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Inbox: This offense has everything it needs

These young guys are so fun to watch

RB Aaron Jones
RB Aaron Jones

Joe from Plano, IL

Has a team ever made the playoffs with zero Pro Bowl players?

Great question. Honestly, I couldn't care less.

Tom from Lisbon, WI

There are so many things I want to say about this team, season, and quarterback in particular. What a ride. But I really want to just take a moment to recognize that, if memory serves, making the playoffs means they can't force the Packers to be on "Hard Knocks" next season.


Dennis from Batavia, IL

I'm hoping this doesn't qualify as a math question. The Packers made the playoffs over the same-record Seahawks based on the strength of victory tiebreaker. I wonder if we had lost to the Lions on Thanksgiving but beat the Giants if we'd still be in the playoffs? Do you know?

It is a math question, and I'll answer it with yes. The Packers still would've owned the strength of victory tiebreaker, with their vanquished foes totaling 64 wins (instead of 70) to the Seahawks' 60.

Bob from New Britain, CT

One year ago, I couldn't believe we lost on the last day of the season and missed the playoffs. Today, I couldn't believe we won on the last day of the season and made the playoffs. This team never fails to flabbergast me! Mike, do you think you (and Packer fans in general) underestimated this year's team?

If you read this column on the mornings after the losses to the Raiders, Broncos and Giants, you no doubt sensed my disgust at those outcomes. I wasn't underestimating this team because I knew they shouldn't have lost those games. I didn't know how it was all going to shake out in the big picture, but I expected this team to find itself at some point and it did.

Bruce from Lakewood, CO

Gents: Would you trade Jordan Love for any other QB right now? I wouldn't. Who saw that coming?

Two do-or-die games against division rivals – 51-of-65 (78.5%), 572 yards, five TDs, no picks, 129.0 rating. I saw only one ball in harm's way on Sunday, the shot to the end zone late in the first half. Yes, he's got to protect the ball when he scrambles, but he's to the point already he's making multiple big-time throws every week. That TD on the slant to Dontayvion Wicks was a missile. The boot left downfield shot to Jayden Reed was on the money. The late first down to Tucker Kraft, he stepped up to avoid pressure and suddenly the ball was gone, on a line. If Bo Melton and Romeo Doubs had hung onto tough TD grabs they almost had, my goodness. Those throws were pretty darn special, too.

Christopher from Bellingham, WA

The talent has always been there with Love, but earlier in the season he had some floaters and his pocket awareness looked undeveloped. The second half of the season he's rifling the ball and navigating the pocket like Marino (we're in the playoffs, let me embellish). What in your opinion has been the key(s) to this rapid development?

The simple answer is gaining experience. There's a huge difference between having a handful of starts and well over a dozen now in this league. The more nuanced answer is the rhythm he and LaFleur are in as QB-play caller. The offense looks in sync in part because they're in sync. The undeniable answer is the growth of the cast around him, with guys making plays for him, contested catches, yards after catch, all of that. With Jones slashing his way to 100-plus yards on the ground, this offense has everything it needs.

Tom from New Braunfels, TX

I know a lot of attention is being given to the improved play of 10, well deserved for sure. Personally, I think it is impossible to over-emphasize the importance of 33 to this offense. He is a game-changer. That last run for the last first down to secure the game was just all effort and will on his part. Go 33 and GPG.

He's rushed for 358 of his 656 yards on the season in the last three games. Whether it's his slashing, his footwork, or his extra effort, Jones forces defenses to devote more attention to the run than they want to. He found his old gear and this offense hit a new one.

Kevin from Rockton, IL

The offense and special teams made just enough mistakes to allow the Bears opportunities to make this game painful. The defense just wouldn't allow it to matter. What a performance.

Speaking of running backs, Herbert had rushed for 112 and 124 with two TDs the last two weeks, and the Packers held him to 28 yards on 12 attempts. That's what allows you to get five sacks on a QB like Justin Fields.

Jim from Prairie du Chien, WI

Dontayvion Wicks and his bag of tricks!

All I can say is all these young guys are so fun to watch. That's all I got.

Robert from Chicago, IL

A win's a win so I'm not complaining, but amazing that they put up 432 yards and only scored 17 points. A few head scratchers for me: 1. After the third-down sack on Fields at the end of the first half, why not call a TO? 2. How was there not a closer look at that fourth-down spot? 3. After the massive throw to Reed, why did Love rush to the line to run basically a throw away play? Was he worried he stepped out?

1. Because the Bears had two timeouts left, and after the change of possession, if you can't get a first down, they're getting the ball back again with plenty of time to score, so you want some clock to run there. 2. Couldn't tell you. I thought the Packers had it stacked up. 3. Yes, that's exactly why. LaFleur said so after the game, they didn't want the Bears to challenge it and possibly lose a ton of yards.

Karl from Valparaiso, IN

Gentlemen, what a total team effort! Eating up the final six minutes of the game against a really good defense was the highlight of the game for me. What was your favorite part?

Killing the final 6:08 on offense definitely ranks up there. It felt like the offense rewarding the defense, after not putting the game away sooner, so the defense didn't have to go back out there. The opening drive of the second half confirmed for me this offense was really rolling. Nine plays, 75 yards, and nary a third down until the slant to Wicks for the TD.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

That was the best 17-point offense I've ever seen. A lot of points left on the board, but that was an awesome victory and awesome drive to put away the game.

As I said in my game recap, the Packers dominated in every way but on the scoreboard. It was clear who the better team was. I'll admit, when the Bears converted the lone turnover into a field goal to get to 14-9, I was worried one more fluky mistake was going to have me explaining in this column everything that got away. The finish was another example of how these guys don't blink and will just keep battling no matter what's happened.

Ewok from Holiday, FL

Before the season began there was a lot of talk about the Packers starting the season on the road. But after tonight, it seems more important to finish at home. What an incredible atmosphere tonight, the fans really brought it.

Again, I'll confess, the thought crossed my mind the Packers' season might end at home in a win-to-stay-alive game for the third straight year. I'm so happy for this team's fans that did not come to pass.

The Green Bay Packers celebrated in the locker room at Lambeau Field after defeating the Bears, 19-7.

Matt from Madison, WI

I'm absolutely amazed over the last few weeks by how wide open the receivers are getting and how you never know which one is going to step up and have a big game. It wasn't too long ago we were talking about needing receivers to get more separation or needing more than one go to guy.

Improvement is real, even at the professional level. Every year I expect the Packers to look different in December and January compared to September and October, but that was true this year more than ever. It played out that way. Offensively I wasn't sure they could come this far this fast, but I also won't say I'm shocked by it. The talent was evident on the practice field back in the summer.

Keith from North Muskegon, MI

Good morning Mike, a winning record this year is a great cake; playoff game next week is all icing. Well done GB. In the Miami/Buff game refs used replay to pick up the ineligible downfield flag to get it right. A simple three-second review could also negate the wrong call on offsides for GB when the Bears clearly false started…clearly someone is watching replay. You think the NFL will consider additional spots for replay in light of this year's officiating miscues?

It's going to have to.

Rick from Antigo, WI

I'm never happy to see anyone get injured, but it seems that when Luke Musgrave went down it opened a door for Tucker and he certainly seems to have made the most out of his opportunity. Going forward, I hope ML can find a way to use both of the big guys in the passing game!

If there's anything I don't doubt about this offense moving forward, this is it.

Florian from Kronach, Germany

With the first-time-in-history statistics Jayden Reed put on paper, do you think he has a shot at Offensive Rookie of the Year?

Not really. He's probably in the top 10 somewhere, and I love what he's done, but C.J. Stroud, Puka Nacua and Sam LaPorta have all posted bigger, flashier seasons. If Stroud didn't have the award wrapped up before this weekend, then he secured it with those throws he made on Houston's final drive to get the Texans into the playoffs. Mercy.

Joanne from Shakopee, MN

Longtime reader with a first-time question I am hoping you can answer. I was looking at the broadcast map for Sunday's Packers game and noticed the broadcast markets of the other games broadcasting at the same time. Why do parts of Alabama, for example, get the Packers while other parts get the Eagles and Giants? Just curious how the networks determine which broadcast goes to various geographical areas that are outside the typical fan base area. Thanks and GPG.

Great question and I wish I knew. The Birmingham market in Alabama switched to Eagles-Giants on Friday, according to, but I have no idea how that works. We'll try to circle back on this and find out.

Kevin from Tinton Falls, NJ

Extremely happy for this young team! I think it's safe to say the offense is going to be good for quite some time. Also just want to say I'm extremely disappointed in the live blog. After an entire season it still does not work on the app (Android), and the new platform where fans can't submit makes it a bit less fun to follow along with. I know these issues aren't your fault but it's such a great feature, I really hope it gets corrected for next season.

Me too, Kevin, believe me. I'll certainly be looking forward to whenever the interactive elements work properly. In the meantime, for those struggling to see the live blog at all, I've heard anecdotally that deleting and reinstalling your Packers app has helped some. No guarantees, but thought I'd pass it along.

Chris from Milwaukee, WI

The reward for doing something challenging is to be required next to do something more challenging. After holding on to beat a tough Bears team at home, the Pack now has to travel to play the Cowboys at home, where Dallas won much more often than they lost this season. The Pack beat Detroit on the road, so we know it's possible. Here's hoping for a thrilling game.

"Won much more often than they lost," ha. Nice euphemism for undefeated at home. Only two teams came within 20 points of the Cowboys in Dallas this year – the Seahawks in Week 13 (41-35) and the Lions last week (20-19). We're going to hear about 8-0 at home all week. So be it.

Alan from Mount Auburn, IL

When we get to the NFL playoffs, here is the talking heads comment I dislike the most: The team nobody wants to play is: (answer). What is your least favorite playoff utterance?

So-and-so "expects to win." They all expect to win, man.

Tim from Charlotte, NC

So are we now playing with "house money"?

Whatever works.

Dan from Wausau, WI

The missed opportunities to put points on the board had me a bit nervous, and still do. This week they didn't come back to haunt, but the road to the Super Bowl now goes through the top two scoring teams in the NFC (Dallas, and if they win San Fran). Green Bay's gonna need to make every opportunity count, and the defense better come ready to play. Happy the wild ride that was this season will last at least one more week, and hopefully more. Go Pack Go!

Just beat the Cowboys. Happy Monday.

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