Can the Packers stop the Bears' running game? senior writer Mike Spofford took reader questions in his weekly chat.


Hi everybody. Let's talk some football.

Comment From Don H

My take away from last week is there are no "easy" games in the NFL. Whatever the spread and pundits say, players and coaches on both sides are pros and they all get paid to produce. CIN, on paper, was an "easy" game; not so much. Getting through the first quarter of the season 3 - 1 with three home wins is essential, but far from guaranteed.

No doubt about it. The Packers' injury situation allows nothing to be taken for granted, not that it ever should be anyway. The results across the league through 3 weeks are certainly indicative of that. Survive this at 3-1, get some guys healthy with some rest, and move on.

Comment From Jeff P.

Mike, we all have some idea of what the team has to go through on a short week... but how about you and Wes?? What does your week look like with 4 days in between games?

Just busy. Monday and Tuesday are usually a little slower-paced days in a normal week, but not this one. I'm looking forward to having a weekend off, though, that's for sure.

Comment From Lori

Mike, no one has commented on the tackle made by Aaron Rodgers in the last game. What did you think?

I was glad he didn't get hurt. It looked for a second like his arm got twisted funny going to the ground.

Comment From Dean

Mike, not to get to personal but do people in the press box stand for the anthem?


Comment From Max

I have to say as banged up as we are, I have to say I'm glad that most of the injuries don't seem season-ending. We have a chance to get healthy down the stretch when the games get more important.

Lots of questions about the injuries. It looks like a handful of guys have a decent chance to play, and even if they don't, it's a sign they're not far from returning. The big question I think is LT. If Bakhtiari can't go, and Bulaga is out again, what do the Packers do? Will be interesting.

Comment From Guest

What does the Bears injury report look like at this point in the week?

Short, compared to GB's, but their starting safety Demps broke his forearm last week and is likely out a couple months.

Comment From Bongo

I think the biggest injury concern I have is long snapper Goode. Crosby struggled with other snapper and points can be at a premium. Will MM go for it on 4th down more than usual?

Bongo! No, I don't think that'll necessarily influence McCarthy. I'm actually more concerned about the new snapper on punts, because in camp Vogel struggled to punt well when the snap wasn't right on, and his bad punt last week was on a low snap. Hopefully he keeps working through that.

Comment From C-Lee

This season so far has made me realize how vital the tackles are to AR12's play style. Once they come back, I think this offense takes off big time.

I don't think it's a coincidence that Rodgers' only other stretch since 2012 of three straight games with an INT came at the end of the 2015 regular season when the tackle position was all banged up.

Comment From Lawrence

Hey Mike, Will we ever see much of Aaron Ripkowski anymore? It sure is nice to see him blocking for the running back. I was at the game Sunday, and I hardly ever saw him, and that mad me sad. What's the point of having a fullback if you hardly ever use him?

That's a game plan, week to week thing. Montgomery's workload has been extensive, and I think the Packers have to find a way to back off with him. Williams and Ripkowski would be the first two options.

Comment From Kanav K

Mike I love the podcast you do with Wes.

Thanks for listening. I wish we could put the full video of the show on our website, but our TV contract with Spectrum prohibits it. Glad you still like it, though. Comment From KD

Is there any timeline on Mike Daniels? Also, how did M. Adams play on Sunday?

Daniels was back at practice on a limited basis yesterday, so he could play Thursday. Adams played just a few snaps last Sunday. They're working him in slowly.

Comment From Brett

Hey Mike. If you use traps, draws, screens and slants to help an opponent use their strengths against themselves, think Packers fans will see a healthy dose of them tomorrow night?

I don't care what they use. Just find a way to win. This game isn't about establishing anything or looking long-term schematically. Just get to 3-1, whatever it takes.

Comment From Hans

Did I miss the halftime chat during the CIN game, or did you not do it on Sunday ? Just curious ...

I'm taking halftime questions on my Twitter account now, if you'd like to join in. I know some fans don't like the switch, but I don't need the additional tech support at halftime now, which frees up colleagues to do other things.

Comment From Nathan

Who needs to win their one-on-ones to stop Jordan Howard?

Howard and Cohen are proving to be a dynamic duo. You have to be ready for both guys in the run and pass games. It'll be an interesting chess match. If the Packers can't stop the run with nitro, they'll have to take some speed off the field, and the Bears will counter with throwing it to the backs more.

Comment From Ray L

If Bakhtiari plays, it will have a large trickle down effect on the O-line.

A movement toward stability and continuity would be a good thing.

Comment From Grumbleface

Who are the Bears' playmakers on defense this year?

Leonard Floyd is developing. Kyle Fuller seems to be putting a sophomore slump behind him. They invested big in Akiem Hicks up front. This defense is no slouch.

Comment From Jack

Is there any concern about Clay Matthew's lack of play making 3 games in to the season?

I don't think so. The film shows him close on a number of occasions, helping out teammates on others. Perry will have to play with a club for a while, so that doesn't help, but Brooks should start getting more comfortable on the outside, and getting Daniels back inside will be big for the whole unit.

Comment From Toad

I know this information will likely be public soon, but how's Cobb's chance at playing?

He seemed in pretty good spirits in the locker room yesterday.

Comment From Joe

The secondary is starting to gel despite the injuries.Do you think this is the game we see multiple turn overs?

They need to start getting some. Glennon was terrible on the road at Tampa two weeks ago. You have to stop the run and put the game in Glennon's hands.

Comment From Ray L

Did anyone say how long Nick Perry will be wearing a club?

No one has said. Given past history, it's one of those things where the club will get smaller and smaller as the weeks go by.

Comment From Staten Island Bill

I know you always want to start fast, but with the Bears run game being the clear strength of their offense, it feels like jumping out to a lead (10 - 0, 14 - 0) will be even more important this week. Thoughts?

I agree, and I said so when we taped "Final Thoughts" this morning. (There I go, spoiler alert). The Packers haven't played with an early lead yet this season. I think the Bears will stick to the run even if they fall behind, but getting ahead is the best way to get them to change their game plan.

Comment From Mitch

Do you expect Geronimo Allison to have an expanded role in the offense going forward? How about once Cobb returns?

Allison's snaps may decrease somewhat when Cobb is back, but I still see him getting plenty of chances to make an impact. What an undrafted find.

Comment From KD

Are we going to see a lot more of Burnett in the slot and Jones in the safety-backer position? Or was that more of an emergency situation?

I think we'll see more of it, as long as the run defense can still hold up with that personnel group.

Comment From Mitch

Do you think home field advantage is bigger during a short week?

Yes. One less thing to worry about.

Comment From Matt

Mike, I love the WYMM that you do. However, the change to the videos makes me not want to watch them. I would rather just read the content. I don't want to watch a 30 second ad every time just for a 5 second clip. Go back to the old way!! Oh, you and Wes are killing it by the way!! Keep it up!!

We're trying to find a solution with our mobile developer on the ad situation with WYMM. Please be patient and stick with us. I don't think the ads are as prevalent on desktop if you want to check it out there.

Comment From Pam

What did you see in Kevin King?

A young kid who didn't back down from one of the best receivers in the game. Green got his catches and yards, but he didn't dominate.

Comment From Derek

How do you think Glennon's performed this year, and do you think the Bears will stick with him all season?

After Week 2 in Tampa, I thought Glennon was headed to the bench, but now it looks like they'll stick with him for a while. That OT win over the Steelers changed Chicago's entire outlook.

Comment From Grumbleface

Stopping the run always seems a much taller task when Jake Ryan is out - who steps up if he can't go on Sunday?

You mean Thursday, but yeah, Blake Martinez had his best game as a Packer I thought last week.

Comment From Dean

We all know the importance the practice squad plays during a season. With only 2 writers on staff this year do you have an intern or a practice squad or a best available sheet if one of you goes down?


Comment From Josh P.

My neighbors must think we are crazy for yelling Geronimo all afternoon

I always chuckle when they play that "Say Geronimo" song at Lambeau when the Packers are on offense.

Comment From Zack

Also I'd expect a big game from Marty tomorrow. He's getting himself open, just has had a catch of the drops. I expect that gets fixed tomorrow.

He's going to come around. I have faith. Rodgers believes in him, so I'm willing to be patient. Kendricks had a big game last week, though, so that's a good sign, too.

Comment From Chris

NYG and SEA facing the dagger this weekend; who woulda thunk it ....

If the Giants fall to 0-4, it's hard to see them climbing out. 1-3 would not be a death knell, especially not for the Seahawks in the NFC West.

Comment From Picard90

Time for Brewers question! Do you think Brewers can make it to wild card? Okay, back to Packers, one interesting thing about secondary, I thought Hawkins could start anytime, but apparently he has fallen past some on the depth chart. Should we be surprised that King and Jones are doing so well on the field?

I'm still pulling for the Brewers and will hang in as long as they do. As for the DBs, the Packers drafted King and Jones with their first two picks for a reason. I didn't expect this much impact this soon, but I don't see them turning back now.

Comment From broadwayjoe

Why would you want to talk about football when we could spend the hour arguing about what to do during the Nation Anthem.

And that's the only comment on the issue that's getting posted today. Thanks.

Comment From JD from Palm Bay, FL

In the latest "Rock Report" from Larry, a couple of the TFL hightlighted the play of newcomer Odom. How impressed were you with his limited number of snaps?

I certainly want to see more. That's a tough spot, to be brought in as a waiver claim to a new team for Week 1. It would be big for the defense to get another regular into the rotation at OLB.

Comment From Joe

I see Mccarthy playing this one very close to the vest.Low scoring grind it out. How about you?

I think McCarthy is going to find what works on offense and stick with it until the Bears stop it. That's what he did in the Thursday night game here last week when the RB position was so banged up.

Comment From Derek

Mike, do you think the team was more cautious with the injury situation vs Cinci knowing that we had a must-win, home, divisional game on a short week immediately following? Or do the coaches take one game at a time from that standpoint?

It really is one game at a time. If a guy is healthy and cleared, he plays. If he's not, then no. But nothing's ever perfect. Bulaga got back in there but couldn't finish. Everything is always in flux.

Comment From Ray N

Came two steps away, on two occasions, to a punt being taken to the brickyard ... I like what I see so far out of the return unit. Their time is nigh ....

I think they're close, too. We'll see as the temp drops if Janis gets some shots on KO return, too. So far all touchbacks.

Comment From Ross

How could the Bears look so bad against the Bucs and like contenders against the Steelers a week later?

Welcome to the NFL, especially early-season football. Playing at home makes a difference. So does having young players in key positions.

Comment From Lerxst

Had just realized this morning that we get to see the Pack in their all-white unis again. I thought it looked pretty sharp last year.

I thought so, too. But once a year is enough.

Comment From Hallie

Have you had a chance to ask at what point in the game did Murphy hurt his foot? I wonder if that was why he struggled?

That's a really good question, and I haven't had a chance to ask him.

Comment From Simon

Speaking of early season football, let's give the fans a break on when they make noise. They're not in mid-season for yet either

It was a strange crowd last Sunday. Some have asked about the Milwaukee crowd thing. I really don't know. But they were clearly frustrated, and anxious. The first play of the second half to Kendricks seemed to jolt them back into it, and then in OT they really brought it.

Comment From Lee

Will Josh Jones get more snaps after last Sunday's game?

I don't know how he could get more. He played pretty much every snap. I think it's going to be hard to keep him off the field. OK, I've gotta cut it short and go soon. I'll take a few more.

Comment From Jeff P.

What matchup are you most looking forward to watching tomorrow?

Green Bay's run D vs. Howard and Cohen. Can the Packers stop the run with Nitro? If not, how will they adjust?

Comment From Randy

Bennet is a pro who will get it going. He is too good not to have a breakout game here soon.

I'm with you. I know the fans are frustrated about the drops. I have to imagine he is, too.

Comment From Tyler

Most important aspect of this game will be jumping out to a 10-0 or 21-7 lead. I understand the Bears will still try and run the ball, but if Glennon has to throw in the 3rd and 4th a bunch our chances are extremely high.

The Packers haven't played with a lead really all season. Tomorrow night would be a good time for it. If the Bears play from in front, they'll really focus on the run even more.

Comment From Joe

Getting off subject. How many college coaches do you see going down in the FBI Basketball probe? Seems Pitino will be the first of many. Is Calipari far behind?

Wow, what a scandal. And I thought things were bad during the point-shaving stuff when I was growing up.

Comment From Lerxst

You really are as good as beer Spoff!

That's a great last word for today if I ever saw one. Thanks for all the questions, folks. Enjoy the game. Talk again next week. Take care, Mike

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