PACKERS-CARDINALS MEET AGAIN IN PLAYOFFS
- One week after wrapping up the regular season in Arizona, Green Bay returns to University of Phoenix Stadium to take on the Cardinals in the 2009 NFC Wild Card playoffs. Green Bay's 25th postseason berth in team history marks the franchise's 12th appearance in the last 17 seasons.
- At 11-5, the Packers earned their second postseason berth in three seasons and will be the No. 5 seed as one of two NFC Wild Card entrants.
- Green Bay comes into the game with plenty of momentum thanks to a 33-7 victory over the Cardinals this past weekend and an outstanding second half. Winners of seven of their last eight, the Packers own the NFC's best record (7-1) over the second half of 2009. Only San Diego (8-0) enjoyed a better second half than Green Bay.
- The Packers' lone defeat in the second half came on a last-second play at Pittsburgh. Though momentum may be on their side, Head Coach Mike McCarthy acknowledged that the team faces an uphill challenge, playing the defending NFC champions in their own stadium. Green Bay is 3-3 against 2009 playoff teams, with all three wins (vs. Dallas, vs. Baltimore, at Arizona) coming in the second half of the year. Arizona was 1-2 on the year against '09 playoff teams.
- Arizona, by virtue of its second consecutive NFC West title, secured the No. 4 seed. Last year, the Cardinals earned the No. 4 overall seed and won three consecutive games before falling in Super Bowl XLIII.
- Dating back to 1921 when the Cardinals franchise resided in Chicago, this remains one of the oldest rivalries in football. Green Bay owns a 43-22-4 advantage in the all-time series, including wins in six of the last seven regular-season games.
- The two franchises' lone playoff meeting came after the 1982 strike-shortened season when the Packers hosted the then-St. Louis Cardinals at Lambeau Field. Behind three TD passes from Lynn Dickey, the Packers defeated the Cardinals 41-16.
FOR A THIRD TIME THIS YEAR
- After meeting in the preseason and in Week 17, the Packers and Cardinals will line up across from one another in the postseason.
- The only time the Packers played an opponent in the preseason, regular season and postseason was 1961 with the New York Giants. Under legendary coach Vince Lombardi, the Packers beat the Giants at Lambeau Field in the preseason and in Milwaukee in the regular season. On Dec. 31 in the NFL Championship, the Packers blanked the Giants at Lambeau Field, 37-0. It was the first of five NFL championships under Lombardi.
- Sunday's game will mark the fourth time this decade that two teams have met in the preseason, regular season and playoffs in the same season. Tennessee and Oakland were the first to do it in 2002. The Titans won the preseason matchup in Nashville but lost both the regular season and postseason meetings in Oakland.
- The same situation happened the following year in 2003 with Indianapolis and Denver. The Colts won the preseason matchup in Denver before hosting the final two meetings. They dropped a game in Week 16 but won in the Wild Card round.
- Lastly, the Giants and Patriots were the last pair to do it in 2007. New England won at home in the preseason and on the road in Week 17 at the Meadowlands but ultimately lost the matchup in Super Bowl XLII.
- As per team tradition, the Packers alternate game captains each week during the regular season. For the postseason, the team elected captains.
- Players elected captains were WR Donald Driver and QB Aaron Rodgers (offense), S Nick Collins and CB Charles Woodson (defense) and LB Desmond Bishop and S Derrick Martin (special teams).
THEY'LL HAVE TO DO IT ON THE ROAD
- As the No. 5 seed, Green Bay's most likely path to the Super Bowl will be on the road.
- Green Bay finished 5-3 (.625) on the road this year and is above the .500 mark on the road in the four years under Head Coach Mike McCarthy (18-14, .563).
- Among the 40 playoff games in team history, Green Bay has played 17 true road games in the postseason, not including games at a neutral site in which Green Bay was listed as the road team. The Packers' record in those 17 games is 6-11 (.353).
- Last season, both Baltimore and Philadelphia won two road games to advance to the conference championship. However, both teams still had to play on the road in the championship round and did not advance. The 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers and 2007 New York Giants, Wild Card entrants, both won three road games to advance to the Super Bowl, and both emerged with Super Bowl titles.
- Green Bay scored 242 points on the road, a new franchise record. That total ranked No. 2 among NFL teams this season behind New Orleans (256).
- Also in road games, the Packers averaged 401.1 yards per game, another team record. That total also ranked No. 2 in the NFL behind Houston (407.4).
WEARING THE STRIPES
Today's officiating crew includes referee Scott Green (19), umpire Butch Hannah (40), head linesman Tom Stabile (24), line judge Tom Symonette (100), field judge Boris Cheek (41), side judge Larry Rose (103) and back judge Lee Dyer (27).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN THE POSTSEASON
GREEN BAY PACKERS
- A win would give the team its 26th in postseason history, third most in NFL history. Green Bay enters with 25, tied at No. 3 with San Francisco and Oakland for most all-time behind Dallas (32) and Pittsburgh (31).
- With a Green Bay victory and Baltimore loss, the Packers would own the NFL's best postseason record. Green Bay enters at 25-15 (.625), while Baltimore is 7-4 (.636).
80 DONALD DRIVER
- Has 418 career receiving yards in the postseason.
- Needs two catches to tie No. 5 Boyd Dowler on the franchise's all-time postseason list.
25 RYAN GRANT
- Has 230 playoff rushing yards in two games.
- Owns franchise postseason records for rushing yards (201) and rushing TDs (3) in a single game.
34 AHMAN GREEN
- Ranks No. 3 on the team's all-time list with 516 playoff rushing yards
- Also has 21 career catches in the postseason.