Packers hope to keep pedal pushed

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers scrambles next to teammate Marshall Newhouse against...

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers scrambles next to teammate Marshall Newhouse against the New York Giants in the first quarter during their NFL football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, December 4, 2011. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:05 AM ET

The Green Bay Packers have a lot on the line when they line up Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.

A prohibitive favourite to win the game, Green Bay, with a victory, can clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC and with it home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

But if they win, then what?

With the prospect of an undefeated season within their grasp, the Green Bay players certainly expect that head coach Mike McCarthy will keep the pedal to the metal and not pull a Jim Caldwell.

Back in 2009, the Indianapolis Colts were 14-0 but in the third quarter of their game against the New York Jets they pulled many of their stars, went on to lose and, resting many starters in the season finale, lost that game as well.

The Colts would go on to be the AFC representative in the Super Bowl, only to lose to the New Orleans Saints.

To this day, the Colts players regret the decision made by Caldwell.

The Green Bay players, don’t expect that to happen to them.

“I don’t think he’s going to change anything,” wide receiver Donald Driver told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “He knows exactly what everyone wants to do. He’s trying to say: ‘Okay, I shouldn’t do this and I shouldn’t do that,’ but he knows exactly that guys want to play.

“(He’ll say): ‘If guys want to play, I’m going to let them play.’ I don’t think he’s going to change. He’s not going to do it.

“This is another opportunity for us. We’re 13-0. To be 14-0, 15-0, 16-0, that’s something special. That’s what we want to be a part of.”

Opportunities to record a perfect season are few and far between and the Packers want to take full advantage.

“I’ll just say that I think, as players, we would probably like to finish this thing out if we get a chance,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “And (have) a chance to maybe keep the Bears and the Lions out of the playoffs like the Bears tried to do to us last year.”

In Green Bay, they simply want to keep winning.

“We’re all competitive here,” linebacker Clay Matthews said. “We play each and every Sunday (to win). Obviously, we have to be smart and not risk healthy players. At the same time, we like winning. The coach does. I think we’re going to try to win some ball games.”

It would be a mistake to play it any other way.

ANOTHER CONVERT

Another day, another conversion for Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.

The latest individual to sing Tebow’s praises is none other than Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, the team that Tebow will oppose on Sunday.

Kraft is impressed with Tebow the person, his religious beliefs and his outspokenness on the subject.

“I kind of like it that he’s about spirituality, that the country is thinking about spirituality,” Kraft told the Boston Herald. “I think he’s great for the NFL. The kind of young man (Tebow) is, the values he represents. I think it’s terrific.”

When informed of Kraft’s comments, Tebow was thankful.

“I respect Mr. Kraft very much and had the opportunity to meet him,” Tebow said. “That was definitely a pleasure for me. I feel if (Kraft’s compliments) are true, I’d take that as a huge honour. I feel if I can be a good role model, if I could make faith something cool, having a relationship with Christ something cool, then I think that would be awesome.

“I think one of my biggest prayers, more so than scoring touchdowns or winning games, is to try to be a great role model for the next generation and someone that always puts my faith first, no matter what, and someone that is hopefully a player, an athlete that parents can look at their kids and say: ‘You know what? That’s someone who is trying to do it the right way. He doesn’t always, he messes up, but he always tries to give credit to the Lord, he always works as hard as he can and he’s trying to do the best that he possibly can.’ I think that’s something that I’m definitely working on.”

That and winning football games.

BOOTS MADE FOR WALKING

Walking boots seem to have become the latest fashion statement in the NFL. Baltimore Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb is not expected to play on Sunday night against the San Diego Chargers because of a turf toe injury and could miss the remainder of the regular season ... In Pittsburgh, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is in a walking boot on his left ankle from a high ankle sprain and could miss Monday’s key game in San Francisco against the 49ers. Backup Charlie Batch is taking the snaps at practice and is expected to make the start ... Finally, St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford is back to wearing a walking boot on his left ankle and it is unlikely that he will be able to play in Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. If Bradford doesn’t play, newcomer Kellen Clemens is expected to make the start.


Videos

Photos