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Inbox: All he needs to do is be himself on Sunday

The Packers can’t let Dalvin cook

RB AJ Dillon

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, what would you do if your wife acted like Mrs. Stafford and threw a pretzel at an opposing fan?

At least it wasn't a shoe, I guess.

Jim from Hudsonville, MI

Hey II, seems like a lot of coulda, woulda, shoulda this week. Vikings shoulda won three more games, Packers coulda lost two more, this woulda been for the division lead, etc. What ever happened to "you are what your record says you are"?

It's a coulda, shoulda league. The teams that rise above that earn playoff spots each winter.

Matthew from Hartland, WI

What do you think is the most important job the defensive unit has to do against the Vikings to all but put the division away?

Don't let Dalvin cook. We've been saying it all week long but it's unquestionably the No. 1 thing the Packers cannot allow to happen. The more Cook gets going, the more it opens up everything for Kirk Cousins and his plethora of receiving weapons. If the Packers contain Cook with their "Penny" front and two-high nickel, they clinch their third winning season under Matt LaFleur with six left to play. Simple as that.

Pete from Babylon, NY

With the game on the line in a high-pressure kick situation there is no other kicker in the game I would rather have than Mason Crosby! Go Pack Go! Just beat the Vikings!

There have been a lot of factors at play this season with the field-goal operation but give Crosby credit for accepting responsibility for the missed kicks, even if some of what's happened is quite obviously not his fault. That's what captains do. I'll continue to say it for everyone to hear – I am not worried about Mason Crosby.

Tom from Walker, MI

What can we expect from AJ Dillon this week?

What we've already seen. The rushing yards and broken tackles have drawn the most attention, but the guy has very quickly developed into an every-down back. All he needs to do is be himself on Sunday and just keep doing what he's been doing all season.

Dave from Mazomanie, WI

The Vikings love to bring pressure from the A-gaps. Do you think the RB tandem on the field Sunday is up for the challenge? Also, is there a more annoying noise in the world than the Helga horn?

I think so, but it starts up front. Jon Runyan, Lucas Patrick and Royce Newman need to be cognizant of where pressure is coming. If there is an unfilled gap, then Dillon and Patrick Taylor must account for it. That's where Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams were sneaky good in the past.

Daniel from Huntersville, NC

On Friday, Spoff mentioned there may not be anyone quite as polished as Jones as a pass blocker. This is a tremendous compliment and credit to the hard work he has put in. I can recall back to his rookie year when Williams was constantly played over him because of his inexperience and lack of execution in pass blocking.

Jones put so much work into it, especially his first two seasons. Spoff is right in pointing out that Dillon might not be as polished as Jones, but he's spent a great deal of time under the same learning tree as Jones with Ben Sirmans directing that room. I would imagine Dillon will have Jones on the sideline to assist him, as well.

Nate from New Lisbon, WI

Wes, who knew the Packers would have arguably the best defense at this point in the season? It would be absolutely criminal to let the Vikings have any success against us. I don't want them leaving U.S. Bank Stadium with a guilty conscience.

As one of our very astute Packers Preview watchers pointed out on Friday afternoon, the addition of De'Vondre Campbell adds a new level of intrigue to this matchup with Cook and the Vikings' offense. Minnesota presents a lot of challenges but Joe Barry's defense has been game all season.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

Earlier this week it was mentioned that Joe Barry doesn't have the CBs trail specific WRs, but rather maintain their position as a RCB or LCB. If I'm not mistaken the previous iterations of the Seahawks used a similar method. Richard Sherman used to cover just one side of the field. Is it more advantageous this way since the CB can master controlling one side of the field as opposed to learning how to navigate the whole field?

Every time I've asked Jaire Alexander about this in the past, he says it doesn't matter to him. But you have to think there's a certain level of comfort in just protecting a specific area of the field. Also, it just helps the defense stay aligned and on the same page when defenders aren't moving around as often. I think one of the other things Jerry Gray, specifically, is really good at is identifying what players do well and accentuating those gifts.

Tom from Douglassville, PA

What is the biggest worry from the Vikings?

What happens if Cook gets going early and the domino effect of that production.

Curt from Oronoco, MN

Parity in the NFL is really remarkable. What's absolutely crazy is how it has happened at such a high level of play. Salary cap and draft order don't seem to fully explain this. What do you think are the other factors?

Drafting well puts a team in the hunt for a championship but I think it's unsung heroes and in-season acquisitions that make the biggest difference throughout the course of a season. I feel that's where the Packers have excelled this year. The cap is the cap and good players need to be compensated for their talent, but diamonds in the rough also matter. You need those guys to win in this league.

Linda from Lakewood Ranch, FL

II, GOOD MORNING! "I just assume the officials will get it right occasionally." No truer words were ever spoken. (I think that goes for the for all challenges as well.)

You flip a coin and just hope it lands.

Mark from Sturgeon Bay, WI

Regarding the discussion about Billy Turner possibly beating the snap, is it possible if you watch the ball, he is just that split-second quicker than the other linemen? I can believe he can anticipate AR12's snap count to such a degree that he moves as, or slightly before, the ball is snapped.

You guys don't need to overthink this. It's OK to say Turner's just good at it. Because Turner is really good at it. His kick is right in line with the snap. There hasn't been one instance where I felt Turner was so early the referee could validate throwing a flag.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Of course, like most of us, I watch other NFL games in addition to Packers games. I forget the game, but last week a team ran a really well-designed play that picked up an easy 15 yards or so on a pass play. Nothing crazy, just a smooth and logical play. I wondered if the Packers study the plays from other games to see if they can pick up plays that they can incorporate into their playbook.

Absolutely. That's what quality control coaches are for. The Packers track what other teams are doing in-season and further dive into leaguewide trends once the year is over.

The Green Bay Packers held practice inside the Don Hutson Center on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021.

Shannon from Ovilla, TX

One advantage we will have on Sunday, crowd noise while on offense. Can't believe the offense actually had to ask the Lambeau crowd to quiet down on Sunday. I know we haven't had many home games recently but c'mon.

I was worried that might happen with only one home game (Washington) over a span of 41 days. I think fans got the hint when the offense signaled for the crowd to quiet down. I'm expecting a better showing out of the Gold package crew against the LA Rams. They were solid in Week 4.

Owen from Binghamton, NY

As far as players calling Coach Gray O.G., I read that it means original gangster, referring to the fact that he was a pretty good DB himself back in the day.

I got a good chuckle out of "Old Gray" on Friday. We just started Urban Dictionary 101 with Spoff on Wednesday. We'll pick up again next week.

John from Stevens Point, WI

Which do you prefer: the Skol cheer or the Viking horn noise?

When given the choice between the two, I prefer…the wave.

David from El Segundo, CA

Imagine getting to play the Falcons twice a year? Smart move Brady, smart move…

Who knew Cordarrelle Patterson made such a difference with that offense? Atlanta is in bad shape, man.

Bob from Oconomowoc, WI

I don't know about II but I'm excited to watch the Lions Sunday. Here's hoping their first win of the season comes on a game-winning TD throw from Tim Boyle to Jamaal Williams!

On a personal level, I'm so excited for Tim and his family. The guy has been through so much over the past 10 years and it's great to see all his hard work and perseverance pay off. If you know anything about Tim’s story, he's earned every bit of this opportunity. I hope he plays well Sunday in Cleveland.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Hunters fill the woods,

Packers invade the border,

Just force the taillights.

How did I not think of "Run to (tail)light!" as a mantra for this week until now?

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

The Packers rise as Seahawks fall to earth and our defense soars

More heroes emerge as injury strikes and a steep price is paid yet again

Now another challenge to maintain focus and stay the course

A short trip West to a hostile land to challenge a desperate border rival

An opportunity to secure your grip as King of the North

Expect fury as the Vikings will not go gentile into the night

Godspeed and go now to meet fury with fury Green and Gold

U.S. Bank Stadium is going to be loud and energized. The Packers need to take the air out of the balloon and remind everyone who runs the North. Enjoy the game, everyone.


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