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Inbox: If the whole narrative on the season is going to flip …

The Packers’ offense would not appear to have peaked just yet

QB Aaron Rodgers
QB Aaron Rodgers

Bryce from Lorain, OH

"'Losing' teams can still win. Quitters are predestined to lose." That's not just football or sports insight. That there is a life lesson.

Nothing like a little Weston Wisdom after a weekend off.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

If Carnac had predicted before the season the Packers would be eight-point favorites against the Rams in Week 15, I would have thought wow, we must be having a heck of a year. Funny how things work out.

Goes to show you just never know.

Randy from Stevens Point, WI

I watched with amazement at Baker Mayfield's performance against the Raiders, with barely a practice with the team under his belt. I was thinking, better team/situation? Or he really had nothing to lose and could just play. If he was awful, he could blame it on just arriving in LA. Looking for the same Baker Mayfield of old next Monday.

In his career, Baker Mayfield has thrown multiple interceptions in a game 16 times. He's thrown multiple TD passes without an interception 15 times. Flip a coin.

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

What's one thing the Rams do particularly well? One thing they struggle at?

They can stop the run but can't run the ball. The Packers will have to break their profile with the first item but keep the second intact.

Bob from Bella Vista, AR

Is the NFL over-regulated (or is it becoming over-regulated)? It seems to me that part of the problem with bad refereeing is that the NFL has an encyclopedia of rules for the referees to follow – that and the speed of the game.

The speed of the game has always been there, but Vic started sounding the horn years ago about the added complexity (and thickness) of the NFL rule book, and it hasn't gotten any simpler (or slimmer) since. I've been saying for years the league has put too much on the officials' plates, particularly with the safety rules, and has not provided an adequate review system to make the best effort to get important calls correct. I don't think there's any argument that's where we are.

Brad from Solon Springs, WI

Mike, Wes nailed it yesterday. "No more annual points of emphasis, just get better with common-sense calls." I've been saying it for several years. Wait…2023 point of emphasis: If it's not obvious or intentional, keep the flag in your pocket.

I'll modify that slightly. If it doesn't have a material impact on the play, and is not a safety violation, let 'em play. Fans aren't spending their money and tuning in to see flags fly and decide games.

Keith from Dodgeville, WI

Guys, the rule change I would like to see the NFL change is the pushing of the ball-carrier forward. This is not rugby. Does not seem right a back can push the QB forward on a sneak for a 5-yard gain.

I agree it's ridiculous. Apparently the NFL feels it would be too difficult to police intent in those scrums. I disagree. If an offensive player entering the pile is not directly contacting a defensive player, the assistance should be illegal.

Matt from Waunakee, WI

Hey Mike, have you had the opportunity to catch a football with the gloves the receivers are a currently wearing? The way some of the amazing catches are made it looks like they are using a baseball mitt.

I haven't worn the gloves to catch a ball, but I know what the gloves feel like and there's no question they help make some of those grabs. But hey, as long as they're available to everyone, it's fair.

The Green Bay Packers held practice at Clarke Hinkle Field on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022.

Neil from Tunbridge Wells, UK

Has the NFL sort of reached parity between teams? If so do you ever see the NFL draft order being lottery-based rather than worst teams first?

Only if tanking becomes an obvious practice of multiple teams. Otherwise, I don't see it changing.

Dennis from Appleton, WI

What percentage of NFL teams winning the starting coin flip defer? In the "old days," I recall this as not being the prevalent action.

I don't have that list in front of me, but it wasn't even an option until 2008.

Mitch from Brown Deer, WI

Do you trade Aaron Rodgers and take the massive cap hit? Or do you trade Jordan Love and watch him become a star elsewhere? BG has a tough decision to make this offseason.

Or do you pick up Love's fifth-year option, suggesting his turn is coming in 2024, and go one more year with the status quo? There are a number of ways this could play out. I know there are rumblings out there about Love demanding a trade if Rodgers comes back next season – that's not what he told the State Journal's Jason Wilde or ESPN's Rob Demovsky in separate interviews, only that he'd have to discuss the situation with his reps – but even if he did, I question where his leverage resides. What started out as a good situation for Love may not be so good come 2023, and I feel for him that so much is beyond his control, but the business side of this game is never friendly to everybody.

Jim from Maple Grove, MN

Mike, last week you said that Jordan Love might be the player on the Packers' roster with the brightest future. At the risk of looking too far ahead, I'm really torn between wanting to see what Aaron Rodgers can do with a healthier and more experienced version of this offense in 2023, and what Jordan Love is capable of under center. What is your gut feel for whether the Packers will pick up Love's fifth-year option, and what will that decision say about the QB room next year?

I fully expect the Packers to pick up Love's fifth-year option, but that's not going to provide instant clarity. All I know that will tell us is both Rodgers and Love won't be on the roster in 2024 because of their respective cap figures.

Dwight from Brooklyn, NY

The bye week sure produced some surprises. For me, the best was Mr. Irrelevant vs. the GOAT for the win. Regardless of how Purdy's career plays out, he has some crazy bragging rights. According to the NFL, of the seven QBs who made their first start against Brady, Purdy is the only one to come away with a win.

For as long as Brady has played, I'm honestly surprised the number is only seven.

Kevin from Whitehall, WI

Regarding Mike's comment that a losing record will likely win the NFC South, the Bucs are a last-second, come-from-behind TD pass from Tom Brady against the Saints from being 5-8 and in a four-way tie for first place in the division.

That division would be so much more enjoyable to follow in that scenario.

Joe from Wausau, WI

One thing that stands out to me in this disappointing season is the number of players on defense who had less than expected results. I know they review each player's performance individually. But will they also look to see if there were faults in team preparation that led to so many players underperforming in the same year?

It's all going to get looked at, scrupulously. Expectations where they were, you don't underperform with that many high-priced players and high draft picks without a thorough evaluation of every aspect.

Dave from West Bend, WI

Has there been any discussion about having Quay Walker take a few snaps at OLB? With Gary going down this group is not getting much pressure on opposing QBs. With his speed would it be worth exploring at all now that Campbell is back?

I don't expect wholesale change. But perhaps the bye week has allowed time to devise a sub-package incorporating an idea like that. We'll see.

Dan from Rothschild, WI

Regarding teams with losing records winning division, making playoffs, and hosting a playoff game, I like it. Winning division should mean something, regardless of record.

That's how the owners have always felt as well, which is why they've never seriously considered taking that home playoff game away from a division champion, no matter the record. Home playoff games mean big money to an organization, and the owners feel that should be their reward as a division champ.

John from Stevens Point, WI

Who would be your offensive and defensive MVPs through this point in the season?

Aaron Jones and Jaire Alexander.

Greg from Long Beach, CA

Morning Mike, could you please enlighten us a bit on how stat corrections come about? What is the process for correcting individual statistics and who makes the final decision when it comes to things like tackles, TFLs and sacks? Thanks.

That all falls under the purview of the Elias Sports Bureau, the league's official statistician. Elias will review anything it deems questionable statistically, and teams also will notify them of plays they'd like reviewed (such as if a sack was split between two players but a full sack should be awarded to one, or vice versa).

Steve from Ankeny, IA

I can't seem to find this online. Is Romeo slated to play against the Rams? I am really pulling for that kid!

Kurt from Long Lake, WI

Hi Mike, what are you looking to see from the team this week as they come out of their bye that would give you hope they are going to start playing consistent, complementary football?

The Packers have to start taking early leads and then playing with the lead. That's how the '16 team made its run, and how a struggling defense started playing better. The wins over the Cowboys and Bears kept the season alive, but both required fourth-quarter comebacks, and that's no way to live. The last time the Packers led anybody by more than one score was at Washington (14-3) two months ago. If the whole narrative on the season is going to flip, the team's MO has to flip, and that means jumping on top of teams to take command.

James from Appleton, WI

I hope the Packers get their offense running on all cylinders against the Rams, because with Tyreek Hill, Justin Jefferson and the surprising Lions coming up, Green Bay will have to score over 30 points per game. I know, I know, just beat the Rams – but maybe for many reasons?

The Packers' defense played better in earlier stretches and still has a chance to improve down the stretch. The Packers' offense has been improving as it's gotten healthier, seems to be getting healthier still (LT notwithstanding), and would not appear to have peaked just yet. If it can/does, I rule out nothing.

Bob from Rome, NY

Gentlemen: Please call the Pro Shop and have "Another year older, another year weirder" printed on the back of a T-shirt with Wes's picture on the front in time for Christmas!

I'm on it. And happy birthday (29th, right?) to a wonderful friend and work companion.

Todd from Brighton, MI

Four games. One game at a time?

Always. Happy Wednesday.

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