Road Warriors

Packers have won five straight games away from Lambeau Field since last year

Mike McCarthy, in his sophomore year as an NFL head coach, has a chance Sunday to attain something Vince Lombardi achieved only once in his illustrious nine seasons as Packers coach.

A win at Kansas City would put the Packers at 4-0 on the road in 2007. Their unflappable play away from Lambeau Field is a big reason why they are in step with Dallas for the NFC's best record at 6-1.

The last time Green Bay had won its first three road games was in 1972 under Dan Devine, who guided the club to a 6-1 away record and a 10-4, first-place finish in the NFC Central.

Going back to last season, the Packers have rattled off five straight wins as the visiting team and are 8-3 outside Wisconsin in McCarthy's brief tenure.

Whereas predecessor Mike Sherman endured a 1-7 road mark in his ill-fated final season in 2005, when the Packers finished 4-12, McCarthy and his staff have inspired their charges to take on a persona of road warriors.

"I think our football team does a very good job of focusing on the road, as far as the way we play," McCarthy said. "We've been productive on the road offensively, and I think our defense has also been consistent. This is a football team that prepares, and there's a consistency to the way we go about our business.

"I think (from) about the middle of last season towards the end there, as far as the preparation in the classroom and onto the playing field, it really looks the way it needs to look, and I think it's really carried over to our away games. Frankly, I wish we played with that same urgency or focus at home. That's something we need to work on."

The Packers are in a key midseason stretch of playing four of six games on the road. They responded to the first challenge by pulling out a 19-13 overtime win at Denver on Monday night.

Next up is dealing with the famous din of Arrowhead Stadium on short rest. Green Bay is only 1-3 at Kansas City. Green Bay's only win at Arrowhead was during the strike-shortened season of 1987.

Potentially critical matchups for the NFC North and conference races loom later in the month on back-to-back Thursdays at Detroit and Dallas.

McCarthy agreed that having the league's youngest team lends itself to his players not being intimidated going into hostile venues. His return to Kansas City, where he broke in as an NFL coach, serves as a reminder, though, that success of any kind and in any situation isn't lasting.

"We have a rookie class that showed up here in (the spring), and they're 6-1 in their first seven games in the NFL, and they probably think this is great stuff," McCarthy said. "I know my first year in the league as an assistant coach in 1993, we went to the AFC Championship Game, and I thought, 'Man, this is a great way to make a living here now, coaching in the NFL.' But, I haven't been back since."

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