Two battle-tested teams facing off on Sunday night

Posted by Wes Hodkiewicz on December 30, 2016 – 9:55 am

161230-stafford-950GREEN BAY — The Lions have been conditioned for comebacks with eight of their nine wins this season coming after they’ve trailed in the fourth quarter.

It takes a lot composure to endure those close calls, which is why Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy is preparing his team for a 60-minute battle during Sunday night’s NFC North showdown in Detroit.

“They do a heck of a job staying the course,” McCarthy said. “You have success winning a certain way. You do it once and do it twice. You stack success. It’s not how you get there. It’s that’s you get there. That’s been their process. It’s benefited them winning those close games.”

The Packers might not have the litany of fourth-quarter comebacks that the Lions do, but they’ve been battle-tested after having to shake off a 4-6 start to put themselves in position to capture their fifth division title in six years.

McCarthy is pleased with his team’s mindset based on what he’s seen in the team’s two practices this week.

“I thought the two days of practice, the energy was excellent,” McCarthy said. “The padded practice we were able to do a lot of fundamental work, especially with the younger players. The team periods were pretty good.”

The Packers held receiver Randall Cobb out to help rest the ankle injury that sidelined him in Saturday’s 38-25 win over Minnesota. McCarthy said he’s hopeful Cobb might be able to take some reps during the team’s final practice on Saturday.

McCarthy also confirmed it was his decision to hold out linebacker Julius Peppers from Thursday’s practice, a continuation of the team’s plan to taper the 36-year-old pass-rusher.

Peppers is second on the team with 7½ sacks this season.

“I know he doesn’t like to miss practice. I felt it was the best thing for him,” McCarthy said.


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