.5. He has posted a 110-plus rating in four of his six playoff starts.
  • In his last 20 starts at Lambeau Field (including playoffs), Rodgers has thrown for 5,679 yards and 54 TDs with 11 INTs on 463-of-679 passing (68.2 percent) for a 113.5 passer rating. That includes 13 games with 280-plus passing yards and 12 contests with three-plus TD passes.
  • In the final three regular-season games this season, WR James Jones caught 18 passes for 222 yards (12.3 avg.) and five TDs.
  • In the two games against the Vikings this season, TE Jermichael Finley caught 14 passes for 132 yards (9.4 avg.), including a season-high eight grabs for a season-best 72 yards at Minnesota in Week 17. Over the final seven regular-season games, Finley caught 32 passes (tied for No. 5 among NFL tight ends) for 396 yards (No. 3 among TEs).
  • WR Greg Jennings is tied for No. 1 in team history with three 100-yard receiving games in the postseason and is tied for No. 2 in the franchise record books with five TD catches in the playoffs.
  • Jennings posted 15 receptions for 165 yards (11.0 avg.) and three TDs in the final two regular-season games this season, including eight catches for 120 yards and two TDs at Minnesota in the finale, season highs in each category.
  • WR Jordy Nelson had 14 receiving TDs at home in the regular season from 2011-12, No. 2 in the league over that span behind only Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (15). He ranked No. 2 in the league with 22 TD grabs overall from 2011-12, trailing only Gronkowski (28).
  • FB John Kuhn has scored at least one TD each of the last three postseasons (2009-11). He and Saints WR Devery Henderson were the only two NFL players to do so over that span.
  • LB Clay Matthews ranks No. 2 in franchise history with 4.5 sacks in the postseason, trailing only DE Reggie White (8.0). Matthews has registered at least one sack in each of the last four games against the Vikings.
  • K Mason Crosby has made five consecutive field goals in the postseason dating back to 2010, which is tied with Don Chandler (1965) and Chris Jacke (1996) for the franchise playoff record.

 
PLAYOFF CAPTAINS

  • As per team tradition, the Packers alternated game captains each week during the regular season. For the postseason, the team elected captains.   
  • Players elected captains were WR James Jones and QB Aaron Rodgers (offense), LB Clay Matthews and DB Charles Woodson (defense), and CB Jarrett Bush and LB Jamari Lattimore (special teams).

 
WEARING THE STRIPES

  • Tonight’s officiating crew includes referee Scott Green (19), umpire Bruce Stritesky (102), head linesman Ed Camp (134), line judge Jeff Bergman (32), field judge Boris Cheek (41), side judge Mike Weatherford (116) and back judge Scott Helverson (93). Alternates include Paul King (121), Tom Stabile (24) and Greg Gautreaux (80).
 
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