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Packers treating Steelers game like playoff contest

Dec. 18, 2013
 
With their postseason hopes on the line, the Packers are treating Sunday's game against the Steelers like a playoff game. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media
With their postseason hopes on the line, the Packers are treating Sunday's game against the Steelers like a playoff game. Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette Media

The NFL post-season doesn’t begin until Jan. 4-5, but as far as the Packers are concerned, the playoffs have already started.

“It’s a win-or-go-home mentality for us,” said cornerback Micah Hyde of Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh.

The Packers will capture the NFC North title if they win their final two games against the Steelers and Chicago Bears.

Coach Mike McCarthy is treating the game as a semifinal in the Packers’ pursuit of a third straight division title.

“We view this as a semifinal game,” said McCarthy. “It’s a game we have to have. It’s at home. It’s against a physical football team, so we’re just kinda staying on target, what’s right in front of us.”

McCarthy essentially told his players to turn the TVs off in the team cafeteria so they don’t get caught up in playoff chatter.

“We need to pay attention to the Pittsburgh Steeler video and stay on top of the things we need to do to win this game,” said McCarthy. “But we clearly understand where we are in our season, what we’ve been through, what we gained Sunday in Dallas. But this is about the next opportunity.”

After the Packers emotional victory over the Cowboys, when they overcame a 23-point deficit, McCarthy said it’s important the team doesn’t experience a letdown.

“History will tell you your team is open for that,” said McCarthy. “Anytime you rise to a level of performance that our team rose to in the second half you have to be ready for a letdown. So, that’s something I look at every single week when I set the practice plan, exactly how much we’re going to do, and we address it with our football team.”

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