By Drew Olson Special to Published Dec 07, 2009 at 1:03 PM

December football has arrived, which means that Packers fans have to do whatever it takes:

Reserve your favorite bar stool. Hit your favorite wing stop on the way home. Punch the pizza delivery button on your speed dial.

In their third and final prime-time game of the season, the Packers (7-4) host Baltimore (6-5) tonight as "Monday Night Football" invades Lambeau Field. As kickoff approaches, we've got some basic information as well as five things to watch. (You're on your own when it comes to snacks and beverages).


Teams: Green Bay Packers vs. Baltimore Ravens

Time: 7:30 tonight

Place: Lambeau Field

Tickets: The Ravens returned some of their alloted tickets, which are available online here.

Weather: Mostly cloudy, temperatures in the 20s.

Broadcasts: TV -- ESPN and Channel 12 in Milwaukee (announcers Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Jon Gruden. Radio -- WTMJ (620 AM) and a statewide network (announcers Wayne Larrivee and Larry McCarren).

Head coaches: Green Bay's Mike McCarthy (fourth season) is 35-26 (1-1 postseason). Baltimore's John Harbaugh (second season) is 19-11 (2-1 postseason).

All-time series: Green Bay leads, 2-1. The Packers won both contests in Green bay and lost, 48-3, in a 2005 matchup at Baltimore.

Injury report: Packers - LB Aaron Kampman (knee) and LB Jeremy Thompson (neck) are out; T T.J. Lang (concussion) is questionable; T Allen Barbre (ankle), LB Brandon Chillar (hand), LT Chad Clifton (hamstring), RB Ryan Grant (shoulder), RB Ahman Green (groin), FB John Kuhn (hand), QB Aaron Rodgers (ribs) and CB Charles Woodson (hip) are probable.

Ravens - TE L.J. Smith (ankle) and LB Terrell Suggs (knee) are doubtful; S K.J. Gerard (thigh), S Ed Reed (ankle, hip) and CB Cary Williams (thigh are questionable; C Matt Birk (neck), LB Prescott Burgess (thigh), QB Joe Flacco (ankle), T Jared Gaither (illness), LB Jarret Johnson (shoulder), LB Ray Lewis (foot), FB Le'Ron McClain (chest), DT Haloti Ngata (ankle), WR Kelley Washington (illness) and WR Demetrius Williams (illness) are probable.

Odds: Packers are favored by 3 1/2 points.


You can call me Ray: The Packers will be focusing on a pair of Ravens named Ray. Linebacker Ray Lewis may not be as dominant as he was a few years ago, but still can wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks. Running back Ray Rice, however, may present more trouble. Rice, who has drawn comparisons to Tennessee's Chris Johnson and Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, is elusive and he's shown an ability to gain yards on the ground or by catching balls out of the backfield. The Packers' linebackers will be tested. Willis McGahee and La'Ron McClain also can spring free for yards. Look for Baltimore to try to establish the run before turning to the passing game behind Joe Flacco.

Just for kicks: The Packers have struggled on special teams all season, and kicker Mason Crosby and punter Jeremy Kapinos haven't exactly draped themselves in glory. Crosby's inconsistency makes anything longer than 40 yards an question mark. Kapinos hasn't been able to kick the Packers out of poor field position. Both players need to perform well in what could be tough conditions in the final month.

Open season: Baltimore cornerbacks Domonique Foxworth and Lardarious Webb have come under fire from Ravens fans this season and will be tested against the Packers' talented receiving corps. Donald Driver is quietly having an amazing season and Greg Jennings has shown signs of breaking out in recent weeks. Tight end Jermichael Finley opens the field for the wideouts and quarterback Aaron Rodgers has shown a knack for spreading the ball around. Rodgers will have to avoid Baltimore veteran safety Ed Reed, but Flacco will have to do the same with Charles Woodson, who has been generating buzz as a candidate for defensive player of the year.

Lining up: It's probably not a coincidence that the Packers have played better since the return of veteran right tackle Mark Tauscher. Left tackle Chad Clifton (hamstring) is expected to play, but T.J. Lang's status is uncertain. The Ravens rely on blitzes to pressure opposing quarterbacks. The Packers need to provide Rodgers time to find open receivers. The best way to do that? Run the ball effectively.

Zebra hunting: Both teams have been penalized excessively this season, with many coming on special teams. The Packers have been trying to "clean up" the mistakes for much of the season. Against lesser foes like Detroit, the mistakes didn't cost them much. Against a solid opponent like Baltimore, they could be devastating. The Ravens have lost five games by a total of 23 points. They'll come to town hungry and motivated to capitalize on any mistake.

Need more? Here is a video of Jason Horowitz and analyst Pat Kirwan breaking down the game.


Drew Olson Special to

Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.