*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-Rams Week 3 Dope Sheet. To read the full version, download the PDF by clicking here.
Here are some highlights from the Packers-Rams Week 3 Dope Sheet:*
**GREEN BAY (1-1) at ST. LOUIS (0-2)
Sunday, Sept. 27 - Edward Jones Dome - 12 p.m. CDT
PACKERS, RAMS FACE OFF IN ST. LOUIS**
- Green Bay looks to get back to its winning ways this Sunday as it travels to St. Louis to take on the Rams in their home opener.
- The Packers lost a disappointing contest last weekend to the Bengals, 31-24, in which none of its three phases performed up to standard.
- Now, it takes to the road to try and earn a victory and get another step closer to its goal of a fast start to the 2009 season.
- Green Bay has considerable history with the Rams franchise, dating back to its days in Cleveland (1937-45) and Los Angeles (1946-94). Sunday marks the 89th all-time regular-season meeting between the two teams, with the Rams holding a slight 45-41-2 edge in the series.
- Including five contests against the St. Louis Cardinals, who played in the city from 1960-87, the Packers are 4-4-1 all-time in the city. They have won just twice by the Arch (1996, 2007) since Vince Lombardi left the team in the late 1960s.
- True to the close nature of the all-time series, the teams have split the last eight meetings, which included the 2001 NFC Divisional playoff game won by St. Louis. Green Bay won the only other postseason meeting between the two teams, the 1967 Western Conference Championship. The Packers went on to win the famed 'Ice Bowl' the following week and Super Bowl II weeks later.
- Under new head coach Steve Spagnuolo, the Rams are still searching for their first win of the '09 campaign. Head Coach Mike McCarthy has faced Spagnuolo twice during his tenure as defensive coordinator of the New York Giants. The Packers defeated the Giants in Week 2 of the 2007 season but dropped the NFC Championship Game later in the year.
- St. Louis lost the season opener 28-0 in Seattle and then dropped another contest on the road, 9-7, in Washington on Sunday.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
- Green Bay makes its first road trip of 2009 to St. Louis, a city where it is 2-1 all-time in regular-season meetings.
- Historically, Green Bay has performed well as a franchise in road openers. Its 50 wins in road openers are the most in NFL history. The New York Giants own the league's second-best mark at 48-32-5.
- Head Coach Mike McCarthy has contributed to that history, winning the road opener in each of his three years at the helm.
- The three straight victories in road openers is the NFC's longest active streak. Only Indianapolis (five) has a longer streak.
- Twice those victories have come in Detroit. McCarthy got his first career win as a head coach in 2006 in Detroit, a 31-24 victory in Week 3. Last season, Green Bay used a huge fourth quarter to defeat the Lions 48-25 in Week 2.
- In 2007, the team routed the Giants in New York, 35-13, in Week 2.
- The Packers hope to continue that success Sunday in St. Louis, a site where they earned a road victory in 2007. In three seasons under McCarthy, the team is 13-11 on the road.
WITH THE CALL
- The Packers make their first appearance of the 2009 season on FOX Sports, now in its 16th season as an NFL network television partner. The network will air the contest to a regional audience.
- Play-by-play man Chris Myers and color analyst Trent Green will have the call from the broadcast booth.
- 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 113 WTMJ feed) as part of the network's NFL Sunday Drive.
- DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game in HD on channel 711.
THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:
**Green Bay Packers vs. St. Louis Rams
All-time regular season:** 41-45-2
All-time, postseason: 1-1
All-time, in St. Louis: 2-2-0 (incl. Rams' 2001 NFC Divisional playoff victory)
Streaks: The teams have split the last four regular-season games.
Last meeting, regular season: Dec. 16, 2007, at Edward Jones Dome; Packers won, 33-14
Mike McCarthy: 29-23-0, .557 (incl. 1-1 postseason); 4th NFL season
Steve Spagnuolo: 0-2-0, .000; 1st NFL season
Head to Head: Never met
vs. Opponent: McCarthy 1-1 vs. Rams; Spagnuolo 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.
STEVE SPAGNUOLO…Is in first year as the Rams' 25th head coach.
- Was defensive coordinator of the N.Y. Giants in 2007-08, leading the defense that helped defeat the Packers in the 2007 NFC Championship and ultimately upset the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
- Previous spent eight seasons as a defensive assistant for the Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2006).
- Coached collegiately at six different schools from 1982-97, the final two stops being Rutgers and Bowling Green.
THE PACKERS-RAMS SERIES
- These clubs first met in 1937, when the NFL launched its long relationship with the city of Cleveland. The franchises met every year from 1937-71 except 1943, when the Rams didn't field a team.
- Beginning in 1946, when the Rams moved from Cleveland to Los Angeles, these foes consistently played their Wisconsin games early in the year (before cold weather set in) and their warm West Coast games late in the year.
- Including five contests against the St. Louis Cardinals, who played in the city from 1960-87, the Packers are 4-4-1 all-time in St. Louis. They have won only twice by the Arch (1996, 2007) since Vince Lombardi left the team in the late 1960s.
- The series has been even lately, with the teams splitting the last eight contests, including the Rams' 2001 win in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. Previously, the Packers had won three meetings in a row (1992-95).
As an NFL rookie in 2000, Rams QB Marc Bulger spent training camp in New Orleans working with Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy, who was in his first training camp as the Saints' offensive coordinator... Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo was on Philadelphia's coaching staff for four of Packers cornerback Al Harris' five seasons with the Eagles, and was his position coach for two of them (2001-02)...Rams assistant coaches who previously have worked in Green Bay include WR coach Charlie Baggett (1999), RB coach Sylvester Croom (2001-03), defensive coordinator Ken Flajole (1998), and strength coach Rock Gullickson (2006-08). Rams assistant to head coach/football operations Bruce Warwick also spent six seasons (2000-05) with the Packers...Packers defensive line coach Mike Trgovac and Rams linebackers coach Paul Ferraro coached together on the Carolina staff...Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur is the nephew of the late Fritz Shurmur, the former Packers defensive coordinator...Packers outside LB coach Kevin Greene was a fifth-round selection of the Los Angeles Rams in 1985 and played the first eight seasons (1985-92) of his career there. He ranks second in franchise history with 72.5 sacks...Packers NT Ryan Pickett played his first five NFL seasons (2001-05) in St. Louis, while LB Brandon Chillar played his first four seasons with the Rams (2004-07). Both signed as free agents with Green Bay...Rams LB Paris Lenon played four seasons for the Packers (2002-05), WR Ruvell Martin played three (2006-08), RB Samkon Gado played one (2005), and S Anthony Smith was in training camp with Green Bay this past summer...Packers LB Nick Barnett and Rams RB Steven Jackson were teammates at Oregon State...Packers CB Charles Woodson and Rams DE James Hall were defensive teammates on the University of Michigan's 1997 national championship team...Packers T Chad Clifton and Rams DE Leonard Little were teammates at Tennessee, while Packers RB Brandon Jackson and Rams G Richie Incognito were teammates at Nebraska...Packers LB A.J. Hawk was a senior at Ohio State when Rams LB James Laurinaitis was a freshman in 2005...Packers TE Donald Lee and Rams TE Randy McMichael were teammates with the Dolphins...Rams WR Derek Stanley played collegiately at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and is originally from Verona, Wis., near Madison.
INDIVIDUALLY VS. RAMS
WR Donald Driver has 18 receptions for 242 yards and a touchdown against the Rams in four career games...In two career contests, WR Greg Jennings has nine catches for 171 yards and two TDs, of 46 and 44 yards in length...S Atari Bigby had two interceptions and LB Nick Barnett had two sacks, both career highs, in the 2007 meeting.
LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON
- Dec. 16, 2007, at Edward Jones Dome; Packers won, 33-14.
- The Packers earned a first-round playoff bye for the first time since 1997 with the win, which featured QB Brett Favre surpassing Dan Marino for the most passing yards in NFL history on a 7-yard pass to Donald Driver in the fourth quarter.
- Donald Lee and Greg Jennings each caught a TD pass, while Ryan Grant ran for one and Mason Crosby was 4-of-4 on field goals, three of them from 44 yards or longer.
- For the Rams, Steven Jackson rushed 24 times for 143 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown that tied the game early in the second quarter at 14.
- The Packers sacked Rams QB Marc Bulger four times and intercepted him twice. Nick Barnett had two of the sacks, with A.J. Hawk and Aaron Kampman getting the others. Atari Bigby had both INTs.
HEALTH WATCH AND LINEUP CHANGES
- The most signficant injuries suffered against Cincinnati were by T Chad Clifton (ankle) and S Nick Collins (clavicle).
- Clifton's injury appeared serious at first as he was carted off the field early in the second half. X-rays on the ankle were negative, though Head Coach Mike McCarthy said the team will not know more about his status until Wednesday as they see how the ankle responds.
- Clifton has been a fixture on the Packers' offensive line during his time in the NFL, starting 128 games at the left-tackle spot. Since returning from a serious pelvic injury that ended his 2002 season, he has started 96 of 98 games, missing two ('06 at Miami, '08 at Tennessee) due to illness.
- Though the team will certainly keep a close eye on Clifton's progress, McCarthy said the team is preparing as though the 10th-year pro will not be in the lineup Sunday.
- McCarthy seemed more optimistic about Collins, who suffered his injury in the second quarter underneath a pileup. McCarthy and the medical staff will make a more informed decision on Collins and his potential practice schedule on Wednesday. The other safety injured in the contest, Aaron Rouse with a neck stinger, is being counted on to return.
- The team is already without the services of S Atari Bigby, who suffered a knee injury in Week 1 and will be out for an extended period. CB/S Jarrett Bush filled in for Collins against the Bengals and will be counted on heavily if Collins is unable to play. The only other safety on the roster, Derrick Martin, has been with the team only two weeks after being acquired from Baltimore in a trade. His learning curve could be quick with his familiarity with the 3-4 defense, and he could be called upon to spell Bush and Rouse.
- In addition to Clifton, both RB Brandon Jackson and NT B.J. Raji are trying to return from ankle injuries. Raji, injured in the preseason finale, practiced last week but did not return to game action. If he is able to show coaches he is back to full strength during the practice week, his NFL debut could come in St. Louis. Jackson has not returned to the practice field since suffering his injury in the third preseason game.
- Mike McCarthy, like all NFL coaches, stresses the importance of getting out to a quick start in the early portions of the 2009 schedule in order to springboard the team to greater successes.
- This offseason, one of the main goals was an added emphasis on starting fast – literally – in the first quarter through an increased tempo at the line of scrimmage and ultimately more point production.
- The Packers produced a total of 13 points (one TD, two FGs) on their first offensive possessions a year ago, second fewest among all NFL teams (Detroit, 10). Despite ranking No. 5 in total scoring (419 points) in 2008, the Packers produced their lowest output (61 points) in the first quarter. That total ranked tied for 20th.
- That emphasis appeared to be paying off in the preseason, as QB Aaron Rodgers led an offense that scored touchdowns on nine of 13 possessions as he registered an NFL-best 147.9 quarterback rating.
- Not to be outdone, the defense finished its preseason action with 13 takeaways (eight interceptions, five fumbles) and 12 sacks.
- With the third preseason game being as close to a dress rehearsal as there is in the NFL, Green Bay's starters stormed out of the gates in a road contest against defending NFC champion Arizona, building a 38-10 halftime advantage. All told, Green Bay's starters outscored opponents 76-13 in just over six quarters of play.
- Thus far, only the defense seems to be translating to the regular season. It has five first-half interceptions thus far, including one returned for a score by CB Charles Woodson.
- The offense has produced 24 first-half points, but has struggled to gain any sustained momentum in the first half. It gained just 104 net yards against Chicago and 113 against the Benglas.
O-LINE LOOKS TO REBOUND
- After rough outings in the first two weeks, the offensive line will look to get back on track against the Rams.
- With an injury to T Chad Clifton, McCarthy indicated the team would most likely opt to go with the lineup it finished with against the Bengals.
- That is one that slides C Scott Wells back into the starting lineup, moves Daryn Colledge out to left tackle and C Jason Spitz to left guard. Colledge has started at left tackle each of the two games Clifton has missed over the past three seasons and was a four-year starter at the position at Boise State.
- Spitz and Wells are both familiar in the new lineup as well. Spitz has started 35 NFL games at guard, including six on the left side. Wells served as the team's starting center the past three seasons and has 46 career starts at the position.
- What has been most troubling about the early-season woes has been the pressure allowed. Green Bay has already surrendered 10 sacks on the season, the most over the first two weeks of the season since 1992.
- Perhaps the St. Louis Rams come on the schedule at the right time. Thus far, the team has generated one sack in two games, tied for the second lowest output in the NFL thus far. Dallas is the only team without a sack in 2009.
- Green Bay's offensive unit could also use some more production from its running game. Thus far, the team's running backs have combined for 115 yards on 33 carries, or 3.48 yards per rush.
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 has 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.
DON'T CHALLENGE THE PACK
- Bears coach Lovie Smith challenged two plays (CB Tramon Williams' interception return, fake punt) in Week 1 and lost both of them.
- Opponents were just 1-for-8 in challenges against Green Bay last season, meaning they have been successful just once in their last 10 tries.
- McCarthy has lost its only challenge of the season thus far, challenging whether Bengals QB Carson Palmer crossed the plane on a first-half touchdown run in Week 2.
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 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).
PROTECTING THE FOOTBALL
- Much has been made of the early-season struggles by the offensive line, which has allowed QB Aaron Rodgers to be sacked 10 times and take a number of other punishing blows.
- But even under heavy duress, Rodgers has been careful with the football and in his decision-making.
- He has not thrown an interception in his last 125 attempts. That is the second-longest streak among active QBs (Todd Collins, WAS, 203) and longest among starting signal-callers.
- With perhaps another game or two, Rodgers can begin to approach some of the all-time franchise marks.
- His own personal best was set last year, when it wasn't until the fourth game of the season that he threw an interception. That snapped a streak of 157 consecutive passes without an interception, a streak that began in 2005 and is the third-longest in team history.
- Bart Starr holds the franchise record with an astounding 294 straight passes without an interception, second-most in NFL history.
- Brett Favre stands at No. 2 on the team's all-time list with 163 consecutive passes without an interception.
- The interception-free streaks have come in bunches in the McCarthy tenure. Much credit must be given to McCarthy, who works closely with those under center, and quarterbacks coach Tom Clements.
- In addition to Rodgers' current streak and his 157-pass streak last season, Favre had two of the longest streaks of his career under the duo in 2007. Early in the season, he had a 142-pass streak (third longest of his career) and followed up with a 139-pass streak (fourth) later in the season.
- Each season, the NFL compiles the number of miles each team will travel during the season, including preseason trips.
- Green Bay's first road trip of the regular season, a short trip to St. Louis, will cover just under 500 miles, a relatively quick flight by NFL standards.
- The Packers' longest trips will be to Tampa and Phoenix, the latter of which also was a trip in the preseason.
- All collected, the team will fly 12,260 miles according to numbers compiled by the NFL league office.
- That total is the fourth-lowest mileage total among the 32 teams in 2009. Perhaps not surprisingly, five West Coast clubs head the list when it comes to logging miles through the air this season: Seattle (29,054), San Francisco (29,020), San Diego (28,628), Arizona (27,840) and Oakland (27,232).
WOODSON AND JENKINS PERFORMING AT ELITE LEVEL
- It's hard to imagine getting off to a better start than two veteran leaders of the defense have: DE Cullen Jenkins and CB Charles Woodson.
- Jenkins, who played both inside and outside in the old-scheme, seems to be thriving in his new position at end in the 3-4. Thus far, Jenkins has eight tackles and leads the team in tackles for loss (4) and sacks (2.0). He also has the team's only forced fumble.
- Certainly the loss of Jenkins last season to a season-ending pectoral injury had a lot to do with the defensive failures that plagued the team toward the end of the year. Stout enough to hold the point against the run and adeptly quick at getting past lineman in pass-rush scenarios, it's no doubt Jenkins is one of the most talented players on the defensive side of the ball.
- Perhaps it just runs in the family, as older brother Kris is a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro currently playing for the New York Jets.
- Woodson, who has also had to make an adjustment from playing man-to-man style to one that involves more reading of the quarterback, also is thriving in the new scheme.
- Matched up against TE Greg Olsen in Week 1, Woodson limited one of Chicago's biggest offensive threats to just one catch for eight yards.
- Last weekend against the Bengals, Woodson recorded his fourth career multi-interception game, his third since coming to Green Bay in 2006.
- He raced one of the interceptions 37 yards for a touchdown, his fifth interception return for a score since coming to Green Bay. That number ties him with No. 2 Bobby Dillon and Darren Sharper on the team's all-time list. Woodson now has 38 interceptions for his career, 21 of which have come in Green and Gold.
FAMILIAR FACES SQUARE OFF IN ST. LOUIS
- Two former Rams, NT Ryan Pickett and LB Brandon Chillar, return to the city where they got their start in the National Football League.
- Pickett, a first-round selection (No. 29) by the Rams in 2001, played five seasons in St. Louis. While with the Rams, he appeared in 75 games including 59 starts, becoming a full-time starter in his second season.
- Twice he tallied over 100 tackles in a season, including a career-high 115 in 2005. That total was tops among all NFL defensive linemen. During his time with the Rams, he helped lead the team to three postseason appearances (2001, '03, '04).
- Chillar was a fourth-round selection (No. 130) by the Rams in 2004 and spent his first four seasons with the club. A part-time starter his first two years, Chillar started for the club in 2006-07. He appeared in 63 games, including 40 starts, while with St. Louis.
- The Rams have four players on the roster with experience in Green Bay. WR Ruvell Martin signed with the team after being released by the Packers in the final roster reduction. Both Head Coach Mike McCarthy and General Manager Ted Thompson reflected on what a tough decision it was because of what Martin had meant to the team on the field, in the locker room and in the community.
- Having been through roster cutdowns before with San Diego, and having dominated the competition in NFL Europe, Martin stuck with the Packers in 2006 against tall odds.
- A popular player in the locker room, Martin appeared in 41 games, including nine starts, with the Packers. Serving mostly as the team's No. 5 receiver, he totaled 52 catches for 749 yards and six scores over his three seasons (2006-08) with the team.
- Also on the Rams is linebacker Paris Lenon, who spent his first four NFL seasons (2002-05) in Green Bay. He saw action in all 16 games each season, including 16 career starts.
- S Anthony Smith spent training camp in Green Bay this past summer, while RB Samkon Gado (2005-06) also spent time with the Packers.
TAKEAWAYS A PLUS
- While many of the stats don't look pretty through two weeks for the Packers, they do rank atop the league in turnover ratio, a stat they'd like to stay near the top of all season.
- 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. Thus far in 2009, the team has only one fumble.
- For defensive players, the drill keeps the focus on stripping the ball from opposing players.
- The team has only one forced fumble on the year, as its takeaways so far have all come via the interception, of which it has six.
- While the Packers can be proud of their hold atop the turnover margin league standing at plus-five, the statistic isn't always as telling as some may portend it to be.
- Green Bay finished with a plus-seven margin a year ago, No. 6 among all teams and the franchise's best mark since 2002 (+17).
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).
- 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 last season, 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 Week 3 contest vs. Dallas (71,113) set a new regular-season attendance record.
RECORDS KEEP FALLING FOR DRIVER
- Already the owner of a number of franchise receiving records, WR Donald Driver moved closer to a few others Sunday against Cincinnati.
- Driver (8,127 career yards) needs eight receiving yards to surpass No. 2 Sterling Sharpe (8,134) on the franchise's all-time list. With his first catch against the Bears in Week 1, Driver moved past Don Hutson (7,991) and into third place. He will still have a ways to go to match No. 1 James Lofton (9,656).
- Already the record holder for receptions and receiving yards at Lambeau Field, Driver (587) needs nine catches to surpass No. 1 Sharpe (595) on the team's all-time receptions list.
- Proving he has been one of the most consistent receivers in the decade, Driver recorded his fifth consecutive, and sixth overall, 1,000-yard campaign last year. Both are franchise records.
- Driver and Indianapolis' Reggie Wayne are the only receivers with 1,000-yard seasons in each of the last five years (2004-08). A look at the NFL's most productive receivers over that span:
Player - Yards (Receptions)
Reggie Wayne, IND - 6,230 (432)
Chad Ochocinco, CIN - 6,055 (425)
Larry Fitzgerald, ARI - 5,975 (426)
Torry Holt, JAX - 5,876 (446)
Donald Driver, GB - 5,784 (418)
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.
- With both sliding to new positions for Week 3, there will be even more need for them to continue to perform at a high level in both pass protection and making calls and checks at the line.
FINLEY AND LEE FORM 1-2 COMBO
- Every preseason, a number of emerging young players or surprising rookies jump out immediately when game action begins.
- On the offensive side of the ball, it was hard to ignore the emergence of second-year TE Jermichael Finley. His team-high nine receptions in the preseason showcased his ability to separate from linebackers and safeties and his abilities in the open field. An athletic specimen at 6-foot-5 and 247 pounds, Finley turned down an opportunity to play college basketball at Arizona in order to play tight end at Texas.
- "He's definitely a weapon for us," McCarthy said. "We felt that last year, just the way we were able to utilize Jermichael the last couple games of the season, and now he's able to do the full gamut. He's another young player that looks like he's ready to take off."
- Finley entered the draft after his redshirt sophomore season with the Longhorns, meaning he was just 21 years old
his entire rookie season. Whether it be his highlight-reel catches or vastly improved blocking, Finley is a prime example of a young player who is ready to take the leap after spending an entire offseason in the NFL.
- The emergence of Finley has only pushed TE Donald Lee's game, giving the Packers solid depth at the position.
- Lee, the unit's primary starter each of the last two seasons, might be one of the more unheralded players at the position across the NFL. His numbers in 2007-08 (87 catches, 878 yards, 11 touchdowns) prove as much.
TAKEAWAY POINTS KEY FOR PACKERS
- Green Bay continued to show its knack for the takeaways against the Bears and Bengals with six total interceptions, which it has turned into 21 points over two games. Most important is turning those turnovers into points.
- Last season, the Green Bay defense led the NFL in defensive touchdowns (7) and interception returns for touchdowns (6).
- Green Bay (plus-seven) finished with the sixth-best turnover ratio in the NFL, its best finish under Mike McCarthy.
- Green Bay had 28 takeaways (22 interceptions, six fumble recoveries) on the season against 21 turnovers (13 interceptions, eight fumbles). The 21 turnovers tied the second-lowest total in franchise history.
- Thanks to an opportunistic defense, with its seven touchdowns, and an offense that was able to capitalize after an
opponent's mistake, Green Bay led all NFL teams with 124 points off takeaways. Baltimore (123) finished just behind the Packers at No. 2.
- On the other sideline, the Packers surrendered 75 points off the 21 turnovers last year – 24 of which came at Tampa in Week 4. That point total off turnovers tied for 16th in the NFL.
- If the Packers don't commit a turnover, a case which happened in Week 1 against the Bears, they're almost guaranteed to win. A rarity occurred for the Packers last year at Minnesota: they lost a game in which they did not commit a turnover. They have now won 33 of 35 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 again in 2008.
- Including playoffs, the Packers have won 36 of their last 38 games without a giveaway.