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Packers reportedly to face Ponder, plus other news and notes

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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Last week, Packers coach Mike McCarthy used the example of the 2009 game at Tampa Bay to make sure his players were prepared for the St. Louis Rams. In '09, the Bucs were winless and coming off their bye when they upset the Packers 38-28. Last week, the Rams also were winless and coming off their bye, but the Packers took care of business with a 24-3 victory. In that '09 game, the Bucs also started their rookie quarterback, Josh Freeman, for the first time. McCarthy can use the Tampa Bay example again this week because the Packers will reportedly be facing another rookie quarterback making his first start. Several national media outlets have reported today that the Minnesota Vikings will give Christian Ponder his first career start. Ponder finished Sunday's loss at Chicago after starter Donovan McNabb was pulled. Ponder was the 12th overall pick in April's draft. In other notes today on the Packers' offday: * Coach Mike McCarthy already gave his players their bye week schedule, and they'll have most of next week off regardless of the outcome of Sunday's game at Minnesota. They will come in Monday for a review of the Vikings' game and then have the rest of the week off before returning to practice on Oct. 31. Don't be surprised if McCarthy practices twice in pads -- which the league allows in one week of the season -- in the week after the bye. * Remember the New York Life Protection Index that STATS broke out last year as a way to measure offensive line play? Well according to that measure, the Packers' turned in their best pass protection performance in Sunday's game against the Rams (a 92.7 rating) since Week 9 of last season against Dallas (95.7).

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