Presented by

Inbox: A number like that would mean multiple things

The Packers lost their shot at immortality in Super Bowl XXXII

180629-inbox-2560

Steve from Waupaca, WI

I enjoyed Cliff Christl's article on the Ed Thorp Memorial Trophy. Knowing the trophy represents all championships team from that era, do you suspect the NFL may request the trophy be moved to Canton?

It's a great piece by Cliff, for sure. With the NFL coming up on its 100th season, I could see the Pro Football Hall of Fame asking to borrow the trophy for a display, but I'm sure the Packers would want it back.

Eric from Green Bay, WI

Saw the recent article on most hated player on each NFL team. Rodgers was listed as GB's most hated player and the reason was a compliment to his ability at finding a way to win, especially against NFC rivals. Got me to wondering: What is the Rodgers-led Packers 10-year win-loss record against NFC rivals?

Looking strictly at NFC North opponents, and not counting games Rodgers either missed or exited early due to injury, he's 40-11 against the division, plus 2-0 in the postseason. The 42-11 total is a .792 winning percentage. Um, yeah.

Brandon from Omaha, NE

I did some research for this question. I was curious what the total team rushing record was since the Packers are using a RBC approach this season. The 1978 Patriots hold the record with 3,165 yards on 671 attempts. Surprisingly, they didn't have a single 1,000-yard rusher. 768 was the most yards they had by a RB. Other guys had 693, 675, and 391 with a QB that also had 539. In the Rodgers era the most yards GB has had on the ground is 2,136 in 2013. What do you think they can do this year?

Remember that 2,136 was with Rodgers out half the season, too. Their most with Rodgers playing the whole year was 1,917 in 2014, and we all know how close the Packers came. If they approach or exceed 2,000, which is 125 per game, with Rodgers healthy all season, I like their chances. A number like that would mean multiple things - they're finding balance when they need to and/or closing out wins with rushing production.

Col from Ludlow, UK

Is there one player you are most looking forward to seeing the Packers face this season? And who would be the one player from your lifetime that you wish you had seen play live but didn't? And if you post this, would it count as three questions answered in one column?

Aaron Donald, Joe Montana, and no.

Garrett from Weston, WI

Has any additional information been released regarding the shareholders meeting? Will there be anything different with the event being held in the evening?

I'm not aware of any announcements. Other than the time of day, the biggest difference will be hearing from new GM Brian Gutekunst for the football report for the first time.

Mutt from Blaine, MN

I think maybe the Packers were waiting until after the shark encounter to give all that guaranteed money to AR. Will he get a bonus for surviving?

Isn't surviving bonus enough?

Steve from Minocqua, WI

With regard to Super Bowl XXXII and Ron Wolf's "fart in the wind" comment, I've always felt the reason the Packers didn't win more was Mike Holmgren's desire to get a coach/GM job. The Ray Rhodes season was a debacle, and Mike Sherman, as coach/GM, was a good coach but poor evaluator of talent. In short, Favre's talent ended up being wasted. Your thoughts?

I wouldn't say wasted, not when the Packers made five post-Holmgren postseason appearances with Favre, one undercut by fourth-and-26 and another, with McCarthy, ending an OT away from the Super Bowl. But Holmgren's departure and Wolf's subsequent retirement certainly changed the course of things. I don't think Sherman as GM was always the best help to himself as head coach, and I'll always wonder if Wolf had walked away while Holmgren was still here, handing him the dual role he sought, how it might have played out. Holmgren and Favre were a special match.

Tom from Orlando, FL

Being underway on a ballistic submarine for SB XXXII, I've never seen the whole game. Luckily the commanding officer was a Packers fan as well. He turned the sub to allow for our underwater antenna to receive the game.

I was lucky enough to be in attendance at XXXII, a dream assignment for a 25-year-old just a few years out of grad school. Denver proved it never should have been a two-TD underdog in that game, not just by winning but by going all the way the next year with a 14-2 mark and three postseason wins by 35, 13 and 15 points. They got good at the right time and carried it through another season. Regarding Wolf's comment, I still remember the column I banged out on deadline that night, about the missed opportunity to go for a history-making three-peat the following year. Even if the Packers had rebounded to win it all in '98 and '99, they would have been just "another" of many teams to go back-to-back, and winning three in a four-year span (Cowboys) wouldn't have been new, either. Not just one title, but their shot at immortality was lost that night.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Comment on SB XXXI and SB XXXII. I rewatched both in February. The difference, Reggie White. In XXXI he dominated in all four quarters, an MVP-worthy performance. I've watched the Packers for almost 60 years and I thought it was the best game by a Packer defender I've ever seen. In XXXII the Broncos contained him and kept him from wrecking their game plan. I encourage all Packer fans to watch XXXI again and focus on No. 92 and explain how he wasn't worthy of being the MVP?

I thought in XXXI, the Packers had an MVP candidate in each phase - Howard, White and Favre. I know 14-of-27 doesn't jump off the page, but 246 yards on 14 completions, with TD tosses of 54 and 81, plus a rushing TD, was MVP-worthy as well. In XXXII, the Broncos neutralized both White and Brown up front, and that combined with Wilkins leaving due to injury made it a long night for the front seven. They got worn down. Davis had 21 of his 30 carries, and 93 of his MVP-winning 157 yards, in the second half, after sitting out two second-quarter drives with the migraine.

The Packers defensive tackle taught youngsters the fundamentals of football in his hometown. Photos by Jeannie Williams & Heaven Daniels.

Eric from Greenville, WI

Which has been more beneficial in your life, being a genius, or instant access to a media guide?

Depends on the question.

Bryce from Houston, TX

On the list of QBs Matthews has sacked, you left off some. Russell Wilson to name one.

The list Wes published was regular season only. If you include postseason sacks, you can add Kurt Warner, Joe Webb, Kirk Cousins and Wilson to the list.

Matt from Eau Claire, WI

Where do you think Jermichael Finley's career would have gone had he not suffered the career-ending injury? The guy was a stud at TE, and it's interesting to think about what might have been.

I still cringe every time I think about that hit over the middle against Cleveland. I'm just glad Finley is OK and able to lead a normal life. He was headed toward a market-setting contract at his position and multiple Pro Bowls, in my opinion.

Keith from Grants Pass, OR

I just wanted to thank you for your reply concerning the word "suck." I absolutely agree with your comment and wish more journalists would be straightforward with the combative type of comments. Thank you again for the work you put into these questions and answers.

Reading that reply from Wes yesterday morning made me proud to work with him.

Gabe from Atlanta, GA

With Matthews, Cobb and Clinton-Dix all in "contract years," you can only keep one at the start of next season. Who do you keep and why?

Do you order what you want at a restaurant without ever looking at an updated menu or the prices? Let's play the 2018 season first.

Skip from Rozet, WY

Which position group will have the highest number of sacks this year, the defensive line or the outside linebackers?

I don't like predictions, but I'll say if it's the outside linebackers, that'll be better for the Packers' defense because I believe they're going to have a higher-than-usual number from the linemen this year.

Preston from Addison, IL

Packer fans need to remember the key to change is to let go of fear.

Fear of failure produces relief, rather than joy, when success arrives.

Jonathan from Paducah, KY

Derek is in the Hall of Fame. I am on a draught. I need to get my reps up. What can I do to earn myself some more reps in camp? I learned my lesson last year. I know I can't ask anything about the playoffs. I also know I can't misspell "schnide." Who do you think has the best chance to get off the schneid this year and get back to the playoffs after a long draught? I know I might be a year or two early, but with Dorsey, Wolf, and Highsmith in town my pick is the Browns.

Misspelling drought, not once but twice, doesn't help your cause. Of the four teams with the longest current playoff droughts (Browns 15, Buccaneers 10, Bears 7, Jets 7), I think the Browns will get to the playoffs first, but it won't be this year.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

Hoth because it's a Frozen Tundra planet? I see what you did there, Wes.

I'm sure he's had visions of slicing open a tauntaun just so he could shove me inside.

Jonnie from Garden City, MI

Music soothes the savage beast, unless it riles it up and beats it over the head, or rips through its eardrum with an irritating twang. And opinionated people are going to be divisive and derisive when judging other people's preferences. I'm with Wes in terms of musical taste, though I will occasionally listen to some heavy metal. It serves as a primal scream, without damaging my vocal cords. What is your go-to music when you need to let off some steam?

My list of live concerts consists of Van Halen, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Elton John and Billy Joel. Make of that what you will.

Jimmy from Plover, WI

Do you think the Packers/Bears offenses are forcing the Vikings to spend more on defense?

No, the reality of good, young players getting second contracts is the culprit. It costs money to keep talent.

Jeremiah from Monmouth, IL

Speaking of the agony of defeat, how about the ending of Game 2 in College World Series? Then for Oregon St. to come back and just dominate, got to feel that Arkansas spent a lot of the previous night going "what if."

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory can have a lasting impact.

Keith from Lincoln, IL

I'm old-school and keep a scorecard at every MLB game I attend. Do you keep a "scorecard" during the Packers' games, and if you do, what's it look like? Or has technology made hand written notes/notations during the game obsolete?

I keep a scorecard at every MLB game, too, so I appreciate a kindred spirit. Modifying a system shown me by my first sports editor, I came up with a play-by-play notation for covering high school football games, when you had to keep your own stats to have any chance of making deadline. I still use it in the press box today, just to keep my head in the game at all times, even though we get official stat packs a half hour or so after the game ends. Line by line, I chart the down-and-distance, who ran the ball or caught the pass, the yardage, and who made the tackle if noteworthy. I use uniform numbers as shorthand for the players, and I circle uniform numbers to distinguish them from yardage numbers. It's like a second language to me by now.

Stephen from Berryville, VA

Mike misses a major story every year on vacation. This year it's McDonald's stealing muffin tops from Seinfeld. Top of the muffin TO YOU!

And on that bizarre note, I'm disappearing for a bit. You're in good hands with Wes. Take care and enjoy the 4th, everyone.

Advertising