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Inbox: That's the question NFL teams have been asking for the past decade

The goal for the Packers is to take what they did well in Detroit and keep building

Chiefs TE Travis Kelce
Chiefs TE Travis Kelce

Mark from West Lafayette, IN

Well played, Jonathan from Richmond Hill, well played.

I just wish Margo (or Margeaux) would've been the one asking.

Steve from Kansas City, MO

Nothing would please me more than GB beating KC this week and giving me bragging rights over my co-workers. Realistically, I just don't see it happening. However, am I being naive in thinking that the remainder of GB's schedule looks winnable? Please keep it interesting to the end!

You sound a lot like Steve from Detroit, MI, a week ago.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

The season began with "no expectations" and the first seven games showed us why. I think that's why the last four have been so enjoyable. Since Thanksgiving, I'm seeing expectations a bit out of control. For me, Sunday will be the "show me game" to see what this season can be. What's your advice Wes? GPG

Just watch. The results matter. A win matters. But the most important thing is for this football team to stay on its upward trajectory. Sunday won't get the Packers into the playoffs. The totality of achievement these next six weeks gets them in the playoffs. So, the goal for the Packers is to take what they did well in Detroit and keep building.

Bruce from Jackson, WI

Well, well, well… another primetime game with huge implications. First an opportunity against a perennial playoff-caliber team to raise our season record to .500 with three wins in a row. It would be nice to have everyone healthy but either way we know what needs to be done. Dominate the OL and protect Love. Harass Patrick Mahomes, while containing him in the pocket. Finally score early and often because this will be a four-quarter game. GPG!

Like we've been saying all week, fast starts are powerful. You can dictate the terms of the game when you jump out to a two-touchdown lead like the Packers did in Detroit. The Packers know they'll need every point against a team like KC. Mahomes has a Ph.D. when it comes to shootouts.

Joe from Swansea, IL

The Packers have had to deal with a handful of tough pass rushers in recent weeks: Aidan Hutchinson, Khalil Mack, T.J. Watt, and Aaron Donald. Where does Chris Jones fit in that group? What challenge does he pose specifically?

Jones is one of the best in the business. Jones might not be a household name like Donald, but he's a monster and the key to Kansas City's defense. That unit was not the same without him earlier this season. KC will line Jones up everywhere, so it truly will be all-hands-on-deck to defend him.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Wes, the performance against Aidan Hutchinson would appear to be a case where scheme met execution…but the scheme came first. It will be interesting to see how the Packers plan for Chris Jones. If the Packers have similar success, I say we win that game.

The plan starts with four hands on Jones as often as possible. You can't let that wrecking ball loose.

David from Goldsboro, NC

I enjoy watching former Packers have success after leaving. I still want them to lose when they play us, but I like to see them have a good game. With MVS coming back to town, it got me curious. His final season with the Packers was 2021. There are 19 players on our 53-man roster (according to this website) who were still in college. Blows my mind. That's a little unusual right? OK the real question, how do we stop Travis Kelce?

That's the question NFL teams have been asking for the past decade. The Packers must know Kelce's coordinates at all times on Sunday. He is a player without weakness and as durable as they come. Most impressively, Kelce has racked up 11,076 receiving yards in 154 NFL games. That's more than 70 receiving yards per game. If Kelce stays healthy and wants to play well into his 30s, I really think we're talking about the greatest tight end of all time. On Sunday night, however, Green Bay must contain that blast.

David from Janesville, WI

Wes, Mike is probably chuckling about leaving you with the follow-up on his 8-8 response. To be fair, adding up wins and losses in a 17-game slate is math in the Inbox. As for my question, does Ben Sims have similar speed to Luke Musgrave to try to take some of those seam passes or is Tucker Kraft the obvious alternate there? The Packers were just starting to make some hay with Luke, it was a shame to see him go on IR.

That Mike Spofford is a funny, funny fella. To your question, Sims and Musgrave are different players. Musgrave ran a 4.61 40 at 6-foot-6, 253 pounds and clocked the fastest 10-yard split at the NFL Scouting Combine (1.54 seconds). The guy was a second-round pick for a reason. Like tight ends coach John Dunn said Monday, the Packers aren't asking Kraft and Sims to be Musgrave. It's the coaches' job to identify what the rookies do well and implement that into the plan. In Sims' case, he's a capable in-line tight end who isn't afraid to get dirty. Kraft was a yards-after-catch machine at South Dakota State and gave GB a taste of that against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Jesus from El Paso, TX

I'm fascinated by the different perspectives each position coach could bring to reviewing the same play. Does a specific focus on a game plan allow certain position coaches to have a louder voice when preparing for an upcoming opponent?

That is a good question. I don't have a very specific answer for you other than that wouldn't surprise me. LaFleur values the opinion of all his assistants (e.g. Dunn and Ben Sirmans chiming in on a couple play calls that led to explosive gains this year).

Jeff from Montclair, VA

Hey Wes! Anything the Packers can purloin off the Chiefs to shift the game plan around a little?

First, thank you for your follow on Instagram. Secondly, I think the entire NFL has taken notice of what Kansas City has done over the past five years and tried to take pieces of it. More than anything, I've always respected how creative and unpredictable the Chiefs are in the red zone. They give teams so much to prepare for.

Mark from Seattle, WA

Hi guys, why doesn't Jordan Love run more?

He is running quite a bit already. Love has the 11th-most rush yards this season among quarterbacks (221 yards). That's more than any of his three seasons at Utah State.

Matt from Brandon, FL

One takeaway from Monday's game, that both the Bears and Vikings appear to have formidable defenses. The addition (and extension) of Montez Sweat, along with contributions of young and developing players for both squads is intriguing. If things keep trending in this direction, the NFC North may become a very dangerous division. One week at a time. GPG...just win, baby!

With all due respect to your respect, but I couldn't care less about Minnesota and Chicago right now. The Packers have four straight contests against non-division opponents coming up, beginning with arguably the NFL's best team on Sunday. We'll see where the Vikings and Bears are at the end of the year…quite literally.

Jeff from Wentzville, MO

Alan from Sparta, NJ: What is the best kick you recall seeing? Spoff: "...considering the stakes, was Vinatieri's 45-yarder in the blinding snow to send the Tuck Rule playoff game to overtime." Me: The greatest FG I can recall (not considering the stakes) was Tom Dempsey's 63-yard field goal in 1970. I loved Alex Karras' comment after the game: "We laughed for about 62 yards." And Ron from Meridian, ID proved once again why there should be no math in the II. Just beat the Chiefs! GPG.

Mason Crosby's 56- and 51-yard field goals in the fourth quarter against Dallas in the 2016 playoffs, especially after finding out everything the Crosby family was dealing with.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

The gallery of pictures called "Breaking the ice” was phenomenal. My first thought was Evan Siegle has outdone himself again. On closer inspection though another name surfaced, Emma Pravecek. Kudos to them and a site that continues to amaze with its excellence including an ever-expanding group of submitters. I am thankful for you all.

Emma is Evan's intern. They both do an incredible job, and their work speaks for itself. It's inspiring. Our digital intern, Lauren Stone, also has done a great job in capturing travel photos this year. We're blessed to have so many talented photogs under the Packers' umbrella – for both the content we produce today and 50 years from now.

Keith from Lincoln, IL

Any fun Andy Reid stories from his time on the Packers' staff that still reverberate around Lambeau Field? He has always had the look of a fun guy.

I don't have any from his time in Green Bay, but there was a priceless moment at the NFL Annual Meetings in Florida a few years ago. I was waiting for credentials with Larry and our department head, Kregg Shilbauer. Reid and his lovely wife were walking through the lobby and stopped on a dime when he saw Larry. Keep in mind Reid was a month removed from winning the Super Bowl. He was the belle of the ball and had places to be. But Reid dropped everything to come say hello to Larry and was kind enough to exchange pleasantries with us. I'll always remember that.

Ray from Phoenix, AZ

How is Bak's rehab coming? Has he said anything about wanting to continue playing next year?

Nothing new to report there, but I think David Bakhtiari has been clear he intends to keep playing in 2024.

Gregg from Murrells Inlet, SC

I have tickets to the Monday night game in N.Y. and was wondering if there was a pep rally. Also, when will we know if the game is flexed? Thanks for all y'all do I read II every day.

Appreciate you, Gregg, but I gotta check ya on your use of every day…because I answered the flex question Tuesday. There won't be an official pep rally, but our Packers Everywhere folks have some **events planned in New York**.

Jim from Simpsonville, SC

What I might've missed had I listened to the "Unscripted" podcast versus watching the video: Sir Weston's gesturing, such as the fist pump leading into some sponsor business or the air quotes regarding "winnable games." Maybe it's just me but the laughs seem to come easier after a certain type of Thanksgiving upset. Somebody stop me before it turns into a full chortle.

The video version of "Packers Unscripted" is for the diehards. The least I can do is give the fans some movement.

Josh from Philadelphia, PA

I had a fun idea for a piece could do related to II. It would be fascinating and probably hysterical to watch you and/or Wes responding to the II questions so we could see firsthand the many layers that go into it. You could edit out scenes where you remark someone's an idiot (or keep it, which would be hysterical) show us all the eye rolls, and so on. What do you think? You could call it the III, or Insider-Insider Inbox series.

Thank you, Josh, but I promise that would be the least exciting piece of content we've ever put on our website.

The Green Bay Packers held practice at Clarke Hinkle Field on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

"If that statistic is correct" dovetails nicely with "according to my research (which could be wrong)."

"I'll just have to take your word for it." -Wes Hodkiewicz

Phil from Madison, WI

Just curious, if Frank Reich (or any other fired coach) is hired by another team, does he then collect two salaries or do the contracts normally have a clause for that situation? Could be lucrative getting fired if you can get rehired.

In most cases, whatever salary a former head coach makes with his new team comes off the books from their former squad. While a coach might not make a penny more than what their settlement dictates, many want to stay current in the league and keep doing what they love to do.

Steve from Ankeny, IA

Do all NFL fans have such a terrible love-hate relationship with their teams as we do, or is it just us Packer fans?

Like Cousin Ellis once told Ed Tom Bell, "What you got ain't nothin' new. This (sport's) hard on people."

Peter from Morganfield, KY

Michelle from Ringgold, GA, asked, "What do you think has caused the turnaround with the Packers the last few games?" Wes, I agree with your answer, and I don't blame you for leaving out the extra factor that you couldn't know about: GB's only win streak of the season came in the only two games that I was in Wisconsin, visiting family (including in person for LA). Do the GBP have room in the budget to fly me (their good luck charm) up from Kentucky every weekend, you think?

Ah, I knew I missed something. Let me check with finance.

Ron from Mitchell, SD

Better watch out Wes. Travis might have something to say about the blank space on your calendar!

So, you're saying now we got bad blood? OK, that's enough. Have a great Thursday.

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