Trevor from East Side Cream City, NH
Going into the playoffs with a bye, will getting Za'Darius Smith, Randall Cobb, Jaire Alexander, David Bakhtiari, Josh Myers, Billy Turner, Whitney Mercilus, etc., back be the perfect juice and boost needed for a team that tends to keep itself mainly focused and prepared?
It doesn't hurt.
David from Sheridan, WY
With Aaron Rodgers receiving 34 of 50 first-team All-Pro votes, is that a strong indicator he's favored to receive a similar number of votes for MVP?
Yes. The Associated Press voters who select the All-Pro team are the same ones who vote for the MVP award, so it would seem likely. Jonathan Taylor was a unanimous first-team pick but it's been nine years since a running back won the award. For reference, the last three times Rodgers has been named first-team All-Pro (2011, 2014 and 2020) he won the MVP award.
Patrick from Valrico, FL
Well, at least De'Vondre Campbell got a bit of vindication for his Pro Bowl snub. Does the All-Pro selection earn him any bonus like the Pro Bowl or just the respect of his peers?
I don't think there was any award bonus worked into Campbell's deal with the Packers last June but it's almost therapeutic to see the sixth-year linebacker get the first-team All-Pro nod. Nobody deserved it more than Campbell, who was a driving force behind the defense's marked improvement this year. It's not just big plays, either. He's been extremely consistent as a tackler. As Mike Renner tweeted two weeks ago, Campbell had just four missed tackles this season. According to PFF, every other linebacker with at least 80 solo tackles had at least double-digit misses.
Christopher from Frederick, MD
Congrats to Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams for their first-team All-Pro selections, very much deserved. And it would seem Campbell is the new Bakhtiari, getting first-team All-Pro love but nothing from the Pro Bowl. Are there any other teams who have players with more All-Pro awards than Pro Bowls?
I'm sure of it. It's wild how often that's happened over the years in Green Bay – Bakhtiari, then Corey Linsley and now Campbell. It was good to see Adams get a unanimous nod, too. He should have done it last year but one of the 50 voters left him off their ballot despite having 115 catches for 1,374 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Scott from Sussex, WI
On the AP All-Pro team, the offense is in three receiver, one tight end, one running back personnel, but the defense is in a 4-3 base. Teams use their nickel defense more often than their base, so when do you think the AP will correct this oversight turning one LB spot into a slot CB?
I'm OK with it. The switch to a third receiver was needed. I appreciate what the voters tried to do with the "FLEX" position after the elimination of fullback, but it led to a lot of wackiness when the votes were tallied (e.g. Christian McCaffrey being a first-team running back and FLEX). On defense, there are four defensive backs on the first team (two cornerbacks, two safeties). While nickel is more common, middle linebacker remains a premium position. For that reason, I don't mind three linebackers getting recognition.
Scott from Maple Plain, MN
Is Brian Gutekunst a candidate for GM of the year? A lot of key additions with Randall Cobb, Campbell and Rasul Douglas.
It's a credit to the personnel staff for bringing those guys in and the coaches for maximizing their talents. Also, you have to give a hat tip to Aaron Rodgers. He wanted Cobb back. The wily vet had some big moments this year and brought a lot of leadership to the offense.
Dave from Phoenix, AZ
Good morning II, with regards to the rushing stat bomb Spoff dropped yesterday and the fact that the Pack are on the back side of the list. Obviously, it's a double-edged sword, when the weather's good, we're a pass-first team but how does our rushing attack compare when the weather turns bad, e.g., how do we compare through the final six games of the year or even playoff stats from past years when cold weather means smash-mouth football? Thanks and Go Pack Go!
It probably will sound cliché but I truly believe the Packers can be as good as they want to be in the run game, especially with David Bakhtiari and Josh Myers back. The Packers have the league's reigning MVP at quarterback, so naturally the offense is going to start there. But Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon have shown they can pound the ball with the best of them.
Mike from Franksville, WI
Remember in "Avengers: Endgame," where the cavalry arrives at the end with all the superheroes coming through the portals? I can't get that scene out of my head when thinking about the Packers' upcoming postseason run. David Bakhtiari. Za'Darius Smith. Jaire Alexander. Whitney Mercilus. Josh Myers. Randall Cobb. All the reinforcements the team has coming is pretty amazing.
I've been hearing this sentiment quite a bit over the past couple days. You still gotta win, though. The grind doesn't stop just because the stars are coming back into orbit.
Richard from Farmington Hills, MI
Regarding the return of Za'Darius and Whitney Mercilus, "platooning" them on passing and rushing situations respectively could work out to be an effective use of their best skills as well as limiting their snaps. Having Rashan Gary, Preston Smith and Za'Darius on the field on third-and-long sounds awfully good to me!
I had a pretty good laugh after hearing Adrian Amos' answer about acclimating Za'Darius back into the defense. "Go get the quarterback. Go make plays. That's what he do. I feel like you got guys that you can plug in and go." Obviously, it is a little more complicated than that but any snaps Z and Mercilus can take off the plate of Preston Smith and Rashan Gary could be huge down the stretch.
Jacob from West Allis, WI
Royce Newman, Josh Myers, and Eric Stokes have done incredibly well in their first season as pros. Can you think of another draft class the Packers have had that immediately impacted the team like this one has?
In my years covering the team, 2013 is the gold standard.
Venny from Montgomery, AL
What's the early weather outlook for next weekend? I'm hoping that it's cooler than a polar bear's toenails.
Very cold with a chance of miserableness.
Al from Green Bay, WI
As fans, we will watch the games this weekend with much interest. But what about the Packers players? Will they gather to watch in groups? Are there any team activities involved or do they just have a weekend off and watch at their leisure?
Amos said he'll watch casually as a fan. That's probably what most players and coaches will do before getting the film uploaded to their iPad and really getting to work. I can't wait to watch the 49ers-Cowboys game and the MNF game.
Brian from Sussex, WI
I don't really have a preference who the Packers play next week. Whoever it is will be a team good enough to win in the playoffs. What I would like to see is all the NFC games this week be really physical, like MMA cage fight or bench-clearing NHL physical. I'm not looking for players to get injured, but I wouldn't complain if the players on the team the Packers play are still so sore on game day they look like the evolution of man as they walk to the bathroom first thing in the morning.
Of course. It's not about the injuries – it's the physical exertion the game requires. A game that's over by halftime pales in comparison to the physical and mental toll of a down-to-the-wire matchup.
David from Hahira, GA
Vague prediction time: Do you think an upset occurs on Sunday or do you feel we have to wait until Monday to find out who the opponent is?
I don't see Philly giving Tampa Bay much of a problem. The only question is whether San Francisco has enough offensive firepower to penetrate Dallas' defense. If I were a betting man, I'd say the Packers host the Rams for the second straight year at Lambeau Field.
Ryan from Baldwin, WI
Hi Insiders! What edge, if any, does having played and beaten the Rams, Cards, 49ers provide? Assuming the Pack gets matched up with one of them, of course. I assume that the advantages cut both ways and preparation is so different because both teams are different than when they played during the regular season. Agree?
It matters if that energy is channeled the appropriate way. While the Packers go into the playoffs with the knowledge that they've beaten several of these teams, they can't get too overconfident. They must prove the first result was the true result.
Alex from Charlotte, NC
What's your gut telling you as far as the divisional round goes? Saturday or Sunday game? Planning to drive up from NC but if it's a Sunday game, I may need to start planning a Monday excuse with the boss …
I'm guessing it'll depend on how Sunday plays out. I can't see the winner of Monday night's game being asked to play here Saturday. You never know but that doesn't seem fair.
Lane from Hurricane , UT
How do players feel about being named All-Pro vs. making the Pro Bowl?
In my experience, the Pro Bowl (original selection) tends to have more "bonus" ramifications but All-Pro has more to do with legacy and is much more prestigious, in my opinion. I said this a couple weeks ago but most of those AP voters – and all the ones I know – really do take that responsibility seriously.
Brendan from Warren, MI
On Friday, Mike said. "I've never recalled such a stunning loss in a win-to-get-in game." I may be showing my bias, but I thought the 2003 3-12 Cardinals knocking off the 9-6 playoff-hopeful Vikings at the buzzer is equally, if not more stunning even to this day. I'll never forget Brett Favre on the Packers sidelines getting the news from fans that the Cardinals won in miracle fashion as the Packers were sealing a victory of their own to clinch a playoff berth.
That's a good comp.
David from Hahira, GA
You speak of time constraints during "Unscripted." What causes this restriction as I would think the online platform does not have the same time conventions as broadcasting?
The fact Spoff and I are constantly trying to squeeze 10 pounds of coffee beans into a five-pound bag every day. In this case, player media availability started minutes after we finished shooting.
Doug from Lafayette, OH
Is there a WesHod mini-rant playlist available for streaming?
Tom from Medford, WI
Mike – "Fourth-down analytics crowd lost me"! I love it. I saw the same article about the GB vs. CLE game and had the same thought. I like the impact analytics has on fourth downs in plus territory and love the two-point strategy changes (more info earlier is better!) but it feels like "no punts allowed" when they talk about the numbers in your own territory. It also gives analytics a bad name when the "numbers" say you should go for it in that situation. Nobody thinks that's a good idea!
Speaking of rants…that might be Spoff's best Inbox work to date.
Gary from Bear Valley, WI
Mike, would like to see a pic of your hat collection. How about showing us a pic after the Super Bowl?
Deal. If it works out that way, either Mike can post it or I'll do it when he's on Spoffcation.
Darrin from Cataract, WI
Not-Packers related, but I've been in the market for a new tablet or laptop. I see you guys working with the Surface all the time and was wondering if you could give it a quick review? As always, thank you for your continuity of greatness!
I enjoy them. I wish I had one when I wasn't in the studio. (You hear that, Microsoft?). Awkward wink. But no, they're great.
Tyler from Medford, WI
There is something special about these moments. There is a massive knot I expect to have in my stomach for the next month. There's mounting expectation with each passing day, each player returning with the promise of potential. The long-awaited chase for a title that has eluded this franchise over the last 11 seasons. Will it end in agonizing heartbreak? Or the exhilarating glorious victory of a title? Everything hinges on each play for 60 minutes, three times. This is what we live for as sports fans!
Nerves are not a sign of weakness. It simply means you care. I think all of us, to a certain extent, have been waiting the last 12 months for the Packers to finish what they started. This playoff run feels like three years of progress inching towards a climax. You can't beat this time of year. Welcome to the season of excitement.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
Well-earned rest arrives,
prepare for the road ahead,
Three wins from glory, ladies and gents.
Dean from Leavenworth, IN
The Arena empty
The stands silent
The tundra barren
Reinforcements arrive and spirits soar
The gladiators rest to prepare mind and body
Beware, the invisible enemy remains a threat to all
Your path to glory remains straight ahead
Stay the path Green and Gold
Enjoy this last weekend reprieve, Packers fans. It's win or stay home from here on out…and I feel like this team has one more road game left in it.