GREEN BAY, Wis. - The Green Bay Packers clinched the NFC North division title with a win Sunday, Dec. 13 against the Detroit Lions. Now, the team sets its sights on another goal and a new opponent.
Should the Packers maintain hold of the top seed in the NFC, they'd have home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. That venue -- Lambeau Field -- will also be the site of a Sunday night meeting with the Carolina Panthers.
Before the Packers and Panthers meet for a 7:15 p.m. kickoff on Dec. 19, FOX6's Tim Van Vooren and former Packers wide receiver James Jones take a look at the road ahead.
FOX6's Tim Van Vooren: "Well, that path is just opening up for the Green Bay Packers. They're the top seed in the NFC and it's our chance to talk to the top-notch James Jones. We get to do this on Tuesday nights. James, thank you for joining us. What'd you see on Sunday from Ford Field?"
"Well, I mean, I seen a Packers team that went out there, and the ultimate goal is to win the division and that is what the Packers accomplished," said Jones. "Man, you get a head put on your head, but they know that that's not the final step, and it's crazy what one week will do because we're sitting here and we're like, 'Man, who's gonna find a way to get this one seed?' and next thing you know, you win one game, New Orleans loses one and you find yourself in the one seed sitting in a pretty doggone position."
FOX6's Tim Van Vooren: "But now the pressure switches to the Packers to stay there, right? And they've got three games left, starting with this week against the Carolina Panthers."
"And I've been saying it on this show that, man, you have to play every game," said Jones. "It's a reason why they call it any given Sunday. This is another challenge for the Packers to just continue to polish the machine, and continue to get better and continue to make sure when the playoffs hit, when our feet hit that grass, we are ready to go."
FOX6's Tim Van Vooren: "How do you process that? The offense is rolling, and as you said, there are a couple things that maybe haven't gone exactly right on those other sides of the ball, but they're still winning. How do you process the whole picture?"
"Well, you process it by not listening to the media, and listening to what everybody out there has to say," said Jones. "And we always used to have a saying as players, and Charles Woodson taught us this, is that believe what you see on film. Is it good? Believe it. If it's bad, believe it -- and get better. On the defensive side of the ball, if you're watching the film saying, 'Man, we are pretty doggone good. If we get this situated and get that situated, we are pretty doggone good,' or you're looking at the film saying, 'Man, we ain't playing good football right now. We need to get our stuff together,' but believe what you see on the film, and the same for the offense. The same for the special teams."
FOX6's Tim Van Vooren: "You played with Aaron Rodgers when he was the MVP of the NFL."
"If he continues the way he's playing, I do not see how you don't give him the MVP, and we all see Aaron Rodgers is happy and he looks like he's loving the game," said Jones. "I tell people all the time, he's always loved the game. He's just allowing everybody to see the true Aaron Rodgers that we were used to seeing in the locker room. Now, he's letting the media see it. He's always had fun. He's always wanted to go out there and ball out. Now, he's just letting the outsiders see it."
FOX6's Tim Van Vooren: "What do you say about five years, $228 million dollars for supermax Giannis Antetokounmpo?"
"Number one, I wish I knew him so I could say, 'Hey man, could I borrow some?' and number two, you should have held out, man, because you deserve more," said Jones.
FOX6 Sports will hear from James Jones every Tuesday night during football season, as he goes "Beyond the Zoom" for an inside look at the Packers.