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Clifton will start in playoffs, Packers expect everyone healthy

Chad Clifton AP

This is going to be a different sort of Packers playoff run.  They are the No. 1 seed instead of No. 6.

Unlike last year, they will also be welcoming back a host of injured starters for the first round of the playoffs. Packers coach Mike McCarthy expects everyone available for the team’s Divisional Round game.

That includes wideout Greg Jennings, who may start practicing on his injured knee this week. That includes right tackle Bryan Bulaga and running back James Starks, who both couldn’t have played in Week 17.

That also includes left tackle Chad Clifton. McCarthy made it clear on Monday that Clifton, not Marshall Newhouse, will start at left tackle in the playoffs.

Clifton returned for 25 plays against the Lions in the season finale. He didn’t look like his old self, but the team expects another two weeks to get ready will help.

“Chad Clifton is a damn good player,” McCarthy said.

The Packers get a host of damn good players back for the playoffs. The trick this year will be integrating them seamlessly back into the lineup.

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36 Responses to “Clifton will start in playoffs, Packers expect everyone healthy”
  1. hscorpio says: Jan 3, 2012 9:08 AM

    Unfortunately, the Packers won’t be getting Nick Collins back to help their porous secondary.

    But the good news (for Packer fans anyways) is they will have all of their incredible array of offensive weapons and last week showed that windy, cold, wet, slick conditions is not the death of their passing game. Unless the Saints move up north to some college or practice in a freezer, it will be difficult to acclimate their players to handling the ball in those kinds of conditions before kickoff of a possible NFC CG showdown of the 2 MVP candidate QBs.

  2. jc1958cool says: Jan 3, 2012 9:10 AM

    green & gold repeat! it’s put up or shut up time & the packers don’t whine

  3. wingz101 says: Jan 3, 2012 9:11 AM

    Clifton, Newhouse, Bulaga … who cares? As long as the Pack can bring their own officiating crew like they did last weekend, it really doesn’t matter who plays for them, right Mr. Flynn?

  4. richkotitte says: Jan 3, 2012 9:25 AM

    With their QB, coaching staff and core of young talented players, this group will likely win multiple consecutive championships.

    Too bad the person who will be most upset about the Pack’s success is B. Favre.

  5. thehatefulnerd says: Jan 3, 2012 9:27 AM

    The trick will be playing defense. If we can keep getting INTs, we should be all right.

  6. pack15forever says: Jan 3, 2012 9:31 AM

    wingz101 says:
    Jan 3, 2012 9:11 AM
    Clifton, Newhouse, Bulaga … who cares? As long as the Pack can bring their own officiating crew like they did last weekend, it really doesn’t matter who plays for them, right Mr. Flynn?

    The Lions first stringers got beat by backups. That’s the reality. You must have gone to the Jim Schwartz school of coaching. Stop whining. Let me get my violin.

  7. tylerdurden0 says: Jan 3, 2012 9:38 AM

    Gonna be a dangerous team in the playoffs. I would argue that the Saints are the best team in the NFL right now, though.

  8. jessethegreat says: Jan 3, 2012 9:54 AM

    Resting the starters and giving the Lions the gimme win against our scrubs worked out perfectly.

    Everyone but Collins is expected back healthy now.

    Aaron Rodgers is likely fuming at these whispers coming from New Orleans about some other guy somehow receiving his MVP trophy.

  9. kidpresentable says: Jan 3, 2012 10:16 AM

    “Clifton, Newhouse, Bulaga … who cares? As long as the Pack can bring their own officiating crew like they did last weekend, it really doesn’t matter who plays for them, right Mr. Flynn?”

    Yes. Clearly the NFL looked at this game and said, “Although it’s meaningless for them, we cannot have the Packers slip to 14-2 nor can we have the Lions maintain their hold on the coveted 5th seed in the playoffs. We must fix this game so that the Packers’ understudies defeat the Lions’ starters.

  10. packerstexansfan says: Jan 3, 2012 10:18 AM

    tylerdurden0 says:
    Jan 3, 2012 9:38 AM

    Gonna be a dangerous team in the playoffs. I would argue that the Saints are the best team in the NFL right now, though.

    When our receivers have a case of the drops, you can argue that. But overall, and especially with the playoffs having to go thru Lambeau, the Saints are going to be a different team on the road.

  11. muskyhunter2542 says: Jan 3, 2012 10:19 AM

    Lions fans need to stop crying!!! It went both ways. I say a s**tload of calls missed and some called that shouldnt have (ie. Roughing on vic so’oto).

  12. papacrick says: Jan 3, 2012 10:33 AM

    The Packers starters will not play as well as their so-called second stringers. It would be impossible. The Pack has all the pressure this year and I could see them blowing the first game. Everything seems too good to be true and it usually is.

  13. billh1947 says: Jan 3, 2012 10:44 AM

    wingz101,get over it already,if the Lions were not such a dirty team the refs would take them out from under the microscope, you want to rant then rant at the NFL,it their refs,not the Packers who had nothing to do with your percieved bad calls,the Lions shouldnt have let a backup qb destroy them, whats going to be your excuse when the Saints knock your Lions out of the playoffs next week.

  14. billh1947 says: Jan 3, 2012 10:47 AM

    Its refreshing to know that if Rodgers has a bad game or gets hurt their is a future star backup(and Lion killer) waiting in the wings to lead them to victory.

  15. Derty Ernie says: Jan 3, 2012 10:49 AM

    The Pack are going down in the first game. Why?
    1. No running game to speak of.
    2. O line isn’t as good as last year.
    3. No PASS rush like last year.
    4. Defensive backs are not very good this year.

    The weather may help them some and they are going to need it.

  16. cschick2317 says: Jan 3, 2012 11:28 AM

    @Derty Ernie

    Well…every team they have a chance of facing in the first playoff game, they already beat in the regular season so that lack of running game…etc you mention seems to not be a huge problem and you can’t say the cold weather is going to hurt the passing game much (see the game against the lions).

    Of course, a win in one game doesn’t mean a win when the teams meet again…but based on the previous results I don’t think it’s fair to be so sure of a one and done.

  17. greenandgold13 says: Jan 3, 2012 11:32 AM

    Derty Ernie says: Jan 3, 2012 10:49 AM

    The Pack are going down in the first game. Why?
    1. No running game to speak of.
    2. O line isn’t as good as last year.
    3. No PASS rush like last year.
    4. Defensive backs are not very good this year.

    The weather may help them some and they are going to need it.
    ————————————-

    Ok, so you just listed 4 issues that the packers have had all season and finished 15-1. Also the packers have defeated every NFC team that is going to be in the playoffs this year except the niners because they weren’t on their schedule.

  18. jackntorres says: Jan 3, 2012 11:45 AM

    Derty Ernie knows…

    The saints…

    Are coming!

    I say no matter how I try, I realize there’s no reply.

  19. majikbullet says: Jan 3, 2012 11:53 AM

    billh1947 says: Jan 3, 2012 10:47 AM

    Its refreshing to know that if Rodgers has a bad game or gets hurt their is a future star backup(and Lion killer) waiting in the wings to lead them to victory.
    =======================
    Flynn looked great in his 2 starts when he has prepared the entire week to play. But he hasn’t done nearly as well when he doesn’t get the first team reps and relieves A Rod of his duty. I’m not as confident in him coming in as him preparing all week for it.

    Derty, you are a fool! Good day!

  20. jackntorres says: Jan 3, 2012 12:23 PM

    Derty Ernie says: Jan 3, 2012 10:49 AM

    The Pack are going down in the first game. Why?
    1. No running game to speak of.
    2. O line isn’t as good as last year.
    3. No PASS rush like last year.
    4. Defensive backs are not very good this year.

    The weather may help them some and they are going to need it.
    ————————————-

    Ok, so you just listed 4 issues that the packers have had all season and finished 15-1. Also the packers have defeated every NFC team that is going to be in the playoffs this year except the niners because they weren’t on their schedule.

    —————————-

    Ok so when they beat the Saints, Woodson should have been ejected for the entire 4th quarter. Woodson is a cheap POS who gut-checked David Thomas because he didn’t like being blocked so hard. That game would have been different and its going to be different next time. Just like this year is different from last year for the meat packers, pun intended. Losing in the NFCCG is not as fun as winning the Super Bowl, as your Viking neighbors can tell you. Y’all are clearly not as good as you were in week 1 (case in point Nick Colllins), while I think the Saints are head and shoulders above what they were in week 1. Adjust the score from 42-34 accordingly and you can predict the winner too!

  21. jackntorres says: Jan 3, 2012 12:29 PM

    Forget POS Woodson or Porcelain Matthews, Nick Collins on the back end made that defense work and now he’s gone. Might as well give up 520 yds to Stafford and Megatron 244 yd. Oh wait…

    I mean a team’s best player going off, Dom Capers needs to expect that. The Saints are licking their chops looking at film of the Packers in the second half of the season.

  22. kidpresentable says: Jan 3, 2012 1:19 PM

    Geez jackntorres, insecure much? The Saints are good, no doubt, but the Saints are not as good on the road (see Tampa and St. Louis). It comes down to this, the Packers scored more points per game (often in uncontrolled situations unlike the dome-loving Saints). The Saints allowed only .3 fewer points per game (a result skewed by the Packers using back-ups and vanilla defense in week 17). The Packers have more takeaways and fewer giveaways than the Saints. Heck, if you want to use Football Outsiders’ analysis which doesn’t punish teams for things like yards allowed during garbage time, the Packers have a better defense than the Saints in terms of yards allowed during meaningful portions of games. FO says the Packers offense is better if you discount stuff like the Saints running up the score to allow Brees to set records.

    The Saints have to play an extra week, and should they win this weekend, they’ll be on the road for round 2 before hitting the road for round 3 to even face Green Bay. In a match-up that is close on paper, Green Bay has a slight edge in almost every category. Add in a bye week and home field advantage, and it all favors the Pack.

  23. uwsptke says: Jan 3, 2012 1:35 PM

    jackntorres says:
    Jan 3, 2012 12:29 PM
    Forget POS Woodson or Porcelain Matthews, Nick Collins on the back end made that defense work and now he’s gone. Might as well give up 520 yds to Stafford and Megatron 244 yd. Oh wait…

    I mean a team’s best player going off, Dom Capers needs to expect that. The Saints are licking their chops looking at film of the Packers in the second half of the season.

    ==========================

    I’m not sure what Packers fans have said to you to set you off like that. Must be too much pepper sauce and lack of a quality education to get you fired up like that. Too bad that Lions fans don’t travel well, since if they flooded the Superdome the states of MI & LA would both see a rapid rise in the IQ of their respective populations.

  24. jackntorres says: Jan 3, 2012 1:48 PM

    Oh uwsptke you picked the wrong southerner with whom to compare iqs. My 35 on the act, 1570/2260 sat, and 35 on the mcat surely will not be topped by anything your puny educational resume has to offer. WHO DAT?

  25. jackntorres says: Jan 3, 2012 1:51 PM

    Lol meat packers are amusing. An edge in almost every category? #1 offense is the saints and #32 defense is the MEAT packers

  26. jackntorres says: Jan 3, 2012 2:10 PM

    Uwsptke I’ll be waiting once you remove your foot from your mouth. What’s that you’d like me to tutor your children? Yeah they all say that haha.

  27. jackntorres says: Jan 3, 2012 2:27 PM

    Lol meat packers are amusing. An edge in almost every category? #1 offense is the saints and #32 defense is the MEAT packers
    —————————
    Y’all can be ignorant and thumbs down this all you want but its just the facts ladies…

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/team/_/stat/total

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/team/_/stat/total/position/defense

    That doesn’t favor GB if you ask me.

  28. kidpresentable says: Jan 3, 2012 2:50 PM

    @jackntorres, please tell me the last time an NFL game was decided by who had more yards.

    Points per game: Packers 35.0, Saints 34.2.

    Points allowed per game: Packers 22.4, Saints 21.2 (Packers were at 21.2 before playing the likes of Jarrett Bush and Vic So’oto on Sunday rather than Woodson and Matthews, so they’re even unless you want to include garbage time stats)

    Takeaways: Packers 34, Saints 14.

    Giveaways: Packers 12, Saints 18

    Record: Packers 15-1 (8-0 at home), Saints 13-3 (5-3 on the road)

  29. packersownerandshareholder says: Jan 3, 2012 2:58 PM

    Anything can happen in the playoffs but we have every reason to be confident. A healthy team, an undefeated home record, a QB and WR’s playing at an insane level, and a D that creates turnovers and gets the ball back for the O (Yes I know we give up way too many yards), and last but certainly not least the best home field advantage in the NFL. May the best team win!

  30. jackntorres says: Jan 3, 2012 3:11 PM

    Cmon whered all you guys go? I thought we were going to talk about the meat packers.

  31. jackntorres says: Jan 3, 2012 3:23 PM

    @kidpresentable, please tell me the last time an NFL game was decided by who had any advantage in any statistical category.

    you failed to realize your argument against me could also be used against yourself.

    as packersownerandshareholder says, although I would disagree with the name because he doesn’t have “real” shares (which makes me smile though because the wool is so far over his eyes that its at his nipples, so thats ok)… may the best team win!!

    I believe NO has more reason to be motivated than GB.

  32. kidpresentable says: Jan 3, 2012 3:38 PM

    “I believe NO has more reason to be motivated than GB.”

    Really what does that mean? Why would they be more motivated? Do they like Super Bowls more? Didn’t Detroit have more reason to be more motivated than the Packers on Sunday in that they were playing for playoff seeding versus playing for nothing at all? How did that work out?

    There’s no doubt the Saints can win the game. Yes stats only show what has happened in the past, but when it comes to important stats that are indicative of success: points scored (Packers) points allowed (Saints/even if we ignore the meaningless Lions game), and turnover ratio, the Packers have performed better.

  33. jackntorres says: Jan 3, 2012 3:58 PM

    They would be more motivated because they were robbed of a win in week 1. Like I keep saying Woodson shouldnt have been playing in the 4th and it would have been different. This time without Collins it will be MUCH different. You saw what the Lions did, and I don’t care if its against their backups cause their backups will have to play too. Brees > Rodgers and Stafford

  34. stavreafavre says: Jan 3, 2012 5:51 PM

    Packer fans are watching the Falcons, Giants, and Lions right now, as are the players and coaches. If GB gets to the NFC championship we’ll worry about whoever else is there. Would’ve thought that you brilliant southern boys would have learned from last season that looking past other teams isn’t a real good idea. My mistake.

  35. stevenfbrackett says: Jan 3, 2012 10:09 PM

    jackntorres says: Jan 3, 2012 1:51 PM

    Lol meat packers are amusing. An edge in almost every category? #1 offense is the saints and #32 defense is the MEAT packers

    ——-

    They may have started out as a factory team before evolving into a pro team – but they never packed meat. They packed dairy products.

    But more importantly, with the weaknesses they do have, they always find other ways to make up for it. Yes, the defense is often weak. The defense also creates many more turnovers than any other team.

    Their rushing game has improved considerably since the start of the year. They are much more balanced now. Any team coming into the game thinking the Packers are going to pass 70% of the time are going to be beat by a mixed attack keeping them off balance.

    Their special teams are phenomenal. And if a game is going to come down to a field goal, I want Mason Crosby kicking it.

    And no, the refs don’t give games to the Packers despite what poor losers say. The reason they have so many fewer penalties on the year than anyone else is because they are very strongly coached to not get penalties. That’s not to say the ref’s don’t occasionally blow a call in their favor, but they have also blown calls to their detriment – like a few weeks ago when Jordy Nelson was called for offensive pass interference twice and never touched the guy either time.

    No team is perfect and no team has the depth of the Packers. I am quite comfortable with their chances more than I am with any other team.

  36. nickynick04 says: Jan 5, 2012 9:59 PM

    Ok so when they beat the Saints, Woodson should have been ejected for the entire 4th quarter. Woodson is a cheap POS who gut-checked David Thomas because he didn’t like being blocked so hard. That game would have been different and its going to be different next time. Just like this year is different from last year for the meat packers, pun intended. Losing in the NFCCG is not as fun as winning the Super Bowl, as your Viking neighbors can tell you. Y’all are clearly not as good as you were in week 1 (case in point Nick Colllins), while I think the Saints are head and shoulders above what they were in week 1. Adjust the score from 42-34 accordingly and you can predict the winner too!

    Are the saints head and shoulders better then the Rams who they lost to,,or the Bucs who they lost to,,or the Titans who they lost to….you story has a few major HOLES in it

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