Found December 26, 2012 on
Fox Sports North:
Green Bay Packers
New York Giants
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. With the top seed in the NFC clinched last year, the Green Bay Packers entered their final regular-season game sitting several star players like MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers, cornerback Charles Woodson, linebacker Clay Matthews and receiver Greg Jennings.
Two weeks later, Green Bay lost its first playoff game to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Resting players won't happen again this season. The NFC North champion Packers (11-4) have nearly as much riding on Sunday's game at Minnesota as the playoff-hopeful Vikings (9-6).
"Even though we have a playoff spot clinched, we'd love to get that No. 2 seed," linebacker Clay Matthews said Wednesday on a conference call with Minnesota reporters. "So, it actually puts a lot on the line for us and also for the Vikings as well, with their playoff hopes on the line where it's a do-or-die situation. Obviously they flexed the game back. We're going be playing out there. It's going to be a playoff-type environment out there, so we're really looking forward to it."
With a win, Minnesota would clinch a Wild Card position. A loss means the Vikings need losses by the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. Green Bay is vying for the second-overall seed in the NFC, which would give the Packers at least one home game and some rest for their stars in the way of a bye. Green Bay, which has won nine of its past 10 games, gets the No. 2 seed with a win or a loss combined with losses by the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks.
"I'm sure the Vikings feel the same way we do," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said on a conference call Wednesday. "We couldn't ask for a better final regular season game. It's a playoff game as far as we're looking at it, and I'm sure that's the way they're looking at it. To go on the road and play in this type of atmosphere against a tough opponent, a rival, a division game, the opportunity to sweep the division again this year, there's so much to play for. We're just focused on keeping it about the Packers and the Vikings."
Green Bay, which has won 12 straight regular season games against NFC North teams and have won five straight against the Vikings, won't be at full strength for Sunday's game, but this season it's not by choice. The Packers have already ruled out Woodson, who will miss his ninth consecutive game after breaking his collarbone on Oct. 21. Guard Josh Sitton missed Wednesday's practice with a concussion and running back James Starks was held out with his knee injury.
"I'm disappointed for Charles," McCarthy said. "He's here around the clock with the medical staff as far as rehab, working on doing all the different things you can do to hopefully heal quicker. This is the game that we had been targeting all along. I think when everybody walked in the room to look at the information, we thought he was going to be ready to play. But the doctors' recommendation was for him not to play."
Receiver Jordy Nelson practiced fully on Wednesday after missing the past three games with a hamstring injury, but leading receiver Randall Cobb was limited after suffering ankle and knee injuries in Sunday's game. Defensive end C.J. Wilson, a key run defender, will try to return for Sunday's game for the first time since Nov. 25 with a knee injury. Starting center Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee) and cornerback Davon House (shoulderhip) and defensive lineman Jerel Worthy (hamstring) were limited Wednesday.
There is another big difference from last year's Green Bay team that lost in the first round of the playoffs. With Matthews back from his own injury, the defense finally feels up to the task of complementing the team's high-powered offense.
The Packers had the league's worst defense in terms of yards allowed last year, giving up 411.6 yards per game. They allowed the 14th most points (22.4 per game). This season, with additions like rookie cornerback Casey Hayward, Green Bay is 10th in yards allowed (329.6) and seventh in points allowed (19.9). Hayward leads the team with six interceptions.
"It's not just an offensive team where the offense has to carry the entire team," said Matthews, who added he feels much more confident about the defense than last year. "So we feel good about that, especially being a member of the defense and kind of pulling our weight for the first time in a year."
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The Green Bay Packers blew the Tennessee Titans out of Lambeau Field with a 55-7 victory.
I was travelling for the holidays so I was only able to listen to the game on the radio and only the second half at that, so this post game write up will be written with only seeing highlights and reading the box score.
The Packers came out of the locker room at half up 20-0 on the Titans.Â...
GREEN BAY -- Three Packers have been selected to the 2013 Pro Bowl: quarterback Aaron Rodgers, linebacker Clay Matthews and center Jeff Saturday.
Rodgers, being named to the Pro Bowl for the third time in his career, will be the starter for the NFC for the second consecutive year. Matthews and Saturday will both begin the game on the bench.
Rodgers, the league's reigning Most...
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- In this week's meeting with the media, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers talked about facing the Minnesota Vikings this weekend, getting Jordy Nelson back, his level of trust in the team's running backs, and more.
Five question-and-answer highlights:
1. What is the locker-room mentality right now heading into the final regular-season game?
GREEN BAY, Wis. Aaron Rodgers grew up watching Steve Young scramble, stay alive in the pocket and connect on throws downfield several seconds after most NFL quarterbacks would have thrown the ball away. That is how Rodgers believes the position is best played, and it's worked well enough for him to result in a Super Bowl championship and a Most Valuable Player award before the...
Another week, another snap decision by the Green Bay Packers' medical staff regarding Charles Woodson. As it has in previous weeks, the team made an early declaration on the status of the veteran safety, ruling him out Wednesday for Sunday's significant regular-season finale at Minnesota. Woodson hasn't played since he suffered a broken collarbone in the Oct. 21 win...
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Packers veteran defensive back Charles Woodson has been ruled out for Sunday's regular-season finale in Minnesota, missing his ninth consecutive game.
Woodson broke his collarbone on Oct. 21 and coach Mike McCarthy expected the injury to keep the eight-time Pro Bowl selection out for six weeks. But, 10 weeks later, Woodson has still not been cleared by Green...
Packers defensive back Charles Woodson still thinks he will be able to play when the playoffs begin. If he does, he wonÂt have any more regular-season games to break himself back in.
The Packers ruled out Woodson for the ninth straight game since he broke his collarbone on Oct. 21 against St. Louis. Including the bye week, Woodson will have had 10 weeks to heal.
Aaron Rodgers has proven himself as a passer, but the Vikings are particularly impressed with his ability to move around, both in the pocket and outside, creating a lot of problems for the defenders in coverage.
Jordy Nelson returns after missing the last three games; decision on Randall Cobb coming Saturday; Charles Woodson will miss his ninth consecutive game.
This seasonâs MVP debate has dwindled down to a two-man race in recent weeks. Peyton Manningâs rebirth in Denver and Adrian Petersonâs medical miracle with the Vikings have taken center stage and appear to be the only contenders remaining â at least, thatâs the idea floating around the NFL. The leagueâs reigning MVP might have something to say about that, though.
After last seasonâs finish for the Packers, playing well at the end of the season has become a theme for 2012. Can Aaron Rodgers deliver? Signs are at least pointing upward. Matt Tevsh takes a look at his history closing out seasons, including comments this week from his coaches.
How have the Vikings gone from 3-13 to fighting for a playoff spot? Look no further than Antonio Winfield, who coach Mike McCarthy called one of his favorite players on another team and Aaron Rodgers called "probably the toughest pound-for-pound guy in the league."
Position coach Jerry Fontenot has helped Jermichael Finley get back on track after a disappointing first nine games to the season. With Fontenot making things more fun, Finley has become a go-to weapon and regained the trust of Aaron Rodgers.
NASHVILLE A steady and chilling rain fell straight down Friday afternoon on the Vanderbilt football team. The Commodores were prepping in their own stadium for a bowl game just a short cab uh, bus ride away.
As practice closed, a sense of exuberance mixed with confidence seemed to possess these Commodores. Call it history already made and even more possibly to come for a team...