For the Green Bay Packers, there wasn’t much time to celebrate or revel in their dramatic 32-22 victory over the Detroit Lions Monday night.
Monday nighters are great on the front end, but on the back end they make for a very short week of preparation for the next opponent.
And the Oakland Raiders, 3-2, are coming to Lambeau Field Sunday.
The Raiders are a surprise in the AFC this season. After a slow start in September, Jon Gruden’s team has rebounded in stunning fashion, with three signature road wins against Indianapolis, Kansas City, and the Chicago Bears in London.
“Hey, the Raiders must be pretty good to beat the Bears, the Chiefs, and the Colts,” former Chicago head coach Mike Ditka said. “It’s going to be a challenge for the Packers, but the good news is they have them at home coming off a short week.”
Facing the Raiders at Lambeau Field ends a string of five home games in six weeks for the 5-1 Packers, who are off to a 4-1 start on Green Bay soil.
Next week, Green Bay embarks on four road games in five weeks, with a bye week on November 17. But the Oakland contest is the only focus of Packers players.
“One at a time,” said Ditka said. “That’s the only way you can play ‘em.”
Fullback Danny Vitale echoed the approach in the jubilant Packers locker room Monday evening.
“All I want to do is go home and see my dog,” Vitale said with a laugh. “We have a short week and have a big one to prepare for against the Raiders. It feels great to beat a division opponent at home, but we have to move on and get ready for Oakland.”
Quarterback Derek Carr has played well during the Raiders resurgence, and tight end Darren Waller is a major weapon who just was rewarded with a contract extension by the franchise. The Oakland offense features one the NFL’s best on third down and is powered by running back Joshua Jacobs.