Packers-Panthers Week 13 Dope Sheet

Carolina comes to Lambeau Field for a November game for the second consecutive year as the Packers host the Panthers Sunday. One week after their most complete performance of the season against Chicago, the Packers were routed by the Saints, 51-29, on Monday night to fall one game behind in the division race. It was the team’s third consecutive loss on the road, a first under Head Coach Mike McCarthy. Packers-Panthers Game Center | Dope Sheet Gameday Information | Tickets Available



*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.

Here are some highlights from the Packers-Panthers Week 13 Dope Sheet:*

**CAROLINA (8-3) at GREEN BAY (5-6)

Sunday, Nov. 30 - Lambeau Field - 12 p.m. CST**

GREEN BAY HOSTS CAROLINA IN WEEK 13 CONTEST

  • Carolina comes to Lambeau Field for a November game for the second consecutive year as the Packers host the Panthers Sunday.
  • One week after their most complete performance of the season against Chicago, the Packers were routed by the Saints, 51-29, on Monday night to fall one game behind in the division race. It was the team's third consecutive loss on the road, a first under Head Coach Mike McCarthy.
  • Green Bay must rebound quickly – in the midst of a short practice week – if it hopes to realize its postseason aspirations.
  • The road doesn't get any easier with 8-3 Carolina, a familiar non-divisional foe. Sunday marks the 11th meeting in 13 years between the teams. Four of those games have been played in Green Bay, with the Packers holding a 3-1 advantage over the Panthers.
  • The two clubs first met in the 1996 NFC Championship Game at Lambeau Field. Antonio Freeman's go-ahead TD catch gave the Packers their first lead of the day, as Green Bay earned its first Super Bowl berth in 29 years.
  • Carolina enters the game tied for the NFC South lead with Tampa Bay. A 45-28 loss at Atlanta last Sunday snapped a four-game winning streak for the Panthers.
  • All three of Carolina's losses this season have come on the road, where it is 2-3 so far this year. The Panthers are one of three NFL clubs (N.Y. Giants, Tampa Bay) still undefeated at home.

WITH THE CALL

  • FOX Sports enters its 15th season as an NFL network television partner and will air the contest to a regional audience.
  • Play-by-play man Sam Rosen joins color analyst Tim Ryan in the booth with Chris Myers serving as the sideline reporter.
  • Milwaukee's WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since 1929, heads up the 56-station Packers Radio Network, with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (color) calling the action. The duo are in their 10th season of broadcasts together across the Packers Radio Network, which covers 47 markets in six 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 122 WTMJ feed) as part of the network's NFL Sunday Drive.
  • DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game in HD on channel 709.

275 AND COUNTING...

  • Sunday marks the 275th consecutive sellout (259 regular season, 16 playoffs) at Lambeau Field, the league's longest-tenured stadium.
  • One of professional sports' most revered stadiums, Lambeau Field is hosting its 52nd season of football. A redevelopment completed in 2003 turned it into a year-round destination for Packers fans.
  • The stadium is on pace for a single-season home attendance record this year, as well.

THE PLAYOFF PICTURE FOR THE PACKERS

  • If Green Bay is to make a return trip to the playoffs this winter, it will almost certainly have to win the NFC North division for its berth.
  • Ten NFC clubs have better records than the Packers, meaning the club would need to win perhaps all of its five remaining games in order to be in line for a wild card berth.
  • Within the NFC North, the Packers are one game behind the Bears and Vikings. A loss to Carolina Sunday would drop them two games behind the division leader, as Chicago and Minnesota square off Sunday night at the Metrodome.
  • Chicago, Green Bay and Minnesota still have two games within the division on the schedule.
  • Three of the Packers' five remaining games will come at Lambeau Field. Two of the five opponents (Carolina and Chicago) are above .500.

McCARTHY GOES AGAINST FORMER PUPIL

  • Head Coach Mike McCarthy is well-respected around the league for his ability to develop quarterbacks, and that reputation is based upon the maturation and ascension of young quarterbacks that have played for him.
  • Jake Delhomme is often one of the first quarterbacks mentioned when talking about McCarthy's days as an NFL assistant. The pair spent three seasons (2000-02) together in New Orleans during McCarthy's tenure as offensive coordinator.
  • Delhomme signed as a free agent with Carolina in 2003 and led the team to Super Bowl XXXVIII in his first year as an NFL starter.
  • He did not play against the Packers last season – veteran Vinny Testaverde got the start – after his season was ended by an elbow injury in September.
  • In two career starts against the Packers, Delhomme is 1-1. Sunday will mark his first career action at Lambeau Field.

THIRD-DOWN SUCCESS

  • The Packers converted 10-of-17 (58.8%) third downs Monday night, boosting its average on offense.
  • The Packers now rank 11th in third-down offense, having converted 67-of-153 (43.8%) opportunities. The Carolina defense is one of the league leaders on third down, allowing opponents to convert 34.7% (51-of-147). That ranks fifth in the league.
  • Green Bay's third-down defense has allowed 55-of-146 (37.7%), 13th in the NFL, and faces a Panthers offense that has struggled (35.0%, 24th) thus far on third down.
  • Aaron Rodgers is the NFL's fourth-ranked passer on third down with a passer rating of 105.8 (69-of-108, 63.9%, 908 yards).
  • Ten of Rodgers' 17 TD passes have come on third down. San Diego's Philip Rivers and Dallas' Tony Romo are the next closest passers with nine TDs on third down.

RETURNS KEEP COMING

  • DE Jason Hunter returned a fumble 54 yards for a score against Chicago, Green Bay's ninth return touchdown of the season, a Packers record.
  • The fumble return set another franchise record, becoming the seventh defensive touchdown of the season.
  • The Packers lead all NFL clubs in return touchdowns (9), defensive touchdowns (7) and interception returns for touchdowns (6).
  • "A defensive touchdown or a special teams touchdown, they're just huge momentum swings in the football game," McCarthy said. "Having (nine) this year is just a credit to the players and the extra time that they've put in, particularly in our practice structure. We emphasize it all the time, and you can just see the urgency and aggressiveness of our coverage units on special teams and defensively, when they do have an opportunity to get their hands on the ball. And we're finding the end zone, too, which is exciting. But it's definitely a big lift for you football team."
  • CB Will Blackmon has returned two punts for scores. The last Green Bay player with multiple punt returns for touchdowns in a season was WR Desmond Howard, who returned three for scores in 1996.
  • Six TDs have come on interceptions returns: three by S Nick Collins, two by CB Charles Woodson, and one from S Aaron Rouse.
  • The Packers have allowed just one return TD this season – a 38-yard fumble return by Tampa Bay.
  • With six return TDs by interception thus far, Green Bay ties Vince Lombardi's 1966 championship club for the most in franchise history. Green Bay not only has an eye on its own record books, but with five games left, league records as well.

Team, Season (INT TDs)

San Diego, 1961 (9)

Seattle, 1998 (8)

Seattle, 1984 (7)

St. Louis, 1999 (7)

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.
  • The Packers have won two in a row at Lambeau and 12 of their last 15 regular-season games at the stadium.
  • 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 finished 7-1 at home last season, 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, 100-33-0 (.752)

Denver, 98-36-0 (.731)

Pittsburgh, 96-37-1 (.720)

Kansas City, 93-41-0 (.694)

Minnesota, 90-43-0 (.676)

TURNOVER STATISTIC KEY FOR PACKERS

  • Green Bay (plus-five) stands tied for seventh in turnover ratio in the NFL. Carolina (plus-four) is tied for 10th in the NFL in the category, one of football's most important statistics.
  • Green Bay has 19 takeaways (17 interceptions, two fumble recoveries) on the season against 14 turnovers.
  • The Packers have been able to turn takeaways into points better than any other team, scoring 93 points off turnovers thus far. The Baltimore Ravens rank No. 2 with 89 points off turnovers.
  • On the other side of the ball, the team has surrendered 54 points off the 14 turnovers this year – 24 of which came at Tampa in Week 4. That point total off turnovers is the 14th highest in the NFL.
  • A rarity occurred for the Packers two weeks ago in Minneapolis: they lost a game in which they did not commit a turnover. They have now won 32 of 34 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 later this season.
  • Including playoffs, the Packers have won 35 of their last 37 games without a giveaway.

TOUGH AGAINST QUARTERBACKS

  • The more they study the Packers' pass defense, the more opposing NFL quarterbacks learn about just how well they've played thus far.
  • Drew Brees' nearly perfect QB rating Monday night meant that Green Bay no longer leads the league in opponent QB rating. The unit now ranks third in the NFL with a rating of 66.1. It ranks just behind Tennessee (64.5) and Baltimore (60.6).
  • Green Bay's defense has been able to smother potential receivers, allowing opposing signal callers to complete just 53.2% of their passes. That is the second-lowest opponent completion percentage in the league, slightly behind the Baltimore defense (52.6%) ranked No. 1.
  • In addition to holding opposing passers to a low quarterback rating and completion percentage, it has also surrendered the fifth-fewest gross passing yards at 2,188. Tampa Bay ranks No. 1 with 2,077 gross passing yards allowed.

GRANT GAINING MOMENTUM

  • Despite facing some of the league's top rush defenses this month, RB Ryan Grant has returned to the form that made him one of the league's most dangerous backs a year ago.
  • Much of the credit has been given to the offensive line, which has been allowing Grant to reach the second level mostly untouched.
  • Once he gets to the second level, Grant has done his job of breaking tackles and making defenders miss.
  • Grant ranks No. 10 among running backs with 837 rushing yards. The Notre Dame product has 216 carries on the year, sixth-most among NFL backs.
  • Bad news for the Panthers? Grant's two 100-yard efforts this season have come in his last two outings at Lambeau Field.
  • Giving Grant the bulk of the carries seems to pay dividends for the Packers. When Grant has 19-plus carries, the team is 9-1.

ANOTHER TEAM RECORD - RETURN YARDAGE

  • The Packers have 570 return yards on their 17 interceptions this season.
  • That total bests the previous high marks in team history since the 1960 AFL-NFL merger.
  • McCarthy said his team's ability to make a play after an interception is something the team has repped after every turnover in practice since he arrived in 2006.
  • The Packers had 561 return yards on 27 interceptions in 1965. The following season, they had 547 return yards on 28 interceptions. The Packers won the NFL Championship both seasons.

TOPS IN THE FREE AGENCY ERA

  • The Packers own more NFL championships (12) than any other franchise, but it's not all about past glory for the Green and Gold.
  • Talk of unrestricted free agency in the early '90s led many to believe small-town Green Bay would be the first franchise to fold.
  • This past weekend marked the 251st game since the advent of free agency in 1993.
  • Over that time, the Packers own a share of the NFL's best W-L record. They have captured seven division titles in that time.
  • The Packers have won 10 or more games in nine seasons since 1993.
  • A look at the winningest teams in the free-agency era shows eight of the last 12 Super Bowl champions, starting with Green Bay's '96 title:

Team, W-L record (Pct.)

Green Bay Packers, 157-94-0 (.625)

New England Patriots, 157-94-0 (.625)

Pittsburgh Steelers, 156-94-1 (.623)

Denver Broncos, 152-99-0 (.605)

Indianapolis Colts, 145-106-0 (.577)

Philadelphia Eagles, 137-112-2 (.549)

Kansas City Chiefs, 136-115-0 (.541)

THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:

Green Bay Packers vs. Carolina Panthers:

All-time regular season: 6-3-0

All-time, postseason: 1-0

All-time, in Green Bay:3-1-0

Streaks:The Packers have won four of the last five meetings.

Last meeting, regular season:Nov. 18, 2007, at Lambeau Field; Packers won, 31-17

COACHES CAPSULES

Mike McCarthy:27-18-0, .600, (incl. 1-1 postseason); 3rd NFL season

John Fox: 64-50-0, .561 (incl. 5-2 postseason); 7th NFL season

Head to Head: McCarthy 1-0

vs. Opponent: McCarthy 1-0 vs. Panthers; Fox 1-3 vs. Packers

MIKE McCARTHY…Is in third 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.
  • Tied franchise record for most victories by a coach in his first two seasons (21).

JOHN FOX…Is in seventh year as the Panthers' third head coach.

  • Has directed Carolina to two playoff appearances, two NFC Championship games and a Super Bowl in his six seasons.
  • Also reached a Super Bowl with the New York Giants, where he served as defensive coordinator for five seasons (1997-2001) prior to his arrival in Carolina.
  • Spent time on staff in Pittsburgh (1989-91), San Diego (1992-93), Oakland (1994-95) and St. Louis (1996).
  • Coached at seven different colleges, including the University of Pittsburgh staff (1986-88) just before McCarthy's arrival in 1989.

THE PACKERS-PANTHERS SERIES

  • Non-divisional opponents, the Packers and Panthers have met 10 times over the past 12 seasons.
  • The first meeting between the two clubs came in the 1996 NFC Championship game at Lambeau Field. The Packers overcame two early deficits to defeat the Panthers, 30-13, and earn a berth in their first Super Bowl in 29 years.
  • Two of Carolina's wins in the series carried strong implications. The Panthers registered a 33-31 win at Lambeau Field, Dec. 12, 1999. The Packers were 7-5 entering the game, and the loss launched a three-game losing streak that dropped them out of postseason contention; they finished 8-8. Then, on Nov. 27, 2000, Carolina's 31-14 Monday night win marked the Packers' last loss of the 2000 season, but their four-game winning streak wasn't enough to overcome the Panthers setback. Green Bay (9-7) missed the playoffs.
  • In 2004, the Packers registered an emotional prime-time win, 24-14, over the Panthers, then the defending NFC champion, in the season opener on Monday Night Football.

NOTABLE CONNECTIONS

Packers CB Jarrett Bush signed as a non-drafted free agent with Carolina in 2006 but was released following the team's final roster reduction...Panthers LB Na'il Diggs played for Green Bay from 2000-05 and was a college teammate of Packers DT Ryan Pickett at Ohio State...Panthers CB Chris Gamble, S Nate Salley and Packers LB A.J. Hawk were teammates on Ohio State's 2002 national championship team...Panthers DT Darwin Walker and Packers T Chad Clifton were college teammates at Tennessee, while Panthers P Jason Baker and Packers DE Aaron Kampman were teammates at Iowa...Panthers secondary coach Tim Lewis played cornerback in Green Bay for four seasons (1983-86) and is still tied for the team record for longest interception return, a 99-yard score against the L.A. Rams on Nov. 18, 1984...Add Panthers quarterbacks coach Mike McCoy to the long list of Brett Favre backups; McCoy spent the 1995 season on the Packers' practice squad...Packers wide receivers coach Jimmy Robinson and Panthers head coach John Fox spent four seasons on staff together (1998-2001) with the New York Giants; also spending time on that staff was Panthers assistant head coach/runnig backs coach Jim Skipper and Panthers secondary/safeties coach Mike Gillhamer (1998-2000)...Panthers defensive coordinator Mike Trgovac coached the Packers defensive line in 1999, when he was on staff with Mike McCarthy...McCarthy also worked with Panthers defensive line coach Sal Sunseri at the University of Pittsburgh (1989-92)...Panthers linebackers coach Ken Flajole began his NFL coaching career in Green Bay in 1998 as a quality control/defensive assistant...Packers DE Jason Hunter (Fayetteville, N.C., Appalachian State) is a North Carolina native and attended college in the state...Panthers QB Jake Delhomme was a backup for the New Orleans Saints and McCarthy was his offensive coordinator.

INDIVIDUALLY VS. PANTHERS

In seven career games against Carolina, WR Donald Driver has 23 catches for 374 yards and five TDs, his highest number of scores against a team outside the NFC North...Driver made his first NFL catch a memorable one, pulling in an 8-yard TD reception vs. Carolina on Dec. 12, 1999...TE Donald Lee posted a career-high five receptions and two touchdowns in last year's meeting, giving him three TD receptions as a Packer against Carolina, including his first catch in a Green Bay uniform, a 16-yard touchdown, at Carolina on Oct. 3, 2005...LB Nick Barnett established a career high with 21 tackles in that game...CB Tramon Williams' 94-yard punt return for a TD in last year's game is tied for the second-longest punt return in team history and marks the longest punt return at Lambeau Field by a Packers player.

LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON

  • Nov. 18, 2007, at Lambeau Field; Packers won, 31-17.
  • The Packers got on the board midway through the first quarter when Carolina K John Kasay, lined up in field-goal formation, pooched a punt that Tramon Williams scooped up and returned 94 yards for a score.
  • Brett Favre's three subsequent TD passes -- one to Greg Jennings and two to Donald Lee -- put the Packers up 28-3 early in the second half.
  • Favre finished 22-of-30 for 218 yards with the three TDs, his 62nd career game with three or more TD passes, tying Dan Marino's NFL record. Ryan Grant added 88 yards rushing on 20 carries. Carolina's Drew Carter caught five passes for 132 yards and a score.
  • The game featured the oldest starting QB matchup in NFL history, with Favre (38 years, 39 days) and Vinny Testaverde (44 years, 5 days).
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