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Inbox: It's the single biggest reason

He’s demanding more of himself


Chris from New Canaan, CT

What's the plan for disabling that ridiculous Helga horn? Who's in the posse? It's a righteous mission ...

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The only thing that matters is whether the horn blows when the clock hits zero. If it doesn't, it's as good as disabled.

Jeff from Agat, Guam

Backup QB. Short week. On the road. Respect, Bears.

They deserve it. The backup QB played error-free. The veteran QB made the mistakes that lost the game. What a blown opportunity for the Lions. Could have kept themselves right in the thick of it (not to mention help the Packers and Vikings). The Bears' defense gives them a chance to win any game.

Nathan from Tiffin, OH

Hey Insiders, so much for no one running away with the division. Do you still believe?

The Bears still have to play the Rams, Packers and Vikings. It's not over, not by a longshot.

Jason from Houghton, MI

So many kneel-down endings now. What ideas do you have with rule changes to make the onside kick relevant again?

Nothing's getting changed back, but yeah, an onside kick feels like 10 times the prayer it used to be with the alignment rules. So much so I wondered with about 2:30 left and one timeout if Washington should have just tried the 50-yard field goal to get within eight points, in order to still have a chance at the defensive stop if the onside (predictably) failed. Once the clock was on the other side of two minutes and the onside kick became the only option, the game was effectively over. I believe coaches are going to have to rethink end-of-game scenarios.

Kurt from Frisco, TX

After watching the Redskins game, maybe Gute knew what he was doing. A fourth-round pick might be a steal.

He was the last hope on two touchdown plays and didn't come close to making the tackle either time, and on another score he vacated the middle of the field and floated toward the sideline for no discernible reason, removing himself from the play. I don't know what else there is to say.

Jeff from Winnipeg, Manitoba

Can you tell Cam from Winnipeg that we need a Packers Everywhere bar in our city? I have approached bars in my neighborhood and have not had success. I am sure there are enough Packer fans in our city to fill his lounge.

Ball's in your court, Cam.

Adilson from Rotterdam, Netherlands

I wonder what Larry and Mark Murphy were thinking watching that MNF game.

I wonder if the number of times Murphy is asked about the '83 MNF game will start to decline now. He says he's asked about that game by fans more than any other single topic.

Brandon from Baldwin, WI

I couldn't help but think, after Monday night, somewhere Lynn Dickey was thinking, all offense and no defense? Where was this NFL when I played? I guess those Packers teams were ahead of their time.

The 1983 Packers scored 429 points and allowed 439. It took until 1996 to surpass 429, and the Packers have topped that number seven additional times since. The 439 on defense still hasn't been matched.

Jake from Athens, GA

My bold prediction for Sunday: Aaron Rodgers throws his second pick of the season AND the Packers win. It just seems like he isn't playing with much confidence. In what exactly, I don't know, but don't you think he said as much at his last locker interview? I heard a man who is challenging himself to take some more chances this week, and I think it'll pay off.

Brees threw his second pick, so there's that. I don't know about taking chances. I heard a quarterback challenging himself to keep the operation moving at a faster, more efficient pace between snaps. No more wasted timeouts. Keep everyone on their toes. As a leader, he's demanding more of himself to then demand more of others.

Mike from Lyons, OH

Robert Tonyan's first regular-season NFL catch was pretty spectacular for a camp/preseason darling. Here's to hoping Jake Kumerow's is just as spectacular.

I'd settle for a nice grab on third down to move the chains. The Packers were a combined 5-of-20 on third downs in L.A. and Seattle, where just one or two more conversions could have won either or both games.

Scott from Las Vegas, NV

While it's exciting that Trevor Davis is back to return kicks, is there a concern that we've received a penalty on nearly every return this year?

Do you read this column on the days I write it?

Dan from Catonsville, MD

What item do you think the Packers need to improve the most to make a run for the playoffs?

Close out a road game in the fourth quarter. The inability to do so has put the season on the brink. It's the single biggest reason the Packers are where they are right now.

Garrett from Circle Pines, MN

I long for the days where all we needed to be (seemingly) unbeatable was a decent rushing attack and a D to hold the other guys under 30. Now, our defense is the bright spot of the team, and we are actually seeing opposing teams stack eight guys in the box vs. Aaron friggin' Rodgers. Funny how fast things can flip in the NFL.

Indeed, but things can also flip back just as quickly.

Shaun from Oak Creek, WI

I read somewhere that Andrew Luck hasn't been sacked in the last five games. How crazy is that? I can't imagine that not helping them on their current win streak. Here's to hoping the line gives Rodgers some much-needed protection in Minnesota.

The Vikings' pass rush is always a different animal at home compared to on the road. Communication up front is paramount, yet difficult in that environment. Minnesota takes advantage of that. The receivers also have to know when they're the hot read, especially when Harrison Smith is blitzing.

Tim from La Crosse, WI

I know mathematically we wouldn't be out of it, but boy does Sunday's game feel like a must win to keep our playoff hopes alive.

This game is the true pivot point of the season, it seems. No denying that.

Dave from Bentonville, AR

I realize this is the "crabby old man" coming out, but I am so tired of group celebrations. Do you think the league will ever go back to the old rules regarding this?

Forced to choose, I prefer the group stuff to the individual "look at me" versions.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

In a discussion with a Bear fan and another Packer fan we decided today that the division name "North" stinks. Only it was a lot harsher than stinks. We want "NFC Central" back! Inbox make it happen! I will give you until the 2020 season.

Don't hold your breath.

Daniel from Delta, PA

Mike, you claim not to be an X's 'n O's guy but the work you do with WYMM is pretty incredible. How long does it take to go through the film and decide what is WYMM worthy?

Thanks for the kind words and the interest in the series. I like to have a theme for WYMM each week, and I usually grab onto a potential idea just from watching the game live. Then I dig into the film the next day to see if I can confirm what I suspected, such as **this week’s when I sensed Fackrell was playing pretty well** even before he got his three sacks. If I can't nail down my initial idea, which happens, I see what else catches my eye. But even if the first approach works, there's always other stuff that makes the process enlightening. One thing I've learned and unequivocally believe is this – if more fans watched the all-22, there'd be infinitely less moaning and complaining about play-calling. The film always shows how a play should have worked and why it broke down, no matter the call.

Martin from Bonn, Germany

To me, Rodgers pulling anywhere near the 5,000 passing yards mark would translate into a subpar final run for the season, meaning we are not dictating the game pace and Rodgers has to play catch-up all game long. I'd rather have him throw it 30 instead of 40 times. Stats are for losers a wise man once said.

The season turned two years ago when the Packers went to Philly on a Monday night, took the early lead, never trailed, and closed out a win. This after trailing for half the game or more six times in the first 10 contests. After Philly, the Packers trailed all of seven minutes, 44 seconds, total, the rest of the regular season.

Charlie from Cameron, NC

No offense to Drew, but his double-double needs an asterisk. The first question should technically be credited to his wife. It was a very cleverly veiled "asking for a friend." Just saying...

What if we're "answering for a friend"?

Anthony from Rockford, IL

Hey Insiders, this year has not been short on entertainment. How poetic would it be for Rodgers & Co. to start their run in the very place their hopes were derailed last year? I have no expectations for Sunday night but to be entertained. I believe in this team. Go Pack Go.

I like that way of looking at it. Happy Black Friday, everyone.