The Green Bay Packers are almost a lock to end up as the fifth seed in the NFC playoffs, so there has been some question if the Packers will utilize their full game plan or rest their starters against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
We’ve spoken about the importance of being sharp and carrying momentum into the playoffs, and Packers coach Mike McCarthy seemed to indicate the team will go all out this week, during his Wednesday press conference.
“It’s important for us to continue the way we have been playing the last seven weeks, and that’s really the message to the football team. I’m sure it will be a message once you go into the locker room,” McCarthy said. “We’re not in this situation to back off. It’s important for us to continue our style of play. Our approach this week will be the same that it has always been. I think routine in your preparation and your approach is a big part of your success, so we’re going to go out there and our goal is to go to 11-5.”
I particularly like this part – “our style of play.”
It reminds me of the mid-90s Packers, whose style of play was to run an opponent over with their offense and then let the defense stomp them in the face while they were gasping for breath. The Packers haven’t really had a definitive style of play since then, other than perhaps “let’s keep it close and then let Brett Favre fuck it up for us in the end.”
No, these Packers remind me a little bit of those mid-90s Packers – great quarterback entering his prime, above-average skill position players, and an often dominant defense anchored by a future hall of famer. They have that same Packers style of play.
Now, before you go and crown them Super Bowl champions, this Packers team isn’t as good as say, the ’95 or ’96 Packers. This team has a few too many holes (shaky offensive line, nickel back, special teams), but at least they’ve gotten back to that Packers style of play.
And at least McCarthy sees the value in finishing out the season the same way the team has played the last seven weeks – balls to the walls.