McCarthy to stick with the starters?

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Read here from the Arizona Republic – apparently McCarthy said in a press call that he will be taking a normal approach to the game Sunday, playing his starters and playing to win. Now, I’m not sure of his exact quote, but judging from this article it seems he leaves open the possibility that he will play the starters but then bench them after a short time in favor or back-ups. He can still “play to win” the game with back-ups in there.

I sure hope our starters don’t play the whole game. We have nothing to play for. Unless McCarthy and staff have thought this through and would really rather play a certain team – a team we’d only possibly play if we win, I just don’t want to go full steam in this one and risk injury. And, even if there is a certain opponent we’d prefer playing against, too much is dependent upon the results of other games. One other reason to play the back-ups mostly is that it may serve as a great opportunity for our back-ups to get some live, semi-meaningful action which could help us out depth-wise come playoff time if we encounter injuries.

I know injuries can happen at any point, but unfortunately for us, a few key injuries could make us significantly less competitive in the playoffs. Rodgers sitting a lot Sunday is an obvious move. Same with Woodson, Collins, Barnett, Pickett, Jolly. But one group I might consider sitting for almost the whole game would be the O-Line. This group has solidified over time and they have become quite reliable. I would hate for a freak injury to upset the cohesion this group has worked hard to establish.

Your thoughts – just keep the starters in all game, half the game, or bench them for most of the game?

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19 Responses to “McCarthy to stick with the starters?”

  1. Dave in Tucson Says:

    Greg Bedard has an interesting comparison to what MM was saying two years ago about final game vs the Lions.

    I think a similar strategy would be good again: the starters play for a quarter, then let the backups go from there.

  2. Joe Says:

    I’m in the play the starters the entire game camp. (If someone is dinged up, give them the week off.) I don’t think you can over value momentum at this time of the season. I think it outweighs the risk of injury. Playoff football is about who is hot and I don’t like sitting the starters and letting them cool off.

  3. Doug In Sandpoint Says:

    I think I would treat it like the final pre season game. Make sure the starters are sharp and then hand it off to the second team in the 3rd quarter. I think that Arizona will match whatever we do, so second stringers will likely play against second stringers.

    I would also be testing out assumptions about AZ tendencies with my first quarter play calling. The Cardinal defense probably won’t show much, but some tendencies are just too difficult to change. Well scripted plays in the first quarter this Sunday should inform the play calling for the following week should we play them again.

    I hope we play loose and that Flynn and company have some success yeilding even more confidence in our depth should we need it in the playoff run.

  4. Ron La Canne Says:

    The main thing is giving the injured a chance to recover. No reason for Pickett to play. Any of the others with nagging injuries should be used sparcly. The starters need to stay sharp so I’d like to see at least a half if not 3 quarters before resting them.

    It would be great to end at 11-5. Go NYG’s!

  5. foundinidaho Says:

    While it did somewhat piss me off that I flew all the way to Green Bay in 2007 to go to the Lions game and see Judas play a little over one quarter (I admit, a lot of the reason I went), I am all in favor of resting those who need to be rested as soon as possible and letting everyone be healed up. Matt Flynn looked pretty sharp when he played – let’s give him some more snaps.

    Plus, I freely admit, I REALLY don’t want them to play the Vikes first round. I just don’t.

  6. sfhayes Says:

    I want the Vikings. We will beat them in the playoffs if we face them.

    • campbell Says:

      “I want the Vikings. We will beat them in the playoffs if we face them” Such a definitive statement!

      I’m sure they’re quaking in their boots at the thought of facing the omnipotent Packers.

      Do you think the old guy is gonna pass up a chance to REALLY stick it to GB? His competitive fire hasn’t diminished one iota, but you expect him to fold to a mighty Packer defense that gave up 500+ pts to Ben Roeth.

      I hope they do meet because, to use a familiar adage, “Favre is so much fun to watch” :)

      • campbell Says:

        Oops…I meant 500+yds.

      • Dave in Tucson Says:

        I think there’s a real question at this point if Favre has the stamina to last through a 16-game regular season, let alone another 3 or 4 postseason games.

        They’ve lost their last 3 road games, twice at a couple out-of-the-playoffs teams. How do you think they’ll do on the road in the playoffs… they could very easily be going to Philly in the divisional round.

  7. foundinidaho Says:

    Mr. Hayes, I hear you. I would LOOOVE to beat the Vikings. I don’t think, however, that I can stand one more smirk out of Judas. If you guarantee to me he’ll have the look on his face like he did against Chicago (now, that does give me comfort, because “omnipotent” is NOT a word I’d use to describe the Bears, even sarcastically), then it’s on. I think we COULD be the Vikes, but I’d like to have a game to shakeoff the playoff jitters first.

    I’m not quaking in my boots over “Purple Judas” or anyone on his team. Yuck. I will give him this, he can still play football. But I never doubted that, quite honestly.

  8. 56Coop Says:

    Well, well–Campbell

    Welcome back oh sardonic one. If there is a Packers vs Vikes game–who are you going to pull for?

    • campbell Says:

      56Coop,
      I’ve been here all the time.

      There was nothing really to add to all the rhapsodic and deserved Cheesepuddin’head comments.

      Of course I want GB to win…but win or lose, I just find Favre more compelling to watch than the entire Packers team. And if that brands me as a Judas/Brent fan, so be it. I won’t don sackcloth and ashes and Life as I know it will continue as before.

      Btw, I’m surprised some erudite Cheesepuddin’head couldn’t coin better Favre sobriquets than the juvenile Judas or Brent.

  9. DaveK Says:

    Mike McKensie just got cut by the Saints after their starting CB got healthy. They needed a roster spot to sign a 3rd QB as they are going to sit Brees this weekend. They might resign him after this weekend when they can let the reserve QB go.

  10. ace Says:

    Odds are 3 out 4 (actually 6 out of 8) scenarios that the Cardinals will be our first playoff game. Especially if Vikes win before us I say show the Cardinals nothing new, play starters on a limited basis, esp. Rodgers, Woodson, Collins and those that have had injury problems (Tauscher, Clifton, Bigby). Pickett is sitting anyway. Give reps to Jackson, Green, Flynn, Q. Johnson. We may move down to 6 seed with a loss but does it really matter much?

  11. Ace Says:

    (actually 6 out 8 scenarios). why does that smiley face show up when I don’t want it to?

  12. foundinidaho Says:

    Campbell, I think it’s worth noting we have better things to spend our time on that coming up with other nicknames for BLF that might be even more appropriate than the two mentioned above. And, yes, I’m petty enough that it makes me feel better to use them. Oh well.

    Go Pack.

  13. Ron La Canne Says:

    Looks like a Cardinal game next week. Both scenarios that have the Packers playing someone else are contingent on a Queenie loss. 24-zip and climbing in the 2nd qtr.

    I like that – I think the Cardinals are the best matchup for the playoffs. Look for a vinilla game from bpth sides today.

  14. mark Says:

    this team doesnt really use momentum- they won few after the Tampa mistake and then the refs gave Pitt the game for a pack loss only to come back and stomp Seattle. i guess if they dont need to win sit the starters. by the way to all those obsessed with Favre one way or the other-i just see him as retired -im quite happy with Rogers and the future- i just dont get all worked up about it- i actually see Rogers winning more SB’s (hopefully)as long as he stays healthy and they get a strong team around him-Favre only won 1 SB not even close to Brady -Bradshaw-etc though it looks more and more like he might get another one this year.Minn is destroying NY

    • PackerBelle Says:

      I don’t think MN is likely to win the Super Bowl. The Giants were mailing it in and the Vikes have always been good at home. But for them to put together 3 good games against good teams (assuming they have a first round bye) neccessary to win the SB, I don’t see likely. Especially given how they have been playing lately. Yes, they destroyed the Giants but the Giants haven’t been good this year and were mailing it in. It would be like saying the Packers were going to win the SB because they whipped Seattle last week.

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