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Inbox: He looks like a keeper

It’s so hard to gauge

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WR David Moore

Kay from Milton, WI

Have you thawed out yet?

Oh, it was a long walk to the car in the wee hours and the engine didn't warm up fast enough for me, but my wife and son braved the elements for four quarters so I'm in no position to complain.

Mike from Cottage Grove, MN

Peaking too soon or getting ready to roll into the playoffs?

All we've heard for the last three weeks is the Packers supposedly weren't playoff-ready. Now a blowout win against an overmatched backup QB and everybody wants to say they've peaked. As usual, the truth on all counts lies somewhere in between.

Marjorie from Roseville, CA

So, who do we have to bribe to keep the temps at Lambeau 10 or less?

Aaron Rodgers sure would like to know. I find it pretty amazing at age 38 he's always saying "the colder, the better," and he can put up 37 points (leaving several more out there) in sub-zero wind chills. I really like this team's chances later this month if it gets the weather in its favor with a full-throated Lambeau crowd.

Henry from Brown Deer, WI

IIers, based on wins next week will there be movement of the teams that clinched? 2 plays 7, 3 plays 6 and 4 plays 5, right?

If all the division leaders in the NFC win, the Rams will be the 2, the Buccaneers the 3, the Cowboys the 4, and the Cardinals the 5. But the 49ers, who are trying to secure a wild card, are playing the Rams, and if San Francisco wins that game, the Rams could drop all the way to the 5. Stay tuned.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Is it still true that in the second round of the NFL playoffs the brackets are reseeded so that the No. 1 seed plays the worst seeded team remaining?

Yes, when wild-card weekend rolls around, the Packers will be looking at four possible opponents in the divisional round – the 4 through 7 seeds.

Reid from Spokane, WA

Great victory over the Vikings. Another 13-win season has me ecstatic and grateful. I'm also looking back at all the questionable comments about this team in the first five weeks and hope some people realize the big picture. It's a long season and this team looks the part. In your opinion, what is the key for this team to make a long postseason run?

Continue to protect the football, limit the big plays on defense, and keep the special teams even-keel. Last January, the initial 0-2 turnover hole vs. Tampa and two long passes led to the 28-10 deficit. The other piece is continuing to protect Rodgers, who hasn't been sacked in two straight games now. This offensive line has been through a lot and held up remarkably well. It felt similarly last year until that final game when the injuries caught up to them.

Ralph from Naples, FL

It's a great morning. Three weeks ago I sent a message to the Inbox saying a loss by Dallas and us winning four straight would make the Detroit game meaningless and that could give Aaron almost three weeks for his toe to heal. It happened so do you think ML will do that?

That'll be the storyline of the week. After the game, Rodgers and Davante Adams both said they want to play, and LaFleur sounded inclined to play the starters, though I doubt it'll be for the whole game. We'll have to see.

Josh from Seattle, WA

I called it! It did not get posted, but the moment I read up on the David Moore signing I said his role as a returner was going to be noticed. Game 1 in the books and I noticed him.

I think everyone did. I loved the way he consciously protected the ball when the contact came on his first return, and he was decisive with his cuts on the 21-yard runback that led to the late hit out of bounds. He looks like a keeper to me.

Karen from South Beloit, IL

At least Antonio Brown kept his pants on.

Of all the Antonio Brown submissions, this was by far the best one. Thanks for the chuckle. I'm not going to comment at any length on the incident, because there's little to say other than the obvious. The game is called professional football, and football is not the operative word here.

Wayne from Stevens Point, WI

A New Year, same old players. What is the saying? You can't change a horse's spots. Is there a retroactive Coach of the Year award? Seems Mike Tomlin should receive it for his managing to keep a lid on Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell for so many years. Wow.

Coaching is about so much more than X's and O's, isn't it?

Jessi from Sterling, KS

Is it just me or does this home-field advantage feel extra sweet? What a football year to cherish. Here is to praying it ends in bringing the Lombardi home. Thus far, what's the memory you're savoring the most from this regular season?

Just the fact that since Week 1, Rodgers has thrown two interceptions and lost only one game, on a walk-off field goal at that. Unreal.

Janet from Auburn, WA

I'm sure you're tired of hearing about analytics, but do you foresee a time when that term is eliminated from at least one sport (hopefully, football) and coaches start using a little common sense or, as John Harbaugh put it a few weeks ago, a "gut" feeling? It seems that playing to win for some teams just isn't their style, as in the case of the Jets versus the Bucs. Why not kick the FG to go up by a touchdown on fourth-and-2? The Bucs are still a great defense and it cost them the game.

As I've said before, anything longer than fourth-and-1 is a hard sell for me absent extenuating circumstances. I understand that getting the 2 yards there allows the Jets to run out the clock and win the game, but 2 yards isn't 1 yard, and it's way more than twice as hard in my book.

Joe from Liberty Township, OH

When did the NFL start allowing offensive players to "assist" the runner? I remember Chuck Mercein throwing his hands up to show he wasn't helping Starr on the Ice Bowl "sneak." Now 1,000-1,500 pounds of humanity regularly push the pile to move the ball-carrier forward. That's a recipe for player injury. How can the NFL continue removing more and more physicality from the game but allow this? It's a rugby scrum, not football.

I don't know when the rule was changed, but it was ill-advised. It's one of the more senseless rule changes of my lifetime, frankly, in an era when offenses don't need more help.

Joshua from Riverside, CA

Hey Mike, Happy New Year. With the Bucs squeaking out a win against the Jets, the Rams barely getting by the Ravens and the Cards vs. Dallas battle, how do you see the current strengths of the NFC playoff teams?

It's so hard to gauge. The Cowboys were the cat's meow after blowing out Washington last week, but now they lose one at home. Stafford has thrown five picks in two weeks for the Rams (and four pick-sixes on the year). Tampa Bay is very up and down. Are the Cardinals now snapping out of it after a three-week funk? The Eagles have the running game to pull an upset. If the 49ers get in, that's a team with a lot of playoff experience. Your guess is as good as mine, man.

Tim from St. Louis, MO

Not so much a question, more a shout out and thank you to the Packers organization! I always noticed that a lot of submissions come from the St. Louis area. A lot of us are fans of our hockey team, the St. Louis Blues. Big thank you and shout out to Gordon "Red" Batty for not only what he does keeping our Packers warm in frigid temps, but for helping the Blues keep warm for their Winter Classic game against … Minnesota. LGB! GPG!

Red is a legend in so many ways. If there's a way to be busier at the busiest time of year, Red will not only find it, but embrace it.

Kirsten from Madison, WI

Anyone tasked right now with tracking and reporting on roster moves deserves a raise.

It's been a crazy couple of weeks, eh? Hopefully it settles down a bit.

Josh from Sherwood Park, Canada

Couldn't think of a better time for the Packers to show us that elusive complete game we've been waiting for all season. And I know he's popular around these parts, but can we take a minute to appreciate Kenny Clark? Dalvin Cook – nine carries for 13 yards. Wow.

Plus three catches for zero, so 13 yards on 12 touches for Cook. Excellent work, but having no worries about their QB hurting you definitely helps.

Jimmy from Rockford, IL

Do you think there's any chance 12 earns MVP and 17 earns OPOY?

As cool as that would be, I don't see it. Statistically, I would expect either Jonathan Taylor or Cooper Kupp to get Offensive Player of the Year.

Etienne from Tourelle, Canada

Paul Brown has to be on that Mount Rushmore. Has to.

Wes has a great idea for next summer. I wanted to follow up again here with just how difficult a choice it is – if one spot is reserved for a figure like Madden, another for an executive (like Rozelle) and another for a player, that leaves only one coach. Whom to select? Halas? Lambeau? Lombardi? Brown? Shula? Walsh? Belichick? There are valid arguments for many and I think it's a fantastic discussion for Outsider Inbox.

Keith from Lincoln, IL

I remember all the angst and agony around Davante Adams' first two seasons. It was a constant topic of Inbox submissions, but look how that turned out. I'm not asking who will be the next Davante Adams, but five or six years down the road, who will Inbox submitters be likely crowing about that we have been anxious about this year?

We've already been through it again with Rashan Gary, haven't we? Maybe next it's Amari Rodgers, I don't know. Nobody knows. That's the beauty of all this.

Donny from Green Bay, WI

I always thought watching Rodgers throw back-shoulder was the most pretty connection in football. I'm now convinced it's watching Rodgers drop it over the top on the sideline to Davante with his late hands. It's so smooth. Any other route combinations you can think of that are more synonymous with a QB and receiver?

I'm too tired to dig into the memory banks at the moment, but I still say the back-shoulder stuff is the prettiest. Rodgers and Adams make it look effortless, yet it's so precise in every way – ball placement, footwork, timing, hands. It's indefensible when it's that in sync.

H.R. from Las Vegas, NV

I know the prime goal was getting the 1 seed. But man doesn't it taste just a bit sweeter knowing they eliminated Minnesota at the same time.

Anytime you can slam the door on a rival, especially one that's beaten you earlier in the year, that means something.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Fair to say Green Bay still hasn't played its best football, but that may be the most complete effort in all three phases to date this season?

A popular question. Considering the quality and strength of the opponent, I might still be inclined to say the Rams game was this team's best so far. Two long pass plays allowed in that one, plus a muffed punt, were the regrets, but that was still a two-score game until the last half-minute.

Dave from Coloma, MI

Good evening. With all the records and milestones that have been set and reached it was never mentioned until about one minute left in the game, but the Packers just became the first team in history to win 13 games for three consecutive seasons. With all the great teams and dynasties there have been throughout the years that kind of consistency is hard to believe. To do it in the first three years of ML's head coaching career and with all the injuries this year, I think that is an amazing achievement.

I couldn't agree more.

Chris from West Allis, WI

I'm almost afraid to ask, but here goes: Is this the first time the answer isn't "Just beat the [Lions]?"

Correct. We don't have to say that this week. Maybe the line instead will be "Just stay healthy."

Graydon from Menomonie, WI

The road to the Super Bowl goes through Lambeau.

With fans this time.

Ian from Sherman Oaks, CA

But how much better would the Packers be if they hadn't lost all of their preseason games?

This crowd never disappoints. Happy Monday.

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