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Mixed messages from the Packers

Posted by Darren Urban on January 14, 2016 – 9:49 am

At this point, it’s become clear that, at least publicly, no one is expecting a score in Saturday’s playoff game like the first time the Cardinals beat the Packers. Still, it was weird to hear complete opposite notions come from the Packers in the last couple of days.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy on Monday: “We’re no underdog going to Arizona. I don’t care what people think or how we’re picked or things like that. We’re going out there to win, and we expect to win.”

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Wednesday: “We’re going in as the underdogs. We’re going to be loose and ready to go, and it’s going to be their stadium, it’s going to be rocking, but the pressure’s going to be on them.”

Technically, the Packers are the underdog. The point spreads say so, the circumstances say so (the Cards are at home, they had a better regular season, yada, yada, yada.) But what does all the Pack talk mean? It means the talk leading up to a game doesn’t really mean much. The Cardinals have been consistent in saying the Packers are a different team than the first time they met, but other than a couple of injury situations, that’s not true. The Cards still have a deeper roster. The Packers might be playing better, but the sample size — one game — is awfully small.

The Cardinals will have pressure on them. When you are 13-3, you are expected to win at least one playoff game. But it’s not like they are playing, say, the Bears. They are playing a team with a Super Bowl-winning quarterback with a fan base that has such high expectations that some were wondering if the Packers needed a coaching change this season — a season in which the Packers won 10 games. At this point, pressure is everywhere.

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Posted in Blog | 24 Comments »


24 Responses to “Mixed messages from the Packers”

  1. By Michael S on Jan 14, 2016 | Reply

    Good read, sir, as always. My favorite part about your writing is it is completely unbiased. Thanks for the years of stellar Cardinals Beat Writing! Go Cardinals!

  2. By Eric G on Jan 14, 2016 | Reply

    The 2008 Cardinals are proof positive that regular season games and records don’t mean squat in the playoffs.

  3. By DTL on Jan 14, 2016 | Reply

    Cards playoff win on score by Dansby came on heels of pretty arrogant, offenssve comments and conduct by McCarthy towards Cardinals. Was during Whiz’ days, but not forgotten by Cards fans. Cut the Cheese, Cards!

  4. By Scott H on Jan 14, 2016 | Reply

    Doesn’t matter what the Packers say now. What happens on Sat will do ALL the talking for both of these teams.

    By any reasonable measure, either statistical or just what your eyes tell you, the Cardinals are the better team. No, the better team does not always win. But I’ll say again – I think the Cardinals can only beat themselves this weekend.

  5. By krehbieo14 on Jan 14, 2016 | Reply

    It just shows you how fickle the media hype can be. The underdog (Packers) will do anything they can to get into the head of their opponent. The Cards are too focused to pay attention to this extraneous noise.

  6. By 'ZonaFan89 on Jan 14, 2016 | Reply

    Sounds like the Packers are trying to ‘talk themselves’ into believing they are the better team. Well, they can say whatever they want but they better come ready on Saturday night or they’ll be sent back to GB with another beating.

    As long as the Cardinals come out with fire and intensity this game, the Packers won’t stand a chance. #RiseUpRedSea!!!

  7. By Kevin S Mesa on Jan 14, 2016 | Reply

    Any team can beat any other team in the playoffs.

    This weekend, fivethirtyeight.com has the Cardinals winning 2/3 of the time (66%). And that’s the HIGHEST percentage — by quite a wide margin. The other percentages (for the favored teams) are: Denver wins 58% of the time, Carolina 55%, NE 51%.

    Not saying that website is the be-all and end-all, but fans post things like “There’s no way we can lose!” when the reality is so much different.

  8. By joe holst on Jan 14, 2016 | Reply

    Darren- Did Dwight Freeney non nonchalantly play himself into a big contract if he wants to keep playing after this year?

  9. By Darren Urban on Jan 14, 2016 | Reply

    Joe —

    RE: Freeney

    I don’t know what “non nonchalantly” means, but he’s shown he can help. A big contract? No, I don’t see that.

  10. By D on Jan 14, 2016 | Reply

    Head Games
    and no I am not talking about that Foreigner album…although the song Dirty White Boy is a toe tapper

  11. By Richard S on Jan 14, 2016 | Reply

    I was just thinking about what it must be like for the lesser paid Rams players like the practice squad players now living in St. Louis who not only have to find a new place to live in LA, perhaps signing a lease for a year or buying a home there wondering if they will in fact make the team next year. That must be unsettling. I mean a certain percent of them will be replaced with newer blood. Most people who get a job elsewhere know they’ve got a job before the move. A lot of these players won’t be that fortunate once they move.

  12. By Richard S on Jan 14, 2016 | Reply

    It is truly a one game season. One loss and you’re out. I still remember waking from a hangover the day after a very good St. Louis Football Cardinals team lost in the playoffs to Minnesota one year and the LA rams the other year. Let’s win it all this year. Go Cards, you’ve got to go all the way with the talent on the roster.

  13. By Don Zerbst on Jan 14, 2016 | Reply

    The Cardinals know what’s at stake. This is the Pack’s way of trying to get into the collective heads of the Cardinals. If the Cards’ players “do their jobs” in this game, there should be a win in the books. As much as there is at stake, I don’t see a disappointment for Cardinals fans! GO CARDINALS…MELT THE CHEESE!

  14. By joe holst on Jan 14, 2016 | Reply

    by showing up in the middle of the season and quietly putting up 8 sacks which would equate to some team offering him(Freeney) huge $$$$$

  15. By Dennis on Jan 14, 2016 | Reply

    Best team (Cardinals) does not win 100% of the time. This is by far the best team since Cards moved to Az. Will determine outcome- play well=win, play poorly=lose. GB play irrelevant.

  16. By Erik on Jan 14, 2016 | Reply

    I love how the Packers love to rub it in on our own faces..They will not get past the 1st half on Saturday .. The Cardinals know what to do and we will show Green Bay that Arizona is on a whole another level this year.. so bye GB!! Have a nice winter when you get back to the cold

  17. By beltramiscott on Jan 14, 2016 | Reply

    Yes the Packers beat Washington. However, Washington has not beat a team with a winning record. Now they must know that, right? When the smoke clears and really look at what did they really do? We are now very focused on them, and we are not Washington. We know to not take our foot off their neck. I am sure they will see the best of us Saturday. Go Cardinals !!!

  18. By Tom on Jan 15, 2016 | Reply

    What a bunch of baloney article. Homer homer homer. Unbiased my a$$. Packers win by 6

  19. By Darren Urban on Jan 15, 2016 | Reply

    Tom —

    RE: Homer

    Let me guess. You are a Packers fan?

    I’m curious, what was baloney about it? The quotes are accurate.

  20. By Jake on Jan 15, 2016 | Reply

    If the game is close going into the fourth quarter Green Bay will win. If not Cards will win.

  21. By rod on Jan 15, 2016 | Reply

    Al Michaels and Chris Collinsworth vs Joe Buck and Troy Aikman?

    I say Al and Chris…I hate Joe Buck!

  22. By Black on Jan 15, 2016 | Reply

    What else are the Pack supposed to say, certainly not the truth.

    They beat the worst team that made the playoffs. (Redskins) when they go deep in the playoffs they have a game at Lambo. Their receivers can’t run fast. The Cardinals can easily stop their running game.

    Pressure is on the Packers just trying to keep it close.

  23. By sc on Jan 17, 2016 | Reply

    How did that guy in the blue suit show up so fast to celebrate the az touchdown at end of game?

  24. By Darren Urban on Jan 17, 2016 | Reply

    sc —

    RE: Blue suit

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