Sunday, December 22, 2013
Packers holding out hope, rooting for Philly
By Rob Demovsky
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Green Bay Packers tight end Andrew Quarless wasn't planning to rush home to watch the Sunday night game between the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles.
It's not that he didn't care.
It's that he's hoping superstition comes through for him again.
Quarless did not watch last Monday night's game, when the Detroit Lions lost to the Baltimore Ravens on Justin Tucker's 61-yard field goal. The result of that put the Packers in a position where they would win the NFC North if they won their final two games.
Now that the Packers need help again -- thanks to their 38-31 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at Lambeau Field -- Quarless is holding out hope that the same strategy works again.
“I didn't watch the game last week when Detroit lost,” he said. “Maybe I might not watch this one.”
But Quarless might be in the minority.
Most of teammates said they planned to watch -- and hope.
“Only thing you know now is that the chance is still there,” Packers cornerback Tramon Williams said. “And with that chance still there right now, you can't dwell on this right now. Obviously, by the end of the night you're going to know what the situation is. But we can't dwell on it right now. Only thing we can do is hope for the best, and obviously right now we hope Philly wins.”
All the chaos that was Sunday's loss to the Steelers -- the blocked field goal that the Packers were fortunate to get back because of an illegal batting penalty, Matt Flynn's pick-six and his fumble, Nick Perry's offside penalty that gave the Steelers a first down when they were ready to settle for a field goal in the fourth quarter and Don Barclay's false start penalty with 20 seconds left that ruined the Packers' last drive -- none of it will matter as much if the Eagles beat the Bears.
That would set up an NFC North title game between the Packers and Bears next Sunday at Soldier Field.
“I'm not into drama,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. “We wanted to control our own destiny, we let that opportunity out of our hands, and we have to sit and hope Philadelhpia beats the Bears. It's the reality of where we are in our season. We're kind of a peak-and-valley football team, that's the way our season's gone, we've had a lot of challenges come our way. Good Lord willing, maybe the ball will bounce our way tonight.”