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Inbox: The Packers know their best will be required

On Monday, we get back to the business of Packers football

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WR Randall Cobb

Jeff from Wentzville, MO

In Mike's Friday 12/9 answer to Tom from Burlington, he said: "Professionals want two things from their coaches – the ability to help their careers and to help win games – and they have to believe in what you're offering." Two things: 1) Isn't that three things? 2) I thought there was no more math in the II. 3) I'll see myself out now. Sorry. I guess I can't do math either.

Well, Spoff was an English major – not a mathematician.

Josh from Nicholasville, KY

So, is that the death of "starters should play in preseason" debate?

Who needs an offseason program when you have two days of prep and a walkthrough?

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Never apologize for an NFL win especially on the road. However, the win over the Bears resembled the rest of the Packers' season. Lack of consistency showed throughout the game; the Packers played poorly in three quarters and very well in one quarter but won against a struggling opponent. The Packers will have to be much improved to win more games this season. The upcoming contest at Lambeau against the Rams is an opportunity to build momentum for the final three more difficult games.

I'll never apologize for a win, but I don't disagree with your point. Sunday wasn't perfect and the job is going to get more difficult for Green Bay these next four weeks. Hey, it's almost last call. The Packers know their best will be required. The time is now to show what they're made of before the book is written on the 2022 season.

Jim from Maple Grove, MN

Is it possible for a 5-8 team to have a trap game? What do the Packers need to do to not be the next stop on the Baker Mayfield Comeback Tour?

Not taking the Rams for granted and understanding the potential dangers they still present. As for Mayfield, the Packers handled him just fine last year during that four-interception performance on Christmas Day. Rasul Douglas put a stamp on his breakout season that evening. Green Bay needs to take the opponent seriously and generate takeaways to build its first winning streak since September.

Al from Green Bay, WI

With the playoffs still a long shot, what I'm most looking forward to in the remaining games is seeing how the rookies continue to learn and grow. It will be a treat to see Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs on the field together if they can stay healthy!

Whatever happens, these will be extremely valuable reps for Watson, Doubs, Quay Walker, Devonte Wyatt and possibly Zach Tom. There's also something to be said for the four-game win streak the Packers went on to end 2006 before their 13-3 season the following year. Winning, and development, matters.

Kevin from Hermansville, MI

When you don't hear a player's name called, sometimes that's a very good thing. Zach Tom did his job all afternoon without getting his name called much, and when he did it was for good things. Hats off to a job well done!

It never ceases to amaze me how the Packers find offensive linemen on Day 3 of the NFL Draft who look like they belong. Tom has been thrown into the fire in all three of his spot starts this season and continues to hold his own. The offseason will do wonders for his development, too.

James from Appleton, WI

NFL defenses are about 20 games behind the offenses. When an offense comes up with something new, or different, defenses are flummoxed, then panicked, then baffled, until about the 12th game, when a DC stumbles on something that has a small effect. Then the next two defenses do the same thing and then other defenses start to build on it. Enjoy next year with Justin Fields, Bears fans. It's all you'll get.

Whether it's two games or 20, I'm still blown away at how quickly NFL defenses devise plans to neutralize offensive trends. That's a product of football's brightest minds trying to find solutions to the game's biggest offensive problems. When a defensive staff has success, the rest of the league is quickly going to try to replicate it. Fields is an uber-talented football player. I think he's a lot better than the NFL wants to give him credit for, but there will be a counter move. There always is.

Cliff from Kentville, Nova Scotia, Canada

Looking around I noticed that the purple team to the West of us has scored 10 points more than they have given up, yet are 10-2 and on pace to finish 13-3. Historically, what would the average record be (say in a 16-game season) for a team with a plus-10 point differential over the past 40 years or so? I'm guessing 9-7, but whatever it is, it kind of makes one realize how competitive, and fickle, football can be.

People have been quick to compare the 2022 Vikings to the 2019 Packers but Green Bay outscored opponents by 63 points that year. A better example would be the 2019 Seahawks who went 11-5 after outscoring opponents by just seven. Football is a weird game. Stuff happens. As strange as it may sound, I actually think Minnesota can prove quite a bit this weekend by going into Ford Field and thumping a Lions team that is much better inside that building than its overall record suggests.

Melody from Geneseo, IL

As a follow-up to the question and answer to my friend Darcy concerning what do the Packer players do during the bye week, I would guess that many Packer fans, especially this year, will use the bye to take a huge sigh of relief, we can RELAX, watch games from a more comfortable position and not yell at the TV as much. I would bet the overall blood pressure of Packer fans will be at lower levels until Rams come to Green Bay. GPG

This has nothing to do with your submission, but you know what I was thinking during the Rams-Raiders game? Could the Packers have had a worse schedule this year? Not just the opponents but the actual construction of it. The Packers play 13 games and finally get a bye. Should have an advantage over the upcoming opponent, right? Nope. The Rams get like the ultimate mini-bye with a Thursday Night Football game followed by Monday Night Football. How many times has that happened this year? I digress.

Neil from Tunbridge Wells, UK

With Christmas Day games, do teams volunteer to play or is it just how the fixture computer generates the games?

OK, I'll digress after this submission. Again, that's just how the schedule makers designed it. In my opinion, however, there are 13 matchups that would've made more sense for the Packers than traveling for a noon game in Miami on Christmas. But here we are.

Gary from Cross Plains, WI

Thanks for view on the safety issues. Top of my list that I just can't understand is how offensive ball carriers can just push on a defender's helmet/face any which way (other than closing fingers around the face mask). I've seen some pretty wicked head hits resulting from the 'ol stiff-arm. I don't get why the ball carrier gets a pass when that same contact by any other player (off or def) is an illegal hand to the face penalty. Worse yet, defender likely credited with a missed tackle!

I don't get it, especially with Kingsley Enagbare drawing an unnecessary roughness penalty last month because his hand brushed the quarterback's helmet. He lost a sack for that.

John from Austin, TX

Happy seasons greetings to all at Packers headquarters up there! Thanks for all you do and bring to us week after week. Most of us know Mike Alstott didn't even play fullback at Tampa Bay, made it even more frustrating when true fullbacks were overlooked at Pro Bowl time!

It depends on the definition. In some ways, Alstott was sort of a throwback to the Jim Taylor era. The beautiful thing about William Henderson is he was a mesh of everything – he could block, catch, run, and even played special teams.

Dennis from Beavercreek, OH

I believe it is Wes who walks around Lambeau Field before each home game. How long is the walk around the stadium?

Only about 10 minutes if I walk around the entire bowl. If I'm pressed for time, I'll poke my head out of the south end zone.

Roger from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Good bye week Saturday, Wes. You sure were on a roll. Fickell (fickle), Succup (suck up), and Purdy (pretty) all in one column. How do you come up with this stuff? With the first of those, I was disappointed that it wasn't Leonhard (lion heart).

I'm excited for the Luke Fickell era in Madison. I feel like he can give that program the spark it needs. That being said, Jim Leonhard is a consummate professional who has a bright future ahead of him.

Arthur from Eau Claire, WI

Do you think that college football will ever change the rule that receivers need to get both feet down instead of just one? I would think that it would be a small change but to me it would help the receivers in a big way if they were drafted to the pros. I know people have fun with Mr. Irrelevant but he actually made his dream come true and made it to the pros even if he doesn't stick. Good luck to Mr. Purdy.

I hope it never changes. I fundamentally believe the college game should differ from the NFL. College baseball doesn't use wood bats, right? Men's college basketball is played in halves. But there also are a lot of small programs out there with 5,000 fans at the stadium. We don't need to make the game any more complicated (replay reviews, etc.) than it already is. One foot is good enough for me. Save two toe-tapping for the pros.

Tom from Ashland, WI

Inbox Warriors sounds OK, but I prefer The Writing Warriors!

Oh, what a rush!

Andrew from Concord, NC

Following II since its inception has taught me one thing: We want to watch unbelievably great humans achieve glory without any subjective elements or judgment calls (e.g., refs and coaches) interfering. Is that what the great Michael Bauman meant back in 1987 when the Brewers won 13 straight and he opened his article with words that have become my motto: "Sports are so important because they don't matter. " Like art, they go beyond matter. Am I thinking too hard or keeping balanced? Thanks!

You are balanced and also incredibly thoughtful, Andrew. I received your gift in the mail this week. Thank you so much for passing those little pieces of nostalgia along. They brought a smile to my face. I'm keeping them next to my other small tokens of Inbox appreciation, a daily reminder of how special this little piece of our universe is.

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

Congratulations to David and Frankie on the birth of their beautiful daughter. Puts football in perspective.

The older I get, the more I appreciate newborn babies. Congrats to the Bakhtiaris!

Joe from Swansea, IL

I find myself in the uncomfortable position of rooting for the Vikings against the Lions on Sunday. Also, the Eagles over G-men and Panthers (gulp) over Seahawks, even though that pulls Carolina even with the Packers at 5-8. Is that the right way to view that game? Anything else we need to be tracking?

Tampa Bay might as well beat San Francisco, too, since somebody has to make the playoffs in the NFC South. And hey, let's go, Texans. Just for giggles.

Reed from Kansas City, MO

Here is my entry for this week's Inbox poem. It's a haiku, or should I say, a BYE-ku...

Pack can't lose this week

But the Detroit Lions must

Hold your nose and Skol

"Hold your nose and Skol" had me rolling.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Not all victories required can be won by your own sword.

Lay quiet, stay vigilant.

The most important battles await.

On Monday, we get back to the business of Packers football. Until then, I wish you all a relaxing weekend.

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