GREEN BAY – The starting five on the Packers’ offensive line has not been together for a game in nearly two months, but the group might finally reunite on Saturday night.
“This week I feel good,” said Bakhtiari, who has missed the last three games, all of which had a different replacement for him, the last being the best in
That’s in such stark contrast to a year ago, when the offensive line rarely had to change. The group started Bakhtiari and
All the moving parts, both during the week and within the game itself, caught up to the Packers on their first trip to Arizona, which poured on nine sacks. Green Bay’s linemen stay together and don’t point fingers when there’s a breakdown, but there’s no doubting the confidence the entire offense would feel to know the starting group is together again.
As Bakhtiari said, “You can replace a player, but you can’t replace chemistry.” Sitton said he and Bakhtiari will be able to settle into their usual groove on the left side in no time, that it will feel “natural.”
Added Lang: “You talk about chemistry all the time up front, and the more snaps you get together, especially in one particular game, I feel like the better we’re going to perform. If you’ve got guys coming in here, guys coming in there, you probably overthink it a little too much.”
Several offensive players, including QB
“The tempo doesn’t work if you have an incomplete pass on first down or if you have a negative run,” Sitton said. “It’s just natural. If you’re getting positive yards, everybody is moving forward, everybody is moving that way.
“You have to convert the first third down to be able to use that tempo.”
There was no tempo or rhythm at all to the Packers’ offense in the Week 16 visit to Arizona, but the playoff rematch won’t be about avenging the 30-point loss or atoning for the offensive line’s roughest performance in recent memory.
The Packers vowed to start fresh with their first playoff game last week, and that approach isn’t changing.
The Packers are both relaxed and confident, and getting another week healthier up front aids those states of mind.
Mike McCarthy has made it clear he’s not buying the underdog storyline, and his team seems to have drawn a distinction between being perceived as the underdog and actually feeling like one.
“The pressure is all going to be on them,” Rodgers said of the Cardinals. “They’re coming off a tough loss at home against Seattle. Before that they blew us out. They’re the Super Bowl favorites and obviously the favorite team on Saturday night.
“We just have to go out and be loose and let it all hang out, because the pressure is all on that side.”