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Inbox: It's a great day of food, family, and football

It’s a game of momentum and the Packers haven’t had enough of it this season

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Thank you, Packers, and thank you Insiders.

No, thank you, Dean.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

I don't know if you are working on Thanksgiving Wes, but if so, good morning and Happy Thanksgiving! Same goes for everyone that makes Insider Inbox a must read every day.

We are here, Margeaux, and the same to you and yours. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I can't wait to work a little and eat a lot.

Brian from Ontario, NY

Given that this is a time to be thankful, I'm thankful for several things when it comes to our Green Bay Packers. Aaron Jones continues to exemplify what it is to be a Packer with the way he works on and off the field. This makes me proud to cheer for the Pack. I'm thankful for Christian Watson and the bright future that holds for him. I'm thankful to see out these last chapters of Aaron Rodgers knowing these players do not come around often. What are you thankful for when it comes to the GBP?

Expectations and engagement. The disappointment many of us have felt this season directly ties to the winning culture that's been established in Green Bay throughout my lifetime. Like pressure, expectations are a luxury. There are so many fanbases that have been starved of winning for years or even decades. For that reason, I'm thankful for every single one of you who make Insider Inbox a part of your daily routine – win, lose, draw or offseason.

Rob from Circle Pines, MN

The last three games the offense did not do well except maybe against the Cowboys. In all three there was several cases where receivers created separation and Aaron Rodgers completely missed the throw (last third of the game). Could the strain on Rodgers' thumb became severe enough in the late part of the game to affect his throwing accuracy?

Interesting hypothesis. Statistically, I dove into the numbers Wednesday and couldn't find a huge difference. In the six games since the loss to the Giants, Rodgers has completed 54-of-84 passes (64.3%) for 552 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions in the first half (89.0 passer rating). In the second half, Rodgers has completed 75-of-124 attempts (60.5%) for 833 passing yards with seven touchdowns and two INTs (92.6 passer rating). The completion percentage is down a few points but nothing jarring. The one split I found on Pro Football Reference I feel is most telling is Rodgers' stats when the pass play starts under center: 40-of-62 for 501 yards, seven TDs and one INT (120.4 passer rating). The thumb obviously altered the trajectory of the season, but Rodgers isn't gonna use it as an excuse. I still wonder how much the Packers have had to shift their offensive focus, though.

Corey from Richland, WA

Wes, I hope this question finds you well and good for the Thanksgiving holiday. I am especially thankful for II and the insight it brings during this challenging football year. If I am not mistaken, I believe Mike's recent WYMM displayed why the Packers lost instead of good things that happened in a loss for a first time. That seems quite the challenge to write in and of itself. What has been most challenging for you as a Packers writer this season? Happiest of Thanksgivings to you and yours!

Just making sense of it all. This has been one of the more confusing seasons I've covered in terms of understanding why the balls have bounced the way they have. In 2013 and 2017, Rodgers was hurt, and the seasons were what they were. Rodgers also was playing with a broken leg in 2018 but the team just wasn't very good, and I felt the final record accurately reflected that. I went into this season thinking the Packers had everything they needed to compete for a championship, but the past 11 games show how difficult it is to win consistently in this league. Like I always say, it's a game of momentum and the Packers haven't had enough of it this season.

Tom from Vista, CA

Too quick inside on the What You Might’ve Missed on the Titans game. The defender was moving prior to the snap. That's pretty quick, isn't it?

Spoff's WYMM reinforced what I thought coming out of the game: Tennessee does what it does so well, on both sides of the ball. The Titans' defense takes some chances with how hard its linebackers crash but there's so much talent in the front seven that someone usually wins his matchup and makes the play.

George from North Mankato, MN

Happy Thanksgiving, Wes. I hope you get to spend some quality time with family and friends. Just wanted to point out you were spot on (unfortunately) with your assessment of the most difficult three-game stretch this year prior to playing games. That sure was a tough road trip.

It was. We knew from the beginning the 2022 schedule was going to be a grind. What I didn't account for is how strong the teams on that schedule would be, particularly the NFC East and AFC East. Through 11 weeks, the Packers' .589 strength of schedule is second toughest in the NFL to only Detroit (.612). Now, that's no excuse. You still have to beat the team in front of you but it's an arduous journey facing such a gauntlet without a bye. If this campaign taught me anything, it's that I'd rather have an early bye than a late one in today's NFL. I don't fear a Week 6 or 7 break as much as I once feared the Week 4 open date during the 16-game regular season. By the time the Packers return to Lambeau Field for Monday Night Football next month, they'll have already traveled to almost twice as many games as they've played inside their own stadium.

Hannes from Glendale, WI

Wait, the Eagles have a grand total of one player on their injury report this week? How is that even possible this late into the season? Also, seems like there's an illness going through the locker room, and I hope that's nothing serious.

The Eagles' injury report caught me by surprise. I know they have seven guys on IR, including Dallas Goedert and Derek Barnett, but how is that even possible in Week 12?

Kerry from Lakewood Ranch, FL

If you look at teams that are leading their divisions in the NFC, it proves you don't need a first-round QB to have a winning team. But it helps to have a great surrounding cast which these teams in the most part have.

One of the best things about the progression of an NFL season is watching title contenders form with a cornucopia of team-building approaches. As you said, there are several front-runners who don't have a traditional franchise QB leading their squad. However, you still have Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen out there, too. Frankly, I can't wait to see who prevails. It's a wide-open race to the finish line.

Dan from Waupun, WI

Hey turkeys. The Rock just gave a Boulder Report! The Bud package is a BIG DEAL to us tailgaters. It made me darn thirsty. Who knows, with a little luck, the Rock might be the Duke of the Bay. Thanks to The Rock, a little limburger taste has left my mouth. Now, let's see what you guys, sorry, turkeys can do.

I'm glad you pointed this out, Dan "The Man" from (occasionally) Waupun. Larry's Rock Report on the big base package the Packers built to defend Derrick Henry is well worth your time. It also provides more evidence to the strides Quay Walker has continued to make this season. Each week, Walker looks more and more like a difference-maker.

Steve from Ankeny, IA

Well, after spending five days deciding we are doomed, I now find myself pumped up waiting to beat the Eagles and begin our run. I love football?

This Packers team can play with anyone. I think the Dallas game proved that. The problem has been the consistency piece. They haven't consistently beaten teams. I don't head to Philadelphia dreading anything. But at the same time, I don't want to act like the Packers have nothing to lose – because they still do. If I'm in that locker room, I look at the Eagles like any another opponent.

Sean from Boulder, CO

There is a periodical theme here that the Packers' fortunes have been tilted by their draft position, due to their retained success. While the presumed best players go higher in the draft, the factual results of any draft tell a different story. No doubt, teams would rather pick higher than lower but ultimate success doesn't reflect draft position. The hits in the draft, by all teams alike, are because they got it right and the misses are because they got it wrong. Impact comes from all rounds.

Correct. Seattle rose to sustained prominence in the NFC after John Schneider hit the jackpot on a shallow 2011 NFL Draft that most of the league whiffed on.

Lee from Sullivan, IN

Happy Thanksgiving II! I know teams watch a lot of film, but who/when are they watching? Themselves or the other team? Watch the previous game's film on Monday and then the upcoming opponent the rest of the time?

In a traditional week, position coaches will break down the film with their room on Mondays before installing the gameplan on Wednesdays. Players are expected to do their homework, too. Kenny Clark mentioned earlier this season how he'll spend quite a bit of time on Tuesdays watching film of the upcoming opponent and his adversaries on the offensive line. It's just putting the work in. No different than you and I studying for Mr. Stubbe's 10th-grade biology test.

Michael from Portland, OR

Do you guys really wear a suit and tie to work or is that just a class picture?

That's correct. We show up five days a week dressed like a Robert Palmer music video. On Fridays, we get to wear jeans if we ask nicely.

Kyle from Brooklyn, NY

Kinda feels like now would be about as good a time as any to go on a run.

I mean, the track isn't getting any longer. Run or go home.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

Any chance the Packers flex out of any of their games?

Probably not. The Monday Night Football game against the Los Angeles Rams is locked in. The only outstanding question is whether the regular-season finale against Detroit gets played on Jan. 7 or 8.

Nathan from Manitowoc, WI

Is there a country or city you would love to see the Packers play in?

Germany…in eight years, not a day sooner.

Andrew from Burke, VA

It may be a rough year, but I know I'm still thankful to have you both providing entertainment! What would you say has been the best and worst side dishes you have ever had for Thanksgiving?

I got a kick out of Mike's answer because green bean casserole is probably the only side I don't like. That's the beauty of Thanksgiving, though. There's (usually) something for everybody. I love my traditional turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce.

Bill from Nashville, IL

II, Mike's response to Andrew from Burke, VA, is correct. The Thanksgiving tripleheader is great, but please don't leave the Egg Bowl out of the equation. You'll have to ask Royce Newman and Elgton Jenkins about that rivalry. Hotty Toddy!

Happy Egg Bowl Day to all those who observe, but I'll be watching NFL games as soon as I cut out of the office today. It's one of the best slates I can recall on Thanksgiving Day. It's a great day of food, family, and football. I'm hoping to get out of here early and enjoy as much of it as possible.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Which of the Thanksgiving games are the most intriguing to you? For me, I'm going with New York Giants/Dallas. Let's see the pecking order in the NFC East.

It's totally Giants and Cowboys. Yes, there are some possible playoff implications relating to the Packers, but we're also going to learn everything about New York over the next seven weeks. Strangely, the Giants will wrap up their season series with Dallas before even playing either Washington (Week 13, 15) or Philadelphia (Week 14, 18). New York still has Minnesota on the schedule, too.

Jake from Decatur, GA

Thankful for you two, thankful for this column, thankful for this community, and thankful for the Packers – even when they lose – for making it all possible. I hope you're all feeling the love today, even amid this less than lovely football season.

Love isn't always sunshine and lollipops. It can have dark moments, too. But those clouds eventually do pass. In my nearly 35 years on this planet, I've learned love – of all kinds – is what keeps the ship together through the heaviest storms.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

The world is not a perfect place. There will always be stress, pain, frustration, and sadness. The world is also an amazingly beautiful place with joy and kindness, empathy, and compassion. Only your heart and eyes can decide which world you see and in which world you choose to participate. I am thankful each and every day for those I love and the fact that I see the world as beautiful. Happy Thanksgiving to the Inbox. May your day be filled with loved ones and gratitude.

The same to you, Derek. I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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