On Now
Coming Up
  • Fri., Jul. 25, 2014 6:00 PM CDT Packers 1K Kids Run

    Back to Football also includes the 1K Kids Run, presented by WPS Health Insurance. Kids 10 years old and younger will have the opportunity to run a Lambeau Lap on Friday, July 25, at 6 p.m. Registration for the Kids Run is $10 and all participants will receive a Packers 1K Run t-shirt, a logoed bag and a participant medal.

    http://www.packers.com/5k

  • Fri., Jul. 25, 2014 7:00 PM CDT Movie Night at Lambeau Field

    Movie Night at Lambeau Field will return this year on Friday, July 25, following the 1K Kids Run. The event is free and open to the public, and concessions will be available throughout the movie. More details will be announced at a later date.

    Time listed above is subject to change.

  • Sat., Jul. 26, 2014 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM CDT Live McCarthy press conference Head Coach Mike McCarthy will be available to media in the Lambeau Field Media Auditorium.
  • Sat., Jul. 26, 2014 6:30 PM CDT Packers 5K Run/Walk

    The fifth annual ‘5K Run/Walk at Lambeau Field,’ is set for Saturday, July 26, at 6:30 p.m.

    The computer-timed run is highlighted by a neighborhood route that ultimately takes participants into Lambeau Field and around the famed gridiron. The event has a special finish line – the Packers’ ‘G’ painted on turf located in the parking lot.

    All participants will receive a Packers 5K Run T-shirt, a logoed bag, and a bib number and timing chip. To celebrate the race’s fifth anniversary, all participants will receive a commemorative medal. In addition, photos will be taken on the course and will be available at no cost on the Packers 5K Run website.

    Packers-themed awards will be presented to the top three finishers in each age group. An awards ceremony will take place following the conclusion of the race.

    Registration, which is $25 for adults and $15 for children (12 and younger), will be available online beginning Friday, May 23, at www.packers.com/5k. Mail-in registration is also an option, with forms available online and in person at Lambeau Field. Runners can also register at the Bellin Run Expo on Friday, June 13, at Astor Park in Green Bay. Early registration is encouraged. After July 13, registration fees will increase to $30 and $20, respectively.

  • Sun., Jul. 27, 2014 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM CDT Live McCarthy press conference Head Coach Mike McCarthy will be available to media in the Lambeau Field Media Auditorium.
  • Mon., Jul. 28, 2014 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM CDT Live McCarthy press conference Head Coach Mike McCarthy will be available to media in the Lambeau Field Media Auditorium.

News

Print
RSS

Packers hot and playing the right way

Posted Dec 16, 2012

Offense, defense on the rise as postseason nears

Green Bay Packers Clay Matthews sacks Bears QB Jay Cutler

CHICAGO—The Packers are officially a hot team late in the season. That’s what Sunday’s win over the Bears announced to the rest of the NFL.

We know this because the Packers have won eight of their last nine games with a defense that’s climbing the charts, a quarterback that’s pitching touchdown passes in an offense that’s making opposing defenses play the run, and injured players are returning to health at the same time that there are no new injuries to report. All the Packers need now is their kicker to return.

“This was a big game for us. Now we’re looking to improve our seed,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said following the Packers’ division-clinching, 21-13 win over the Bears on Sunday.

None of this has come easily for this team. In fact, for most of the season, there was doubt the 2012 season would be anything more than a tease. The Packers just never looked like the team that cruised to 13-0 and 15-1 in 2011.

“It’s been a grind. This season, more than last year and even 2010, has been a grind. To get a win like this means a lot,” Rodgers said.

The Packers had to grind through an avalanche of injuries that cost them Charles Woodson, Greg Jennings and Clay Matthews for long stretches of the season. They lost their first-round draft pick for the year at midseason, their first-round draft pick from two years ago for the season a few weeks ago, and never had their first-round pick of 2011 at any time in this season.

How many teams can endure those kinds of losses and be a hot team in December trying to win a first-round bye?

There was the call in Seattle and the fall in Indianapolis, and at 2-3 critics were beginning to wonder just how good those 15-1 Packers really were. The 2012 Packers rallied from their slow start, but their wins weren’t of the impressive type and the Packers found themselves almost having to apologize weekly for another ugly win.

Apologies aren’t necessary any longer. The Packers are what they are, which is to say NFC North champions, again, and threatening to win the No. 2 spot in the NFC playoffs. You might want to give the two hole a look. It’s been a favorable launch position.

“It’s all about who’s hot at the right time. It’s all about how you’re playing in late December and how healthy your team is,” Rodgers said.

The best thing about this team is that it’s playing with grit. That’s what wins championships. Style points win OTA practices. Finding ways to make plays at crunch time is the thing of champions.

“We’ve dealt with a lot of adversity. I think this team is playing the right way,” Rodgers added.

If there was a turning point in this season, it would seem to be the Indianapolis-Houston weeks of the season. The loss in Indianapolis was rock bottom. The win in Houston was rebirth.

“What Houston did for us is remind us we have some special players. When you’re 15-1, you forget how difficult it is,” Rodgers said.

The Packers now have the look of a team whose offense is about to realize its potential, which it hasn’t done for any extended period of time this season. At the same time, their defense appears poised to become dominant. It’s something last year’s Packers couldn’t say as they headed into the playoffs. That team had 15 wins, but it didn’t have a playoff-caliber defense. This team does.

“After that first series, I thought our defense was able to take over the game,” Head Coach Mike McCarthy said following the win over the Bears. “We have a lot more to offer in all three phases. When we’re balanced and our playmakers get into the secondary, it’s a different game. We need to threaten these secondaries more and more.”

Should that happen, the Packers will become more than a hot team. They might become unbeatable.

Additional coverage - Dec. 16
 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Packers move into dorms at St. Norbert College

    (1:44) Posted 18 hours ago

    Packers began to move into Victor McCormick Hall at St. Norbert College on Thursday, July 24, in preparation for 2014 Training Camp. Hear from WR Jared Abbrederis and TE Ryan Taylor.

  • Mark Murphy speaks on Favre's Return to Lambeau

    (2:10) Posted 18 hours ago

    Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy addressed members of the media in the Lambeau Field media auditorium on Thursday, July 24, following the 2014 Annual Shareholders Meeting.

  • Mark Murphy excited for chance to play in London

    (1:38) Posted 18 hours ago

    Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy addressed members of the media in the Lambeau Field media auditorium on Thursday, July 24, following the 2014 Annual Shareholders Meeting.