TEXANS COME TO LAMBEAU FOR FIRST TIME
-Houston makes its franchise debut at Lambeau Field today as the Packers host the Texans.
-Green Bay enters the contest fighting for its playoff life, two games behind division-leading Minnesota with four games remaining.
-The Packers lost another back-and-forth battle last weekend at home to Carolina, its fourth loss this season by four points or less.
-After the Packers took the lead with just under two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, it took the Panthers less than 30 seconds to march down the field for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown.
-Houston comes into the contest off a short week, having defeated Jacksonville 30-17 in the franchise's first-ever Monday Night Football appearance to improve to 5-7.
-Now in third place in the AFC South, Houston is just 1-5 on the road this season.
IN THE MONTH OF DECEMBER
-Whether it involves fighting for division crowns, jockeying for playoff positioning or building momentum for next season, the final month of the NFL season and its importance cannot be overstated.
-December football on the frozen tundra at Lambeau Field seems to almost define the Green Bay Packers, and like their storied past, is centered around winning.
-The Packers were 1-4 in the month of November as they fell from first to third place in the NFC North. Now, they must continue their trend of success over the season's final month in order to make a second consecutive trip to the postseason.
-Head Coach Mike McCarthy has continued the tradition of December success for the Packers. He is 7-2 (4-1 in 2006, 3-1 in 2007) over the final stretch since coming to Green Bay.
-Over the past 10 seasons, only the New England Patriots have a better record over the final month of the season than Green Bay. A look at the most successful teams, including regular-season games played in January:
Team, W-L record, Pct.
New England, 34-12 (.739)
Green Bay, 34-13 (.723)
Tennessee, 31-18 (.632)
Pittsburgh, 30-18 (.625)
Philadelphia, 28-17 (.622)
*Houston, 10-19 (.344)
*-Houston entered NFL in 2002; total includes MNF on 12/1
276 AND COUNTING...
-Today marks the 276th consecutive sellout (260 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 all four of its remaining games.
-The club is nearly out of the wild-card picture, so it must win the division to continue playing into January.
-Within the NFC North, the Packers are one game behind the Bears and two games behind the Vikings.
-Chicago begins the first of three consecutive home games Sunday against Jacksonville. Four days later, the Bears will host New Orleans on a Thursday night before finishing their home slate against the Packers on Dec. 22. They finish the regular season at Houston.
-Minnesota travels to Detroit (Dec. 7) and Arizona (Dec. 14) before finishing the season with two home games. The Vikings host the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 21 and close with the N.Y. Giants on Dec. 28.
-None of Green Bay's remaining opponents is above .500. Chicago, at 6-6, has the best record of the upcoming foes.
WEARING THE STRIPES
Today's officiating crew includes referee Pete Morelli (135), umpire Tony Michalek (115), head linesman George Hayward (54), line judge Darryll Lewis (130), field judge Rob Vernatchi (75), side judge Greg Wilson (119) and back judge Kirk Dornan (6).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
36 NICK COLLINS
-First NFL safety to have three interception return TDs since Kansas City's Lloyd Burruss in 1986.
-Needs one INT TD to match the NFL record.
-Tied with Herb Adderley (1965) for team single-season record with three interception returns for touchdowns.
-Third in team history with 230 interception return yards, trailing only Darren Sharper (233 in 2002) and Bobby Dillion (244 in 1956).
2 MASON CROSBY
-With 102 points, eclipses the 100-plus point mark for the second consecutive season.
-For his career, has hit 33-of-36 field goals from 39 yards and closer.
-Has hit 14-of-19 field goals from 40-49 yards.
-Has hit 6-of-10 field goals from 50-plus yards.
80 DONALD DRIVER
-For the seventh time has 50-plus receptions, joining James Lofton and Sterling Sharpe (both seven seasons) on top of the team's all-time list.
-Has a reception in 107 consecutive games, besting the franchise's previous long streak of Sharpe's 103 (1988-94).
25 RYAN GRANT
-When he carries the ball 19-or-more times, the Packers are 9-1.
-Needs 124 rushing yards for his first career 1,000-yard season.
85 GREG JENNINGS
-Ranks fourth in the NFL in receiving yards (1,057), first in 20-plus yard catches (18) and tied for first in 40-plus yard catches (six).
-Has caught a pass in 39 consecutive games.
74 AARON KAMPMAN
-His 37 sacks since 2006 ranks second among all NFL players (DeMarcus Ware, Dallas, 40.5).
12 AARON RODGERS
-Needs 103 passing yards to eclipse the 3,000-yard mark for the season.