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Inbox: That best game is still out there this time

Now they have to stay on that path

Lambeau Field
Lambeau Field

Steve from Colorado Springs, CO

Hey II, with all the focus on what will happen next, I thought I'd tell you a joke about time travel. But you didn't like it.

And once again we're off, so we might as well get going.

Tony from Bronxville, NY

Now that there is a football champion with a "G" on a red helmet; let's get another championship with a "G" on a gold helmet. Go Pack Go!

Congrats to the Georgia Bulldogs. That was a fourth quarter for the ages. Everyone wondered if they just had a bad day a little over a month ago, and they gave themselves a chance to prove it.

Brandon from Bend, OR

I'm scared II. The offseason is a scary place. Broncos trying to steal Hack or Getsy in a bid to lure Rodg. Bears trying to lure Hack down south. Rodg calling Derek Carr before the Raiders playoff game, leading me to believe Rodg could get traded to the Raiders for Derek Carr which would then complete the Derek Carr-Davante Adams rumors. I don't want the team to change. Help.

There's a playoff run to make, Brandon, and I believe they brew some pretty good beer in your town. Change your focus, and pour a glass to calm your nerves. That's my suggestion.

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

Are there things on the team this year that should make us any more confident than the past couple years where our playoffs did not end as we wanted?

Those who know me know I believe the playoffs are a crapshoot. It's a funny game with a funny ball and funny bounces, plus guys in striped shirts with yellow hankies and access to TV monitors that can have an outsized influence on the outcome. That said, wide-angle-lens view, one of the differences to me this year is the Packers really haven't played their best game yet. We saw them do that in Week 16 each of the last two years (at Minnesota to clinch the North in '19, vs. Tennessee in the prime-time blowout last season), and it helped carry them a ways. That best game is still out there this time.

Jimmy from Rockford, IL

Any chance Hackett stays with the Pack next year? I would like to see him get a head coaching position at some point, but selfishly, not just yet, and please not for the Bears!

Hackett is generating a lot of interest, understandably so. But the competition for all these jobs is fierce. I have no idea how it'll turn out for him. I just wish him luck and hope he gets what he wants.

Marge from Milwaukee, WI

The Packers have a bye this week. Do the players receive a playoff check? What is the pay during the playoffs?

Teams that get a bye do get paid for it now. That was a change made in recent years. Going week by week, players on wild-card teams get $37.5K while division winners get $42.5K for playing in the first round (the bye team gets the lower amount). Everyone gets $42.5K for playing in the divisional round and $65K for playing in a conference championship. Then the Super Bowl winners get $150K and the losers half that. In short, playoff pay is good money for the guys making league minimum or just above. For the guys with the big contracts, it's a lot less than their usual per-game checks.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Other than Robert Tonyan and Elgton Jenkins it looks like the Packers might have the band back together for the divisional round game. Am I missing anyone?

As far as starters, they might be the only ones missing by the time the game rolls around, which would be remarkable. But I stress might be.

Larry from Chippewa Falls, WI

I just want Za'Darius Smith to get in good enough playing shape to make two or three significant plays so the opponent always has to be aware of where he is at.

No complaints from here.

Robert from Chandler, AZ

I was unable to watch the Detroit game. How did special teams perform, overall? Are these units significantly improved since November?

There's no question the special-teams units turned a corner down the stretch. Now they have to stay on that path the rest of the way. Crosby missed a kick for the first time in a while Sunday but he came back to make his next one, and he's 25-of-26 on PATs and FGs over the last five games.

Johnny from Fort Myers, FL

I have always loved Mason Crosby. He's been with us a long time and hopefully still will be for quite awhile more. When this time of year rolls around I think of the many times that he's nailed late-season and/or postseason GWFGs for us. 1) What would you say was his MOST clutch kick ever? 2) How would Mason answer the same question?

The easy answer is the 51-yard walk-off in Dallas, following the 56-yarder 90 seconds earlier, from five years ago. But I actually think it was the 48-yarder with 14 seconds left in Seattle two years prior to that, when everything was crumbling around the team and he provided another chance to still win that game. Which would Mason choose? He wouldn't. He's waiting to see if there's a bigger one still to come.

Tom from Dollar Bay, MI

Mike, after Bruce Arians' comments about the MVP race, do you think voters will be persuaded to vote for Brady because AR12 can't get four MVPs before the "goat?"


Bill from Whiting, IN

Nice "Shawshank Redemption" reference, Wes. Which of your two weather wishes do you think would be more disruptive to an opposing team playing at Lambeau in January? The cold didn't prevent the warm weather Dallas Cowboys from forcing the Packers to win on the last play of the "Ice Bowl" so maybe we should hope for a snowstorm?

Wes's Shawshank line yesterday put a smile on my face. I think comparing anything to the Ice Bowl is meaningless because those conditions were so extreme. I look at the cold as having the potential to affect one pass that comes out of the QB's hand wrong, or one that bounces off a receiver's hands, to create a game-turning play, and the odds are greater it's going to happen to the team that's not used to playing in that kind of weather. Doesn't mean it's guaranteed to happen, but if the weather affects one or two more plays for the opponent than the home team, those can become big moments.

Sean from Chicago, IL

Did I hear Wes right on "Unscripted"? His son is already 4?? Holy wah!

Yeah, pretty soon he's gonna be stealing my lunch.

Mike from Baraboo, WI

Allen Lazard has really been playing great ball the past several weeks. The more receivers in Rodgers' arsenal, the better. That being said, will Randall Cobb be back for the playoff run?

He appears to be trending that way, and Rodgers has sounded confident about Cobb's prospects. But there's no overstating how valuable Lazard's late-season surge could be here.

Mike from Lisle, IL

Thanks for the live blog. Even when I am able to watch the game live, I like to read the blog on Monday or Tuesday to revisit the experience and catch a few extra "did you notice" moments. I hope you are able to continue the blog next season (and maybe even find a way to stay on 'til 0:00).

The live blog isn't going anywhere, not after we set a record Sunday by topping 6,000 live viewers at one point in the fourth quarter. I'm blown away and humbled by the continued growing interest in it. And I do regularly stay on until the end when there's legitimate doubt about the outcome.

Juan from Miami, FL

By the way, did you guys see the wave being done while Detroit was on offense? It made me laugh and think about you guys. I wonder if it was Packer fans who started it and Detroit fans knew no

You may be onto something, which would be hilarious really.

Christopher from Frederick, MD

Watching Davante Adams talk to the media is quite a privilege. I'd put him in the same category as Aaron Rodgers when it comes to speaking eloquently and articulating a complex idea or thought process. Are there any other Packers currently on the roster who you feel belong in the same category with those two, just from an intellectual conversation standpoint?

Rodgers and Adams meet with the media more than any players on this team, but there are a number of current Packers I believe would approach their level of insight if called upon to provide it as frequently. Just glancing through the roster, the names that jump out to me are David Bakhtiari, Oren Burks, Allen Lazard, Marcedes Lewis, Patrick, Cobb, Billy Turner Adrian Amos and I'm sure I'm overlooking more than a few. The makeup of a team like this is one of the reasons we miss the regular access to the locker room.

Travis from Fort Walton Beach, FL

Spoff, thanks for another great WYMM. One thing I noticed, which I hope nobody missed, was how often Jon Runyan helps his center at after the snap. A few of your WYMM segments supported my observation during the game, Runyan's gotten pretty good at slowing down anyone in the A-gap to give the center time to get a good block. I don't understand how he effectively blocks two 280-plus-pound guys for that first second.

There's a lot of teamwork on display up front, all the time, especially amongst the three interior guys. That should never be undersold.

Josh from Cape Coral, FL

Thanks for the Shawshank reference, Wes. In the NFL it comes down to two choices really, get busy winning, or get busy rebuilding. Speaking of choices, with the Packers coming to Florida twice next year, I want to take my 8-year-old to his first NFL game. Any opinion on which stadium, Miami or Tampa, is a better setting. Scheduling will have something to do with the choice, but curious what you guys think.

Tampa for sure. Much better venue.

Dan from Catonsville, MD

I'm not a big fan of firing NFL coaches and GMs when things don't go well for a team. The Steelers have had three head coaches in 50 years and in that time they have only FIVE seasons of less than .500! I think owners create their own chaos by the continual revolving door of coaches and GMs every two or three years. Your thoughts?

It's a bottom-line business, and the pressure to win is immense. Have the Steelers had very few bad bottom lines because of their stability, or have they had stability because of very few bad bottom lines?

Colton from San Antonio, TX

Could you ever see the NFL extending their regular season to 18 games? Along the same lines, can you see the playoffs expanding to eight teams per conference?

Yes on both counts, but I sincerely hope I'm retired by then.

Bill from Menominee, MI

Let's keep perspective that GB played with many reserves and had the lead with six minutes left in the fourth against a division rival. I understand that defense let some plays get behind them that resulted in points, but we've all managed to forgive the defense for the other games if the Pack pulled off the win. It's safe to say if Green Bay needed a 14th win, probability was in their favor. Luckily, it didn't matter. Enjoy the ride and hope the MVP does MVP things.

I also sincerely hope we're done talking about the Detroit game.

Ryan from Staten Island, NY

I don't know about you guys, but the one team that I would not want to see is the 49ers. I know we beat them on the road this year, but it came down to the wire and I can't help but flash back to the games two years ago where they just ran and ran and ran all over the defense.

The Packers are a different defense now. I'm confident in that. As Wes and I discussed on "Unscripted," I do believe the 49ers are a dangerous team, but that status is hanging somewhat tenuously on Garoppolo's banged-up throwing hand. Intriguing to say the least.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

In regard to the Chargers-Raiders game, I could never imagine the Vikings or Bears ever tying with each other to also let the other into the playoffs. In most divisions, teams want their rivals eliminated ASAP.

One of the ironies of the Rams not knocking out the division-rival 49ers is their seed also dropped to where they now have to play another division rival this week. To me, when teams meet for a third time in the same season, the "anything can happen" mantra multiplies by a hundred.

Stephen from Las Vegas, NV

My father always seemed to begin almost every lesson with words that started with P. Preparation, Persistence, Perseverance, Patience, Practice, Perfection, Prayer, Packers … what is your favorite P word (besides Packers) and why?

Perspective. It nourishes the mind and calms the soul.

Ryan from Sun Prairie, WI

Where do I sign up to get my "Spoff on a cocktail napkin"? Do I redeem my Packers Perks points?

Good one. Happy Wednesday.