Download The Packers 2006 Schedule Dope Sheet

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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 Packers.com.

Here are some highlights from the 2006 Schedule Dope Sheet:

QUICKLY: Three prime-time contests, including the team's debut on the NFL Network, highlight the Green Bay Packers' 86th regular-season schedule, released Thursday by the National Football League...Ten years after Green Bay's Super Bowl XXXI victory over the Patriots, the club hosts a midseason contest with New England, an attractive candidate for flexible scheduling provided that both teams' records are competitive...Following is an overall analysis of the schedule and related items.

MEMORABLE COACHING DEBUTS: Mike McCarthy will become the first Packers coach since Vince Lombardi to make his NFL debut at home against the Chicago Bears. McCarthy christens his career Sept. 10 against the defending division champions. Notables from previous debuts by Packers head coaches:

-Vince Lombardi (Sept. 27, 1959) - Players carry their new coach off a field covered with fans, ecstatic after a 9-6 triumph over the rival Bears. One year earlier, the Packers were an NFL-worst 1-10-1. Lombardi went on to finish 7-5, the greatest year-to-year turnaround in team history.

-Dan Devine (Sept. 19, 1971) - Literally adding insult to injury, the Giants top Green Bay 42-40 after a fourth-quarter sideline scrum breaks Devine's leg. Taken to St. Vincent Hospital, the coach has to catch the final minutes on the radio.

-Forrest Gregg (Sept. 2, 1984) - The Pro Football Hall of Famer earns a game ball after his players hold off a fourth-quarter Cardinals rally to win, 24-23. Green Bay proceeds to lose its next seven games, but wins seven of its final eight.

-Mike Holmgren (Sept. 6, 1992) - Chris Jacke's game-tying field goal with 1:57 left forces overtime, but Minnesota's Fuad Reveiz ends the contest, a 23-20 setback, with his own kick. Two weeks later, Brett Favre becomes a household name.

-Ray Rhodes (Sept. 12, 1999) - Favre punctuates an emotional, come-from-behind win over Oakland with a 1-yard TD pass to Jeff Thomason with 11 seconds remaining, despite playing much of the second half with a badly sprained thumb on his throwing hand.

CLASSIC OPENER: This year marks the 20th time chief rivals Chicago and Green Bay open an NFL season. All but one of the season-opening meetings, in 1981, were in Green Bay.

-Chicago hasn't had a three-game winning streak over Green Bay in 14 years, since 1991-92. The Packers will have an opportunity to end the Bears' current two-game streak right away.

-Lovie Smith has won three of his first four Bears-Packers tilts. That run began in 2004, the last time Chicago opened the Packers' home schedule.

BEARS BOOKENDS: The Packers close the regular season with Chicago for the 11th time (also 1926, '28, '31, '32, '33, '68, '73, '83, '98 and 2004). This marks the first time in team history the Packers have opened and closed a regular season against the Bears.

MARCHING BACK TO WISCONSIN: One year after their first Wisconsin appearance since 1989, the Saints return to Green Bay. This year's Sept. 17 matchup comes on the 17th anniversary of the Packers' memorable 1989 victory. Green Bay also defeated the Saints in 2005, a 52-3 triumph.

-In only his second game, McCarthy faces the team for which he was offensive coordinator for five years (2000-04).

BACK TO OPENING AT HOME: This marks the first time the Packers have opened at home since 2003 (when they also started with two straight home games). Green Bay kicked off both 2004 (at Carolina) and 2005 (at Detroit) on the road.

ROAD SLATE OPENS IN DETROIT AGAIN: For the second straight year, the Packers open their road schedule at Ford Field. The Packers and Lions kicked off the 2005 season in Detroit, a 17-3 Lions victory.

PHILADELPHIA PRIME: The Packers play the Eagles for the third time in prime time (all on Monday Night Football) - also 1996 and 2003 - but for the first time in Philadelphia.

BOTH VIKINGS GAMES IN SECOND HALF AGAIN: Just as they did in 2004, the Packers won't see Minnesota for the first time until Week 10, a FOX contest at the Metrodome, Nov. 12.

LONG-AWAITED NEW ENGLAND TILT: Green Bay's Nov. 19 matchup with New England - in the 10th anniversary season of the Packers' Super Bowl XXXI victory over the Patriots - could be moved to the Sunday night slot for flexible scheduling, provided that both teams' records at the time are competitive.

BACK TO THE BAY AREA: Mike McCarthy returns to San Francisco on Dec. 10 to face the 49ers, the team for which he was offensive coordinator in 2005.

NFL NETWORK DEBUT: Green Bay makes its debut on the NFL Network in Week 16. The rematch with the Vikings on Dec. 21 is only Green Bay's third Thursday night (non-Thanksgiving) prime-time appearance; one of the other three was at Minnesota (1994).

-It's a late-season, prime-time home game vs. Minnesota for the fourth time in the past seven years (also 2000, 2002, 2005).

NO CHRISTMAS CONFLICTS: After playing on Christmas Day in 2005 and Christmas Eve in 2004, Green Bay gets its Christmas Week game out of the way early this year by facing the Vikings on Dec. 21. The Packers then do not play until 10 days later at Chicago, assuredly allowing team members to spend the holiday with their families.

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