Lori from Brookfield, WI
Wes, what does it mean to you and the team to have a home game after playing two tough games on the road?
I means I can rake my lawn and sleep in my own bed on a Saturday. Two of the most underrated aspects of humanity. Good morning!
Andy from Verona, WI
It seems like Mason Crosby has put the Detroit game behind him and is back to his old self. Which do you think is tougher for a kicker to mentally get over: missing five kicks in one game or missing one kick in five straight games?
After talking to kickers and punters over the years, it's definitely the latter. I remember Tim Masthay talking me and a few other reporters through his struggles late in 2014. It's like the movie "Tin Cup," right? Just a little chili dipper. Yes, those five misses likely will cost you a game, but a strong performance the next week quickly can erase that. You're back in a rhythm. It's when kickers continue mishitting the ball they begin to question themselves. Crosby is a testament to trusting the process. He stayed within himself, made the proper corrections and moved on.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
Forget the long plane rides and quick turnarounds and the bad fortune and the mistakes. Just go out there and play, coach, report, spectate the absolute greatest game there is. From the time this is posted, the Packers will have about 135 hours to win two games and change the entire narrative of their season. Let's get excited for the opportunity! GO PACK GO!
The road losses hurt. There's no question about that. The Packers needed a few of those wins, but they can't do anything about that this week. It's about Sunday. It's about Lambeau Field, where Green Bay is 3-0-1 this season. The Packers have to take care of business, stay healthy and keep pressing forward through this trying stretch.
Paul from Burleson, TX
In your view does the Packers' offense lack a "sense of urgency" and/or a "killer instinct"? Many times if the Packers are ahead or tied, the next time they get the ball they don't score or settle for a field goal, like they did against the Rams. The evidence is how close the games have been. The last two games I think the Packers could have scored more where the late turnovers would not have been so decisive. Look at the Saints or the Chiefs. The Packers can do the same.
Football is like a tree. The trunk is execution. Everything branches off of it. If you effectively execute on the field, the rest falls into place – the chemistry, the urgency, the production and "killer instinct." That's what's missing.
Dean from Leavenworth, IN
Since 2009 the formula has remained the same. If Aaron Rodgers is on the field for more than half the games, the Packers make the playoffs, plain and simple. Help me Wes, I know there's a question in there and I'm struggling to find it for this year's team. What's different?
What this team needs is 60 good minutes of clean, physical football. That's where popular catchphrases come from and how turnarounds began. These next 2½ weeks will go a long way in determining how 2018 will play out.
Bruce from Waterford, WI
Just a question regarding coaches. I really like how Mike Pettine carries himself, very measured in his press conference, self-assured, etc. I think he got a raw deal in Cleveland and seeing how other coaches have done there, it just solidifies what I think. We got a good defensive coordinator. In your opinion, did he get a raw deal and could he be a head coach again or did he have his chance?
Pettine said at his first news conference with the Packers that he has no intention of being a head coach again. He made a pithy comment about how it took him two years to get his senses back after that run in Cleveland. Everyone knows what they're getting into when they sign up to coach the Browns. To Pettine's credit, the last time Cleveland was above .500 was during his first season (7-4). The Browns are 6-55-1 since that point.
Matthew from Chicago, IL
Why is it so hard to accept the Packers' (and just about all other teams except the Patriots') path? The Saints went 7-9 for three years before last year's revival. Pittsburgh has had a couple 8-8 years thrown in the mix.
It's not easy to stay at the top, especially in the age of free agency. The Packers managed to do it for eight consecutive years, a franchise record. The Saints had plenty of wolves circling, too, after three straight 7-9 seasons, but they trusted their process and have risen back to the top.
Paul from Milwaukee, WI
I'm not giving up on the season this early. But it sure seems like Gute is trying to mold his own team. Maybe this isn't the year we make a lot of noise. But I see some great foundation work being laid out currently. With the QB, CB, WR and DL group, we look like we'll be pretty solid there. With a strong draft and some key FA acquisitions next year, I think we'll have us a team to reckon with. What are your thoughts about what you're seeing in this regard?
We have eight weeks to see how the 2018 season plays out, but I agree we've seen Brian Gutekunst begin making this roster his own with the offseason acquisitions, draft picks and the in-season adjustments he's made. He also wasn't afraid to go out and sign a low-risk, high-reward veteran like Bashaud Breeland, who could be a starting cornerback the rest of the way. Smart, savvy and shrewd.
Matt from Kula, HI
Elsewhere it was written that the Pack's woes this year are due to lack of talent. I have a hard time seeing this. RB, WR, DL, CB and OL have top-notch or above-average talent. TE and ILB are adequate. OLB and S could use upgrades but most teams have weaker positions. To my eyes, the key to a turnaround is for 12 to play better. For whatever reason, he has not hit his usual high standard this year. MM has stated in the past that his offense is designed around the QB, so 12 has to do it.
I thought Rodgers said it best on the very first question he was asked at his locker on Wednesday – the Packers have to play better in the fourth quarter. The Packers had a chance to beat two of the NFL's best teams on the road, but haven't finished the job. It's on everybody to play better, Rodgers included.
Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL
Everyone is asking about Trevor Davis and Jake Kumerow. The last I looked J'Mon Moore is still on the roster. What's the latest on him?
Moore has one catch for 10 yards, playing 42 offensive snaps over four games. However, the rookie fourth-round pick could be in line for some more work this Sunday with Geronimo Allison on injured reserve and Randall Cobb's status uncertain due to the hamstring injury.
Mackenzie from Fort Worth, TX
I like Spicy Wes and I appreciate this column. I can imagine it gets tiring fronting people's complaints/whininess/self-righteous football expertise. Finally, I saw the Seahawks vs. Packers promo yesterday on TNF and they mentioned the Fail Mary and NFC Championship Game, which causes me to feel a combination of dread, anger, and nausea. I will forever hate Seattle.
In the promotion business, they refer to that as "building the fight." That's why they bring it up. To be fair to the story, though, the promo probably should have mentioned how there are only 13 players between both teams who actually remain from the "Fail Mary" game in 2012.
David from Oak Hills, CA
When Minnesota lost to the Buffalo Bills at home many felt the Vikings were looking past an "inferior" opponent and setting their sights on a West Coast trip to face the Rams on a short week. And we know the results, the Vikings went 0-2 in that span. May the Packers not fall into the same trap as they head to Seattle in less than a week.
I know a lot gets made out of the Vikings "looking past" Buffalo, and that might be partially true, but they also lost field position due to some bad turnovers. You saw how vital ball security is the past two weeks. Protect the football.
Dan from Newport News, VA
In response to Larry from Chippewa Falls, WI, did you think we would be able to keep that same roster indefinitely or something? Teams peak, then low, then peak again. All teams do it. We have just been spoiled, and yes I mean spoiled, that instead of a nosedive into the ground we are in a plateau right now getting ready to climb back up again. People like you Larry who can't enjoy let alone realize this fact are what is wrong with some fans nowadays. P.S.: Wes, you're my new hero.
I got angry, but what I really should have responded with is how do you think that 2001 Patriots team that won XXXVI would fare in 2018? Teams evolve. That's the game.
View scenes from the first snow fall Friday at Lambeau Field.
Steven from Silver Spring, MD
TNF. Carolina 6-2 and looking good. Goes on the road and gives up 52. Glad we are getting these marquee matchups to retain viewers. I saw what was developing (again) and turned it off before halftime. Here's to hoping Trevor Davis goes TECMO with three kick return TDs in Seattle.
Credit where credit is due – Mike Tomlin had his guys ready to play, but that was a tough game to watch. It's like two heavyweight fighters getting matched up on short notice. Again, why it's important for the Packers to get out of this game Sunday in decent shape.
Dustin from Onalaska, WI
Last night I decided to watch Thursday Night Football with the English-U.K. commentary. It was actually really interesting and refreshing. It sounded a lot like a soccer broadcast, with long periods of silence from broadcasters and genuine excitement in their voices on big plays. A few quirks aside, the broadcast team did an excellent job. Highly recommend for a change of pace.
That reminds me of when I used to livestream high school sporting events as a prep writer at the Press-Gazette. Only I didn't incorporate silence for effect, I just didn't know what to say.
Trevor from Carmel, NY
I had the Frank Gore HOF debate with three of my co-workers over the summer, and we were split right down the middle. He's No. 4 right now, and if that's where he finishes, he'll probably be No. 4 for a long, long time. The game has changed, and I doubt we'll see someone like him ever again. I hope the guy hangs on one more year and moves up to No. 3. Hall of Famer, without a doubt.
Without question. Gore definitely meets my personal Hall of Fame criteria for a player who changed the game. There just aren't many like him any more considering his age, his career workload and the overall durability. He's been quieter the past few weeks, though, with no carries of more than nine yards. The Packers have to make sure he stays that way Sunday.
Al from Green Bay, WI
New Orleans is looking pretty strong. But I wonder, could the WR position be their "Achilles heel"? (Sorry, Dez. I had to go there).
Man, what a tough break for Bryant. He was patient, signed on with a team on the verge of the playoffs and then a setback right off the bat. The Saints could very well be bobbing right back into the barrel for another veteran receiver.
Tony from Kaukauna, WI
Wes, how's the fantasy team holding up? I'm still in second place and the playoffs are near!
I, too, am in second in my league after knocking off the top-ranked team last week. I'm right where I want to be for a potential playoff push.
Col from Ludlow, UK
Hi Wes. Could you thank Mike for the use of bupkis yesterday? And if you ever see Dick Butkus, could you please apologize on my behalf?
That's one of my favorite Spoffisms.
Charles from Fond du Lac, WI
Since you are a fan of not putting intriguing football questions but instead stupid comments about yourself, here is one more. Your arrogance has become annoying. Notice the 100 plastered all over this sight? 100 years of Packers football. This sight, this team, this state is about the Green Bay Packers, not about your stupid anecdotal stories of yourself. This team and many fans have been around long before you and trust me when I say WE JUST DONT CARE ABOUT YOU! Be a reporter. Grow a pair.
Site, not sight. I know, I know, it's tricky. Enjoy the game, everybody!