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Offline MintBaconDrivel  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2013 6:12:21 AM(UTC)
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Jason Wilde said:
GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers’ Thanksgiving Day had been a colossal disappointment, and in the Ford Field visitors’ locker room in the moments after the loss to the Detroit Lions, the road ahead appeared daunting. One could’ve argued the season was lost.

"There was very little room for error before the game," the Packers head coach said. "And there's even less room now.”

Nothing had gone right. The bruising starting running back, who’d been so productive in previous weeks, was shut down.

“We couldn't run the ball worth a (expletive),” the tell-it-like-it-is left guard said. “It was a terrible game."

The defense had made a few plays, but not enough, and committed costly errors at inopportune times.

“We just didn't do enough to get the job done,” the veteran cornerback said. “We needed big plays, we needed to stop them from putting points up on the board altogether. I hate to say it, but we found a way to lose this one.”

Injuries remained a factor.

“But we have guys who have to step in and make those plays and make that adjustment," the coach said. "And I fully expected us to."

And to top it off, the former MVP quarterback wouldn’t be 100 percent healthy the rest of the season.

"Do I feel like I can take this team and carry them by myself? I think every individual should feel that way," the quarterback said. "If you want to (ask), can I still carry this team? Fine. But until they tell me I'm not the quarterback here anymore, then I will do my best and feel confident that I can do what needs to be done to win."

And yet, despite it all, they knew they had four games left to play, and they weren’t ready to give up, despite being 1 1/2 games behind the NFC North leader.

"We have to win out," the veteran right guard said. "We've got four games left. We're definitely not out of anything. We still have a shot."

Added the head coach: "You never know how things are going to pan out. You just don't. So you have to win each game as you go. The margin of error has now been minimized even more so because of our ineptness (against Detroit). We have to overcome that."

Sound familiar? It should.

Except, this wasn’t Mike McCarthy, Josh Sitton, Tramon Williams, Aaron Rodgers and T.J. Lang talking after Thursday’s 40-10 Thanksgiving loss to the Lions. This was Mike Sherman, Mike Wahle, Mike McKenzie, Brett Favre and Marco Rivera talking after the team’s 22-14 loss to the Lions on Thanksgiving 2003.

And you know what happened next.

The Packers, 6-6 entering the final four games, won out. Favre took the field in Oakland in the second-to-last game of the season, having lost his father Irv to a fatal heart attack, and played the game of his life.

In a sublimely bizarre final day of the season, the Packers whipped the Denver Broncos, 31-3, at Lambeau Field while most of the crowd spent the second half turned around watching skybox TVs to see the Arizona Cardinals stun the Minnesota Vikings, 18-17, and send the Packers to the NFC North title and a berth in the playoffs.

"Something's going on here," Favre said after that game.

Once there, they beat Matt “We Want The Ball And We’re Going To Score” Hasselbeck and the Seattle Seahawks in overtime in the NFC Wild Card round. The Team of Destiny came up short, of course, with its miraculous run ending with the infamous Fourth-and-26 loss at Philadelphia in the NFC Divisional round.

But that’s not the point. The point is that a team seemingly out of contention went on a run, with its quarterback bringing his teammates together, and made the playoffs.

A decade later, the 5-6-1 Packers, who are 0-4-1 since Rodgers broke his left collarbone against Chicago on the opening series of the team’s No. 4 loss, have four games left – at home against Atlanta (3-9) on Sunday, at Dallas (7-5) on Dec. 15, at home against Pittsburgh (5-7) on Dec. 22 and at Chicago (6-6) on Dec. 29.

On Friday – the last time McCarthy spoke to reporters, as Monday evening’s scheduled press briefing was canceled by the club – McCarthy acknowledged how bad Thursday’s loss had been and the scenario it created.

“There's not a man that's coached or played in this league that hasn't had his ass beat. OK? And that's what happened to us. We got drilled by a very good football team that played very well. So we'll take that hard lesson, swallow. They'll be accountable for it. And we'll be ready to go when Atlanta comes in here.

“We're in a hole. We felt like we were in a hole going in to the Detroit game. We've got two division losses and a tie. That's not where you want to be. This league is exciting each and every week. And that's the way you have to approach it. So we have a big opportunity (against the Falcons). It's an NFC game, it’s at home, to get back to .500. And we'll see what happens.”

While Rodgers’ collarbone injury is obviously different than the personal tragedy Favre dealt with, his return could conceivably galvanize the team. In addition to everything else the Packers overcame in 2003, Favre played the second half of the season with a broken thumb on his right (throwing) hand, suffered in October.

Will the Packers be able to ride Rodgers to a similar finish? Of course, past performance is not a guarantee of future results. But asked on his weekly radio show on 540 ESPN and ESPNWisconsin.com last week whether the team could run the table, Rodgers said he believed it could. In fact, Rodgers had just talked with injured running back DuJuan Harris about it a week earlier.

“I think so. I really do,” Rodgers replied. “I think we’ve been through so much as a team this year, faced a lot of adversity, a lot of injuries, we should be getting healthy at the right time. We still have guys who are playing through injuries.

“It would be exciting to see, as DuJuan actually mentioned to me in the locker room last week, what it would be like if we’d have been able to stay relatively healthy this season. Obviously he’s been out for the season and (left tackle) Bryan Bulaga out (is) for the season and there have been a number of other injuries throughout the year that have dealt us some tough blows.

“We’ve, in the past, been able to make runs in these types of situations. Everybody’s banged up at this point in the season, but we feel if we can just stay in the hunt here and just get into the tournament, anything can happen.”
Offline dhazer  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2013 7:16:02 AM(UTC)
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ummm to compare the 2 is a far fetch, they were 1/2 game back with 4 to play and we are 1 1/2 games back with 4 to play. We are done hang it up for the year and get the high draft pick. Let Tolzein play and get some experience and see if he could be our backup next year.
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wpr on 12/3/2013(UTC)
Offline wpr  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2013 9:10:04 AM(UTC)
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dhazer said: Go to Quoted Post
ummm to compare the 2 is a far fetch, they were 1/2 game back with 4 to play and we are 1 1/2 games back with 4 to play. We are done hang it up for the year and get the high draft pick. Let Tolzein play and get some experience and see if he could be our backup next year.


not only that but they are 2 1/2 out of the wild card with 5 teams in front of them. IIRC Denver pulled their starters for that game so winning the final game was a bit of a gimme. Even if they win out against an easy schedule with won't make the playoffs.
Offline buckeyepackfan  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2013 3:54:57 PM(UTC)
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I said it in another thread.

The one thing in The Packers favor is The Lions are still The Lions and The bears are still The Bears.

Packers win out and there is no doubt in my mind both teams will lose 2 of their next 4.

Hell I posted it and Zero posted it, Packers can finish 8-7-1 and with a little more help can still win the division.

"Anything can Happen"
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nerdmann on 12/3/2013(UTC)
Offline dhazer  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2013 4:10:03 PM(UTC)
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buckeyepackfan said: Go to Quoted Post
I said it in another thread.

The one thing in The Packers favor is The Lions are still The Lions and The bears are still The Bears.

Packers win out and there is no doubt in my mind both teams will lose 2 of their next 4.

Hell I posted it and Zero posted it, Packers can finish 8-7-1 and with a little more help can still win the division.

"Anything can Happen"


and then what get blown out in the playoffs> What good is that
Offline buckeyepackfan  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2013 4:17:58 PM(UTC)
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dhazer said: Go to Quoted Post
and then what get blown out in the playoffs> What good is that


I'll tell you,with the player turnover The Packers have, the good would be that some of these guys will get playoff experience.

Gotta learn to walk before you run.

On the other hand, the core of the 2010 team is still around, that experience could just be enough to pull off a couple of upsets.

I'm not gonna throw in the towel until The Packers are officially eliminated.

Offline cheeseheads123  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2013 4:42:41 PM(UTC)
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I would rather get blown out in the playoffs than to not make the playoffs at all
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Zero2Cool on 12/3/2013(UTC), nerdmann on 12/3/2013(UTC), Dulak on 12/4/2013(UTC)
Offline Zero2Cool  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2013 4:49:34 PM(UTC)
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cheeseheads123 said: Go to Quoted Post
I would rather get blown out in the playoffs than to not make the playoffs at all


Quitting and those who advocate it are afraid of hope.
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nerdmann on 12/3/2013(UTC)
Offline shield4life  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2013 5:48:29 PM(UTC)
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All we need is the Lions & Bears to lose. If Rodgers gets back & the team just rides the momentum into a hot streak, all we need is 8 wins and we're the champs again ... injuries, bad defense, Capers, this will all be forgotten.
Offline El3ment12  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, December 3, 2013 8:18:35 PM(UTC)
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Zero2Cool said: Go to Quoted Post
Quitting and those who advocate it are afraid of hope.


I feel like hat is very true zero. Just giving up now prevents future disappointment. We still got a chance so I'm rooting hard for the W against the Falcons.
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