PACKERS HEAD WEST FOR DIVISION SHOWDOWN
-Green Bay makes its annual trip to the Metrodome Sunday to face the archrival Minnesota Vikings - the 96th meeting between the two clubs.
-Both teams come into the contest at 4-4, tied for second place in the NFC North behind division leader Chicago (5-3).
-Green Bay's bid to knock off the undefeated Titans in Nashville fell short in overtime last Sunday, losing 19-16. There won't be time to dwell on the loss, as the club now faces division rivals in back-to-back weeks, which could go a long way in determining the division champion.
-The first test will come on the road in Minneapolis, a place Head Coach Mike McCarthy (2-0) has not lost since arriving in Green Bay. In fact, McCarthy is 5-0 against the Vikings.
-Green Bay has won four of the last five in Minnesota, one of the league's loudest venues. It is 23-23-0 all-time in the state against the Vikings.
-One of the NFL's great border wars has been a traditionally tight series, with the Packers holding a slight all-time advantage (49-45-1, including playoffs). The Packers' current five-game winning streak is the longest in the series since 1983-85, when Green Bay won five straight. A sixth consecutive win would be the longest in the series since its inception, when the Packers took six in a row from 1961-63 under Vince Lombardi.
-The two clubs met in Week 1 in primetime on Monday night, with the Packers winning a tight contest 24-19 at Lambeau Field. QB Aaron Rodgers was efficient (18-of-22, 178 yards, 1 TD passing, 1 TD rushing, 115.5 rating) in his first career start, while a late interception by S Atari Bigby sealed the victory for Green Bay.
-This time Minnesota lines up with a different QB under center in veteran Gus Frerotte, who is 4-2 this season as the Minnesota starter.
-Behind three Frerotte touchdown passes, the Vikings defeated the Houston Texans, 28-21, last Sunday at the Metrodome. Minnesota has won three of its last four games.
THEY'RE ALWAYS CLOSE
-Green Bay and Minnesota's meeting in Week 1 was decided in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter, the latest in a string of close finishes in the all-time series.
-Eleven of the last 12 regular season meetings have been decided by seven points or less, with the lone exception being the Packers' 34-0 victory last November. That game remains the lone shutout in the 95-game history of the rivalry.
-Green Bay S Atari Bigby sealed the season opener with an interception in the waning moments of the game as Minnesota was driving for a potential game-winning score. Another interception by Bigby, in the 2007 meeting at the Metrodome, also gave the Packers the win.
-Five out of the six meetings between 2004-06 were decided by a field goal at the end of the fourth quarter. Vikings K Ryan Longwell kicked two game-winning field goals - for the Packers - in the '04 meetings.
ANOTHER VIKINGS GAME, ANOTHER QUARTERBACK
-Packers defensive coordinator Bob Sanders certainly has his hands full in trying to stop one of the game's more dynamic running backs in Adrian Peterson. But, it seems Sanders also must study a new QB each time Minnesota is on the schedule.
-In his sixth game against the Vikings as coordinator, Sanders will be prepping for his fifth different Vikings signal caller. In 2006, the team faced Brad Johnson and Tarvaris Jackson. Kelly Holcomb and Brooks Bollinger each got a start against Green Bay a season ago.
-Jackson started the season opener against the Packers, but the Vikings turned to veteran Gus Frerotte after an 0-2 start. In 88 career NFL starts, including previous stints in Minnesota and Detroit, Frerotte has only faced the Packers once.
-In 1999, he completed 20-of-39 passes for 225 yards and one TD against the Packers at Lambeau Field. Green Bay twice intercepted Frerotte passes en route to a 26-17 victory over Detroit.
HOME SWEET DOME
The Packers have won 10 of their last 12 games in domes, including seven in a row. Green Bay is 6-0 in domes under McCarthy.
WEARING THE STRIPES
Today's officiating crew includes referee Al Riveron (57), umpire Roy Ellison (81), head linesman Ed Camp (134), line judge Ron Phares (10), field judge Steve Zimmer (33), side judge Joe Larrew (73) and back judge Lee Dyer (27).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
20 ATARI BIGBY
-Has five interceptions in his last seven regular-season games played.
2 MASON CROSBY
-For his career, has hit 30-of-33 field goals from 39 yards and closer.
-Has hit 10-of-15 field goals from 40-49 yards.
-Has hit 5-of-8 field goals form 50-plus yards.
80 DONALD DRIVER
-With a reception, will break Sterling Sharpe's franchise record of 103 consecutive games (1988-94) with a catch. Driver's current streak began in the 2001 regular-season finale at N.Y. Giants.
25 RYAN GRANT
-When he carries the ball 19-or-more times, the Packers are 8-1.
85 GREG JENNINGS
-Has caught a pass in 35 consecutive games.
-Ranks second in the NFL in receiving yards (764), first in 20-plus yard catches (14), first in 40-plus yard catches (six), and third in yards per catch (19.1, min. 30 receptions).
74 AARON KAMPMAN
-His 331/2 sacks since 2006 ranks second among all NFL players. Minnesota's Jared Allen (30) ranks third.
12 AARON RODGERS
-Ranks fifth among NFL quarterbacks in passer rating (95.3). Has five games with a passer rating over 100.0 this season.