The Packers have several choices to make entering the Week 17 regular season finale against the Lions. Will they rest their starters with home-field advantage wrapped up? Will they get try to get their players coming back from injury some work? "With the top seed already secured, McCarthy probably has decided what he will do in Sunday’s regular-season finale against the Detroit Lions even if he wouldn’t come right out and say it," writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. The Packers are playing to win against the Lions, McCarthy made that clear. Whether it will be the starters playing to win is another question.
Mike McCarthy addressed the poor run defense from the Bears game in his Monday press conference. “Our performance yesterday is probably our worst performance in our time here,” McCarthy is quoted as saying at the Packers official website. “We don’t sweep things under the rug when we win games. We’ll talk about it on Wednesday.” Defensive lineman Ryan Pickett may or may not return from his concussion in time for the Detroit game, but he should return for the playoffs. That would help.
More on the run defense comes from the Press-Gazette.
The Packers are still looking for an answer at right outside linebacker after Erik Walden was benched in the Bears game. "Even with Frank Zombo a healthy inactive for Sunday’s homefield-clinching victory over Chicago and undrafted rookie free agent Vic So’oto being described as 'very raw in some areas,' defensive coordinator Dom Capers said Monday that he’s still searching for someone to complement Clay Matthews," writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com. With one largely meaningless game left in the regular season, So'oto and Jamari Lattimore figure to get a longer look in the Lions game.
More on the outside linebacker position comes from PackersNews.com.
Tackle Chad Clifton may play in the regular season finale. "Clifton, of course, hasn’t been healthy in a while," according to Packer Report. "He was last seen on the field Oct. 9, when he sustained a torn right hamstring in the second quarter of the Packers' prime-time win at the Atlanta Falcons. However, his long-awaited return to game action could come on the first day of the new year Sunday, when the Packers host the Detroit Lions to close the regular season." Mike McCarthy said on Monday he wants Clifton to play.
An early look at the Packers' potential playoff opponents appears at the Journal Sentinel. "San Francisco and New Orleans - relying on two completely different brands of football - have been billed as the Packers' top challengers all season," writes Tyler Dunne. "They're polar opposites. One team has a record-setting, Super Bowl-MVP quarterback. The other is led by a quarterback who has weathered six offensive coordinators in six seasons. No longer a 'lame duck,' Alex Smith is a 'game manager.' And Drew Brees? He's a hiccup shy of Aaron Rodgers' MVP pace."
Quotes from the Packers coordinators are published at JSOnline.
Insight from Lions coach Jim Schwartz also is at JSOnline.
The Wall Street Journal notes the success of NFL teams without cheerleaders, Packers included.
Video: From Fox 11 in Green Bay, linebacker Desmond Bishop was the guest on Monday's Inside the Huddle...
Brian Carriveau is a writer for Cheesehead TV. To contact Brian, email [email protected].
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