Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy says he will play to win

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, front right, calls a play against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter of an NFL preseason football game in Indianapolis, Friday, Aug. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, front right, calls a play against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter of an NFL preseason football game in Indianapolis, Friday, Aug. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy can do the Falcons a real solid.

Word out of Green Bay is that Packers head coach will play to win the game against the Detroit Lions. (Guess he doesn’t like them very much or something like that.)

My guys up there are not exactly sure what that means — playing to win. They are not sure if he’ll play his starters just a little bit or let them go the whole way.

My folks could see him playing it like a preseason game and yanking his studs at halftime.

The big question is whether if he’s going to allow wide receiver Greg Jennings, tackle Bryan Bulaga, defensive linemen Ryan Pickett and running back James Starks to play, all of whom are coming off injury.

The speculation is that Jennings, Bulaga and Pickett will play a little and Starks won’t play at all.

Offensive tackle Chad Clifton is going to play for the first time since the Atlanta game, but he likely won’t start.

The word is that McCarthy really wants to win the game and he won’t rest massive amounts of guys. But he’s not going to be stupid either.

The Falcons need to win and have the Packers beat the Lions to move into the fifth seed for the playoffs. They’ll likely get the Giants-Cowboys winner if they can move up. If they stay put at No. 6, then they are back off to New Orleans for a rematch with Drew Brees and the Saints.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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72 comments Add your comment

Earl

December 28th, 2011
5:38 am

We really need them to beat Detroit. I’d hate to see New Orleans again in two weeks! Oh, by the way, first!!!

Earl

December 28th, 2011
5:41 am

The way we looked on MNF we can’t look forward to playing the Giants/Cowboys winner either. But maybe we were just playing vanilla in order to not tip our hand to anyone. We have to be concerned though.

RomeDawg

December 28th, 2011
6:42 am

The Falcons want a rematch with the Saints. Not sure why other than statisically the odds have to favor them not getting beat 3 times in one season by the same team.

Atlanta is capable of beating any team on any given Sunday, however, I like a matchup with Cowboys/Giants more than with the Saints.

Falcons4Eva

December 28th, 2011
6:57 am

The Falcons don’t really want to go back to New Orleans. Trust me. Especially, Mike Smith and Brian Van Gorder. They best to pray the Packers win.

Sunset Lee

December 28th, 2011
6:59 am

The Falcons wouldn’t beat the Giants either.

Falcons4Eva

December 28th, 2011
6:59 am

The real reason I believe the Packers want to win this game is:

By winning, that would send Detroit to New Orleans and the packers figured that the Lion are the only other team capable of eliminating the only threat to them (the packers).

So it makes sense to send them to New Orleans in hopes of the Lions eliminating the Saints

Falcons4Eva

December 28th, 2011
7:01 am

Other than the Packers. only the Lions have a chance of beating the Saints in New Orleans.
Therefore its a good idea for the Packers to beat Detroit and send them to New Orleans rather than trust that the Falcons to take care of The Saints on behalf of the Packers.

Me Too

December 28th, 2011
7:06 am

I wonder why the Falcons don’t play to win? It seems the coaching staff is more interested in yards, time of possession, and letting M. Turner be the one-man team.

Joey

December 28th, 2011
7:18 am

Don’t forget the FG aspirations also, Me Too. Coaches Smith and Mularkey love them some FGs . . .

SeenThis B4

December 28th, 2011
7:23 am

Hmmm, sure seems that a lot of people here at the AJC, writers and posters, have some type of fear of the Saints….LOL!

SeenThis B4

December 28th, 2011
7:29 am

By the way, McCarthy is going to play to win,……….. just not with his starters.

one and done

December 28th, 2011
7:31 am

It will probably be one and done as last year. You win championships and playoff games with good defense. We don’t have a good defense! The Giants came very close to beating the Packers two weeks ago. But I do think we have a better chance of beating one of the teams from the NFC east.

I like M R as a leader of our team but have to agree on his inability to connect with receivers on the long ball. Other things I’ve noticed that 8 out of 10 throws to receivers he doesn’t lead them so they can continue to run. They’re having to stop and reach back or slow down waiting on the ball. You never see this with Brees, Brandy, Manning, and other good QB’s. Even Cam Newton as a rookie leads and hits the receivers in stride.

I am thankful that we are a much better than teams we have had in the past. I remember the years of 2 and 12, 3 and 13 all to well. Maybe next year we can somehow make the needed changes to build a better defense and offense play calling to have a real chance of doing something in the playoffs

Milt Olsen

December 28th, 2011
7:33 am

The Falcons had no incentive to beat the Saints, Let the Packers and Saints expend their energy and risk injuries to key players by winning these last two meaningless games. It will just make it a little easier for the Falcons in the playoffs.

Really?

December 28th, 2011
7:40 am

Sound of crickets …

AlanFalcon

December 28th, 2011
7:45 am

Face it, the Falcons died on the MB SuperDome field, don’t expect them to come back and do any damage in the playoff’s, then on the bright side we had another winning season, which of course isn’t worth a dime if you can’t move forwad and win playoff games, which is the whole idea.

bat0894

December 28th, 2011
7:47 am

@Me Too

Michael Turner hasn’t rushed for over a hundred yards in the last five or six games. I wouldn’t really call that a “one-man team”

bat0894

December 28th, 2011
7:50 am

What are the chances that Van Gorder gets fired?

SRF

December 28th, 2011
7:50 am

Screw the “odds” – the Saints could beat the woeful Falcons 10 times in the season !

JSS

December 28th, 2011
8:06 am

Sounds like 2008 again, you were salivating at the hope of facing the Cardinals… And we all remember how that turned out!

That is what makes the NFL so much better than the college game, you can’t hide!

mke

December 28th, 2011
8:16 am

Pretty sad when you have to wish for other teams to win or lose in order for this team to get into the playoffs. How about next year the falcons try winning more games. That has always been a formula that seems to work. Just ask the packers.

JSS

December 28th, 2011
8:19 am

“But maybe we were just playing vanilla in order to not tip our hand to anyone.”

You guys say that every year, and each year that team keeps showing you that they have only one flavor, and it is as tasteless as growl!

Falcons_in_the_playoff

December 28th, 2011
8:19 am

one and done..

MM calls or puts a play in the practice.. 5 yds curl… 4 yds curl… Why the fcuk we can’t utilize the middle of field like other teams…. We got Harry to exploit the middle of field.. but hey.. NAH …

Falcons_in_the_playoff

December 28th, 2011
8:20 am

JSS,

I agree with you.. it’s just an excuse… We weren’t playing vanilla… we got our arse handed to us…I hope they learn something from this..

Playoffs Obituary for the Falclowns is being written now

December 28th, 2011
8:31 am

Quite simple – here lies the FAILCANTS, one and done, their soul taken by the Saints.

Falcons4Eva

December 28th, 2011
8:33 am

As far as I’m concerned, I believe that if Sean Payton and his coaching staff were coaching this same Falcons team and Mike Smith and his band of Clowns were coaching the Saints, the score of the last game would have been reversed.

This is not to say the Saints don’t have better players than the Falcons because man for man they do, but I still believe that Sean Payton and his style of aggressive play calling will put this Falcon team in the best position to win and “make plays to score touch downs” and not fkucing field goals. and that to mean is the biggest difference between these to teams.

For the most part, as LONG as the Saints have Sean Payton, they will own this division unless another dynamic coach comes along and challenges him.

By the way, who is the offensive coordinator of the Saints? Why isn’t he mentioned to become a head coach some other place. The Saints don’t really need him.

Joey

December 28th, 2011
8:34 am

So, the Falcons didn’t try to beat the Saints? Didn’t have an incentive to win?

If you nuts can’t see that the Saints, from waterboy to Head Coach, are head and shoulders better than the Falcons, you are dumber than you seem.

The only way the Falcons win a playoff game this season (or any other) is to play the Cowboys, then sit back and wait for Romo to choke the game away.

Mike White = Marty Shottenheimer. If you guys are too young to remember Marty-ball, google him and read up on his coaching career. He turned teams around fast, won lots of regular season games vs inferior competition, never won a playoff game.

Sound familiar?

Willie Coyote

December 28th, 2011
8:48 am

Our coaching staff is good enough to get us winning seasons but we won’t win anything of significance without a drastic change. MM & BVG need to improve but Mike Smith is the one giving the direction for this team. He needs to step back and let his coordinators do their thing without interference. If they fail, they fail and you find someone else.

I am not absolving MM or BVG but facts are facts. Not utilizing the no-huddle enough and implementing a soft zone defense with only 4 pass rushers are both Mike Smith decisions.

The success of the no-huddle speaks for itself. The lack of use is indefensible.

The soft zone is the sole reason why teams routinely convert 3rd and longs against us. The fact we force SO MANY 3rd and longs is a testament to solid defense on 1st & 2nd downs. 3rd down, we just undo all the good work we got done on 1st and 2nd.
This coaching staff is scared to win a big game. Sean Peyton, Bill Belichick, and Mike McCarthy aren’t. They know it’s time for contenders to step up and get into form, that’s why Peyton had the Saints put the stamp on us at the end with the game already over…Message Delivered.

whodat70816

December 28th, 2011
9:02 am

No way Green Bay play their starters for more than 1/2 this game. A Rodgers will break the Passer Rating record even if he sits. They will not risk him losing that record. Rodgers may play a quarter or two, but that’s it.

The only way I see Rodgers playing that entire game is if they want him to get 50 TDs or more….but he is 5 away from that record and that would be foolish to try for that record in the last game of the season.

Lions will win that game and Falcons will be heading to N.O. next week. Where I expect they will not get the beat down they got on Monday night….but they will lose none the less.

TomDawg

December 28th, 2011
9:04 am

Joey…..the coaches name is Mike Smith, not Mike White. Get your head out of the sand and pay attention.

TomDawg

December 28th, 2011
9:05 am

Maybe Joey needs to Google that?

Willie Coyote

December 28th, 2011
9:07 am

Falcons4Eva, I think the Falcons do have better players overall than the Saints except for QB and TE. Brees is on another level over Ryan at this point but Tony G isn’t far behind the Saints TE even at his age. The Falcons receivers are better but poorly utilized; the RB position is different for each team but overall a wash; slight edge to Saints in O-Line; &the Falcons have a far more talented defense. the problem with the Falcons is the conservative approach by the coaching staff continues to under/mis-utilize our players.

This makes your point even truer in my opinion. Peyton can take a roster like the Saints have and make a more talented team, the Falcons, look bad.

He’s a Damn good coach and he has a damn good QB

Julio = worth every draft pick

December 28th, 2011
9:24 am

What are the odds N.O. sharts the bed like the did last year against Seattle? You know… 2010 Seattle, the worst playoff team in NFL history.

Julio = worth every draft pick

December 28th, 2011
9:25 am

tired of losing to good teams on the road

December 28th, 2011
9:25 am

In my opinion the main difference is at the QB position. Yea the defense gave up too many points. But it’s not like the offense gave them any help. The Falcons offense went 3 1/2 qtrs without scoring a touchdown. This is absolutely unacceptable. The Saints don’t even have a good defense. Matt Ryan does not take chances and as a result our receivers never catch the ball in stride. Instead, most of his completions are check downs to Tony Gonzolez or curl routs while the receiver is running out of bounds.

tired of losing to good teams on the road

December 28th, 2011
9:27 am

“Tony Gonzalez” “routes”

Mister.Earl

December 28th, 2011
9:36 am

It’s The Line

Willie Coyote – the Saints have three offensive linemen voted to the Pro Bowl. Bushrod, Nicks and Evans are as good as it gets and Strief is a mountain.

The New Orleans defensive line is not composed of big names but is dominant with superior depth. Shaun Rogers is a planet.

SirReal

December 28th, 2011
10:17 am

Doesnt matter who we play. We’re one and done. Turner is hurt and it shows. He hasnt had a hundred yard game in a good stretch here so we need to get away from having him as the main focal point…but we wont. Why? Because our offense is circa 1980. We dont have the coaching to get to the next level as far as Im concerned. I’ll be more than happy to eat a little crow if we do win one or more…but highly unlikely. I look at this team logically vs emotionally and they arent a title team right about now.

common sense

December 28th, 2011
10:20 am

fire vangorger. hire spagnoulo

Mister.Earl

December 28th, 2011
10:20 am

The Saints are deeper and have more talent across the board. The running backs are three deep in quality. Ivory, Sproles and Thomas are high quality backs. Mark Ingram, another quality back, (injured) is not missed. The Lions just signed a player from the Saints practice squad, Joique Bell, who steps immediately into the lineup. That is quality.

The Saints defensive front has an unknown player in Junior Galette who has more speed than Ray Edwards. He had 2 tackles for losses on Monday. First rounder Cam Jordan is improving with each snap. The defensive line depth keeps everyone fresh.

But more important, the Saints are playing for something greater than just a paycheck. They are playing for an entire region. They are playing for a cause.

The Falcons have not connected with the community on a spiritual level where they play for something greater than themselves. It is a collection of individuals.

The Saints are a team.

HA!

December 28th, 2011
10:26 am

The Falcons are done regardless of who they play. Any team that can run the ball and pass it good enough will give the Falcons fits. Maybe the Falcons can play the Titans, Jaguars or the Colts. Is that possible?

Tell it like it is.

December 28th, 2011
10:38 am

I don’t care what anybody says,the falcons laid down in that monday night game! the saints are not that good ,and the falcons are not that bad.

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MG3

December 28th, 2011
10:53 am

Falcons got smacked down Monday night, no doubt about it. That said, I think that a 1st round playoff game is winnable even in NO. We know that team and have matched up well with them over the last few years. Monday was their night, but they can be beat…just like we did in NO last year and just like Seattle did in round 1 Jan’11.

Samuel L. Jackson

December 28th, 2011
11:12 am

I know its fun to bring up the Seattle playoff game from last year to tease Saints fans, but you’re kiddiing yourself if you think this Saints team is the same. They lost 3 starters in the season finale to injury, lost 2 more rb’s in game (Heath Evans, a fb, was playing rb in the 2nd hlf), and had 2 other starters playing with significant injuries.

Health plays just as big a part in success as everything else. The Saints are healthy and playing at HOME where they have been unbeatable this year. Good luck with trying to get a win in NOLA come playoff time. The score may be different but the Saints OWN the Falcons and have gotten in their head, the result will be the same, a Saints win!

Debacle in The Dome Part Deux!!!!

Jamaaliver

December 28th, 2011
11:16 am

Am I the only one who REALLY wants to play the Saints again in the playoffs?

If you want to be the best…

tyo44

December 28th, 2011
11:17 am

it would be nice if the Falcons gave a sh#t about us fans who support them year after year, game after game, who purchases tickets, who buys and wears their caps, jerseys, tshirts only to be laughed at for being a Falcon fan. I as a fan since 1966 am so tired of being the doormat to other teams that seem to have more drive, more football give a damn than our Falcons, good grief charlie brown. As one of my Falcon friends said, its like Charlie brown and lucy when he is trying to kick the football,”maybe this time” Lucy is Arthur and Charlie is us suffering Falcon fans.\

youtube it and watch…..

b

MG3

December 28th, 2011
11:23 am

Jamaaliver – Saints are tough especially at home but you have a point. Despite Monday’s beat down we normally play them close and the odds of three in a row are slim. Dallas or NYG likely an easier win but you’re going to face a tough team at some point either way so why not the first game. I’m a true fan and believe in the team but need to see some fire. The Falcons better go out and play that first playoff game with reckless abandon. If Brees is going to pick you apart either way then I say send the freaking house and at least hit the guy as he throws. Get physical and stop with this soft zone crap!

Fedup Falcon

December 28th, 2011
11:52 am

Well put MG3 .Blitz the heck out of them.I’d rather they go down swinging than sitting back and getting picked apart.

crackbaby

December 28th, 2011
11:53 am

The team with the best chance of beating the Saints … is … the Falcons.

Detroit is horrible on the road and the Packer’s D is worse than Atlanta’s.

Falcons need to invent a pass rush and the O-line needs to run block. That will beat the Saints. It’s that simple.

CGD..

December 28th, 2011
12:00 pm

“Shortly after their stunning loss Monday night, some of the Falcons were calling for a rematch with the New Orleans Saints.”

Bet cha COACH CLEAN SHOT and FUTURE GOLF PRO MELT aren’t asking for a rematch cause these beat downs are not an “aberration” as Coach Smith in his coyness tried to convey post game interview…

LOOK, the Falcons are pretenders! When you go 2-8, last 10 games against the winners that proves it! You are what most think you are now..The masses in Atlanta, even the fanatics now know the truth. They were in denial but most have come around begrudgingly to see what this team represents! Garbage!
Melt is elite in your and his dreams…He aint the one GRASSHOPPER!
Melt is an ELITE QB from the 20 to the 20!!
A FG expert! 7 is always greater than 3 in this time line…….

Stick a fork in Abraham and Edwards. Line play was and is HORRIFIC on both sides!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OUT Schemed, OUT Coached!! ET AL…..

Until Arthur cleans out Rich Mckay’s desk, expect more of the same……For years to come….

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!