McCarthy, Packers elated with confidence building comeback victory

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GREEN BAY, Wisconsin — Mike McCarthy likes to challenge his players to follow up strong performances with even better ones.

The Green Bay Packers coach calls it "stacking successes."

And while any victory can serve that purpose, McCarthy acknowledged Monday that building blocks don't come better than the Packers' 27-24 come-from-behind victory over the Miami Dolphins in sweltering South Florida on Sunday.

"A big part of winning in this league is confidence. It obviously adds to your confidence," McCarthy said one day after Aaron Rodgers' 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end Andrew Quarless with 3 seconds left gave the Packers (4-2) their third consecutive win.

"It's an investment in confidence and in one another, from one unit to the next; everybody involved. But it's also lessons of overcoming adversity. You cannot overcome enough adversity in the course of a game, during the preparation week. Those are all great lessons to learn from and add to that investment of confidence."

Even if McCarthy didn't really get to revel in the celebration of Quarless' touchdown.

"I wish I would enjoy these games more than I do. It wears me out," McCarthy said with a chuckle. "You go home and you see, 'Boy, that was a heck of a game.' It just didn't look that way from where I was standing. You still have a job to do."

Under McCarthy, who is 91-52-1 in nine seasons as coach, the Packers haven't had many such rallies — in part because they're seldom behind. Sunday's win marked only the 11th time Rodgers had engineered a game-winning fourth-quarter or overtime drive.

And while Rodgers received much of the credit afterward, the quarterback pointed to the contributions from a variety of teammates who made it possible: Safety Micah Hyde gave the offense great field position with a heads-up punt return; guard T.J. Lang saved the game by recovering a third-down fumble by Rodgers; wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb each had critical catches on the final drive; rookie wideout Davante Adams picked up on Rodgers' presnap signal and was ready for Rodgers' fake-spike pass that gained 12 yards on the play before the decisive TD.

And Quarless, who'd spent much of the game pestering Rodgers to throw him the ball if a linebacker was on him, got his wish when Rodgers changed the play at the line of scrimmage and hit him with a back-shoulder strike.

"I think it's very important to the team just as far as everybody's confidence," Quarless said Monday. "It just shows you that you're getting stronger."

And sometimes, it takes a fantastic finish.

Last season, when Rodgers missed seven starts with a broken left collarbone, backup Matt Flynn engineered three fourth-quarter comebacks. Then, with the NFC North title and a berth in the playoffs on the line, in his return to action, Rodgers threw a last-minute, 48-yard, fourth-down touchdown pass to Cobb in a 33-28 victory at Chicago.

"It's huge. Huge for team morale," Flynn said of the impact of a comeback. "To be able to pull that off, in a game that came down to the fourth quarter, to get a stop on defense, score on offense, it's a big, big confidence booster."

NOTES: After losing starting cornerbacks Sam Shields (knee) and Tramon Williams (ankle) in a three-play span Sunday, and losing starting inside linebacker Jamari Lattimore (neck) in the first half, McCarthy was relieved that none of the injuries are considered major. McCarthy said he had not spoken to team physician Patrick McKenzie but general manager Ted Thompson had. "I know his conversation with Dr. McKenzie, none of them were long-term (injuries)," McCarthy said. "But how fast (they will return) is still to be determined." . McCarthy said he is not concerned that star outside linebacker Clay Matthews has just one sack through six games. "I'm very comfortable with the way Clay's playing," McCarthy said. "Production doesn't always reflect the performance. . Clay's a big-time player. Production will come. And I think history will show you it usually comes in chunks."

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