PACKERS TRAVEL TO ST. LOUIS TO FACE RAMS
Green Bay heads to St. Louis to face the Rams one week after clinching the NFC North title. It is the 18th division crown in franchise history.
-The Packers come into the matchup winners of 15 of their last 17 games and stand in second place in the NFC by virtue of their 11-2 record.
-The team also has won seven of its last eight road contests.
-It is also coming off what could be the most balanced performance of the season. Green Bay excelled in all three phases last Sunday against Oakland. A balanced offensive attack tallied 445 total net yards (266 passing, 179 rushing), while the defense surrendered just 233 yards, its best output of the season. But perhaps its best effort came from the special teams unit, which scored twice in the division-clinching win.
-Green Bay hopes to avenge perhaps its most maddening loss of 2006, a 23-20 setback last October. On that occasion, quarterback Brett Favre had a wide-open David Martin in the end zone but was stripped by Rams lineman Leonard Little with under a minute to play in the red zone. The NFC loss became even more crushing with the 8-8 finish, as the Packers missed out on the postseason by a number of tiebreakers and mere percentage points.
-Including five contests against the St. Louis Cardinals, who played in the city from 1960-87, the Packers are 3-4-1 all-time in St. Louis. They have won only once by the Arch since Vince Lombardi left the team in the late 1960s. That victory came in 1996, when the Packers defeated the Rams, 24-9, on their way to the Super Bowl XXXI title.
-Favre has a chance to make even more NFL history this Sunday. He needs 184 yards to pass Dan Marino's all-time NFL record for career passing yards (61,361). Favre, who surpassed Marino on the league's all-time TD passes list in Week 4, will attempt to break another of the league's most hallowed records in his 251st consecutive regular-season start.
THE BATTLE FOR A BYE
In addition to playoff seeding, the Packers still have a bit of history to play for. By winning their final three contests, they can establish a new franchise record for victories (14) in the regular season.
-According to the NFL, the Packers can clinch a first-round bye under two scenarios: 1) Green Bay win and Seattle loss or tie OR a 2) Green Bay tie and Seattle loss. The Seahawks travel to Carolina to take on the Panthers Sunday at 12 p.m. CST.
-The Packers must win in order to stay alive in the race against Dallas for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
GRANT ON TOP SINCE MIDSEASON
While it struggled to get production out of its run game through the first half of the season, Green Bay has seemed to uncover a gem in first-year running back Ryan Grant.
-Grant assumed running back duties in the second quarter against Denver and responded with his first 100-yard performance. He has totaled four 100-yard performances on the season.
-Acquired in a trade with the New York Giants, Grant arrived in Green Bay just before Week 1.
-Grant earned his first career start in Week 9 at Kansas City and has started every game since. A dual threat out of the backfield, the Notre Dame product also has caught 27 passes.
-He leads all NFL backs in rushing yards since Week 8:
Running back Rush Yards since Week 8
Ryan Grant, GB 717
LaDainian Tomlinson, SD 668
Justin Fargas, OAK 648
Brian Westbrook, PHI 620
Willie Parker, PIT 617
DECEMBER IS TIME TO REMEMBER
-Whether it involves clinching division crowns, jockeying for playoff seeding or building momentum for next season, every game in December matters.
-The home stretch of the NFL calendar has proved extremely successful for the Packers over the years. Since 1997, they own the league's best mark in games played in the final month (including regular-season games played in January) at 36-12-0. New England's 33-13-0 mark ranks second.
-Head Coach Mike McCarthy moved to 5-1 in the month of December with the win over Oakland on Sunday.
WEARING THE STRIPES
Today's officiating crew includes referee Ron Winter (14), umpire Roy Ellison (81), head linesman Tom Stabile (24), line judge Tom Stephan (68), field judge Mike Weir (50), side judge Tom Hill (97) and back judge Lee Dyer (27).
The Packers travel to Chicago to take on the Bears on Sunday while St. Louis hosts the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR TODAY
4 BRETT FAVRE
-Has played in 252 straight games (272 including playoffs) and started 250 in a row (270 including playoffs), the NFL's record among quarterbacks and the second-longest recorded streak in NFL history. Only Jim Marshall (270, 1961-79) has been documented to have started more games in consecutive fashion.
-Needs 184 passing yards to break Marino's record of 61,361. Favre enters with 61,178.
uHas 40 career game-winning comebacks (fourth quarter deficit or tie), including four this season.
-Has 55 career 300-yard passing games, including seven already this season, tying his own record of seven 300-yard passing games established in 1995.
-Surpassed 30,000 road passing yards at Denver. Favre enters with an NFL record 31,082 road passing yards.
80 DONALD DRIVER
-Has a reception in 93 consecutive games, the franchise's second-longest streak behind Sterling Sharpe's 103 (1988-94).
-Needs 54 receiving yards to surpass No. 4 Boyd Dowler (6,918) on the Packers' all-time list. Driver (6,865) enters No. 5 in team history.
-Needs 64 receiving yards to tie a franchise record with 1,000 receiving yards in a fifth overall season. Only James Lofton and Sterling Sharpe have five 1,000-yard campaigns. Driver enters with 936.
-Needs seven receptions to become only the second Packers player with four 80-catch seasons, joining Sterling Sharpe (four).
-Needs six catches to become the third player in team annals to reach 500, joining Sharpe (595) and Lofton (530). Driver enters with 494.
86 DONALD LEE
-On pace to challenge the club record for catches in a season by a tight end (56) and could also break the record for receiving yards in a season by a tight end (814). Lee enters with 46 catches for 569 yards.
74 AARON KAMPMAN
-Needs 2 sacks to surpass No. 4 Ezra Johnson (41½) on the franchise list. He enters with 40 career sacks.
-Has started 71 consecutive games.
94 KABEER GBAJA-BIAMILA
-Needs ½ sack for his fifth season of 10-or-more sacks. He stands tied with Reggie White (4) for the most seasons with 10-or-more sacks.
31 AL HARRIS
-Has played in 167 straight games (157 regular season, 10 playoffs), a streak that began in Philadelphia in 1998. Since coming to Green Bay in 2003, has started all 80 games (77 regular season, 3 playoffs) as a Packer.
21 CHARLES WOODSON
-Needs one interception for 30 career.