*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 is an abbreviated version of the Packers-Bengals Week 2 Dope Sheet. To read the full version, download the PDF by clicking here.
Here are some highlights from the Packers-Bengals Week 2 Dope Sheet:*
**CINCINNATI (0-1) at GREEN BAY (1-0)
Sunday, Sept. 20 - Lambeau Field - 12 p.m. CDT
PACKERS LOOK TO MAKE IT TWO IN A ROW AT LAMBEAU**
- Green Bay looks to continues its winning ways this weekend as it hosts Cincinnati, which makes its first regular-season trip to Lambeau Field since 1995. The Bengals' 13-year absence is the longest of any current NFL team.
- Sunday marks a 'Gold Package' game for season-ticket holders from the Milwaukee area. The Week 10 matchup against Dallas is the other regular-season game in the 'Gold Package'.
- There isn't a whole lot of history between the two franchises because they rarely line up across from one another on the gridiron. In the last 10 seasons, the two teams have met just once, a 21-14 Bengals victory in Cincinnati in 2005.
- Sunday comes 17 years to the day since a memorable, come-from-behind 24-23 victory for the Packers over the Bengals. It marked the first win of the Ron Wolf, Mike Holmgren and Brett Favre era.
- This will be the 11th meeting between Green Bay and Cincinnati. The Packers are 4-0 all-time against the Bengals at Lambeau Field.
- The two teams come into the game after thrilling finishes in Week 1. Green Bay beat its archrival Chicago thanks to a 50-yard touchdown pass with just over a minute to play. A late interception sealed the season-opening win.
- Cincinnati lost to Denver, 12-7, in one of the more dramatic finishes in recent memory. Broncos WR Brandon Stokely grabbed a deflected pass and raced into the end zone for an 87-yard game-winning touchdown in the final seconds, the longest game-winning touchdown from scrimmage in the final minute of the fourth quarter in NFL history.
QUICK STARTS HELP IN THE LONG RUN
- Green Bay's hard-fought win over Chicago went a long way in correcting some of the problems that plagued the team down the stretch in 2008.
- Not only did QB Aaron Rodgers lead a game-winning drive in the final two minutes, but the defense stepped up and preserved the victory with CB Al Harris' interception.
- The Packers lost all seven of their games decided by four points or less in 2008. In eight of the team's 10 losses, the outcome was decided in the final two minutes.
- Coaches often break down the season into four-game segments, and the statistics show that success in the first four games leads to a higher percentage of attaining a playoff berth.
- Success on Kickoff Weekend is no different. Since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978, 442 teams won their opener. Of those teams, 233 went to the playoffs and 136 won division crowns. Now, compare those numbers to the 442 teams that lost the first game of the season. Of that group, only 103 went to the playoffs and only 58 captured their division.
- Players in the Green Bay locker room will almost assuredly keep the Bears win in perspective. The team started 2-0 last year before faltering down the stretch.
WITH THE CALL
- The Packers make their only appearance of the season on CBS. The network will air the contest to a regional audience.
- Play-by-play man Ian Eagle and color analyst Rich Gannon will have the call from the broadcast booth.
- In Wisconsin, CBS affiliates around the state, including WFRV (Ch. 5) in Green Bay and WDJT (Ch. 58) in Milwaukee, will carry the contest.
- Milwaukee's WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since 1929, heads up the 53-station Packers Radio Network, with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (color) calling the action. The duo enters its 11th season of broadcasts together across the Packers Radio Network, which covers 43 markets in five states.
- 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 122 WTMJ feed) as part of the network's NFL Sunday Drive.
- DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game in HD on channel 704.
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:
Green Bay Packers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
All-time regular season: 5-5-0
All-time, at Lambeau Field:4-0-0
Streaks:The Packers have won three of the last four meetings.
Last meeting, regular season: Oct. 30, 2005, at Paul Brown Stadium; Bengals won, 21-14
Last meeting, regular season, Lambeau Field: Dec. 3, 1995; Packers won, 24-10
Mike McCarthy: 29-22-0, .569 (incl. 1-1 postseason); 4th NFL season
Marvin Lewis:46-51-1, .474 (incl. 0-1 postseason); 7th NFL season
Head to Head:Never met
vs. Opponent: McCarthy 0-0 vs. Bengals; Lewis 1-0 vs. Packers
MIKE McCARTHY…Is in fourth 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.
- One of only three head coaches to lead an offense ranked in the top 10 in the league each of the past three years.
MARVIN LEWIS…Is in seventh year as the Bengals' ninth head coach.
- Only Paul Brown (55) and Sam Wyche (64) have had more career victories as Cincinnati coach. Their eight-year tenures are also the franchise's longest, one year longer than Lewis.
- In 2005, led the Bengals to the playoffs for the first time since 1990, going 11-5 and losing in the AFC Wild Card Game to eventual Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh.
- Was named Rookie Coach of the Year by Football Digest in 2003.
- Was defensive coordinator for six years for the Baltimore Ravens (1996-2001), including the team's Super Bowl championship season in 2000.
THE PACKERS-BENGALS SERIES
- The clubs have met 10 times, splitting the contests.
- This will mark the Bengals' first trip to Lambeau Field in 14 years, ending the longest absence of a current NFL team.
- Prior to 2005, the Packers owned a three-game winning streak in the series (24-23 in 1992 and 24-10 in 1995, both in Green Bay, and 13-6 in 1998 at Cincinnati). That 1998 meeting is the Packers' lone win in Cincinnati in franchise history.
- Perhaps the most memorable game in the series came in 1992 when Brett Favre, summoned to replace an injured Don Majkowski at quarterback in the first quarter, proceeded to direct the Packers to an electrifying, 24-23 come-from-behind victory, forged when he hit wide receiver Kitrick Taylor with a 35-yard scoring pass as only 13 seconds remained in the game. Chris Jacke's subsequent PAT settled the issue.
- The series launched at Lambeau Field in 1971, when the legendary Paul Brown was head coach of the Bengals, a team he had founded three years earlier as a member of the then American Football League. The Packers posted a 20-17 victory in their first meeting, with a Lou Michaels field goal providing the victory margin.
Lewis and McCarthy were both assistant coaches at the University of Pittsburgh in 1990 and 1991; Packers special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum was also on that 1991 staff...Lewis was LB coach on defensive coordinator Dom Capers' staff while Capers ran the Steelers defense from 1992-94. In that position, Lewis coached Packers LB coach Kevin Greene...Capers grew up in Buffalo, Ohio, and played safety and linebacker for Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio. Capers also coached defensive backs at Ohio State from 1982-83...Bengals TE Chase Coffman's father, Paul, played tight end for the Packers for eight seasons (1978-85) and caught more passes (322) than any Green Bay TE in franchise history...The Packers' Ohio natives include LB A.J. Hawk (Centerville), CB Brandon Underwood (Hamilton), CB Charles Woodson (Fremont) and RB DeShawn Wynn (Cincinnati)...Ohio State products include Hawk and DT Ryan Pickett, while Underwood played at the University of Cincinnati in 2008 and at Ohio State from 2005-06...Bengals WRs Chad Ochocinco and Packers LB Nick Barnett played one season together at Oregon State (2000)...Packers LB Clay Matthews was a teammate of Bengals LBs Rey Maualuga and Keith Rivers and DE Frostee Rucker at USC...Packers TE Jermichael Finley and Bengals WR Quan Crosby were teammates at Texas...Bengals LB Abdul Hodge was a third-round draft choice by the Packers in 2006 and played in eight games with Green Bay in '06...Packers QB Matt Flynn and FB Quinn Johnson were teammates of Bengals G Nate Livings and T Andrew Whitworth at Louisiana State...Bengals QB J.T. O'Sullivan was the Packers' No. 3 quarterback for the final 11 games in 2004...Bengals QB coach Ken Zampese was an offensive quality control assistant for the Packers in 1999, the same year McCarthy was the team's QB coach...Bengals WR coach Mike Sheppard was New Orleans QB coach for three seasons (2002-04) during the time McCarthy was the Saints offensive coordinator, and then Sheppard took over as offensive coordinator in 2005 when McCarthy left for San Francisco...Packers safeties coach Darren Perry held the same position for the Bengals in '02.
INDIVIDUALLY VS. BENGALS
In the 2005 meeting in Cincinnati, LB Nick Barnett set a career high with 15 solo tackles, and one of CB Al Harris' three career sacks came against Carson Palmer in that game.
LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON
- Oct. 30, 2005, at Paul Brown Stadium; Bengals won, 21-14.
- In one of the strangest endings to any game, the Packers drove from deep in their own territory in the final minute only to see a play blown dead from the Bengals' 28 when a fan jumped out of the stands and ran onto the field. The man grabbed the ball out of Favre's hand and eluded security, which needed several minutes to tackle and arrest him. The long delay broke the Packers' momentum, Favre was sacked on the next play and then threw a desperation pass from beyond the line of scrimmage on the final snap.
- Favre passed John Elway for second all-time in passing yards and attempts but threw a regular-season high five interceptions. His TD pass to Bubba Franks, following an Ahmad Carroll interception and 88-yard drive, pulled the Packers within a touchdown with 3:11 left.
- Odell Thurman's second interception, off a tip by Deltha O'Neal, came one play before Carson Palmer's 27-yard TD pass to Jeremi Johnson, giving the Bengals a 21-7 lead. Palmer threw for three TDs.
LAST MEETING, IN GREEN BAY
- Dec. 3, 1995; Packers won, 24-10.
- Trailing 10-3, the Packers tied the game at halftime on Favre's 13-yard TD pass to Mark Ingram. Favre added TD tosses to Edgar Bennett and Mark Chmura in the second half for the final margin.
- Chmura caught seven passes for 109 yards, while Bennett added 80 yards rushing and 50 receiving.
- The Packers exactly doubled the Bengals' offensive output, 434-217.
- Compared to Chicago, which suffered a number of serious injuries in the game, Green Bay came out of the contest relatively healthy.
- The one serious injury did occur to S Atari Bigby, though McCarthy and the medical staff did not know how long Bigby would be sidelined.
- In his absence, the Packers will have to count on third-year pro Aaron Rouse. With 26 career games and nine starts under his belt, Rouse won't be wide-eyed when it comes to playing with the first team. Plus, at 6-foot-4 and 227 pounds, he is a physical presence in the box against the run.
- CB Will Blackmon and NT B.J. Raji both were held out of action Sunday night but will return to practice this week. Though WR Jordy Nelson performed admirably as a return man, the team will welcome back the dynamic abilities of Blackmon on both the kick- and punt-return units. Additionally, he served as one of the coverage unit's top tacklers last season. Coaches, teammates and fans alike will be waiting for the debut of Raji, the No. 9 overall pick, who could make an immediate contribution at the line.
- RB Brandon Jackson (ankle) is the only other player who was inactive because of injury in Week 1. His status for practice this week is still undetermined.
MATTHEWS AND MAUALUGA REUNITE
- Close friends off the field throughout their time together at Southern Cal, rookies Clay Matthews and Rey Maualuga will play against each other for the first time in the professional ranks.
- Maualuga started in Week 1 at linebacker on the outside for the Bengals, while Matthews played extensively from scrimmage. Both saw action on special teams. The highly decorated duo played in four consecutive Rose Bowls while at USC.
- "He did some good things," McCarthy said of Matthews' debut. "There's definitely some technique minuses that he'll learn from, but for his first NFL game and going through the training camp he went through with all the time that he's missed, I thought he responded very well."
- Also starting for the Bengals is another former USC linebacker in Keith Rivers, who spent four seasons (2004-07) with the Trojans.
DON'T CHALLENGE THE PACK
- Bears coach Lovie Smith challenged two plays (CB Tramon Williams' interception return, fake punt) in the game and lost both of them.
- Opponents were just 1-for-8 in challenges against Green Bay last season, meaning they have been successful just once in their last 10 tries.
O-LINE LOOKS TO REBOUND
- After a substandard showing Sunday night against the Bears, the Packers offensive line will look to rebound this weekend against Cincinnati.
- QB Aaron Rodgers was under duress early and often and a safety was among the four sacks he took.
- "Our protection unit did not play well, and that was a major cause for our frustration and our inability to move the football," McCarthy said Monday afternoon. "The Bears defensive line did a very good job getting after our front, and we did not handle it very well."
- The unit was breaking in the only two new starters (RG Josh Sitton and RT Allen Barbre) on the offensive side of the ball, as well as C Jason Spitz playing a position still relatively new to him.
- Even on the game-changing play from Rodgers to WR Greg Jennings, McCarthy was not happy with the offensive line.
- "Actually the touchdown play, it's a great play and everything, but we blocked it wrong. We had one guy that was free. Aaron did a great job stepping up and making a great throw. Aaron and Greg made that play. The protection was a minus."
- Head Coach Mike McCarthy, like all NFL coaches, stresses the importance of getting out to a quick start in the early portions of the 2009 schedule in order to springboard the team to greater successes.
- This offseason, one of the main goals was an added emphasis on starting fast – literally – in the first quarter through an increased tempo at the line of scrimmage and ultimately more point production.
- The Packers produced a total of 13 points (one TD, two FGs) on their first offensive possessions a year ago, second fewest among all NFL teams (Detroit, 10). Despite ranking No. 5 in total scoring (419 points) in 2008, the Packers produced their lowest output (61 points) in the first quarter. That total ranked tied for 20th.
- That emphasis appeared to be paying off in the preseason, as QB Aaron Rodgers led an offense that scored touchdowns on nine of 13 possessions as he registered an NFL-best 147.9 quarterback rating.
- Not to be outdone, the defense finished its preseason action with 13 takeaways (eight interceptions, five fumbles) and 12 sacks. The No. 1 unit allowed only 13 points.
- With the third preseason game being as close to a dress rehearsal as there is in the NFL, Green Bay's starters stormed out of the gates in a road contest against defending NFC champion Arizona, building a 38-10 halftime advantage before giving way to the second units.
- All told, Green Bay's starters outscored opponents 76-13 in just over six quarters of play. But, to a man, each has acknowledged that it will mean nothing if it is not carried over into the regular season.
- Sunday night against Chicago, the defense continued the success it had shown in August. The Bears' two first-half points came on a safety, while the Green Bay defense picked off QB Jay Cutler three times in the opening half. CB Al Harris' victory-clinching pick was the unit's fourth takeaway of the game.
- Surely the onus will be back on the offense to get out of the gates quickly against the Bengals. While it did have 10 points at the half against Chicago, an interception return brought the ball all the way inside the 5-yard line to set up the eventual score. The offense had just 104 total net yards at the break.
278 AND COUNTING
- Another sellout on opening weekend at Lambeau Field brought the consecutive sellouts streak to 278 games (262 regular season, 16 playoffs).
- Lambeau Field, the league's longest-tenured stadium, is hosting its 53rd season of football this year.
- A total of 565,460 fans came through the turnstiles in the eight home contests last season, an average of 70,683.
- Lambeau Field also saw the four largest regular-season crowds in stadium history in 2008 (vs. Minnesota, vs. Dallas, vs. Indianapolis, vs. Chicago). The Week 3 contest vs. Dallas (71,113) set a new regular-season attendance record.
THE LAMBEAU ADVANTAGE
- The crown jewel of the National Football League, Lambeau Field has long been known as one of the tougher venues to play in, particularly during the harsh Wisconsin winter.
- With the 2009 season-opening win over Chicago, the Packers have won 14 of their last 19 regular-season games at Lambeau Field.
- McCarthy has stated consistently that one of the team's goals is to reclaim the mystique of playing at Lambeau Field. Mission accomplished. The team is 11-5 at home over the last two seasons, a marked improvement over the prior three seasons (10-14 combined).
- Since Ron Wolf and Mike Holmgren began the revitalization of the franchise in 1992, Green Bay owns the best home record in the NFL. A look at the top home W-L records since the '92 season:
Team, W-L record (Pct.)
Green Bay, 102-35-0 (.745)
Denver, 99-37-0 (.728)
Pittsburgh, 99-37-1 (.726)
Kansas City, 93-43-0 (.684)
Minnesota, 92-44-0 (.676)
RECORDS KEEP FALLING FOR DRIVER
- Already the owner of a number of franchise receiving records, WR Donald Driver moved closer to a few others Sunday night against Chicago.
- Driver needs 107 receiving yards to surpass No. 2 Sterling Sharpe (8,134) on the franchise's all-time list. With his first catch against the Bears, Driver moved past Don Hutson (7,991) and into third place. He will still have a ways to go to match No. 1 James Lofton (9,656).
- Already the record holder for receptions and receiving yards at Lambeau Field, Driver needs 15 catches to surpass No. 1 Sharpe (595) on the team's all-time receptions list.
- Proving he has been one of the most consistent receivers in the decade, Driver recorded his fifth consecutive, and sixth overall, 1,000-yard campaign last year. Both are franchise records.
- Driver and Indianapolis' Reggie Wayne are the only receivers with 1,000-yard seasons in each of the last five years (2004-08). This weekend at Lambeau Field, fans will get to see two of the most productive wideouts over the past five seasons. A look at the NFL's most productive receivers over that span:
Player – Yards (Receptions)
Reggie Wayne, IND - 6,230 (432)
Chad Ochocinco, CIN - 6,055 (425)
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI - 5,975 (426)
Torry Holt, JAX - 5,876 (446)
Donald Driver, GB - 5,784 (418)
JENNINGS AMONG GAME'S MOST DANGEROUS
- After a breakout season in 2008 and a long-term contract extension in the offseason, WR Greg Jennings started the season with a bang with another 100-yard effort and the game-winning TD catch.
- He is already one of the top "big-play" receivers in the league, something he has proven in each of his first three seasons.
- Jennings established career highs last season in catches (80) and receiving yards (1,292), finishing sixth among all players in yardage.
- Jennings' 21 catches of 20 yards-or-more tied for second in the NFL behind Carolina's Steve Smith (23). Detroit's Calvin Johnson also had 21 catches of 20-plus yards. Of 178 career catches, 44 (24.7%) have gone for 20-plus yards.
- On even longer receptions, Jennings begins to break away from the field. He led all players in 2008 with eight catches of 40-plus yards.
- Of his 25 career touchdown catches, 11 have been at least 40 yards in length. He has a staggering average of 32.0 yards per TD catch.
- Over the past two seasons, no one has been as productive a deep threat as Jennings. A look at the numbers across the NFL from 2007-08:
Player - 40-plus-yard catches (40-plus-yard TDs)
Greg Jennings, GB – 15 (8)
Randy Moss, NE – 12 (8)
Terrell Owens, BUF – 12 (8)
Donald Driver, GB – 10 (2)
Steve Smith, CAR – 10 ((5)
TAKEAWAY POINTS KEY FOR PACKERS
- Green Bay continued to show its knack for the takeaway against the Bears with four interceptions, which it turned into seven points. Most important is turning those turnovers into points.
- Last season, the Green Bay defense led the NFL in defensive touchdowns (7) and interception returns for touchdowns (6).
- Green Bay (plus-seven) finished with the sixth-best turnover ratio in the NFL, its best finish under Mike McCarthy.
- Green Bay had 28 takeaways (22 interceptions, six fumble recoveries) on the season against 21 turnovers (13 interceptions, eight fumbles). The 21 turnovers tied the second-lowest total in franchise history.
- Thanks to an opportunistic defense, with its seven touchdowns, and an offense that was able to capitalize after an opponent's mistake, Green Bay led all NFL teams with 124 points off takeaways. Baltimore (123) finished just behind the Packers at No. 2.
- On the other sideline, the Packers surrendered 75 points off the 21 turnovers last year – 24 of which came at Tampa in Week 4. That point total off turnovers tied for 16th in the NFL.
- If the Packers don't commit a turnover, a case which happened Sunday against the Bears, they're almost guaranteed to win. A rarity occurred for the Packers last year at Minnesota: they lost a game in which they did not commit a turnover. They have now won 33 of 35 games playing turnover-free football, since a loss at Dallas, Nov. 18, 1996. Green Bay's only losses in such games during that stretch both came at Minnesota, first in 2005 and again in 2008.
- Including playoffs, the Packers have won 36 of their last 38 games without a giveaway.
LINEBACKERS FORM EFFECTIVE ROTATION
- With a wealth of talent at the inside linebacker position, coordinator Dom Capers and position coach Winston Moss have opted to go with a rotation in the early going.
- Starters Nick Barnett and A.J. Hawk were the starters in the base defense. A steady and reliable player, Hawk has started every game in his pro career and topped 120 tackles each season. He tallied five in his first action of 2009.
- For the seventh-year pro Barnett, it was his first time on the field since Week 10 of 2008 when he tore his ACL at Minnesota. He finished with three tackles as the coaches were being smart about the number of reps he took in working his way back to full strength.
- Brandon Chillar was one of the recipients of a game ball for his performance on defense, which included eight tackles and a highlight-reel sack in which he hurdled Bears RB Garrett Wolfe. Desmond Bishop, another talented player in the unit, made his presence felt on special teams with two tackles. Bishop led the defense in tackles in the preseason.
- While the team isn't in any rush to push Barnett and his knee past their physical limits, the team can rely on its depth at the position as Barnett gets more comfortable both physically and mentally in the new defense.
- "I thought Nick Barnett was up around 40 plays, and that's what I was looking for, between 30 and 40 plays," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said Monday. "I thought Nick played well. It's a great asset to have, to have that many playmakers. We really have to find a way to get Desmond Bishop involved too. He played a heck of a game on special teams. He's actually the game-ball winner for the special teams unit."
- Green Bay's bye week – which occurs in Week 5 – is the earliest bye for the team since 1999, when it had its bye in Week 4. Though its bye week comes early, the team will get some rest coming off the Thanksgiving contest. It won't play until the following Monday night, Dec. 7, at home.
- The Packers have five games against playoff teams from a year ago (Week 4 at Minnesota, Week 8 vs. Minnesota, Week 13 vs. Baltimore, Week 15 at Pittsburgh and Week 17 at Arizona).
- The first four games of the season are being broadcast on four different networks. After the bye week, Green Bay has seven straight games on FOX and could have 11 of the last 12 on the network, pending the NFL's flex scheduling. Also dependent upon the flex scheduling is the amount of 12 noon starts, which at this point is set for 10 games. An 11th, at Detroit, is set for 11:30 a.m.
- Green Bay plays three of the four teams who played in last season's conference championships. All three games (vs. Baltimore, at Pittsburgh, at Arizona) occur in the season's final five weeks. Making the season's final stretch tougher too is the fact that three of the final four games will be on the road.
- For the first time since 2003, the Packers will not play a division opponent in the season's final three weeks.