Nov 19, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy prior to the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
By Travis Duncan
Packer Forum writer
The Packers might feel better about Sunday's 24-20 hard-fought win over Detroit than just about any game this season.
Because they had to earn it, and earn it late.
With key players like Clay Matthews and Greg Jennings on the sidelines, and a slew of other injuries, including on the offensive line, the Packers could have easily yielded to a hungry Detroit team whose season was practically on the line.
"We have challenges and adversities just like any team, but you get into these division game, these games bring so much more," said head coach Mike McCarthy.
"Division ones are special, especially on the road, especially in November. Winning that game yesterday if frankly the way you want to win it."
And the Packers put themselves back into prime position in the NFC North, having won five straight games, and moving to a 7-3 win-loss record and a chance to tie Chicago for the division lead pending the outcome of Monday night's 49ers-Bears game.
The thought is, that the Packers of 2012 are in a much better position for a playoff run than the nearly undefeated Packers of 2011, as pointed out by Kevin Seifert of ESPN.
"I thought our quarterback was exceptional," added McCarthy. "When you think if Aaron Rodgers you think of tight spirals and big plays, and just doing all these big things. A game like that for a quarterback, that's hard. I think that shows you the true characters of a championship quarterback. We put him in some tough spots.
"I thought our young players in the secondary played well."
"Casey Hayward was extremely productive, I was very impressed, that may have been his best game of the season."
McCarthy said he has confidence "in the plan" going forward regarding the future of Mason Crosby he needs to go through to have more success on the field. Finally the coach said,
"Mason Crosby is my kicker."
Rodgers said that he knew the team did not play the best on offense but prior to the game-winning drive, Rodgers called the offensive on the sidelines for a quick pep talk.
"If our defense holds, gives us a chance to win, we have to make the most of it."
The Packers are now preparing for the Vikings Sunday at Lambeau. Minnesota at 6-4 also hope to stay in the thick of the NFC North divisional race.
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