The Green Bay Packers finished off their rival Chicago Bears last Sunday with gusto, and at the same time they not only won the NFC North Division and the opportunity to host an NFL Wildcard Playoff game this coming Sunday when the San Francisco 49ers come to Titletown.
We’re sure that Packers fans will be replaying that Chicago game for years to come and what’s even better is owning bragging rights over those Bears fans who can now only look toward another season with Jay Cutler as their quarterback.
That said, there’s so much to look forward to the rest of this week and into the coming weekend. After receiving my most recent edition of the Packers Dope Sheet – that weekly publication that is filled with more stats and information than one could ever digest.
So, here are bits and pieces of interesting info that can whet your palate as we go into the new year and the Playoff season:
In Sunday’s division-clinching win at Chicago, the Packers overcame a 28-20 fourth-quarter deficit in the 33-28 win.
• For Green Bay, that was familiar territory in the final month of the season, with the comeback win over Chicago marking the third time in December that the Packers had come back to win after trailing by eight or more points in the second half.
• In Green Bay’s 22-21 victory vs. Atlanta in Week 15, it trailed 21-10 in the second half before shutting out the Falcons and scoring 12 points to pull out the win. In the Packers’ 37-36 win at Dallas the next week, they matched the biggest comeback in franchise history after trailing by 23 points (26-3) in the second half.
• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the first time in franchise history that the Packers had won three games in a calen- dar month when they trailed by eight-plus points in the second half in each of those victories.
• According to Elias, the last NFL team to accomplish the feat in a calen- dar month was the Indianapolis Colts in December 1986.
• Sunday’s 87-yard game winning drive that was capped off with a 48-yard TD pass from QB Aaron Rodgers to WR Randall Cobb featured three fourth-down conversions, the first time Green Bay had done so on a drive since at Chicago on Dec. 4, 2005.
• For the second straight season, the Green Bay Packers (No. 4 seed) and San Francisco 49ers (No. 5 seed) will meet in the post-
season, the first playoff matchup between the clubs at Lambeau Field since a Wild Card contest on Jan. 13, 2002.
This will mark the seventh time that the Packers and 49ers have met in the postseason. That is tied for the most games for Green Bay against one opponent in the playoffs (N.Y. Giants, seven). The Packers hold a 4-2 advantage over San Francisco in the postseason series.
Since 2010, Green Bay has a .695 regular-season winning percentage (44-19-1), No. 1 in the NFC over that span, with San Francisco checking in at No. 2 in the conference with a .664 winning percentage (42-21-1).
Including playoffs, the Packers have won 13 of the last 17 games against the 49ers, but San Francisco has emerged victorious in the last three.
With a thrilling 33-28 win over the Bears on Sunday, the Packers clinched their third straight NFC North title, the first time they have done so since 2002-04. It marked Green Bay’s 21st division crown in franchise history.
In the 12 seasons of the NFC North (2002-13), Green Bay has captured the division title seven times (2002-04, 2007, 2011-13).
As productive as QB Aaron Rodgers has been during the regular season in his six years as the starter, he has also carried that over to the playoffs.
Rodgers capped off the 2010 postseason with a 304-yard, three-TD effort vs. Pittsburgh that earned him Super Bowl MVP honors. He became just the fourth quarterback in NFL history to throw for 300 yards and three TDs with no INTs in a Super Bowl, joining Joe Montana, Steve Young and Jake Delhomme.
Rodgers has posted a 110-plus passer rating in four of his eight career postseason starts. That already ties him for sixth in league history behind Montana (six in 23 starts), Tom Brady (six in 24 starts), Brett Favre (five in 24 starts), Troy Aikman (five in 16 starts) and Terry Bradshaw (five in 19 starts).