Inbox: He was already a Packers Hall of Famer

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Donna from Darien, WI

Just.Beat.The.Bears.

Couldn’t’vesaiditbettermyself.

Justin from Wausau, WI

True, most teams do a good job of field maintenance and preparation, barring a blizzard, etc. But not Chicago. What effect do you think their perpetually substandard late-season field conditions might have on the game this Sunday?

We’ll find out soon enough. I guarantee you the Packers will be bringing all kinds of extra shoes.

Davy from Chetek, WI

Are the apparently homeless Raiders now a better bet than the Chargers to host the Packers in London?

Not when the Packers won’t have a road game against the Raiders until 2023. They’ll be well-settled in Vegas by then. I’ll be honest, folks. My gut says we’d have heard something definitive by now if the Packers were going to London in ’19. My longstanding Chargers prediction may be nothing but a bunch of hooey.

Jeff from Green Bay, WI

Hard to believe that there is potentially only going to be one or two of the top 10 highest-paid QBs in the NFL playoffs this season. I know it's not a trend, but doesn't that give owners pause before signing the next huge contract to a QB coming off a rookie deal if they haven't won the Super Bowl by that time, especially after a likely fifth-year option?

I hear your point, but it’s also so difficult to start over at quarterback, with no guarantee you’ll get a guy as good as the one you have, even if your current one isn’t headed to the Hall of Fame. The importance of the position is always going to dictate big money on second contracts if a proven veteran has shown he can win games, even if he hasn’t won a title. It’s the nature of the beast.

Kurt from Frisco, TX

Mike, sorry I lied. I said I was done until next season. But your Beatles reference was awesome. Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah! La la how the life goes on...

Whatever it takes to bring you back, and for Desmond and Molly Jones to debut in the Inbox.

Philip from Fishers, IN

I would like to make a prediction. Win or lose, this will be Kumerow's breakout game. I don't think the Bears are going to take him serious with their game-planning and I bet Rodgers will take advantage of that. My prediction: five catches for 110 yards and a non-shoulder injuring touchdown. Take that to the bank!

May the hype never precede accomplishment to such a degree ever again.

Monty from Hazen, ND

In response to the question of a Bears dynasty, my question is, weren’t we saying the same thing about the Vikings last year? The modern NFL is one fickle organization.

Just the way the NFL likes it.

John from Waupaca, WI

Hey guys, this really isn't a Packers-related question but isn't it about time the powers that be decide that Monday Night Football on ESPN really isn't that great? I find it to be an uninspiring event with announcers who lack any sort of creative spark. Can't we put it back on ABC and hopefully complement it with some special in-booth talent? And as a special bonus, we could do away with Thursday nights. The players would love it. Too bad the owners only see $$$ signs floating through the air.

Thursday nights aren’t going anywhere, not with the ratings they’re generating, and ESPN will have MNF for as long as it’s willing to pay what it’s paying. As for the booth, I rarely watch an NFL game with the sound on anymore, and if it is on, I’m not really listening.

Eric from Cary, NC

It is a very slow day at work today so I decided to answer my own “Year of the Upright” question. So far this year there have been 31 failed kicks on account of an upright. It averages out to just over two uprights hit per week and there have only been three weeks in which an upright has not been hit. Surprisingly, there have been two weeks where six uprights have been hit, neither of which was the week Mr. Parkey of Chicago hit the upright four times in one game. So there's that.

Where’s the number of upright deflections on good kicks? Some go in, you know. You seem rather biased against the uprights.

Kelly from Ellsworth, WI

"Call what is seen on the replay. Period." I couldn't disagree more. I love the original intent of replay, to fix obvious mistakes with indisputable evidence. The more latitude given to the replay officials, the more nuanced each call will become and with nuance comes inconsistency. Implementation of the replay rule seems to be the big issue.

I totally understand your point, and I loved the original intent of replay, too, and I believe implementation was the issue…until the number of camera angles available and degree of slo-mo advanced to the point we’re at now, which is when the sheer volume of wrong calls on the field makes giving priority to said call an exercise in the tail wagging the dog. The technology for the viewer at home is only going to keep advancing, so the league must advance with its rules, too. I agree nuance will produce some inconsistency, but the greater lack of consistency currently with a rule that, whether it’s followed or not, has in essence become outdated is getting too frustrating for me.

Mike from Charlotte, NC

Today's NFL is tailored to casual fans who get mad about play calls and demand firings based on an emotional bond to a game. It seeks to unravel the sport. Wes said "losers blame." Well, eventually the constant drama will get old. I stopped watching 24-hour news channels because of the sensationalism. I can do the same to the NFL. It just gets stale. The wolf mentality has me concerned. We really haven't changed in a thousand years. We only have a bigger pulpit.

Sports are always tailored to casual fans, because that’s where the potential growth lies, not with the die-hards. That’s a tale as old as time. It’s why we have one-game wild-card playoffs in baseball, and half of the NBA and NHL making the postseason. The list of changes catered to the casuals over the years and decades is endless.

Jeff from Hagerstown, MD

Since it’s almost Christmas, Mike, I feel it’s time for some “ifs and buts.” If we hadn’t cut our own throats against Detroit and Arizona, and the refs hadn’t gagged up our certain win against Minnesota, we’d be 8-5. That record would be third-best in the NFC, the No. 1 wild card, and only one game back of Chicago – whom we play this week! And McCarthy would most likely still be coach. It’s a fine line.

Preaching to the choir. It’s like that for every team, with changing perspectives. Just look at the Bears. Their four losses are to Green Bay (blowing a 20-0 lead), Miami (in overtime), New England (Hail Mary caught on the 1-yard line) and the Giants (in overtime). I’m sure they feel they should be playing for a first-round bye right now, maybe even the No. 1 seed. No one is immune to the vagaries of the league.

Take a look back in time at memorable photos from prior Packers-Bears matchups in Chicago.

Darrell from San Antonio, TX

With the announcement of the league increasing the cap by at least $10 million for next year I was excited for the Packers and the fan base. The added flexibility will enable the team to have a wider reach for quality free agents and hold on to a select few of their own. Players like Breeland and a healthy Wilkerson should be re-signed. I know it's too early to project but the additional funds allows the Packers to fill holes and better manage their roster. Best news of the day.

You realize every team gets the additional $10 million, right?

Craig from Sheboygan, WI

What teams do you know GB will play next year besides the NFC North?

The Packers will face every team in the AFC West and NFC East, plus the teams from the NFC South and NFC West that finish in the same place in the standings.

Steve from Colorado Springs, CO

I've been a Packer fan since I was 11 and that was a few years after Super Bowl II. I remember a lot of lean, very lean years and the power of the Bears in the ’80s. I also remember that during those years the Packers may have lost most of those games, but it was seldom by more than one score. With the team we have now, I believe we can win. As Wes said, "...expect the unexpected." By the way, I appreciate your insight into the game and willingness to hear everyone, regardless of their whining.

I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but your memory of the Bears’ dominance in the series in the ’80s is a tad revisionist. When the Bears won 13 of 15 games from 1985-92, nine of the 13 wins were by at least 13 points. That said, these are not the Bears nor Packers of the ’80s, and I put nothing past a Rodgers-led team with seemingly a new lease on life.

Jason from New Hampton, IA

When you know you have a really good zinger of a comeback do you hold your pencil out in front of you and drop it?

No, but I grow more and more proud every time Wes drops a Seinfeld reference.

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

When I look at the paucity of SB champ repeaters, I truly believe the “hunger” factor is underestimated in terms of veterans and an organization that believes it is due for a first or long-overdue win (Eagles over Pats, Saints over Colts come to mind). What team(s) do you see having that factor on their side this year?

The two teams we saw Thursday night, the Chiefs and Chargers, are the first I think of, and whoever wins that division is in position to host the Patriots in the AFC playoffs this year. In the NFC, I’m starting to wonder about the Cowboys with regard to your “hunger” factor. Though the Rams’ loss to the Bears puts the Saints back in command of home field, which, with that team and that building, might be the edge that trumps all else.

Patsi from Riverside, CA

Local radio commentators are delirious about the L.A. Chargers not having had to get on an airplane to fly home after a loss even once this season. The Pack needs some of whatever that juice is.

It’s the potion that allows a team to believe it can win anytime, anywhere, anyhow against anywhom.

Paul from Milwaukee, WI

Guys, I'm really sensing a renewed energy and focus from this team. One thing the Bears haven't had a taste of is Aaron Jones since he did not play in the first meeting. Do you think Philbin will find ways of getting him the ball to throw that Bear defense into head-scratcher mode? I see this as the only way we can beat them soundly and effectively on Sunday. Don't get me wrong, I do have faith and we do have AR#12 so anything can happen. But do you think Aaron Jones will be the key to winning?

In a word, yes.

The Packers were back at practice Thursday afternoon before Sunday's matchup with the Bears.

Leandro from Lexington, KY

When was the last time the Packers went into a game with only one name on the injury report? It seems like the Bears will look back at this season the way we look back at 2014: just sort of a miraculous year where the roster more or less stayed intact.

Kyle Long was a significant loss, and we’ll see what Bryce Callahan’s absence has on the defense from here on out. But yes, this is the type of opportunity of which they’d be well-advised to take advantage.

Bill from Lenexa, KS

Mike, looking at Tramon's career stats today, I'm blown away by his production over the years. And most of it has taken place with GB. If he was to finish out his career in GB, do you think he makes into the Packers HOF? I think he still has a lot left in the tank. Woodson sure showed us that he did.

If Williams had never played another snap in Green Bay, he was already a Packers Hall of Famer in my book. Being tied for 10th in franchise history with 28 interceptions, plus what he did in the 2010 playoffs, it’s a no-brainer.

Nick from Portland, OR

I'm excited about the upcoming Bears game, but I'm also nervous. This is basically their perfect dream: beating the Packers to end our playoff hopes while powering on to the division and a potential championship run. They're playing lights-out defense and are pumped to avenge their Week 1 implosion. They're gonna be up for this game. How can the Packers ruin their Cinderella story?

Win. Happy Friday.

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