Can we draw comparisons between the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers team of two years ago that was led by a then-rookie making his first start (Josh Freeman) with the 1-5 Vikings being led by another rookie making his first start this coming Sunday (Christian Ponder)?
We all know what happened in that Tampa Bay game … They upset the Packers and upset Packers nation so badly that there were calls for Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson’s heads.
Well, we can make the leap an compare the two situations or we can listen to a veteran tell us about it … according to Ryan Pickett, who was interviewed this week about that scenario by JSonline, it’s a different time and a different place.
“Mentally, we’ve grown. We’ve been playing defense a lot differently around here since that game two years ago. So we take no one lightly — rookie, 15 years in the league, it doesn’t matter. It’s about how we prepare and how we get ready ourselves. That’s how we look at it.”
That’s a great way look at the situation and the way the entire team has to approach it … players, coaches and administration. It’s another step in winning each game.
But Pickett and the Packers must be sure to also focus on the true threat that faces them Sunday – Adrian Peterson. They can’t let him beat them singlehandedly.
“Honestly, we’re not even talking about the quarterback situation,” Pickett told JSonline. “It doesn’t even matter to us. Whether it’s him or McNabb, they kind of do the same thing. They both can pull the ball down and run it. When you’re talking about the Minnesota Vikings, you have to talk about stopping Adrian Peterson. Everything else is a bonus.”
Aaron Rodgers said at the beginning of the season that every game will be a Super Bowl game because the Packers will and have had that target on their backs.
Will it take a “starving team” like the Vikings to knock off the Packers? Well, our hope is not. If the Packers need a loss, let’s hope that it’s to a team worthy of knocking off the champs.
Though we don’t want any losses … losing is a fact of life in the NFL.
It was Jarrett Bush who said it best in his interview with the Milwaukee newspaper: “They’re starving,” Bush said. “They’re looking for something to grab onto, something to help save their season. We just have to keep doing what we’re doing.”
Let’s hope that what they’ve been doing is good enough to keep on winning.