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After blowout loss, Aaron Rodgers says Packers will be ready for playoffs

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Rodgers says the Packers need to find "sources of inspiration" going into Week 17 and the playoffs.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

If Sunday's game between the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers was supposed to be a potential championship game preview, then don't count on seeing Mike McCarthy's team in the Super Bowl. At no point in the 38-8 blowout loss did the Packers look like they were capable of mounting any kind of resistance.

But Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers thinks his team will be fine, and that they will show up for the playoffs.

"That's the beauty of the NFL," Rodgers said via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Teams match up differently against different teams and find sources of inspiration along the way in various ways, and we have to do that."

The 30-point loss for the Packers was the worst loss in any game that Rodgers started, and the 9.4 QBR he posted was the lowest of his career. He completed 15 of 28 passes for 151 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and was sacked a total of eight times for a loss of 70 yards. He fumbled three times, two of which resulted in turnovers.

"This was a playoff-style game for us and we obviously played terrible," Rodgers said. "But we've won a lot of games here. When you play long enough you're going to be on the wrong side of this sometimes. But I have confidence in those guys and myself that when it matters for all of the marbles we're going to show up."

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Rodgers was under constant assault by Cardinals defenders, and though the Packers ultimately put up over 100 yards rushing on the ground, the passing game stood little chance of providing relief. The Cardinals defenders shut down Randall Cobb, James Jones and Davante Adams without much issue. Jones led the Packers with five catches for 46 yards, but he was targeted 11 times.

"If you look towards next week, we have an opportunity to beat Minnesota, win the (NFC) North and get a home playoff game," linebacker Clay Matthews said. "I think that's what we really need to focus on. We can't dwell on this."

The Packers are currently tied with the Minnesota Vikings for the NFC North lead. They will host the Vikings in Week 17, and the winner will take the division, the third seed in the NFC and a home playoff game in the Wild Card round. Both teams have already clinched a spot in the postseason, but each would obviously prefer a home game with a first-round bye out of the question.

"Everyone knows you have to play your best football heading into the playoffs," offensive lineman T.J. Lang said. "You can't just turn it on when you get there."

The Vikings are coming off a 49-17 beatdown of the New York Giants. The last time the Packers beat a winning team was a Week 11 win over Minnesota. They had a three-game winning streak snapped with Sunday's loss, but none of the three teams they beat are playoff teams.

Although the Packers own wins over the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks, those came in September when both opponents were struggling. They have since fallen to the Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers and Cardinals, while wins over bad teams pad their 10-5 record. The Vikings, who are 1-10-1 against the Packers in their last 12 matchups, would like nothing more than to send the Packers into the playoffs with consecutive losses and no prospects of a home game.

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