GREEN BAY — The Packers have one focus and one focus only coming off Sunday’s 42-24 loss in Washington.
“We’re pouring everything into beating the Eagles. We need to get win No. 5,” said Head Coach Mike McCarthy, referring to Green Bay’s matchup with the Eagles next Monday.
“That’s where our energy is at.”
The Packers have been working toward that fifth victory for the past month after dropping tough matchups against Atlanta, Indianapolis, Tennessee and Washington to fall to 4-6 on the season.
McCarthy didn’t shy away from the obvious issues in Sunday’s loss to the Redskins, beginning with how ball security and a lack of takeaways have contributed to being minus-6 in turnover ratio.
It all played into the defense’s struggles to disrupt Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins, whose 145.8 passer rating laid the foundation for the Redskins’ 515-yard offensive onslaught.
McCarthy acknowledges he can’t control what happens with injuries – the Packers had four players leave Sunday’s game – but he feels it’s up to them to protect the football and cultivate ways to turn over the ball on defense.
McCarthy believes there have been opportunities for the defense to produce more turnovers, using Nick Perry’s first-quarter sack of Cousins as a sack-fumble opportunity.
“We’ve done it,” McCarthy said. “We have video of us doing it. We have to get it to show up Monday night against the Eagles.”
McCarthy said he won’t make any significant changes in the wake of the Packers’ four-game losing streak, adding that “my focus is on beating the Eagles.”
Offensively, McCarthy liked what he saw from Jared Cook after missing six games with an ankle injury. The eighth-year tight end caught six passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.
The Packers were plagued by issues with execution on their first three offensive series, but established a rhythm at the end of the first quarter that carried throughout the rest of the game.
Cook’s breakout performance and the ability of Green Bay’s receivers to generate yards after the catch went a long way towards quarterback Aaron Rodgers finishing with 351 passing yards and three touchdowns.
The production has propelled the Packers to 10th in NFL passing offense (262.1 yards per game) and 11th in scoring (24.7 ppg), but it hasn’t equated to wins.
Coming off their fourth consecutive loss, the Packers know it’s up to them to pull together in all three phases and get a much-needed victory in Philadelphia.
“This has been a difficult four weeks. There’s no question about it,” McCarthy said. “I’m not going to sit here and get into the big-picture stuff. The four weeks have not gone the way we like.
“We’re fully aware of the things we need to do better. Just focus on the things you can control. We’re going to sort through injury thing today, but our process for getting ready for the Eagles is the same.”
McCarthy didn’t have many updates on the Packers’ injured players other than to say cornerback Demetri Goodson sustained “a significant” knee injury against Washington and won’t be available next Monday night.
Linebacker Jake Ryan could have a chance to return this week after missing Sunday’s game with an ankle injury, but McCarthy said he’s currently out of town for personal reasons.
Cornerback Damarious Randall, who missed his fifth consecutive game and sixth overall with a groin injury, continues to make progress in his workouts and is getting close to a return.
McCarthy said he met briefly with starting right guard T.J. Lang on Monday, but didn’t have a feel for whether he or center JC Tretter (knee) will be able to play against the Eagles.
Right guard Don Barclay, who left at halftime with a shoulder injury, actually sustained the injury during pregame warmups, according to McCarthy.
Barclay tried to play through the injury until rookie second-round pick Jason Spriggs replaced him at the start of the third quarter. McCarthy said he was pleased with how the former college left tackle stepped in given the circumstances.
McCarthy said running back Christine Michael could make his debut next Monday night against Philadelphia. The fourth-year veteran was inactive against Washington after being claimed off waivers from Seattle last Wednesday.
“We’ve had enough time now to get him acclimated,” McCarthy said. “We’ll definitely look to have him a part of the flow.”
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