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Inbox: They all work in mysterious ways

There’s no need to look back now

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CB Rasul Douglas

Emma from Winter Garden, FL

4-0 vs. the mighty NFC West. What a great way to head into the bye.

Yeah, that's a heck of a 4-0, especially playing the two road games in prime time. That division very likely could end up with three playoff teams.

Andrew from Byron, IL

How appropriate is it the defense gets a pick-six on the night they honored Charles Woodson?

No better way to pay homage to the franchise record-holder in that category. I had forgotten how cool pick-sixes are from the press box, because you can see as soon as the defender grabs the ball that he's going the distance. The crowd knows it, too, and just erupts immediately.

Pageen from Waukegan, IL

Wow, what an electrifying pick-six by Rasul Douglas! It got me wondering, when was the last pick-six by the Packers? Feels like it's been ages.

Chandon Sullivan had one last year vs. Detroit in Week 2. Before that it was Bashaud Breeland in 2018 vs. Atlanta.

Kevin from Loves Park, IL

Aaron Rodgers freezing Jalen Ramsey en route to a touchdown was fun to watch. There's no math in II, but can we say that nine healthy toes are greater than two broken ankles? Also, any idea of the NFL record for most games without back-to-back losses? There is much to admire about Matt LaFleur's head coaching record, but this statistic might be the most underappreciated.

Ramsey actually came about as close as anybody could to defending that all by his lonesome. Great improv by Rodgers, though. As for your second question, I don't know the record, but it's not to be overlooked. I focused my entire postgame editorial on it.

Jake from Avila Beach, CA

LaFleur has lost twice in a row. NFCCG and Week 1 of 2021.

C'mon, man. Those games were eight months apart. Doesn't count the same and you know it.

Rick from New Glarus, WI

No sacks today? I'd say the OL did an outstanding job to protect AR against a formidable DL. Get rest and get well.

Only one sack, for zero yards, when Rodgers almost escaped scrambling up the middle. With three of five preferred starters out, and against that defensive front, that's outstanding. Super sub Yosh Nijman proved up to the task once again. Rodgers threw a lot of balls away and his completion percentage suffered (28-of-45), but he knew what he was up against.

Nate from Pueblo, CO

Rodgers has been throwing lasers lately!

The guy hasn't had an actual game-prep practice since Oct. 22. How he just rolls out of bed and makes some of those throws is beyond me.

Steven from Sauk Rapids, MN

Is it just me or does Aaron Donald get cheap and dirty when he's being shut down? I have a screenshot of him grabbing I believe Patrick by the throat with an official right there pulling Donald off him. What am I missing, how is that not a penalty? I remember him doing similar antics in the playoffs last year.

That was bush league. Right up there with Ndamukong Suh, and obviously should've been flagged (but if Lucas had flexed in front of him after a great block, I'm sure taunting would've been called). All great players have an edge, and the way his manifests itself at times only lets everyone know when he's frustrated and someone's gotten the better of him. Most great players don't give the opponent the satisfaction.

Charlie from Eugene, OR

What a great team win! Three questions, how great can Rashan Gary be? How was Rasul Douglas on a practice squad? Could the bye come at a better time? Looking forward to seeing this team after a well-deserved rest, hopefully in great health, coming into the stretch run!

Speaking of edges, Gary plays with an intensity that is unlike any I've ever seen, and I think Douglas' time on a practice squad (a first in his career) gave him an edge that has greatly benefited the defense. The Packers needed the bye two weeks ago, frankly, but they got through these last two games with a split so there's no need to look back now.

Donny from Green Bay, WI

Did my eyes deceive me or did the Packers' sewing team (Marge) put a pouch into the middle of Lucas Patrick's jersey for his right hand to stay warm for snaps?

You might be onto something. Maybe a hand-warmer in there, too. Someone in the live blog suggested he was covering up a mic while in the huddle, and though I wouldn't rule that out, your idea makes sense, too.

Izzi from Raleigh, NC

Can you please explain to me how on earth Rasul Douglas was available to be plucked off a practice squad? He was a third-round pick in 2017 and had four rather productive years in the league. I understand good GMs find gems, but this one seems like it was hiding in plain sight. Aren't cornerbacks usually harder to find than that?

Very much so. With personnel, the opportunity, environment, motivation, confidence, and a host of other stuff too long to list … they all work in mysterious ways. Difficult for anyone to really explain it. If Gutekunst could, he wouldn't have waited until Week 5 to sign him.

Kent from Lewiston, ID

Good morning Spoff and II. Should we feel a sense of relief after this W, or be concerned that our over-the-top defense showed up like a leaky oil pan in the stretch run?

It was a tremendous defensive effort minus two plays, and those two plays were the only reason the Rams were in the game, in my opinion. The one that concerned me most was the second one, because the Packers were up three scores and the mindset should have been to not let anyone get behind you. The way Stafford was firing willy-nilly, it looked to me like the Packers were hunting for interceptions, which is obviously dangerous. Hopefully it's a lesson learned.

Lambeau Field hosted a Week 12 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2021.

Kirsten from Madison, WI

I know you can't predict which injured players will come back when. But based on the timing and type of their injuries, can you give us any analysis as to who is the most likely to be able to return right after the bye?

Not really. The players return for a short practice a week from today following their time off. I'll be as curious as everybody else who might or might not be on the practice field that day.

Stephen from Madison, WI

Coach LaFleur discussed (humorously) the advantage of read routes where the burden is on the player, and is a coach's dream. Going to the concept of "players, not plays," how do you think those two ideas reconcile?

Choice routes put the players in command of the play. The receiver and QB have to read the defense the same way and beat it. To me it's the epitome of "players, not plays" rather than something to reconcile.

Tom from Highland Village, TX

Please never leave the blog again before the dagger! That was too close for comfort.

Yeah, I probably bailed a little too early. My bad.

Bob from Corpus Christi, TX

With such parity in the league, it seems officiating has an increasing impact as to who wins. I prefer to see the better team that day win, not the one that benefits from inconsistent officiating – even Jerry Jones sees it. How can a fan share their opinion and would it make a difference?

The Raiders-Cowboys game that has generated the latest round of officiating angst was the highest-rated regular-season NFL broadcast in 30 years. So I don't know what to tell you.

Mike from Baraboo, WI

So going by Stu from Shawano logic; Packers beat Cardinals, Cardinals beat Vikings, so Packers beat Vikings? It's about matchups and when you meet teams more than who beat who. I would also humbly suggest the answer to every referee complaint submission to be "just keep playing." It's truly the only option...

I tried that for a while, and I have to get back to it. Oh, and it's who beat whom. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Douglas from St. Germain, WI

Who was the person on the Packers' sideline that Davante Adams knocked down? Adams gets the Congeniality Award for not only helping him up, but retrieving his hat and placing it on his head.

That was none other than the indomitable Dr. Patrick McKenzie.

Dave from Rockford, IL

What a great victory over a good team. However, I am so sick of our special-teams play over the years. What do you really think?

It's not good enough, overall, despite some good moments. I'm not trying to wax poetic there, just being honest. I was worried last winter that a special-teams blunder would torpedo the season in January. Fortunately that didn't happen, but I don't want to have the same worry again. I know it's a long process, but 12 games into a new year, I was hoping for better. Punt coverage looks solid, and the forced fumble was big. Kickoff coverage is fine. But the other elements aren't there yet, and it's getting late.

Mark from Canton, GA

So many people posting how we need to replace Crosby before the playoffs. Seriously?! Can I safely assume you would in no way endorse picking up some waiver-wire reject who couldn't cut it on any other roster to kick in the swirling winds and cold of Lambeau in December and January not to mention the pressure of the playoffs?

Correct. Well said.

Susan from Santa Cruz, CA

This past week, Equanimeous St. Brown mentioned he'd been focusing on special-teams training. From the radio broadcast, it sounded like he succeeded in that focus, but how did he look in person?

He's becoming an impact player on the coverage units, and is a legitimate bright spot given his lack of experience in that phase since his freshman year at Notre Dame. The Packers have several good individual players on special teams, but the collective must still improve.

John from Belleview, FL

Holy cow! What was our team's time of possession in that game?

39:40 to 20:20. That'll play.

Josh from Chicago, IL

Coming out of BC, people questioned AJ Dillon's receiving abilities. Now he consistently makes defenders miss with his first cut after the catch. And he still runs like a tank between the tackles. No question, just admiration.

I've decided Dillon didn't catch passes at BC only because it was simply easier to hand him the ball to get him 25-30 touches a game. His footwork and balance for a big man are impressive. I love watching him crank up the power or summon his shiftiness, whatever's required.

Joe from Placentia, CA

How many hours of film do coaches watch per week?

Probably more than they sleep.

Zak from Huntington Beach, CA

I absolutely LOVED the Dillon/Yosh robot handshake, putting their own stamp on my favorite Cobb/Nelson classic handshake celebration. 10/10 on design and execution; not even the Russian judge could disagree.

Why do I suspect this robot thing is going to get out of hand?

Mike from Naperville, IL

Well, looks like we're all going to be Bears fans next week.

Whatever it takes. If they're both back from injury, Justin Fields vs. Kyler Murray oughta be entertaining.

Tom from Wauwatosa, WI

Now I know why there's no math in the Inbox. It's the transitive property of order, not the Pythagorean theorem. But all that really matters now is just beat the Bears.

Amen to that. As editor, I let the Pythagorean reference go to test the response it would generate, and the Inbox did not disappoint. Euclid would be proud.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Mike, how does the bye week affect you and Wes and your II presence?

We'll still have the column every day (except Sunday), just more writing from home. We'll have plenty of other content, too, and we'll work in down time without anyone noticing. We can be sneaky that way.

Douglas from Union Grove, WI

During the broadcast, Troy Aikman stated that he didn't think the Packers have played their best football yet. That's a good thing … and, I agree.

So do I.

T from Cedar Falls, IA

I can't wait to see this team when they're healthy.

Preach. Happy Monday.

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