Packers-Bears: Packers Gearing up for Historic Game

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  • Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Next game: NFC Championship on Sunday at Chicago
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GREEN BAY - We're two days from "Packers-Bears-mageddon in Chicago," and Sunday's NFC Championship game against the Bears is the second for Packers coach Mike McCarthy. 

He has a special appreciation for the NFC title game. 

McCarthy is the only NFC coach to bring his team there twice in the last four years.

"It's such a hard game to get to," said McCarthy on 620WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Morning News."

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"There's so many things that have to go your way.  We've had so many things to overcome."

That includes a 20-17 loss in Chicago earlier this year. 

But to beat the Bears and earn a spot in Super Bowl XLV, McCarthy said that they simply have to do what got them there.

"We need to stay true to our brand of football.  That's what got us here and that's what's going to get us this victory Sunday."

McCarthy explained that because he and so many of his younger players have been to this point before, it will be a dramatic advantage.

"I'm clearly a much more experienced head coach than I was three years ago," said McCarthy.

"We have a lot of players that are young that have a lot of experience. That's a nice combination." 

In 2007, the Packers were among the NFL youngest teams, which gives this still-young team the feel of a veteran squad in a game like this.

"Definitely a different feel in the locker room this year," said McCarthy. "In '07, you were worried about how the young players were going to handle that game. Now that they have that experience, they can carry that forward into the game this week."

But for the veterans on the squad who have played for a decade or longer, there's extra urgency.

"For the older players, Charles Woodson and Donald Driver, they know how important this game is because they have been through so many of these types of games leading up to this point that when you get here, you have to take full advantage."

Does the pressure make McCarthy a little sleepless, like it could for many coaches at this point?  According to the coach, that's not the case.

"Definitely tired when I get home at night," said McCarthy, who has a young daughter at home.  "I've slept every night so far."

"The week of preparation has been excellent.  Having an extra day of preparation has helped our football team, helped our coaching staff."