Dope Sheet: Packers travel to take on the Cardinals

The Green Bay Packers go out west to take on the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night.

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QB Aaron Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers start the second part of four road contests over a five-game stretch when they go out west to take on the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday night.

  • It is the first prime-time regular-season game between the two teams.
  • This will be the fourth time the Packers and their opponent entered a game on winning streaks of six-plus games (in that season) according to the Elias Sports Bureau (GB, six at DEN, six, Nov. 1, 2015 / GB, six, at CHI, seven, Nov. 15, 1942 / GB, nine, at NYG, eight, Nov. 24, 1929).
  • The Packers and Cardinals combine for a 13-1 record and a winning percentage of .929 that is the best combined win percentage for a Thursday game in October or later in the Super Bowl era (since 1966), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
  • Green Bay is looking for its first win at the Cardinals since 2009.
  • Including the postseason, two of the last three games between the two in Arizona have gone to overtime.
  • Dating back to 1970, this will be only the second time (2006) the Packers and Cardinals have faced off in October. 
  • The last time the Packers played an undefeated team with seven-plus wins was Oct. 28, 2018, at the 7-0 Los Angeles Rams.
  • This matchup will finish an October slate in which the Packers play five games for the first time since 2010.
  • It is the first time the franchises have met on a Thursday since a Thanksgiving contest in 1935 when the Packers visited the Chicago Cardinals.

ON THURSDAYS

  • The Packers have won five of the last seven games they have played on a Thursday night, including a 34-17 win at San Francisco in Week 9 last season.
  • In the last six games he has played on a Thursday night, QB Aaron Rodgers has thrown for 16 TDs and one INT with a passer rating of 113.6, including a four-TD, zero-INT performance at the 49ers last season that resulted in the highest passer rating of his career (147.2) on a Thursday night.
  • Rodgers has started 12 Thursday night games in his career and has registered 27 passing TDs, five INTs and a passer rating of 105.5. Green Bay is 8-4 in those 12 contests. 
  • Dating back to 2011, when Rodgers started his first Thursday night game, his passer rating of 105.5 as a starter ranks No. 3 in the NFL (min. 200 pass att.), while his 27 passing TDs rank No. 1 in the league (Stathead.com).
  • In games played on Thursday, day or night, Rodgers has recorded a passer rating of 100-plus eight times, tied for the most in the NFL (min. 15 pass att.) since 2008 (according to Stathead.com). Green Bay has won seven of the eight Thursday games in which Rodgers' passer rating has eclipsed 100.0.
  • In nine Thursday night games, WR Davante Adams has registered five receiving TDs, tied for No. 3 in the NFL since 2014 (Stathead.com).
  • RB Aaron Jones has three rushing TDs in five Thursday night games played, tied for No. 6 in the NFL since 2017.

WITH THE CALL

FOX Sports, now in its 28th season as an NFL network television partner, will broadcast the game.

  • Play-by-play man Joe Buck joins analyst Tray Aikman with Erin Andrews and Kristina Pink reporting from the sidelines. The game is also available through Amazon Prime Video with your choice of announcers: Hannah Storm and Andrea Kremer, or the scouts feed with Bucky Brooks, Daniel Jeremiah and Joy Taylor.
  • Westwood One Sports will air the game on radio across the country. Kevin Kugler (play-by-play) and Kurt Warner (analyst) will call the action with Scott Graham hosting pregame and halftime shows.
  • Milwaukee's WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since November 1929, heads up the Packers Radio Network that is made up of 49 stations in four states. For a full listing of radio affiliates, go to www.packers.com. Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (analyst) call the action. McCarren first joined the team's broadcasts in 1995 and enters his 26th season calling Packers games. After originally being paired together in 1999, McCarren and Larrivee enter their 23rd season of broadcasts together. They surpassed Jim Irwin and Max McGee for the most regular-season and postseason games broadcast for the Packers with 313 at the 2018 season opener against Chicago. Both McCarren and Larrivee are members of the Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
  • The broadcast is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio (WTMJ feed).

THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:

Packers at Arizona

Regular season, all-time: 44-24-4

  • All-time, Postseason: 1-2
  • All-time, in Arizona: 16-16-4 (including postseason)
  • Streaks: Arizona has won the last three meetings, including postseason, dating back to Green Bay's last victory over Arizona, 31-17, in 2012.
  • Last meeting, regular season: Dec. 2, 2018, Lambeau Field, Cardinals won, 20-17

COACHES CAPSULES

  • Matt LaFleur: 32-7-0, .821; (2-2 postseason); 3rd NFL season
  • Kliff Kingsbury: 20-18-1, .525; 3rd NFL season
  • Head to Head: LaFleur 0-0 vs. Kingsbury
  • vs. Opponent: LaFleur 0-0 vs. Arizona; Kingsbury 0-0 vs. Packers

MATT LaFLEUR…In his third season as the Packers' 15th head coach.

  • In his 13th season in the NFL, having previously served as an offensive coordinator for two seasons (Los Angeles Rams, 2017; Tennessee Titans, 2018), a quarterbacks coach for six seasons (Washington Football Team, 2010-13; Atlanta Falcons, 2015-16), and an offensive assistant for two seasons (Houston Texans, 2008-09).
  • In his first two seasons leading the Packers, has authored one of the greatest starts to a head-coaching career in NFL history. For the second consecutive season in 2020, led Green Bay to a 13-3 record and captured the NFC North crown while also earning the No. 1 seed in the NFC for the first time since 2011. It was just the second time in team history that the Packers had won 13-plus games in back-to- back seasons (13-3 in 1996 and 1997). 
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, was the sixth head coach since 1970 to lead his team to the conference championship game in both of his first two seasons as a head coach, joining Jim Harbaugh (2011-12), Rex Ryan (2009-10), Barry Switzer (1994-95), George Seifert (1989-90) and Don McCafferty (1970-71). 
  • Became just the second NFL head coach since the league went to a divisional format in 1967 to win 13-plus games and a division title in both of his first two seasons, joining Seifert (1989-90).
  • In his first season leading the Packers in 2019, became the first coach in club history to lead the team to the playoffs in his debut season. Also led the largest one-year win improvement in team history (plus-seven wins).

Kliff Kingsbury…In his third season as head coach, being hired by Arizona on January 8, 2019.

  • Has led Arizona's offense from the NFL's 32nd- ranked offense in 2018 to 16th in 2019 and then to 6th in 2020. 
  • The Cardinals went from the NFL's 32nd-ranked run game in 2018 to 10th in 2019 and then to 7th in 2020.
  • Spent six seasons (2013-18) as the head coach at his alma mater, Texas Tech.

NOTABLE CONNECTIONS

Packers co-director of player personnel Jon-Eric Sullivan is the son of Jerry Sullivan, an offensive assistant with the Arizona Cardinals…Arizona Cardinals linebackers coach Bill Davis coached one season with the Packers in 2000 as a defensive assistant/defensive line coach…Cardinals DL J.J. Watt is from Pewaukee, Wis., and played at the University of Wisconsin…Cardinals TE Demetrius Harris attended Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he played power forward for the basketball program (2011-13)…Cardinals S Chris Bango played for the Green Bay Packers from (2013-16)…Cardinals outside linebackers coach Charlie Bullen played quarterback at St. Norbert college in 2004…Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury was the head coach at Texas Tech (2013-18), where Packers outside linebackers coach Mike Smith was on his staff in several roles, including defensive coordinator, outside linebackers coach and defensive line coach (2013-15)…Packers assistant defensive backs coach Ryan Downard was a defensive assistant for the Cleveland Browns (2014-15) when Cardinals offensive quality control coach Jim Dray was a tight end on the team (2014-15) and Cardinals defensive assistant Rusty McKinney was an coaching intern (2014-15) with the Browns…Packers defensive coordinator Joe Barry was the defensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions (2007-08), where he coached with Cardinals wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson, who was the assistant wide receivers coach (2007) and wide receivers coach (2008) in Detroit…Jefferson was also the assistant head coach of the offense and wide receivers coach with the New York Jets (2019-20), where Packers senior analyst John Dunn was the tight ends coach (2020)…Packers assistant special teams coach Rayna Stewart and Cardinals defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson were teammates together with the Houston Oilers from 1996-97…Packers running back Aaron Jones played collegiately at the University of Texas-El Paso (2013-16), where Cardinals assistant offensive line coach Brian Natkin held various positions on the offensive side of the ball from 2012-17…Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett spent time on the Jacksonville Jaguars' coaching staff (2015-18), where he overlapped coaching with Cardinals offensive assistant Jerry Sullivan, who was wide receivers coach (2012-16)…Packers special teams coordinator Maurice Drayton was the assistant special teams coach with the Indianapolis Colts (2016-17), where he coached with Cardinals cornerbacks coach Greg Williams (2016-17), who was the defensive backs coach…Williams also coached for the San Diego Chargers (2009-15), where Barry overlapped with him coaching the Chargers linebackers from 2012-14…Barry spent time in Arizona as a coach at Northern Arizona University (1996-98) coaching linebackers and defensive ends…Packers offensive line coach Adam Stenavich also spent one season at Northern Arizona in 2014…Packers LB Whitney Mercilus was teammates with Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt as members of the Houston Texans.

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