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Inbox: Whatever it takes

Everything they’ve done has led to this moment


Jeff from Wentzville, MO

13-3. Overrated. Underrated. Aaron Rodgers near the end? Defense gives up too many plays. None of that ever mattered. And to those that think it did matter, it doesn't matter anymore. As Spoff so indubitably put it in yesterday's II, "It's time to watch the show."

How was that not Spoff's Inbox title? I'm jotting that down as a mental error. Good morning!

Ed from Henryville, IN

I've been hearing a lot about Russell Wilson being so dangerous when he scrambles but I haven't seen almost anything about when A-Rod scrambles. I've seen Rodgers make some unbelievable plays when he scrambles. I don't get how so many people seem to think Wilson is so much more of a threat than Rodgers is. Does it seem like they're overlooking Aaron? As far as I can tell he's the only quarterback in the history of the NFL that's completed not one or two, but I believe three Hail Mary passes for TDs. Is that right?

I don't know how many of you got to watch Larry's interview with Rodgers on "Total Packers" this week, but he had two great quotes about this year's team flying under the radar. Regardless, Rodgers says he's going to do whatever it takes to win a championship. The entire team feels that way – whatever it takes. It's been an up-and-down year for the offense, but I really believe you're going to see the best version of "12" on Sunday night. These are the games in which he's historically shined brightest.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Wes, thanks for the great job you and Mike do for us readers. As much as I feel the Packers will run Aaron Jones, I keep sensing a huge game from AR12, you?

It is a huge game for Rodgers, but like I said at the beginning of the week, everything starts on the ground for Green Bay – especially if the snow is still coming down Sunday night. If Jones and Jamaal Williams get going early, the rest of the offense will follow suit.

Lucas from Morgantown, WV

I'm not a fan of ranking the things necessary for victory. Like the man said, the most important thing is doing whatever it takes to win. However, I think with Wes saying a 100-yard rusher takes precedence, you guys forgot someone. How important is it for Elgton Jenkins, Corey Linsley and Billy Turner to be perfect in the run game? With a Hall of Fame linebacker roaming around back there, they have to get a hat on Bobby Wagner in order to get Jones rolling.

Critical. Those three have played a huge role in opening lanes up for Jones and Williams this year. No Packers position group benefitted more from the bye week than the offensive line. Green Bay had two weeks to get healthy on the offensive line, whereas the Seahawks' front is really banged up.

Mark from Tijeras, NM

Reporters have discussed the importance of playoff experience for the players. How important is playoff experience for coaches, especially in our case a rookie coach?

LaFleur is a rookie head coach but he's not a rookie coach. He's coached in a Super Bowl and multiple NFC title games. The same goes for Mike Pettine and many of the other Packers coaches. They'll be ready. Everything they've done has led to this moment.

Nathan from Portland, OR

After taking a look at the Packers-Seahawks infographic, I think the game will come down to turnover differential. Both tied for third in the category. I think whichever team ends positive gets the "W."

I agree with turnover differential – both were plus-12 in the regular season – but I'll throw in red-zone efficiency, too. Offensively, both Green Bay and Seattle were strong inside the 20 this season. Red-zone defense? Different story. The Packers are tied for sixth (50%). The Seahawks were 26th (61.5%). When Green Bay gets to that "gold zone," it has to punch it in.

Uriah from South Vienna, OH

I've heard some people talking about how they think this game will have both teams score in the 20s. After watching Seattle last week, and with the weather, my bold prediction is that Seattle won't score over 17 in regulation. I just hope our offense does better. What's your bold prediction?

If the Packers' defense holds the opposition to 20 or fewer points for the sixth consecutive game, I like Green Bay's chances when you consider how productive Jones and Williams have been in the snow and cold this season.

Joe from Bloomington, IN

Temperatures in the mid-to-high 20s might be cold enough to freeze the Seahawks, while keeping the fans warm enough to be noisy the entire game. What temperature is probably the perfect balance?

I think you hit it on the head. Twenty-degree weather doesn't seem to bother Midwesterners (as long as the wind isn't too bad). Once it goes below 20, however, that's when it really dips to that bone-chilling category over a three-hour span.

Harry from Green Bay, WI

Insiders, 700 shovelers needed Sunday at Lambeau Field. Have either of you ever taken in the experience to shovel snow at the tundra?

I did once back in 2009. It was quite the experience. For whatever reasons, however, they had me carry salt up and down the stairs instead of actually shoveling. I think they were paying $8/hour at the time. It took two hours. Afterward, my buddies and I drove down the street and got some wings at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Rich from Colorado Springs, CO

On Sunday, will the Smith Bros. be able to suppress Green Bay's cold? Or do we not want that?

The Smiths like to joke about how they weren't too excited about the cold when they first signed, but the truth is they've both embraced it. It doesn't take long to understand how practicing in cold weather can be a significant advantage late in the season.

Elizabeth from Sylvania, OH

The perception has been that SF, NO and Seattle have been the top teams in the NFC this season. It was nearly a foregone conclusion that Minnesota was going to lose to NO, but it pulled off a tough win. All of a sudden Minnesota and Kirk Cousins are legitimate contenders and well-matched with SF with many believing they can pull it off again. The Packers handily beat Minnesota in their stadium in the second half of that game, but the perception of the Packers hasn't changed. Why is that?

It's almost like nobody gives the NFC North the respect it deserves. That's nothing new. Minnesota and Green Bay are two of the best teams in the conference. If both win this weekend, NFL pundits will have no other choice than to bend the knee.

Doug from Cedar City, UT

After the 2014 special-teams debacle against the Seahawks, I imagine the special-teams unit will practice fielding onside kicks the right way before Sunday.

If only the current kickoff rules were in play five years ago…

Steven from Silver Spring, MD

Given the forecast it would reason the special teams will take on particular importance this week. While Michael Dickson is a Pro Bowl punter for Seattle, how has its kicking game been this year and is there a comparison to Mason Crosby giving either team the edge? How about fakes or success rates?

The Packers' biggest advantage nobody is talking about is Crosby's intimate knowledge of kicking inside Lambeau Field. Nobody knows more about what it's like to kick here in winter than Crosby. Jason Myers has been OK for Seattle. He missed five field goals and four extra points.

Corbin from Chippewa Falls, WI

Hey guys! I'm conflicted! My wife is due to have our baby on it wrong to have the game on in the room while my daughter is born? Thanks for all you do!

*As someone who nearly missed the birth of his son because of Aaron Rodgers returning against Carolina in December 2017, I strongly encourage you to concentrate solely on your wife and unborn child. There will be more NFC Divisional playoff games. My hope is a week from now you'll be kicked back on your couch and watching the NFC title game with your child.  *

Glenn from Hardscrabble, IN

Why don't the AFC teams play their wild-card and divisional round one day and the NFC teams the other? If you play the late game Sunday night on the road in the wild-card round, it would be possible for you to play the early game the next Saturday, again on the road. That's tough come playoff time. Is it just about the viewership and revenue or how are the kickoff times determined? Or does the network have more of a say in who's playing?

It's mostly based on networks. They want the games that are going to push those ratings as high as possible. Last week, however, the NFL did the Seahawks a little favor with putting the Eagles game on Sunday late after Seattle played San Francisco on Sunday night.

Nick from Plainwell, MI

What AFC game are you intrigued by this weekend? After watching Tennessee upset New England, I'm excited to watch them face off against the powerhouse of the Ravens.

The Patriots could not stop Derrick Henry within five yards of the line of scrimmage and that was enough for Tennessee to dictate the tempo of that game. Now, can Henry do it again against one of the league's best fronts? The Titans need another 35 carries from Henry to set the pace with Lamar Jackson on the opposite sideline.

Estillac from Belem, Brazil

Wes, how do I calm down? My pick: Those deep passes to MVS we saw at the first games of the season are coming back tomorrow!

Just breathe. The game will be here soon enough. That's a good choice and the perfect redemption for Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

Amanda from New York, NY

Did the Cowboys hiring Coach McCarthy prove to be any bit of a distraction during the week? Watching the national news coverage, it seems I saw more on that story than any of the playoff games.

You mean in the locker room? Not at all.

Dan from Torrance, CA

This is in response to Kary from Sheboygan and his beard. I too haven't shaved since that loss to the 49ers. My reasoning dates back to when the Packers lost to the Broncos in SB 32. I was watching the Packers get off their bus and noticed Brett had shaved his beard. I instantly had a feeling they were going to lose, and unfortunately, they did. So Kary, if you see this post, DO NOT SHAVE YOUR BEARD! Your daughter will never forget what you did for her.

Please keep your beard Kary so Dan can keep his sanity.

JVC from Chandler, AZ

Wow! Today's II question and answer about the Packers' history in the divisional round of the playoffs has me totally geeked out for this game on Sunday! So many tremendous highs and gut-wrenching defeats. I know that no matter what happens, this will be an emotionally charged, thrilling weekend. Enjoy the ride, Packer Backers! This is why we love our Cardiac Pack!

And if even that didn't have you geeked for the game, check out this trailer Tyler Gajewski and our very talented video department put together. Chills.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Could you guys run out and check the runway Saturday before I fly in to shovel on Sunday morning?

I'll make sure Spoff and his four-wheeler are out there. I honestly have no idea what to expect as far as snow totals this weekend. I've seen forecasts anywhere from one inch to 1½ feet.

Douglas from Bloomington, IL

At what point, do we start requiring hazmat suits in the locker room with this illness going around? "Wash your hands and wash your butt!"

I wore a surgical mask to the locker room on Friday…kidding…maybe.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, how is Young Hod preparing for his first Green Bay playoff game?

Kiddo had to get ear tubes on Thursday, so he'll be laying low this weekend. Maybe my wife will put him in his little Jayrone Elliott jersey for the game.

Robert from Verona, WI

With Pete Carroll and his gum smacking coming to town, I'd love to see a Packer player borrow a line from Rowdy Roddy Piper. "I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass...and I'm all out of bubble gum." Here's to hoping the Packers are the ones out of bubble gum!

And with that, it's officially time for some playoff football. Enjoy the game everyone, and to those in the Green Bay area, please drive carefully this weekend.