THIS WEEK: The Packers and Colts, two evenly matched clubs, battle in a significant early-season matchup...In a rare meeting between the inter-conference foes, Green Bay looks to rebound from a 21-10 setback in its home opener Sunday, hoping to deny the Colts in their first home game...The Packers are 1-0 on the road; the last time they won its first two road games was 1998. The last time Green Bay won its first three road games was 1972.
TELEVISION: FOX Sports, with play-by-play man Joe Buck, color analysts Troy Aikman and Cris Collinsworth, sideline reporter Pam Oliver, producer Richie Zyontz and director Artie Kempner.
LOCAL RADIO: Milwaukee's WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since 1929, heads up the 62-station Packers Radio Network, with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and Larry McCarren (color). The broadcast also is available to NFL Field Pass subscribers on packers.com.
NATIONAL RADIO: CBS Sports/Westwood One, with Bob Fitzgerald describing the action and Jack Ham providing commentary.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 19, 2000, Lambeau Field, Packers won, 26-24.
*Allen Rossum returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, shifting momentum at a critical time, and giving the Packers just enough to hold off a second-half Colts barrage.
*With wind-chill hovering around 16° Green Bay shut out Indianapolis 19-0 in the first half, and could've added more had the Packers not run out of time and timeouts at the 1-yard line.
*Green Bay took a 2-0 lead when Russell Maryland tackled Peyton Manning in the end zone. Brett Favre -- who appeared unlikely to play after a foot injury the previous week -- then threw for both of his touchdowns in the second quarter to extend the Packers' lead.
*In the fourth quarter, however, Manning put the Colts well within reach, orchestrating touchdown drives of 70 and 83 yards. His 5-yard pass to Jim Finn cut Green Bay's lead to 19-17, just before Rossum scored on the ensuing kickoff.
*Then, after Manning answered with a 61-yard touchdown drive to make it 26-24, Favre melted the final 2:39 off the clock, keeping the high-powered Colts offense off the field.
Mike Sherman: 46-25-0, .648, fifth NFL season, fifth with Packers
Tony Dungy: 81-59, .579, ninth NFL season, third with Colts
Head to Head: 2-2 -- each coach is 2-0 at home and 0-2 on the road
vs. Opponent: Sherman 1-0 vs. Colts, Dungy 4-9 vs. Packers
SHERMAN...Is in his fifth year as Packers head coach, and fourth as executive vice president and general manager. Sherman also:
*Is now 6-0 against teams that played in the Super Bowl the previous season, including Sept. 13 at Carolina.
*Is 26-7 at home during the regular season. By comparison, Mike Holmgren was 27-6 during his first 33 regular-season home games.
*Is tied for the league's second-best record among active coaches. His regular-season record Dec. 1 and later is 17-2.
*Since the merger, only three have posted a better regular-season record over their first four years as an NFL coach - George Siefert, Chuck Knox and Joe Gibbs.
*Guided the Packers to only their second set of consecutive division titles since the Lombardi era.
DUNGY...Has directed the Colts to the playoffs each of his first two seasons in Indianapolis, including the 2003 AFC Championship game. He also:
*Has led his club to playoff berths in six of his eight seasons as an NFL head coach, including four of his six years (1996-2001) in Tampa Bay.
*Has won at least 10 games five times.
*Is the only NFL head coach to defeat all 32 NFL teams.
*Owns one of the best records in the NFL since 1999.
*Was both the NFL's youngest assistant coach (25, 1981) and youngest defensive coordinator (28, 1984) in Pittsburgh. He also coached at Kansas City and headed Minnesota's defense before moving to Tampa Bay. A former pro defensive back, he started at quarterback at the University of Minnesota.
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:
Packers vs. Indianapolis/Baltimore Colts:
All-time regular season: 19-19-1
All-time, RCA Dome: 0-2-0
Last meeting, regular season: Nov, 19, 2000, Lambeau Field, Packers won, 26-24
Last meeting, regular season, Indianapolis: Nov. 16, 1997, RCA Dome, Colts won, 41-38
Playoff meeting: Dec. 26, 1965, Lambeau Field, NFL Western Conference Championship, Packers won,13-10 (OT)
Since Colts moved to Indianapolis (1984): 2-3-0
Two memorable games in series:
*Dec. 26, 1965 - With third-string "QB" Tom Matte guiding the Colts, and Bart Starr lost to injury on the game's first play, Green Bay edged Baltimore. According to Lee Remmel, Shula still turns purple when the game surfaces in conversation. That's because the former Colts head coach believes that a Don Chandler field goal did not sneak inside the upright, as officials signaled. The kick sent the 1965 Western Conference playoff into overtime, the first sudden-death game in Packers history, and ultimately cost Shula's club a trip to the '65 NFL title game. Chandler left no doubts on his game-winning overtime kick, however. And Dave Robinson, a linebacker on that '65 Packers team, said the bank still cashed his championship check, proof enough for him that Chandler's regulation kick was good. The NFL raised the uprights in 1966.
*Nov. 16, 1997 - The teams combined for nine touchdowns and 908 yards of offense, and the pre-Peyton Manning Colts prevailed, 41-38. Cary Blanchard's 20-yard field goal at the end of regulation won the game, despite Brett Favre's 363 yards passing and Dorsey Levens' 103 yards rushing. Green Bay would not lose again until Super Bowl XXXII, vs. Denver.
Other notable connections...Tony Dungy and the Bucs drafted Packers cornerback Al Harris in 1997, and kept him on their practice squad that season before he joined the Eagles on waivers in 1998...Indy linebacker Jim Nelson played in Green Bay from 1998-99...Colts receiver Brandon Stokley and Packers safety Mark Roman competed against each other in high school...Strength & conditioning assistant Mark Lovat earned a baseball scholarship to Indianapolis' Butler University; he started three seasons at shortstop and second base for the bulldogs...Halfback Tony Fisher played collegiately at Notre Dame, in a backfield with the Colts' Tom Lopienski...Colts quarterback Jim Sorgi played collegiately at Wisconsin...Kevin Barry (Packers) and Makoa Freitas (Colts) were college teammates at Arizona...Indy wideout Reggie Wayne and tailback Edgerrin James, as well as the Packers' Bubba Franks, Nick Luchey and Najeh Davenport, played at Miami (Fla.) in the late 1990s...Assistant Vince Workman played for the Colts.