On one hand, the Packers seem to have a chip on their shoulder for those who would dare to point out the fact that, for long stretches of the season, the Packers have stunk. On the other hand, the Packers are embracing the stink by throwing backhanded bouquets at their next opponent, the Cardinals.
“Well, the pressure’s all going to be on them,” quarterback Aaron Rodgers said Wednesday, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “They’re coming off a tough loss at home against Seattle. Before that they blew us out. They’re the Super Bowl favorites, and obviously the favorite team on Saturday night, so we’ve just got to go out, be loose, let it all hang out, because the pressure’s all on that side.”
Rodgers repeated his theory, in the event anyone missed it.
“We’re all fans of sports, we know how it goes, anything can happen,” Rodgers said. “We’re going in as the underdogs. We’re going to be loose and ready to go, and it’s going to be their stadium, it’s going to be rocking, but the pressure’s going to be on them.”
He’s right, but that kind of stuff always sounds better coming from outside the team that is trying to catch the favorite napping. From the underdog’s perspective, it’s better to let this kind of stuff be implied, and to sneak in and steal a win.
Still, the Packers need to craft a useful narrative after losing by 30 in Arizona less than three weeks ago. And with the chances of subzero temperatures much slimmer than the conditions that allowed the Vikings to carve 30 points from a regular-season deficit with the Seahawks, the stuff that Rodgers is saying is accurate.
What’s also accurate is that the Cardinals are the far superior team. It doesn’t mean the Cardinals will win by 30, but the Packers need a lot of things to go their way in order to pull what would be a huge upset.