*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.
Here are some highlights from the Packers-Bears Week 16 Dope Sheet:*
**GREEN BAY (5-9) at CHICAGO (8-6)
Monday, Dec. 22 - Soldier Field - 7:30 p.m. CST
MEETING NO. 177 BETWEEN PACKERS, BEARS **
- On the heels of being eliminated from playoff contention, Green Bay heads to Chicago to face its oldest rival on Monday Night Football.
- With another close loss Sunday at Jacksonville, the Packers dropped their third consecutive game by four points or less.
- Since the bye week — when the club was 4-3 and tied for first place in the NFC North — the Packers have dropped six of seven games. Five of those losses have come by four-or-fewer points.
- Their lone win in that stretch came in dominating fashion, 37-3, against the archrival Bears. The Packers will search for the season sweep Monday in meeting No. 177 in the venerable series. No two clubs have met on the gridiron more than the Packers and Bears.
- For the ninth time in the rivalry, the teams will square off under the bright lights of Monday Night Football.
- Green Bay leads the Monday night series 5-3, which includes five straight Packers wins. The last came on Sept. 29, 2003, a 38-23 Green Bay victory at Soldier Field.
- Though they lost last year's game at Chicago, the Packers have won 12 of the last 15 meetings at Soldier Field.
- The Packers will look to keep up their success in the Windy City against a rested Chicago team. The Bears defeated the Saints 27-24 in OT last Thursday and have won three of four since the loss to Green Bay.
- With two division opponents remaining on the schedule, Green Bay can finish with the best division record in the NFC North.
WITH THE CALL
- ESPN enters its third season as host of the most successful series in sports television history, Monday Night Football. Play-by-play man Mike Tirico is joined by analysts Ron Jaworski and Tony Kornheiser for the 39th season of MNF broadcasts.
- The contest also will air as a simulcast locally on WBAY (Ch. 2) in Green Bay and WISN (Ch. 12) in Milwaukee. ESPN International will air the contest in three languages to over 180 countries.
- Milwaukee's WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since 1929, heads up the 56-station Packers Radio Network, with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (color) calling the action. The duo enter their 10th season of broadcasts together across the Packers Radio Network, which covers 47 markets in six states.
- Westwood One will air the game across the country. Ian Eagle (play-by-play) and Boomer Esiason (analyst) will call the action. Jim Gray hosts pregame and halftime shows.
- Univision Radio will broadcast the game nationally in Spanish. Rafael Hernandez Brito (play-by-play), Eduardo Martell (color) and Mario Guzman (color) serve as the broadcast team.
- For out-of-town listeners, the broadcast is available to NFL Field Pass subscribers on www.packers.com as well as on Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 125 WTMJ feed) as part of the network's NFL Sunday Drive. DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game in HD on channel 206.
COLLINS, WOODSON EARN PRO BOWL HONORS
- S Nick Collins and CB Charles Woodson learned Tuesday that they will represent the NFC as starters in the 2009 Pro Bowl.
- For Collins, this marks his first career Pro Bowl selection. The fourth-year pro is tied for the lead in the NFC with five interceptions and ranks first among all NFL players with three interception returns for scores and 230 interception return yards. Collins ranks second on the team with 93 tackles and third in passes defensed with 11.
- Woodson earns his fifth career Pro Bowl selection and first with Green Bay. He also is tied for the NFC lead with five interceptions, two of which he has returned for touchdowns. This season, he has established a career high with three sacks, ranks fourth on the team in tackles (72) and leads the club with 17 passes defensed. The 11th-year pro is making his first trip to the Pro Bowl since 2001.
GREEN BAY ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
- The Bears contest marks the final of three appearances this season on ESPN's Monday Night Football.
- This is the 16th consecutive season with an appearance on Monday night for Green Bay, the NFC's longest MNF appearance streak. In the NFL, only Denver (1992-2008) now has a longer streak.
- Head Coach Mike McCarthy is an even 2-2 on Monday night in Green Bay, which is on par with the franchise's remarkably even record in Monday night games. Its all-time record stands at 26-26-1.
- On Kickoff Weekend, the Packers bested the Vikings, 24-19, on Monday night. In Week 12, they had their most lopsided defeat of the season, a 51-29 loss at New Orleans. Green Bay also hosted MNF at Lambeau Field for the preseason opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2009
- The Packers are guaranteed to finish third in the NFC North, which does begin to solidify next season's schedule.
- Green Bay already knows it will host Baltimore, Cincinnati, San Francisco and Seattle next season. It will also host the third-place finisher from the NFC East, which could be any one of three teams (Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington).
- The Packers will travel to Arizona, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and the third-place finisher from the NFC South. That could be either Atlanta, New Orleans or Tampa Bay.
- If the standings were to hold true over the final two weeks, Green Bay would need a tiebreaker with Jacksonville and San Francisco to see who would pick at spots Nos. 8-10 in April's NFL Draft.
- It's too early to determine draft order and tiebreaker scenarios is much too early to do at this point. All NFL Draft tiebreakers are based on strength of schedule, with the weaker strength of schedule getting the higher pick.
UPON A CLOSER LOOK AT THE STATS
- Some of the good, bad and strange statistics through 14 games:
- Aaron Rodgers' four rushing scores are the most by a Packers QB since Don Majkowski had five rushing scores in 1989.
- Green Bay's pass defense has allowed 119 first downs through the air, fewest in the NFL. Philadelphia is No. 2 with 127. However, Green Bay has given up 112 first downs on the ground, fourth most in the league.
- Opponents have surely noted the disparity in Green Bay's first-down defensive statistics. Against the run on first down, the Packers allow 4.78 yards per rush, seventh highest in the NFL. When Green Bay defends the pass on first downs, it is holding opposing quarterbacks to a 69.2 rating, fourth-lowest in the NFL.
- Thanks in large part to CB Will Blackmon, Green Bay's punt return unit ranks fourth in the NFL. The club's punt coverage has been limiting opponents as well, ranking ninth in the league.
- Kick return and kickoff coverage where special teams has been struggling. Green Bay's return unit ranks last in the NFL, while its coverage, ranked 13th heading into the New Orleans contest, has slipped to 19th after some sub-par performances.
DEFENSE SUCCUMBS TO BIG PLAYS
- After giving up nine "big plays" — gains of 20-plus yards — to the Houston Texans two weeks ago, Green Bay allowed just three last Sunday at Jacksonville.
- All three of the Jaguars' big plays came through the air.
- The Packers have allowed 51 plays of 20-plus yards this season, tied with Houston for the 11th highest total in the league.
- Most troubling is that those big plays are costing the Packers on the scoreboard, and it happened again in Jacksonville. They have allowed 13 touchdowns on plays of 20 yards or more, the highest in the league. Arizona and Oakland are tied at No. 2 with 12.
- The Packers have allowed 14 big runs this season — tied for fifth highest in the league — and 34 big passes — tied for 14th.
JONES RETURNS IN A BIG WAY
- Wideout James Jones has been limited for much of the season by a knee injury suffered in the preseason, limiting his reps in some games while causing him to be sidelined for six others.
- Now healthy, Jones established a career high in Jacksonville with 132 receiving yards as he found seperation down the sideline on three occassions.
- The three long catches by Jones were his first of the season of 20-plus yards.
- Rookie wideout Jordy Nelson (30 catches, 330 yards, two touchdowns) has filled in nicely in the No. 3 role in Jones' absence, while veteran Donald Driver continues to provide a veteran presence.
- Driver needs 162 receiving yards for a fifth consecutive 1,000-yard season. His four consecutive seasons already are a franchise record. Also, Driver needs 177 yards to surpass the venerable Don Hutson (7,991) on the team's all-time list. Driver enters with 7,815 yards.
ANOTHER TEAM RECORD - RETURN YARDAGE
- The Packers have 575 return yards on their 18 interceptions this season.
- That total bests the previous high marks in team history since the 1960 AFL-NFL merger.
- McCarthy 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.
- The Packers had 561 return yards on 27 interceptions in 1965. The following season, they had 547 return yards on 28 interceptions. The Packers won the NFL Championship both seasons.
**THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:
Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
All-time regular season: **80-89-6
All-time, postseason: 0-1
All-time, at Soldier Field:18-17-0
Streaks: The Bears have won five of the last seven meetings overall, but the Packers have won 12 of the last 15 in Chicago.
Last meeting, regular season:Nov. 16, 2008, at Lambeau Field; Packers won, 37-3
Last meeting, regular season, at Soldier Field:Dec. 23, 2007; Bears won, 35-7
Mike McCarthy: **27-21-0, .563, (incl. 1-1 postseason); 3rd NFL season
Lovie Smith: 46-36-0, .561, (incl. 2-2 postseason); 5th NFL season
Head to Head:Smith 3-2
vs. Opponent: McCarthy 2-3 vs. Bears; Smith 6-3 vs. Packers
MIKE McCARTHY…Is in third 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.
- Honored as the 2007 Motorola NFL Coach of the Year and NFL Alumni Coach of the Year.
- Became the first Packers coach since Vince Lombardi to lead the team to a championship game in his second season.
- Tied franchise record for most victories by a coach in his first two seasons (21).
LOVIE SMITH…Is in fifth year as the Bears' 13th head coach.
- With 36 regular-season wins in his first four seasons, tied Mike Ditka for second-most wins in a coach's first four seasons with the franchise, one behind George Halas.
- Guided Chicago to its first Super Bowl appearance in 21 years in '06.
- Named the Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year in 2005 after he led a worst-to-first revival in the NFC North. The Bears' six-win improvement from the previous season was tied for the biggest in the NFL that year.
- 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 PACKERS-BEARS SERIES
- The NFL's most prolific rivalry, no two teams have met more than the Packers and Bears. Sunday they face off for the 177th time.
- The Bears' two wins in 2007 marked the second Chicago sweep in three years in the series. Prior to 2005, the Bears hadn't posted a sweep since 1991, before Brett Favre became Green Bay's quarterback. The Bears have the lead in the NFL's richest rivalry, 89-80-6. The last time the gap had been as close as seven prior to 2005 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 1932 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 10th 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, after 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 running backs coach Edgar Bennett finished his playing career in Chicago (1998-99)...Packers assistant offensive line coach Jerry Fontenot was a third-round draft choice of the Bears in 1989 and was a mainstay at center in his eight seasons (1989-96) in Chicago...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 assistant defensive backs coach Gill Byrd served as the Packers executive director/player programs and community affairs from 1999-2001...Lovie Smith was a University of Wisconsin assistant in 1987, while Bears defensive coordinator Bob Babich spent two seasons on the Badgers' staff (1988-89)...Bears LB Hunter Hillenmeyer was taken by Green Bay in the fifth round of the 2003 NFL Draft...Bears DE Mark Anderson and Packers S Charlie Peprah were teammates at Alabama...Bears G Dan Buenning is a Green Bay-area native and played at Wisconsin...Bears G Josh Beekman and Packers CB Will Blackmon were teammates at Boston College.
INDIVIDUALLY VS. BEARS
Donald Driver's career-long catch was an 85-yard TD reception at Chicago (Champaign) on Oct. 7, 2002, on Monday Night Football...Nick Collins intercepted a career-high two passes against the Bears on Dec. 31, 2006, including a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown...The first two-interception game of Charles Woodson's career, and his only two-INT effort prior to the Seattle game in 2006, came at Chicago on Oct. 5, 2003, while playing for Oakland...Ryan Grant's 66-yard TD run in Chicago last year was a career-long, and his 145 yards rushing in the first meeting this year is a season-high.
LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON
- Nov. 16, 2008, at Lambeau Field; Packers won, 37-3.
- In the most lopsided score in the rivalry in 14 years, the Packers held the Bears to just 234 total yards and nine first downs. The Packers pounded out a season-high 200 yards on the ground, with Ryan Grant gaining 145 on 20 carries and Brandon Jackson adding 50 on 10 rushes. Grant's 4-yard TD run late in the second quarter made it 14-3.
- Aaron Rodgers was an efficient 23-of-30 for 227 yards (105.8 rating), throwing short TD passes to Greg Jennings and Donald Lee.
- Jason Hunter's 54-yard fumble return for a score in the fourth quarter was Green Bay's sixth defensive touchdown on the season.
LAST MEETING, AT SOLDIER FIELD
- Dec. 23, 2007, at Soldier Field; Bears won, 35-7.
- On a frigid Sunday afternoon, the Bears blocked two punts and Brian Urlacher returned an interception 85 yards for a TD in a rout that ended Green Bay's chances of landing the No. 1 seed for the NFC playoffs.
- A 66-yard TD run by Ryan Grant (14 carries, 100 yards) in the second quarter put the Packers ahead 7-6, but it was all Chicago from there.
- In the final two minutes of the half, the Bears drove 55 yards for a touchdown, an 8-yard run by Adrian Peterson (30 carries, 102 yards). In the second half, Charles Tillman's blocked punt, returned 7 yards by Corey Graham for a TD, preceded Urlacher's defensive score to conclude the blowout.