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Inbox: It's not just a cliché for this game

Most choose to react and take their chances

Vikings RB Dalvin Cook

Eddie from La Crosse, WI

We have to turn our clocks back this weekend? We do not need another hour of 2020. I'm still not over the extra day back in February. Can't we just fast-forward to 2021 and the playoffs? Where's my uber-high-tech remote control? It's laser-powered...

I'm not sure where to start with that, so I won't, even though I did.

Andy from Verona, WI

Would practices during this part of the season normally be closer to walk-throughs, or is this a result of the high number of players on the injury report?

The latter, combined with the fact the Packers have another game four days after the Vikings contest.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

If Team A trades for a player who is in the final year of his contract, and that player subsequently signs with a different team in free agency, does that player factor into Team A's formula for compensatory picks the following year?


Benjamin from Menomonee Falls, WI

What's your favorite Packers vs. Vikings memory? Mine would have to be Week 1 of this season, although that's probably due to recency bias. Here's to hoping my new favorite memory is this coming game!

As far as a game I covered, and I've told this story before, it would have to be the one at Lambeau Field in 2010, when Favre returned a second time. It was a prime-time game, the Packers pulled out a close one, and the intensity in the stadium was palpable. Postgame, I've never heard the "Go Pack Go" chants echo louder through the concourses as everyone exited. They were almost deafening. Going back to a game I just watched on TV, I'd say the 1997 Monday-nighter at the Metrodome. Favre hadn't won in that building yet and the Packers, who were coming off the cathartic home blowout of the Cowboys, dominated and exorcised some purple demons. It was another monkey off his back and started the repeat Super Bowl run.

KB from Kaiserslautern, Germany

Follow up from the Mid-Week Chat, if the league does go to a playoff bubble, how will they decide the venue? And if playoff games at Lambeau aren't an option, should we hope for the Rodgers-owned AT&T Stadium?

I don't know how the league would decide, or if it's going to. The mojo choice is obvious.

Tyler from Winter Park, FL

Excited to see reports that Allen Lazard and Christian Kirksey are designated to return from IR. Do you see the new IR format sticking around? I think the new IR rules are an absolute game-changer, and if nothing else positive comes from this season, at least we got that.

I'm not sure the three-game minimum will become permanent. There are still a handful of guys on the roster who will be inactive on game day every week, so in non-pandemic circumstances I don't think the league will be as concerned with the ability to maintain full rosters at all times. That said, I could see the number of returns from IR increasing (though perhaps not remaining unlimited) with the minimum stint back to 6-8 weeks.

Kevin from Indy, IN

I was surprised when we didn't draft a WR, and we've had one of the most explosive offenses in the league. I was bummed we didn't draft Queen, and it looks like we have strong options with Krys Barnes and Kamal Martin. I was taken aback that we didn't address right tackle early in the draft, and we've had one of the best O-lines in football despite near constant shuffling. Perhaps I'm not cut out for arm-chair GM-ing.

I wonder about plenty of moves or non-moves, too, but I always tell myself to just wait and see what happens.

Michael from Morrison, IL

Thinking way too far ahead here, but when will a decision be made on the date of the Carolina game in Week 15?

The league is supposed to announce those Saturday-Sunday decisions in Weeks 15-16 no later than four weeks prior, so for the Packers-Panthers game, that means shortly before Thanksgiving.

George from North Mankato, MN

Would you have pulled Blake Snell after only two hits? He seemed to be in control.

I didn't get a chance to answer this the other day because I'd written the column before Game 6, so please indulge me now. It was an incredibly disappointing and head-scratching decision. It robbed the baseball world of a potentially historic performance. No one had struck out nine batters through four innings of a World Series game since Koufax, and Snell was replaced by a guy who had given up runs in six consecutive playoff appearances (now an all-time record seven). Analytics are great for big-picture analysis, but it's malpractice to apply them universally and ignore the singular specifics of a situation. That said, I take nothing away from the Dodgers. They've been a whale of a team the past four years and finally got a well-deserved title.

Bill from Maple Grove, MN

Mike/Wes: Which is harder for you, coming up with a story idea or writing the story?

This will be a strange answer, but it depends. The toughest part about working the beat of a team oversaturated with media coverage is coming up with storylines not everyone else is writing. But once I get that idea, writing the story itself is easy. When circumstance or news of the day forces me to write the same story everyone else is, those are harder to write because I'm still trying to provide variety in some fashion.

Robin from Ashburn, VA

I see the defense having a field day against Cousins. I am predicting two takeaways. What do think of our defense's chances against the Vikings?

The Packers have to stop Cook and Mattison first. I think the Vikings are going to come into Lambeau and try to run the heck out of the ball. That's how they're going to protect Cousins and set him up for success. Stop the run first. It's not just a cliché for this game.

Nathan from Lino Lakes, MN

Davante Adams has an unbelievable ability to get off the line. It seems this is what makes him great. In a league where they seem to have the ability to counter everything an offense has to offer after a few weeks of film, why has there not been a better strategy to prevent him from getting off the line? There's got to be some pattern to his first moves that would be telling, right?

Not necessarily. The best release disruption is to jam the receiver, but Adams' footwork and quickness make that a risky proposition, because if the jam isn't clean, the corner is already off balance, making it harder to recover. Most choose to react and take their chances.

Samantha from Montgomery, IL

What is Aaron Rodgers' favorite play call?

Any one where he can get up to the line, survey the defense, look at a receiver, like Adams, and the route adjustment is understood without the check needing to be verbalized. I think he loves being able to play the game like that.

Terry from Rothschild, WI

Was that Chandon Sullivan who missed Watson two times on blitzes and then fumbled the onside kick? I had heard good things about him, but that was a tough three plays. How did he do the rest of the game? Will he keep his blitzing and onside responsibilities?

Sullivan has played really well this year and been a key member of this defense, but yes, those were three regrettable plays. The two whiffs on the blitz are lessons learned against a guy like Watson, though the Packers won't really face another similarly mobile QB for a while. As for the onside kick, Mennenga said he has to realign those guys so they can take a better angle to the ball on a middle dribbler like that.

Ingrid from Superior, WI

When I look at the photos posted on packers.com from the boarding of the plane (of any away week), I notice a lot of the rookies have big bags of food from different places. Is that a type of "Welcome to the NFL" thing between the Packers players or what?

It's long been a tradition here that rookies are tasked with bringing takeout food on the plane for everyone in their position group.

Israel from West Allis, WI

I think the ideal circumstance for the 49ers and Hawks game is for a repeat of the Hawks' loss to the Cardinals. A 49ers game-winning kick with 15 seconds left in overtime would be just fine.

I'd be on board with that.

Tim from Windsor, CO

Lots of talk regarding home-field advantage/disadvantage with few to no fans. I would argue that as the weather turns in the outdoor stadiums in the north, this will create a huge advantage. Having as many home games as the Packers do in November/December, I'm curious as to your thoughts as players and teams anticipate and prepare for this theory?

Aaron from Miami (of all places) brought up the weather, too, and it'll definitely be a factor, perhaps starting this weekend with the forecast for gusty winds at Lambeau Sunday. It definitely works to the Packers' advantage to have Carolina and Tennessee coming to Green Bay in December. They won't be as accustomed to the weather and can't practice in it.

Thomas from Irving, TX

What is the status of Mason Crosby? What is the Packers backup plan if Crosby can't go on Sunday? Thanks for all you do. Go Pack Go!

LaFleur said there's a plan if Crosby can't go. Presumably they've had somebody they could sign going through the testing protocol so he's cleared by the weekend when a decision on Crosby has to be made.

Garrett from Knoxville, TN

If Crosby has to miss some time due to injury, do you see ML passing on most 45-plus-yard field goals and keeping the offense on the field?

I think that'll entirely depend on how pregame warmups go for any potential substitute kicker. Mennenga told the media he expects Crosby to play.

Mark from Richardson, TX

II, Mike and Wes or Wes and Mike. Any way you slice it, it is a great way to start off my day. Prior to the butt kickin' we took from Tampa, I had commented to family/friends that the Packers players all looked like they were having fun playing the games. Almost as if they were playing "sandlot" football fun. That type of play returned against the Texans. I know it's a week-to-week league and preparation and how you practice are vital for success. I just hope that the fun continues.

LaFleur said it last year, he's said it again this year, and I think he's totally being honest – these guys really enjoy being around each other. Yes, winning helps, but there's a camaraderie vibe that matters with these guys.

Adam from Wausau, WI

Spoff, I know we are supposed to hate the Seahawks, but can we appreciate the hustle of Metcalf for a second – 95 yards to save a touchdown and the Cardinals didn't score because of that. Any memories of hustle plays that worked in the Packers' favor?

That was a phenomenal play. Might be the play of the year for 2020. The only thing off the top of my head that remotely compares was in the 2014 home blowout of the Bears, seeing multiple Packers receivers running 40-50 yards downfield to block for Eddie Lacy on a screen pass that ruptured into a big play. But still, not quite the same.

Beefcake from Minneapolis, MN

Hey Mike, one guy who's name I don't think I've heard since Week 1: Elgton Jenkins. Easily the best compliment I can give an offensive lineman.

He's an impressive player. I gave him the best compliment I could after Week 3.

Lambguy from Greeley, CO

We need "You Got Lucas'd" T-shirts NOW!

The greatest Rock Report of all time, hands down. Epic edition.

Noble from Washburn, WI

Hey boys! Is that Wes's WWE voice we heard on the "YOU GOT LUCAS'D" Rock Report?

No, it's actually the voice of his long-lost cousin who works here, Tyler.

Guilherme from Lins, Brazil

Please stop talking about SF. Just beat the Vikings.

Happy Friday.


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