Packers return home to face the Panthers

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The Green Bay Packers will host the Carolina Panthers at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

  • It will be the Packers’ only home game over a 48-day period from Oct. 21-Dec. 7. Green Bay had a similar stretch last year with one home contest over a 47-day period (Oct. 16-Dec. 1). The last time the Packers had only one game at Lambeau Field over a stretch of 48-plus days was in 2010, which was also one home contest over a 48-day period (Nov. 8-Dec. 25).
  • It is the fourth meeting between the two teams in the last six years (2014, 2015, 2017).
  • Four of the last five matchups between the two teams have been decided by eight points or less.
  • The Packers are 9-6 overall against Carolina, with wins in six of the last 10 (including playoffs).
  • Green Bay is 4-2 at home against the Panthers (including playoffs) including a win in the last matchup at Lambeau in 2014.
  • The Packers have scored 30-plus points in five of the six home games against the Panthers.
  • QB Aaron Rodgers has started five games against the Panthers in his career and has averaged 304.0 passing yards per game with 15 passing touchdowns, five interceptions and a passer rating of 102.5. He has thrown three-plus passing TDs in four of the five contests.
  • Green Bay will have its bye next week, marking the first Week 11 bye for the Packers and the latest for the team since the bye was reintroduced in 1990.
  • The Packers have won the game heading into the bye week in three of the last four years.

GOOD START

  • Green Bay joins the San Francisco 49ers (8-0), New England Patriots (8-1), New Orleans Saints (7-1) and the Seattle Seahawks (7-2) as the only NFL teams with at least seven wins this season.
  • Green Bay has started the season with at least seven wins in its first nine games for the first time since starting 9-0 in 2011 and the seventh time since 1970 (8-1 in 2007, 2002 and 1996, and 7-2 in 1997 and 1978).
  • The Packers are 4-1 at home this season and are one of four NFL teams (New England, Minnesota and New Orleans - 4-0) to have four home wins this season.
  • With a win, Head Coach Matt LaFleur would tie Mike McCarthy (8-8) and Ray Rhodes (8-8) for the third-most NFL wins by a Packer head coach in their first season (9-7: Mike Holmgren and Mike Sherman).
  • The Packers have started 3-0 in the NFC North for the first time since 2012 and for just the fourth time (2011 and 2002) since the division was formed in 2002.
  • Out of the 28 teams that have played multiple division games this season, Green Bay joins New England (4-0) and Dallas (4-0) as the only teams to have at least three division wins, and is one of seven teams with multiple wins and zero losses against division opponents.

WITH THE CALL

  • FOX Sports, now in its 26th season as an NFL network television partner, will broadcast the game.
  • Play-by-play man Joe Buck joins analyst Troy Aikman and sideline reporter Erin Andrews.
  • Milwaukee’s WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since November 1929, heads up the Packers Radio Network that is made up of 50 stations in four states. Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play), two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (analyst) and three-time Packers Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro John Kuhn (sideline) will call the action. McCarren first joined the team’s broadcasts in 1995 and enters his 25th season calling Packers games. After originally being paired together in 1999, McCarren and Larrivee enter their 21st season of broadcasts together. They surpassed Jim Irwin and Max McGee for the most regular-season and postseason games broadcast for the Packers with 313 at the 2018 season opener against Chicago.
  • The broadcast is also available on Sirius Satellite Radio (WTMJ feed).
  • Compass Media Networks will broadcast the game nationally on the radio with Bill Rosinski (play by play) and Chad Brown (analyst) calling the action.
  • The game can also be seen on DirecTV channel No. 709 with NFL Sunday Ticket.

THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT:

Packers vs. Panthers:

  • Regular season, all-time: 8-6
  • All-time, in Green Bay: 4-2
  • Streaks: The teams have split the last eight meetings.
  • Last meeting, regular season: Dec. 17, 2017, at Bank of America Stadium; Panthers won, 31-24

COACHES CAPSULES

Matt LaFleur: 7-2, .778; 1st NFL season

Ron Rivera: 79-63-1, .552, (incl. 3-4 postseason); 9th NFL season 

Head to Head: 0-0

vs. Opponent: Rivera 2-2 vs. Packers

MATT LAFLEUR…In his first season as the Packers’ 15th head coach.

  • In his 11th season in the NFL, having served as an offensive coordinator for two seasons (Los Angeles Rams, 2017; Tennessee Titans, 2018), a quarterbacks coach for six seasons (Washington Redskins, 2010-13; Atlanta Falcons, 2015-16), and an offensive assistant for two seasons (Houston Texans, 2008-09).
  • Guided the Titans’ offense in 2018 to a No. 7 league ranking in rushing (126.4 ypg) as Tennessee registered 11 games with 100-plus rushing yards, tied for No. 2 in the NFL.
  • Helped the Rams lead the league in scoring with an average of 29.9 points per game in 2017, more than doubling their average from 2016 (14.0 ppg).
  • Tutored QB Matt Ryan, who led the league in passer rating (117.1) in 2016 on his way to being named NFL Most Valuable Player by The Associated Press.
  • Coached rookie QB Robert Griffin III with the Redskins in 2012, who became the first QB in team history to win AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.

RON RIVERA…In his ninth year as the Panthers’ fourth head coach. 

  • A two-time winner of the NFL’s Coach of the Year honor (2013, 2015), led Carolina to an overall record of 17-2 in 2015, with an appearance in Super Bowl 50.
  • After inheritiing a 2-14 team in 2011, helped the Panthers to three consecutive division titles from 2013-15, winning the club’s second NFC title in 2015. 
  • Led Carolina to four consecutive wins to finish the 2014 season at 7-8-1, and captured his first-career playoff victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
  • Helped his franchise become the first team in NFC South history to win back-to-back division titles (2013-14).
  • Behind rookie RB Christian McCaffrey, QB Cam Newton and RB Jonathan Stewart in 2017, was the only offense in the NFL with three 400-yard rushers.

THE PACKERS-PANTHERS SERIES

  • The first-ever meeting between the two teams came in the 1996 NFC Championship, when the Packers beat a Panthers team, coached by former Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers, 30-13, at Lambeau Field.
  • This will be the 15th regular-season contest between the two teams, with the Packers holding an 8-6 advantage. 
  • The Packers have won three of the last four matchups between the two teams at Lambeau Field. 

NOTABLE CONNECTIONS

Green Bay players with connections to the Carolinas include: Jaire Alexander (Charlotte, N.C.); B.J. Goodson (Lamar S.C., Clemson); Jimmy Graham (Wilson, N.C.); Lucas Patrick (Duke)…Panthers G Bryan Witzmann is from Somerset, Wis., and attended Somerset HS…Panthers wide receivers coach Jim Hostler was the passing game coordinator for the Packers in 2018… Panthers G Greg Van Roten signed as an undrafted free agent with Green Bay in 2012 and played in 10 games with the Packers over two seasons (2012-13)…Panthers LS J.J. Jansen signed as an undrafted free agent by Green Bay in 2008…Packers director of player engagement Grey Ruegamer and Panthers special teams coach Chase Blackburn played two seasons together with the N.Y. Giants (2006-09)…Packers special teams coordinator Shawn Mennenga, Panthers offensive coordinator Norv Turner and quarterbacks coach Scott Turner were on the Cleveland coaching staff together in 2013…Packers wide receivers coach Alvis Whitted played for Oakland while Turner was the head coach (2004-05)…Whitted is from Durham, N.C., where he played four years at North Carolina State, and began his coaching career at Orange HS (Wilmington, N.C.)…Packers assistant special teams coach Maurice Drayton is from Moncks Corner, S.C., and played and coached at The Citadel (Charleston). Additionally, Drayton coached at Goose Creek (S.C.) HS, South Carolina State and Coastal Carolina…Packers chief of staff Joe McKillip worked at N.C. State for six years (2013-18)...Packers S Adrian Amos played for Chicago while Panthers defensive coordinator Eric Washington was the defensive line coach (2015-17)…Packers assistant offensive line coach Luke Butkus was on the Chicago staff for two seasons with Washington (2008-09)…Panthers assistant linebackers coach Everette Brown played the 2014 season in Washington when Packers inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti was his position coach…Brown also spent the 2015 training camp in Cleveland when Mennenga was on the coaching staff and Packers defensive coordinator Mike Pettine was the head coach…Panthers wide receivers coach Jerricho Cotchery played for the N.Y. Jets when Pettine was the defensive coordinator (2009-10)…Panthers secondary coach Perry Fewell coached with Olivadotti in Washington for two seasons (2015-16) and Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett in Jacksonville for two seasons (2017-18)…Hostler coached with Pettine for one season in Baltimore (2008) and one season with Hackett in Buffalo (2014)…Panthers assistant special teams coach Ben Jacobs played for Cleveland while Mennenga was on the coaching staff (2011-12)…Pettine coached with Panthers running game coordinator John Matsko in 2008 while with Baltimore…Panthers running backs coach Jake Peetz was an offensive assistant/assistant quarterbacks coach in Jacksonville in 2012 when Packers TE Marcedes Lewis was on the roster...Peetz was offensive quality control/assistant wide receivers coach in Washington when Olivadotti was on the coaching staff (2014)…Lewis was teammates with Panthers DT Kyle Love for part of the 2013 season in Jacksonville…Packers strength and conditioning coordinator Chris Gizzi and Panthers linebackers coach Steve Russ were first teammates at the Air Force Academy (1994) and later with the Denver Broncos (2000)…Gizzi was the assistant strength and conditioning coordinator at the University of North Carolina in 2013…Panthers linebacker Mario Addison spent the 2012 season with Washington when Packers head coach Matt LaFleur was on the coaching staff…Goodson and Panthers CB Ross Cockrell played together with the N.Y. Giants in 2017…Cockrell and Panthers TE Chris Manhertz were rookies in Buffalo in 2014 when Hackett was on the coaching staff…Graham and Panthers LB Bruce Irvin played together in Seattle in 2015…Panthers TE Greg Olsen was drafted by Chicago when Butkus was on the coaching staff in 2007…Packers G/T Billy Turner and Panthers C Matt Paradis were teammates in Denver for three seasons (2016-18)…Panthers DT Dontari Poe was with Kansas City when Packers outside linebackers coach Mike Smith was on the coaching staff in 2016…Amos and Witzmann were teammates in Chicago in 2018…Former college teammates include: Packers CB Tony Brown, P JK Scott, LB Tim Williams and Panthers LB/DE Christian Miller (Alabama); Patrick and Cockrell (Duke); Alexander and Panthers RB Reggie Bonnafon (Lousiville); Packers S Darnell Savage, Panthers LB Jermaine Carter and WR DJ Moore (Maryland); Packers LB Blake Martinez and Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (Stanford); Packers LB Kyler Fackrell and Panthers C Tyler Larsen (Utah State); Packers CB Kevin King and Panthers LB Shaq Thompson (Washington).

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