What to watch for in Sunday’s Wild Card game

Posted by packers.com on January 5, 2014 – 1:40 pm

– Green Bay has an all-time postseason record of 14-4 (.778) at Lambeau Field.

– The Packers have averaged 30.3 points per game in 10 playoff contests under Head Coach Mike McCarthy, which ranks No. 4 in the NFL over that span. That includes the three highest point totals in franchise postseason history (48 at Atlanta, Jan. 15, 2011; 45 at Arizona, Jan. 10, 2010; 42 vs. Seattle. Jan. 12, 2008).

– The Packers have scored 83 second-half points in their last four games, No. 2 in the NFL over that span behind only Philadelphia (92).

– Green Bay has rushed for 110-plus yards in each of its last four games, averaging 143.3 yards on the ground over that span.

– The Packers have posted 12 takeaways in its last five games, which is tied for No. 3 in the NFL over that span.

– Green Bay has recorded two or more takeaways in each of its last five games, its longest single-season streak since a nine-game stretch in 2002.

– QB Aaron Rodgers ranks No. 3 in NFL postseason history (min. 150 attempts) with a 103.6 passer rating, No. 5 with a 66.1 completion percentage and No. 3 with a 1.71 interception percentage (292/5).

– In five career starts vs. San Francisco (including playoffs), Rodgers has completed 130 of 195 passes (66.7 percent) for 1,535 yards and 12 TDs with three INTs for a 104.5 passer rating.

– Rodgers has three career 300-yard passing games in the playoffs, which is tied with Brett Favre for No. 1 in team history. Rodgers has posted a 110-plus passer rating in four of his eight career postseason starts.

– FB John Kuhn has scored a touchdown in each of the last four postseasons (2009-12), the only player in the NFL to accomplish that feat over that span. He is one of three players in franchise history to score a TD in four or more consecutive postseasons (RB Dorsey Levens, five, 1994-98; WR Antonio Freeman, four, 1995-98).

– K Mason Crosby needs five points to surpass K Chris Jacke (73) for No. 1 on the franchise’s all-time playoff scoring list. Crosby has scored in 10 straight playoff games (2007-12), which is tied for the longest scoring streak in team postseason history (Chris Jacke, Ryan Longwell).

– Crosby has made seven consecutive FGs in the playoffs dating back to the 2010 postseason, which is the longest streak in team history.

– CB Sam Shields has posted an interception in each of his last two playoff games. He is tied with four other players for No. 1 on the team’s career playoff list with four interceptions.


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Packers to host 49ers in NFC Wild Card contest at Lambeau Field

Posted by packers.com on January 5, 2014 – 12:40 pm

– For the second straight season, the Green Bay Packers (8-7-1, No. 4 seed) and San Francisco 49ers (12-4, No. 5 seed) will meet in the postseason, the first playoff matchup between the clubs at Lambeau Field since a Wild Card contest on Jan. 13, 2002.

– It is the first time the Packers have faced the same opponent in back-to-back postseasons since Green Bay played San Francisco in the playoffs in four consecutive seasons (1995-98). The Packers and 49ers played in an NFC Divisional contest last season at Candlestick Park.

– This will mark the seventh time that the Packers and 49ers have met in the postseason. That is tied for the most games for Green Bay against one opponent in the playoffs (N.Y. Giants, seven). The Packers hold a 4-2 advantage over San Francisco in the postseason series.

– This will be the second meeting this season and the fourth in the last 16 months between the clubs. The Packers visited San Francisco in Week 1 this season, a 34-28 win for the 49ers. It marks the fourth time (1996, 1998, 2012) in the history of the series that the clubs have squared off in both the regular season and the postseason.

– Since 2010, Green Bay has a .695 regular-season winning percentage (44-19-1), No. 1 in the NFC over that span, with San Francisco checking in at No. 2 in the conference with a .664 winning percentage (42-21-1).

– Today’s game will be a matchup of two of the most successful teams in the postseason. Green Bay is 30-18 all-time in the playoffs, a .625 winning percentage that ranks No. 2 in NFL history. San Francisco checks in at No. 5 in the league at 28-19 (.596) in the postseason. The teams have combined for 18 world championships (Green Bay 13, San Francisco 5).

– Including playoffs, the Packers have won 13 of the last 17 games against the 49ers, but San Francisco has emerged victorious in the last three.

 

BACK IN THE POSTSEASON

– With a thrilling 33-28 win over the Bears last Sunday, the Packers clinched their third straight NFC North title, the first time they have done so since 2002-04. It marked Green Bay’s 21st division crown in franchise history.

– In the 12 seasons of the NFC North (2002-13), Green Bay has captured the division title seven times (2002-04, 2007, 2011-13).

– This marks the Packers’ fifth consecutive playoff appearance (2009-13), one of only two NFL teams (New England) to do so over that span. Green Bay has advanced to the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons.

– Green Bay’s streak of five straight playoff appearances ranks second in franchise history behind only a six-season stretch from 1993-98.

– This is the Packers’ 29th postseason berth in team history and their 16th appearance in the last 21 seasons. Green Bay’s 16 appearances in the free-agency era (since 1993) are the most of any team in the NFL.

– The Packers currently rank No. 3 in NFL history with their 29 playoff appearances, trailing only the N.Y. Giants (31) and Dallas Cowboys (30).

– Today will be Green Bay’s 49th postseason game, which will move them into the No. 3 spot in league history behind only the Cowboys (58) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (54).

– Since the NFL went to a 12-team playoff format in 1990, Green Bay has been the No. 4 seed three other times (1994, 2001, 2003).

–   This will be the 11th time that the Packers have played in the Wild Card round in their 16 playoff appearances since 1990. Green Bay has a 7-4 (.636) record in Wild Card games, including a 2-1 mark under Head Coach Mike McCarthy.

 

PLAYOFF CAPTAINS

– As per team tradition, the Packers alternated game captains each week during the regular season. The team elects captains for the entire postseason.

– Players elected captains were WR Jordy Nelson and QB Aaron Rodgers (offense), S Morgan Burnett and LB A.J. Hawk (defense), and K Mason Crosby and CB Jarrett Bush (special teams).

 

WEARING THE STRIPES

– Today’s officiating crew includes referee Ed Hochuli (85), umpire Rich Hall (49), head linesman Mark Hittner (28), line judge Ron Marinucci (107), field judge Mike Weir (50), side judge James Coleman (95) and back judge Lee Dyer (27). Alternates include Larry Rose (128), Mike Spanier (90) and Terry Brown (43).


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49ers sound off on rematch with Packers

Posted by Duke Bobber on January 1, 2014 – 6:11 pm

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San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh and WR Anquan Boldin were made available to the media via conference call Wednesday. Listen to Harbaugh and Boldin talk about Sunday’s Wild Card playoff game at Lambeau Field.


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Packers-49ers Divisional Round Post-Game Quotes

Posted by Tyler Gajewski on January 13, 2013 – 5:14 am

Green Bay PackersGREEN BAY PACKERS QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS:

Time of possession was obviously a problem, do you agree?
“Yes.”


What does it feel like to lose a game like this?

“Well, it’s pretty frustrating, put a lot into this. Now I stand here and you realize that this is the last time that group is going to be together. It will be a different team next year. There will be additions, subtractions and that’s the most frustrating part. You spend a lot of time with those guys, you care about them, you care about this a lot and then to go out there and play like that it’s disappointing.”


How would you assess your performance on offense?

“We didn’t do enough on offense. We could have helped our defense out a little bit. They had a couple extra possessions there because of the punt return fumble and then the pick six. So our defense probably got a little tired out there but the second half we had a chance to run right into it. The touchdown there on the first possession would have put us in a good situation but came up short.”


On the deep ball to WR Jordy Nelson, on the post, what did you see on that play?

“Well the protection was really good I found most of the night and was just hanging in the pocket he was running the post. He said he was thinking I was going to get out of the pocket with starting flat and I was thinking he was going to take a high angle and that’s what happens when you’re not on the same page.”


I don’t know if you talked about this, but this is your first game as a player at Candlestick?

“Second.”


Second, there was excitement because of the fact that you are coming back home and all that?

“No, not really.”


How did you feel at half time?

“Yeah, we felt good. You know we gift wrapped them 14 points on two turnovers. In the game our defense was doing alright and in the second half we just didn’t score any points.”


Did you think this was a team that was going to win it all?

“This team? Yeah definitely.”


What was your impression of the QB Colin Kaepernick?

“He was running all over the field. He’s big, strong, athletic, throws the ball well and runs the ball extremely well. We didn’t really have a whole lot of answers for him.”


How are you feeling when it was 31-24 and getting the ball, and feeling like this is going to be a track meet back and forth between the teams?

“Yeah, we knew we’re going to have to score some points. I’m disappointed we couldn’t get any on that first drive of the second half, but we were able to come back and get a field goal and they go down and score and we knew that we probably were going to have to put up 38 points at least to win the game.”

Green Bay PackersGREEN BAY PACKERS CORNERBACK CASEY HAYWARD:

How did they game plan you? Were you hurt by an over-aggressive defense?
“I have to go back and watch the film. I don’t quite know. They played a real good game.”

You’ve had a really impressive rookie year. Now that’s it’s come to a finish, how do you feel about your season?
“I felt I did well. But week-in and week-out, our ultimate goal is the Super Bowl. But we fell short by a couple of games.”

Was it a question of you guys were there, but [QB Colin] Kaepernick made good plays despite good defense? Or was there anything scheme-wise?
“Probably all. He played good. They schemed us on some calls. But we missed some calls and plays as well.”

Did this game play a little too close to home like the way the first game played out?
“They just came out and hit us in the mouth. They just beat us tonight.”


Green Bay PackersGREEN BAY PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER GREG JENNINGS:

The time of possession did not work in your favor the first half. In the second half was it just hard to get anything sustained?
“We lost to a better team today. We established the momentum early with the interception and then we let them back in the game early. We knew it was going to be a dog fight. They came out in the second half and did whatever they wanted to do.”


This must sting because you guys know how good you are.

“We could say that for several years; ’07,’09, last year, and this year. It wasn’t meant to be. We lost to a better team today.”

Do you think about your future now that this game is over?
“It has been great. I love this organization. The reality is that there will probably be some changes made. Hopefully I stay here. If not I am ready to move wherever. It is what it is, I am not naïve to that. I am being a realist. I love this organization I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. If I have to that is what I have to do.


Green Bay PackersGREEN BAY PACKERS DEFENSIVE TACKLE B.J. RAJI:

What made it so hard to contain Colin Kaepernick today?
“You have to tip your hat sometimes when a guy like that at the quarterback position is consistently out running and flanking your defense and making huge plays.”


How tough is a loss like this to swallow?

“It is real tough. We have one goal every year and that is to win the Super Bowl. Obviously that won’t be the case this year. Sometimes that is life and you have to move on.”


This is the second year in a row that there has been a disappointment like this, how tough is it the second time around?

“It is tough. It never gets easy, especially when you are a Green Bay Packer. A lot is expected of you. In a season like this for the second year in a row it is definitely painful. Hopefully we will learn from this and we will be a better team next year.”


Third down was huge for the 49ers. What was it that they were doing that kept them on the field?

“It was either [WR Michael] Crabtree on a dink pass, or [QB Colin] Kaepernick running for necessary yardage or more. That is a frustrating thing.”


Why is Colin Kaepernick so difficult to defend?

“When the quarterback can run like that, it opens up the arsenal for the play calling. Obviously, if you can’t stop the run which is football 101, then it is going to be tough to stop the play action and the deep routes.”

Green Bay PackersGREEN BAY PACKERS WIDE RECEIVER JEREMY ROSS:

What happened on the muffed punt?
“I started focusing on the pressure that was coming. I was looking at the ball all the way in, but I was more focused on the peripheral, just kind of seeing and feeling it out. I was like when I catch it I have to move quick. I lost my fundamentals by keeping my elbows in tight. The ball just went straight through. ”

Did you have any thought, just forget about what was coming and just make the fair catch?
“I just wanted to make the play. At that moment I was like, I am just going to catch this ball, make this guy miss, and I am going to go for a touchdown. I just wanted to make a big play on that one. I probably should have fair caught it.”


San Francisco 49ersSAN FRANCISCO 49ERS HEAD COACH JIM HARBAUGH:

What’d you think about that performance from your team?
“Thought it was a great team performance, great team victory. Highlight the special teams where we got the big turnover. The coverage was outstanding. [S] C.J. Spillman, a bunch of guys – [LB] Tavares Gooden, [LB] Larry Grant, [FB] Bruce Miller, [TE] Delanie Walker, [K] David Akers, [P] Andy Lee, tremendous job there. Defensively we got the great interception, got stops, which is really tough to do against this offense. Offensively, thought we played great. [QB] Colin [Kaepernick] had a great game. Just excellent team performance.”


What did you say to Colin after that pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown to get him back going again?

“Just that there was a lot of football left. He does a great job of responding. He has done that. Every time there’s been an interception that he’s thrown, or safety or turnover. He’s responded with a scoring drive. I think that’s rare. I think that’s a rare quality. And so far he’s shown that he’s got that ability to come back.”


Why is that such a rare quality do you think?

“I don’t know. I have no statistics to back it up, or evidence. Just a feeling that it’s hard for a quarterback after throwing an interception to respond with a touchdown-scoring drive, especially. I don’t think that happens very often. But, it happens. He’s consistently done a nice job of just moving on.”


Did the game plan involve getting Kaepernick running? It seemed like that was a huge part of this one. Did you plan for that?

“Yeah, that was in the plan. A lot more pistol formation in this game plan, both handing the ball off and Kap running and play action, where we’re throwing out of it. We’re pretty multi-dimensional on that formation.”


Did you set that up by not doing that very much in the last few regular season games? There didn’t seem to be a lot of read option against Seattle against Arizona?

“It was more prevalent in this plan.”


Can you describe how DT Justin Smith returned today and how he looked?

“He looked good. From my eye it looked like he was stout against the run and his legend grows. What a player.”


When you saw Colin in college, did you sort of picture this? This was what he did, running out of that pistol, 9,000 yards passing, 4,000 running. Did you see a guy doing
this in the pros?

“Well, I obviously saw a lot of great qualities about the young man. And he did a great job throwing the ball and some of the throws he made were outstanding. Our receivers did a heck of a job. [TE] Vernon Davis did a nice job. Everybody was in on it. I thought it was one of our better games offensively.”


How well did WR Michael Crabtree play, and how vital is he to the offense?

“I think it’s pretty well documented how vital he is. Again, he was outstanding. The back-shoulder catches, those are great plays. The catch and runs again. The yards that he gets after the catch. He’s really like a running back when he gets the ball in his hands. And he was outstanding.”


You’ve mentioned that Colin doesn’t even say that much to you when you talk to him. Did he just give you a look in the eye after the interception? Did he say anything to you like, like “hey I got this?” Was there any conversation from him to you?

“No, he just said he understood. I think that’s pretty close to what he said.”


Were you able to see from the sidelines, they showed some replays, it looked like T Joe Staley was doing a pretty good job against LB Clay Matthews when he was lined up on that side? Were you able to notice any of that?

“Yeah, noticed that. I thought our protection was very good. Colin had a chance to go through his reads, set his feet and fire the ball. Consistently good protection all day.”


There was a perception that if you had lost tonight with Colin that your decision to make him the starter would have been a mistake. Were you even thinking, or do you care about that perception?

“No, it’s just a great team victory. I give our players a lot of credit. They had a great week of preparation. They played very poised. I thought they competed like maniacs. And we get another week of work. So, we’ll move on with humble hearts and get ready for our next opponent.”


How did you used to respond after an interception when you were quarterback?

“I don’t know. I hate to be short. I hate to be rude, but what the heck does that have to do with this game?”


Going forward for next week what do you want to see in improvement on the defensive side of the ball? You said you have to go work on some things. What do you want to see for next week?

“Same thing. We want to study for the test. Whoever that is that we’re playing, and have a great week of preparation. And then come out and compete like maniacs. This is that do-or-die, win-or-go-home kind of situation. Such a unique dynamic. So, we’ll do the things that we’ve always tried to do as a team and do them to the best of our God-given ability.”


At what point tonight did you realize your brother had won his game?

“Somewhere in the first quarter, I believe.”


Someone told you from upstairs?

“Yeah, yeah. Congratulations to [Ravens head coach] John [Harbaugh] and the Ravens. That was a real football fight. I had the chance to watch some of it before our game. Feel great for John and his team.”


When you say it was in the game plan for Colin to run, is it just in the read option you’re just telling him think more about running that, than giving it to the running back? Is that the game plan when you want him to run the ball?

“Not necessarily, no. He’s got keys that he’s reading. It’s the read option. It’s a give read, or it’s a pull and run it himself. Sometimes it’s even a pitch it to somebody else decision.”


San Francisco 49ersSAN FRANCISCO 49ERS QUARTERBACK COLIN KAEPERNICK:

Your first playoff start and it was just like how I remembered covering you at Nevada. You were flowing out there, can you talk a little bit about that?
“Our offensive line played great today, they did a lot of thing well, up front. Our running backs ran well and our receivers made plays.”


But how about you, you seemed to be just feeling it?

“I mean, it’s a lot easier when other people are making plays. Our offensive line came out, they dominated up front, so that makes it easier on a quarterback.”


What about your feeling after the interception?

“I had to bounce back.”


Were you aware that you broke the NFL record for most rushing yards as a quarterback in any game?

“Not until after the game.”


What does it mean to you?

“It’s a great accolade, I think it means a lot to this team. Our offensive line did an amazing job, our receivers, tight ends and running backs did amazing jobs. They opened up a lot of lanes for me.”


What is it like standing there and listening to your teammates describe you in the way they did?

“It’s great. Any time your teammates have confidence in you and they feel good about what you’re doing, it makes you feel like you’re doing the right things.”


Have you ever rushed for that many yards in a game at any level?

“Not with this much significance.”


Can you describe how the 56-yard touchdown came about and what you saw?

“The end came down, our receivers blocked the corner and the safety. There was nobody else left.”


How well did Michael Crabtree play in particular?

“He played great. He is a key player in this offense. He is a playmaker. He is someone that we want to get the ball into his hands and see what he can do.”


Earlier in the season you talked about how you wouldn’t know until the game if you were in or not. Can you talk about the ride this season?

“It’s been amazing and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”


We love to categorize players, he’s a runner, he’s a passer… are you hard to categorize?

“I don’t want to be categorized.”


Coach Harbaugh mentioned that your running was part of the game plan this week. Did you know that a lot of the responsibility was going to be on your legs?

“We had a lot of plays that we put in to utilize that. We also opened up running lanes for our running backs. Frank [Gore] broke a big one, LaMichael [James] was about to break one too. It was just another tool for this offense.”


Are both of those running touchdowns designed runs?

“Not the first one.”


What happened there on the first run?

“Man to man coverage, they doubled Crabtree, broke down and saw a run.”


Were they spying on you at all out there?

“I think a couple of times, a little. For the most part they were trying to double receivers and keep eyes on them.”


How much were they double teaming Crabtree?

“A little here and there. On big downs they were trying to double to make sure he didn’t make a play.”


What was your best pass?

“I couldn’t say.”


Last week Joe Webb of the Vikings had a lot of success running until the game got out of hand. Did you see anything from that game that gave you opportunities against them?

“Yeah, we knew going in that we were going to have some opportunities.”

San Francisco 49ersSAN FRANCISCO 49ERS WIDE RECEIVER MICHAEL CRABTREE:

Your touchdown catches came at a time when you guys really needed to score. What was the first half scoring frenzy like?
“It was a shoot out, you know. We knew those guys could put up points and we just came out ready to play.”


You said that you built off your post season last year, how did it feel to start on a win like this?

“It felt like we were in the same place winning that game. It’s what we do at the next game. It’s all about the next game.”


How about Kaepernick’s performance tonight?

“He’s a guy playing football. He makes it happen with his feet, with his arms. He’s just out there making plays. He is a playmaker.”


Why do you think you two play so well together?

“I couldn’t tell you, it’s just something that happens. We are out there trying to make a play. We both have one goal, to try and win.”


Did Green Bay try to do anything different with you this time and as time went on?

“I saw a couple double teams, especially in the red zone. We have so many players on our team: Vernon Davis, Delanie Walker, Ted Ginn Jr, Randy Moss and our running game. We have too many playmakers for anyone to get double. We have a great team.”


When Colin is running, do you see the defense have to react so much to him and maybe open up some other plays?

“I think it goes both ways. You have to react to everyone on the field. Whether it’s the receivers or running backs coming out of the flat. He does it with his legs so well.”


What was the feeling in here at halftime?

“Just going out here and really trying to finish up the game. Nobody panicked, everyone was on their P’s and Q’s. Everybody knew what they had to do to make the game go. We just went out there and made it happen.”


When Colin throws an interception to start the game, how did you see him react?

“There was no frustration at all. That’s what I was surprised about, he really was in our ear and told us to make a play. I kept telling myself, we need to make a play. I slipped on one play and fell and was mad about that the entire game. I felt like I had to redeem myself, go out there and do my job.”


Last year you said you wanted more opportunities, did you feel like you had something to prove in this game?

“Every playoff game I have something to prove. Last year it was bad, it was what it was. We are on a new year and I’m just trying to make a play and get that win.”


San Francisco 49ersSAN FRANCISCO 49ERS CENTER JONATHAN GOODWIN:

On the offense’s performance:
“Colin played great. We had a great game plan and we were able to execute it well. I think those guys had a lot of guys of things coming at them.”


When you stretch things out, it’s kind of hard to zero in on the receivers and watch [QB Colin Kaepernick].

“Yeah, he’s in the gun, he can throw, run or hand it off. A great game plan by G-Ro [offensive coordinator Greg Roman]. I think we did a good job of executing. We kind of got a head start on them with the bye week and I think it showed tonight.”


When you’re blocking, can you tell what’s going on, can you tell if Kaepernick is going to run, is he’s going to throw, escape?

“No, not for me. I’m blocking a certain way and just hoping he’ll make a play.”


Can you tell from the crowd reaction?

“A couple of times I saw [RB] LaMichael [James] run by and I could tell nobody was tackling him, so I knew he didn’t have the ball.”


On Kaepernick’s performance this season:

“The one thing, I’ve said this from day one about Colin, since he started playing, he’s always been confident. When you see a guy that’s playing quarterback in this league that young and he’s that confident, hats off to him.

San Francisco 49ersSAN FRANCISCO 49ERS RUNNING BACK FRANK GORE:

Is it an adjustment for you running the read option?
“I am a football player. I just adjust to whatever. That is the way to get a “W”, then whatever, I just want to win.”


What was it like for you out there with all that room for running?

“It was fun. Our offensive line did a great job. [QB Colin] Kaepernick did a great job, and our coordinator did a great job.”


What is it like having your quarterback outrushing you?

“It is not the first time. I am not surprised what he did. If that is what it takes to get wins and reach our goal, I am with it.”


The offense had 44 points and you had a nice night.

“We just have to keep working. We know how it feels from last year and not getting done.”

San Francisco 49ersSAN FRANCISCO 49ERS DEFENSIVE TACKLE JUSTIN SMITH:

How does it feel about beating QB Aaron Rodgers today?
“Any time we have a guy of that kind of caliber over there, I don’t care how you win, it’s just big.”


What kind of statement is it to get back to the NFC Championship?

“I don’t think we’re really worried about making a statement, we’re just worried about getting back there. I’ve been in this league for 12 years and it’s hard to get to that game. We’re not going to take it for granted and we’ll give it our best shot.”


How important was it for you to play?

“I’m just glad to be a part of this team and get a chance to play in the NFC Championship game.”


Your secondary sure held up today:

“They’re phenomenal and I think every one of them is in the Pro Bowl. It was a good defensive win and good team win. Any time you knock QB Aaron Rodgers off it feels pretty good.”

San Francisco 49ersSAN FRANCISCO 49ERS TACKLE JOE STALEY:

What was he (QB Colin Kaepernick) like in the huddle when he was running so well, and operating the offense so well, in the read option?
“It was just business. We get excited when we’re moving the ball, but you got to put that play, whether it’s successful or unsuccessful, and put it to rest.”


A few times replays isolated you working against LB Clay Matthews, and it looked like you did a good job with him. Do you feel like you did?

“Yeah I was pretty happy the way I played today. I knew going in he was going to be a great challenge. He’s a phenomenal player. I was really challenged by our coaching staff and our players, and I knew I had to have a big game.”


Can you guess what percentage of the time he was lined up across from you?

“Every play he was lined up across from me.”


San Francisco 49ersSAN FRANCISCO 49ERS LINEBACKER PATRICK WILLIS:

What was the moment when you saw them when you realized this was too tough for them to win?

“Honestly, I’m not sure. I know for us it was just about we knew the first half wasn’t a good defensive half for us. And we knew our offense kept us in the game. And we just came in at halftime and talked it over a little bit. And just knew that, come back out the second half, it was all about what we need to do, and what we didn’t do the first half.”


The game starts on such a weird note, the crowd’s jacked up, you guys are excited. And there’s a pick six that goes the other way. What was your reaction when that happened, and how did you guys turn it around from there?

“Honestly, we weren’t worried at all. That’s something we talk about all the time. Adversity is going to hit and it’s how you’re going to respond to it. That makes us the team that we are. When that pick six happened it was just like, all right dang. But, it happened. And we’ve got to go out there on defense and get one. And I think for the most part today we just played. We played for 60 minutes. And we knew that’s what it was going to take.”


From a defender’s point of view, how difficult is it to play against a quarterback like QB Colin Kaepernick?

“Put me in a tough one when you ask me about my own teammate. From what we see in practice and from what we see in the game, obviously you see a quarterback run the way that he runs. That’s unbelievable. And to see him in practice, you never really see him open up like that in practice. You see them do the offense what they do and whatnot. But, to see him do it in a game, it amazes me. It wows me. And I’m just saying wow, did he just do that. And credit goes to that whole offense to have a guy like [RB] Frank [Gore] who people have to account for. And then Kap’s doing what he’s doing. And before you know it, hopefully they don’t know which one to go for. And both of them are running wild, which they did today.”


Can you talk about how impressed it is to see him through his development? So much is talked about with guys like Redskins QB Robert Griffin III and Colts QB Andrew Luck. But, those guys are out and Colin’s still in it helping you guys out?

“Yeah, just to see how fast he’s picked up on the offense, just to see how fast he’s picked up on the game period, it’s remarkable. And I know that Kap’s a guy who works every day and he’s very confident in himself, not conceited by any means. But, if you see what we see every day. I get there and, I’m the type of man I don’t like to be at work, but honestly I get there to the facility and he’s outside already warming up. And I think he works out every day. I joke with him all the time. I say you’ve got to be one of the biggest and strongest quarterbacks I’ve seen. But, he plays the position like a true quarterback. And that’s what it’s going to take. And I’m just happy to see him do that. And he’s done well for us today. And it doesn’t stop here. We’ve got a big game next week wherever we play. And that’s our next focus.”


You talk about how fast he picks things up, how fast is he though when you see him on the field?

“He’s fast. It’s just one thing when you see a guy get behind a guy and they try to run and the guy already has a step on him. But, to see a guy come across the field at an angel and he eats up the angle, to us that’s fast. That guy’s moving. And like I said, it’s great to have him doing what he’s doing. And not only is his speed remarkable, just to see how he’s throwing the ball. Seeing how he’s getting behind other guys, that’s amazing, too. My hat goes off to that offense, that side of the ball. Like I said, today when our defense was struggling they kept us in there in that second half. We knew if we came back out and we played to the level that they were playing and even higher, then the game would be ours. And that was the outcome. We won.”


Can you talk about the overall defensive performance and what would you like to see improve as you go into the next game?

“Really for the most part we just have to start faster. It’s not getting easier whoever it is we play, especially we have to start fast and play for 60 minutes. And we didn’t do that today, but we just finished. And that’s most important. But, yeah I’d just like to see us start faster and continue to do what we do.”


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Donald Driver is active; Packers-49ers NFC Divisional playoff gameday inactives

Posted by Duke Bobber on January 12, 2013 – 5:44 pm

The following players have been declared as inactive for tonight’s Green Bay Packers-San Francisco 49ers NFC Divisional playoff game at Candlestick Park. Packers WR Donald Driver is active.

Green Bay PackersGreen Bay Packers
11 WR Jarrett Boykin
20 RB Alex Green
31 CB Davon House
58 LB Frank Zombo
84 TE D.J. Williams
91 DT Jordan Miller
99 DE Jerel Worthy

San Francisco 49ers
3 QB Scott Tolzien
6 K Billy Cundiff
30 S Trenton Robinson
33 RB Jewel Hampton
63 DT Tony Jerod-Eddie
66 G Joe Looney
93 NT Ian Williams


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Mason Crosby preparing for strong finish

Posted by Mike Spofford on January 10, 2013 – 2:33 pm

The Packers didn’t bring any other kickers in to compete with Mason Crosby when he was slumping. The 49ers did, with incumbent David Akers and newcomer Billy Cundiff staging a weeklong competition to see who will kick on Saturday night.

Crosby reiterated again on Thursday that he was plenty motivated by his own struggles, whether or not the Packers brought in some competition for his job. But he does appreciate the support the organization showed him, and after making five consecutive field goals over the last three games, his focus is on continuing the strong finish to an otherwise rough season.

“For me, it’s about finishing everything,” Crosby said. “I finished the regular season strong, and now it’s finishing these playoffs and every opportunity I have. I’m thankful to be here.

“Consistency is the name of the game, and these last few weeks I’ve felt good with that, and it’s the playoffs now. I have to be consistent, be solid and take advantage here.”


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Where to watch Saturday’s Packers-49ers playoff game

Posted by Duke Bobber on January 10, 2013 – 10:46 am

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– If you’re looking for a bar to watch the game at, try www.packerseverywhere.comPackers Everywhere was created to let you know where you can gather with other Packers fans to watch games and have all kinds of other Packers-related fun. We know that the only thing you like more than watching Packers games is watching them with your fellow fans.
– FOX Sports, now in its 19th season as an NFL network television partner, will broadcast the game to a national audience.
– Play-by-play man Joe Buck and color analyst Troy Aikman will have the call from the broadcast booth with Pam Oliver and Erin Andrews reporting from the sidelines.
– Milwaukee’s WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since 1929, heads up the 53-station Packers Radio Network, with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (color) calling the action. The duo enters its 14th season of broadcasts together across the Packers Radio Network, which covers 44 markets in six states.
– Dial Global Sports radio will air the game across the country. Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Dan Fouts (analyst) will call the action with Hub Arkush reporting from the sidelines. Scott Graham hosts pregame and halftime shows.
– Univision Radio will broadcast the game in Spanish to a national audience, with Rafael Hernandez Brito (play-by-play) and Raul Striker Jr. (color) calling the action.
– Listen to live radio broadcasts online in premium sound quality with NFL Audio Pass.
– For international fans: Watch NFL games, including the playoffs and Super Bowl, live or on-demand online in HD with NFL Game Pass.

The information above is contained within this week’s Dope Sheet. For even more information on Saturday’s game, check out the Dope Sheet.


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Kuhn, Matthews, Shields, Manning earn game balls vs. Vikings

Posted by Mike Spofford on January 7, 2013 – 2:19 pm

Vikings game balls

The coaching staff awarded four game balls from the NFC Wild Card playoff victory over the Vikings on Saturday night. They went to FB John Kuhn on offense, LB Clay Matthews and CB Sam Shields on defense, and rookie LB Terrell Manning on special teams.

Kuhn rushed for a 3-yard TD and caught a 9-yard TD pass, giving him both a rushing and receiving TD for the second time in his career in a playoff game, a first in franchise history. He also scored for the fourth consecutive postseason, the only player in the NFL who can make that claim.

Matthews had two sacks, including a forced fumble and fumble recovery on the second one. The two sacks accounted for 18 lost yards as Matthews had the second two-sack playoff game of his career. The only other player in franchise history to accomplish that is Reggie White.

Shields was credited by the press box statisticians with seven tackles, a team high. He also broke up two passes and had an interception, the third of his career in the postseason.

Manning was credited with two coverage tackles, bringing down Minnesota returner Marcus Sherels on both the first kickoff and first punt of the game. Manning also helped to separate Sherels from the ball when he muffed a punt in the fourth quarter.


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Packers 24, Vikings 10 – Instant Replay

Posted by Tyler Gajewski on January 6, 2013 – 2:13 am

Defense stars as Packers advance
to rematch with 49ers

Aaron Rodgers hits 10 different receivers as Packers beat the VikingsRead More

Press Conferences

Game Highlights

Locker Room Interviews

Features


  • Game Day Photos

    Look through the lens of team photographer Jim Biever. Check out photos from Saturday’s Packers-Vikings game at Lambeau Field.


  • Sights & Sounds(2:28)

    Check out the Sights & Sounds from Saturday’s Packers-Vikings game at Lambeau Field.

  • Sideline Pass Wildcard

    Sideline Pass

    Check out these behind-the-scenes photos from Lambeau Field. The Green Bay Packers faced the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card Playoff game

  • Game Wallpapers Week 16

    Game Wallpapers

    Download the latest wallpapers from Saturday’s Packers-Vikings playoff game.

  • Packers-Vikings post-game notes & quotes

    Packers-Vikings post-game notes & quotes

    With the victory, the Packers improve to 30-17 all-time in the postseason, a .638 winning percentage that ranks No. 1 in league history.

  • Under the Cap with Ryan Grant

    Under the Cap(5:46)

    In this edition of ‘Under the Cap,’ packers.com’s Larry McCarren sits down with Green Bay Packers running back Ryan Grant.


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Packers-Vikings Wild Card post-game notes & quotes

Posted by Duke Bobber on January 6, 2013 – 12:16 am

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PACKERS TOP VIKINGS IN NFC WILD CARD CONTEST
– Green Bay beat Minnesota, 24-10, tonight at Lambeau Field to advance to the NFC Divisional round of the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
– The Packers are the only NFC team to advance to three straight NFC Divisional games from 2010-12. The last time Green Bay advanced to the divisional round in three or more consecutive seasons was five straight from 1993-97.
– With the victory, the Packers improve to 30-17 all-time in the postseason, a .638 winning percentage that ranks No. 1 in league history. Green Bay moved into sole possession of the No. 3 spot for the most playoff wins with 28, trailing only the N.Y. Giants (31) and Dallas Cowboys (30).
– Including playoffs, the Packers have now won 10 straight games at home against NFC North opponents.
– The 10 points allowed by the Packers were the fewest in a postseason game since they gave up 10 points at San Francisco on Jan. 11, 1998.
– Green Bay will travel to San Francisco next Saturday night to take on the 49ers at Candlestick Park at 7 p.m. (CST).

OTHER POST-GAME NOTES:
– Tonight’s paid attendance was 71,548. It was the 311th consecutive sellout (293 regular season, 18 playoffs) at Lambeau Field and the fourth-largest crowd in Lambeau Field history.
– With the victory on Saturday night, Head Coach Mike McCarthy improved his postseason record to 6-3. His .667 winning percentage ranks No. 2 in team history among Green Bay head coaches behind only Vince Lombardi (9-1, .900).
– QB Aaron Rodgers posted a 104.9 passer rating on Saturday night (23 of 33, 274 yards, one TD), the fifth time he has registered a 100-plus passer rating in seven career postseason starts.
– Rodgers did not thrown an interception for the fifth straight game. He has not thrown an interception in 177 consecutive passing attempts.
– FB John Kuhn is the only player in the NFL to score a touchdown in each of the last four postseasons (2009-12). Kuhn joined RB Dorsey Levens (five straight, 1994-98) and WR Antonio Freeman (1995-98) as the only players in team history to score a TD in four or more consecutive postseasons.
– Kuhn also became the first player in franchise history to post a rushing TD and a receiving TD in two different postseason games. He also did so at Atlanta on Jan. 15, 2011.
– LB Clay Matthews matched is postseason career high (at Atlanta, Jan. 15, 2011) with two sacks as he joined DE Reggie White as the only players in franchise playoff history to register two-plus sacks in two games. Matthews brought his career postseason sack total to 6.5, second only to White (8.0) in franchise playoff history.
– CB Sam Shields posted his third career interception in the postseason, which is tied for No. 4 in team history.
– K Mason Crosby’s 20-yard field goal in the second quarter was his sixth consecutive made field goal in the postseason, a franchise playoff record. It bested the mark of five straight by Don Chandler in 1965 and Chris Jacke in 1996.
– The Packers allowed the Vikings to complete just 11 passes, the fewest given up by Green Bay a playoff game since it allowed seven completions at Washington on Dec. 24, 1972.
– Green Bay held Vikings RB Adrian Peterson (99 yards) to less than 100 yards rushing for just the second time in the Vikings’ last 11 games (86 yards at Houston in Week 16).


Green Bay PackersGREEN BAY PACKERS HEAD COACH MIKE McCARTHY:
(opening statement) “Good victory for us today. Playoff victories are always special. Coming back after six days and playing the Vikings. First off, I have to give great credit to our fans and the atmosphere here tonight. When I think about tonight’s win, it definitely starts and ends with our defense. I thought they were outstanding for four quarters and they set the tempo. They kept Minnesota out of the end zone until the end and obviously adjusted to the quarterback change. The communication, the effort and the run defense really stood out. Offensively, I thought we played good football for probably about the first half. We had an opportunity to score going in. Coming out, we weren’t able to knock them out of the park in the third and fourth quarter. Special teams, did a solid job as far as the placement and our coverage teams did a better job tonight.”

(on the difference between the rush defense tonight compared with the last two games against the Vikings) “It comes down to the things we talked about during the course of the week in here. We talked about it as a football team — to play with leverage, to play with discipline, trust the guy next to you and obviously rally to the football. Adrian Peterson does a great job of extending runs, very similar to what Aaron Rodgers does in the pass game with his ability to extend pass plays. They are two very similar players. I thought our defense was extremely disciplined. They played with great effort, I thought we owned the line of scrimmage and it was a big factor tonight.”

(on if his team prepared for Joe Webb during the week) “Our work on Joe was obviously something that was out there during the course of the week. We had a long day here today as coaches. I know a number of our guys were going back and checking things. They didn’t change their game plan a whole lot. I have to give a lot of credit to our players and our defensive coaches, just the fact that they stayed the course and we played very well for a quarterback that was unscouted.”

(on if he had an idea that QB Christian Ponder wasn’t going to play) “They did a good job of keeping it under wraps. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I knew Joe Webb was going to play. That’s not the case. We didn’t adjust our game plan, so the players and coaches did a hell of a job.”

(on the offensive game plan) “We wanted to be balanced with run and pass. I thought we did that, but we didn’t really run the ball very well in the second half. I thought that was a big part of why we stalled and weren’t able to convert first downs.”

Green Bay PackersPACKERS QUARTERBACK AARON RODGERS:
(on going back to northern California to play next week) “Home is really Chico. Chico is northern California. San Francisco I would say is the Bay Area. It’ll be fun to go back to the West Coast. We’ll hopefully get a lot of cheeseheads from Chico coming down to the game and it’ll be a good test.”

(on the efficiency of the touchdown drive before the half) “A lot of times, in those two-minute drives, they’re often keyed by a good first play; and we had a completion to Jordy (Nelson), probably in the 18 to 20 (yard) range I would guess. That kind of got things going for us and we just moved with the ball from there.”

(on the difference between the first two matchups) “Our defense played great. I think they played really good in the first one, but Adrian (Peterson) still had 210 (yards) and they controlled a lot of the clock as I remember, especially in the first half. Our defense tonight played at a championship level, and that’s what you need in the playoffs. You need the defense playing well and creating turnovers. Special teams did a good job of winning the field position, creating the turnover. Mason (Crosby) made his kick, Tim (Masthay) did a good job of not letting them have a lot of return yards. (Marcus) Sherels is a really good returner. With the defense playing well, the special teams playing well — they can make up for kind of an average day on offense.”

(on how much they can take from the first game with the 49ers) “We’ll look at it, but they’re a different team. Teams find their identity throughout the season and we’ll look at more of their past schemes. It will be interesting to go back and look at that and see who was playing at that point. Cedric (Benson) was our main back, and now we’re a few down the line here to get to DuJuan (Harris). We’re going to have to find ways to block up their Pro Bowlers inside and try to make some plays on the perimeter as well.”

(on what RB DuJuan Harris has added to the offense) “He’s doing a better job in the passing game. I think he’s learning the offense. He’s been studying very hard. He knows the protection schemes better than he did when he first got in the game. Today he made five catches, I believe, averaged over 10 yards a completion. I believe four of those were check-downs and one was a swing pass. That can really do some things for you when you can dump it off to a guy like that and make some first downs.”

(on how surprised he was that QB Christian Ponder didn’t play) “I don’t know what the nature of his injury is. I was surprised when I saw the inactives for the game and he was out. I know he was limited in practice this week. Obviously he has a significant injury. I don’t like talking about other people’s injuries and what I would do.”

(on the play of the defense) “It says a lot about (defensive coordinator) Dom Capers and his staff. I think they wanted to make a statement tonight. The statement might have been less rushing yards for (Adrian) Peterson. He still had almost 100, but it wasn’t same kind of impact that he’s had in the last couple games.”

Green Bay PackersPACKERS RUNNING BACK DuJUAN HARRIS:
(on the role he played in today’s win) “It’s the biggest game I’ve ever played in. I just tried not to think about that and just tried to treat it like any other game. It’s been awhile since I’ve played like that.”

(on his effectiveness in the passing game) “Things like that just happen. If it’s open, let’s just dump it down and get some easy yards.”

(on if he thinks he’ll play a large role in next week’s game at San Francisco) “We’ll see how the week goes. The game plan could be a little different. You never know. We’re just going to watch film and see what we need to do to win.”

Green Bay PackersPACKERS WIDE RECEIVER JAMES JONES:
(on having a healthy group of wide receivers today) “It’s always good to have all our playmakers out there. We create mismatch problems for a lot of people when all four of us are healthy and we did that today. Everybody got a little chunk of the pie and was able to make some plays.”

(on looking ahead to San Francisco) “They’re still one of the best football teams in the business. It’s going to be a fight when we go there to their home stadium. They’ve got a good team so it’ll be a tough challenge for us.”

(on how the Packers have changed since the week one loss to the 49ers) “We’ve just been trying to get better. Every day, every game, trying to get better as a team.”

(on if the team’s approach changed when QB Christian Ponder became inactive) “That’s for the defense. For us as an offense, we just kept with our same game plan — go out there, score some points and make sure Adrian Peterson can’t touch the ball so much.”

Green Bay PackersPACKERS FULLBACK JOHN KUHN
(on the role the running backs played in the passing game) “That’s just kind of the way it unfolded. They were playing us in cover two and really dropping and trying to take our receivers away. They did a great job last week so that was obviously their game plan, to stop them. We knew we had to pick it up on our end. I think DuJuan (Harris) did great in the first half really carrying the load with the check-downs, getting a lot of first downs and moving the chains.”

(on scoring two touchdowns) “It was nice. I’m just thankful that I was given the opportunities. We were in some advantageous plays with the defenses that they were running. Aaron (Rodgers) made some nice checks and I was able to take advantage of it. Thanks to Mike McCarthy for calling my number when I get down there and Aaron for delivering the ball. A lot of people can score these touchdowns, it’s just about being in the right place at the right time.”

(on playing San Francisco next week) “We’re a little thankful that we get the chance to play San Francisco again. They really whooped up on us the first game of the season. We’re looking forward to going out there and playing a better game.”

Green Bay PackersPACKERS LINEBACKER CLAY MATTHEWS:
(on how the team was able to change the outcome from last week’s game against Minnesota) “Schematically I don’t think we did much differently than last week. We obviously made a few adjustments based on what they showed us last week and the success they had. Ultimately, the effort was there last week, our intensity… We just played a little more disciplined..

(on if the defense felt like it had something to prove against RB Adrian Peterson) “We wanted to win. I think that goes beyond pride, especially with the two 200-yard games he put together against us, there was absolutely something to prove.”

(on looking ahead to San Francisco) “Based on week one when we saw them, I’m sure a lot has changed — especially at the quarterback position. Frank Gore is an outstanding athlete. He makes plays for them. You’d like to think they’re going to get it going in that regard, especially with the lack of success we’ve had in past games. We expect it to be a tough, hard-fought match like it was in week one.”

Green Bay PackersPACKERS CORNERBACK SAM SHIELDS:
(on the effect of QB Christian Ponder being inactive) “I don’t think it was anything different. We were just ready to play. We came in this week and corrected a lot of things we made mistakes on. I think we were prepared either way.”

(on the defense’s ability to contain RB Adrian Peterson) “Everybody took care of their responsibilities, played their gaps and didn’t let him get outside. Peterson, he can run, he can get outside, and our thing was to not let him get outside.”

(on how the Packers are different than the last time they faced San Francisco in week one) “It’s very different. Everybody is on the same page. On defense, our whole thing is getting off on third downs and just playing fast.”

Green Bay PackersPACKERS LINEBACKER ERIK WALDEN:
(on containing RB Adrian Peterson) “The first two games he killed us. If you get anxious, he’ll run into the pile and bounce outside. If you peek inside, that’s all he needs to break outside, so today we wanted to make sure we maintained our gaps and we were able to do that for the most part.”

(on his personal performance) “Playoffs are just a different atmosphere. There’s nothing like playoff football. I just wanted to make sure I came out and played my best football at the right time.”

MINNESOTA VIKINGS HEAD COACH LESLIE FRAZIER:
(on his overall thoughts on the game) “Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers. They did a good job tonight and they played good football. We came up short. I thought our guys played hard. We didn’t always play the way we are capable of playing in some instances. I am extremely proud of our football team and the way they worked throughout this year and represented our state. Because of the character of the men on this football team, there are a lot of things we can learn from this 2012 season.”

(on the change at quarterback) “Yesterday, he (Christian Ponder) improved to where we thought maybe. And today, it just wouldn’t have been smart to put him at risk. We made a decision to go with Joe.”

(on the deciding factors to not play Ponder) “Some of things we asked him to do, he wasn’t very good at getting done and the things we needed him to get done if we were going to put him out there. It wasn’t the right thing to do.”

(on not sticking with the read option) “We mixed some of those read-options along the way. But at some point, you would like to complete some passes. Early on we did have them off-balance and had some opportunities in the passing game, but we just couldn’t connect.”

(on amount of time to structure game plan around QB Joe Webb) “We kind of prepared for a little bit of both. As we were going through the week, and realizing the possibility that Christian might not make it, we thought we better have something in the package in case it was Joe.”

(on passing opportunities that didn’t connect) “There were some times that I thought we had some guys open and Joe might get flushed or didn’t have his feet set or might not follow through like he needed to. We just couldn’t make some things happen down the field that we needed to make happen.”

(on what impresses him about QB Aaron Rodgers) “He is a very accurate passer, but his ability to throw on the run is the thing that sticks out. You can get him moving around like you want too, but his ability to make throws on the run really creates problems for the defense because guys end up uncovered.”

(on Webb not throwing a pass all season and the odds of victory) “That’s a situation a back-up is going to be in. You have to get your reps in practice and have to be ready every week because you are always one play away from going in there and just hope the guy you have in that back-up roll can get it done. We came up short tonight and we needed to do something around Joe to help a little bit more, but I thought he battled and gave us everything he had.”

(on Packers’ defense ability to slow down RB Adrian Peterson) “They did a good job getting people in gaps. It looked like a lot of the same things we had seen. It is the same thing we have seen from them throughout. With people doing that, you like to create a little balance, but we couldn’t get that done on a consistent basis.”

VIKINGS QUARTERBACK JOE WEBB:
(on if there are specific plays he’d like to have back) “There are a lot of plays I would like to have back. I haven’t touched the field since August, that’s no excuse. I feel our team really came here expecting a victory and Green Bay is a great team and a tough team at home. It was a great learning experience.”

(on taking time to find a rhythm) “I started to adjust to the flow of the game later in the game, I started to get the rhythm. Once you get the rhythm, you can really start making plays.”

(on the switch from back-up to playoff starter) “It’s not tough, because you always prepare yourself as if you are going to start or going to play. It’s a big learning experience for me. It was a tough game.”

(on the game plan changing after first drive) “We tried to hit them with different plays and switch it up a little bit. We didn’t execute on some plays. Like I said, it was a learning experience, not just for the players, but the coaches.”

(on the momentum change after settling for a field goal on the first drive) “I wouldn’t say momentum change, because anytime you get points that’s always a positive. You always want to score touchdowns, but whenever you get points that always good too. We hoped that we could have had a few more drives like the first one, but that played out different.”

VIKINGS DEFENSIVE END JARED ALLEN:
(on QB Christian Ponder not playing) “We had all the confidence in Joe (Webb). Joe is part of the glue that keeps this thing together. I have seen Joe grow over the last few years that I have seen him play. Joe has an arm to go along with his legs, so we were all kind of like ‘let’s see what happens.’ No one was let down. We knew the challenges ahead, so honestly we went about business as usual.”

(on losing in the playoffs) “Everyone has to have a sense of urgency. It is not okay to just show up. Just getting here isn’t what we are about in Minnesota. We are about winning championships. You can ask anyone in the league — you want to win. It is all about getting a Super Bowl ring. I think we needed to have a higher sense of urgency because you never know when you are going to come back (to the playoffs). We had a little setback with Christian, but you have to seize the opportunity against a team that you know so well.”

(on how Green Bay’s offense made adjustments to Minnesota’s pass rush) “The ball came out a lot quicker. He just got the ball out. We still sacked him three times and had him running all over the place. It was check-down football. They were leaking a back out, checking down and keeping the chains moving. It was just their play-calling, Aaron getting the ball out and them being conscious of what we were trying to do up front. They didn’t allow us to get into a steady groove of pass rushing.”

VIKINGS RUNNING BACK ADRIAN PETERSON:
(on Minnesota getting out to an early lead) “We definitely had something going. We were able to establish the run game early, but we needed to get seven instead of three. That kind of hurt us. We got down there again and we weren’t able to execute.”

(on how Green Bay’s defense contained him tonight) “They played some good defense. They played more patient defense. They stayed on the backside to take away the cutback and they played slower instead of being really aggressive and over pursuing plays. With that, they were able to bottle up the run game.”

(on Green Bay having DB Charles Woodson in the lineup) “Woodson is a great player. He saved a touchdown in the fourth quarter by tackling me because I was definitely going the distance. He is a difference maker.”

(on the season) “Each week we continued to improve, lean on one another and we continued to fight. Unfortunately for a lot of different reasons, we weren’t able to pull it off tonight. We will come back swinging in the offseason and do the necessary things that we need to do so that this doesn’t happen again. I love the chemistry that we have here, so hopefully we can build on this and get better.”

VIKINGS CORNERBACK ANTOINE WINFIELD:
(on Green Bay’s offense) “They have a very explosive offense. You always have to worry about their vertical passing game, but they switched it up a lot today. There were a lot of quick screens, quick passes, underneath throws and they made some plays.”

(on the season) “It was a good season. Only one team can have a really successful season. Guys came to work each day and worked hard. We had some momentum at the end of the year and got into the playoffs with no one expecting us to be here. I love these guys in the locker room.”


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