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Inbox: Physicality always reigns supreme in NFC North

The results speak for themselves with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon

S Darnell Savage

Glen from Leesburg, VA

Just. Beat. The. Bears.

You betcha.

Jon from Brooklyn Park, MN

What are the keys to victory when playing a divisional foe?

Be physical. The years pass, the players change, but physicality always reigns supreme in the NFC North. The Packers have to come out and impose their will on both sides of the ball Sunday. As I mentioned earlier this week, the offensive line needs to move people and get the run game going. Defensively, the interior must pressure (and contain) Justin Fields. If they do those two things, this is a very winnable game for Green Bay.

Laura from Pittsburgh, PA

Who has been our MVP so far?

Aaron Rodgers has been exceptional as always, but there aren't many better players in the National Football League right now than Davante Adams.

Dan from Kenosha, WI

Insiders, it occurred to me, with all the talk of Rodgers moving into fifth all-time on the career TD list, that he is chasing his predecessor for the No. 4 spot. To think that back-to-back the Packers have had QBs that are top five all-time just boggles the mind. It may never happen that way again. That is special.

Favre and Rodgers each have left their mark on this franchise. It's only fitting they do the same to the NFL record books.

Terrance from Sun Prairie, WI

Who is the biggest threat from the Bears' defense?

Roquan Smith. Mack and Robert Quinn present real problems off the edge but Smith is in the conversation with Fred Warner and a couple others for the title of the best middle/inside linebacker in the game. He's relentless in his pursuit of the ball carrier and can make plays anywhere on the field. He's the general out there.

Steven from Birchington, UK

Hey guys, I was reading NFL.com this morning and they were ranking the best NFL running back duos. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon didn't even make the top five. I am very surprised. Am I being biased?

That probably has more to do with Dillon only having 95 career touches, but I think that perspective will change by the end of the season if both those backs stay healthy. Jones and Dillon have combined for 384 total yards the past two weeks on a 4-1 team. The results speak for themselves.

Sal from Hailey, ID

I really like how many times I heard "we need to be more aggressive" this week from players and staff, specifically relating to our red-zone offense. But how does that translate into an actual game? Being more physical? Taking chances against the odds? Maybe that "Pony" concept could spice things up down there? What's your best bet for a show of aggression against the stout Bears D inside the 20?

It's nothing radical. It's just opening the playbook, trying different things and seeing what works. The Packers have both the players and creativity to do what they did last season inside the red, er, gold zone.

Susan from Oak Creek, WI

Does Mason Crosby's performance last week affect this week's game plan?

*No. Crosby and his coaches reviewed the film, made their adjustments and they're onto Chicago. Crosby has played a lot of football. If the Packers feel like a field goal is their best option at any point on Sunday, Crosby will expect to make it. *

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

I'm surprised by both the Vikings and the Bears. I would have thought their records would be reversed at this point. I still feel like the Vikings have the stronger team but maybe that's just their offense. What do you see from these two NFC North opponents?

The Bears have some impressive early season wins but the Vikings have been through a meatgrinder the first month of the season. Minnesota also came closest to dethroning still-undefeated Arizona. The Packers gotta keep winning because the Vikings aren't going anywhere.

Matt from Philadelphia, PA

Did you see a reporter asked Bears WR Darnell Mooney what he thinks of the Packers-Bears rivalry and he responded, "First of all it's Bears-Packers..." Interesting that he puts the Bears ahead of the Packers considering the Bears have only beat the Packers FOUR times since 2010. Am I missing something?

I love it. I would've said the exact same thing.

Duane from Oak Creek, WI

What do you think is the greatest moment in the history of the Packers-Bears rivalry?

I mean, the Packers beating the Bears to advance to a Super Bowl is pretty much game, set, match on that one, right?

Tom from Walker, MI

What can we expect from Jaylon Smith this week?

I haven't the slightest clue.

Matthew from Hillsborough , NC

Hey there II, has any NFL offense ever played "man-to-man" on a premier pass rusher who moves around the D-line? To clarify, could someone as versatile as Elgton Jenkins follow or switch between LG and RG and "follow" someone like Khalil Mack if he's having success blocking him? Maybe I've had too much coffee...

Probably. It would be too complicated to travel an offensive lineman around. Because it wouldn't just be Jenkins moving around to block Mack. It would require other O-linemen to shift, too. History has proven the best O-lines played together at the respective positions where they're trained.

Lee from Brisbane, Australia

No question just an appreciation post for Adrian Amos. I just finished watching the coaches' film on that pick he had. His feel and anticipation is unbelievable. As Burrow rolled out to the right, Amos looked like he was just going to track across the field but then started backpedaling with the receiver who was the target and got himself in the perfect position for the intercept. I'm amazed he did it all while looking at Burrow and did not look at the receiver once.

Amos is in the conversation with fellow 2019 free-agent signee Billy Turner for the most underrated player on the roster. Amos personifies durability and consistency – two of the most valued traits in the NFL.

Rob from Panama City Beach, FL

After watching the Marcedes Lewis interview, I wondered if it's possible to designate a player/coach and actually have a salary for each aspect?

Marcedes Lewis truly is 1/1. He may end playing longer than any other tight end in NFL history but it's who Lewis is as a person that makes him special.

Brent from Oakley, CA

Granted the duo of Rodgers and Adams is one of the BEST, if not the BEST, in the league. I've noticed thru the five games, Aaron has thrown a number of passes to Adams and other receivers being open in better position for larger gains. Not being an armchair quarterback, but I feel Aaron is attempting to raise Adams' stock being that his contract is up. What are your thoughts?

I don't see that at all. Rodgers is throwing to Adams because Adams is getting open and making plays. Most importantly, the Packers are winning because of it. Plus, Adams isn't the only player with an expiring contract. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Robert Tonyan are unrestricted free agents at the end of this season, and Allen Lazard is a restricted free agent. The reality of the situation is there are a lot of mouths to feed in this offense.

Patsi from Riverside, CA

Wow! The Cardinals adding Zach Ertz to their already strong roster presents one more challenge for the Pack in 2½ weeks. For now, eyes wide closed. Just beat Da Bears.

Arizona made a statement with that acquisition. The front office is sending a clear message to its locker room that the Cardinals are in it to win it this year. The Packers can't worry about that, though. It's all about the Bears…and then the Football Team.

Nathan from Philadelphia, PA

I could do without the FG target line, too. Crosby said a couple of weeks ago he has two lines: one for normal situations and one for end-of-half situations where there's no risk of the other team getting a short field after a miss. I'd rather see the graphics show a zone shading in from, say, the 40 to the 30, rather than a hard line.

It's also pointless. I don't need a line on the screen to tell me they're inside the 35-yard line and a field goal is now a realistic possibility.

Dale from Aurora, CO

Do defensive players look for tells anymore to see if offensive linemen or receivers line up a certain way that might tip off whether the play might be a pass or run?

All the time. Just like Rodgers looks for pre-snap tells from the defense, defenders do the same thing to the opposing offense. For example, De'Vondre Campbell talked last week about how the Bengals showed something on film that alerted the Packers to a potential screen. That game is always being played at the line of scrimmage.

Jeff from Grandville, MI

Hi II, I really love your work. I just finished reading the latest Murphy Takes 5 (I got a little behind in my reading). Wow, does he ever take some nasty abuse. I hope he gets significantly more positive letters with real questions than the venomous ones. I just wanted to praise him for putting himself out there and working so hard to bring another Lombardi to Green Bay.

MT5 isn't an echo chamber. The Packers' President/CEO takes plenty of fastballs in the monthly column. I appreciate Murphy's grace in the column and his ability to answer questions openly and honestly. There are always bits of news in there, too, if people are paying attention.

Linda from Lakewood Ranch, FL

"The Packers need to serve him a 60-minute Hot Pocket on Sunday." If that is the first course, is the second course sacks, followed by "winner winner chicken dinner" as dessert?

That would be the cherry on top.

Jeff from Waukesha, WI

Larry used to always do a great "ode" on his TV show "Packers Live." I looked forward to them every week. A real disappointment when they cancelled that and discontinued our weekly poems! Emily Dickinson and Shakespeare had nothing on the McCarren ODE. Any chance you get a special ode on your Three Things videos? It would be fabulous!

I'd love that. But as an avid viewer of "Larry McCarren's Locker Room" back in the day, I also know there's a lot of time and preparation that went into Larry's odes/poems. We fly by the seat of our pants more on "Three Things."

Roger from Lakewood Ranch, FL

"Yes, it should be – directly on Spoff's bicep, underneath the 'Pride of Platteville' tattoo." Do you really think Spoff's bicep is big enough for two tattoos? Has he been doing curls in the weight room?

Spoff got it during his powerlifting days. The canvas was much bigger back then.

Paul from De Pere, WI

If Wes started making a breakfast pasty, would that be a Hod Pocket?

If you'd excuse me, I need to head down to the patent and trademark office.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Renewed rivalry,

Division lead on the line,

Time to beat the Bears.

Take it home, Dean.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Now the oldest and most storied rivalry renewed

Echoes from Halas to Lambeau reverberate across the field

For more than a century and over 200 games. There has been one constant, Bears-Packers

Fifty-seven Hall of Fame legends have played in this game

Honor their memories and create your own Green and Gold

Trailing by one game the Bears with a ferocious defense look to draw even

Now your opportunity to separate from the pretender

Rise and smote this challenger men of Green Bay

Game No. 203 in the NFL's most storied rivalry coming at ya this Sunday. Enjoy the game, everyone.


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