The answer to the reporter’s question was the kind of point-blank, in-your-face stuff you don’t expect to get from a head coach. Mike McCarthy answered with the kind of aggressiveness with which his offense plays.
Do you feel as though you can’t be beat, McCarthy was asked?
A little light went on, and then the words came out.
“I don’t think we can be beat. You could’ve asked me six years ago and I would’ve said the same damn thing. That’s the way we think around here,” McCarthy answered.
Don’t be fooled by the coach’s boyish smile. This is a man with seriously nasty intentions as to what he wants his offense to do to its opponents. He wants to bury them under an avalanche of points. Sunday, the Packers offense buried the Oakland Raiders, 46-16.
By the 7:06 mark of the second quarter, it was all over. The Packers held an obscene, 31-0 lead over a team that bills itself as big and physical. The Packers’ aggressiveness was just too much for the Raiders.
“That was a significant win today and that’s what we’re looking for,” McCarthy said.
The Packers kept the Raiders defense so off-balance that it never had a chance to be big and physical. The Packers’ first play of the game resulted in an offside penalty against the Raiders. On the second play, Ryan Grant ran 47 yards for a touchdown.
On the Packers’ next possession, the Raiders were offside on second down and guilty of a neutral zone infraction three plays later.
“We wanted to use our cadence to draw them offside a little bit; call stuff at the line of scrimmage, give them different looks,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said.
The Raiders appeared at all times to be overwhelmed by the Packers’ execution. It was a game that matched a big, physical team against “Team Think.” Yes, the Packers not only win with talent, they win with smarts, too.
At 13-0, they are the model for every team in the league to follow and, make no mistake about it, the Packers are being studied. How do they move the ball with such ease? How have they won 19 games in a row, one of which was in last season’s Super Bowl?
They are good enough to be embarking on something of great historical importance. Should they negotiate the remaining three games of this regular season, and two of those games will be played in the friendly confines of Lambeau Field, the Packers will have a chance to achieve immortality. They can become the first team in NFL history to post a 19-0 record.
Is 16-0 important to you, a reporter asked Rodgers?
He paused, for more than a second, before saying: “We’ll start with 14-0.”
Always, they are on their toes. They play with controlled aggressiveness. They mimic their head coach. These Packers are so composed, so seemingly unbeatable that you can almost sense the frustration it creates in their opponents.
Who can beat them? It’s the question on the lips of every football fan in America.
Who? Additional coverage - Packers vs. Raiders