Packers Primed For Postseason Run

Now that a regular season that ranks among the best in team annals is all wrapped up, the Green Bay Packers are moving forward to bigger and better things, which for them means winning in the playoffs. - More Audio | Video | Packers-Lions Game Center


LB Nick Barnett says the team is focused on making a Super Bowl run.

Now that a regular season that ranks among the best in team annals is all wrapped up, the Green Bay Packers are starting over.

But it's not as if the team is all of a sudden going to forget about the 13 victories that got them to this point. It's just that they are moving forward to bigger and better things, which for them means winning in the playoffs.

To hear the players tell it, there is plenty of reason for optimism after getting back on the winning track in Sunday's dominating performance over the Lions. Though they know that the playoffs are a much tougher proposition, that doesn't mean they won't build off of some of the momentum they gained Sunday.

And even though the Packers won't get back to work until Friday in preparation for a game that will be played on Saturday, Jan. 12, that doesn't mean they aren't taking advantage of the days in between now and then.

"I think the main thing is to get some rest," receiver James Jones said. "Then come back, see who we have to play, study them real well, and I'm sure we'll be ready to go."

While some people might contend that Sunday's 34-13 win over the Lions was a meaningless game, you won't find anybody of that opinion in the Packers' locker room. Instead, it's quite the opposite.

"It was definitely important to establish some momentum going into the playoffs," cornerback/kick returner Tramon Williams said.

"It shows what the young guys can do. It shows the depth that we have, we know what the older guys can do and we found out what the younger guys can do. We came out with a big victory and it definitely gives us some momentum going in (to the playoffs)."

Having a bye sometimes means teams have to shake off the rust when the game finally rolls around, but then again no one is going to complain about having a period of recuperation either.

"I think it's big," receiver Ruvell Martin said. "Even to sit back, relax, and get your body and mind right. It's New Year's, a little bit of stress coming for the guys that would have a game coming up.

"It allows us to sit back and enjoy the game, step back away from it as far as work goes, and then come out there for whoever we've got to play."

Losing a game like the Packers did against the Bears nine days ago didn't sit well with anyone in the organization, but as Scott Wells explained, bouncing back quickly is something that a team must strive for at all costs in order to be successful. That is why finishing up the regular season strong, though it may not affect anything in the standings, was still very important in the Packers' postseason plan.

"What matters is when you stack positive games, you build positive momentum," Wells said. "When you stack negative games, it goes the other way. You have a lack of momentum and you have to try and answer questions. It does feel important to answer back, get back on the winning track, and gain some positive momentum."

The Packers do indeed have momentum on their side, but they also face one unknown - their opponent, which will be either Seattle, Tampa Bay or the New York Giants.

However, two things that they know for sure is that they have an advantage with an extra week for rest and preparation and that they will be in the friendly confines of Lambeau Field for their first playoff game.

According to Nick Barnett, those factors were something the team was aiming for all season long, but as great as those accomplishments are, it's now time to buckle down for the long haul.

"We wanted to go into the bye week with a win and some momentum and we accomplished that," Barnett said. "We're just taking it one game at a time. The playoffs are a whole different monster. No matter who we play, we're going into there with the same intensity and sense of urgency and we're looking forward to it.

"It's very important for us to be focused. We plan on going on a Super Bowl run and we've got to be focused on it one game at a time. There are some great teams we might see so if you don't have focus, you're going to end up going home early. So we're going to keep our focus one week at a time and end in the right place."

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