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Packers host Falcons for first time since 2008

Posted Dec 3, 2013

Packers-Falcons Week 14 Dope Sheet


This is an abbreviated version of the Dope Sheet. To read the full version, download the PDF by clicking here.

  • Green Bay will take on the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday at Lambeau Field, the first meeting between the clubs in Green Bay since Week 5 of the 2008 season.
  • Sunday’s game was originally scheduled to be a prime-time matchup, but was shifted to a noon kickoff through the league’s flexible scheduling.
  • Green Bay is currently third in the NFC North at 5-6-1 after losing to the Lions, 40-10, on Thanksgiving in Detroit. The Packers trail the Lions (7-5) and Chicago (6-6) as they head into the final month of the season.
  • Sunday will be a matchup of two of the most successful teams in the NFC in recent years. Since 2009, the Packers rank No. 2 in the conference with 52 regular-season wins, trailing only New Orleans (53). The Falcons rank No. 3 in the NFC over that span with 48 victories.
  • Including two playoff meetings (1995 and 2002 seasons), the Packers and Falcons have met nine times before at Lambeau Field, with Green Bay holding a 5-4 edge at the stadium. The teams also squared off five times in Milwaukee between 1966-1994, including the last NFL game played in the city on Dec. 18, 1994, a 21-17 Green Bay win.
  • The Packers hold a 15-13 edge in the all-time series (including playoffs). Green Bay topped the Falcons, 48-21, at the Georgia Dome in a 2010 NFC Divisional playoff game (Jan. 15, 2011) on its way to a Super Bowl XLV title.
  • This will be just the second time that the Falcons have played a regular-season game at Lambeau Field in December or January, with the only other instance coming on Dec. 21, 1975, a 22-13 Green Bay win in the season finale in 12-degree weather.
  • The Packers enter Sunday’s contest having won 12 consecutive regular-season games at Lambeau Field that were played Dec. 1 or later, the longest current home winning streak in the league in games played in December/January. San Francisco’s 11-game winning streak at home in games played Dec. 1 or later is the No. 2 current mark in the league.
  • Since 2009, the Packers have a 15-5 (.750) overall record in December/January, which ranks No. 2 in the NFL over that span behind only New England (18-3, .857). Green Bay’s 11-0 mark (1.000) at home in December/January over that span is tied for the best winning percentage in the league with the 49ers (9-0, 1.000).
  • The Packers have won 10 of their last 13 regular-season games at home with one tie and 23 of their last 27 with one tie at Lambeau Field.
  • Green Bay enters Sunday’s game with a 33-12-1 record over their last 46 regular-season games, a .728 winning percentage that is tied for No. 2 in the NFL over that span (with San Francisco, 33-12-1) behind only New England (36-10, .783).

 
WITH THE CALL

  • FOX Sports, now in its 20th season as an NFL network television partner, will broadcast the game to a regional audience.
  • Play-by-play man Thom Brennaman and color analyst Brian Billick will have the call from the broadcast booth with Laura Okmin reporting from the sidelines.
  • Milwaukee’s WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since 1929, heads up the 50-station Packers Radio Network, with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (color) calling the action. The duo is in its 15th season of broadcasts together across the Packers Radio Network, which covers 42 markets in six states.
  • WestwoodOne Sports will air the game across the country. Dave Sims (play-by-play) and Mark Malone (analyst) will call the action and Scott Graham hosts pregame and halftime shows.
  • The broadcast is also available on SiriusXM Satellite Radio (WTMJ feed) as part of the network’s NFL Sunday Drive.
  • DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game in HD on Channel 705.

 
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT:

  • Packers vs. Falcons:
  • All-time, regular season: 13-12
  • All-time, postseason: 2-1
  • All-time, at home: 9-5
  • Streaks: The Packers have won two of the last three meetings.
  • Last meeting, regular season: Oct. 9, 2011, at Georgia Dome; Packers won, 25-14

 
COACHES CAPSULES

  • Mike McCarthy: 85-48-1, .638, (incl. 6-4 postseason); 8th NFL season
  • Mike Smith: 60-37, .619, (incl. 1-4 postseason); 6th NFL season
  • Head to Head: 2-2
  • vs. Opponent: McCarthy 2-2 vs. Falcons; Smith 2-2 vs. Packers

 
MIKE McCARTHY
…Is in his eighth 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.
  • Has led the Packers to playoff appearances in five of his seven seasons at the helm, and the team’s five postseason berths over the past six seasons are the most by an NFC team.
  • Led Green Bay to 47 regular-season victories from 2009-12, the second most in the NFL over that span and the second most in franchise history over a four-year period.
  • His .638 winning percentage (including playoffs) ranks No. 4 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.
  • Became the first Packers coach since Lombardi to lead the team to a championship game in his second season (2007).

 
MIKE SMITH…Is in his sixth year as the Falcons’ 14th head coach.

  • Guided the Falcons to a franchise-record five consecutive winning seasons (2008-12), including three seasons with 11-plus victories.
  • Led Atlanta to the top seed in the NFC in both 2010 and 2012 with 13-3 records in both of those seasons.
  • In 2008, guided the Falcons to an 11-5 mark, marking a seven-win turnaround from the previous season. Was named the NFL Coach of the Year by The Associated Press and Sporting News.
  • Served as the defensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2003-07. Also coached on Baltimore’s staff from 1999-2002, which included the Ravens’ 2000 Super Bowl season.

 
THE PACKERS-FALCONS SERIES

  • For a series that began with the Packers cruising to a 56-3 victory over the then-expansion Falcons in their first meeting in 1966, it has evolved into a closely contested rivalry. Including postseason, the Packers lead the all-time series, 15-13.
  • Since the 1990s, Atlanta-Green Bay clashes have proven memorable. In 1994, the Packers defeated the Falcons in the final NFL game in Milwaukee (Dec. 18). QB Brett Favre’s lunging, 9-yard TD scramble on the game’s final play sealed the 21-17 victory.      
  • A year later, the Packers and Falcons crossed paths in the postseason for the first time - on Dec. 31, 1995, at Lambeau Field. With RB Edgar Bennett rushing for 108 yards, the NFC Central champion Packers pulled out a 37-20 win with the aid of a 76-yard punt return for a TD by rookie WR Antonio Freeman.
  • In the 2010 season, Green Bay topped Atlanta, 48-21, in an NFC Divisional contest at the Georgia Dome as part of its run to a Super Bowl XLV title. The 48 points were a franchise playoff record for the Packers, and it was only the second time that a No. 6 seed topped a No. 1 seed in the NFC since the league went to a 12-team playoff format in 1990.

 
NOTABLE CONNECTIONS

Packers secondary-cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. broke into the NFL coaching ranks as an assistant defensive backs coach for the Falcons in 2007…Packers S Morgan Burnett played at Georgia Tech and attended North Clayton High in College Park, Ga. …Packers LB Clay Matthews’ father, Clay Jr., played three seasons for Atlanta (1994-96)…Falcons C Peter Konz is from Neenah, Wis., and played at the University of Wisconsin…Falcons secondary coach Tim Lewis was a first-round draft pick by the Packers in 1983 and played four seasons in Green Bay before his career was cut short by a neck injury…Falcons TE Chase Coffman’s father, Paul, played tight end for Green Bay for eight seasons (1978-85) and was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1994...Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo coached on Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan’s staff in San Francisco in 2005…Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez’s first two NFL seasons were in Kansas City with McCarthy on the Chiefs’ offensive coaching staff…Packers DT Ryan Pickett and Falcons RB Steven Jackson were teammates with the St. Louis Rams…Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements and defensive line coach Mike Trgovac coached on the staff at Notre Dame with Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong…Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers coached with Falcons linebackers coach Glenn Pires and wide receivers coach Terry Robiskie on the staff in Miami…Falcons assistant special teams coach Eric Sutulovich coached on Capers’ staff in Houston…Packers assistant head coach/inside linebackers coach Winston Moss played for the Raiders when Robiskie and Falcons defensive line coach Ray Hamilton were on the coaching staff…Packers strength and conditioning assistant Zac Woodfin and Falcons WR Roddy White were teammates at UAB...Falcons QB Matt Ryan and Packers DT B.J. Raji were teammates at Boston College and top-10 first-round picks in successive years (Ryan ’08, Raji ’09)…Other college teammates include Packers QB Aaron Rodgers and Falcons S Thomas DeCoud (California), Burnett and Falcons WR Kevin Cone (Georgia Tech), Packers CB Sam Shields and Falcons P Matt Bosher and G Harland Gunn (Miami), Packers DE C.J. Wilson and Falcons QB Dominique Davis (East Carolina), Packers T Marshall Newhouse and Falcons DE Stansly Maponga (Texas Christian), Packers P Tim Masthay and Falcons DT Corey Peters (Kentucky), and Packers TE Ryan Taylor and Falcons G Garrett Reynolds (North Carolina)…Packers director of pro personnel Eliot Wolf worked three scouting internships with the Falcons…Packers college scouting coordinator Danny Mock spent 17 seasons (1980-96) with the Falcons in various roles…Packers box office manager Philip Caldwell worked 13 years in the Falcons’ ticket office.

 
LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON

  • Oct. 9, 2011, at Georgia Dome; Packers won, 25-14.
  • QB Aaron Rodgers connected on 26 of 39 passes for 396 yards and two TDs for a 117.0 passer rating as the Packers outgained the Falcons, 426-251.
  • WR James Jones led the offense with five catches for 140 yards (28.0 avg.), highlighted by a 70-yard TD grab late in the third quarter that put the Packers up, 15-14, a lead Green Bay would not relinquish.
  • CB Jarrett Bush and S Charlie Peprah both posted interceptions off of Atlanta QB Matt Ryan as the defense limited Ryan to 167 passing yards and a TD on 18-of-32 passing.


stat of the week

  • When S Morgan Burnett recovered a fumble by Lions QB Matthew Stafford and returned it 1 yard for a touchdown in Green Bay’s loss at Detroit on Thanksgiving, it marked the second fumble return for a TD by the Packers this season.
  • The first fumble return for a score came in Week 3 when S M.D. Jennings posted a 24-yard return for a TD after LB Clay Matthews forced a fumble by Bengals RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis.
  • For the Packers, it marks the first time since 2004 that they have had two or more fumble returns for TDs in a season. In ’04, CBs Ahmad Carroll and Mike Hawthorne both returned fumbles for TDs vs. St. Louis on Nov. 29, 2004, and then S Darren Sharper brought the season total to three with a fumble return for a score vs. Jacksonville on Dec. 19, 2004.
  • With both of Green Bay’s fumble returns for TDs coming from its secondary, the Packers are tied with Dallas (S Barry Church, S Jeff Heath) for No. 1 in the league as far as the most fumble returns for scores by defensive backs this season.


This is an abbreviated version of the Dope Sheet. To read the full version, download the PDF by clicking here.

 
 
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