Packers Insist They Will Show ‘Who the Hell We Are’

Mike McCarthy’s message to his team was evident in his comments to reporters before practice. The regular season is over and those results no longer are relevant.

The Green Bay Packers’ offensive production has hit rock bottom.

Their confidence level, however, remains high.

The Packers enter Sunday’s NFC Wild Card game at Washington having won just four of 10 games since the bye. The Packers finished the regular season ranked 15th in scoring, 23rd in total offense, 25th in passing offense and 28th in third-down efficiency. With Green Bay having a shot to finish as high as the No. 2 seed, it plunged to the No. 5 after it scored a total of 21 points, gave up 14 sacks, converted 21.9 percent of its third-down plays and averaged 264 yards in back-to-back losses to Arizona and Minnesota.

“We’ve had a chance to clean up our house and get it ready to showcase who the hell we are,” coach Mike McCarthy said on Wednesday.

And just who in the hell are these Packers, who won their first six, lost four out of five, won three in a row and lost their final two?

“I think we’ll find out on Sunday,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “Hopefully it’s a team that’s moving on.”

McCarthy’s message to his team was evident in his comments to reporters before practice. The regular season is over and those results no longer are relevant. The playoffs are here. It’s cliché to say that everyone starts anew with 0-0 records, but it’s also true. In 2013, Seattle lost two of its final four games. In 2012, Baltimore lost four of its final five. In 2011, the Giants finished 9-7. In 2010, the Packers finished 10-6. In 2009, the Saints lost their final three games. Those five teams won the Super Bowl.

“High,” McCarthy said of the team’s confidence level. “We're going to Washington to win. I mean, we're in the playoffs. We're fully aware of what people maybe think about us. We like our opportunity. We've earned the opportunity.”

McCarthy has reason to believe in his defense and his vastly improved special teams. There’s little reason to believe in an offense that barely resembles last year’s top-scoring unit.

Nonetheless, the players on that side of the ball insist there’s reason to believe heading into Washington.

“I'm very confident,” receiver James Jones said. “I come in here and watch film every day on some of the plays that we left out there that probably could've blasted the game wide open, so I'm very confident. We've got a lot of talented people on that offense, a lot of guys that can make a lot of plays and do a lot of great plays. It's time to flip the switch for the playoffs. Hopefully, we can go out there and put some points up.”

How likely is it for the Packers to find that switch to flip on offense? Rodgers hasn’t had a passer rating of 100 since the bye, a span of 10 consecutive games for a player who holds the NFL’s all-time record in passer rating and hadn’t gone more than four games without a 100 rating. The running game has disappeared after plowing through the Cowboys in Week 14. Rodgers has been knocked around, the offensive line is banged up and the receivers haven’t gotten open. With all of that, is there any reason to believe the Packers can find the answers in the playoffs?

“I absolutely think we can do it,” guard Josh Sitton said. “I think we've got a lot of confidence in ourselves. I think everybody can see that we have the talent on the team. We've got to get healthy and get hot at the right time. We don't have any more time to do it, we've got to do it now. But I think we all believe we can and will do it.”

Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.

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