5. Get the small things right
Fundamentals — Mike McCarthy used that word a lot. And for good reason. Before we can focus on anything else, step number one is to get the little things right.
That means making tackles. It means catching the football. And finding the open receivers. Oftentimes when the Packers have struggled this season, they’ve been making simple mistakes. Too often, a promising drive on offense stalls with either a dropped pass or a mistimed throw. In these cases, the opponent isn’t beating the Packers, but the Packers are holding themselves back.
For the most part, they’ve found a way to overcome these situations and win games. But playoff football often comes down to the smallest moments. They can change games and seasons. If the Packers come up against a team like the Saints or 49ers, they’ll need to get the small things right. A couple of dropped passes or missed tackles could end up hurting their chances of winning.
Against other good teams, bad plays will happen. The offense will give up sacks or have nobody open to pass to. The defense will give up completions and long runs. But it’s at the times when the play-call is perfect and the players are in the position to make a catch, or a tackle, or a simple completion, that they need to take advantage.