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Inbox: This is your chance, let your voices be heard

Sixty solid minutes move the Packers one step toward the goal

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Fans attended a 2020 regular season game at Lambeau Field

Vinny from Arlington, VA

I know we have some poetry coming our way to give us goosebumps and get us amped. From Packers Nation, more like Packers World (given all the countries in which Packers fans reside), I hope those of you fortunate enough to be at Lambeau make yourselves heard as we're all counting on you! I want to hear the crowd noise from my TV. How does it go, Wes? We may not be a large house but we're a proud one. And every (fan) creates a decibel level of the (audible) strength of 10 mainlanders.

The day we've all been waiting for is finally here. After an entire regular season of fans having to stay home, I believe this is going to be a raucous crowd this afternoon. And hey, you don't even have to worry about the guy behind ya telling you to sit down! This is your chance, let your voices be heard.

Alessandro from Belo Horizonte, Brazil

After the bye last week and with extra time to prepare, here's to a great Dean poem this Saturday! Besides that highly anticipated event, anything worth mentioning going to happen, say, in the Green Bay area?

Nah, just Dean's poem. The weekend begins and ends there.

Patsi from Riverside, CA

How many different players have received touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers?

We're up to 42 now with Equanimeous St. Brown and Dominique Dafney being the two most recent entrants into that exclusive club.

Marc from Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec

Patrick from Florida recalculated AR12's interception total from 89 to 65 because of tipped balls. If you are going to do that, you have to remove the ones where the receiver ran the wrong route, wasn't in the right place at the right time, or when there was a breakdown on the O-line. Based on that, the number would likely be single digits. One problem – it doesn't work that way. It's a team game. I also believe that it's time to readjust the goal to 500/75!

Whatever way you slice it, the moral of the story is Rodgers doesn't make many mistakes with the football. And when he does, it eats him alive…because greatness demands greatness and he understands that better than anyone.

Neal from Seattle, WA

Had to get out the pre-playoff jitters with some Aaron Rodgers math: No. 12's touchdown percentage this season was 9.1%, and interception percentage this season was 1.0%. Based on that trajectory, he would cross the 500-touchdown threshold (after 88 TDs) having thrown approximately...99 CAREER PICKS. Forget 2020 touchdown-to-punts; this is my new obscure stat obsession.

We gotta get you a hobby, Neal, but good info.

Daniel from Huntersville, NC

I get that Jalen Ramsey is one the top few CBs in the league, but there has been a lot of talk over how he is going to "shut down" Davante Adams, one of the top two (and not second) WRs in the game as well. Adams is going to get his share of opportunities. I'm looking forward to the battle.

People can say whatever they want but Adams backs down from no one. This is what the playoffs are all about. The game's best receiver going against one of the top cornerbacks in the league. Let's see what happens.

Douglas from Bloomington, IL

If you could clone one of the Packers players to play the same position at the same time, who would you clone? I have it down to David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Davante Adams, Jaire Alexander, or Kenny Clark. I lean towards Adams because it's the sexy pick, but having Bakhtiari at LT and Bakhtiari 2.0 at RT seems unstoppable.

I'm sure Aaron Rodgers wouldn't argue with having two Bakhtiaris, but having two of Davante Adams would be tough to pass up. One is enough of a handful to cover; could you imagine another on the other side of the field?

Doug from Ames, IA

Do you think the Packers have installed any new wrinkles in their offense (like the 49ers did) during the bye week?

Probably not to that level. What the 49ers did in 2012-13 is a once-a-decade thing. Teams don't remodel their offenses like that every postseason. The bye week can be a good opportunity to recalibrate things, though, and look at sections of the playbook that maybe the Packers haven't gotten to enough lately. I expect a couple different wrinkles.

Todd from Winona, MN

I just read the Robert Tonyan article and had to laugh. My Packers fan friends and I that watch the games together or text back and forth have been calling Tonyan "Big Bobby" for a while now. Sounds like being called "Bobby" was inevitable.

I'm not sure how Rodgers arrived at that nickname but I seemed to stumble into calling Tonyan "Big Bob" as well. I went back and looked; the first time I did it was Aug. 13, 2018. A month later, I profiled Tonyan and learned his dad went by "Big Bob," so maybe it was just destiny. Some nicknames are just meant to be.

Robert from Verona, WI

I've always appreciated the Packers bringing in a lot of high-character players who simply appear to be good people. It makes it easier and more enjoyable as a fan to root for them because they're not acting like selfish jack(wagons) on and off the field. Big Bob(by) Tonyan is one of many players on the team who are easy to root for and I hope he has a big game Saturday. Kudos to the Packers for continuing to build a roster that can compete with the best while also making their fans proud.

I personally feel like what makes Tonyan's story so inspiring is he's a self-made man from practically a stone's throw south of the Wisconsin border. He's the type of guy who wanted to transfer to the local public school after the recession hit because of how it impacted his family's business. That may not have helped his football prospects but none of that mattered to Tonyan. It was about his family. But if you're talented and work hard enough, success will find you. Tonyan's 26 years have led to this moment.

Dennis from Anoka, MN

Numerous times this year the offense has been clicking along quite nicely, and then the wheels seem to fall off for a bit and they have a difficult time getting back into gear. Is that my imagination or is there an issue there that should be addressed? My thought is that they should go back to some basic reliable plays to regain the confidence that was lost. Your thoughts?

It's about getting a first down. It doesn't matter if it's run, pass, line dance; whatever it takes – just get it. Because once the Packers get that initial first down, they're usually tough to stop the rest of the drive. The Packers have done a better job the last two games of keeping their foot on the pedal, but they must avoid three-and-outs tonight.

Roger from Lakewood Ranch, FL

How can Goff possibly be effective with his bad thumb on his throwing hand? Did the Packers catch (pun intended) a big break (also intended)?

I'm ignoring the pun, Roger, but the thumb did seem to mess with Goff's accuracy last week. However, he didn't appear to have any setbacks with it so I'd expect him to be another week better. Much like Aaron Donald, the Packers have to be prepared for Goff's best game regardless of what the injury report reads.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Leading up to the Week 17 game between the Packers and Bears, there was much dialog about how Akiem Hicks, who didn't play in their first matchup, could wreck the game for the Packers. Upon further review, Hicks was well accounted for, and was rendered a non-factor by the GB O-line. Shouldn't that inspire confidence that the Packers' O-line will prevent Donald from wrecking the game?

It was a massive feather in the Packers' cap considering they lost their franchise left tackle three days before the game. The line has adjusted to every curveball that's been thrown its way this season and now needs another spotless performance against perhaps the best defensive tackle of his era in Donald.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Packers fans, thanks to you and last week's playoff game, are now aware of Cam Akers. In his college career, FSU fans have always been aware of his immense talent. In 2019 he was basically the offense behind one of the worst offensive lines in college football. Anybody in GB heard of Dalvin Cook? Well, Cam Akers is "cut from the same cloth."

That's why (spoiler alert) Krys Barnes was my player to watch in this matchup. The Packers have faced a gauntlet of talented running backs over the past month and this will be another big challenge. Green Bay cannot allow Akers to have a repeat performance of last week. If you've watched the Rams over the past two months, you'll notice how he's the first domino that makes everything else fall into place.

Thomas from Pensacola, FL

Which running back(s) do you put in and under which situation?

Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams are largely interchangeable. The Packers have liked hitting defenses with a heavy dose of Jones in the first and fourth quarters this year, affording opportunities to Williams and AJ Dillon in between. I'll be curious to see what approach Matt LaFleur takes now that we've entered the end game.

Jason from Portsmouth, UK

Hi guys, hearing and reading throughout the week from analysts about who's gonna take over this game, and it seems they're siding with the Rams' D, and rightfully so grading high on the defensive rankings. But my question is are they sleeping on our defense? Last month or so we've limited opposing teams to averaging 16 points with nine takeaways from the last six games. I really like where we're at right now carrying our momentum into the playoffs.

A lot of folks are sleeping on Green Bay's defense. You've heard me talk about the parallels between this defense and the 2014 squad because it's really been a tale of two halves. The Packers are a much better defense today than they were in September. One other thing to keep in mind is the Rams finished the year ranked 24th in turnover margin (minus-3). They were one of just three teams to make the playoffs while being in the red in that category. Chicago and Washington were the other two. Green Bay protects the ball as well as any team in the league, so any takeaway the defense generates will be magnified in this game.

Mike from Holton, MI

Will Allen Lazard have a big game in the playoffs?

Mike certainly thinks so and you know what they write on the side of Platteville bathroom stalls: "Never bet against a Spofford." But seriously, Adams is going to command a lot of attention this postseason. I expect Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling will both have opportunities to make an impact by winning their one-on-ones at some point in this playoff run.

Steve from Palm Bay, FL

Does the league limit practice time on the field to keep the team in better shape for game day?

Teams can only conduct 14 padded practices during the regular season (plus one per week in the postseason), limited to three hours plus a walk-through with position coaches not to exceed 30 minutes. That hasn't been a big issue for the Packers under LaFleur, though.

Jason from Lake View, NY

Will Wes's cat will get any writer's credit for being on the laptop while Wes was writing a story? Can he fill in for II one time too?

Ha. That's our cat, Joan. I forgot to put that she contributed at the bottom of the Jaire Alexander story. My bad.

Steven from Stephens City, VA

Ahh. How I've missed Sam Shields. When it was mentioned how Shields could get beat yet still make up for it with his speed, it brought back fond memories of the Dallas comeback with his interception after seemingly getting beat off a slant route, I believe? My father is a Cowboys fan which why it brought back fond memories.

I have fond memories of covering Sam Shields, including that one. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't holding my breath when he came back in 2018 with the Rams but I am glad he got to go out on his own terms.

Lisa from Battle Creek, MI

Not a question but a comment/praise...just discovered Inbox and must say the people popping questions are great and the responses are terrific! Where have I been?

It doesn't matter how you got here, Lisa. All that matters is you're here now.

Paul from New Richmond, WI

Hi Inbox, please allow me to pay tribute to one of the most awesome Packers fans I've had the privilege of meeting. For the better part of the last 30 years she and her daughter, Connie sat in front of us at home games. I just sadly learned of her passing on Dec. 31. Her name is Margie Douglas. She left this world too early. I know she'll be cheering the Pack on in great company. Listen for her on Saturday...she'll be as loud as Vince. RIP Margie! You are missed.

Godspeed to Margie's family. Whenever you're back in the stadium Paul, make sure to cheer for the both of you.

Gary from Stevens Point, WI

Now that the first "Queen's Gambit" reference has been made, we need a WYMM upside down on the ceiling.

Yes, we do…but instead of Beth taking the green pills, it's Spoff eating my lunch while he looks intently at the plays.

Mike from Austin, TX

Good morning! I think that Scott from Hayward is onto something regarding the parity (or parody) of the Inbox. My observation, though, is that the quality of the officiating, along with the clarifications to the rules (use "Good morning," actually have a question, proper grammar, no references to "88," proper use of sesquipedalian words, etc.), have drastically leveled the field. All that said, is it more important to reference lasers or to ask about the fine points of a blocking scheme?

I think you know the answer to that, Michael. When in doubt…laser show. Always laser show.

Geoffrey from Rosemount, MN

Never give up, Scott from Hayward. I'm sure I've annoyed these guys a time or two with my number of submissions.

If you've been published once, that means you haven't annoyed us. I'm not sure how many times Spoff and I need to tell people this but the number of submissions we receive each day would blow you away during the season. We don't hate you. We're just busy.

Dave from Edina, MN

I'm making buffalo wings to enjoy during the game. I'm trying to eat healthier these days, so it'll be a nice treat for me. What's your favorite game-day food, both in the press box and when you're not working?

For me, it's wings. But the press-box food I miss the most this season is the made-to-order omelets at Lambeau Field.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

The prize in clear sight,

A three-game season starts now,

Survive and advance.

The prize is indeed in clear sight and 60 solid minutes will move the Packers one step toward the goal.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

The eight best from the eight kingdoms remain

A tournament to decide who sits the throne

Three victories to wear the crown for the ultimate prize

A fierce opponent from the far West approaches

Gridiron Gladiators though the best at defending their ground now find themselves on your ground

Unfamiliar Frozen Tundra awaits them

You must also remain vigilant against the unseen enemy

Three chapters remain to be written Men of the Bay

Rise now and write your next chapter of glory

Well, here goes nothing. To those of you going, be sure to mask-up, get loud and stay safe. Enjoy the game everybody!

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