Defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory Sunday in Pittsburgh but the Packers say they'll be able to shake it off and remain focused on the bigger prize, a playoff berth. To secure a wild card spot in the NFC, the Packers (9-5) can win their final two games against Seattle at home and at Arizona and lock any challengers out. If the Packers win only 1 of the last two, they'll need some help with Dallas or New York losing one more game. The Cowboys close at Washington and host Philadelphia while the Giants, off the 45-12 romp of the Redskins Monday night, finish at home against Carolina and then travel to Minnesota.
Don't expect any major changes in the wake of Ben Roehtlisberger's 503 yard, three touchdown game against the Packers defense. Mike McCarthy said Monday they have few options in personel, the defense simply has to play better. Big plays did most of the damage as the Steelers piled up 366 yards on only a dozen snaps. Jarrett Bush and Josh Bell were both exposed in coverage and the team may have to find a way to protect those two when facing another talented passing team. McCarthy also reiterated his confidence in Mason Crosby, saying "I have not interest in bringing in another kicker". Crosby has missed 6 of his last 10 field goal tries, including a 34 yarder against the Steelers. He's missed one kick in each of the past 4 games and is 24 for 33 on the season.
Nick Barnett (knee) and Ryan Pickett (hamstring) may be limited in practice this week as the team starts preparing for the home finale against the Seattle Seahawks. The team is altering its schedule to accomodate Christmas on Friday. There will be the regular installation day on Wednesday with additiional practice and meeting time scheduled Thursday. McCarthy is giving the players and the staff Christmas Day off and Saturday will involve a light practice instead of the usual walk through.