Mike McCarthy: Packers ‘must-win’ final division games


Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy says Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, and the rest of the team’s division games, are “must-win.”

It’s a must-win game because it’s a division game in November,” McCarthy said Tuesday, via the team’s website. “We have three very important division games here in the next six weeks. We’re not in dire straits, but we’ve let some games get away from us. That being said, I’m not a believer in spending a lot of time on the past. We are allotted seven days each week to prepare to win. The way we manage our time, the language that we express among one another, is all part of the energy path toward success. That’s what we’re focused on.”

The Packers (5-5) are currently third in the NFC North, behind the 6-4 Detroit Lions and 6-4 Chicago Bears.

Green Bay plays the Lions on Thursday night following Sunday’s game against the Vikings.  The Packers final division game is against the Bears in Week 17.

“We’re focused on the next game and our record,” McCarthy said. “There’s a formula that equates to winning every year and everyone in the building is aware of it. The first part of that formula is winning our division games and that’s right in front of us. This is a home division game we have to win. We had one get away from us against Chicago at home, and we have to make sure we take care of business against Minnesota.”

McCarthy sees some similarities between this season and the Packers 2010 Super Bowl run.

“Yes, when I look at the medical reports, but every season is different,” he said. “This season has brought on challenges we haven’t had in my time here, and that’s the beauty of the NFL. It’s extremely competitive from every angle. The unexpected happens routinely, and it’s the responsibility of everybody committed to the journey to respond and overcome it.”

Scott Tolzien will make his second straight start at quarterback for the Packers on Sunday while starter Aaron Rodgers recovers from a broken collarbone.

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