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2009 Season Review Dope Sheet

After a one-year absence, Green Bay made its second trip to the postseason in three years and established itself as one of the up-and-coming contenders in the NFC. Armed with a blend of young talent and veteran experience on both sides of the ball, and a coaching staff expected to mostly if not fully return for 2010, the future looks bright for the team at 1265 Lombardi Ave. - More Printable Dope Sheet (PDF)


*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

A complete edition of the Dope Sheet will be available each week during the season in PDF format, located in the Game Centers.

This is an abbreviated version of the 2009 Season Review Dope Sheet. To read the full version, download the PDF by clicking here.

Here are some highlights from the 2009 Season Review Dope Sheet:*


  • After a one-year absence, Green Bay made its second trip to the postseason in three years and established itself as one of the up-and-coming contenders in the NFC.
  • Armed with a blend of young talent and veteran experience on both sides of the ball, and a coaching staff expected to mostly if not fully return for 2010, the future looks bright for the team at 1265 Lombardi Ave.
  • In its first season with a new 3-4 defensive scheme, Green Bay hit its stride in the second half of the season, winning seven of its last eight contests. That 7-1 mark was tops in the NFC over the second half and second in the NFL behind San Diego (8-0).
  • At 11-5, Green Bay totaled double-digit wins for the 24th time in franchise history and second under Head Coach Mike McCarthy. It finished second in the NFC North behind the Minnesota Vikings and finished 4-2 in division play, a fourth straight winning division record for the Packers.
  • There is only one goal in Green Bay, and that involves returning the Lombardi Trophy to the only place it can truly call home. The Packers fell short in their pursuit in 2009, losing in the Wild Card playoffs.
  • Both of the Packers' offensive (No. 6) and defensive (No. 2) units ranked among the league's top 10 for the first time since 1998, when both units ranked in the top 10 for a third consecutive season (1996-98).
  • Franchise team records fell on both sides of the ball, as well as a number of individual club records for the likes of QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Donald Driver and CB Charles Woodson.


  • Despite a heartbreaking loss in the Wild Card playoffs, Green Bay will look to carry the momentum of its second half into the offseason conditioning program, which begins in mid-March. Mini-camps and OTAs are scheduled for later in the spring.
  • As they do year round, General Manager Ted Thompson and his personnel staff will evaluate all free agents and draft-eligible players. Though uncertainty remains around the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Packers have plans in place.
  • "There are definitely two plans and that's something that we'll continue to work through," McCarthy said. "The landscape for this offseason has changed. There is uncertainty there, and that makes personnel decisions even harder. So we'll just continue to work through it and always make the best decisions in the best interests of our organization."
  • After a strong showing from its '09 rookie class, the Packers will get a chance to add more young talent to their core with each of their seven choices in the 2010 NFL Draft, including the No. 23 pick in Round 1.
  • Though next year's schedule will not be finalized until April, Green Bay does know which teams will comprise its 2010 slate. Home contests include Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Miami, Minnesota, N.Y. Giants and San Francisco.
  • Road games next season include trips to Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, New England, N.Y. Jets, Philadelphia and Washington.
  • Preseason opponents are typically announced in early April, a week or two before the regular-season schedule is published.


  • Green Bay's 25th playoff berth in team history marked the franchise's 12th appearance in the last 17 seasons, tied with Indianapolis (12) for the most postseason appearances in the free-agency era (1993-2009).
  • The Packers lost to Arizona, 51-45 in overtime, in what will surely go down as one of the great games in the history of the Wild Card round.
  • Green Bay finished the regular season with a league-low 16 giveaways, but uncharacteristically turned the ball over twice in its first three plays.
  • Both were converted into early touchdowns, and the Cardinals raced out to a 31-10 lead early in the second half.
  • Just as they had overcome adversity in the regular season, be it a 4-4 record halfway through the season or after a last-second loss in Pittsburgh, the Packers fought through adversity and began a furious comeback, eventually tying the score at 38 early in the fourth quarter.
  • A fumble return for a score ended the highest-scoring game in postseason history three plays into overtime, a bitter end to a memorable year.


  • The story of the Green Bay Packers began Aug. 1 as a standing-room only crowd gathered for the unveiling of the new Ray Nitschke Field and the first day of training camp practice. Like their passionate fan base, the Packers were eager to erase the memories of 2008 and return to their place among playoff contenders in the NFC.
  • A quick start in preseason action built buzz around the team as the regular season approached, and a fantastic finish in Week 1 over the rival Bears kicked off the 2009 campaign with a bang.
  • A second loss to Minnesota put the team at 4-3 heading into Tampa in Week 9. A 10-point loss to the previously winless Buccaneers left the Packers at 4-4 at the midway point, with a number of tough games still looming ahead on the schedule.
  • Green Bay showed its ability to bounce back from adversity the following week against Dallas in a pivotal NFC matchup. A fantastic defensive effort kept Dallas out of the end zone until the waning moments of the game and helped springboard the team to a five-game win streak that put it back into the NFC playoff picture.
  • In what was one of the more memorable games of the '09 regular season, Green Bay lost on the final play of the game in Pittsburgh, a tough finish to a back-and-forth fourth quarter.
  • Again Green Bay responded, using all three phases to dominate Seattle at home and clinch a postseason berth in Week 16. Another fine performance in Arizona in the regular-season finale gave the Packers an 11-5 record and the No. 5 seed.
  • Faced with a 31-10 deficit early in the second half at Arizona in the playoff game, Green Bay used a second-half flurry to tie the score at 38 in the back-and-forth affair. The season came to a bitter end on the Packers' first set of downs in overtime, as Arizona scooped up a fumble and returned it for the winning score, capping one of the most exciting games in Wild Card playoff history.


  • Green Bay was one of two teams in the NFL in 2009 to have both the offense (No. 6) and defense (No. 2) rank among the league's Top 6. Division foe Minnesota (No. 5 offense, No. 6 defense) was the other.
  • The Packers offense ranked among the league's Top 10 for the fourth consecutive season and was a unit that seemed nearly impossible to stop towards the latter part of the season. It topped the 30-point plateau in its last four contests and eight times overall in 2009.
  • There's no shortage of statistical measures to show its strength, chief among them the 461 points scored, a new franchise record. The 1996 Super Bowl champion Packers had the previous team record at 456.
  • It was just the third team in franchise history to surpass 6,000 total net yards, finishing No. 3 in team annals with 6,065.
  • Though its perimeter players are as dangerous in big-play production as any group in the NFL, Green Bay dominated the ball and controlled the clock in its second-half run and finished No. 1 in the NFL with a time-of-possession average of 33:03, establishing a new franchise standard since the statistic began being recorded in 1977.
  • Green Bay became the first team in NFL history to have a 4,000-yard passer (QB Aaron Rodgers), 1,200-yard rusher (RB Ryan Grant) and two 1,000-yard receivers (WRs Donald Driver and Greg Jennings) in back-to-back seasons.
  • Driver and Jennings led a wideout group whose ability downfield and after the catch opened up the middle of the field for Grant and TE Jermichael Finley, two players whose production increased during the season's second half.
  • On defense, veteran coordinator Dom Capers installed the 3-4 defense and led a unit that finished the year with the highest league ranking by a Packers defensive unit (No. 2) since the '96 Super Bowl team (No. 1).
  • For the first time in team history, Green Bay ranked No. 1 in run defense. The unit allowed 83.3 rushing yards per game, the lowest average in franchise history.
  • Its stellar run defense kept opponents in difficult down-and-distance situations, where the defense excelled in creating turnovers.
  • The Packers led the league with 40 takeaways and led the NFL with 30 interceptions, the first time the Packers led the league in interceptions since 1965 (tied with Washington for No. 1 that season with 27).
  • CB Charles Woodson led the team with as fine a season as any player in the NFL on the defensive side of the ball. His nine interceptions marked a new career high and tied for the league lead, while he returned three of those interceptions for touchdowns, also tied for the NFL lead.
  • Highlighting the defense's ability to take the ball away also brings the spotlight back onto the offense, which finished the season with 16 giveaways, fewest in the NFL. Not since 1997 (New York Giants) has a team led the league in most takeaways and fewest giveaways.
  • Green Bay's plus-24 turnover margin also ranked atop the league standings, while its 141 points off takeaways tied for No. 1.
  • Special teams, shaky in both the return and coverage units early, steadied itself later in the season. It kick-return coverage ranked tied for 17th, while its punt-cover unit finished No. 24. Injuries forced the team to look at a number of players in its own return game, but the Packers were never able to hit the long gain. The punt-return unit finished No. 23, while kick return was 19th.


  • For a man whose list of football accomplishments includes the Heisman Trophy, not to mention numerous All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections, CB Charles Woodson added the highest individual honor for an NFL defender when he was awarded The Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
  • Playing a number of different position in his first year in the 3-4 scheme under defensive coordinator Dom Capers, Woodson routinely lined up against the opposition's top threat and wreaked havoc when it came to causing turnovers. It was those big plays that set Woodson apart from the pack in 2009 as he quarterbacked the league's No. 2 defense.
  • Big plays became a staple for Woodson, who picked off nine passes, tied for the NFL lead, and returned three of them for touchdowns, also tied for the league lead. All four of his forced fumbles were recovered by the Packers, none bigger than his two against Dallas. It was the performance against the Cowboys, in front of a national TV audience with the Packers' season hanging in the balance, where Woodson truly shined.
  • Credit too must be given to Capers, who utilized Woodson's uncanny instincts all over the field. Woodson is the third player under Capers to win the award, joining Rod Woodson (1993) and Jason Taylor (2006).


  • S Nick Collins, LB Clay Matthews, QB Aaron Rodgers and CB Charles Woodson were named to the NFC Pro Bowl squad this season. Additionally, Woodson was named a starter on the NFC squad.
  • For Collins, it was his second consecutive and second career selection. For the season, the fifth-year pro had 51 tackles, six interceptions, a sack and fumble recovery. His six interceptions were second most among NFC safeties and tied for fifth overall in the NFL.
  • Collins became the first Packers safety to be named to consecutive Pro Bowls since LeRoy Butler, who went three consecutive seasons (1996-98).
  • Matthews became the first Packers rookie to earn a Pro Bowl selection since WR James Lofton in 1978. He finished the season with 58 tackles, a franchise rookie-record 10 sacks, three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, six passes defensed and a defensive touchdown.
  • Rodgers earned his first career selection in his second season as a starter. He became the first player in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons as a starter and ranked among the league's top 10 in nearly every significant passing category.
  • Woodson earned his sixth career Pro Bowl bid and second as a member of the Packers. He registered a career high in tackles (81) and interceptions (nine). Additionally, the 12-year pro had two sacks, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 21 passes defensed.
  • With Woodson and Collins being named to the team, the Packers have two or more secondary players going to the Pro Bowl in consecutive years for the first time since 1973-74, when cornerbacks Willie Buchanon and Ken Ellis were selected. Last season, Al Harris joined Collins and Woodson on the NFC Pro Bowl squad.
  • T Chad Clifton, RB Ryan Grant and LB A.J. Hawk were all named Pro Bowl alternates.


  • Talk of unrestricted free agency in the early '90s led many to forecast tough times for the small-town Green Bay Packers.
  • However, Green Bay has remained among the most successful teams since the advent of free agency in 1993. The Packers have won 10 or more games 10 times since '93 and captured seven division crowns.
  • A look at the most successful teams in the free agency era:

Team: W-L since '93 (Pct.) - Playoff berths

New England: 171-101-0 (.629) - 11

Pittsburgh: 169-102-1 (.623) - 11

Green Bay: 169-103-0 (.621) - 12

Indianapolis: 164-108-0 (.603) - 12

Denver: 162-110-0 (.596) - 8


  • The Green Bay defense finished at the No. 2 spot in the league's final overall defensive rankings. Not since 1996, when it finished the year No. 1 overall and went on to win Super Bowl XXXI, had the Packers' defense ranked among the league's top units.
  • Behind new defensive coordinator Dom Capers and all-everything CB Charles Woodson, the Packers thrived in their new 3-4 scheme. The team finished the season ranked No. 1 against the run, a first in team history, and No. 5 against the pass.
  • The previous top ranking in franchise history in run defense came in 1972, when the team finished No. 2.
  • Green Bay allowed an average of 284.4 yards per game, second behind the N.Y. Jets (252.3) and ahead of No. 3 Baltimore (300.5).
  • Green Bay's improved defense against the run kept opponents in long down-and-distances, enhancing the defense's ability to get off the field on third down. Through the first four games, the unit ranked No. 28. As soon as Green Bay began to stop the run, it shot up the league rankings in third-down defense, finishing the year at No. 9.
  • One constant for the defense was its ability to take the ball away, registering 39 of the team's 40 takeaways. That takeaway total led the NFL in 2009, and it's something that has become a habit for the defense. It has registered at least one takeaway in 18 of its last 19 games.
  • Whether they be caused by pressure from a deep and talented front seven, or a fantastic read by a ball-hawking secondary led by Pro Bowlers Nick Collins (six INTs) and Woodson (nine), those 40 turnovers led to 141 points, tied with New Orleans for the most points-off-turnovers total in the NFL.
  • In the first two years of the Mike McCarthy tenure, Green Bay's defense was close to being a top-10 unit, finishing at No. 12 in 2006 and No. 11 in 2007. Last season, it slipped to No. 20 before making the jump up to No. 2 this year.
  • In Capers' previous stints as a coordinator, his units have made a jump in the rankings in his first season. In Pittsburgh, the defense went from No. 22 to No. 13 in '92 under Capers, then continued to rise to No. 3 in '93 and No. 2 in '94. In Jacksonville, the defense climbed to No. 4 under Capers in '99 after ranking 25th the previous season. The Dolphins ranked No. 4 in 2006, Capers' first year, after ranking No. 18 in '05.


  • Now firmly entrenched in his role as the face of the franchise, QB Aaron Rodgers has gone from solid first-year starter to one of the game's top young signal callers.
  • Rodgers ranked near the top of the NFL in most passing categories and was honored as the NFC Offensive Player of the Month for October, the first such award of his career. He was the youngest of the six quarterbacks named to this year's Pro Bowl squads.
  • In 2009, he engineered one of the NFL's most potent offenses, ranked No. 6 overall, and avoided costly mistakes, spearheading a unit that had a league-low 16 giveaways (15 on offense).
  • His 103.2 passer rating ranked fourth in the NFL. In addition, he was the game's top-ranked passer on third downs (133.5).
  • The fourth-year pro threw for 4,434 yards, fourth most in the league. That total finished just shy of Lynn Dickey's franchise record (4,458, 1983) for passing yards in a single season.
  • In addition to QB rating and passing yards, Rodgers ranked fourth in TD passes (30) and first in interception percentage (1.3).
  • And just for good measure, he ranked second among QBs with 316 rushing yards on 58 carries (5.4 avg.).
  • The Elias Sports Bureau never intended for passer rating to measure the effectiveness of a signal caller in one game, but rather over the course of a group of games or entire season.
  • Having said that, Rodgers' performance in Week 7 in Cleveland (15-of-20, 246 yards, 3 TDs) earned him a passer rating of 155.4, the highest single-game rating (minimum 20 attempts) in the history of the franchise. It bested the previous high, Brett Favre's 154.9 rating set in Oakland on Dec. 22, 2003.
  • It was Rodgers' fourth consecutive game with a passer rating over 110.0, becoming only the second signal caller in team history to eclipse the mark four straight times in a single season. The legendary Bart Starr accomplished the feat four straight weeks during the 1966 season (Sept. 18-Oct. 9) en route to an NFL Championship and Super Bowl title.
  • Rodgers just missed becoming the first to do it in five straight games, registering a 108.5 rating against Minnesota the following week.
  • Not only does the statistic explain his play this season, but just how efficient he has been since becoming a starter. In 32 career starts, Rodgers has eclipsed the century mark in passer rating 18 times.


  • While many football statistics don't have far-reaching implications through a sampling of the season, turnover ratio is always a telling statistic when it comes to a game's final outcome.
  • The Packers' 40 takeaways led the NFL, while their 16 giveaways also led the league and established a new franchise record.
  • The 1997 New York Giants were the last team to lead the league in most takeaways and fewest giveaways.
  • While Rodgers has always been careful with the ball in the passing game, credit must be given to the running backs, who carried the ball 374 times with one fumble, which was recovered by Green Bay, in '09.
  • With a defense that excels at the takeaway and an offense that protects the football as well as it does, it was no surprise that Green Bay's plus-24 turnover ratio topped the league.
  • Of the Packers' takeaways, 30 came via the interception, most in the NFL. It is the most for the Packers since 1981, when the team also had 30. In 2009 it also had 10 fumble recoveries.
  • Every single Packers practice, be it during OTAs, training camp or the regular season, has a period devoted to ball security.
  • Headed by assistant head coach/inside linebackers Winston Moss, the drill has offensive skill players carry the ball while two defenders (linebackers and defensive backs) try to strip the ball. Once free, the offensive player then must run through a gauntlet of offensive and defensive linemen attempting to strip the ball loose.
  • The drill puts an emphasis on ball security for offensive players. For defensive players, the drill keeps the focus on stripping the ball from opposing players.
  • Overall, the team had 11 forced fumbles on the year (one on special teams), 10 of which it recovered.
  • Offensive skill players need only to look at RBs Ryan Grant and Ahman Green for two players who exemplify ball security. The pair ranks No. 1 and No. 2 in the NFL for consecutive carries without a fumble, streaks they will carry into play in 2010. Green currently has 393 consecutive rushes without a fumble, the longest active streak in the league, while Grant has a streak of 291 consecutive carries without a fumble, second longest among active streaks. Both streaks are individual career highs.
  • While the Packers can be proud of their place atop the league in turnover margin, it is a statistic that has trended upwards in each of McCarthy's four seasons.
  • In 2006, the team finished at even in the category but improved to plus-four in 2007. Last season's plus-seven margin, No. 6 among NFL teams, was the franchise's best mark since 2002 (+17).
  • Prior to McCarthy's arrival, the team had a franchise-worst turnover ratio (-24) in 2005.


  • At age 33, CB Charles Woodson enjoyed the finest season of his career in his first year in the 3-4 scheme.
  • Woodson achieved the highest individual honor bestowed upon a defensive player, taking home the The Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year award and also was named an AP First-Team All-Pro.
  • Woodson became the fourth player in NFL history since sacks became an official statistic to record at least nine interceptions and two sacks in a single season. One of the players who previously accomplished the feat (Ed Reed - 2004) also went on to win Defensive Player of the Year. Woodson also led the Packers with four forced fumbles.
  • Against Dallas, Woodson became the first NFL player to record two forced fumbles, an interception and a sack in a game since Steelers linebacker James Harrison accomplished the feat two years ago to the day vs. Baltimore on Nov. 15, 2007. In that contest, Harrison posted three forced fumbles, 3½ sacks and an interception.
  • Against the Lions in Week 12, Woodson tallied two interceptions, including one he returned for a score, a sack, forced fumble and fumble recovery, and held Calvin Johnson to two catches for 10 yards.
  • Woodson was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for both his Dallas (Week 10) and Detroit (Week 12) performances, and naturally won NFC Defensive Player of the Month for November. Woodson also was honored as the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for September and December, becoming the first NFC player to win the award multiple times.
  • His Detroit performance marked the fifth multi-interception game of his career, and his fourth since coming to Green Bay.
  • Woodson's INT return for a score against Arizona in Week 17 was his seventh with Green Bay, giving him eight defensive touchdowns with the Packers to establish a new franchise record. The seven INT returns for scores with Green Bay ties him for first on the franchise's all-time list with Hall of Famer Herb Adderley.
  • In addition to his team-high and career-best nine interceptions, he established a new career high with 81 tackles, third most on the team. His previous career high had been 79, a total he accomplished twice before (OAK, 2000; GB, 2008).
  • A skilled blitzer, he had two sacks on the year. His five sacks since 2008 is tied for the NFL lead among defensive backs (safeties and corners).
  • His four forced fumbles tied for second among NFL defensive backs.
  • There's no doubt Woodson's career has undergone a revitalization since coming to Green Bay. He now has 45 career interceptions, fifth among active NFL players. Of his interceptions, 28 have come in 62 games with Green Bay. In 106 games with the Raiders, he had 17.


  • With his second-quarter TD catch vs. Baltimore, WR Donald Driver became the 10th player in franchise history to record 50 touchdowns.
  • Green Bay is the only franchise in the NFL with 10 players with 50-or-more career touchdowns. RB Ahman Green stands at No. 3.
  • For Driver, it was his 49th career receiving touchdown. He also had a 31-yard touchdown run in 2001. That moves him into a tie with No. 5 James Lofton (49) on the team's all-time touchdown receptions list. One more would match No. 4 Max McGee with 50.
  • It was Driver's 19th career receiving TD at Lambeau Field, one behind No. 2 Sterling Sharpe.
  • As mentioned, the Packers are the only franchise with 10 players reaching the 50 career touchdown milestone. A look at the list:

Player – Years (TDs)

Don Hutson - 1935-45 (105)

Jim Taylor - 1958-66 (91)

Ahman Green - 2000-06, 09- (68)

Sterling Sharpe - 1988-94 (66)

Paul Hornung - 1957-62, 64-66 (62)

Antonio Freeman - 1995-2001, 03 (57)

Verne Lewellen - 1924-32 (51)

Max McGee - 1954, 57-67 (51)

Donald Driver - 1999- (50)

James Lofton - 1978-86 (50)


  • Anyone needing to know how much the Packers missed TE Jermichael Finley in his three-game absence, which really should be considered a four-game streak because his injury occurred on the first series in Cleveland, need only to watch the game tape from the last seven contests.
  • Over the last seven games, he caught a team-high 38 passes for 416 yards and four TDs. His reception total over that time was third among tight ends, trailing only Jason Witten (45) and Tony Gonzalez (39).
  • His nine catches at Pittsburgh matched the single-game team record for receptions by a tight end, and Finley finished tied for the No. 2 spot for catches in a single season by a Packers tight end with 55.
  • Rodgers clearly loves Finley's athletic ability down the middle of the field, as evidenced by his nine catches of 20-plus yards. And in goal-line situations, as was seen against the Ravens, Steelers and Cardinals, Rodgers is confident in Finley's ability to win a one-on-one battle.
  • In a season in which he set career highs in every statistical category, Finley's coming-out party came on the team's first appearance on Monday Night Football at Minnesota in front of the largest television audience in cable history. That game, he set a new career high in receiving yards (128), highlighted by his 62-yard catch-and-run TD. The catch marked the longest reception by a Green Bay tight end since Jackie Harris caught a 66-yard scoring pass against Denver on Oct. 10, 1993.
  • Finley's day also stands tied for the most productive day by a tight end in team history. His 128 yards matched Harris' output from that Broncos contest, tying the franchise high for receiving yards by a tight end.
  • There's no doubting the Packers' depth at the position. TE Donald Lee remained a favorite target of Rodgers, ranking fourth on the team with 37 catches. Finley and Lee were the only NFL tight-end combo with at least 37 catches each.
  • And if the Week 4 game at Minnesota served as a coming-out party, the Wild Card playoff game showed Finley's potential to take over a game. His 159 receiving yards set a new franchise postseason record and ranked second in NFL postseason history for a tight end.


Defensive coordinator Dom Capers

Sporting News Coordinator of the Year

S Nick Collins

2010 Pro Bowl selection (second career)

2009 The Associated Press Second-Team All-Pro

LB Clay Matthews

2010 Pro Bowl selection (first career)

Week 6 - Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week (vs. Detroit)

Week 10 - Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week (vs. Dallas)

NFC Defensive Player of the Week - Week 13 (vs. Baltimore)

QB Aaron Rodgers

2010 Pro Bowl selection (first career)

NFC Offensive Player of the Month - October

CB Charles Woodson

The Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year

2009 The Associated Press First-Team All-Pro

Sporting News Defensive Player of the Year

NFL Alumni Defensive Back of the Year

2010 Pro Bowl selection (sixth career)

Sports Illustrated First-Team All-Pro

Sporting News First-Team All-Pro

NFC Defensive Player of the Month - September

NFC Defensive Player of the Month - November

NFC Defensive Player of the Month - December

Pro Football Weekly Midseason All-Pro Team

NFC Defensive Player of the Week - Week 10 (vs. Dallas)

NFC Defensive Player of the Week - Week 12 (at Detroit)


  • Kept under wraps throughout the season but still in the legendarily thick playbook of defensive coordinator Dom Capers, the 'Psycho' defensive package made its debut in Chicago in Week 14.
  • On the third play from scrimmage, with Chicago facing a third-and-3 deep in its own territory, the Packers went to the package, an alternative version of the nickel defense which includes one down lineman, five linebackers and five defensive backs.
  • A previously unscouted look, the scheme worked to perfection as DE Cullen Jenkins and LB Desmond Bishop stopped Bears RB Matt Forte for a loss of 3 yards.
  • Along with Bishop, the five linebackers included Nick Barnett, Brandon Chillar, A.J. Hawk and Clay Matthews. The five in the secondary were its starting four along with nickel CB Jarrett Bush.
  • It wasn't the first time Green Bay unveiled a varied sub-package on defense. In Week 3 at St. Louis, it came out in its 'Big Okie' formation, which substitutes Chillar in as a fifth linebacker for S Atari Bigby.
  • The package was shelved for a time when Chillar was recovering from a broken hand but did see use in the final weeks of the season.
  • No matter what the defense was, be it 'Psycho', 'Big Okie' or base, teams had trouble running against the Packers' No. 1-ranked run defense.


  • Another packed house at Lambeau Field against the Seahawks in the regular-season home finale brought the stadium's consecutive sellouts streak to 285 games (269 regular season, 16 playoffs).
  • This year's home game against Minnesota saw the largest regular-season crowd in Lambeau Field history (71,213).
  • The league's longest-tenured stadium, Lambeau Field hosted its 53rd 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 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.
  • With the victory over Seattle in Week 16, the team has won 19 of its last 26 regular-season games at Lambeau Field.
  • 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 19-7 at home since 2007, 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 home W-L records since the '92 season:

Team: W-L record (Pct.)

Green Bay: 107-37-0 (.743)

Pittsburgh: 104-39-1 (.726)

Denver: 103-41-0 (.715)

Minnesota: 100-44-0 (.694)

Dallas: 97-47-0 (.674)


  • The Packers' defense finished the season with 37 sacks, tied for 11th best in the league.
  • Three times this year the Packers had five or more sacks. The last time Green Bay had five or more sacks in three games was '02. The team record is four games, a number that was hit in three separate seasons (1985, 2000, 2001).
  • LB Brad Jones, who filled in following a season-ending knee injury to Aaron Kampman, recorded the first multi-sack game of his career against Pittsburgh, joining LB Clay Matthews (three multi-sack games) as the first rookie duo to post multi-sack games in a season.
  • Jones became the third Packers rookie to collect a sack this season, joining first-round picks NT B.J. Raji (1.0) and Matthews (franchise rookie record 10.0). The last time three Packers rookies recorded sacks was 1987.
  • For the first time in franchise history, two rookies had four or more sacks.
  • With another sack against the Bears in Week 15, Matthews became the first rookie in Packers history to record a sack in three consecutive games. His team rookie record ultimately rose to four after a two-sack effort against Pittsburgh.


  • Time of possession is a seldom-quoted statistic, but one that easily can underscore how a football game played out.
  • The Packers' final ranking at the top of the time-of-possession chart should have been a sign the team was due to make the postseason. Of the teams that finished the season in the Top 3 in the category this decade, 24 of those 30 teams made the playoffs.
  • Of the six that didn't qualify for the postseason, only one, the 2004 Kansas City Chiefs (7-9), finished with a record below .500.
  • In Green Bay's 30-24 win over San Francisco in Week 11, it controlled the ball for 41 minutes, 39 seconds. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, time-of-possession statistics have only been kept since 1977, but that mark for the Packers was a franchise record.
  • Combined with the Packers' 40:48 time of possession against the Lions in Week 6, it gave the team two games with 40-plus minutes of controlling the ball, which was also a single-season franchise record.
  • Green Bay won the time-of-possession battle against the Cardinals in Week 17, helping it achieve the league's No. 1 ranking in the category and a new franchise record.
  • The Packers ranked No. 1 in the league with a time-of-possession average of 33:03, ahead of No. 2 New England (32:55) and No. 3 Minnesota (32:40). Pittsburgh (32:13) and Dallas (32:04) rounded out the league's top 5, with Pittsburgh being the only team not to make the postseason.
  • Green Bay's previous best single-season mark came in 1992, when it posted an average of 32:30 per game.
  • In the first nine games of the season, the Packers had just nine drives of 10 plays or more. Over their last seven games, they had 14 drives of 10 or more plays.
  • As the weather turns, Green Bay has traditionally become a more ground-oriented team. Though the nature of a "big-play" offense suggests quick strikes, the Packers' offense seemed more suited to a controlled offense led by a ground attack, capable of producing multiple 10-play drives in a game.
  • Against Arizona in Week 17, it sustained three drives of 10 plays or more. Two went for touchdowns, while the third ended with a field goal.


  • As per tradition, the Packers alternate game captains each week during the regular season. For the postseason, the team elected captains.
  • Chosen as captains on offense were WR Donald Driver and QB Aaron Rodgers.
  • On defense, the team elected S Nick Collins and CB Charles Woodson.
  • On special teams, the team chose LB Desmond Bishop and S Derrick Martin as captains.


  • Rookie LB Clay Matthews seems to have a knack for the football, leading all rookies and tying for third in the NFL with three fumble recoveries, including two against Dallas.
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last Green Bay rookie to recover two opponents' fumbles in a game was DB Val Joe Walker on Nov. 26, 1953, against the Detroit Lions.
  • He just missed tying the the franchise's rookie record held by S Johnnie Gray (4, 1975). Matthews had a strip-sack and recovery of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger that was overturned after a Pittsburgh challenge.
  • The first recovery of his career was in Week 4, when he forced a fumble on Vikings RB Adian Peterson and raced the ball 42 yards for a touchdown, the longest fumble return for a TD by a rookie in team history.
  • Matthews recorded the third multi-sack game of his career against the Steelers and had 10 sacks on the season, a new Green Bay rookie record. In addition to leading the Packers, his 10 sacks ranked second behind Washington's Brian Orakpo (11) for the lead among all rookies.
  • LB Tim Harris was the only other rookie to finish as the Packers' team leader in sacks. Harris (8, 1986) and Vonnie Holliday (8, '98) had shared the team rookie record for sacks since the stat became official in 1982.
  • Matthews was also one of three rookie linebackers selected to the Pro Bowl and joins his father Clay Jr. (four Pro Bowls) and uncle Bruce (14 Pro Bowls) as family members to be selected.


  • Green Bay remained one of the league's most dangerous teams in yards after the catch, ranking in the top five for the fourth time in five seasons. Its consistent standing near the top of those rankings is due in large part to WRs Greg Jennings and Donald Driver.
  • Jennings is one of the league's top deep threats, with his most recent TD, an 83-yard score against Pittsburgh, marking a career long for both him and QB Aaron Rodgers.
  • When it comes to scoring passes, Jennings has an eye-popping average even over three-plus seasons. Of his 28 career touchdown catches, 13 have been at least 40 yards in length. He has a staggering average of 34.2 yards per TD catch. That average is tops among current players with at least 20 career touchdown catches.
  • While Jennings had six catches of 40-plus yards on the year, Driver wasn't far behind with five. When it comes to the 40-plus yard plays, there is no doubting the Driver-Jennings duo is the most potent deep-threat combo in the NFL. A look at the league numbers since 2007:

Player: 40-plus-yard catches (40-plus-yard TDs)

Greg Jennings, GB: 21 (11)

Randy Moss, NE: 19 (12)

Terrell Owens, BUF: 17 (12)

Steve Smith, CAR: 17 (8)

Donald Driver, GB: 15 (3)

Andre Johnson, HOU: 15 (5)


  • The offense registered over 400 yards against Seattle in Week 16, the ninth time this year it went over the mark. The unit found its stride toward the end of the year and again ranked among the NFL's top-10 offenses, a familiar place under play caller and Head Coach Mike McCarthy.
  • Each year under McCarthy, it has finished among the league's top 10 offenses. Since 2006, New Orleans is the only other NFL team to have ranked in the top 10 each of the last four seasons. This year, the Packers averaged 379.1 yards per contest, its top average under McCarthy.
  • In 2008, the Packers finished No. 8 overall with an average of 351.1 yards per contest. The unit finished No. 2 in 2007 (370.7 yards per game) and No. 9 in 2006 (341.1) under McCarthy.
  • McCarthy spent six seasons as an offensive coordinator and play caller prior to his arrival in Green Bay (New Orleans 2000-04, San Francisco 2005). Twice the Saints ranked among the NFL's top-10 offenses.


  • RB Ryan Grant hit a 20-plus yard TD run in three straight weeks (Week 14-16). The streak concluded against Seattle, as he raced 56 yards to the end zone after scoring on runs of 24 yards in Pittsburgh and 62 yards on the offense's opening play in Chicago.
  • For the Packers, it was their first time scoring on the offense's opening play since an 80-yard touchdown pass to WR Antonio Freeman on Nov. 1, 1998, against San Francisco.
  • The long touchdown runs reminded folks of the Grant from 2007, when he burst onto the national scene with a breakout year highlighted by a number of long touchdown runs. Make no mistake, Grant is among the game's top backs in both consistency and production.
  • He became just the third player in team annals to post consecutive 1,200-yard seasons. The franchise's top two career rushers, Ahman Green (2001-03) and Jim Taylor (1961-62), are the only players to hit the milestone in back-to-back seasons.
  • The only other NFL players to post back-to-back 1,200-yard seasons in 2008-09 were Chris Johnson (TEN), Thomas Jones (NYJ) and Adrian Peterson (MIN).
  • The Packers were able to acquire Grant in a roster-cutdown-day trade in 2007 with the N.Y. Giants, where he had spent a year on the practice squad and another season on injured reserve.
  • Grant spent the first couple of weeks in '07 learning the playbook, seeing occassional action in both the run and screen game.
  • In Week 8 of 2007, in a Monday night contest in Denver, Grant filled in when RB DeShawn Wynn went down with a shoulder injury and responded with the team's first 100-yard performance of the season.
  • Ever since that Monday night game, Grant has been the Packers' starter and has been one of the top running backs in the league. Though he may not grab the headlines like some of the game's other players at the position, Grant's production has been elite. Starting with the Week 8 contests of 2007, only one player has produced more rushing yards:

Player – Yards (Rush TDs)

Adrian Peterson, MIN - 3,814 (35)

Ryan Grant, GB - 3,385 (23)

Thomas Jones, NYJ - 3,346 (28)

Chris Johnson, TEN - 3,234 (23)

Steven Jackson, StL - 3,227 (16)


  • Charged with orchestrating the Packers' new 3-4 defense was veteran coach Dom Capers, who completed his 24th season on the NFL level in '09, his 17th as a defensive coordinator or head coach.
  • Noted around the league as one of the game's best defensive minds, Capers used many of the same personnel and transitioned the Packers into one of the league's most effective units. From a unit that ranked No. 20 overall in 2008, Capers brought the defense up to the No. 2 ranking in 2009, the franchise's highest defensive ranking in over a decade.
  • In addition to serving as the head coach of two different expansion franchises (Carolina and Houston), Capers brought an impressive résumé as a coordinator. Green Bay's rise in the defensive ranks this season was typical of Capers' instant impact over the course of his NFL career. Pittsburgh ranked No. 22 in overall defense in 1991, the year before Capers' arrival. The Steelers' defense rose up in the defensive rankings to 13th in 1992, Capers' first season as a defensive coordinator in the NFL. The unit rose to No. 3 in 1993 and No. 2 in 1994, earning the moniker "Blitzburgh" with one of the decade's most feared defenses.
  • Capers' impact also was seen in his stint as defensive coordinator with Jacksonville (1999-00) and Miami (2006-07). Ranking 25th in overall defense in 1998, the Jaguars' unit rose immediately under Capers in '99 to No. 4 overall in addition to allowing the fewest points in the NFL. The Dolphins ranked No. 18 in overall defense in 2005 but rose to No. 4 in 2006 under Capers, with DE Jason Taylor earning Defensive Player of the Year honors that season as well.


  • Even with a new defensive scheme, Green Bay continued to show its knack for the takeaways with 30 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries in 2009, which it turned into 141 points.
  • The 30 interceptions led the league and was the team's highest single-season total since 1981, when it also had 30.
  • Green Bay's 40 takeaways also led the NFL, and its 141 points scored off those 40 takeaways tied New Orleans for most in the league.
  • Green Bay did not register a takeaway against the Steelers, snapping a streak of 16 straight games with at least one takeaway, but responded with four interceptions against the Seahawks and three against the Cardinals in Weeks 16-17. The Seattle game marked the third time this season that the team recorded four interceptions, which it also did against Chicago (Week 1) and at Detroit (Week 12).
  • 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.
  • If the Packers don't commit a turnover, like they didn't against Seattle in Week 16, they're almost guaranteed to win. They have now won 38 of 42 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 this year in Pittsburgh against the Steelers.
  • Including playoffs, the Packers have won 41 of their last 45 games without a giveaway.


  • Three interception returns against Arizona in Week 17 helped add to what was an already impressive team yardage total on interceptions. Over the last two seasons, Green Bay defenders proved to be among the most dangerous when the ball was in their hands.
  • With 477 yards on a league-best 30 interceptions, Green Bay finished second in the category in 2009 behind New Orleans (652).
  • The Packers finished 2008 with an astounding 685 interception return yards, tops in the NFL and a new franchise standard.
  • Combined with the 685 return yards in '08, it is just the second time in franchise history that the Packers have posted back-to-back seasons of 475-plus INT return yards. The only other time was 1965 (561) and 1966 (547).
  • McCarthy has said his team's ability to make a play after an interception is something the team has repped after every turnover in practice since he arrived in 2006. Every offensive player, whether part of the 11 on the play or the group on the sidelines, attempts to catch the defender before he can advance up the field.


  • It took QB Aaron Rodgers until his fourth game of the season to record his first interception, a second-quarter pass intended for WR Greg Jennings that was picked off by Vikings CB Antoine Winfield.
  • Prior to that second-quarter throw against Minnesota, his last interception came in Week 16 of last season, a streak that stretched 159 consecutive attempts.
  • The streak of 159 passes without an interception was a new personal best for Rodgers, topping a personal record of 157 passes established in 2008, when it wasn't until the fourth game of the season that he threw an interception. Rodgers' new career high (159) ranks third all-time among Green Bay signal callers for consecutive passes without an interception.
  • Bart Starr holds the franchise record with an astounding 294 straight passes without an interception, second-most in NFL history.
  • Rodgers finished the season with just seven interceptions on 541 attempts. That percentage (1.3%) ranked as the lowest among all NFL quarterbacks.
  • Rodgers did not throw an interception in 12 different games this season, breaking the franchise mark held by Bart Starr. In 1964, Starr went 11 games without an interception. However, to highlight what was a different era in terms of the passing game, Starr attempted only 272 passes that season, barely more than half of Rodgers' 2009 output.
  • Rodgers also became the second signal caller in team history to finish with an interception percentage under 2.0% (min. 200 attempts), which Starr accomplished twice in his career (1.2% in 1966, 1.47% in 1964). Rodgers' 2009 percentage ranks No. 2 in team annals.
  • The interception-free streaks have come in bunches in the tenure of Head Coach Mike McCarthy. Much credit must be given to McCarthy, who works closely with those under center, and quarterbacks coach Tom Clements. In addition to Rodgers' two long streaks (159 and 157) over the past two seasons, Brett Favre had two of the longest streaks of his career (142, 139) under the duo in 2007.
  • Rodgers will bring another interception-free streak into play in 2010 with a current streak of 133 consecutive passes without an interception.


  • Based upon analysis of Kickoff Weekend rosters done by the league office, the Green Bay Packers had the distinction of being the league's youngest squad for a fourth consecutive season.
  • Dating back to 2000, Arizona was the only other club to hold or share the distinction for at least three years. The Cardinals were the NFL's youngest team in 2001 and tied for the league's youngest roster the following two seasons.
  • With an average 2009 roster age of 25.70, Green Bay again checked in with the youngest average age in the NFL. Indianapolis and Kansas City tied for second with an average age of 25.89 years.
  • Green Bay had four players age 30 or over, the lowest total in the NFL.
  • Kansas City and Green Bay tied for the youngest roster last season with an average age of 25.57 years.
  • The Packers were the youngest team in the NFL in 2007 with an average age of 25.72 years, while the Colts placed second at 25.74 years. Both teams made playoff appearances that season.
  • In Head Coach Mike McCarthy's first season, the Packers checked in as the league's youngest team with an average age of 25.57 years. Tennessee (25.77) was second.


  • When RB Ahman Green left the Packers for the Houston Texans as a free agent in March 2007, few could have predicted that he would someday return to break the Green Bay franchise rushing record.
  • After spending the 2007-08 seasons with the Texans, Green returned to the Packers prior to Week 7.
  • His return brought a steadying veteran influence into the Packers' locker room and also brought a jump start to an inconsistent running game.
  • In Tampa, his final rush moved him past Jim Taylor (8,207 yards) to become the Packers' all-time leading rusher. Green finished 2009 with 8,322 career rushing yards with the Packers.
  • It was perhaps the final rushing record to fall for Green, who already held the franchise marks for single-game (218) and single-season (1,883 in 2003) rushing yards. His six 1,000-yard seasons is also a franchise best.
  • His lone score came in Week 16 in the final home game of the season, as Green scored one of five TDs by the backfield on the day vs. Seattle.
  • The 32-year-old needed little time getting back into game shape. In eight games, he totaled 374 all-purpose yards (160 rushing, 18 receiving, 196 return).
  • Perhaps most impressive about Green is his current streak without a fumble. He has not fumbled in his last 393 rushing attempts, the longest current streak in the NFL ahead of teammate RB Ryan Grant (No. 2, 291). Green's last fumble came in 2006 with the Packers, a game in Week 3 at Detroit on Sept. 24.


No. 2– final defensive ranking, the highest finish since the 1996 Packers finished No. 1. Green Bay ranked No. 20 overall in 2008.

No. 6 – final offensive ranking, the fourth consecutive top 10 finish under Head Coach Mike McCarthy, the unit's play caller. New Orleans is the only other team to finish in the top 10 each of the last four seasons.

461– a new franchise record for points scored, besting the previous record of 456 set by the 1996 Super Bowl champion Packers. It was the third-highest total in the NFL this season.

83.3– rushing yards allowed per game, No. 1 in the league. It was the first time in the history of the franchise that the Packers had the top run defense in the league. The average of 83.3 yards per game set a new franchise record for any season.

1,333– rushing yards allowed, fewest in a 16-game season in team history. In 12 games, Green Bay held an opponent under 90 net yards, breaking the previous franchise record of 11 set in 1996.

40– takeaways on the season, most in the NFL.

30– interceptions on the year, tops in the NFL. It was the first time the Packers led the league in interceptions since 1965, when it tied with Washington atop the league rankings with 27. The 30 interceptions also were the most in a season since the 1981 Packers posted 30.

16– giveaways on the season, fewest in the league in 2009 and fewest in franchise history, surpassing the previous low of 19 in 1972.

+24– the top turnover ratio in the league and tied for the second-best mark in team annals. It was the first time Green Bay led the league in turnover ratio since 2002, and the Packers were the first team since the 1997 Giants to lead the league in most takeaways and fewest giveaways.

141– points off takeaways, tied with New Orleans for the top mark in the league. Green Bay also led the category in 2008 with 124 points.

33:03– average time of possession, No. 1 in the NFL and the best mark in team history since the stat began to be recorded in 1977.

+164– Green Bay's scoring differential this year, No. 2 in the league behind New Orleans (+169).

4,000, 1,200, 1,000 – The Packers became the first team in NFL history to have a 4,000-yard passer, 1,200-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers in back-to-back seasons.

6,065 – total net yards, the third-best mark in team history behind the 2004 (6,357) and 1983 (6,172) teams.

4,000– Aaron Rodgers became the first quarterback in NFL history to total more than 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons as a starter.

0– lost fumbles by a member of the Packers' backfield on 374 rushes in 2009. Ahman Green (393) and Ryan Grant (291) rank Nos. 1 and 2 in the NFL among active streaks of consecutive carries without a fumble, streaks they will carry into 2010. Brandon Jackson had the group's lone fumble, which came in Week 6 vs. Detroit, in 374 carries.

6-45-plus – Green Bay had six different players (Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Jordy Nelson, Jermichael Finley and Spencer Havner) post a reception of 45 yards or more, which matched a franchise record (1951, 1983).

1,200– Ryan Grant became the third back in franchise history to post back-to-back 1,200 yard seasons, joining Jim Taylor (1961-62) and Ahman Green (2001-03).

423 – passing yards by Aaron Rodgers in the Wild Card playoff game, a new franchise postseason record and the second-most passing yards for an NFL QB in his first career postseason start.

397 – points by Mason Crosby over his first three seasons, including 129 in 2009. That total established a new NFL record for points scored by a player in his first three seasons, eclipsing the record of New England's Stephen Gostkowski (388, 2006-08).

9 and 2 – Charles Woodson became the fourth player in NFL history since sacks became an official statistic in 1982 to record at least nine interceptions and two sacks. The other players to accomplish the feat were Ronnie Lott in '86 (10/2), Eugene Robinson in '93 (9/2) and Ed Reed in 2004 (9/2).

10 – sacks by Clay Matthews, a new franchise rookie record. The total finished No. 2 among 2009 rookies behind Washington's Brian Orakpo (11).

159 – receiving yards by Jermichael Finley in the playoff game against Arizona, a new Green Bay single-game postseason record and the second-most receiving yards by a tight end in NFL playoff history.

96 – points scored between the Cardinals and Packers in the Wild Card round, making it the highest-scoring game in NFL postseason history.

17 – passes of 40 yards or more for Rodgers, tied for the NFL lead with Dallas QB Tony Romo and Philadelphia QB Donovan McNabb.

4-100– The Packers had four different players (Donald Driver, Jermichael Finley, Greg Jennings, James Jones) tally over 100 yards receiving in a single game this season. 1994 marked the last time the Packers had four different players top the 100-yard mark in a season.

12 – games without an interception by Rodgers (min. 10 attempts), a new franchise record. Bart Starr had the previous mark with 11 games without an interception in 1964. Rodgers' interception percentage (1.3%) was tops in the NFL.

34.2 – average yards per touchdown catch for Greg Jennings. Of his 28 career touchdown catches, 13 have been at least 40 yards in length. His average is tops among current players with at least 20 career touchdown catches.

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