Packers-Cowboys Week 10 Dope Sheet

Two of the NFL’s preeminent franchises square off in an afternoon contest at Lambeau Field on Sunday. Green Bay comes into the contest off a disappointing 38-28 loss in Tampa, its second loss in as many weeks. - More Packers-Cowboys Game Center | Printable Dope Sheet (PDF)

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*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-Cowboys Week 10 Dope Sheet. To read the full version, download the PDF by clicking here.

Here are some highlights from the Packers-Cowboys Week 10 Dope Sheet:*

**DALLAS (6-2) at GREEN BAY (4-4)

Sunday, Nov. 15 - Lambeau Field - 3:15 p.m. CST

COWBOYS COME TO LAMBEAU FOR NFC SHOWDOWN**

  • Two of the NFL's preeminent franchises square off in an afternoon contest at Lambeau Field on Sunday.
  • Green Bay comes into the contest off a disappointing 38-28 loss in Tampa, its second loss in as many weeks.
  • It must rebound quickly if it hopes to remain among the NFC playoff hopefuls, and must do so against one of its old-time conference rivals.
  • After Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry turned it into one of the league's great rivalries, the Cowboys-Packers series reached another peak in the 1990s with some great playoff battles.
  • For the seventh time in the all-time series, the teams will square off at historic Lambeau Field, where the Cowboys won for the first time (1-5) in franchise history last season. Most notable among the Cowboys-Packers series at Lambeau Field was the 1967 NFL Championship, the famed 'Ice Bowl', widely considered the greatest NFL game of all-time.
  • 2009 marks the third consecutive season the teams will meet, with both previous meetings won by the Cowboys. Though the Cowboys have taken 11 of the last 13 overall meetings, the all-time regular-season series remains close, with Dallas owning a slight 12-10-0 advantage.
  • The Packers and Cowboys represent two of the proudest and most popular clubs in the NFL. They have combined for 17 NFL championships (Green Bay 12, Dallas 5) and eight Super Bowl titles.
  • Dallas comes into the game riding a four-game winning streak, most recently beating the Eagles 20-16 Sunday night in Philadelphia.
  • The Cowboys come in riding a longer streak when it comes to November games. It has won a league-best 13 of its last 15 games in the month, including a 13-1 record in games started by QB Tony Romo.

THE NFC PLAYOFF PICTURE

  • As the Packers hit the halfway point to the 2009 season, the playoff picture begins to become a little more clear after each passing week.
  • As disheartening as the loss it Tampa may have been, Green Bay (4-4) remains just one game out of an NFC Wild Card spot behind Atlanta (5-3) and Philadelphia (5-3).
  • The Packers' next stretch of three straight NFC games will go a considerable ways in their 2009 playoff push. The first two come at home against Dallas (6-2) and San Francisco (3-5), two teams it may be competing against for a postseason berth. A game in Detroit on Thanksgiving will cap the stretch, which has the team playing three games in 12 days.
  • Wild-card playoff berths are given to the conference's top two teams that do not win a division. If teams within the same division are fighting for those spots, division tiebreakers apply. Should teams be competing against teams from another division, conference record is the second tiebreaker after head-to-head matchups.
  • Green Bay can take confidence from the fact it is one of five NFL teams (New England, N.Y. Giants, Indianapolis and Pittsburgh the others) to be ranked among the league's top 10 in both offense and defense.

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 Joe Buck and color analyst Troy Aikman will have the call from the broadcast booth with Pam Oliver serving as the sideline reporter.
  • 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 123 WTMJ feed) as part of the network's NFL Sunday Drive.
  • DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game in HD on channel 714.

**THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:

Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys

All-time, regular season: **10-12-0

All-time, postseason:2-4

All-time, at Lambeau:5-1 (incl. 1967 NFL Championship, the 'Ice Bowl')

Streaks:The Cowboys have won two straight and 11 of the last 13 meetings, including three postseason games (1993-95).

Last meeting, regular season: Sept. 21, 2008, at Lambeau Field; Cowboys won, 27-16

**COACHES CAPSULES

Mike McCarthy: ** 32-26-0, .551 (incl. 1-1 postseason); 4th NFL season

Wade Phillips: 76-55-0, .580 (incl. 0-4 postseason); 8th NFL season

Head to Head:Phillips 2-0

vs. Opponent:McCarthy 0-1 vs. Buccaneers; Morris 0-0 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.

WADE PHILLIPS…Is in third year as the Cowboys' seventh head coach.

  • In 2007, became the third head coach since the NFL merger to reach 13 wins in his first season with a club. Has had only one non-winning season as a head coach.
  • Also served as head coach for the Denver Broncos (1993-94) and Buffalo Bills (1998-2000), and has now made four postseason trips overall.
  • Spent three seasons (2004-06) in San Diego as defensive coordinator.
  • Has 32 years of NFL coaching experience, including stops in Atlanta (2002-03), Philadelphia (1986-88) and New Orleans (1981-85). Phillips began coaching in the NFL under his father, Bum Phillips, in Houston from 1976-80.

THE PACKERS-COWBOYS SERIES

  • These clubs squared off in the most famous game in league history, the 1967 NFL Championship, dubbed the 'Ice Bowl.' Kickoff temperature was recorded as 13 below zero with a minus-46 wind chill, the coldest game in league annals. Bart Starr's game-winning touchdown, a 1-yard dive with 13 seconds left, sealed Green Bay's third straight championship en route to its second consecutive Super Bowl title.
  • Green Bay won 10 of the first 15 in the series, in which Tom Landry and Vince Lombardi - former assistants on the same New York Giants staff in the 1950s - turned into one of the NFL's preeminent rivalries.
  • The Cowboys' win at Lambeau Field last year was their first ever in Green Bay in six tries (1-5 all-time), but the series is just as one-sided in games played in Dallas. Green Bay has lost 12 of the last 13 games against the Cowboys in Dallas, including three postseason games. Their lone win during that time came on Christmas Eve in 1989, a 20-10 Packers victory.
  • The 2007 matchup marked the eighth time in league history that two 10-1 clubs met, just the second such instance since 1970.

{sportsad300}NOTABLE CONNECTIONS

Wade Phillips first coached in the NFL as linebackers coach in Houston, where he coached Packers GM Ted Thompson, who played 10 seasons at linebacker (1975-84) for the Oilers...Thompson is a native of Atlanta, Texas, about 175 miles east of Dallas, and attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas...Cowboys defensive line coach Todd Grantham and linebackers coach Reggie Herring coached on Houston's staff when Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers was the Texans head coach... Packers special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum recruited and coached Cowboys assistant linebacker coach/defensive assistant Dat Nguyen at Texas A&M…Slocum and Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy coached on the University of Pittsburgh staff with Cowboys running backs coach Skip Peete...Cowboys wide receivers coach Ray Sherman spent five seasons in Green Bay (2000-04) at the same position...Packers special teams assistant Curtis Fuller is a Tyler, Texas, native and attended TCU ...Cowboys QB Tony Romo is a Burlington, Wis., native, while OT Doug Free is from Manitowoc, Wis. ...Among Packers players, native Texans include K Mason Crosby (Georgetown), WR Donald Driver (Houston), TE Jermichael Finley (Diboll), QB Matt Flynn (Tyler), DT Johnny Jolly (Houston) and DE Michael Montgomery (Center)...Linebackers A.J. Hawk (Green Bay) and Bobby Carpenter (Dallas) played together at Ohio State...Packers C Scott Wells and Cowboys TE Jason Witten were college teammates at Tennessee...Packers DE Johnny Jolly and Cowboys TE Martellus Bennett were teammates for one season at Texas A&M...Bennett and Packers TE Jermichael Finley played AAU basketball together growing up in the Houston area and worked out together this past offseason...Dallas LS L.P. Ladouceur and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers were college teammates at Cal...Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick and Packers FB Korey Hall played on the same defense at Boise State for three seasons (2004-06)...Cowboys returner Allen Rossum played two seasons previously for Green Bay (2000-01) while backup C Duke Preston spent 2009 training camp with the Packers...Packers public relations intern Jonathan Butnick is a Dallas native and recent graduate of Texas Tech University.

INDIVIDUALLY VS. COWBOYS

QB Aaron Rodgers threw his first NFL touchdown pass at Dallas in 2007, to Greg Jennings, who in two career games against the Cowboys has 13 catches for 202 yards...Ryan Grant's 62-yard TD run in the 2007 game was his longest career rush until topping it three weeks later with a 66-yarder at Chicago...Donald Driver made his NFL debut in Dallas in 1999, but did not make a catch...K Mason Crosby is 5-of-5 on field goals in two games against the Cowboys, including a long of 52 yards...CB Al Harris has two career interceptions against the Cowboys, one in 2007 and the other in 2001, with Philadelphia...DE Cullen Jenkins and LB Aaron Kampman have split two different sacks against Dallas, one in 2004 (the first sack of Jenkins' career) and the other last season. They both have two career sacks against the Cowboys, getting 1.5 apiece in last year's game.

LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON

  • Sept. 21, 2008, at Lambeau Field; Cowboys won, 27-16.
  • Three big plays by the Dallas offense were the difference in the game -- a 60-yard TD run by Felix Jones, a 63-yard reception by Miles Austin to set up a Marion Barber TD run, and a 52-yard TD catch by Austin.
  • Barber finished with 28 carries for 142 yards, while Austin's two big receptions totaled 115 yards.
  • Greg Jennings had eight receptions for 115 yards for the Packers, who did not find the end zone until Aaron Rodgers' 1-yard run with 2:11 left in the fourth quarter.
  • Al Harris left the game with an injury that turned out to be a lacerated spleen, keeping him out of the next four games. Charles Woodson held Terrell Owens to just two receptions.

GREEN RUNS INTO HISTORY BOOKS

  • When RB Ahman Green left the Packers for the Houston Texans as a free agent in March 2007, few could have predicted that he would someday return to break the Green Bay franchise rushing record he was so close to surpassing.
  • After spending the 2007-08 seasons with the Texans, Green returned to the Packers prior to Week 7 and has seen action on offense and special teams the past two weeks.
  • On Sunday in Tampa, his final rush moved him past Jim Taylor to become the Packers' all-time leading rusher with 8,208 career yards. When he left as a free agent, Green was 46 yards shy of the mark.
  • It was perhaps the final rushing record to fall for Green, who already holds the franchise mark for single-game (218) and single-season (1,883 in 2003) rushing yards. His six 1,000-yard seasons is also a franchise best.
  • Green has returned to the Packers in a different role, backing up RB Ryan Grant, but has made his impact felt.
  • A reliable receiver out of the backfield, both of his catches in 2009 have gone for first downs. In addition, the 12th-year pro took a run for 26 yards up the middle against Tampa, the second-longest run by a Packers running back this season and Green's longest since Week 13 in 2006.

AMERICA'S TEAMS

  • Few franchises across professional sports operate under the microscope that the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys do, with intense, year-round media coverage and passionate, national fan bases.
  • Harris Interactive began asking fans to identify their favorite NFL team beginning in 1998, with the Cowboys and Packers routinely ranking up near the top of the polls. In fact, they are the only clubs never to finish outside the top five in the poll. Dallas has finished first five times, with Green Bay finishing first four times.
  • In March 2009, the NFL and ESPN Sports Poll released results of a study in which it aimed to determine the nation's most popular individual pro sports franchises across all sports.
  • Dallas and Green Bay finished Nos. 1 and 2, as NFL teams held six of the top 10 spots in the poll. A look at the results:

**1. Dallas Cowboys

  1. Green Bay Packers**
  1. New York Yankees
  1. Los Angeles Lakers
  1. Boston Red Sox
  1. New York Giants
  1. Atlanta Braves

ROMO RETURNS HOME

  • Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo returns to his home state of Wisconsin this weekend, a trip he made in the 2008 season as well.
  • Romo is 2-0 as a starter against the Packers, including last season's 27-16 victory over the Packers at Lambeau Field. Though he only threw for 260 yards and a touchdown, he led an offense that produced 453 total net yards. Romo and the Cowboys also defeated the Packers in 2007 at Texas Stadium.
  • His first career appearance at Lambeau Field came in 2004, when he served as the Cowboys' holder and backup quarterback.
  • He will be putting a rather impressive streak on the line against the Packers this coming weekend. With a win over Philadelphia last week, Romo improved to 13-1 as a starter in games played in November.
  • Raised in Burlington, Wis., about two and a half hours south of Lambeau Field, Romo is a graduate of Burlington High School.
  • He lettered three seasons for the Demons' football team, passing for nearly 4,000 career yards and 42 touchdowns. As a senior, he earned All-Racine County honors as a quarterback, but earned all-state honors on the basketball court.

HEALTH WATCH

  • Green Bay suffered injuries to two starters against Tampa Bay but could see a number of contributors return to action Sunday against Dallas.
  • Returning to game action for the first time since Week 14 last year, T Mark Tauscher suffered a knee sprain to his left knee, the same knee in which he tore his ACL last season. The Packers were relieved to learn Monday that the injury was not serious, and Head Coach Mike McCarthy said there was a slight chance Tauscher would be available to play against the Cowboys. Though he got the start with the No. 1 offense, he had been rotating series with T Allen Barbre before the injury.
  • Also injured was LB Aaron Kampman, who suffered a concussion. McCarthy was unsure of his status for the Dallas game.
  • LB Brandon Chillar missed the Bucs game after having surgery to repair a broken hand. There is a possibility he could wear a protective cast and play against Dallas, something the team will most likely determine over the course of the practice week.
  • Knee sprains to WR Jordy Nelson and TE Jermichael Finley, two favorite targets of QB Aaron Rodgers, have kept them out of action but will likely be tested this week in practice. Their return could provide a boost to an offensive unit that faltered down the stretch in Tampa. Finley has missed the past two games in what has been a breakout season for the second-year pro. Nelson could also give the special teams return units a boost with his abilities on kickoffs and punts.
  • FB Korey Hall (calf) and S Derrick Martin (concussion) practiced on a limited basis last week and were held out of action in Tampa. Both are core members of the special teams units, so their return could help the coverage issues that have plagued the team the last two weeks. Hall was tied for the team lead in special teams tackles before his injury, while Martin currently ranks tied for third on the team.

STAT OF THE WEEK

  • For the third time in his career, WR James Jones topped the 100-yard receiving mark, hauling in four catches for 103 yards in Tampa.
  • Jones got things started on the second play from scrimmage, taking in a deep pass from QB Aaron Rodgers and racing down the sideline for the game's first touchdown, a 74-yarder.
  • Jones became the fourth player on the Packers to produce a 100-yard receiving game this season, making Green Bay the first NFL team in 2009 to have four different players top the mark.
  • WR Greg Jennings has two 100-yard performances on the season, first in Week 1 and then Week 3.
  • TE Jermichael Finley maintains the single-game high in 2009 for receiving yards with his six-catch, 128-yard performance in Minnesota.
  • WR Donald Driver topped the 100-yard mark in Week 6 against Detroit with 107 receiving yards.
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, 1994 was the last season the Packers had four different players top the 100-yard mark.
  • WR Sterling Sharpe surpassed the mark five times that season, while WR Robert Brooks and WR Anthony Morgan topped it once. RB Edgar Bennett, the team's current running backs coach, also topped the 100-yard receiving mark in a game.

TAKEAWAYS A PLUS

  • While many football statistics don't have far-reaching implications through the early part of the season, turnover ratio is always a telling statistic when it comes to a game's final outcome.
  • The Packers' 18 takeaways ranks tied for the third-highest total in the NFL. New Orleans leads the league with 24 takeaways, while Philadelphia ranks second with 22.
  • Thanks also in part to an offense that has turned the ball over eight times, tied for the second-lowest amount in the NFL, Green Bay's plus-10 turnover ratio ranks second in the NFL behind Philadelphia (+11).
  • This week's opponent, Dallas, stands at an even zero. It has 11 takeaways (six interceptions, five fumble recoveries) and 11 turnovers (five interceptions, six fumbles).
  • Of the Packers' takeaways, 12 have come via the interception, third highest in the league. The Packers also have six fumble recoveries.
  • Of the Packers' turnovers, five have come on interceptions and three have come on fumbles. All eight 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.
  • Overall, the team has seven forced fumbles on the year (one on special teams), six of which it has recovered.
  • While the Packers can be proud of their place atop the league in turnover margin, it is a statistic that has trended upwards in each of McCarthy's three seasons.
  • In 2006, the team finished at even in the category but improved to plus-four in 2007. Last season's plus-seven margin, No. 6 among NFL teams, was the franchise's best mark since 2002 (+17).
  • Prior to McCarthy's arrival, the team had a franchise-worst turnover ratio (-24) in 2005.

GRANT AND THE GROUND GAME

  • Falling behind to Dallas last season forced Head Coach Mike McCarthy to abandon the run, as RB Ryan Grant finished with just 13 carries for 54 yards (4.2 avg.). It was a similar story in Dallas in '07, when Grant had 14 carries for 94 yards (6.7 avg.) and a score.
  • Grant is coming off a fine performance in Tampa in which he rushed 21 times for 96 yards (4.6 avg.) and a touchdown. Though he has just one 100-yard performance in 2009, Grant surpassed the 90-yard mark for the fourth time.
  • Without much fanfare, Grant's numbers rank among the leaders in the NFC. His rushing total (621 yards) ranks fifth in the conference and ninth overall in the NFL.
  • Being utilized more in the screen game this season, his 124 receiving yards through eight games is already challenging a career high, set in 2007 with 145 receiving yards.
  • His 745 yards from scrimmage ranks fifth in the NFC.
  • McCarthy has consistently stated in his time in Green Bay that the most important rushing statistic to him is attempts, and there is no doubting the team's success when the attempts are up, specifically for Grant.
  • When Grant gets 22-or-more carries, the team is 9-1 (10-1 including playoffs).
  • With veteran RB Ahman Green back in the fold, not to mention a quarterback whose feet are a weapon opposing defenses must account for, Green Bay totaled 170 net yards on the ground against Tampa. Its season high came in Cleveland, when it produced 202 net yards on the ground.
  • RB Brandon Jackson still sits at No. 2 on the depth chart and has served as the team's third-down back in his two-plus seasons.
  • As Green works his way back into football shape, not to mention Jackson who missed the first four games of the season with an ankle injury he suffered in the preseason, both could begin to spell Grant from scrimmage and keep all three backs fresh as the team makes its push to contend for a playoff spot in the NFC.
  • Traditionally the Packers have run more over the second half of the season as the weather turns. With four remaining home games, not to mention potential cold-weather games in Chicago and Pittsburgh, the offense may become a more ground-based attack.

MR. EVERYTHING FINDS THE END ZONE

  • An unlikely star has emerged for the Packers, as TE Spencer Havner has found the end zone three times.
  • When TE Jermichael Finley went down on the opening drive in Cleveland, Havner (pronounced HAY-vner) made his presence felt thanks to a 45-yard catch-and-run touchdown. It was the first TD of his career.
  • Coupled with a 62-yard scoring pass by Finley in Minnesota in Week 4, this marks the first time the Packers have had two tight ends with 45-plus yard TDs in the same season.
  • Proving just how versatile, and valuable, he is to the Packers, Havner made the tackle of Browns WR Joshua Cribbs on the ensuing kickoff. Havner ranks second on special teams with nine stops.
  • Against Minnesota in Week 8, Havner caught two TD passes in the third quarter, the first multi-TD game of his career. His three TD catches rank second on the team behind WR Donald Driver (four).
  • Havner is the type of guy all players in the locker room root for, having spent parts of the last three seasons (2006-08) on the Packers' practice squad. He played the last four games of 2008, all on special teams.
  • A decorated linebacker at UCLA, Havner spent the previous three years at linebacker before coaches had him begin practicing at tight end this past spring. During two-a-days in training camp, he would practice once with each side of the ball.
  • Havner remains on the depth chart at inside linebacker and would probably see action there in the event of an injury or two. Should he see time on defense this season, he would become the first three-way player in Head Coach Mike McCarthy's tenure.
  • "Going through the personnel in the spring, we just felt we needed to create an opportunity to get Spencer on the 53," McCarthy said. "The opportunity was created with him playing both tight end and linebacker and trying to be a core special teams player, and he definitely took advantage of that in the preseason. I thought his special teams play was definitely exemplary coming off the way he played those last three, four games when he was up on our 53-man roster to finish last season. We just felt he's an instinctive football player. He's a young man that's taken full advantage of his opportunities. You love to see guys like Spencer have success."

281 AND COUNTING

  • Green Bay's last home game against Minnesota brought the largest regular-season crowd in Lambeau Field history (71,213) and the stadium's consecutive sellouts streak to 281 games (265 regular season, 16 playoffs).
  • This weekend's game against Dallas could challenge some of those attendance records. The 2008 Cowboys game brought the then-largest regular-season crowd (71,113) in Lambeau Field history.
  • The league's longest-tenured stadium, Lambeau Field 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.
  • Across American professional sports, only Boston's Fenway Park (1912) and Chicago's Wrigley Field (1914) have longer tenures.

MEET THE NEWCOMERS

  • Of the current 53-man roster, there are only a few new faces in the Packers' locker room. 11 players are new to the team this year, while 42 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 eight 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 has made two starts at left tackle.
  • 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 signed 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 eight 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.
  • While he technically doesn't count as a returning player, RB Ahman Green has spent seven seasons in Green Bay, including the 2006 season with mostly the same offensive staff.

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 player, Hawk has topped 120 tackles in each of his three NFL seasons. He made three behind the line of scrimmage against the Browns.
  • 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 in the early going as he worked his way back to full strength. He returned to his normal work load in Week 4 and leads the team with 60 tackles. Barnett has led the team in tackles in four of his six overall seasons.
  • Brandon Chillar would provide a huge boost to the Green Bay defense if he can return from a broken hand. Chillar is one of the linebackers in the nickel package and usually covers tigth ends, an important task when going against Dallas' Jason Witten. Chillar ranks third on the team with 41 tackles and had 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.
  • Coaches used Hawk in Chillar's place in the nickel defense against Tampa Bay, so it would figure they would go that direction again if Chillar cannot go. Another option is Desmond Bishop, another talented player in the unit, known mostly for his contributions on special teams. Bishop leads the coverage units with 10 tackles.
  • McCarthy has said he'd like to see if the team can find more opportunities for Bishop from scrimmage, which is exactly what the Chillar injury presents. Against the Rams in his most extended action, he recorded four tackles, including one for loss. He had three tackles against Minnesota.

PACKERS CAN'T PUT BUCS AWAY, FALL IN TAMPA

  • Tampa Bay's first three touchdowns on Sunday afternoon came courtesy of some big plays on special teams and an interception deep in Green Bay territory, but the Buccaneers were able to put together their lone sustained scoring drive when it mattered most.
  • Rookie quarterback Josh Freeman led the Buccaneers on an eight-play, 72-yard drive to give Tampa Bay a 31-28 lead with just over four minutes remaining in the game, a lead they would keep as the Buccaneers won their first game of the season, 38-28, over the Packers in front of 62,994 at Raymond James Stadium.
  • The loss dropped the Packers to 4-4 on the season, which ties them for second place in the NFC North, three games behind division-leading Minnesota at the midway point. Green Bay now returns to Lambeau Field for games against Dallas and San Francisco the next two Sundays.
  • "It was pretty frustrating," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said of a game that saw the Packers outgain Tampa Bay in total yards, 404 to 279. "It was a different game today. Big play the second play of the game and then I come back and throw a pick. Their offense didn't do a whole lot, but I think our offense and special teams put our defense in a tough position.
  • "It was a frustrating game, very frustrating. Eight games in, we're 4-4. We've got two home games in a row. We've got to go home and get them both."
  • Sunday's game started off well for the Packers, with the defense forcing a three-and-out on Tampa Bay's opening possession of the game. After Green Bay took over at its own 20, wide receiver James Jones beat cornerback Elbert Mack down the right sideline on second down, Rodgers hit him in stride near midfield, and Jones took it the rest of the way for a 74-yard touchdown. It was the longest pass of Rodgers' career.
  • After the Packers forced another Tampa Bay punt, Mack redeemed himself, picking Rodgers' deep pass over the middle intended for wide receiver Donald Driver at the Green Bay 44 and returning it 36 yards to the Packers' 8. Freeman found running back Derrick Ward on a swing pass two plays later to even the score at 7.
  • Green Bay answered right back with an 11-play, 69-yard drive that was capped off with a 2-yard touchdown run by running back Ryan Grant. The series included a game-long 20-yard run from Grant and passes of 10 and 11 yards to wide receiver Greg Jennings and a 10-yard pass to running back Ahman Green.
  • Early in the second quarter, the Bucs evened the score with the first of a couple of key special teams plays. With Jeremy Kapinos punting from the Green Bay 41, linebacker Geno Hayes came up the middle untouched to block Kapinos' kick, and cornerback Ronde Barber scooped up the ball and returned it for a 31-yard touchdown. It was the first blocked punt the Packers had allowed since Dec. 23, 2007, at Chicago.
  • But once again, the Packers responded with a score, this time behind an eight-play, 76-yard drive that was capped off with a 32-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers down the right sideline to Driver, who beat the veteran Barber. Even with the 21 points and 233 yards of total offense for Green Bay in the first half, the Packers would have two more possessions that began in Tampa Bay territory, one at the Buccaneers' 45 and one at the 46, and both times they went three-and-out as they were unable to add to their lead. It was a trend that would carry over into the second half.
  • Holding a 21-17 lead in the third quarter, Rodgers led the offense past midfield once again, highlighted by a 21-yard completion to Jennings on third down to put the ball at the Buccaneers' 42. But on the next play, Rodgers' deep pass down the middle to Jennings into coverage was picked off by cornerback Aqib Talib.
  • The defense continued to hold Tampa Bay's offense in check, allowing just one first down and no points in the third quarter, and early in the fourth quarter the offense was able to break through with another touchdown.
  • Starting out at the Green Bay 38, Rodgers hooked up with Driver on the left sideline for 16 yards on first down, and two plays later, Green posted a 26-yard run up the middle to Tampa Bay's 18. Facing a third-and-goal from the 12 after a 6-yard sack on second down, Rodgers scrambled left, put a nifty move on defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson, and took it in for the touchdown to extend the Packers' lead to 28-17.
  • "A two-score lead, that's kind of what we were going for," said Rodgers, who finished the day 17-of-35 for 266 yards, two touchdowns and a season-high three interceptions. "I kind of felt like our defense would be able to play downhill, making them one-dimensional. Unfortunately we gave up the big kick return that kind of stole the momentum back."
  • Much like last week with momentum-shifting kickoff returns courtesy of Vikings rookie Percy Harvin, the Buccaneers answered with an 83-yard return from running back Clifton Smith to the Green Bay 17. Three plays later, Freeman found tight end Kellen Winslow in the back of the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown, and although Tampa Bay's two-point conversion failed, the Bucs had trimmed the Packers lead to 28-23, and it only took them a minute and 20 seconds to do it.
  • Green Bay picked up 25 yards on four runs to start its next possession, but Rodgers' pass over the middle on 3rd-and-5 intended for tight end Spencer Havner was broken up, and for the first time all day, the Bucs' offense responded with a long scoring drive.
  • Starting at his own 28, Freeman found Winslow for 22 yards on first down. Linebacker A.J. Hawk picked off Freeman's pass over the middle intended for Winslow on the next play, but was called for illegal contact, giving Tampa Bay a first down. Three plays later, wide receiver Michael Clayton came back on a deep pass from Freeman to make the grab over cornerback Al Harris for a 29-yard pickup.
  • The Packers forced Tampa Bay into a 4th-and-4 from the 7, but Freeman found wide receiver Sammie Stroughter on a fade route in the back corner of the end zone for the touchdown, Freeman's third of the afternoon, and the two-point conversion gave the Buccaneers their first lead of the afternoon at 31-28. Freeman completed 14-of-31 passes for 205 yards on the afternoon with one interception.
  • Green Bay still had a chance to win the game, taking possession with over four minutes to go, but the drive got off to an auspicious start when Rodgers was sacked by defensive tackle Ryan Sims on first down for a 7-yard loss, one of six times on the afternoon that Rodgers was sacked, all of them coming in the second half.
  • After a holding penalty on guard Daryn Colledge wiped out a first-down run by Rodgers, the Packers were forced to punt. Green Bay's defense was able to get the ball back for the offense, forcing a three-and-out by Tampa Bay to give the Packers one final possession with just over a minute and a half remaining.
  • But it was not to be, as another sack forced the Packers into a 3rd-and-19 at their own 4, and Rodgers' fourth-down pass intended for Driver went high and off his hands into the arms of safety Tanard Jackson, who returned the pick 35 yards for the game-clinching score.

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 in Week 6 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 (37), receiving yards (613) and TD catches (4). 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 119 consecutive games, also a franchise record. His consistency also serves as a great example for younger teammates, as Driver has rarely missed a practice in his NFL career.
  • And he's not slowing down, literally, either. Driver had another highlight-reel catch against the Browns, beating defenders down the sideline for a 71-yard scoring pass.
  • While his reputation is as a slot guy who will make the tough catch over the middle, Driver has made his share of big plays already this season. His 11 catches of 20-plus yards is tied for the NFL lead with Dallas' Miles Austin and New England's Randy Moss.

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.
  • In Week 6 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.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES & STREAKS

76 CHAD CLIFTON

  • Has played in 135 career games, including 130 starts.
  • Has started 98 of last 104 games since returning from a serious pelvic injury that ended his 2002 season.

36 NICK COLLINS

  • With four interception returns for scores in his career, matches No. 5 Johnny (Blood) McNally on Green Bay's all-time career list. With another, would match No. 2 Bobby Dillon, Darren Sharper and Charles Woodson, each of whom returned five.
  • With nine interceptions since 2008, ranks third among NFL safeties behind Baltimore's Ed Reed (11) and Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu (10).

2 MASON CROSBY

  • His 268 points from 2007-08 is the most ever by a Green Bay kicker over a two-season span.
  • Needs 121 points this season to set the NFL record for most points scored by a player in his first three seasons (Stephen Gostkowski, NE, 388, 2006-08). Has 63 points in 2009.
  • For his career, has hit 48-of-52 field goals from 39 yards-and-closer.
  • Has hit 17-of-24 field goals from 40-49 yards.
  • Has hit 7-of-15 field goals from 50-plus yards.

80 DONALD DRIVER

  • Surpassed Sterling Sharpe (595) to become the franchise's all-time leader in receptions. Driver enters with 614 career catches.
  • Also surpassed No. 3 Sharpe (8,134) on the franchise's all-time receiving yards list. James Lofton (9,656) ranks No. 1. Driver ranks No. 2 with 8,602 career receiving yards.
  • Has a reception in 119 consecutive games, besting the franchise's previous long streak of Sharpe's 103 (1988-94).
  • His 11 catches of 20-plus yards is tied for the NFL lead with Dallas' Miles Austin and New England's Randy Moss.
  • In 2008, became the first player in franchise history with 1,000 receiving yards in a sixth overall season. Lofton and Sharpe each had five 1,000-yard campaigns.
  • Extended another Packers record by recording his fifth consecutive season (2004-08) with 1,000 receiving yards.
  • For the seventh time had 50-plus receptions in 2008, tying a franchise record. Lofton and Sharpe each had seven seasons with 50-plus catches. Driver (37 catches) is on pace to eclipse the mark for an eighth season.
  • Is the all-time leading receiver at Lambeau Field, with 4,131 career receiving yards at the stadium.
  • Also is Lambeau Field's all-time leader in receptions with 296.
  • Stands at No. 3 with 18 touchdown receptions at Lambeau Field. Antonio Freeman (36) ranks first in the stadium's history, while Sharpe (20) is No. 2.
  • Has 21 career 100-yard receiving games, No. 4 in team history. Needs three more games to equal No. 3 Don Hutson (24) on the all-time list.
  • With 47 career TD receptions, joins Hutson (99), Sharpe (65), Freeman (57), Max McGee (50), Lofton (49), Billy Howton (43) and Boyd Dowler (40) as the only Packers with 40 career TD catches.
  • Ranks fourth all-time in yards from scrimmage with 8,819. Driver needs 894 yards to move past No. 3 Jim Taylor (9,712).

88 JERMICHAEL FINLEY

  • His 15.3-yard average per catch ranks tops among NFL tight ends.
  • Tied a franchise record for receiving yards by a tight end (Jackie Harris, 128, Oct. 10, 1993, vs. Denver) with 128 receiving yards in Week 4.
  • His 62-yard touchdown was the longest reception by a tight end since 1993 (Jackie Harris, 66t, Oct. 10, 1993).

25 RYAN  GRANT

  • Enters with 2,780 career rushing yards.
  • With 1,200 yards this season, would become only the third player in franchise history to post back-to-back seasons of 1,200-plus rushing yards (Ahman Green, 2001-03; Jim Taylor, 1961-62).
  • Became the eighth back in franchise history to surpass 1,000 yards in a season in 2008, making it the 20th such season by a running back in Packers history.
  • In his first two NFL seasons, totaled 2,159 rushing yards. That ranked eighth among all NFL players over that period.
  • Has 10 100-yard games in his career.
  • When he gets 22 carries or more, the team is 9-1 (10-1 incl. playoffs).
  • Established a new career-high at Minnesota in Week 4 with 50 receiving yards.

34 AHMAN GREEN

  • Surpassed Jim Taylor (8,207 yards) to become the franchise's all-time leading rusher. Green enters with 8,208.
  • Also surpassed Taylor (1,811 attempts) for the franchise mark in career carries. Green has 1,818 career attempts.
  • His 10,938 yards from scrimmage also is a franchise best.

31 AL HARRIS

  • Has 120 career starts.
  • Needs to return one interception for a touchdown to tie No. 7 Charley Brock, Doug Hart and Ken Ellis (all with three) on Green Bay's all-time career list. With a second TD on an interception, would match No. 5 Johnny (Blood) McNally and Nick Collins (4).

50 A.J. HAWK

  • Has played in all 56 games in his career, including 54 starts.
  • Tallied over 120 tackles in each of his first three seasons.

85 GREG JENNINGS

  • His 15 catches of 40-plus yards from 2007-08 was tops in the NFL. He has three so far in '09.
  • With 1,200 yards receiving, would become just the fourth player in franchise history to post 1,200 receiving yards in back-to-back seasons (Sterling Sharpe, 1992-93; Antonio Freeman, 1997-98; Donald Driver, 2005-06).
  • Had 103 receiving yards in Week 3, his 11th career 100-yard game.
  • In Week 3, surpassed 3,000 career receiving yards in his 46th career game. Surpassed 2,000 career receiving yards in 2008 at Tampa Bay, his 31st career game. He now has 3,342 career yards.
  • Surpassed 1,000 career receiving yards on the 82-yard, game-winning touchdown catch in OT vs. Denver in 2007, his 19th career game.

74 AARON KAMPMAN

  • With 53 career sacks, is No. 4 on the team's all-time sacks list. Needs three more to move past No. 3 Tim Harris (55).
  • In 2008, became the fourth player to record 50 sacks with the Packers, joining Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila (74½), Reggie White (68½) and Harris (55).
  • Has made 85-plus tackles for four straight seasons.
  • Has started 97 of the last 98 games, only missing the 2007 regular-season finale to rest for the playoffs.

86 DONALD  LEE

  • With 15 career touchdowns, matches No. 5 Ron Kramer (15) on the franchise's all-time tight ends list.

12 AARON RODGERS

  • His 155.4 passer rating at Cleveland in Week 7 was the franchise's highest single-game total (min. 20 attempts), besting Brett Favre's 154.9 rating set in Oakland on Dec. 22, 2003.
  • Registered a passer rating over 110.0 in four consecutive games (Weeks 3-7), becoming just the second quarterback in franchise history (Bart Starr, 1966) to accomplish the feat in a single season.
  • In 24 career starts, has eclipsed a 100.0-plus passer rating 13 times.
  • Has six career 300-yard games and six 3-TD games.
  • Became the second player in NFL history to surpass 4,000 yards passing in the same season in which he made his first career start. Kurt Warner (4,353) accomplished the feat during his MVP season in 1999.
  • With another 4,000-yard season, would become the first player in NFL history to post 4,000 yards passing in each of his first two seasons as a starter.
  • Became the fourth player in Packers history to surpass the 4,000-yard mark, joining Lynn Dickey (1), Brett Favre (5) and Don Majkowski (1).
  • Among quarterbacks in the NFL in 2008, ranked fourth in passing yards (4,038), fourth in touchdowns (28), sixth in QB rating (93.8), 10th in completion percentage (63.6%), tied for fifth in 20-plus yard passes (48) and tied for first in 40-plus yard passes (16).
  • His four rushing touchdowns in 2008 were the most by a Packers quarterback since Don Majkowski (5) in 1989.
  • Became the first quarterback other than Brett Favre to start a Packers game since Don Majkowski, Sept. 20, 1992.

38 TRAMON WILLIAMS

  • Established career highs in 2008 in nearly every statistical category, including tackles (52), interceptions (5) and passes defensed (14).

21 CHARLES WOODSON

  • Has 40 career interceptions, 23 in 54 games since coming to Green Bay in 2006. Woodson had 17 interceptions in 106 games with Oakland.
  • Is tied for second in interceptions in the NFL since 2006 with 23 (Asante Samuel - PHI, 25; Ed Reed - BAL, 23).
  • With five interception returns for scores, matches No. 2 Bobby Dillon and Darren Sharper on Green Bay's all-time career list. Needs two more to match No. 1 Herb Adderley (seven).
  • With six defensive touchdowns as a member of the Packers (five interceptions, one fumble return), is No. 3 on the team's all-time list. Needs one more to match Adderley and Sharper with seven atop the list.
  • His five interception-return TDs since 2006 is the most in the league during that span.
  • With seven interceptions in 2009, would become only the second player in franchise history to post at least seven interceptions in three different seasons (Dillon, 1953-57).
  • With two interceptions against Cincinnati, recorded the fourth multi-interception game of his career. Three have come with Green Bay.
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