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Inbox: Sometimes he just defies the laws of physics

Two in a row is nice, but the Packers will need to bring their best to South Beach

RB Aaron Jones
RB Aaron Jones

George from North Mankato, MN

While I don't disagree with the importance of the first drive of the second half, I think that the final drive of the game was slightly more impressive. Had it occurred at any other point in the contest, it too would likely have resulted in a touchdown. What are your thoughts?

It's picking between a Porsche and a Rolls-Royce. You don't run up 37 minutes in time of possession with one or two drives. It took all of them. To me, however, the most impressive part of the 8-minute, 51-second drive to end it was how well the Packers moved the ball without AJ Dillon, who's been the four-minute offensive workhorse. Aaron Jones, Patrick Taylor, and the offensive line kept Green Bay in favorable down-and-distance and Aaron Rodgers worked his magic with a few timely throws.

Aaron from Phoenix, AZ

Mistakes were made, and against better competition GB must play cleaner, but that was the first game all season where it felt like the Packers were in control just about the whole game. Even after the INT and Rams FG made it 3-3, it didn't feel threatening. What I'm most enthused about regarding the offense and return of RD87 is that he led the team with 55 yards and he and CW9 played well together, yet Doubs only played about one-third of the offensive snaps! More to come! GPG!

While the Packers weren't without flaw, it was a complete, focused and inspiring performance. The coaches devised a solid game plan and players executed. In a season in which the Packers have needed to scratch, claw and tussle for everything, this one felt seamless. Hopefully, Green Bay can extract some confidence from that win and pack it in the luggage for Miami.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

How was "Cold Weather" Kenny last night? The answer is always "Money!"

Kenny Clark put in work on Monday night. In the box score, Clark was credited with only two tackles and a tackle for a loss on 32 defensive snaps but his interior impact helped create opportunities for those around him. He was fighting through a lot of double-teams. I also don't think it can be overstated how much the loss of Brian Allen after the second snap affected the Rams. I'm not sure whether LA has had the same starting five in consecutive weeks all season.

Orv from Myrtle Beach, SC

I find the watching of NFL football to be a rewarding experience both in-person and on TV. The hits "stiff-arm plant of the QB" or the ridiculous throwback in the Patriots game or our own monster Clark fighting off a double-team to get to the QB are tremendous examples of savvy, strength, and ballet in this nutcracker league. I thank Vic for helping me see the beauty in this game and I thank both of you for enhancing my view win or lose. Blessings to both of you.

You know which player makes my jaw drop – Aaron Jones. Not because of the touchdowns or the running style, either. It's how he explodes through a hole and absorbs contact. I can't tell you how many times I've winced from the press box and said to Spoff, "How is he not seriously injured?" after Jones pops up like nothing happened. Sometimes he just defies the laws of physics.

Mike from Toronto, Canada

I was throwing my furniture around the living room in irrational anger on Monday night because Christian Watson didn't score a touchdown and is therefore a giant bust and waste of a draft pick, when out of nowhere it appeared that he blocked two defenders on Aaron Jones' TD. Did my eyes deceive me or is this kid a pretty talented ballplayer even when he's not scoring?

The kid is the real deal. Watson is explosive every time he touches the ball but also blocks with enthusiasm and skill. The number of defensive pass interference calls he's drawing says quite a bit, too. Defenses do not want to let him get loose over the top.

Nate from Amherst, WI

Hey gang! So, I certainly don't know why Devonte Wyatt doesn't get more snaps, and I know you're not privy to behind closed doors, so let me just ask, do we have a stats analysis of snaps played versus impact plays made for him? Gosh it sure seems like he always shows up when he gets in there.

Devonte Wyatt looked good. He only played nine snaps but registered a stop and shared a sack with Justin Hollins. Wyatt just did his job and was rewarded for it. It was great to see the first-round pick get in on the action with his fellow rookies. The Packers' 2022 draft class had a productive night.

Jon from Arlington, TX

Mike and Wes, it was mentioned by one of you recently how important it is for Romeo Doubs and Watson to play together. As important as it is for the Packers to have them on the field at the same time, do wide receivers play off of each other in the same or similar way as, for example, offensive linemen? In other words, if Watson's route calls for him to adjust his route does Doubs potentially adjust off of Watson's adjustment?

I don't know if it's on the level of the offensive line but there's still so much synergy involved with the perimeter game. I think of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, and the chemistry they developed together. Their 2014 campaign was unprecedented in terms of the number of receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. With Watson and Doubs, I'm just excited to see them grow together.

Scott from Palos Park, IL

Sammy Watkins played a handful of snaps in his last game as a Packer and even though he was falling down the depth chart he did not pout. When his opportunity to get on the field came, Watkins threw some blocks to impact the game and help the offense. He was a disappointment this year but, far as I could see, he was a professional the entire time. Good luck to him going forward.

Watkins was a total pro to the very end during his time in Green Bay. You can tell how bad Matt LaFleur and the locker room wanted him to succeed. But on the field, it just wasn't adding up and the Packers had to make a difficult call to get Taylor back on the 53. That said, you can tell how large of an influence Watkins had on Green Bay's young receivers. When asked about Watkins after the game, Doubs said: "Sammy, I'm going to miss Sammy dearly. Every interview I make sure to represent him because he showed me the way ever since I got here. Again, man, it's just the way how this game is. It's part of the business." Here's wishing Watkins well in Baltimore.

Check out behind-the-scenes photos of the Green Bay Packers' locker room before and after their Week 15 matchup vs. the Los Angeles Rams at Lambeau Field on Dec. 19, 2022.

Joseph from Plymouth, WI

How excited is Mason Crosby to break the most consecutive starts record on Christmas?

Talking to Crosby last week, you could tell how much pride he takes in the streak. Some naysayers are quick to point out, "Well, he's just a kicker." Keep in mind specialists don't have playbooks. These guys can be cut any day, any week, any season. Crosby's consistency is commendable and as integral to this run of 255 consecutive games played as his prolific durability.

Fabio from London, UK

Hopefully not but the Packers risk being half game short of the playoffs. I am afraid 49ers and Cowboys largely prefer Commanders to go and they will give away their games. There will be dozens of regrets but, after Monday's game, don't you think that Keisean Nixon as a punt returner early would have been enough?

It's never that simple. Also, it's not like Nixon was a known commodity as a returner. He only had six kickoff returns in three seasons with the Raiders and never fielded a punt in a regular-season game. Nixon has been a surge of electricity for the Packers' special-teams unit, though. To hear Aaron Rodgers say that's the first time in his 18 seasons an opposing team kicked away from the Packers' returner…in the words of Nic Cage, "That's high praise."

Larry from Sheboygan, WI

When was the last time a Packers player ran a kickoff or punt back for a touchdown? Nixon came pretty close (twice).

That he did. Nixon had an unreal night despite a weak holding call on Jonathan Garvin wiping out his 49-yard return. To your question, Randall Cobb's kickoff returned for a touchdown against New Orleans in 2011 and Micah Hyde's punt returned for a TD vs. Detroit in 2014.

Mike from Kenosha, WI

A kickoff is returned from the goal line to the 50-yard line. However, at the 20-yard line, there was a holding call which brings it back to the 10-yard line. My question is, what yardage credit does the returner get for his 50-yard run?

It's the same as a running play. Nixon is credited for the yards he gained at the point the flag was thrown and then the penalty yardage is marked off from there.

Bill from Raleigh, NC

Hi Wes, I loved the win, but I've got to ask you about a play in the game. At the start of the fourth quarter, we have the ball, we're up by 12, and it's third-and-10 on the Rams' 35-yard line. Going up by 15 would be nice. It's not 19, but it's nice. When AR took the 7-yard sack and we had to punt, I couldn't believe it. Did this strike you as a really bad play and he needed to throw the ball away, or did you just think he's a four-time MVP and it was just unfortunate how it turned out?

It was one of those "The other guys get paid, too" moments. Leonard Floyd put a nasty move on Yosh Nijman to get home. Fortunately, Rodgers turtled up, protected the ball and Green Bay didn't really sacrifice any field position on the punt. I think the bigger issue is what happened on the previous play. In my opinion, Randall Cobb caught the ball and was down by forward progress. At the very least, he "fumbled." But like the Jones play, I have no idea why Shawn Hochuli and his crew were swallowing their whistles in those scrums. As Jones said afterwards, the ball carrier has to keep moving his feet or risk injury. Protect your players.

Tom from Burlington, WI

Good morning, Inbox. "In 18 years," Rodgers has not seen an opposing team kick away from our presumed returner, which makes sense as he's Aaron freakin' Rodgers. Is it equally a compliment to Nixon as it is a slight against our offense that a team was finally willing to do so?

Not everything has to be taken as a slight. Sometimes the truth is just…the truth.

Keith from Dodgeville, WI

The pass to Allen Lazard looked like a Paul Crewe pass and Christian Watson was wide open on another pass, what is up?

The Packers' offense wasn't perfect but that shows you how powerful an early lead can be. Green Bay never trailed in the game and LA ran just 45 offensive plays.

Richard from Greenwich, NY

Good morning, just wondering why Randall Cobb was the punt returner in the fourth quarter, and if Dillon is in the concussion protocol? Thanks and Happy Holidays.

Dillon is doing well. LaFleur confirmed that Dillon cleared the concussion evaluation Monday night and cleared it again Tuesday. It's LaFleur's understanding Dillon will be good to go for this week. The Packers like Cobb's experience while fielding punt returns inside the 20-yard line.

Dan from Algonquin, IL

Hi II, the Dolphins are a huge test this weekend. Tua has become an emerging franchise QB this season. Thankfully, he's not a running threat, with only 70 yards in 12 games. The Dolphins are No. 3 in passing and No. 27 in rushing (No. 5 overall). What is the best way to stop them?

The Packers need to limit the explosive plays, especially as it relates to Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Those two receivers can knife up a defense if they are allowed to hit full gear in the open field. The Dolphins have lost three straight, but all three losses came to potential playoff teams. Also, don't forget Tua still has yet to lose in Miami this year. The Fins' only loss came in the game Teddy Bridgewater started (and subsequently got hurt) against Minnesota. Miami's run offense hasn't been great this season, but the Packers know the havoc Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson can cause.

Bruce from Appleton, WI

Will the Packers' secondary have to change in coverage against the Dolphins?

Quite likely. Tom Silverstein asked a good question to Rasul Douglas after the game about whether the Packers' performance against the Rams would've been enough to beat the Dolphins. Douglas reiterated it was enough to beat LA but acknowledged Green Bay will need a different plan for a different opponent next week. Two in a row is nice, but the Packers will need to bring their best to South Beach.

Bob from Oshkosh, WI

It's often said that warm-weather teams can't practice for a winter game at Lambeau, but do the Packers practice for a warm-weather game by dialing up the heat in the Don Hutson Center?

I remember Mike McCarthy turned up the heat in the Hutson Center when the Packers played Miami in 2014. That game was in October, though, and this won't be a typical Florida heatwave. The current Sunday forecast calls for cloudy weather with a high of 60 degrees.

Jason from Austin, TX

Insiders, playing at Green Bay gets harder and harder as the football season goes on and the weather gets colder. Would you say that the opposite is true for playing in Florida? It's never "easy" to play an away game, but would you say that it's better to play in Miami in December than in September or is it a moot point?

I've been to Miami in summer. It's nice…but I'm also not playing shirtless beach volleyball, let alone a professional sport. I'm guessing most athletes would take December weather in South Florida over September.

Nathan from Manitowoc, WI

There is nothing that brings me more irrational joy then when Marcedes Lewis gets the ball in the open field. Have you ever had a guilty pleasure player who isn't a star, but you just love to see with the rock in his hands?

And Lewis tends to be so wide open. Lewis is now up to 55 catches for 550 yards with five touchdowns in five seasons with Green Bay. I'm not really trying to make a point there but just find the statistical symmetry satisfying.

Matt from Fitchburg, WI

When the offense is on the field during home games and AJ Dillon is rolling, the video board should read "Quiet, quads at work" instead of "Quiet, men at work." Seems like a real missed opportunity.

Haha, that's pretty good. Maybe next year.

Don from Swaledale, IA

Mike suggested in one of his answers that he hoped these three things are under the Packers' Christmas tree; holes for the running game, pass rush and ball control. Let's hope the Packers open those gifts before they leave on the road and they're out there for everyone to see Christmas afternoon! Just win! GPG

And a Spofford in a pear treeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

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