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Packers stay on the road to face the Cardinals

Posted Jan 12, 2016

The Packers and Cardinals will square off in the Divisional round of the playoffs on Saturday

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

  • The Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals will square off in the Divisional round of the playoffs on Saturday.
  • Green Bay advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs for the fifth time in the last six seasons (2010-12, 2014-15).
  • The Packers are 3-2 in the Divisional Playoffs under Head Coach Mike McCarthy, including 1-1 on the road.
  • Green Bay last played on the road in the Divisional Playoffs in the 2012 postseason when they took on the San Francisco 49ers. That was also the last time the Packers played a postseason game on a Saturday.
  • The Packers and Cardinals have faced each other in the playoffs twice, with Green Bay winning the first matchup, 41-16 at Lambeau Field on Jan. 8, 1983.
  • Green Bay’s last postseason game against Arizona came in the 2009 Wild Card Playoffs after the two teams had met in Week 17. After wining the regular season finale the Packers came up short, losing 51-45 in overtime at University of Phoenix Stadium. The two teams set postseason records by combining for 96 points and 13 touchdowns.
  • Including the playoffs, Green Bay has won seven of the last 10 games against the Cardinals.
  • Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw for 423 yards in the 2009 Wild Card meeting, his first career postseason start. It was the second most passing yards in NFC Wild Card playoff history (NO QB Drew Brees vs. DET, 2011).
  • Saturday will be the Packers seventh primetime game this season, including their third on the road. Green Bay was 3-3 in primetime matchups (1-1 on the road) during the regular season.

 

ON THE ROAD IN THE PLAYOFFS

  • While it is preferred to play at home during the postseason, the Packers have had some success as the away team.
  • Green Bay is 4-3 in road playoff games under McCarthy, with the Packers’ four wins tied (New York Jets, 4-3) for the third-most in the NFL since 2006 (Baltimore Ravens, 7-5 / New York Giants, 5-1).
  • Green Bay’s .571 road playoff winning percentage since 2006 is tied (Jets) for the fourth best in the NFL over that span (Giants, .833 / San Francisco 49ers, 3-1, .750 / Ravens, .583).
  • The Packers have averaged 31.9 points per game on the road in the postseason since 2006, No. 1 in the NFL over that span.
  • In seven career playoff road games, Rodgers has recorded a passer rating over 90.0 five times, including three games with a rating over 120.0.
  • Rodgers 98.7 passer rating in road playoff contests ranks third in the NFL (min. 100 att.) behind Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (104.0) and San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (99.3).

 

WITH THE CALL

  • NBC will broadcast the game to a national audience. Play-by-play man Al Michaels joins color commentator Cris Collinsworth in the booth with Michele Tafoya reporting from the sidelines.
  • 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 (color) call the action. McCarren first joined the team’s broadcasts in 1995 and is in his 21st season calling Packers’ games. McCarren 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 17th season of broadcasts together.
  • Westwood One Sports will air the game across the country. Kevin Kugler (play-by-play) and James Lofton (analyst) will call the action with Mark Malone reporting from the sidelines and Scott Graham hosting pre-game and halftime shows.
  • The broadcast is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio (WTMJ feed).

 

STAT OF THE WEEK

  • RBs Eddie Lacy (63 yards and a touchdown) and James Starks (53 yards and a touchdown) became the first Green Bay duo to both record 45-plus rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in a playoff game since Jim Taylor and Elijah Pitts did so in Super Bowl I.
  • As a team Green Bay registerd 141 yards on 32 carries (4.4 avg.), marking just the fifth time since 1990 that the Packers recorded over 140 rushing yards in a postseason game and the first time since the 2011 playoffs.

 

THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT

  • Packers at Cardinals:
  • All-time, regular season: 44-23-4
  • All-time, postseason: 1-1
  • All-time, at Arizona: 16-15-4
  • Streaks: The Packers have won seven of the last 10 meetings.
  • Last meeting, postseason: Jan. 10, 2009, at Univ. of Phoenix Stadium; Cardinals won, 51-45 (OT)

 

COACHES CAPSULES

  • Mike McCarthy: 112-61-1, .644, (incl. 8-6 postseason); 10th NFL season
  • Bruce Arians: 34-15-0, .694, (incl. 0-1 postseason); 3rd NFL season
  • vs. Opponent: McCarthy 3-2 vs. Cardinals; Arians 2-0 vs. Packers (includes as interim coach with Colts in 2012)

 

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 seventh consecutive playoff appearance this season, joining New England as the only two NFL teams to do so over that span. Has also led the team to eight playoff appearances and seven double-digit win seasons in the last nine years (2007, 2009-2015).
  • Guided the Packers to top-10 finishes in scoring in eight straight seasons (2007-14).
  • His .653 winning percentage during the regular season (104-55-1) is ranked second 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.

 

BRUCE ARIANS…Is in his third year as the Cardinals’ 35th head coach.

  • Helped Arizona capture the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs, leading the Cardinals to a franchise-best 13-3 record in 2015.
  • Led the Cardinals to an 11-5 mark and a playoff berth in 2014 (their first appearance in the postseason since 2009), earning him The Associated Press Coach of the Year award for the second time in three seasons (Indianapolis, 2012).
  • From 2013-14, Arizona led the NFL with 17 come-from-behind victories, including nine last season (tied with Pittsburgh for the most).
  • Came to Arizona after working as offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, while also serving 12 games as interim head coach during Chuck Pagano’s absence while being treated for leukemia.
  • Prior to joining the Colts, spent the previous eight seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2004-11), including five as the offensive coordinator (2007-11).

 

THE PACKERS-CARDINALS SERIES

  • One of the oldest rivalries in sports, the series launched on Nov. 20, 1921, when the Packers and Cardinals tied 3-3.
  • The series has been noted for its streaks, with the Packers winning 15 straight between 1937-46, followed by the Cardinals winning seven straight through 1948. The Packers have won 15 of the last 22 regular-season games (with one tie) since.
  • With the Cardinals franchise located in Chicago prior to 1960, the teams played two or more times in a season 20 different years between 1926-49.
  • The postseason meeting following the 1982 season marked the Packers’ first trip to the playoffs in 10 years and first playoff victory since winning Super Bowl II.

 

NOTABLE CONNECTIONS

Packers QB Brett Hundley is from Chandler, Ariz. ...Packers CB Damarious Randall, DT Mike Pennel and assistant special teams coach Jason Simmons all played at Arizona State (different times)...Packers assistant offensive line coach Mike Solari coached the offensive line for the Phoenix Cardinals in 1989 while Cardinals running backs coach Stump Mitchell played running back...Cardinals linebackers coach Bob Sanders served as the defensive ends coach in 2005 and defensive coordinator from 2006-08 for Green Bay...Packers head coach Mike McCarthy coached at the University of Pittsburgh with Cardinals defensive backs coach Nick Rapone...McCarthy also coached with Cardinals special teams coordinator Amos Jones at the University of Pittsburgh in 1992...Cardinals cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross played for the Chiefs and Cardinals pass rush specialist Tom Pratt coached there when McCarthy was on the coaching staff in Kansas City...Packers secondary-safeties coach Darren Perry coached with Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians on the staff with the Pittsburgh Steelers...Perry and Cardinals assistant special teams/assistant tight ends coach Steve Heiden were teammates with the Chargers in 1999...Perry coached defensive backs and Packers associate head coach/offense Tom Clements coached quarterbacks for the Steelers while Cardinals inside linebackers coach Larry Foote played...Foote played in Detroit in 2009 while Packers RBs coach Sam Gash was on staff...Sanders coached alongside Packers special teams coordinator Ron Zook at the University of Florida...Sanders and Packers quarterbacks/wide receivers coach Alex Van Pelt were on the same staff in Buffalo in 2009...Packers WR James Jones played with the Raiders in 2014 while Sanders was on staff...Solari coached for the Kansas City Chiefs while Ross was a player in 1997...Packers defensive line coach Mike Trgovac coached Cardinals defensive line coach Brentson Buckner in Carolina as defensive line coach and defensive coordinator...Buckner also played in Pittsburgh while Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers held the same position with the Steelers...Packers assistant linebackers coach Scott McCurley was a teammate of Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald at the University of Pittsburgh…Former college teammates include Packers LB Clay Matthews and Cardinals DE Frostee Rucker, and Packers LB Nick Perry and Cardinals QB Matt Barkley (Southern California), Packers CB Sam Shields and Cardinals DE Calais Campbell (Miami), Packers FB Aaron Ripkowski and Cardinals S Tony Jefferson (Oklahoma), Packers TE Kennard Backman and Cardinals WR J.J. Nelson (Alabama-Birmingham), Packers TE Andrew Quarless and Cardinals C/G A.Q. Shipley (Penn State) and Packers RB Eddie Lacy and S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Cardinals DT Ed Stinson (Alabama).

 

LAST MEETING, POSTSEASON

  • Jan. 10, 2009, at Univ. of Phoenix Stadium; Cardinals won, 51-45 (OT)
  • QB Aaron Rodgers completed 28 of 42 pass attempts for 423 yards, four TDs and one INT (121.4 passer rating).
  • WR Greg Jennings and TE Jermichael Finley combined for 14 catches, 289 yards and one TD.
  • QB Kurt Warner passed for 379 yards and five TDs (154.1 passer rating) on 29 of 33 pass attempts.
  • WRs Larry Fitzgerald and Early Doucet hauled in six passes and two TDs each.
  • LB Karlos Dansby recovered a fumble and returned it for a touchdown in overtime to win the game.

 

NOTES ON THE REGULAR SEASON

  • The Packers earned the 750th total victory in franchise history this season. Green Bay joined the Chicago Bears as the only teams in NFL history to reach 750 total wins.
  • Head Coach Mike McCarthy has now led Green Bay to seven seasons with 10-plus regular-season wins, the most in franchise history (since 1921).
  • McCarthy is the 10th coach to record seven-or-more 10-win seasons in their first 10 years as an NFL head coach (Don Shula, Marty Schottenheimer, Chuck Knox, Joe Gibbs, Bud Grant, Tony Dungy, Mike Ditka, George Seifert, Bill Walsh).
  • Green Bay posted eight zero-turnover games during the 2015 regular season, tied for No. 1 (2009) in franchise history (since 1933).
  • The Packers finished the regular season 7-5 against NFC teams. It was the eighth regular season since 2006 that Green Bay finished with seven-plus wins against NFC opponents.
  • Dating back to 1963, the Packers’ three six-plus sack games during the regular season tied a single-season franchise record (1966, 1978, 1991).
  • The Packers had four players with 50-plus receptions for only the third time (1983, 2002) since 1940.

 

OFFENSE

  • QB Aaron Rodgers reached 30 passing touchdowns (31) during the regular season for the fifth time in his career. He ranks second in team history behind Brett Favre's eight. Rodgers’ five 30-plus passing touchdown seasons since 2009 are tied for the second most in the NFL over that time span (NE Tom Brady and IND/DEN Peyton Manning, five / NO Drew Brees, seven).
  • Rodgers only threw eight interceptions, marking his fifth season with 500-plus attempts/eight or fewer interceptions. He has five of the 13 seasons in NFL history (Tom Brady - three / Aaron Brooks, Marc Bulger, Jason Campbell, Brett Favre, Alex Smith - one).
  • Rodgers finished with 344 rushing yards, the second-highest total of his career (356 in 2010).
  • WR Randall Cobb has recorded a reception in 56 consecutive regular-season games, the fifth-longest streak in franchise history. He trails WR James Lofton (58, 1979-1983) for the fourth longest.
  • WR James Jones finished the regular season with a team-high 102 yards on four receptions (25.5 avg.) against Minnesota, giving him a single-season career-best three games with 100-plus receiving yards.
  • Jones set a career high with 890 receiving yards on 50 receptions, his fourth consecutive season with 50-plus catches.
  • Dating back to 1991, Jones’ 15 receptions for 25-plus yards tied the fourth-most in a single regular season by a Green Bay player (Jordy Nelson, 19 in 2013, 16 in 2011 / Greg Jennings, 16 in 2010).
  • TE Richard Rodgers hauled in 58 receptions for 510 yards (8.8 avg.) and eight touchdowns. He became only the fourth tight end in team history with 55-plus receptions in a season: Jermichael Finley (three), Paul Coffman (two), Jackie Harris (one).
  • Rodgers has 10 career receiving touchdowns, tied for the most by a Green Bay tight end in his first two seasons since the 1970 merger (Bubba Franks, 10, 2000-01).
  • RB Eddie Lacy finished the season with three 100-yard rushing games. He has recorded three or more 100-yard rushing games in each of his three NFL seasons (three in 2014 and four in 2013).
  • With 3,075 rushing yards, Lacy is one of only two players in team history (RB John Brockington, 3,276) to rush for 3,000-plus yards in his first three seasons in the NFL.
  • RB James Starks set new career bests in receptions (43), receiving yards (392) and receiving touchdowns (three) this season.
  • Starks recorded 100-plus yards from scrimmage four times during the regular season. His 993 yards from scrimmage were a new career high, surpassing the 794 yards in 2011.
  • With 601 rushing yards, Starks surpassed his single-season career high of 578 yards from 2011.
  • Lacy (758) and Starks (601) gave the Packers two players with 600-plus rushing yards in the same season for the first time since 1985 (Jessie Clark-633 / Eddie Lee Ivery-636).
  • Starks (993) and Lacy (946) each recorded over 900 yards from scrimmage, making the Packers one of three teams in the NFL with two running backs with 900-plus yards from scrimmage (Denver and Tampa Bay).

 

DEFENSE

  • LB Clay Matthews finished second on the team with 85 tackles, eclipsing his previous career high of 83 tackles (2010).
  • Matthews finished second on the team with 6.5 sacks this season. It was the seventh consecutive season he recorded six or more sacks, tying him with LB Julius Peppers, KC LB Tamba Hali and DEN LB DeMarcus Ware for the most six-plus sack seasons in the NFL since 2009.
  • Peppers led the team with 10.5 sacks during the regular season. Dating back to last season (including playoffs), Peppers has 15.0 sacks in the last 20 games.
  • Peppers recorded his ninth season with 10-plus sacks, which tied John Randle for the fourth-most 10-sack seasons since 1982 (Bruce Smith, 13 / Reggie White, 12 / Kevin Greene, 10).
  • Peppers tied Jared Allen (136.0) for No. 9 on the all-time sacks list (since 1982). He trails both Richard Dent and John Randle (137.5) for the seventh most.
  • DB Micah Hyde, CB Damarious Randall and CB Sam Shields tied for the team lead with three interceptions each. It was the first time Green Bay had three players with three or more interceptions in the same regular season since 2011, when they had six.
  • Packers S Ha Ha Clinton Dix recorded three sacks during the regular season. According to STATS LLC, his three sacks tied for the fifth most in a single regular season by a Packers safety (since 1982) and the most since Mark Roman recorded 3.5 in 2004
  • Clinton-Dix’s three sacks were tied for No. 3 in the NFL during the 2015 regular season among safeties.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

  • P Tim Masthay finished the regular season with a net punting average of 40.25 yards, the top mark in franchise history (since 1976) as he surpassed his own record of 38.95 in 2013. He now holds the top five single-season marks in team annals (2010-13, 2015).
  • Masthay averaged 44.9 net yards per punt from Week 13-16, No. 1 in the NFL over that span. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the best by a Green Bay punter over a four-game stretch in a single season (min. four punts per game) since net punting began to be tracked in 1976.
  • From Week 13-15, Masthay became the first Packers punter to post a net average of 44-plus yards (min. four punts) in three straight games (according to the Elias Sports Bureau).
  • The Packers led the league in opponent punt return average (4.2) during the regular season. It was the best by a Green Bay team since 1969 (3.4 avg.).
  • K Mason Crosby was one of five players (min. 25 att.) to connect on all extra points this season. Among those five, his 36 attempts were the second most (NE Stephen Gostkowski, 52-52).
  • Crosby recorded 108 points, giving him the ninth 100-point season of his career and passing with Ryan Longwell (1997-2004) for the franchise record.
 
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