Download The Packers-Bears Week 17 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.

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

THIS WEEK'S NOTABLE STORYLINES:

-Winners of three straight, the Packers have played their way onto prime-time, their first foray into flexible scheduling. The league announced last night that the Packers and Bears would kick off the NFL's final regular-season game, New Year's Eve on NBC.

-Having overcome a 1-4 start, and a 4-8 mark entering the month, the Packers are positioned well for a shot at the playoffs. They need a win - and help from a couple teams.

-For the second time in three years, the Packers close the regular season at Soldier Field.

-Green Bay is 11-1 (.917) over its previous 12 regular-season finales, the league's best mark since 1994. The Packers have won three straight, including Jan. 2, 2005, at Chicago.

-The Packers haven't lost consecutive games at Soldier Field since 1990-91. Green Bay had won 12 straight at the stadium - and 13 straight series road games, including 2002 at Champaign - until the Packers came up on the short end of a 19-7 decision last year.

-For the second year in a row, the Packers close the regular season against the NFC's best team. Seattle, like the Bears having clinched homefield advantage, rested many of its starters in the second half on Jan. 1, 2006, at Lambeau Field, a 23-17 Green Bay victory.

NATIONAL TELEVISION: NBC, winding down its return season as an NFL broadcast partner, will air the game to 100 percent of the country. NBC also will air the AFC and NFC?Wild Card contests on Saturday, Jan. 6.

-After nearly three decades (1977-2006) with ABC - including his broadcasts of the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals - play-by-play man Al Michaels is in his first year with NBC.

-Pro Football Hall of Famer John Madden, known by three generations of Americans as a Super Bowl-winning coach of the Raiders, a longtime broadcaster and video game entrepreneur, is the color analyst.

-Longtime ESPN correspondent Andrea Kremer is on the sidelines.

-Fred Gaudelli (producer) and Drew Esocoff (director), whose final ABC?broadcast together was Super Bowl XL, team up in the truck.

-Rene Giraldo will call the game for NBC in Spanish.

NATIONAL RADIO:?Westwood One Radio Sports will air the game across the country, with Dave Sims (play-by-play), Bob Trumpy (color) and Kevin Kiley (sideline). Tommy Tighe hosts pregame and halftime shows and Larry Costigan will produce the broadcast.

PACKERS RADIO: Milwaukee's WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since 1929, heads up the 57-station Packers Radio Network, with versatile Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (color). Spanning six states, the 57-station network covers 47 markets throughout the upper Midwest.

-The broadcast also is available to NFL Field Pass subscribers on packers.com and NFL.com.

-Those with SIRIUS Satellite Radio can listen to live play-by-play as part of the network's NFL Sunday Drive. Check local listings for the Green Bay broadcast channel.

OFFICIAL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS: Mike McCarthy could become the first Head Coach ever to lead Green Bay to the postseason in his first year at the helm of the Packers - something neither Vince Lombardi (7-5 in 1959) nor Mike Holmgren (9-7 in 1992) could accomplish.

-The season doesn't continue, however, unless the Packers win Sunday night at Chicago - and rest assured, that is clearly McCarthy's focus. In the team's view, this week is still all about the Packers and the Bears.

-In addition to a win, the Packers qualify for the postseason with:

  • NYG win and a clinch of stength-of-victory tiebreaker over NYG
  • NYG loss or tie and a STL loss or tie OR
  • NYG loss or tie and a CAR win OR
  • NYG loss or tie and an ATL win

-In the event the Packers tie the Bears, Green Bay would need a NYG loss STL loss ATL loss or tie CAR loss or tie.

THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:

Packers vs. Decatur Staleys/Chicago Bears:

All-time regular season: 78-87-6

Postseason: 0-1

All-time, Soldier Field: 17-16-0

Streaks: The Bears have won the last three meetings and four of the last five

Last meeting, regular season: Sept. 10, 2006, Lambeau Field; Bears won, 26-0

Last meeting, Soldier Field: Dec. 4, 2005; Bears won, 19-7

Playoff meeting: Dec. 14, 1941, Wrigley Field (NFL Western Division playoff); Bears won, 33-14

COACHES CAPSULES

Mike McCarthy: 7-8-0, 467, first NFL season

Lovie Smith: 29-19-0, .604, third NFL season, third guiding Bears

Head to Head: Smith 1-0 (earlier this season)

vs. Opponent: McCarthy 0-1 vs. Bears; Smith 4-1 vs. Packers

MIKE McCARTHY...Is in his first year as the Packers' 14th head coach.

-Was named Packers head coach on Jan. 12, 2006, his first head coaching job after 13 years as an NFL assistant - all under head coaches with defensive backgrounds.

-One of those previous 13 years was with the Packers, as quarterbacks coach in 1999.

-Spent the past six seasons as an offensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints (2000-04) and San Francisco 49ers (2005).

-Had not been a head coach at any level, having begun his coaching career as a college assistant at Fort Hays State (1987-88) and the University of Pittsburgh (1989-92) before breaking into the NFL as a quality control assistant with the Chiefs in 1993.

LOVIE SMITH...Is in his third year as the Bears' 13th head coach.

-Named the Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year in 2005, posting the most victories (11) and first division title by a second-year coach in team history.

-Led a worst-to-first revival in the NFC North as the Bears' six-win improvement from the previous season was tied for the biggest in the NFL in 2005.

-During two seasons, Bears' defense has ranked second in the NFL in points allowed (16.7 per game) and first in opponent passer rating, opponent third-down, fourth-down and red-zone TD percentage.

-Came to Chicago from St. Louis, where he served as defensive coordinator from 2001-03, helping the Rams return to the Super Bowl in 2001. Prior to that, coached LBs for Tampa Bay from 1996-2000.

THE BEARS-PACKERS SERIES: These teams mark meeting No. 173 in another chapter of one of sports' greatest rivalries.

-The Bears' two wins in 2005 marked the first time Chicago swept the season series since 1991, before Brett Favre became Green Bay's quarterback. With those two wins plus the season opener this year, the Bears have extended their lead in the NFL's richest rivalry to nine games, 87-78-6. The last time the gap had been as close as seven was the end of World War II and the Don Hutson era, 1945, when the Packers trailed 27-20-5.

-The last time Green Bay led the series? On the heels of its three straight NFL championships, 1932, when the Packers led 11-10-5. Two months after Babe Ruth allegedly called his shot at Wrigley Field in the '32 World Series, the Bears stole from Green Bay a fourth straight title (which at the time was determined by league standings). Chicago barely finished atop the league standings, which unlike today did not count ties. Had the league counted ties in standings, the Packers would have won. The next year, 1933, the NFL began determining its champion with postseason games.

-The Packers meet Lovie Smith for the sixth time as Bears head coach. Smith on Jan. 15, 2004, elevated one of sports' top rivalries to another level, saying his No. 1 goal, ahead of winning the division and Super Bowl, was to beat Green Bay. He won on Sept. 19, 2004. The Packers went 18-2 against Chicago from 1994-2003. On only four occasions in NFL history has a team enjoyed a better 20-game stretch against a single opponent.

-Green Bay against Smith during his career as an NFL coach is 9-9 (all Favre starts).

{sportsad300}NOTABLE CONNECTIONS...Green Bay running backs coach Edgar Bennett finished his playing career in Chicago (1998-99)...Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera was one of the finalists who interviewed for the Packers head coaching job this past offseason...Bears running backs coach Tim Spencer played with the late Reggie White, the Packers' all-time sacks leader, with Memphis of the USFL in 1985...Bears defensive quality control coach Gill Byrd served as the Packers executive director/player programs and community affairs from 1999-2001...The late Mark Hatley, the Bears' top personnel executive from 1998-2001, also coached Lovie Smith in 1976 at Tulsa...Smith was a Wisconsin assistant in 1987...Long-snapper Rob Davis held that role for the Bears in 1996...Bears LB Hunter Hillenmeyer was taken by Green Bay in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft...Bears WR Craig Bragg was taken by Green Bay in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft...Bears quarterbacks coach Wade Wilson joined the Falcons in 1992, after Atlanta traded Brett Favre.

INDIVIDUALLY VS. CHICAGO...Favre is 21-8 against the Bears, the most wins he has against any single opponent. He also has more TD passes against the Bears than any other opponent, with 51...Donald Driver's career-long catch was an 85-yard TD reception at Chicago (Champaign) on Oct. 7, 2002, on Monday Night Football...Another single-game career high set against the Bears was Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila's four sacks (Jan. 2, 2005)...Earlier this season, Ahman Green recorded his fifth 100-yard rushing game against Chicago, his most against any opponent...The first two-interception game of Charles Woodson's career, and his only two-INT effort prior to the Seattle game this season, came at Chicago on Oct. 5, 2003, while playing for Oakland.

LAST MEETING: Sept. 10, Lambeau Field; Bears won 26-0...Rex Grossman began the game with a 49-yard TD pass to Bernard Berrian on the first series and the Bears handed the Packers their first shutout since 1991...Grossman completed 18 of 26 passes for 262 yards, with Muhsin Muhammad catching six for 102 yards and tight end Desmond Clark adding five for 77 yards...After the early TD, Chicago added four FGs by Robbie Gould and Devin Hester returned a punt 84 yards for a score...The lone bright spots for Green Bay were running back Ahman Green (20 carries, 110 yards) and receiver Donald Driver (seven catches, 96 yards), accounting for all but 61 yards of the team's offensive output.

LAST MEETING, CHICAGO: Dec. 4, 2005; Bears won 19-7...The Packers held the Bears' offense without a third-down conversion (0-for-10) and limited QB Kyle Orton to just six completions in 17 attempts for 68 yards...But four Green Bay turnovers, including two critical interceptions, proved to be the difference...Leading 7-6, the Packers drove 75 yards to the Chicago 7-yard line and were looking to extend their lead at the end of the first half when Charles Tillman intercepted Favre and returned it 95 yards to set up a field goal on the half's final play, giving Chicago a 9-7 advantage...Then, trailing 12-7 with just over three minutes left, Favre was picked off by Nathan Vasher, who returned it 45 yards for the game-clinching score...Running backs Thomas Jones (19 carries, 93 yards) and Adrian Peterson (11-48) combined for 141 rushing yards for the Bears as Chicago beat Green Bay in Soldier Field for the first time since 1993.

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