PACKERS TOP BEARS TO CLINCH HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE IN NFC
- Green Bay beat Chicago, 35-21, tonight at Lambeau Field. With their 14th victory, the Packers set the franchise record for most wins in the regular season, topping the previous record of 13 wins in 1962, 1996, 1997, 2007.
- With the win, the Packers clinched home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. It marks the first time since 1996 that Green Bay will be the top seed in the NFC.
- Tonight’s victory gives Green Bay four wins over Chicago in 2011 (including playoffs). According to STATS LLC, the Packers are only the second team in NFL history to beat the same opponent four times in a calendar year, joining the 1994 Los Angeles Raiders (4-0 vs. Denver).
- This was Green Bay’s second season sweep of the Bears in the past three seasons (also 2009). The Packers’ four-game winning streak against the Bears is their longest vs. Chicago since a seven-game streak from 2000-03.
- Tonight’s victory was Green Bay’s 12th straight at Lambeau Field and the 18th victory in its last 19 contests at home.
- The 12-game home winning streak is the fifth-longest winning streak at home in franchise history.
- This marks Green Bay’s first 7-0 start at home since 2002.
- With the win, the Packers improved to 26-9 (.743) in NFC North regular-season games under Head Coach Mike McCarthy. That winning percentage ranks No. 2 in the NFL since 2006 behind only New England (27-8, .771). The Packers are now 5-0 in NFC North games this season. The five victories are tied for the most divisional wins (2002, 2004, 2006) by the Packers since the league went to an eight-division format in 2002.
- The Packers became the 14th team in NFL history to score 500 points in a season (515 this season).
OTHER POST-GAME NOTES:
- Tonight’s paid attendance was 70,574. It was the 300th consecutive sellout (284 regular season, 16 playoffs) at Lambeau Field.
- With 283 passing yards tonight, QB Aaron Rodgers set the single-season franchise record for most passing yards in a season with 4,643. That tops the previous team record of 4,458 passing yards by Lynn Dickey in 1983.
- Rodgers threw a career-high five TD passes, which matched the single-game franchise record (seven other times).
- Rodgers posted his 10th game with at least three TD passes this season, becoming just the third QB in NFL history to accomplish that feat (Tom Brady, 12 in 2007; Dan Marino 10 in 1984).
- It was also Rodgers’ fifth game with four TD passes this season. That ties the franchise record set by Brett Favre in 1996.
- With his 142.7 passer rating tonight, Rodgers set an NFL single-season record with his 13th 100-plus passer rating game (Steve Young, 12 in 1994; Tom Brady, 12 in 2010).
- It was also Rodgers’ fourth game with a 140-plus passer rating this season, a franchise record. It matches the NFL single-season record (min. 10 attempts), tying the four 140-rating games posted by Roger Staubach in 1973 and Tom Brady in 2007 and 2010.
- WR Donald Driver went over the 10,000-yard receiving mark for his career (now has 10,008 yards). He is the 36th player in NFL history to accomplish that feat.
- With 115 yards receiving tonight, WR Jordy Nelson now has 1,101 receiving yards this season, his first career 1,000-yard season. It also marked Nelson’s fourth 100-yard receiving game this season.
- Nelson tied his career high with two TD receptions. He now has 12 TD catches this season as he becomes only the eighth player in franchise history to have 12-plus TD catches in a season.
- TE Jermichael Finley’s 2-yard TD catch in the first quarter gave him four TD receptions vs. Chicago this season, the most by a Green Bay tight end against an opponent in a single season in franchise history. The last NFL tight end to accomplish that feat was San Diego’s Antonio Gates in 2005 (four TDs vs. Kansas City).
- WR James Jones’ posted a career-high two TD catches. It brought his season total to seven TD receptions, a career high (five in 2009 and 2010).
- LB Clay Matthews’ second-quarter interception was his third INT of the season, further adding to his career high.
- S Charlie Peprah added to his career high with his fifth interception of the season.
GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY:
(on what’s left to accomplish next week) “Well, that’s a great question. I’m focused on what we just accomplished tonight. 14 wins, anytime I can stand up here and talk about a record that stands in front of the great history and tradition of the Green Bay Packers, that’s special. The goal was to get home-field advantage all the way through. We accomplished that tonight, but we do need to get healthy as a team, which every team in the league is probably saying today. We’ll look at all our options. I’m not going to stand here and tell you we want to give away opportunities to win a game. We’re going to play to win the game next week. I’m real excited about a division opponent coming in here, and we’re going to do everything we can to get to 15-1. Health is an issue for us, I think that’s stating the obvious.”
Tags: bears, notes, packers, postgame, quotes
Posted in Packers.com Blog
GREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY
On the game: “OK, I’ll start with injuries. Bryan Bulaga had a knee strain and Derek Sherrod had a broken leg. With that, I’ll take your questions.”
On the disappointment that the perfect season is over: “Really, what is disappointing to me is that we didn’t clinch home-field advantage. That was always the goal. I personally always viewed the undefeated season as, really, just gravy. The goal was to get the home-field advantage and win the Super Bowl. That’s what we discussed as a football team. We were fortunate enough to be in the position to possibly achieve the undefeated season, but we still have the primary goal in front of us, and that’s to get the home-field advantage.”
On how much he attributes the offensive struggles to the absence of WR Greg Jennings: “I don’t think anytime you have struggles you look to individuals that are not on the field. You look at the game. I’ll go back, I’ll look at the way it was called. We didn’t catch the ball like we normally catch the ball. We had some opportunities, particularly in the first half. We had too many penalties. We’ve been clean week-in and week-out, and as far as the penalties, we weren’t very detailed today.”
On the Chiefs approach to the game: “The film didn’t lie. We talked about it all week. We expressed that to anybody that asked a question. Their ability to run the football… Kyle Orton is definitely an improvement at quarterback, and I thought he played well, which he normally does, just in my experience seeing him play on that other sideline. Defensively, I have a lot of respect for their defense the way they were playing coming into the game. We talked about it being a spirited football game, and we didn’t answer the bell. We were beaten today. The Kansas City Chiefs outplayed us. We were beaten.”
On his concern for the offensive line: “You never want to see players get hurt. We’ll assess everything tomorrow and have a better idea. It’s unfortunate Derek is lost for the season. You never want to see that happen. I really don’t have a pulse on Bryan Bulaga and the injury that he had.”
On whether he considered challenging the pass to TE Leonard Pope along the sideline: “No, I thought we were right on it actually. They have the replay here in Arrowhead. I was of the opinion that the foot was out of bounds before the ball came out. We talked about it. We had a long break in between that point in time to make the decision. Based on the information, I thought it was right not to challenge.”
On whether the press coverage caused any problems: “They challenged us. Frankly, that’s the way you stop a team that can throw the football. Their corners, they played us a lot of 2-Man or however you guys refer to it, Cover 1. They pressed us from the time we got off the bus.”
On whether they talked about kicking it deep rather than going onside: “That’s obviously the conversation. You have two options there, and I chose to go with the onside kick.”
On whether he thinks the Chiefs told the officials to watch for WR Jordy Nelson pushing off: “Well, two quick calls like that, offensive pass interference, I would say that’s uncommon. I don’t think you see that very often. I did not see the replay on either one, so I don’t really have a comment on it. We pushed the ball up the field, and they were playing man-to-man. They got the calls there.”
On whether there is something to take from the game that will help: “It’s really faint. You win and you look to improve your quality of play. We did not improve as a football team today, so we’ll do what you do after that happens. It’s been quite some time since I’ve had to address the team in this fashion, but we didn’t get better. That’s not taking away anything from Kansas City. They won the game. They did the things necessary, time of possession all the way through. I’m sure they hit all the targets as far as the way they approached the game. They got it done. They got their game plan done, we did not. We’ll grade it, like we always do on Mondays, and we’ll get ready for Chicago.”
On whether T Chad Clifton is close to returning: “I don’t know. The path that Chad has been taking back, it’s been up and down, so I don’t know. Hopefully, he can get back, but I wouldn’t know which way to lean.”
On whether the players were heavily invested in going 16-0: “I think our team did a good job of staying on point. I think that was the message. I didn’t see a bunch of guys running around talking about 16-0. That was my sense of it. We knew the type of game we were coming into today. This was no surprise. It wasn’t just talk. We answered the questions all week. We knew we were coming into a juggernaut, and we didn’t overcome it.”
On the play of QB Aaron Rodgers: “I thought he was put in some tough spots. I thought Aaron played with more long downs and distances today than he has in quite some time. He managed this game very well. I thought he was productive at the line of scrimmage. He had one or two balls knocked down. We’ll look at the film and grade him like we always do.”
On whether the pressure is reduced now: “We’ve got our 15th game coming up. We’re fighting for home-field advantage. I say the same thing as every day. We need to improve as a football team, and we need to play our next game better against the Chicago Bears. We have an opportunity, so that’s really where our focus is.”
On QB Kyle Orton’s ability to move the team up and down the field: “I thought they did a very good job with their first down cadence and ability to do late substitutions. That’s a challenge for a team when you’re matching personnel. I thought they were very productive in the action passing game, a lot of the things that he did when we saw him at Lambeau. He hit us on a few big plays. I think the guy is a damn good quarterback. I’m not questioning his coaching decisions that have gone on in his past, but I’ve always felt Kyle is an excellent player.”
Tags: chiefs, packers, postgame, quotes
Posted in Packers.com Blog