Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy talks to Aaron
Rodgers during the first half of an NFL football game
against the Minnesota Vikings Thursday in Green Bay.
GREEN BAY - The
Green Bay Packers are coming off consecutive division victories
after a rocky start. Coach Mike McCarthy knows they have plenty
of room for improvement.
sentiment quarterback Aaron Rodgers had expressed in the
immediate aftermath of the Packers' 42-10 rout of the Minnesota
Vikings at Lambeau Field on Thursday night, McCarthy said that
despite the offense having turned in consecutive encouraging
performances and the defense starting to create turnovers and
get stops, the Packers (3-2) need to get better.
evaluate your football team, you look at your play style, which
way you're going to play each and every day. There's a standard
there," McCarthy explained Friday afternoon in his usual
day-after-the-game press briefing. "Quality of play, you're
always chasing quality of play to be higher. And, ultimately,
win the game.
style hasn't been very consistent. Our quality of play, we have
a lot of work to do there. ... We need to be better."
Rodgers' message after the game as well.
(12 of 17, 156 yards, three touchdowns, 138.7 quarterback
rating) and running back Eddie Lacy (13 carries, 105 yards, two
TDs) were extremely efficient, but after a three-and-out to open
the game and back-to-back touchdown drives, the offense stalled
until defensive end Julius Peppers' 49-yard interception return
for a touchdown.
might have been nitpicking for a team that built a 42-0
third-quarter lead, Rodgers — after telling fans to
"R-E-L-A-X" before Sunday's victory at Chicago after
the team's 1-2 start — didn't think so.
"A lot to
improve on, I think," Rodgers said. "Offensively,
we're a little stagnant.
we have some considerable improvements to make moving forward. I
mean, this was a home game for us. Defense played really well.
Offensively, we started pretty good. Two touchdowns in three
drives and then we kind of went stagnant for a while, so that's
Rodgers' comments Friday, McCarthy replied: "He speaks for
the locker room, there's no question about it. He's won
championships, he's been an MVP of the league. He knows what it
takes and he knows what it looks like, he knows what it feels
like. He also knows where we are. We're all excited about what
we can be."
his players Friday, Saturday and Sunday off, and while they'll
return to work Monday, they will not practice, the coach said.
Their next game is Oct. 12 at Miami, followed by an Oct. 19 home
game against Carolina and an Oct. 26 trip to New Orleans.
bunch of cliches about one game at a time. To me, it's more
about one day at a time," McCarthy said. "I'm a big
believer that your preparation shows up in your
was dissecting the offensive performance, the members of the
Packers defense recognized that shutting down the Vikings'
Christian Ponder-led — and Adrian Peterson-less — offense
was what the unit was supposed to do. After giving up 496 yards
to Chicago last Sunday, the defense cannot afford to be
Still the group
did play well. Peppers' interception was one of three takeaways
the defense created — giving the unit eight turnovers in the
past three games — and the Vikings had just 123 yards of
offense entering the fourth quarter.
rebound in that manner on a quick turnaround with a divisional
rival coming in here, it feels great," outside linebacker
Clay Matthews said of a defense that sacked Ponder six times and
hit him 16 times. "We've been stressing that for quite some
time. The offense and defense have had their ups and downs this
season. We've looked great at times, we've looked poor at times.
But (this game) seemed like it was close to a complete