Share “Humbled Packers still in playoff hunt”

Humbled Packers still in playoff hunt

Associated Press Modified: November 26, 2012 at 9:16 pm •  Published: November 26, 2012
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers' playoff hopes remained mostly intact following Sunday's blowout loss at the New York Giants.

"Everything we want to accomplish is still in front of us and that'll be our focus," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said following the 38-10 loss. I believe in what we're about as a football team."

In a departure from normal protocol, McCarthy did not conduct his customary day-after-the-game news conference Monday.

As ugly as the performance might have been against the same team that ended its 15-1 season with an NFC Divisional Playoff victory at Lambeau Field last Jan. 15, the Packers still have ample opportunity to win the NFC North title and set themselves up for a playoff run. They might not land a first-round playoff bye like they did last year. Then again, that didn't do them much good anyway.

The Packers (7-4) fell one game behind the Chicago Bears (8-3) in the division. They're tied with the Giants (7-4) for the fourth-best record in the NFC, behind Atlanta (10-1), San Francisco (8-2-1) and the Bears. If the season ended today, the Packers would be the NFC's No. 5 seed and would return to MetLife Stadium to face the Giants, who have a two-game lead in the NFC East.

While the loss ended the Packers' five-game winning streak, four of the Packers' final five games are against division opponents, including home games next Sunday against Minnesota and Dec. 9 against Detroit and a road game at Chicago on Dec. 16. The Packers enter that three-game stretch at 2-0 in division play, thanks to their 24-20 victory at Detroit on Nov. 18 and their 23-10 victory over the Bears at Lambeau Field on Sept. 13.

"When you look at the last two games, we played two good opponents on the road. You want to win every game, but to be able to split those two, we put ourselves in position," said quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who finished the night having completed 14 of 25 passes for 219 yards, with one touchdown, one interception, five sacks, one lost fumble and an 81.9 quarterback rating.

"In December, we have five games and we've got to make the most of them. We have three of them at home, four (in the) division. It all lays out right in front of us. This team is going to stick together. We're going to regroup and go back home and hopefully get some home cooking."

The Packers certainly have things to correct. The offensive line allowed Rodgers to be sacked five times and did little to create holes for the running game. The defense surrendered 390 yards, including 147 on the ground, and managed just one sack of Eli Manning.

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