*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-Browns Week 7 Dope Sheet. To read the full version, download the PDF by clicking here.
Here are some highlights from the Packers-Browns Week 7 Dope Sheet:*
**GREEN BAY (3-2) at CLEVELAND (1-5)
Sunday, Oct. 25 - Cleveland Browns Stadium - 12:00 p.m. CDT
PACKERS HIT THE ROAD TO TAKE ON BROWNS**
- Coming off its first shutout victory in nearly two years, Green Bay travels east to Cleveland to take on the 1-5 Browns.
- The Packers make the trip to the city on the shores of Lake Erie for the first time since 1995. Cleveland is the only NFL city the Packers have not traveled to over that period.
- In fact, since the Browns franchise resumed play in 1999, Green Bay is the only franchise yet to make an appearance in Cleveland.
- Sunday marks matchup No. 18 in the all-time series, which began in Milwaukee in 1953. Green Bay owns a 9-7-0 advantage over the Browns in the regular season and took perhaps the most famous meeting between the two, a 23-12 victory in the 1965 NFL Championship.
- The two franchises have produced some of the greatest teams and players the league has ever seen. The Packers rank second among all teams with players enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with 21, while the Browns are sixth with 16. Green Bay has 12 NFL championships, while Cleveland has four.
- Since Green Bay's last trip to Cleveland, the two teams have met just twice in 13 seasons. Both (2001 and '05) have come at Lambeau Field.
- Coaches won't pay too much attention this week to their preseason matchup against the Browns to kick off the 2009 campaign. Green Bay's starters did jump out to a 14-0 lead in just over a quarter of play.
- Cleveland returns home after two consecutive road games, most recently dropping a 27-14 decision at Pittsburgh. The Browns will continue in the NFC North in Week 8 with a game in Chicago before their bye.
THE GOOD AND THE BAD
- Coming off its bye week, Green Bay put together a solid all-around performance at home to record its first shutout against Detroit in 63 years.
- The Packers jumped out to a 23-0 halftime lead and used clock control in the second half to help preserve the victory. Protecting home field in division games is always a focus, and the team stands at 3-2 and in second place in the NFC North through the season's first six weeks.
- Setting a season high for total net offense (435 yards) and fewest yards allowed (149) helps give the team momentum heading into the road game at Cleveland, but there is still plenty for the team to correct in the film room and on the practice field this week.
- All phases will be stressing penalties, as the Packers were flagged a season-high 13 times on Sunday. That number ties the highest amount in the tenure of Head Coach Mike McCarthy. Six of those flags came in the first quarter. In all, the penalties equaled 130 yards, the second-highest total under McCarthy.
- On offense, the team converted just one of five red-zone opportunities into touchdowns, a clear focus given that the team is 7-of-17 (41.2%) inside the 20-yard line through the first five games.
- For a defense still making the transition to the 3-4 scheme, it must continue to jell given that Sunday's contest against the Lions was just its second with all 11 primary starters available.
WITH THE CALL
- FOX Sports, now in its 16th season as an NFL network television partner, will broadcast the game to a regional audience.
- Play-by-play man Ron Pitts and color analyst John Lynch will have the call from the broadcast booth.
- 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 130 WTMJ feed) as part of the network's NFL Sunday Drive.
- DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game in HD on channel 708.
**THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:
Green Bay Packers vs. Cleveland Browns
All-time, regular season: **9-7-0
All-time, postseason: 1-0
All-time, in Cleveland:5-4-0
Streaks:Green Bay has won four of the last six meetings
Last meeting, regular season:Sept. 18, 2005, at Lambeau Field; Browns won, 26-24
Last meeting, regular season, in Cleveland:Nov. 19, 1995; Packers won, 31-20
Mike McCarthy: **31-24-0, .563 (incl. 1-1 postseason); 4th NFL season
Eric Mangini: 24-31-0, .436 (incl. 0-1 postseason); 4th NFL season (1st with Browns)
Head to Head:Mangini 1-0
vs. Opponent:McCarthy 0-0 vs. Browns; Mangini 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.
ERIC MANGINI…Is in first year as the Browns' 12th head coach.
- Served as head coach of the N.Y. Jets the past three seasons, posting two winning records and earning 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 17 times dating back to 1953. This marks the Packers' first trip to Cleveland in 14 years, the only league city the Packers have not traveled to in that span.
- The series 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.
Packers strength and conditioning coordinator Dave Redding broke into the NFL ranks with Cleveland in 1982, becoming the team's first-ever strength coach. He spent seven seasons with the Browns...Packers LB Clay Matthews' father, Clay, was a first-round draft pick of the Browns in 1978 and played linebacker for 16 seasons (1978-93) in Cleveland…Packers assistant offensive line coach Jerry Fontenot and Browns defensive line coach Bryan Cox were teammates with the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints…Cox played for the Saints in 2002 when Packers head coach Mike McCarthy was the offensive coordinator there…Browns asst. head coach/special teams coordinator Brad Seely coached on the Panthers staff from 1995-98 when Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers was the head coach in Carolina...Browns running backs coach Gary Brown worked with the Packers during 2006 training camp as part of the NFL's Minority Coaching Fellowship program...Browns wide receivers coach George McDonald was the offensive coordinator at Western Michigan in 2005 when Packers WR Greg Jennings was a senior for the Broncos...Browns DE Corey Williams played for the Packers for four seasons (2004-07) after being selected by Green Bay in the sixth round of the 2004 Draft. He was traded to the Browns for a second-round pick in 2008...Browns LB David Bowens played for the Packers in 2000, while K Billy Cundiff was in training camp with the Packers in 2006...Browns T Joe Thomas played collegiately at the University of Wisconsin and prepped at Brookfield Central High near Milwaukee...Browns QB Brady Quinn and Packers LB A.J. Hawk are brothers-in-law, with Hawk's wife Laura being Quinn's sister...Browns QB Derek Anderson and Packers LB Nick Barnett were college teammates at Oregon State...Packers T Chad Clifton used to block for Browns RB Jamal Lewis in college at Tennessee...Browns LB Kaluka Maiava and Packers LB Clay Matthews played in the same LB corps at USC and were both drafted this year...Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi and Packers DE Jarius Wynn were college teammates at Georgia and were drafted this past April...Packers LB Brandon Chillar and Browns DL Kenyon Coleman were teammates at UCLA...Browns G Eric Steinbach was one of four draft picks from the 2002 Iowa offensive line, a group coached by Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin.
INDIVIDUALLY VS. BROWNS
WR Donald Driver had six receptions for 105 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown, in the 2005 meeting. LB Nick Barnett led the defense with six tackles, and DE Cullen Jenkins blocked a PAT attempt.
LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON
- Sept. 18, 2005, at Lambeau Field; Browns won, 26-24.
- The Packers took an early 7-0 lead on Donald Driver's 42-yard TD grab, but Cleveland scored 19 straight points, capped by Trent Dilfer's 80-yard TD pass to rookie Braylon Edwards late in the third quarter.
- Brett Favre threw for 342 yards and three TDs for Green Bay, but Dilfer countered with 336 yards and three scores, the last a 62-yarder with 1:50 left to give the Browns a nine-point lead.
- Driver finished with six catches for 105 yards on a day Reggie White's No. 92 was officially retired by the franchise in a halftime ceremony.
- Favre's 4-yard TD pass to Tony Fisher with 4 seconds left in the game broke John Elway's single-stadium NFL touchdown record of 180. Favre also surpassed 50,000 career passing yards in the contest.
LAST MEETING, IN CLEVELAND
- Nov. 19, 1995, at Cleveland Municipal Stadium; Packers won, 31-20.
- Brett Favre threw three TD passes in the first half -- to Dorsey Levens, Mark Chmura and Anthony Morgan -- to give the Packers a commanding 21-3 lead at intermission.
- Favre added a 4-yard TD run and finished an efficient 23-of-28 passing for 210 yards with no interceptions. That marked the third-highest completion percentage (82.14) in a single game in franchise history (min. 20 attempts).
- Vinny Testaverde threw for 244 yards and two TDs for the Browns. Favre and Testaverde would go head-to-head as QBs again 12 years later when the Carolina Panthers played at Lambeau Field on Nov. 18, 2007.
DRIVER MAKES HISTORY AT HOME
- WR Donald Driver, now in his 11th season with the Packers, had first begun to lay claim to some of the franchise's all-time receiving records in 2007. One by one they began to fall, but none had been more meaningful than the one he achieved Sunday against Detroit.
- With his first catch, Driver surpassed WR Sterling Sharpe (1988-94, 595) to become the franchise's all-time leader in receptions.
- On a quick out, Driver took the pass and fought through a group of defenders for a first down, a play that typifies the career of the former seventh-round pick from Alcorn State.
- Though he is the second-oldest player on the roster at age 34, Driver has shown no signs of slowing down in 2009. He leads the team in catches (25), receiving yards (395) and is tied for the lead in touchdown catches (2). Those numbers rank near the top of the NFC and certainly put him in the conversation for a fourth career Pro Bowl selection.
- Driver has been the model of consistency for the Packers, catching at least one pass in 116 consecutive games, also a franchise record.
- And he's not slowing down, literally, either. Driver had another highlight-reel catch against the Lions, beating a defender and hauling in a sensational 37-yard one-handed catch.
- The Packers emerged from the Lions game with a few injuries, but also saw a number of players return to action coming off the bye.
- In the backfield, RB Brandon Jackson made his 2009 debut after a preseason ankle injury had kept him sidelined. However, the team was without the services of RB DeShawn Wynn (knee) and FB Korey Hall (calf). It is not known whether either will participate in practice on Wednesday.
- Injuries continue to plague the offensive line, as T Chad Clifton reaggravated an ankle injury that had caused him to miss two games earlier in the year. Head Coach Mike McCarthy indicated Monday the injury did not appear to be as bad as the original one, and the team will give the veteran lineman a chance to practice later in the week.
- The team played the Detroit game without the services of C/G Jason Spitz, who was plagued last week by back spasms. Veteran C Scott Wells started in his place and would be ready to go if need be. McCarthy indicated the team would likely go with rookie G/T T.J. Lang should Clifton remain sidelined. Lang has played well at the position in each of the last two games in fill-in duty.
- NT B.J. Raji also reaggravated an ankle injury, and McCarthy said Monday the team will likely limit him in practice this week.
- WR Jordy Nelson suffered a knee sprain in the Lions contest and will likely miss a couple weeks, according to the coach. Nelson saw extensive time in the team's multiple-wideout formations and had been pegged as the return specialist after the season-ending injury to CB Will Blackmon (knee).
THE BIG PLAY RETURNS
- Thanks to a bevy of talent around him at the skill positions, QB Aaron Rodgers has been doing plenty of damage through the air in the season's first five games.
- Rodgers already has 22 passes of 20-plus yards, tied for the third highest total among NFL QBs. Ben Roethlisberger (26) leads the NFL, with Matt Schaub (24) behind him. Both Eli Manning and Joe Flacco have 22 passes of 20 yards-or-more.
- Yet when looking at the group of signal callers, each has played in six games. With an early bye week, Rodgers has played in only five.
- The big plays have always been a staple of the offense under Head Coach Mike McCarthy, as the team ranked second in the NFL in gains of 20-plus yards when it went to the NFC Championship in 2007. That year, the team racked up 67 such plays, 52 of which came through the air.
- In 2008 when it went 6-10, the team had 58 plays of 20-plus yards, 12th best in the NFL. 48 came via the pass last season.
- Though the team statistics are uneven as teams go through the bye-week process, the Packers currently rank tied for eighth overall with 23 plays of 20-plus yards. Each of the teams ahead of Green Bay has played six games except for Dallas (27) and New Orleans (24).
- While the numbers do show the explosiveness of the Packers' offense, they also tell the story of a running game that has seen just one carry for more than 20 yards on the season. RB Ryan Grant had a 22-yard carry in the fourth quarter against Detroit.
- The Packers had 10 "big-play" runs on the ground in 2008 and 15 in 2007. They must aim to get back into the double digits in the category to maintain their place among the NFL's most dangerous offenses.
TOO MANY FLAGS ON THE FIELD
- McCarthy again wasn't happy about the penalty difference against the Lions as the team racked up 13 flags to Detroit's six.
- The Packers have been flagged 47 times this season, tied with Detroit and Oakland for the fifth-highest total in the NFL. Buffalo (61), Baltimore (54), the New York Jets (51) and St. Louis (51) are the most penalized teams in the NFL so far. Each of those teams has played six games compared to Green Bay's five.
- In penalty yards, the Packers are fourth highest with 359.
- Those numbers are too high for a team that wanted to put an emphasis on reducing penalties in 2009. Last season, it was flagged for 125 penalties – tied for third most in the NFL.
- Of those, 110 of the Packers' penalties were accepted, resulting in a league-high 984 penalty yards. Dallas (952), Tennessee (855), Tampa Bay (834) and Oakland (823) rounded out the top 5.
- The Packers drew penalties against their opponents, too. Eighty-nine opponent penalties were accepted by Green Bay, resulting in 721 penalty yards. That yardage total ranked No. 15.
BIGBY'S RETURN SPARKS DEFENSE
- For just the first time since the season opener, the Packers were able to use all 11 primary starters on the defensive side of the ball.
- And while their play-making ability can't be tied solely to the return of S Atari Bigby, who suffered a knee injury in the season opener, there is no doubting the unit's production when he is in there.
- In the opener, the team had four interceptions against the Bears. Sunday against the Lions, it recorded three, including one by Bigby in the end zone. In the three games Bigby missed, the team totaled three picks.
- The Packers have also held opponents under 80 yards rushing in each of the two games with Bigby in the lineup.
- Bigby's return also helps S Nick Collins play more in the back end, where coaches feel he is best utilized.
- Bigby is hoping to return to his form from 2007 when he came on strong towards the end of the season, collecting NFC Defensive Player of the Month honors for December. He finished that season third on the club in tackles (121) and led the team with five interceptions.
- Injuries derailed his 2008 campaign, limiting him to just seven games, including six starts.
- "It puts a lot of teeth in our defense," NT Ryan Pickett said of Bigby's return. "When we're missing someone like him, he's a major part of our defense. He's a great player playing the pass and the run. Just having him out there, having his personality and his attitude out on the field, we've missed it tremendously."
- Bigby's teammate in the secondary, CB Charles Woodson, echoed Pickett's sentiment. "It helps us out, because of course again he knows the defense, in and out. Just putting him back in this week, we haven't missed a beat as far as making checks, making calls. We can do everything with him in the game."
- Through two games, Bigby has seven tackles, an interception and two passes defensed. Most importantly, the Packers have won both games.
MATTHEWS SHOWS KNACK FOR BIG PLAY
- Rookie LB Clay Matthews has a ways to go before entering the stratosphere of his father's exceptional 19-year NFL playing career.
- But in the team's trip to Cleveland, Clay will play in a city he spent lots of time in as a youth, one where his dad was a legendary linebacker for the Browns.
- Drafted in the first round by the Browns in 1978, Clay Jr. played 16 of his 19 NFL seasons in Cleveland, earning four Pro Bowl berths during that time.
- Now entrenched as the starter at one of the outside linebacker spots, Clay enjoyed the best game of his rookie season thus far against the Lions, collecting a career-high two sacks.
- In his first career start against the Vikings, just his fourth professional contest, he accomplished something it took his dad nine-plus seasons to cross off his own checklist.
- Matthews' second-quarter strip of All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson and subsequent 42-yard sprint to the end zone marked the first touchdown of his young career.
- The elder Matthews didn't find the end zone until his 127th pro game, when he returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown on Sept. 20, 1987, in a win over the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
- Matthews saw his most action from scrimmage against Detroit, and through five games is filling up the stat sheet. To go along with 13 tackles, he ranks second among NFL rookies with three sacks. He also has three passes defensed and a forced fumble and recovery for a touchdown. What's more, he has been a staple on the special-teams units.
- According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Matthews' touchdown in Minnesota made him the sixth player in the NFL this season whose father has also scored in a league game. A look at the names on the list:
Father / Son
Clay Matthews Jr. / Clay Matthews III
Danny Bradley / Mark Bradley
Marion Barber / Marion and Dominique Barber
Kellen Winslow / Kellen Winslow II
Stan Edwards / Braylon Edwards
SOPHOMORE SEASON A BREAKOUT FOR FINLEY
- TE Jermichael Finley was a unanimous choice as the Packers' "breakout performer" in 2009 by the prognosticators.
- Thus far, the second-year man seems to be delivering, as his 15.3-yards per catch average ranks third among NFL tight ends.
- Through the season's first five games, he has become a clear favorite of QB Aaron Rodgers, ranking third on the team in receiving yards (244) and tied for third in receptions (16).
- Finley's coming-out party came in Week 4 at Minnesota in front of the largest television audience in cable history as he established new career highs in receptions (six) and receiving yards (128). His 62-yard touchdown is the Packers' longest play from scrimmage on the season and the longest reception by a Green Bay tight end since Jackie Harris caught a 66-yard scoring pass against Denver on Oct. 10, 1993.
- Finley's day also stands tied for the most productive day by a tight end in team history. His 128 yards matched Harris' output from that Broncos contest, tying the franchise high for most receiving yards by a tight end.
- There's no doubting Finley's athleticism, as he uses his size advantage (6-5, 247) when split wide against a cornerback or his speed when matched up over the middle against a linebacker.
- As a high school standout, he had committed to play both basketball and football at Arizona before giving his pledge to Mack Brown to play tight end at Texas.
- Finley entered the 2008 NFL Draft after his redshirt sophomore season, so he'd just be in his senior season at Texas. At 22, he's one of the team's youngest players.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
- When Packers LB A.J. Hawk takes the field Sunday, there's a chance he could be forced to chase around his brother-in-law, Browns QB Brady Quinn. Hawk married Quinn's sister, Laura.
- Though the two squared off in the preseason, this could mark the first time the two have played against one another in a regular-season game.
- Hawk did face Quinn is his last collegiate game at Ohio State, when his Buckeyes squared off against Notre Dame in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl. Hawk's 12 tackles, including a pair of sacks of his future brother-in-law, helped lead Ohio State to victory.
- A Centerville, Ohio, native, Hawk is just one of a handful of players with ties to the Buckeye state. Other Ohio natives include CB Brandon Underwood (Hamilton), CB Charles Woodson (Fremont) and RB DeShawn Wynn (Cincinnati).
- Other Ohio natives include defensive coordinator Dom Capers (Buffalo) and defensive line coach Mike Trgovac (Austintown).
WINNING WAYS AFTER THE BYE
- With the victory over Detroit, the Packers have now won three of the four contests after the bye week under McCarthy.
- Dating back further, the team has now won 10 of its last 14 games following the bye week.
- Green Bay finished a disappointing 2-7 (.222) after the bye week in 2008, a stark contrast to the previous two seasons under McCarthy.
- In 2007, the team finished 8-2 (.800) after the bye, which helped wrap up a first-round playoff bye. In McCarthy's first season, the team was 7-4 (.636) after the week off.
- Since 2000, the Packers over the balance of their season after the bye are a combined 54-33 (.621).
THE RETURN GAME
- With the season-ending knee injury to CB Will Blackmon, WR Jordy Nelson figured to become the team's primary returner on both kickoffs and punts.
- Sunday against the Lions, Nelson suffered a knee sprain on a punt return and figures to miss at least a couple of weeks.
- In his absence, CB Tramon Williams took the first punt return for 45 yards, the team's longest return on punts this season.
- With the windy conditions at Lambeau Field, the team opted to put CB Charles Woodson back on punt returns.
- Another option is WR Brett Swain, who has handled kickoff and punt returns each of the last two preseasons.
- Though placing Woodson back on punt returns poses a risk to one of the team's best players, he does have ample experience, serving as the team's punt returner from 2006-07. For his career, he has 86 punt returns, including 74 with the Packers, and a solid 8.2-yard average.
- Williams has the most experience in kickoff returns, with 30 in 2007. A 22.8-yard average for his career, his long is 65 yards.
- Williams' punt return against the Lions was the seventh of his career. Coupled with his 45-yard return Sunday, Williams' 94-yard return for a score in '07 against Carolina shows he has a knack for finding the lane to the open field on punt returns.
MEET THE NEWCOMERS
- Of the current 53-man roster, there are only a few new faces in the Packers' locker room. Ten players are new to the team this year, while 43 return.
- The rookie draft class, seven of whom made the opening-day roster, are led by first-round picks NT B.J. Raji and LB Clay Matthews. Raji made his professional debut in Week 3 after missing the first two weeks with an ankle sprain. He has played both the nose tackle and end positions. Matthews began the season as a backup but has now worked his way into a starting role. In his first start with the "base" defense against the Lions, Matthews registered a career high with two sacks.
- Sixth-round pick DE Jarius Wynn has seen action in four games on special teams and provided depth along the defensive line, while sixth-round pick CB Brandon Underwood made his professional debut against the Lions. LB Brad Jones also made his professional debut in Week 3 and has been a valuable member of the coverage units, collecting six special teams stops.
- Rookies on offense include fourth-round pick G/T T.J. Lang, fifth-round choice FB Quinn Johnson and non-drafted free agent G/C Evan Dietrich-Smith. Lang and Dietrich-Smith both showed the ability to play multiple positions along the line, while Johnson packs a punch clearing holes for running backs. Lang saw action at left tackle in spot duty and has played well, prompting the possibility that he could get the start there should Clifton be unable to go in Cleveland.
- The only other newcomers to the 2009 team are in the secondary with S Derrick Martin, who was acquired in a trade with Baltimore on the roster cutdown day, and S Matt Giordano, who joined prior to Week 3. Martin arrived with a familiarity with the 3-4 defense and a reputation as a solid special-teams player. Martin saw considerable action from scrimmage against the Rams and Vikings given the injury to S Atari Bigby. Martin has made an early impact on special teams, where he has six stops.
- Giordano, who played four seasons and won a Super Bowl ring with the Colts, tallied two special teams stops in his Packers debut at St. Louis.
WOODSON AND JENKINS PERFORMING AT ELITE LEVEL
- It's hard to imagine getting off to a better start than two veteran leaders of the defense: DE Cullen Jenkins and CB Charles Woodson.
- Jenkins, who played both inside and outside in the old scheme, seems to be thriving in his new position at end in the 3-4. Thus far, Jenkins has 16 tackles, including four for loss, and leads all defensive linemen in sacks (2.0) and leads the team in forced fumbles (2). Against Detroit, Jenkins recorded his first NFL interception, sniffing out a screen pass to RB Kevin Smith. Jenkins said after the game it was his first interception since high school, though his one as a schoolboy was called back because of a penalty.
- Certainly the loss of Jenkins to a season-ending pectoral injury had a lot to do with the defensive struggles that plagued the team toward the end of 2008. Stout enough to hold the point against the run and adeptly quick at getting past linemen in pass-rush scenarios, it's no doubt Jenkins is one of the most talented players on the defensive side of the ball.
- Perhaps it just runs in the family, as older brother Kris is a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro currently playing for the New York Jets.
- Woodson, who has also had to make an adjustment from playing man-to-man style to one that involves more reading of the quarterback, also is thriving in the new scheme.
- Matched up against TE Greg Olsen in Week 1, Woodson limited one of Chicago's biggest offensive threats to just one catch for eight yards.
- In Week 2 against the Bengals, Woodson recorded his fourth career multi-interception game, his third since coming to Green Bay in 2006.
- He raced one of the interceptions 37 yards for a touchdown, his fifth interception return for a score since coming to Green Bay. That number ties him with No. 2 Bobby Dillon and Darren Sharper on the team's all-time list. Another interception against the Rams in Week 3 gave him three on the season, which leads the team.
- Woodson has been credited with 30 tackles through five games, a pace which would have him surpass 90 before season's end. His career high in tackles is 79, which he recorded two different times, first in Oakland in 2000 and last season with Green Bay.
- The folks in the league office noticed how fast Woodson came out of the gate too, naming him the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for September. It was the second such award of his career.
- There's no doubt Woodson's career has been revitalized since coming to Green Bay in 2006. Thanks to the ability of those around him, CB Al Harris and CB Tramon Williams among others, opposing quarterbacks can no longer decide to ignore throwing the ball in Woodson's direction.
- Woodson now has 39 career interceptions, fifth among active NFL players. For his career, 22 have come in Green and Gold. Those 22 interceptions have come in 51 games with the Packers. In 106 games with the Oakland Raiders, he had 17.
TAKEAWAYS A PLUS
- While many football statistics don't have far-reaching implications through the season's first four games, turnover ratio is always a telling statistic.
- The Packers, with 13 takeaways, rank third among all NFL teams in takeaways. Only New Orleans (15) and Philadelphia (14) have recorded more so far.
- Thanks also in part to an offense that has turned the ball over just five times, Green Bay's plus-eight turnover ratio is tied with Minnesota and New England for the league's second-best mark. New Orleans leads the NFL at plus-nine.
- Of the Packers' takeaways, 10 have come via the interception, tied with Buffalo for the second-highest total. New Orleans and Philadelphia both have 11. The Packers also have three fumble recoveries.
- Of the Packers' turnovers, two have come on interceptions and three have come on fumbles. All five have come in the passing game. Two of the fumbles lost have come on sacks of QB Aaron Rodgers, while another came on a screen pass to RB Ryan Grant.
- Every single Packers practice, be it during OTAs, training camp or the regular season, has a period devoted to ball security.
- Headed by assistant head coach/inside linebackers Winston Moss, the drill has offensive skill players carry the ball while two defenders (linebackers and defensive backs) try to strip the ball. Once free, the offensive player then must run through a gauntlet of offensive and defensive linemen attempting to strip the ball loose.
- The drill puts an emphasis on ball security to offensive players. For defensive players, the drill keeps the focus on stripping the ball from opposing players.
- The team has four forced fumbles on the year, three of which it has recovered.
- While the Packers can be proud of their place among the top teams in the league in turnover margin at plus-seven, the statistic isn't always as telling as some may portend it to be.
- Green Bay finished with a plus-seven margin a year ago, No. 6 among all teams and the franchise's best mark since 2002 (+17).
RECORDS KEEP FALLING FOR DRIVER
- Already the owner of a number of franchise receiving records, WR Donald Driver became the franchise's all-time leader in receptions against the Lions and moved closer to a few others.
- Driver (8,384 career receiving yards) has surpassed Don Hutson (7,991) and Sterling Sharpe (8,134) this season to move into second place on the franchise's all-time receiving yards list. He will still have a ways to go to match No. 1 James Lofton (9,656).
- 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.
- He also recorded at least 50 catches for the seventh consecutive season, tying a franchise mark. He is on pace to eclipse both marks (50 catches, 1,000 yards) again this season.
- Driver and Indianapolis' Reggie Wayne are the only receivers with 1,000-yard seasons in each of the last five years (2004-08). 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 in Week 1.
- 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.
- 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 has continued to show its knack for the takeaways in the first five games with 10 interceptions and three fumble recoveries, which it has turned into 48 points. That total ranks fourth in the NFL, with only the Giants (58), Vikings (55) and Saints (52) having more. Both the Giants and Vikings have played six games compared to the Packers' six.
- 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 in Week 3 against the Rams, 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 34 of 36 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 37 of their last 39 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 of players depending upon the formation.
- Nick Barnett and A.J. Hawk are the starters in the base defense. A steady and reliable player, Hawk has topped 120 tackles in each of his three NFL seasons.
- For the seventh-year pro Barnett, it marks his return to action since Week 10 of 2008 when he tore his ACL at Minnesota. Coaches were careful with his reps as he worked his way back to full strength.
- Barnett looks to be back at full strength at this point, as he leads the team with 39 tackles. Barnett has led the team in tackles in four of his six overall seasons.
- Brandon Chillar was one of the recipients of a game ball for his performance on defense in Week 1, which included eight tackles and a highlight-reel sack in which he hurdled Bears RB Garrett Wolfe. He has also seen time on the field in the team's 'Big Okie' formation, which puts him as a fifth linebacker on the field to help defend against the run, as well as in the nickel package. Chillar ranks second on the team with 35 tackles and often covers tight ends on obvious passing downs, as he is known as one of the best defenders in pass coverage.
- Desmond Bishop, another talented player in the unit, makes his presence felt on special teams, where he leads the team with eight tackles. Bishop led the defense in tackles in the preseason.
- McCarthy has said he'd like to see if the team can find more opportunities for Bishop from scrimmage, which is exactly what the team has tried to do over the past few games. Against the Rams, he made his presence felt in the second-half action that he saw, recording four tackles, including one for loss.
EARLY PRODUCTION, STINGY DEFENSE KEY VICTORY
- Green Bay's offense got off to a fast start on Sunday, scoring two touchdowns in the first eight minutes of the game, and the defense posted their first shutout in nearly two years as the Packers defeated the Detroit Lions 26-0.
- The win at Lambeau Field in front of 70,801 improved the Packers to 3-2 on the season and 2-1 in the division. Green Bay trails the NFC North-leading Vikings by 2½ games.
- "To win at home 26-0, it's a step to get back," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. "It's been 13 days since we've played. I know our football team was excited to get out there today. I thought the crowd was outstanding, playing at home at noon. Once again, home wins and division wins are very important."
- Green Bay's offense started fast, posting the first opening-drive touchdown at home since the 2007 season finale, also against the Lions. Wide receiver Greg Jennings made a nice one-handed grab over the middle for 26 yards to convert a third down, and three plays later, quarterback Aaron Rodgers found wide receiver James Jones wide open down the right sideline at the Detroit 15. Jones made a nifty cutback move to elude safety Marquand Manuel at the 10, and took it in for the 47-yard score.
- Green Bay's defense put the offense back in scoring position right away. On the Lions' third offensive play, a third-and-15 at their own 25, linebacker Aaron Kampman pressured quarterback Daunte Culpepper, whose screen pass intended for running back Kevin Smith was intercepted by defensive end Cullen Jenkins at the Lions' 21.
- After picking up 11 yards on the first two plays, Green Bay was pushed back to the 21 because of an unnecessary roughness penalty on guard Daryn Colledge. Rodgers found tight end Jermichael Finley twice for 8-yard pickups, and then connected with fullback John Kuhn in the flat for a 1-yard score to put Green Bay up 14-0.
- Rodgers was sharp in the first half, connecting on 19-of-23 passes, including 12 straight in one stretch, for 221 yards and the two touchdowns. It was his career high for passing yards in the first half of a game, eclipsing his 210 at Detroit last season, and matched his career best for any half (221 in second half vs. Atlanta in 2008).
- But as productive as the offense was, it let opportunities slip away the rest of the game. It returned to the red zone two more times in the first half and four more times in the game, but was only able to come away with nine points on three field goals from Mason Crosby.
- In an all-too familiar theme thus far this season, both of those red-zone trips in the second quarter were affected by sacks, the first one a 9-yard loss on a second-and-3 from Detroit's 9, and the second a 5-yard loss on a second-and-8 at the Lions' 8. The Packers also had a first-and-goal from Detroit's 3 late in the third quarter that ended with a turnover, a sack/fumble by Rodgers forced by linebacker Julian Peterson to thwart another scoring chance.
- Rodgers went on to finish 29-of-37 for 358 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for a 113.7 rating. It gave him back-to-back games of 350 yards for the first time in his career, and his 78.4 completion percentage ranks second in team history for a quarterback with 35-plus attempts in a game, trailing only Brett Favre's 79.5 percentage set at Minnesota on Nov. 22, 1998, on 33-of-43 passing. He completed passes to nine different players, a season high.
- While the offense was having some trouble converting in the red zone, Green Bay's defense was preventing the Lions' offense from even getting there for most of the game.
- Playing without two of their top offensive players, wide receiver Calvin Johnson and quarterback Matthew Stafford, the Lions were only able to muster 149 yards of offense against the Packers, the least amount of yardage allowed by a Green Bay defense since Dec. 21, 2006, when they limited Minnesota to just 104 total yards.
- The defense didn't allow a third-down conversion all afternoon, stopping the Lions on each of their 10 opportunities. Backup quarterback Daunte Culpepper completed just 6-of-14 passes for 48 yards before leaving the game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury, and third-stringer Drew Stanton didn't fare much better, connecting on just 5-of-11 attempts for 57 yards. The Packers also sacked the Lions' quarterbacks five times, a season-high. Running back Kevin Smith posted 61 yards on 15 carries, but take out two long runs of 19 and 20 yards, and he managed just 22 yards on the other 13 carries (1.7 avg.).
- "I think it was a great team effort by the defense," defensive end Cullen Jenkins said. "Everybody came in and it seemed like we were pretty assignment-sound out there. It's just a matter of everybody being on their spots on every play. Everybody trusted that everybody else would do what they were supposed to do, and nobody tried to make too much happen. I'd say it was just a great effort."
- Detroit's offense only threatened twice all afternoon. The first came at the end of the opening quarter when the Lions moved the ball to the 21 before facing a fourth-and-1. Culpepper's pitch to running back Kevin Smith was snuffed out by a pair of rookies, linebacker Clay Matthews and B.J. Raji, for a 1-yard loss.
- The Lions finally got inside the Green Bay 20 midway through the fourth quarter, but Stanton's third-down pass from the 10 was picked off by safety Atari Bigby in the middle of the end zone to preserve the first Green Bay shutout since they blanked Minnesota, 34-0, on Nov. 11, 2007.
- The Packers were penalized a season-high 13 times on Sunday for 130 yards, including six in the first quarter for 55 yards. Green Bay entered Sunday's game with 30 penalties, an average of 7.5 per game.
- Running back Ryan Grant rushed for 90 yards on 24 carries, but it took him a while to get going.
- Grant posted just 28 yards on 13 carries (2.2 avg.) in the first three quarters, including a long of 7, before rushing for 62 yards on 11 attempts (5.6 avg.) in the final stanza.
- With No. 1 return man Will Blackmon lost for the season with a knee injury, wide receiver Jordy Nelson assumed the top spot on both punt and kick returns this week in practice.
- But the Packers were forced to move down the depth chart even more after Nelson sustained a bruised knee on a punt return midway through the first quarter. Nelson muffed Nick Harris' 48-yard kick at the Green Bay 22, picked up the ball, but took a big hit to his legs from safety Marvin White. McCarthy said after the game that X-rays were negative, but the team decided to hold him.
- Cornerback Tramon Williams, who hasn't returned a punt since 2007, assumed the return duties, and came through in a big way in the second quarter. Williams returned the punt for 45 yards, helping set up a 28-yard Crosby field goal.
NFL'S YOUNGEST ROSTER ... AGAIN
- Based upon analysis of Kickoff Weekend rosters done by the league office, the Green Bay Packers have the distinction of being the league's youngest squad for a fourth consecutive season.
- Dating back to 2000, Arizona was the only other club to hold or share the distinction for at least three years. The Cardinals were the NFL's youngest team in 2001 and tied for the league's youngest roster the following two seasons.
- With an average 2009 roster age of 25.70, Green Bay again checks in with the youngest average age in the NFL. Indianapolis and Kansas City are tied for second with an average age of 25.89 years.
- Green Bay had four players age 30 or over, the lowest total in the NFL.
- Kansas City and Green Bay tied for the youngest roster last season with an average age of 25.57 years.
- The Packers were the youngest team in the NFL in 2007 with an average age of 25.72 years, while the Colts placed second at 25.74 years. Both teams made playoff appearances that season.
- In Head Coach Mike McCarthy's first season, the Packers checked in as the league's youngest team with an average age of 25.57 years. Tennessee (25.77) was second.
- Each season, the NFL compiles the number of miles each team will travel during the season, including preseason trips.
- Green Bay's first road trip of the regular season, a short trip to St. Louis, covered just under 500 miles, a relatively quick flight by NFL standards.
- Green Bay had a short flight to Minnesota for its second road contest, and travels just over 550 miles for its third trip of the year this weekend to Cleveland.
- The Packers' longest trips will be to Tampa and Phoenix, the latter of which also was a trip in the preseason.
- All collected, the team will fly 12,260 miles according to numbers compiled by the NFL league office.
- That total is the fourth-lowest mileage total among the 32 teams in 2009. Perhaps not surprisingly, five West Coast clubs head the list when it comes to logging miles through the air this season: Seattle (29,054), San Francisco (29,020), San Diego (28,628), Arizona (27,840) and Oakland (27,232).
280 AND COUNTING
- Another sellout at Lambeau Field against the Detroit Lions brought the consecutive sellouts streak to 280 games (264 regular season, 16 playoffs). In two weeks against Minnesota, a game that could challenge the stadium attendance records, is expected to be No. 281.
- 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 in 2008, 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 Dallas game (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.
- 2-1 on the season at home, the Packers have won 15 of their last 21 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 - 103-36-0 (.741) **
Denver - 102-37-0 (.734)
Pittsburgh - 101-37-1 (.730)
Minnesota - 95-44-0 (.683)
Kansas City - 93-46-0 (.669)
WILLIAMS ON THE RETURNS
- CB Tramon Williams, whether it be on a punt return or after an interception, is dangerous once he has the ball in his hands.
- In Week 1, he had a 67-yard interception return against the Bears that gave the Green Bay offense the ball inside the 5-yard line.
- Last week against the Lions, he filled in for WR Jordy Nelson on punt returns and returned his only opportunity for 45 yards, the team's longest punt return of the season.
- Throughout Packers history, no player has had an interception return of 65-plus yards and a punt return of 45-plus yards in the same season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
- Individual interception records were not kept until 1940.
PROTECTING THE FOOTBALL
- It took QB Aaron Rodgers until his fourth game of the season to record his first interception, a second-quarter pass intended for WR Greg Jennings that was picked off by Vikings CB Antoine Winfield.
- Even under heavy duress through the first five games, Rodgers has been careful with the football and in his decision-making.
- Prior to that second-quarter throw against Minnesota, his last interception came in Week 16 of last season, a streak that stretched 159 consecutive attempts. Rodgers' streak had been the second-longest streak among active quarterbacks and longest among starting signal-callers.
- The streak of 159 passes without an interception is a new personal best for Rodgers, topping a record established last year, when it wasn't until the fourth game of the season that he threw an interception. That snapped a streak of 157 consecutive passes without an interception, a streak that began in 2005 and is now the fourth-longest in team history. Rodgers' new career high (159) ranks third all-time among Green Bay signal callers for consecutive passes without an interception.
- Bart Starr holds the franchise record with an astounding 294 straight passes without an interception, second-most in NFL history.
- Brett Favre stands at No. 2 on the team's all-time list with 163 consecutive passes without an interception.
- The interception-free streaks have come in bunches in the Mike McCarthy tenure. Much credit must be given to McCarthy, who works closely with those under center, and quarterbacks coach Tom Clements.
- In addition to Rodgers' two long streaks (159 and 157) over the past two seasons, Favre had two of the longest streaks of his career under the duo in 2007. Early in the season, he had a 142-pass streak (third longest of his career) and followed up with a 139-pass streak (fourth) later in the season.
- For the season, Rodgers has thrown two interceptions in 164 attempts, or 1.2% of his passes. In his first season as a starter, he threw 13 interceptions on 536 attempts (2.4%).