Spinning a negative into a positive

Packers have lots to learn from their approach, mistakes against Bears

The Green Bay Packers' embarrassing 35-7 loss in the Windy City to the Chicago Bears was just one game. Just ONE very bad game. The Packers were outplayed in all three phases of the game ... offense, defense and special teams. A team from Green Bay, Wisconsin is supposed to play well in arctic conditions like at Soldier Field. But they didn't. Why?

I know head coach Mike McCarthy had the doors opened last week to the Don Hutson Center, the team's indoor practice facility, to make things a little colder. But it wasn't the REAL elements. The word is now perhaps the team will practice outdoors a little more to prepare for Detroit and the first home playoff game.

Yes, you don't get as much done outdoors as you can practice-wise indoors. But it does prepare the team for the elements. Especially the kicking game and passing game. Those were major problems Sunday. Brett Favre said he never played in worse conditions. The main reason was the wind. Favre said, "it just cut through you."

That reminds me of what some of the participants in the "Ice Bowl" said. As you know, it was minus-13 degrees that New Year's Eve in 1967. But some of the veterans from that game said that it was EVEN colder when the Packers played the Giants in the 1962 championship game at Yankee Stadium. The temperature was near zero, but the wind was gusting to more than 40 miles per hour. FB Jim Taylor had a big day that day, as the Packers did little passing in a 16-7 win.

And how did the Giants get their 7 points? A blocked punt! Sound familiar? The Packers will learn from their embarrassment yesterday. The Packers played much better in late 2006 under McCarthy after the Patriots and Jets pummeled them. At Lambeau Field no less! McCarthy will make the Packers remember the lessons learned yesterday, just like he made the Packers become better in 2006.

Yesterday was the only clunker of 2007 so far for the Packers (12-3). The team must regroup and let the shame of Sunday linger, yet also make them better. No opponent is hated more than the Bears. The team must remember that and the type of game it played against Chicago. It will only help the team, and the coaches prepare for much bigger obstacles come playoff time.

Bob Fox is a frequent contributor to PackerReport.com. E-mail him at greenbaybob@hotmail.com.

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