*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-Vikings Week 4 Dope Sheet. To read the full version, download the PDF by clicking here.
Here are some highlights from the Packers-Vikings Week 4 Dope Sheet:*
**GREEN BAY (2-1) at MINNESOTA (3-0)
Monday, Oct. 5 - HHH Metrodome - 7:30 p.m. CDT
PACKERS HEAD WEST FOR MONDAY NIGHT SHOWDOWN**
- Green Bay travels across state lines to take on the Minnesota Vikings in one of the most highly anticipated games of the early NFL schedule.
- For the border rivals, this marks meeting No. 97 in an all-time series. The Packers own a slight advantage (49-46-1 including playoffs) against the Vikings franchise in what has been a traditionally tight series.
- Though Green Bay has won four of the last six contests at the Metrodome, it is 23-24-0 all-time in the state against Minnesota.
- Both teams opted for new coaches heading into the 2006 season, and thus far Head Coach Mike McCarthy has a 5-1 record against the Vikings. The lone loss over that time came via a missed field goal in the closing moments at the Metrodome last season.
- For a rivalry that wasn't exactly lacking in spirit, a new twist has been added that should send interest, and television ratings, through the roof Monday night. QB Brett Favre, 16 seasons the signal caller for the Green and Gold, faces his former team for the first time in his now 19-year NFL career.
- Undefeated and atop the NFC North, Minnesota comes into the game off a dramatic 27-24 win over San Francisco in the home opener at the Metrodome. Green Bay comes into the game 2-1, thanks to a solid victory over the Rams in the first road contest of the 2009 season. The Packers, second in the division, could vault into first with a win.
WITH THE CALL
- ESPN enters its fourth season as host of the most successful series in sports television history, Monday Night Football. Play-by-play man Mike Tirico is joined by analysts Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden for the 40th season of MNF broadcasts.
- ESPN Deportes will broadcast the game with Spanish graphics and commentary provided by announcers Alvaro Martin and Raul Allegre, with John Sutcliffe as sideline reporter.
- The contest also will air as a simulcast locally on WBAY (Ch. 2) in Green Bay and WISN (Ch. 12) in Milwaukee. ESPN International will air the contest in three languages to over 180 countries.
- 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.
- Westwood One Radio will air the game across the country. Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Boomer Esiason (analyst) will call the action with Mark Malone as the sideline reporter. Jim Gray hosts pregame and halftime shows.
- 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 126 WTMJ feed) as part of the network's NFL Sunday Drive.
- DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game in HD on channel 206.
**THE DOPE ON THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT:
Green Bay Packers vs. Minnesota Vikings
All-time regular season: **49-45-1
All-time, in Minnesota:23-24-0 (12-14-0 at Metrodome)
Streaks:The Packers have won five of the last six meetings.
Last meeting, regular season:Nov. 9, 2008, at Metrodome; Vikings won, 28-27
Mike McCarthy:30-23-0, .566 (incl. 1-1 postseason); 4th NFL season
Brad Childress:27-25-0, .519 (incl. 0-1 postseason); 4th NFL season
Head to Head: McCarthy 5-1
vs. Opponent:McCarthy 5-1 vs. Vikings; Childress 1-5 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.
BRAD CHILDRESS…Is in fourth year as the Vikings' seventh head coach.
- Led Minnesota to its first NFC North title and home playoff game since 2000 with 10-6 record last year.
- In his 32nd season of coaching and his 12th in the NFL. Broke in as Colts' quarterbacks coach (1985) and spent seven years (1999-2005) in Philadelphia, where he was offensive coordinator.
- Also coached at four colleges, including the University of Wisconsin (1991-98). The staff at Northern Arizona (1986-89) included future NFL head coaches Bill Callahan, Marty Mornhinweg and Andy Reid.
- In 2007, the Vikings became the first team in franchise history to rank No. 1 in the league in both rushing offense and rushing defense.
THE PACKERS-VIKINGS SERIES
- This marks the 97th meeting between the border rivals.
- Few, if any, rivalries in sports have exhibited more parity. The Packers own a slight advantage over the Vikings (49-46-1, including playoffs) in the all-time series.
- The Packers' five-game winning streak that was snapped in the last meeting was the longest streak for either team since the Packers won five straight from 1983-85.
- The series began when the Vikings entered the league in 1961, and Vince Lombardi's Packers won nine of the first 10.
- Over the last 15 seasons (1994-2008), these teams have accounted for 11 NFC Central/North division championships.
Vikings QB Brett Favre played 16 seasons for the Packers (1992-2007), leading the team to four NFC Championship Game appearances and two Super Bowls, and setting all the major NFL passing records for career attempts, completions, yards, touchdowns and interceptions as a member of the Packers...Vikings K Ryan Longwell is Green Bay's all-time leading scorer, having racked up 1,054 points in nine seasons with the Packers (1997-2005)...Packers vice president of football administration/player finance Russ Ball served as senior football administrator for the Vikings from 1999-2000...The Vikings' coaching staff has several ties to the University of Wisconsin, where Childress (1991-98) and offensive line coach Jim Hueber (1992-2005) worked together, and where offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell played quarterback (1992-95) and special teams coach Brian Murphy (2000-05) held various recruiting and administrative roles...Bevell also was a Packers offensive assistant coach from 2000-05, including QB coach (2003-05) for Favre...While running Seattle's drafts, Packers GM Ted Thompson selected Vikings G Steve Hutchinson in the first round in 2001; Hutchinson and Packers CB Charles Woodson were teammates on Michigan's 1997 national championship team...Packers C Scott Wells and Vikings G Anthony Herrera blocked on the same offensive line at the University of Tennessee...Other college teammates include Packers LB Brandon Chillar and Vikings P Chris Kluwe (UCLA), Packers LB Brady Poppinga and Vikings FB Naufahu Tahi (BYU), and Packers RB Ryan Grant and Vikings C John Sullivan (Notre Dame)...Green Bay director of research and development Mike Eayrs (similar capacity, 1985-99) previously worked for the Vikings...Packers staff writer Tom Fanning joined the front office in May 2008 after nine seasons (1999-2007) with the Vikings.
INDIVIDUALLY VS. VIKINGS
QB Aaron Rodgers' first NFL start came against Minnesota, and he was 18-of-22 for 178 yards with a TD for a 115.5 rating in last year's season opener. His 81.8 completion percentage was the second-highest in league history for a QB making his first start...Two of PR Will Blackmon's three career punt returns for touchdowns came against the Vikings, one in each meeting last season...WR Greg Jennings has 19 career catches for 274 yards and a score against the Vikings. He also caught Favre's record-breaking 421st TD pass against Minnesota in 2007...WR Donald Driver established a career high for receiving yards with 191 against the Vikings at Minnesota (Nov. 12, 2006), topping the 162 he had on Dec. 24, 2004, also at the Metrodome...Driver also had a career-high 11 receptions (tie) in that 2004 contest, as well as a career-long 45-yard run on Nov. 2, 2003. His 1,105 receiving yards against Minnesota are his most against any opponent, while his 74 receptions and six TDs against the Vikings are second-most (Detroit, 77 and 7)...RB Ryan Grant scored his first NFL TD in the second meeting of the season in 2007...LB Aaron Kampman originally established his career high of three sacks against the Vikings (Nov. 21, 2005), and tied the mark against Minnesota (Dec. 21, 2006), giving him two of his four career three-sack games in this rivalry. Kampman has 9.5 career sacks against Minnesota...S Atari Bigby made his first NFL interception to seal victory at Minnesota in 2007; his interception in 2008 (Sept. 8) clinched another victory.
LAST MEETING, REGULAR SEASON
- Nov. 9, 2008, at Metrodome; Vikings won, 28-27.
- TD catches by Sidney Rice and Chester Taylor, plus two safeties on defense, staked the Vikings to a 21-10 lead midway through the third quarter.
- The Packers rallied to take the lead on Nick Collins' 59-yard interception return for a score and Will Blackmon's 65-yard punt return for a touchdown. Collins' INT was one of three for the Packers in the game.
- Adrian Peterson, who had 30 carries for 192 yards for the Vikings, scored on a 29-yard TD run with 2:22 left to give the Vikings the 28-27 lead.
- The Packers had one last chance, but Mason Crosby's 52-yard field-goal try was wide right with 26 seconds left.
THEY ALWAYS SEEM TO BE CLOSE
- In an all-time series which has been remarkably close to even through the years, it seems fitting that Packers-Vikings seems to always come down to the last possession.
- Last season in Green Bay, the Packers used an interception with less than a minute to play to seal the victory, 24-19 in the season opener. Later in Minnesota, a missed field goal in the waning moments of the game gave Minnesota the win, 28-27, in a back-and-forth contest.
- Like last season in Minnesota, 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.
- Need to see how close this series has been recently? Going back a bit further, 12 of the last 13 regular-season meetings have been decided by seven points or less, the lone exception being the Packers' 34-0 blanking of the Vikings in 2007 at Lambeau Field.
FIVE MORE FOR DRIVER
- One of the most accomplished receivers in franchise history, WR Donald Driver needs five more catches to become the Packers' all-time leader in receptions.
- Driver enters play Monday night with 591 career catches. WR Sterling Sharpe owns the franchise record with 595.
- Though he is the second-oldest player on the roster at age 34, Driver has shown no signs of slowing down in 2009. He leads the team in catches (14), receiving yards (233) and touchdown catches (2).
- And he's not slowing down, literally, either. Driver had one of the best catches of his career Sunday against the Rams, a one-handed catch good for 46 yards down the sideline.
ANOTHER VIKINGS QUARTERBACK
- Members of the Green Bay defense must be getting used to studying a new Vikings quarterback in the week leading up to the game.
- In the six Minnesota contests over the past three seasons (2006-08), the Vikings have started five different quarterbacks.
- QB Brett Favre, a familiar face for some members of the defense, is expected to become the sixth different Vikings quarterback to face the Packers since 2006.
- In 2006, the team faced Brad Johnson and Tarvaris Jackson. Kelly Holcomb and Brooks Bollinger each got a start against Green Bay in 2007.
- Last year, Jackson started the season opener against the Packers, but the Vikings turned to veteran Gus Frerotte for the second contest.
- Minnesota must also prepare for Green Bay's new 3-4 defense, which has excelled at causing opponents to turn the ball over, particularly through interceptions.
- The Packers are tied with New Orleans with an NFL-best seven interceptions. Favre has thrown one interception in 94 attempts thus far.
- The Packers came out of the Rams game relatively healthy, as WR Greg Jennings (wrist) and WR James Jones (hand) both returned.
- Head Coach Mike McCarthy didn't seem optimistic at the practice prospects of three players: S Atari Bigby (knee), RB Brandon Jackson (ankle) and LB Jeremy Thompson (knee). Bigby was injured in the opener, while Jackson has been out since the preseason. Thompson was added to the injury report late last week and did not play against the Rams.
- One player whose progress seemed encouraging to McCarthy was T Chad Clifton, who suffered an ankle injury against the Bengals. The team will likely give him a shot to practice this week.
- "We're going to give him a shot," McCarthy said Monday. "He's feeling a lot better, made a lot of progress in the rehab last week. We'll see how he is at the end of the week. He's going to have to practice if he's going to play."
- Saying a team would be bolstered by the return of its left tackle seems to be stating the obvious. Clifton has been a fixture on the Packers' offensive line, starting 128 games. Since returning from a serious pelvic injury that ended his 2002 season, he has started 96 of 99 games, missing two ('06 at Miami, '08 at Tennessee) due to illness and the Rams contest with his ankle injury.
- The re-adjusted offensive line, which had Daryn Colledge at left tackle against the Rams, had a decent showing. It allowed two first-quarter sacks but did help the Packers produce its best ground effort (152 yards) of the season.
'BIG OKIE' MAKES ITS DEBUT
- Playing without S Atari Bigby and facing the prospect of one of the game's most physical backs in Steven Jackson, the Packers went to a new formation with five linebackers on the field.
- Named 'Big Okie', it had LB Brandon Chillar with the No. 1 defense on more obvious running downs. S Derrick Martin then came in at safety while Chillar moved back to linebacker in passing situations when the team went to its nickel defense.
- "A lot of good things came out of 'Big Okie', but there are definitely some things that we need to clean up," McCarthy said Monday. "We had some alignment things that we could do a better job of, and that always comes with more reps, more formation variation, particularly against that particular offense that we didn't really anticipate. They did more two-tight ends, two receivers, one-back formations than they have shown in the past. Not that we haven't seen those, but just the fact that you keep working those things. I thought it was off to a good start."
- The Packers are still ailing at the safety position, so coupled with the fact the team will see one of the league's most dynamic players in RB Adrian Peterson on Monday, it would come as no surprise to see the formation again.
PROTECTING THE FOOTBALL
- Through three games, QB Aaron Rodgers is just one of three quarterbacks across the league that has thrown over 50 pass attempts without an interception. Rodgers is tops among the group (Kyle Orton and Marc Bulger the others) with 90 attempts on the season.
- Even under heavy duress through the first three games, Rodgers has been careful with the football and in his decision-making.
- His last interception came in Week 16 of last season, a streak that now stretches 148 attempts. That is the second-longest streak among active quarterbacks (Todd Collins, WAS, 203) and longest among starting signal-callers.
- 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 Mike 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.
'BLACK AND BLUE' DIVISION PLAY
- Just three weeks after opening up the 2009 season against the Bears in front of a national TV audience, Green Bay returns to division play against the Vikings, again on national television.
- Both teams enter the game with 1-0 marks in division play. While the Packers beat the Bears, 21-15, in Week 1, the Vikings defeated the Lions in Detroit, 27-13, in Week 2.
- The Bears and Lions also play in Week 4, meaning just one team will remain winless in the division after the weekend.
- The Packers will have another two division games under their belt by Week 8, giving them four division opponents in their first seven games. After the Vikings contest Monday night, the Packers will have their bye week before hosting the Detroit Lions in Week 6. They will finish their season series with the Vikings in Week 8 at Lambeau Field.
- The defending division champion Vikings broke a string last season of seven straight years when either the Packers or Bears won the NFC North/Central. This year, Minnesota is working against history again, trying to become the first team other than Chicago or Green Bay to win back-to-back division crowns in three decades. The Vikings were the last to do it, in the 1977-78 seasons, which concluded a string of six straight division championships for Minnesota in the Bud Grant era.
- Head Coach Mike McCarthy has always put an added emphasis on division games to his team, and it has shown over his three seasons.
- Including the first division game played in the '09 season, the Packers own the best division mark over the three-plus seasons of McCarthy's tenure at 14-5. The Packers are trailed by Chicago (12-7) and then Minnesota (10-9) over that period.
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?
- For a 17th consecutive season, the Green Bay Packers appear on Monday Night Football, the most successful series in sports television history.
- The Packers own the NFC's longest MNF appearance streak (1993-2009). Denver (18, 1992-2009) own's the NFL's longest streak.
- For the seventh time, there will be a MNF matchup in the border rivalry. Fittingly, the all-time Monday night series stands tied at 3-3.
- Two of the contests (1997, '99) have come at the Metrodome, with the Packers winning the '97 game and the Vikings winning in '99.
- Some of the rivalry's greatest games have come on Monday night. In 1998, Vikings rookie WR Randy Moss shined on the bright stage, hauling in five catches for 190 yards and two touchdowns.
- One of the greatest finishes not only in MNF history but pro football annals came on a rain-soaked Monday night at Lambeau Field in 2000. While flat on his back, Packers WR Antonio Freeman made a miraculous catch and proceeded to race into the end zone for a 43-yard game-winning score in overtime before a stunned but jubilant crowd.
- And just last season, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers made his first career NFL start in the season opener. Like most games in the rivalry, the outcome was decided in the final minutes, as the Packers clinched victory thanks to an interception with under a minute remaining.
- The bright lights of Monday night are nothing new for Head Coach Mike McCarthy and the Packers. In his three seasons as coach, the team has made six regular-season appearances on MNF and is 2-4 in the games.
- Green Bay is 26-27-1 all-time on Monday night.
- The Packers' second Monday night matchup of the season comes later in Week 13 at Lambeau Field against the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 7. The teams' last meeting also came on MNF, a 48-3 Ravens victory in Baltimore on Dec. 19, 2005, that marked the first significant playing time for Rodgers, then a rookie.
JOLLY RECORDS RARE TRIFECTA
- Just three games into the season, DE Johnny Jolly has filled up the stat sheet in a number of categories.
- Making the transition from an inside tackle in the old scheme to an end this season, Jolly leads all defensive linemen with 16 tackles.
- Displaying rare athleticism for a 6-foot-3, 320-pound man, he made a highlight-reel one-handed interception in the red zone against Jay Cutler and the Bears in Week 1. Jolly also plucked another ball out of the air on a dive against St. Louis, though the ball was ruled a fumble because of a strip by LB Aaron Kampman.
- That play came just minutes after Jolly blocked a field-goal attempt on the Rams' opening drive. It was the second of his career.
- It had been awhile since a Packers player recorded an interception, fumble recovery and blocked kick in the same season. That was CB Doug Evans in 1993.
- Jolly's athleticism isn't new to his teammates. To a man, they all credit him with being one of the best basketball players on the team.
JENNINGS AMONG GAME'S MOST DANGEROUS
- After a breakout season in 2008 and a long-term contract extension in the offseason, WR Greg Jennings started the season with a bang with another 100-yard effort and the game-winning TD catch in Week 1. He is the only NFL player this season with three 50-plus yard receptions.
- He is already one of the top "big-play" receivers in the league, something he has proven in each of his first three seasons.
- Jennings established career highs last season in catches (80) and receiving yards (1,292), finishing sixth among all players in yardage.
- Jennings' 21 catches of 20 yards-or-more tied for second in the NFL behind Carolina's Steve Smith (23). Detroit's Calvin Johnson also had 21 catches of 20-plus yards.
- On even longer receptions, Jennings begins to break away from the field. He led all players in 2008 with eight catches of 40-plus yards.
- Of his 25 career touchdown catches, 11 have been at least 40 yards in length. He has a staggering average of 32.0 yards per TD catch.
- Over the past two seasons, no one has been as productive a deep threat as Jennings. A look at the numbers across the NFL from 2007-08:
Player - 40-plus-yard catches, 40-plus-yard TDs
Greg Jennings, GB – 15, 8
Randy Moss, NE – 12, 8
Terrell Owens, BUF – 12, 8
Donald Driver, GB – 10, 2
Steve Smith, CAR – 10, 5
TOP 10 AGAIN
- Head Coach Mike McCarthy, the offensive play caller, has produced a unit that has achieved considerable success in his three years.
- For the third consecutive season in 2008, the unit finished among the NFL's top 10. Philadelphia and New Orleans are the only other teams to finish in the top 10 in offense each of the last three seasons.
- Even with a new starting quarterback in 2008, the Packers finished No. 8 overall with an average of 351.1 yards per contest.
- The unit finished No. 2 in 2007 (370.7 yards per game) and No. 9 in 2006 (341.1) under McCarthy.
- McCarthy spent six seasons as an offensive coordinator and play caller prior to his arrival in Green Bay (New Orleans 2000-04, San Francisco 2005). Twice the Saints ranked among the NFL's top-10 offenses.
LINEBACKERS FORM EFFECTIVE ROTATION
- With a wealth of talent at the inside linebacker position, coordinator Dom Capers and position coach Winston Moss have opted to go with a rotation in the early going.
- Nick Barnett and A.J. Hawk are the starters in the base defense. A steady and reliable player, Hawk has started every game in his pro career and topped 120 tackles each season.
- For the seventh-year pro Barnett, it marks his return to action since Week 10 of 2008 when he tore his ACL at Minnesota. He only played in one preseason game, so coaches have been careful with his reps as he works his way back to full strength.
- Both Barnett and Hawk recorded double-digit tackles in St. Louis.
- Brandon Chillar was one of the recipients of a game ball for his performance on defense in Week 1, which included eight tackles and a highlight-reel sack in which he hurdled Bears RB Garrett Wolfe. Desmond Bishop, another talented player in the unit, makes his presence felt on special teams, where he leads the team with seven tackles. Bishop led the defense in tackles in the preseason.
- While the team isn't in any rush to push Barnett and his knee past their physical limits, the team can rely on its depth at the position as Barnett gets more comfortable both physically and mentally in the new defense.
- Chillar, known as one of the best defenders in pass coverage on the team, has seen action in sub packages on obvious passing downs, and essentially gives the team a third starter at the position. His 21 tackles ranks third on the team.
- McCarthy has said he'd like to see if the team can find more opportunities for Bishop from scrimmage, which is exactly what the team did in St. Louis. He made his presence felt in the second-half action that he saw, recording four tackles, including one for loss.
WINNING FORMULA ON DISPLAY IN ST. LOUIS
- There's no one way to win an NFL football game, but the formula the Packers used on Sunday in St. Louis would be tough to beat anytime and anywhere.
- Converting turnovers on defense into points, using the big play on offense to jump-start scoring drives, and finding a productive running game in the fourth quarter all added up to a 36-17 victory over the Rams in front of a partially pro-Packers crowd of 60,234 at the Edward Jones Dome.
- With the win, the Packers put a disappointing Week 2 home loss behind them and improved to 2-1, one game in the NFC North behind next week's opponent, the unbeaten Minnesota Vikings.
- It might have looked nicer had the Packers turned it into a blowout early, which they had the chance to do. After an early field goal for a 3-0 lead, Green Bay got turnovers on the next two St. Louis possessions but couldn't convert them into touchdowns.
- Aaron Kampman knocked Rams quarterback Marc Bulger out of the game with a bruised shoulder when he hit his arm during a pass attempt, forcing a fumble that Johnny Jolly recovered at the St. Louis 15-yard line. But Aaron Rodgers missed a wide-open Donald Driver on a corner route to the end zone, and the Packers settled for three points.
- Then a slew of Green Bay defenders led by Cullen Jenkins stood up running back Steven Jackson and stripped the ball, with Al Harris recovering at the St. Louis 12. But another mistake, this one a false-start penalty, led to another field goal and a 9-0 lead.
- "We didn't get the point production you'd probably like," Head Coach Mike McCarthy said. "There were some up and down parts of the game and I really like the way the team responded, kept fighting."
- The offense responded with a much more efficient second quarter, thanks to two long pass plays. An improbable one-handed catch by Driver for 46 yards and a 50-yard catch-and-run by Greg Jennings set up two touchdowns, a 1-yard fullback dive by John Kuhn and a 21-yard TD toss to Driver.
- The defense struggled in that second quarter, though, allowing backup quarterback Kyle Boller to drive the Rams 78 and 84 yards for a pair of touchdowns. Both scores came on passes to tight end Daniel Fells, the second one with just two seconds left in the first half, cutting Green Bay's lead to 23-14.
- St. Louis got three points closer with a field goal early in the third quarter, but the Green Bay offense got going again to put the game away.
- First, the Packers got out of a hole when they were backed up to their own 2-yard line, moving out near midfield. They didn't score on that drive, but after getting it back from the Rams, a 53-yard pass to Jennings on the first play of the fourth quarter set up a 4-yard quarterback draw by Rodgers for a 29-17 advantage.
- From there, the Packers turned to running back Ryan Grant, who pounded away for 50 of his 99 rushing yards in the fourth quarter. In fact, counting the last two plays of the third quarter, when Grant had consecutive 7-yard runs, Green Bay's feature back rushed 13 times for 64 yards (4.9 avg.) in the game's final 16 minutes.
- It was tough sledding early for Grant, who had just 25 yards on 10 carries (2.5 avg.) in the first half behind the re-shuffled offensive line that had Daryn Colledge at left tackle for Chad Clifton (ankle), Jason Spitz at left guard and Scott Wells at center. Grant had a key 9-yard run to help get the Packers out of that field-position hole in the third quarter, but then a 10-yard run later on that drive was called back for a holding penalty.
- The defense also tightened up in the second half, allowing the Rams only two first downs and 47 yards of offense on their next four possessions after they had pulled within six points. Jackson was their workhorse, posting 27 carries for 117 rushing yards and five catches for 46 receiving yards to account for 48.5 percent of St. Louis' 336 total yards.
- The defense had one more turnover in it, too, as Charles Woodson stepped in front of Danny Amendola on a crossing route and picked off Boller's pass at the St. Louis 26. Three plays later, Rodgers found Kuhn wide open in the right flat for a 10-yard TD pass for the game's final points.
- That gave the Packers 13 points total off of the Rams' three turnovers, and put Green Bay - which didn't turn the ball over for the second time in three games - at an impressive plus-8 turnover ratio for the season.
- "That's been the theme ever since we've been together is getting turnovers and causing havoc," linebacker Brady Poppinga said. "That's the identity we've created. It's been great up to this point and it's a matter of continuing that and maintaining that throughout the rest of the season and beyond."
- Maintaining all aspects of Sunday's winning formula wouldn't hurt either. It will be difficult to do that against teams better than a winless Rams' squad playing with a backup quarterback, but for now it leaves the Packers in a much better place than they were a week ago.
- The Packers have blocked two field goals since McCarthy became head coach in 2006, and Jolly has done the honors both times. On the opening possession of Sunday's 36-17 victory against the Rams, Jolly blocked Josh Brown's 48-yard field goal try to keep the game scoreless. His deflection went to teammate Will Blackmon, who caught it on the fly and returned it 18 yards to give the offense good field position for an opening field-goal drive of its own. Last year, Jolly also blocked a 45-yard attempt by Adam Vinatieri in the Packers' 34-14 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Lambeau Field.
- Kuhn turned in the first two-touchdown game of his pro career. Kuhn's first TD came on a well-executed fullback dive from the 1-yard line in the second quarter. With the Rams clearly thinking the ball was going to the tailback, Kuhn took a quick handoff instead and practically walked through a huge hole.
- When Mason Crosby missed an extra point in the fourth quarter on Sunday, it was his first PAT miss in his three-year pro career, breaking a string of 100 straight. He missed the kick wide left, though it didn't prove crucial as the Packers led by 12 points at the time and won by 19. Crosby had actually made 168 PATs in a row dating back to his sophomore year in college at Colorado. His last miss came on Nov. 6, 2004, in a Big 12 Conference game at Kansas.
- The only injuries McCarthy reported after the game were a wrist injury to Jennings and a hand injury to fellow receiver James Jones, but both players returned to the game.
- The Packers' eight inactives were S Atari Bigby, T Chad Clifton, T Breno Giacomini, RB Brandon Jackson, FB Quinn Johnson, DE Michael Montgomery, LB Jeremy Thompson, CB Brandon Underwood.
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 his 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.
WITH THE GAME ON THE LINE
- Just like in Week 1 against Chicago, the game against Cincinnati was decided upon in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. No one needs to remind the Packers how important play in the fourth quarter can be.
- In eight of the 10 losses from 2008, the Packers either led or were behind by no more than one score in the fourth quarter. In those same eight games, the outcome was decided in the final two minutes.
- Even though the Packers finished the season plus-39 in scoring differential, they finished 6-10 because of their failure to make a play when they needed it.
- The "lessons of 2008", as Coach McCarthy referred to them this entire offseason, most likely center around the Packers coming up with the critical play in crunch time, whether it be on offense, defense or special teams.
- Their seven losses in games decided by four points or less tied the second-highest total in NFL history.
- It wasn't a problem of putting up points in the final frame, as Green Bay's 150 fourth-quarter points were second in the NFL behind San Diego (152).
- Perhaps most telling was the fact that the Green Bay defense allowed the second-most fourth-quarter points (135) in the league. Only Houston (136) allowed more.
- The two-minute drill was heavily stressed on both sides of the ball all offseason and still occurs in the course of a regular-season week. The drill almost always comes toward the end of practice to help simulate the fatigue and end-of-game conditions.