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Inbox: It's the first domino that sets the rest into motion

Play your best ball and see what happens Sunday

RB Aaron Jones and QB Aaron Rodgers
RB Aaron Jones and QB Aaron Rodgers

Al from Green Bay, WI

The NFL has long sought parity. The NFL has largely achieved it. I believe the "Any Given Sunday" adage is true now more than ever before. So, the Packers are an 11-point underdog (depending upon your source). So what? Any given Sunday, and all we can do is watch.

The inches we need are everywhere around us. They're in every line break of the column, every minute, every second. In this Inbox, we write, I mean fight…for that inch. Good morning!

Mitch from Pflugerville, TX

It seems the Pack has an insurmountable number of issues. When facing such a tall task, it's just like the old adage, "How does one eat a buffalo? One bite at a time."

Pack a bib and the sturdiest fork in your cupboard. Bring on the Bills.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Wes, in my opinion, it's not talent this team lacks – it's experienced talent. Does this team have enough time left this season to grow into what they can become?

Of course. Because all that young talent is gaining experience in the here and now. I think of how far Quay Walker has come over his seven games this season. He was all over the field last week in Washington, recording 13 tackles. With Christian Watson getting healthy, I expect the Packers' young receivers will make even more strides. To embrace uncertainty is to embrace development. Grow,

Ivan from Little Chicago, WI

Hey guys. I sure appreciate the work you do. I really think the loss of Watson has been the major factor in our offensive woes. Speed kills, and no MVS is proof. Not forgetting "17," but after watching the Chiefs replay last night, I kept thinking, what if? Looking backwards, sorry, I'll see myself out.

It's OK to look back on occasion, but you mustn't drive in reverse. I mentioned the absence of the Marquez Valdes-Scantling deep threat in this offense before, and I feel like the role suits Watson well if he can stay healthy. His skill set is so versatile and dynamic. As a defense, the Bills can't sleep on the rookie if he's cleared to play.

Christopher from Sun Prairie, WI

What's the plan for the Packers' defense to contain and stop a running quarterback like Buffalo's Josh Allen?

Pressuring, finishing, and playing physical. When Allen drops back to pass, the defensive front needs to be in his face. When Allen calls his own number, the Packers need all hats to the ball like it's a Pro Bowl-caliber running back. Josh Allen is the ultimate puzzle. It's going to take talent, preparation, and discipline to solve.

Jason from Portsmouth, UK

Morning guys. With the Bills coming up this weekend, have you heard/seen any indication that our defense will apply a spy defender on Josh Allen? As he likes to use his legs to extend plays as their leading rusher so far.

It's something to consider and the Packers have two viable options in De'Vondre Campbell and Walker.

Chad from Middleton, WI

I've been reading that Aaron Rodgers not taking snaps under center (potentially due to his thumb injury) is limiting the offense. Other than the obvious "we only need six inches to score a touchdown" situation, what are the advantages of taking snaps under center vs. from the shotgun?

The running back has fewer yards to run to reach the line of scrimmage when the QB is under center, but the Packers have said countless times this year they like their ground production out of the shotgun. I'm sure Rodgers' thumb is a slight deterrent, but the Packers are still willing to go under center, too, if the situation calls for it.

The Green Bay Packers held practice at Clarke Hinkle Field on Friday, Oct. 28, 2022.

George from North Mankato, MN

Does the fact that Rashan Gary was limited in Thursday's practice mean he has cleared concussion protocol? Who is the next man up if he can't play Sunday night?

LaFleur said that, as of 7 a.m. Friday, Gary still had one box left to check in the concussion protocol. We'll see what today holds but I'd say it looks promising. Rookie Kingsley Enagbare has emerged as the No. 3 outside linebacker, though, with back-to-back games with a sack.

Tom from Palatine, IL

First of all, thanks for the reference from "A Few Good Men." Hearing a lot of talk about the trade deadline. As a draft-and-develop team, aren't you better off with your young talent than picking someone up halfway through the season who is unfamiliar with your offense? Obviously, things haven't looked the way the Packers envisioned but if the O-line can provide some protection, open some running lanes, and the young receivers start to contribute … Do I sound delusional? Sorry, I still believe. GPG

Generally speaking, teams want to roll with the players they've been developing but sometimes you need an in-season boost. Immediate productivity varies based on position. I think it's easier for an offensive lineman (Jared Veldheer) or pass rusher (Whitney Mercilus) to come in play right away than perhaps a receiver or inside linebacker. If an opportunity presents itself, Brian Gutekunst has shown he's willing to pick up the phone and see what's what.

Frank from Beaverdam, VA

I think I'd rather see sustained drives, nine- or 10-play drives coming away with points rather than the one- or two-play kill shot. It makes the other team's defense start to think there's nothing we can do to stop them and wears them out. There's also the advantage that our defense isn't on the field. You're also giving the other team fewer chances to block a punt or run a punt back. We just need to make sure to keep Jobu's rum cup full and it will all work out.

Long, sustained drives are demoralizing, especially when you protect the ball as well as the Packers do. I still feel like one of my maxims for this offense holds true – just getting that initial first down. When the Packers move the chains, things start rolling for this offense. It's the first domino that sets the rest into motion.

Tyler from Cross Plains, WI

Hey guys, simple question, if everyone is healthy, who are your ideal starting five O-linemen?

If David Bakhtiari was available last week, I think we were going to see it. Elgton Jenkins is a Pro Bowl left guard, Jon Runyan has been consistent at guard and Yosh Nijman has played his way into the starting five with how he's filled in for Bakhtiari. It also makes sense to have Zach Tom in that next-man-up role. He's a versatile young man who's earned more opportunities.

Don from Swaledale, IA

"Spoff" answered a question regarding having JA doing kickoff returns by saying we don't want our highest-paid corner returning punts. Does that mean we don't want our best players on the field? "Players, not plays." GPG.

No. It means we don't want our best players on IR.

Nick from Baltimore, MD

While I'd love to see us win every game, I also find something inspiring about the Packers being the underdog. Some of the most entertaining seasons came about after rough starts (2003, 2010, 2016). Let us struggle early in the season and grind it out at the end. Bring on the Bills!

I was in Dallin Leavitt's media scrum earlier this week and something he said hit home. When asked about the Packers' mindset sitting at 3-4, Leavitt replied: "I think the wins and losses are just the perspective on how everyone else sees it. We know what we're doing in here, day in and day out. We just need to put it together." He makes a good point. Because I think sometimes teams win and overlook their flaws while doing so. Conversely, the Packers also can't get too low on themselves right now. If something is wrong, you gotta get it fixed. I'm not arguing that. But you also want to guard against renovating the entire house because of a leaky faucet.

TK from Grafton, WI

Since most teams employ three receivers in their "base" offense, isn't most teams' "base" defense the nickel?

It was…until offenses started bunching up and using more tight ends and running backs again. Football is cyclical. It's a wheel that never stops spinning. The challenge is staying ahead of the rotation.

Mike from Madison, WI

Good morning II. Thank you for listening to the fans' rants. We have you, but what do you have? Have you and Mike ever reached your Howard Beale "I'm mad as Hell and I'm not going to take this anymore" moment? Are you each other's sounding boards or do you vent to the bartender who is drawing you a frosty mug of root beer?

Nah, I'm more Max Schumacher than Howard Beale.

Sebastian from Erlangen, Germany

Insiders, I know this may come across as bush league, however, every time I see a desperation back lateral scramble with no time left on the clock the play always seems to go up field and gain a big chunk of yardage. Why don't teams ever do this, let's say, at the beginning of the game? Worst-case scenario it would be like an early onside kick when an opponent isn't expecting it.

Because defenses aren't playing Cover-3 prevent with three defensive backs lined up 40 yards downfield. Even if the offense completes the initial pass in the scenario you present, there are a lot more defenders in immediate proximity of the ball than in a Hail Mary situation.

Josh from New Richmond, WI

Good morning! Will this be the first time that Micah Hyde will get to play against his former team? Not too many guys left on the defense that he played with but I'm sure he will be happy to see some familiar faces.

Unfortunately, Hyde suffered a scary neck injury last month and is out for the season. The Bills put out some clips this week of Hyde observing practice this past week. That was great to see. Here's wishing a good dude a speedy recovery.

Michael from Berrien Springs, MI

Spoff: "No book is close to written on either of the last two draft classes." It seems so many fans are trapped in the "live and don't learn" scenario. They bemoaned Davante Adams' early years and labeled him a bust, then bemoan his loss once his talent was given time to shine. It seems everything is pushed to superlatives, i.e., ''it's the worst or the best.'. Whether it's as a sports fan or in the rest of life, these extremes serve no one. When did we lose sight of moderation?

…when we started grading draft classes before the first commercial break after Mr. Irrelevant is announced.

Jacob from Menomonie, WI

How long do kickers kick during practice before they get too tired to kick?

The Packers tried a lot of new stuff with their field-goal unit in training camp. Instead of doing five or six kicks in a row, the Packers kicked two field goals between each team period. It wasn't every day, either. The field-goal unit pretty much alternated days between the kicker actually kicking and simulating the kick to rest the leg. We don't get to see team periods in-season but I'm guessing it's a similar routine.

Linda from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Good morning, Wes. Since the beginning of the season, I have been looking for the Packers to overtake the Bears for the most wins in the NFL. Every week so far, I have hoped that this would be the week that it happens. But to date, despite all the opportunities, it hasn't happened. Do I need to just forget about it? Maybe it will just happen naturally if I don't think about it?

As an individual who favors the bird in the hand over the two in the briar patch, I think positively about a desired outcome and celebrate accordingly once it finally happens.

Thomas from Madison, WI

If anything, the CurderBurger is a rite of triple by-passage.

I came. I saw. I quit.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

A season on the brink? A mountain to climb! "Audere est Facere" (to dare is to do).

The Packers must dare to be great. Just play your best ball and see what happens Sunday.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

The Lights: Bright

The Competition: Stiff

The Margin for Error: Zero

The Opportunity: Ripe

The Packers have nothing to lose and redemption to gain. Enjoy the game, everyone.

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