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Week 17 opponent: What the Packers are saying

Every week during the regular season, the opposing head coach and sometimes a player speak to the Detroit media via conference call. This week it was only Packers head coach Mike McCarthy on the call.

So, what did McCarthy have to say about Sunday's matchup in Detroit both on the conference call and to Green Bay's media on Wednesday?

1. "I don't like it." That was the response given by McCarthy, when asked how different it's been in Green Bay the last couple weeks knowing they had nothing to play for beyond Week 17. It's the first time the Packers have missed the playoffs in nine years. He said it put things in a bit of perspective, and has helped him to realize how hard it is to be successful. He's hoping his football team learns from this experience.

View photos of the starters for the Green Bay Packers.

2. Lions head coach Jim Caldwell has made it very clear he's playing to win Sunday, and isn't treating this game any different because Detroit's out of the playoff race. What about McCarthy?

"It's important to play to win. To me this isn't preseason," McCarthy told "That would be the wrong message to send to the locker room, and a terrible message to send to your fans. We're going there to win, and if our players are healthy I expect them to play."

3. Losing quarterback Aaron Rodgers for the majority of the season has "certainly" quantified the importance of the position to McCarthy. He says it's the most important position in sports. He even referenced Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and how hard it would be for Detroit to replace him if they had to.

4. McCarthy really thought they'd be able to make a run to end the season when Rodgers came back vs. Carolina a couple weeks ago. They've done it in the past. It just didn't work out that way this year. They fell to the Panthers in Rodgers' return from a broken collarbone, which ended their year. The loss also ended Rodgers' return. He was put back on IR after the loss.

5. With Jordy Nelson (shoulder) and Davante Adams (concussion) dealing with injuries this week, Lions fans could see more of Michael Clark, the 6-foot-6 receiver the Packers signed from their practice squad to the active roster earlier this month. McCarthy said Clark's ability to high-point the ball is unique given his frame. He could be a weapon in the red zone for Green Bay Sunday.

6. Watching film of Detroit's offense, McCarthy said the thing that jumps out to him is the high connection Stafford has with his receivers right now. He thinks Detroit's passing game is very much in sync.

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