Notebook: Packers adjust to night shift

Tom Silverstein
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and coach Mike McCarthy try to come up with a plan in the final minutes against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome.

GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Packers were once a formidable prime-time foe, but of late they have been far from creatures of the night.

When the Packers take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday, it will be their sixth and final scheduled prime-time game of the season. They are 2-3 at night heading into this game and all three losses – Washington, Minnesota, Atlanta – have taken place on the road.

Since the start of the 2015 season, the Packers are 5-5 in games played on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights.

“Night games on the road are harder than night games at home,” coach Mike McCarthy said Saturday. “This challenge of the schedule, we knew when it came out it was going to be a tough challenge and that’s where we are. We have the extra day to get ready for Philadelphia. That’s been good.

“But night games are a challenge, especially how you break up the day of the game, playing on the East coast, playing a little later and so forth. That’s all part of it.”

Of late, Sunday night has been worse than Monday or Thursday night. The Packers have lost five of their last six Sunday night games, dropping their record under McCarthy to 13-10.

In Monday night games, McCarthy has a two-game winning streak, but is 6-8 overall. On Thursday night, he has won three straight and is 6-2 overall.

In it together: The defense’s recent collapse has caused plenty of consternation all around Lambeau Field.

Inside, the coaches are trying to keep it all together and make sure the whole thing doesn’t go off the tracks. One of the biggest challenges for assistants like safeties coach Darren Perry is figuring out ways to play to players’ strengths.

“I think the biggest thing is you’ve got to first look within and find out what can you do more, what can you do better, as opposed to pointing the finger,” Perry said. “That starts with our coaching staff. We look at it and we try to see what we can do to make sure we’re putting our guys in the best position to be successful.

“And the players, they’ve got to look within themselves and then, as a defense, bring it all together. I think that’s where it starts. I don’t think you push the panic button but you have to be very, very objective when you look at it and identify the mistakes.”

Using your head: The roughing-the-passer penalty defensive tackle Mike Daniels committed against Washington blew a perfect opportunity for the Packers to get the ball back and build momentum for a late comeback.

Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac said it was a borderline call.

“The things we try to teach them are don’t hit the quarterback in the head and don’t put your head down,” he said. “And it looked like he had his head up on that and it looked like it was to the side. But those are those things from a guy's point of view he might just see, and sometimes you just nick that quarterbacks head and you get called on that.

“You just try to tell him, obviously stay away from the quarterback’s head. But in turn, you don’t want to make them too soft, either. You don’t want to make them think too much.”

Nothing official: The Packers did not announce a roster move Saturday. They are expected to sign cornerback Makinton Dorleant from the practice squad and put cornerback Demetri Goodson (knee) on injured reserve.

The Packers can make the move Monday.

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