Cobb: Packers have to 'go out and play ball'
USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin’s Brett Christopherson caught up with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb, who looked ahead to Saturday’s NFC divisional matchup against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.:
Arizona is coming off a first round bye, while the Packers played in the wild-card round. You’ve been on both sides of it. Do you prefer having that one-week breather as you enter the playoffs, or do you like maintaining your routine and playing right away?
RC: It honestly really doesn’t matter. This is playoff football. Whatever the opportunity may be, however it comes about, you’ve got to go out and play ball. So it doesn’t matter how it comes. We’re just fortunate to have these opportunities, and you’ve just got to go out and make the most of it.
The Packers lost to the Arizona Cardinals 38-8 in a Week 16 drubbing. How do you make up that type of deficit as you prepare for Saturday’s rematch? How do you make this a more competitive matchup?
RC: You don’t shoot yourself in the foot. We had way too many penalties. We turned the ball over way too much. We put ourselves in long third down situations and never really gave ourselves a chance. It kind of got out of hand. So, whenever you do those kinds of things, it’s hard to win football games. We have to make sure we can sustain drives and keep ourselves in good down-and-distance where we’re able to pick up those first downs.
The Cardinals’ secondary is led by Pro Bowl and All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson – one of the best in the game at that position. It’s a physical group that can jam receivers at the line. How do you counter their press coverage abilities to set up plays in the passing game?
RC: You make plays. You’ve got to make contested catches. They’re a really good group, and yeah, they’re going to press us up – we know that. So, you’ve got to make that contested catch and, like I said, sustain drives. I think we have a pretty good game plan going in. We just have to go out and make it happen.
Despite Mike McCarthy’s proclamation earlier this week that the Packers are “no underdog going to Arizona,” the No. 2-seeded Cardinals are the favorites to win and move on to the NFC title game. What’s it going to take for you to pull off the upset?
RC: Just execution. Like I said, they’re a really good football team. It got out of hand for us right there before halftime (against Arizona in Week 16). We have to do what we do best. A lot of things we did this past week (against Washington), it came down to the execution. And I’ve said it over and over and over again: It’s really not that difficult – football’s really not that difficult. It’s just about everybody being tuned in and playing at a high level and working in concert.
Brett Christopherson: 920-993-7117, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @PCBrettC