*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.
This is an abbreviated version of the Packers-Browns Preseason Game 1 Dope Sheet. To read the full version, download the PDF by clicking here.
Here are some highlights from the Packers-Browns Preseason Game 1 Dope Sheet:*
GREEN BAY (0-0) vs. CLEVELAND (0-0)
Saturday, Aug. 14 - Lambeau Field - 7 p.m. CDT
PRESEASON ACTION KICKS OFF
- The Green Bay Packers' 2010 season officially kicks off Saturday night as the Cleveland Browns come to Lambeau Field for a preseason contest, the second straight year the teams have faced each other in the preseason opener.
- Green Bay lines up against another opponent for the first time since Jan. 10, when it fell to Arizona 51-45 in overtime in a thrilling Wild Card playoff contest.
- Saturday marks the debut of rookie and free-agent acquisitions, as well as a potent offense that returns all of its starters from 2009. Under the direction of Head Coach Mike McCarthy, the offensive play-caller, the unit ranked No. 6 in total offense a season ago. McCarthy has led the offense to a top-10 ranking in total offense each of his four seasons, joining New Orleans as the only team to accomplish that from 2006-09.
- Saturday's contest also features a defense in its second year under defensive coordinator Dom Capers. Implementing his 3-4 scheme, Capers led one of the biggest statistical turnarounds in franchise history as the Packers improved to a No. 2 overall defensive ranking and No. 1 ranking against the run after Green Bay finished No. 20 and No. 26 in those respective categories the previous season.
- As has been the case under McCarthy in previous preseasons, starters aren't expected to play more than a few series. Maintaining the health of the football team will be the ultimate determining factor, as will the need to see a number of younger players in live game action. Teams must make the first roster cut, to 75 players, on Aug. 31.
- Saturday marks the 22nd preseason meeting in the all-time series between Cleveland and Green Bay. The Packers came away with a 17-0 victory over the Browns in the 2009 preseason opener.
MIDWEST SHRINE GAME
- One of the NFL's longest team traditions, the Upper Midwest Shrine Game kicks off its 61st installment Saturday night.
- Each season, the Packers donate a percentage of the gate to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.
- The Shriners' facilities provide specialized medical services, helping children with birth defects and other injuries, at absolutely no cost.
- To date, the series has raised more than $3.1 million for the Midwest Shrine's burn centers and hospitals for disabled children.
- Green Bay is 31-26-3 all-time in the series. Cleveland played Green Bay in the game in 1983 (a 21-20 Browns victory) and in 2009 (a 17-0 Packers win).
- The series has called three separate stadiums home: Milwaukee's State Fair Park (1950-51), Milwaukee County Stadium (1952-82, 1984-94) and Lambeau Field (1983, 1995-present).
- In his first season leading the Packers, Vince Lombardi made an agreement with George Halas to play in the Shrine game annually. Green Bay and Chicago played each preseason in County Stadium from 1959-73.
- The Packers annually designate the Shrine game as the first 'Gold package' game for season-ticket holders primarily from the Milwaukee area. The team created the three-game package after moving all of its home games to Green Bay in 1995. Also in the 'Gold package' this season are the contests against Detroit (Oct. 3) and Dallas (Nov. 7).
WITH THE CALL
- The Green Bay Packers Broadcast Partners will air the game over a 10-station network throughout the state of Wisconsin, Upper Michigan, Northeastern Minnesota, and the Quad Cities in Iowa, with CBS network production, personnel and the latest network-quality technology.
- The top-notch broadcast team includes CBS's Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) alongside fellow CBS broadcaster Rich Gannon (analyst).
- WTMJ's Jessie Garcia serves as the sideline reporter and WFRV's Larry McCarren joins the crew for pre-game segments. In addition to WFRV-TV (Green Bay) and WTMJ-TV (Milwaukee), the games are televised over WKOW/ABC, Madison, Wis.; WAOW/ABC, Wausau/Rhinelander, Wis.; WXOW/ABC, La Crosse, Wis.; WQOW/ABC, Eau Claire; WYOW/ABC, Eagle River, Wis.; WJMN/CBS, Marquette, Mich.; and KQDS-TV/FOX, Duluth, Minn.; and KGCW/CW, Quad Cities in Iowa.
- Milwaukee's WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since 1929, heads up the 48-station Packers Radio Network, with Wayne Larrivee(play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro BowlerLarry McCarren (color) calling the action. The duo enters its 12th season of broadcasts together across the Packers Radio Network, which covers 43 markets in five states.
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:
Packers vs. Cleveland Browns:
- All-time regular season:10-7-0
- All-time, in Green Bay:2-1-0 (incl. 1965 NFL Championship)
- All-time, preseason:10-11-0
- Streaks:Green Bay has won five of the last seven regular-season meetings.
- Last meeting, regular season:Oct. 25, 2009, at Cleveland Browns Stadium; Packers won, 31-3
- Last meeting, regular season, in Green Bay:Sept. 18, 2005, Browns won, 26-24
- Last meeting, preseason:Aug. 15, 2009, at Lambeau Field; Packers won, 17-0
- Mike McCarthy:39-28-0, .582, (incl. 1-2 postseason); 5th NFL season
- Eric Mangini:28-37-0, .431 (incl. 0-1 postseason); 5th NFL season (2nd with Browns)
- Head to Head:1-1
- vs. Opponent:McCarthy 1-0 vs. Browns; Mangini 1-1 vs. Packers
MIKE McCARTHY…Is in fifth year as the Packers' 14th head coach.
- Has led his team to the playoffs two of the past three years.
- One of only two coaches, along with New Orleans' Sean Payton, to have his offense ranked in the top 10 in total yardage each of the last four years.
- 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.
ERIC MANGINI…Is in second year as the Browns' 12th head coach.
- Previously served as head coach of the N.Y. Jets for three seasons, posting two winning records and one postseason berth (2006).
- In six seasons as an assistant coach with the New England Patriots (2000-05), was part of three Super Bowl championship teams.
- Began his NFL coaching career with the Browns in 1995.
- Served as head coach and defensive coordinator for a semi-pro team in Australia, the Kewe Colts, who won back-to-back titles under his leadership.
THE PACKERS-BROWNS SERIES
- The two teams have met a total of 18 times dating back to 1953.
- That includes one postseason meeting, the 1965 NFL Championship played in Green Bay and won by the Packers, 23-12.
- The 1965 title game marked Cleveland's first and only trip to Green Bay until 2001. From 1953-83, the Packers played host to the Browns in Milwaukee five times.
- The Packers own the longest winning streak in the series, five straight from 1961-67 (including 1965 title game).
- The Browns' win in 2005 was the franchise's first at Lambeau Field in three tries.
NOTABLE CONNECTIONSNew Browns president Mike Holmgren is the former head coach of the Packers (1992-99) who led the team to six consecutive playoff appearances, back-to-back Super Bowls, and the Super Bowl XXXI championship in 1996...Holmgren's senior advisor, Gil Haskell, coached both Green Bay's RBs (1992-94) and WRs (1995-97) under Holmgren in Green Bay...Browns strength and conditioning coach Kent Johnston held the same post under Holmgren in Green Bay (1992-98)...Browns VP of football operations, Mark Schiefelbein, spent the previous 18 years (1992-2009) in the Packers' front office...As the Saints' offensive coordinator, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy tutored Browns QB Jake Delhomme when both were in New Orleans together from 2000-02...Packers asst. strength and conditioning coach Dave Redding broke into the NFL with the Browns in 1982 as the team's first-ever strength coach...Clay Matthews Jr., the father of Packers LB Clay Matthews III, played the first 16 of his 19 seasons in the NFL for the Browns (1978-93)...Browns LB Kaluka Maiava and the Packers' Matthews played in the same LB corps at USC and were both drafted in 2009...Browns LB David Bowens played for the Packers in 2000...Browns T Joe Thomas hails from the Milwaukee area and played collegiately at the University of Wisconsin...Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi and Packers RB Kregg Lumpkin and DE Jarius Wynn were college teammates at Georgia. Massaquoi and Wynn were both '09 draft picks...Packers TE Jermichael Finley and Browns QB Colt McCoy were teammates at Texas, as were Browns DL Kenyon Coleman and Packers LB Brandon Chillar at UCLA, Browns WR Brian Robiskie and Packers LB A.J. Hawk at Ohio State, and Browns FB Lawrence Vickers and Packers LB Brad Jones at Colorado...Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin tutored Browns OL Eric Steinbach at Iowa...Browns WR Jake Allen spent parts of the past two seasons with the Packers and appeared in one game in '09...Green Bay's Brandon Underwood and Cleveland's DeAngelo Smith played in the same defensive backfield at Cincinnati and were both '09 draft picks (Smith selected by Dallas), while Green Bay's C.J. Wilson and Cleveland's Kwaku Danso played on the same defensive line at East Carolina...Packers FB John Kuhn and Browns TE Joel Gamble were teammates all four seasons at Shippensburg (2001-04)...Browns TE Evan Moore was with the Packers during training camp in 2008-09 and spent the '08 season with the team on injured reserve.
INDIVIDUALLY VS. BROWNS
In two games, WR Donald Driver has eight receptions for 189 yards, including touchdowns of 42 and 71 yards, and LB Nick Barnett has 11 tackles...DE Cullen Jenkins blocked a PAT attempt in the 2005 meeting.
LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON
- Oct. 25, 2009, at Cleveland Browns Stadium; Packers won, 31-3.
- The Packers held the Browns to just 139 total yards and scored 31 unanswered points after Cleveland took a 3-0 lead in the second quarter.
- QB Aaron Rodgers was an efficient 15-of-20 for 246 yards and three TDs for a 155.4 rating, the best single-game rating in franchise history (min. 20 attempts).
- RB Ryan Grant rushed for a TD and had 27 carries for a season-high 148 yards, the second-highest regular-season output of his career.
- TE Spencer Havner scored his first career TD, a 45-yard catch-and-run for the Packers' first score of the game. Driver added a 71-yard TD, his longest of the season.
LAST MEETING, PRESEASON
- Aug. 15, 2009, at Lambeau Field; Packers won, 17-0.
- Driver caught a 53-yard TD pass on the game's opening drive and the Green Bay defense intercepted four passes and held Cleveland to 191 total yards in a shutout in the preseason opener.
- S Charlie Peprah, CB Tramon Williams and LB Desmond Bishop each had an interception for the Packers.
- Green Bay RBs Kregg Lumpkin (8 carries, 48 yards) and Brandon Jackson (8 carries, 41 yards) combined for 89 rushing yards. Grant (6 carries, 28 yards) had a 2-yard TD run.
- WR James Jones led the receiving corps with three catches for 43 yards, and backup QB Matt Flynn was 5-of-6 for 50 yards.
FAMILY NIGHT RECAP
- All three phases of the Packers showed promise in the team's annual Family Night scrimmage held Saturday night in front of 47,844 at Lambeau Field.
- Highlighted by key plays from LB A.J. Hawk and CB Brandon Underwood, the No. 1 defense did not allow the No. 2 offense a first down on four straight possessions. The first defense also got a stop against the No. 1 offense in the two-minute drill.
- Hawk spent much of his night in the offensive backfield, first coming through on a blitz to sack backup QB Matt Flynn on third down to end one series, and then stuffing RB Quinn Porter for no gain on the next series. During the two-minute drill, Hawk bounced off a block by FB John Kuhn to stop RB Ryan Grant for a 4-yard loss on third-and-1.
- Moving up from his nickel cornerback spot to a starting position with CBCharles Woodson taking a rest for the evening, Underwood intercepted a QB Graham Harrell pass intended for WR Shawn Gore and returned it about 30 yards for a touchdown.
- QB Aaron Rodgers looked sharp, completing 9-of-14 passes for 127 yards and a TD, The touchdown, a 14-yard pass to TEJermichael Finley, capped off a nine-play, 80-yard drive against the No. 2 defense, and included a nice pass from Rodgers to WR Jordy Nelsondown the seam for a 27-yard pickup.
- Finley was one of the offensive standouts as he led the offense with four receptions for 55 yards (13.8 avg.) and the touchdown. During the two-minute work, Finley made nice grabs on back-to-back plays of 11 and 16 yards as the offense quickly moved the ball down the field.
- K Mason Crosby connected on 7-of-8 field goal attempts, including long kicks from 51 and 53 yards out. His lone miss came on a 44-yarder that strayed wide left.
- In a punting competition that will likely continue through much of training camp, Chris Bryan andTim Masthay posted comparable performances in their debuts under the lights of Lambeau. Each got five punts, with Bryan posting a 50.4-yard average and Masthay an average of 47.0. Both recorded a long punt of 62 yards and were placed in various situations, including being backed up into their own end zone.
- The Packers gave a couple of different players looks in the return game, and veteran RB Brandon Jackson made the most of his opportunity. Fielding a Crosby kickoff at the 5-yard line, Jackson found a seam on the right side courtesy of some solid blocking and took the ball down the sideline untouched to the end zone for the 95-yard score.
- "This was our first opportunity to get in front of a live crowd," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said after the scrimmage. "I can't say enough about our fans, the environment that they create for us a week before our first preseason game. It's the first opportunity to have live action with your fundamentals, blocking, tackling, handling the football, and that's very important.
- "It was obvious that there was an emphasis on special teams. We were able to get a number of field goals kicked both with the No. 1 field goal and field-goal protection. Also, we wanted to create an environment for our punters to continue to compete with the emphasis there in the last segment. We definitely accomplished that.
- "There will be a lot of quality film for us to grade and move forward in the training-camp process as we finish our installation phase that we'll wrap up Tuesday. This gives us a pretty good barometer of some guys that have moved forward and the work that some others may need."
WHERE THEY'LL BE SATURDAY NIGHT
- Coaches often use the preseason as a test to see where players are best utilized. Coach McCarthy is on the sidelines, but here's a look at where the rest of the staff will be Saturday:
- Press Box: Dom Capers (defensive coordinator), Jerry Fontenot (asst. offensive line), Curtis Fuller (administrator), Scott McCurley (defensive quality control), Joe Philbin (offensive coordinator), John Rushing (offensive quality control), and Joe Whitt (secondary - cornerbacks).
- Sideline: Edgar Bennett (running backs), James Campen (offensive line), Tom Clements (quarterbacks), Mike Eayrs (research and development), Kevin Greene (outside linebackers), Ben McAdoo (tight ends), Chad Morton (special teams assistant), Winston Moss (inside linebackers/asst. head coach), Darren Perry (secondary - safeties), Jimmy Robinson (wide receivers), Shawn Slocum (special teams coordinator) and Mike Trgovac (defensive line).
AHEAD THIS WEEK
- The Packers hit the practice field five times this week, including two-a-days on Tuesday and Thursday.
- Four of those practices are scheduled to be in full pads, though the health of the team heading into Saturday night's preseason opener against Cleveland will determine if those numbers stay the same.
- Whether padded or in shells, the team will have 14 practices and an intrasquad scrimmage under its belt when it takes the field Saturday to face off against the Browns.
THE INJURY REPORT
- Head Coach Mike McCarthy has said that the scoreboard for him coming out of the Family Night scrimmage each year is the team's medical report.
- The Packers did have some injuries to report from the scrimmage, with the most notable being LBClay Matthewsinjuring a hamstring that also forced him to miss time last year during the preseason. Matthews is expected to be out for at least two weeks.
- There ae a group of players returning from injuries that have been on a "one-a-day" schedule during camp. LB Nick Barnett, S Will Blackmon, S Derrick Martin, WR Brett Swain and DE Ronald Talley have typically just practiced once daily when the team has two-a-days.
- Three players have spent all of training camp thus far on the physically unable to perform list. CB Al Harris, making his way back from reconstructive knee surgery, S Atari Bigby, who underwent ankle surgery on Aug. 6, and rookie RB James Starks (hamstring) are all on the PUP list.
SAVE THE DATE
Important dates to remember (all times local):
- Saturday, Aug. 21 – Preseason game at Seattle Seahawks, 9 p.m., Qwest Field
- Thursday, Aug. 26 – Preseason game vs. Indianapolis Colts, 7 p.m., Lambeau Field
- Tuesday, Aug. 31 – Final practice open to public, 10:15 a.m., Nitschke Field; NFL-mandated roster reduction, to 75 players, by 3 p.m.
- Thursday, Sept. 2 – Preseason game at Kansas City Chiefs, 7 p.m., Arrowhead Stadium
- Saturday, Sept. 4 – NFL-mandated roster reduction, to 53 players, by 3 p.m.
- Sunday, Sept. 5 – Clubs may establish eight-player practice squad, 11 a.m.
LOTS OF FAMILIAR FACES
- General Manager Ted Thompsoncontinued his philosophy of building through the draft in the 2010 offseason, so much of the Packers' core remains intact.
- Thompson moved to keep that core together this offseason, re-signing veterans Chad Clifton, Nick Collins, Ryan Pickett and Mark Tauscher to contract extensions. **
- Clifton and Tauscher have been mainstays on the offensive line since 2000, while Collins and Pickett were two integral parts of the new 3-4 defense in 2009.
- The return of those four players means 20 of 22 starters return from a team that made its second postseason berth in three seasons.
- Leaving in free agency wasAaron Kampman, one of the most productive pass rushers in team history. Having made the switch to outside linebacker last summer, Kampman tore his ACL on Nov. 22, which put rookieBrad Jonesinto the lineup.
- Jones went on to start eight games including playoffs, so some may view him as a 21st returning starter.
- The team will be without defensive endJohnny Jolly, who was suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. Jolly's suspension began immediately in July and will continue through at least the 2010 season. He will be eligible to apply for reinstatement following Super Bowl XLV.
- That continuity extends to the coaching staff, where the same group returns for 2010. There are some slight changes however, asChad Mortonwill serve as special teams assistant whileCurtis Fullerserves as coaching administrator.
- Also,Mark Lovat, beginning his 12th season with the Packers, takes over as strength and conditioning coordinator.Dave ReddingandThadeus Jackson will serve as assistants in the weight room.
MEET THE DRAFT PICKS
- Training camp storylines always hover around new players and just how they figure into the depth chart. This summer, eyes will be on the seven new draft picks added to the club this past April.
- First-round pick Bryan Bulaga, the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2009, is viewed as the potential heir to veteran Chad Clifton as Aaron Rodgers' blind-side protector. He started 23 games at left tackle over his final two seasons and was an early-entry candidate into the 2010 NFL Draft.
- The Packers stayed in the Big Ten in Round 2 by selecting Purdue defensive tackle Mike Neal. A four-year letterman and two-year starter, he played in 46 career games (23 starts) and earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors from the media as a senior. Neal will make the shift to defensive end in the Packers' 3-4 scheme.
- Third-round choice Morgan Burnettwas another early-entry candidate and displayed his playmaking skills at safety in his three seasons at Georgia Tech. In 40 career games, including 28 starts, Burnett intercepted 14 passes, tied for second most in school history. He was elected team captain as a junior and led the team in interceptions each of his three seasons.
- In the fifth round the Packers again went back to the Big Ten and drafted Penn State tight end Andrew Quarless. He appeared in 49 career games, including 29 starts, and finished his career as the Nittany Lions' all-time leader in receptions by a tight end (87) and second in receiving yards by a tight end (1,146).
- Also in the fifth round the Packers drafted offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse from Texas Christian. He was a three-year starter at left tackle and appeared in 52 career games, including 38 starts. A first-team All-Mountain West Conference selection as a senior, Newhouse may play a number of positions along the line during camp.
- Running back James Starks came to Green Bay in the sixth round. Starks became the University at Buffalo's all-time leading rusher in just three seasons and holds school records for rushing touchdowns (34) and points scored (222). He missed all of 2009 with a shoulder injury.
- The Packers selected C.J. Wilson from East Carolina in the seventh round. A three-year starter at defensive end, he tallied 192 tackles, including 45½ for loss, and 27 sacks. He earned first-team All-Conference USA honors each of his final two seasons.
- In addition to the seven draft picks, one must also pay close attention to the non-drafted free agents, as at least one seems to make the team each year. Members of the Packers who entered the NFL via the free- agent route include S Atari Bigby, RB Ryan Grant, TE Spencer Havner, DE Cullen Jenkins and CB Tramon Williams.
REST AND RECOVERY
- In today's NFL, training camp is no longer a time to get in shape and learn new wrinkles in the playbook.
- Most of the roster was back for the offseason program, which began on March 15 and ran through the mandatory, three-day minicamp at the end of June. Beginning with dedicated workout sessions under the close watch of the strength and conditioning staff, activities returned to the playing field later in the spring during OTAs.
- With that offseason work in mind, Head Coach Mike McCarthy has scheduled his camp with three Wednesdays off to help the players recuperate from the grind of training camp.
- Much like the regular season, players will not practice the day after preseason games or after the Family Night scrimmage. The first Wednesday off came on Aug. 4, with additional ones on Aug. 11 and Aug. 18.
- Those Wednesdays the team will gather in the morning for weight lifting, film review and team meetings before having the afternoon and evening off. Each off day is following by two practices in one day, including the final "two-a-day" of training camp on Aug. 19.
ST. NORBERT AND THE PACKERS
- Continuing a tradition started under Packers coach Scooter McLean in 1958, the Green Bay Packers will call St. Norbert College home for a 53rd consecutive training camp this summer. The relationship between the private college in De Pere, Wis., and the Green Bay Packers marks the longest continual use of any training camp facility by an NFL team.
- Players will take up residence in Victor McCormick Hall, a 60-room coed dormitory used to house 225 students during the academic year. * *
- St. Norbert, founded in 1898 by Abbot Bernard Pennings, borders the Fox River and enrolls around 2,000 students.
- The Packers use their own practice and team meeting facilities at Lambeau Field during training camp, with the college serving as housing headquarters.
- Players return to St. Norbert via cars and vans every evening for team dinner.
- The 6.62-mile commute is estimated at 11 minutes each way.
- The team will travel roughly 264.8 miles between the college and practice facility during training camp…that's almost 4,660 lengths of a football field. It will take an estimated 7 hours, 20 minutes for the team to commute to and from the college…roughly the time of two-and-a-half NFL games.
A LOOK AT THE SCHEDULE
- The Green Bay Packers' 90th NFL regular-season schedule – headlined by six nationally televised games – was released in late April.
- Though the 2010 opponents have been known since the end of last season, the arrival of the complete NFL schedule is a day circled on the calendar of all football fans.
- Green Bay will open the 2010 slate on the road at Philadelphia before kicking off the home schedule with the Buffalo Bills in Week 2.
- Its first prime-time appearance – against the rival Bears in Chicago on Monday Night Football – will come in Week 3. The NFL's oldest rivalry will be on display in prime time for a fifth straight season, with this first meeting of the year marking game No. 180 in the all-time series.
- 2010 marks the 18th consecutive season the Packers have appeared on Monday Night Football, the NFC's longest streak.
- Three games are slated for Sunday night on NBC, including home games against the Minnesota Vikings (Week 7) and Dallas Cowboys (Week 9). In Week 15, the Packers are scheduled to take on the Patriots on Sunday night in Foxborough, though the game is part of the NFL's flex scheduling.
- The Packers will get their first look at the new stadium in New Jersey in Week 8 against the Jets, where they may experience some cool fall temperatures. While games at Lambeau Field later in the season always provide a home-field advantage for the Packers, the 2010 schedule is nearly void of cold-weather road games. After the Jets, three consecutive road contests will be played in domes (Minnesota, Atlanta, Detroit).
- That's good news for a Green Bay offense that seems to thrive in domes. Including playoffs, the Packers played in a dome five times last season, exceeding 400 total net yards in four of those games.
- A number of games on the Packers' 2010 schedule – namely those on national TV – are beginning to have a familiar feel. In addition to taking on the Bears for a fifth consecutive year in prime time, Green Bay will take on Minnesota in prime time for a third straight season. The Packers and Cowboys will meet on national TV for the fourth straight season.
- The schedule concludes with two home games for the first time since 2005. One of the NFL's best teams in regular-season games played in December and January, Green Bay may need to call upon that previous success for what could prove to be two very important contests surrounding the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Games against the Giants (Week 16) and Bears (Week 17) could determine not only the NFC North Division crown but conference playoff seeding.
2010 SCHEDULE NUGGETS
- Green Bay's bye week comes in Week 10, the latest possible week for NFL teams. It marks the latest time in which the Packers have had a bye in franchise history, besting the Week 9 bye in 2004. The Packers will play nine games before the bye and seven after the open date.
- Three of four games before the bye come at Lambeau Field, while four of five games after the bye are road contests.
- Immediately following the bye comes an important division game against Minnesota, the first of three straight road games played in domes. Under McCarthy, the team has won three of four games after the bye week and 10 of its last 14 after the bye dating back further.
- Green Bay has always been a successful team after the bye and 2009 was no different, as the team compiled a 9-3 (.750) mark after the bye week. Since 2000, the team is 61-36 (.629) overall after the bye.
- Fifteen games are slated for Sunday, the most since 1993 (also 15).
- Seven of the final eight games are against NFC opponents.
- The Packers have six games on the schedule against 2009 playoff teams, beginning right away in Week 1 at Philadelphia. Beginning in Week 7 vs. Minnesota, Green Bay has a stretch of four straight games against playoff teams from a year ago. The team will travel east to take on the Jets in Week 8 and host the Cowboys in Week 9 before the bye. The stretch concludes in Minnesota in Week 11.
- The NFL's oldest rivalry will see a first in 2010. For the first time in series history, Green Bay will host Chicago in the regular-season finale, set to be game No. 181 between the Packers and Bears.