*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-Lions Week 6 Dope Sheet. To read the full version, download the PDF by clicking here.
Here are some highlights from the Packers-Lions Week 6 Dope Sheet:*
**DETROIT (1-4) at GREEN BAY (2-2)
Sunday, Oct. 18 - Lambeau Field - 12:00 p.m. CDT
LAMBEAU FIELD PLAYS HOST TO OLD-TIME RIVALRY**
- No other NFL teams have played every year since 1932, when the Packers and the Lions, then known as the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans, began their yearly home-and-home series.
- The rivalry actually kicked off in 1930 at City Stadium in Green Bay, a 47-13 Packers win. Some two seasons later, the teams began a yearly series. Sunday marks meeting No. 160 in the all-time series.
- Now rivals in the NFC North, Green Bay owns a 86-64-7 advantage over the Lions in the regular season and have won both playoff matchups.
- Green Bay's current seven-game winning streak is the longest in the series in over 50 years, dating back to Detroit's 11-game winning streak from 1949-54.
- Longer still is Green Bay's current win streak over the Lions in the state of Wisconsin. It spans 18 consecutive games, including a 1994 playoff game, and seven Lions head coaches.
- Green Bay comes into the game rested and healthy after the bye week, its earliest bye since 1999 when it had Week 4 off.
- Under new head coach Jim Schwartz, formerly defensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans, the Lions are off to a 1-4 start. Their Week 3 victory over Washington snapped a 19-game losing skid.
- Detroit dropped a 28-20 contest to Pittsburgh at home over the weekend. The Lions head into the bye week following their Green Bay trip.
MORE ON THE STREAK
- The Packers' 18-game home winning streak over Detroit began at County Stadium in Milwaukee on Dec. 6, 1992.
- On a snowy day, the Packers took control early, scoring on their first three possessions in the eventual 38-10 victory.
- Seventeen games have been played in the state of Wisconsin since then, each resulting in a Green Bay victory.
- The teams have met late in December at Lambeau Field in each of Head Coach Mike McCarthy's three seasons with the Packers, with the last two coming in the regular-season finale. In fact, Detroit makes its first "early-season" trip to Green Bay since 2003.
- Last season, Detroit pulled to within three points midway through the fourth quarter before the Packers put them away. For the Lions, it made them the first team since the NFL expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978 to finish a season 0-16.
- Taking away the '94 Wild Card playoff win at Lambeau Field, the Packers' 17-game regular-season home winning streak over the Lions ranks second among active NFL streaks:
18, Washington over Detroit
17, *Green Bay over Detroit
14, *Dallas over Arizona
14, *Pittsburgh over San Diego
- — Green Bay defeated Detroit at Lambeau Field in 1994 playoffs; Arizona defeated Dallas at Texas Stadium in 1998 playoffs; San Diego defeated Pittsburgh at Three Rivers Stadium in 1994 playoffs.
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 Kenny Albert and color analyst Daryl Johnston will have the call from the broadcast booth with sideline reporter Tony Siragusa on the field.
- 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 91 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. Detroit Lions
All-time, regular season: ** 86-64-7
All-time, in Green Bay:26-10-3
Streaks: Green Bay has won seven straight, 15 of the last 17 meetings, and 18 straight in Wisconsin, including the 1994 playoffs
Last meeting, regular season: Dec. 28, 2008, at Lambeau Field; Packers won, 31-21
Mike McCarthy: **30-24-0, .556 (incl. 1-1 postseason); 4th NFL season
Jim Schwartz: 1-4-0, .200; 1st NFL season
Head to Head:Never met
vs. Opponent:McCarthy 6-0 vs. Lions; Schwartz 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.
JIM SCHWARTZ…Is in first year as the Lions' 25th head coach.
- Spent the past 10 years with the Tennessee Titans, including the last eight as defensive coordinator.
- Broke into the NFL as a college and pro scout for the Cleveland Browns from 1993-95 before becoming a defensive assistant coach for the Ravens after the franchise moved to Baltimore.
- Coached as a graduate assistant and then position coach at four different colleges (Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina Central, Colgate)after a playing career as a linebacker at Georgetown University.
THE PACKERS-LIONS SERIES
- No other NFL teams have played every year since 1932, when the Packers first met the Lions, then known as the Portsmouth (Ohio) Spartans.
- Including a pair of playoff clashes in the early 1990s, this week marks Game No. 160 in the venerable Detroit-Green Bay series.
- The Packers are looking for their eighth straight win in the series, which would mark the longest winning streak by either team since the Lions won 11 straight from 1949-54. The current seven-game string tops a six-game Green Bay run from 2000-03.
- The Packers have scored more points (3,295 in reg. season) against the Lions than any other franchise.
- The Packers have won 18 consecutive contests over Detroit in Wisconsin, including the 1994 playoffs. The streak spans seven Lions head coaches: Wayne Fontes (1992-96), Bobby Ross (1997-99), Gary Moeller (2000), Marty Mornhinweg (2001-02), Steve Mariucci (2003-04), Dick Jauron (2005) and Rod Marinelli (2006-08).
- The 17 straight regular-season wins in Wisconsin is second among active NFL streaks at one team's home field (Wash. over Det., 18).
Detroit defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham held the same position in Kansas City for four seasons (1995-98) when McCarthy was an offensive assistant for the Chiefs; also on staff in Kansas City were Packers strength and conditioning coordinator Dave Redding and Lions defensive line coach Bob Karmelowicz...Packers running backs coach Edgar Bennett and Lions GM Martin Mayhew were teammates for one season at Florida State...Packers strength and conditioning assistant Mondray Gee held the same position with the Lions for seven seasons (2001-07)...Packers G Josh Sitton blocked for Lions RB Kevin Smith at Central Florida. Both were drafted in 2008...Lions T Jeff Backus, T Jon Jansen, and Packers CB Charles Woodson were teammates on the University of Michigan's 1997 national championship team...Packers DE Cullen Jenkins (Belleville), WR Greg Jennings (Kalamazoo), LB Brad Jones (East Lansing) and G/T T.J. Lang (Birmingham) are Michigan natives...Lions DT Grady Jackson (2003-05), S Marquand Manuel (2006) and DE Jason Hunter (2006-08) previously played for the Packers...Jennings and Lions S Louis Delmas played together for one season (2005) at Western Michigan...Lions T Gosder Cherilus and Packers NT B.J. Raji were teammates at Boston College...Lions QB Matthew Stafford was a teammate at Georgia with Packers DE Jarius Wynn...Lions LB Jordon Dizon and Packers LB Brad Jones played the position together at Colorado...Lions LB DeAndre Levy played collegiately at Wisconsin and attended Milwaukee Vincent High School.
INDIVIDUALLY VS. LIONS
QB Aaron Rodgers has topped 300 yards passing and thrown for three TDs in each of his two career starts against Detroit. Combined, he was 45-of-69 for 636 yards with six TDs and no interceptions last year vs. the Lions, good for a 123.8 rating...WR Greg Jennings has three touchdown receptions and three 100-yard efforts in six career games against the Lions. His 167 yards against Detroit in Week 2 of 2008 is a career high...WR Donald Driver matched his career high with 11 receptions against the Lions on Nov. 10, 2002. His seven TD receptions are his most against any opponent, and his 77 catches for 984 yards are both second-most (Minnesota, 78-1,160)...LB Aaron Kampman has 7.5 career sacks against Detroit...WR Jordy Nelson caught his first NFL touchdown pass in the first meeting last season, while TE Jermichael Finley snagged his first in the season finale...RB DeShawn Wynn's 73-yard TD run in last year's second meeting is a career long...One of CB Charles Woodson's four two-interception games in his career also came in last season's first meeting.
LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON
- Dec. 28, 2008, at Lambeau Field; Packers won, 31-21.
- The Packers handed the Lions their final loss in the first 0-16 season in NFL history on a record-setting offensive day.
- For the first time in NFL history, a team had two 100-yard rushers and two 100-yard receivers in the same game. Ryan Grant and DeShawn Wynn each rushed for 106 yards, while Donald Driver had 111 and Greg Jennings 101 receiving yards.
- Calvin Johnson's two TD catches wiped out an early 14-0 deficit for Detroit and tied the game at 14. The Packers went ahead 24-14 on a 5-yard TD pass to John Kuhn, but the Lions pulled back within a field goal on a 9-yard TD run by Kevin Smith.
- The Packers sealed the game moments later as Aaron Rodgers hit Driver for a 71-yard touchdown. Rodgers finished with 308 yards passing and three TDs, totaling at least 300 yards and three TDs against Detroit for the second time on the season.
- Johnson finished with nine catches for 102 yards, giving him 15 receptions for 231 yards and four TDs against the Packers last season.
DRIVER ON THE VERGE OF HISTORY
- Already the holder of a number of franchise receiving records, WR Donald Driver is on the cusp of perhaps his most important. The 11-year veteran needs one more catch to become the Packers' all-time leader in receptions.
- Driver will resume play Sunday with 595 career catches, matching the mark established by WR Sterling Sharpe (1988-94).
- 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 (18), receiving yards (288) and touchdown catches (2).
- It's safe to assume Driver will surpass Sharpe's mark against the Lions. Driver has at least one reception in 115 consecutive games, also a Green Bay franchise record.
- And he's not slowing down, literally, either. Driver had one of the best catches of his career in Week 3 against the Rams, beating a defender for a sensational 46-yard one-handed catch.
COMING OFF THE BYE
- In games immediately following their bye week, the Packers have won nine of their last 13 games. Under McCarthy, the team is 2-1.
- In 2006, Green Bay got a hard-earned victory at Miami in scorching temperatures. McCarthy called the game a clear turning point in the season as the team collected seven of its eight wins after the bye.
- The next season, it enjoyed one of its more memorable victories in the week following the bye. In a Monday night contest, WR Greg Jennings hauled in an 82-yard TD pass on the first play of overtime to beat the Broncos in Denver.
- Last season, it fought hard and forced overtime against previously unbeaten Tennessee in Nashville. The Packers eventually dropped the game, 19-16.
- 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 53-33 (.616).
BLACKMON DONE FOR SEASON; TAUSCHER RETURNS
- The team's primary kick and punt returner, CB Will Blackmon, was lost for the season with an ACL tear at the Metrodome in Week 4.
- The team's primary return specialist, Blackmon also played on a number of special teams coverage units.
- On kick returns, the team will turn to second-year WR Jordy Nelson, who ranks fourth in the NFL with a 29.3-yard average on six kick returns in 2009. He had 11 kickoff returns as a rookie last season.
- Nelson will also get a chance to earn the team's punt return job, though he may have more competition for that. CB Tramon Williams and CB Charles Woodson both have experience at the job, while WR Brett Swain has also returned punts in preseason action the last two years.
- For Blackmon's job on coverage units and from scrimmage, it may mean the first NFL action for rookie CB Brandon Underwood. A sixth-round pick who impressed enough this preseason to make the roster, Underwood has been a healthy scratch the first four games.
- To take Blackmon's place on the 53-man roster, the team signed T Mark Tauscher, who spent his first nine NFL seasons in Green Bay.
- Tauscher has played in 122 career games, including 120 starts, with the Packers.
- While he does provide an immediate veteran presence in the locker room and film sessions, Tauscher may not be an immediate cure-all to the Packers' pass-protection woes.
- He is familiar with the offense run by McCarthy, having started 40 regular-season games over the last three seasons. However, the veteran tackle is coming off an ACL injury suffered in Week 14 last year. On top of that, he has missed all of OTAs and training camp, and it may take a few weeks for him to be back in football shape.
- Tauscher did return from an ACL injury suffered in 2002, and there is no doubting how solid a lineman he has been for the Green and Gold. In fact, it took him until his sixth season (2005) to be flagged for his first holding call in the NFL.
- An early bye week provided the Packers an opportunity to regain some of the health it began the season with.
- The team has four players it will keep an eye on this week in practice: S Atari Bigby (knee), T Chad Clifton (ankle), RB Brandon Jackson (ankle) and LB Jeremy Thompson (knee).
- Bigby, injured in the season opener, would provide a nice boost to the secondary and provide another physical presence in the box. His return would also allow S Nick Collins to play in the back end, his more natural position according to the staff.
- Saying a team would be bolstered by the return of its left tackle seems to be stating the obvious. Clifton has been a fixture on the Packers' offensive line, starting 128 games, and a pass protection unit that has struggled in his absence would welcome his return.
- Jackson has been sidelined since an ankle injury suffered in the third preseason game. The team's No. 2 running back, he had the highest average per carry (5.5) of any back last season. Thompson played in the first two games and provides depth on defense and a physical presence on special teams.
GREEN AND GOLD AND PINK
- The Green Bay Packers will recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month at Sunday's game against the Lions with Lambeau Field and Packers players prominently featuring the color pink in several ways.
- Fans will receive gold pom poms with pink strands as they enter the stadium, and then see cheerleaders (pink pompoms) and TundraLine members (pink wristbands and hats) sporting the color.
- Pink ribbon stencils will don the playing surface on Lambeau Field, along with pink wall banners, pink goal post padding, special kicking balls with pink ribbon decals, a pink coin used for the coin toss and pink sideline caps for coaches and team sideline personnel. Players will be using and wearing pink equipment, including pink cleats, wristbands, gloves, sideline caps, helmet decals, sideline towels and quarterback towels. Game officials will be wearing pink caps and pins.
- The Packers Pro Shop also will be featuring some of the special pink equipment, including the sideline caps, wristbands, pompoms, referee caps with pink ribbons, pins and pink mini-helmets. The items will be available in the Packers Pro Shop, Packers Pro Shop GameDay Store and some concession stands. All game-worn pink items will be autographed postgame and auctioned online at www.nflauction.nfl.com, with all proceeds to benefit the American Cancer Society.
'BLACK AND BLUE' DIVISION PLAY
- Green Bay plays its second consecutive division game, hosting the only division team it has yet to see on the schedule so far.
- The Packers enter Sunday with a 1-1 mark in division play, while the Lions have opened up 0-2 against the NFC North.
- The Packers will have another division game under their belt by Week 8, giving them four division opponents in their first seven games. They will finish their season series with the Vikings in Week 8 at Lambeau Field.
- The defending division champion Vikings broke a string last season of seven straight years when either the Packers or Bears won the NFC North/Central. This year, Minnesota is working against history again, trying to become the first team other than Chicago or Green Bay to win back-to-back division crowns in three decades. The Vikings were the last to do it, in the 1977-78 seasons, which concluded a string of six straight division championships for Minnesota in the Bud Grant era.
- Head Coach Mike McCarthy has always put an added emphasis on division games to his team, and it has shown over his three seasons.
- McCarthy has never lost to the Lions (6-0), continuing Green Bay's dominance over the Lions especially in the state of Wisconsin.
- Through the first five weeks of the '09 season, the Packers own the best division mark over the three-plus seasons of McCarthy's tenure at 14-6. The Packers are trailed by Chicago (13-7) and then Minnesota (11-9) over that period.
THE NEXT FOUR
- The 16-game NFL schedule allows teams to break down their season into quarters, with the Packers having recently completed their first.
- The Packers now embark upon their second quarter with the division matchup against the Lions.
- Next up, the Packers will take a trip to Cleveland (1-4). It will be Green Bay's first visit to Cleveland since 1995, the only league city the Packers haven't traveled to in that span.
- The two teams met in the preseason opener, so the Packers played against both QBs Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn.
- Green Bay then hosts Minnesota (5-0) to complete the season series, a game which will receive much fanfare as Brett Favre makes his return to Lambeau Field in Week 8.
- The Packers have defeated the Vikings in four of the last five regular-season matchups at Lambeau Field.
- The team wraps up the second quarter of the season with a trip to Tampa to play the Buccaneers (0-5). Though Tampa Bay stands winless thus far, the Packers are unlikely to overlook the road trip given the team's 30-21 loss at Raymond James Stadium last season.
- Plus, the Packers have won only once in Tampa in their last seven attempts, that coming in 2003, when the Bucs were coming off their Super Bowl triumph.
FEASTING ON THE LIONS
- Green Bay's seven-game win streak speaks to a sustained team success. And in the NFL where there is team success, individual success usually follows.
- WR Donald Driver has a chance Sunday to become the franchise's all-time leading receiver, and the Lions have been a team he has enjoyed consistent success against. His seven TD catches against Detroit is his most against any opponent, most recently a 71-yard score against the Lions in the 2008 regular-season finale.
- Driver's 77 catches for 984 yards are both second-most (Minnesota, 78-1,160) against all NFL teams.
- WR Greg Jennings, a Kalamazoo, Mich., native, also has enjoyed success against the team he grew up watching on Sundays. He has three touchdown receptions and three 100-yard efforts in six career games against the Lions. His 167 yards against Detroit in Week 2 of 2008 is a career high.
- QB Aaron Rodgers is 2-0 in starts against Detroit and has topped 300 yards passing and thrown for three TDs in both starts against Detroit. Combined, he was 45-of-69 for 636 yards with six TDs and no interceptions last year vs. the Lions, good for a 123.8 rating.
- DE Cullen Jenkins, a Belleville, Mich., native, registered his career high in tackles (7) and sacks (3) against the Lions in 2006. He has 4.5 career sacks against the Lions.
- CB Charles Woodson, who starred collegiately at Michigan, picked off three passes in two games against Detroit last season. He also had an interception against Detroit in 2006, giving him four career against the Lions.
STATE OF THE O-LINE
- Playing the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome is about as difficult a challenge as there is for an offensive line in the National Football League.
- Against a talented defensive line that features three Pro Bowl players and a solid linebacking corps, the Packers allowed eight sacks against their division rivals.
- Through four games, the team has allowed 20 sacks, most in the NFL.
- If T Chad Clifton is unable to return from his ankle injury, the team could proceed with the lineup it featured the past two games which has Daryn Colledge line up to protect Rodgers' blind side.
- Colledge has started at left tackle each of the four games Clifton has missed over the past three-plus seasons and was a four-year starter at the position at Boise State.
- The move of Colledge out to tackle slides Jason Spitz to left guard and Scott Wells to center, both of whom are familiar in the new lineup as well. Spitz has started 37 NFL games at guard, including eight on the left side. Wells served as the team's starting center the past three seasons and has 48 career starts at the position.
- If Clifton is able to return to action against Detroit, the team would slide Spitz to center and Colledge to left guard, the unit it settled on midway through training camp.
- Though the team signed T Mark Tauscher on Monday, the starter each of the last nine seasons at right tackle, McCarthy made it clear that T Allen Barbre is still the starter at the position. Barbre, who has competed for playing time in each of his first three seasons with the club, will now have to hold off the veteran once he works his way back into football shape. Just how quickly Tauscher is able to work himself back into game-ready condition will be closely watched by the medical staff.
- Detroit has collected 10 sacks on the season, led by former Packers DE Jason Hunter with two. Detroit is giving up over 113 rushing yards per game, ranked No. 21 in the league, so the Packers could look to establish the run to help offset the pass rush. That would allow QB Aaron Rodgers to take advantage of the NFL's No. 27-ranked pass defense.
COLLEDGE, SPITZ IRONMEN UP FRONT
- Good friends off the field, G Daryn Colledge and C Jason Spitz have made measurable progress in their development on it over the course of their first three seasons in the league.
- Both players were on the field for every offensive snap in 2008, with Colledge being featured predominantly at left guard and Spitz seeing time at both the center and right guard positions. They were the only two on the club to participate in every play on their side of the ball. CB Charles Woodson led all defenders with a 97.5% participation rate.
- Most impressive was that over the course of those 1,049 plays, the two linemen combined were penalized a total of two times for holding.
- Colledge was flagged against Dallas (Sept. 21) and later at Minnesota (Nov. 9), while Spitz, a powerful technician, survived the season with a clean sheet in the holding department after being called for four in 2007.
- Spitz was flagged for holding in the season-opening victory over Chicago, snapping his current streak. His last holding penalty came in the 2007 Week 14 contest against Oakland.
- While Spitz has one penalty on the season, Colledge still has a clean slate. The stat becomes all the more impressive when you consider each has switched positions in practice and games this season.
TOP 10 AGAIN
- Head Coach Mike McCarthy, the offensive play caller, has produced a unit that has achieved considerable success in his three years.
- For the third consecutive season in 2008, the unit finished among the NFL's top 10. Philadelphia and New Orleans are the only other teams to finish in the top 10 in offense each of the last three seasons.
- Even with a new starting quarterback in 2008, the Packers finished No. 8 overall with an average of 351.1 yards per contest.
- The unit finished No. 2 in 2007 (370.7 yards per game) and No. 9 in 2006 (341.1) under McCarthy.
- McCarthy spent six seasons as an offensive coordinator and play caller prior to his arrival in Green Bay (New Orleans 2000-04, San Francisco 2005). Twice the Saints ranked among the NFL's top-10 offenses.
LINEBACKERS FORM EFFECTIVE ROTATION
- With a wealth of talent at the inside linebacker position, coordinator Dom Capers and position coach Winston Moss have opted to go with a rotation in the early going.
- Nick Barnett and A.J. Hawk are the starters in the base defense. A steady and reliable player, Hawk has topped 120 tackles each season.
- 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 have been careful with his reps as he works his way back to full strength.
- Barnett saw his most action of the year in Week 4 and looks to be back at full strength, as he is second on the team with 29 tackles.
- 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. Chillar leads all players with 31 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 seven 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 did in St. Louis and to a lesser extent Minnesota. Against the Rams, he made his presence felt in the second-half action that he saw, recording four tackles, including one for loss.
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.
PRO FOOTBALL HOF LIST HAS GREEN BAY CONNECTIONS
- Headlined by all-time leading receiver Jerry Rice and all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith, the Pro Football Hall of Fame preliminary list of modern-era nominees for election to the Class of 2010 was announced. Among the list of 131 players, coaches and contributors were a number of nominees with connections to the Packers.
- WR Sterling Sharpe and S LeRoy Butler, two of the significant contributors to the Packers revitalization in the 1990s, were among the list. Sharpe, a three-time first-team All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowler, still ranks near the top of most of the Packers' all-time receiving records despite having only played seven seasons.
- Butler, a four-time first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowler, was one of the most feared defensive players of his era. Butler was named to the 1990s NFL All-Decade Team and finished his career with 38 interceptions and 20.5 sacks.
- Also on the list was the architect of those teams, former general manager Ron Wolf. Over his tenure (1992-2000), the Packers compiled the league's second-best record (92-52), recorded seven straight winning seasons and six consecutive playoff appearances, and of course emerged victorious in Super Bowl XXXI.
- More recent Packers connections on the list include outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene. Greene leads all linebackers in NFL history with 160 sacks, a number that ranks third all-time among all players. He has been a semifinalist each of the last two years.
- Also on the list of nominees was Clay Matthews, father of Packers rookie LB Clay Matthews. The elder Matthews was a four-time Pro Bowler in his 16 seasons in the NFL, and his brother Bruce is already a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame after his illustrious 19-year career as an offensive lineman.
- Other players on the list who made brief stops in Green Bay during their career include LB Hardy Nickerson (2002), DL Steve McMichael (1994), and RB/WR Eric Metcalf (2002).
WHAT 2-2 MEANS IN THE LONG RUN
- It's no secret that early success dramatically increases a team's chances to make the postseason. Though statistics can only tell so much in the National Football League, they are on the side of teams who start fast.
- Since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule in 1978, 442 teams won their opener. Of those teams, 233 went to the playoffs and 136 won division crowns. Now, compare those numbers to the 442 teams that lost the first game of the season. Of that group, only 103 went to the playoffs and only 58 captured their division.
- Coaches typically break the season into four-game quarters, and success in the first quarter greatly enhances a team's chances of making the postseason.
- Under McCarthy, Green Bay started 1-3 (2006) and 2-2 (2008) in seasons in which it did not make the playoffs. In 2007, the Packers started 4-0 when they ultimately played in the NFC Championship Game.
- Teams rebounding from slow starts isn't unheard of, especially with earning a wild-card berth being an alternate route to the postseason. Still, the stats bear out that early-season success goes a long way in determining who will play in January and February.
- A look at how important fast starts have become to an eventual playoff berth, compiled from 1990-2008:
Record through 4 games (% of teams in playoffs)
279 AND COUNTING
- Another sellout at Lambeau Field against the Cincinnati Bengals brought the consecutive sellouts streak to 279 games (263 regular season, 16 playoffs). Sunday against Detroit is expected to be No. 280.
- 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.