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It's gonna be awfully cold in Chicago

Ty Montgomery's role gets him the ball in different ways


Charles from Lockport, IL

Both teams this weekend are used to playing in the cold, but temps currently for Sunday are forecasted to be in the negatives with even colder wind chills. How do you think it'll affect the game and even more specifically, Rodgers' injury?

I have no idea what sub-zero wind chills might or might not do to a hamstring and calf, but I can't imagine the conditions are going to make things any easier for Rodgers.

Scott from Gig Harbor, WA

So word is that it's going to be quite cold on Sunday. With the press box being one of the worst in the NFL according to you guys, how well insulated is it?

I guess we'll find out, but I don't remember the cold infiltrating the press box in that nasty, windy 2007 game. While waiting to get in the locker room after that game was over, I went a few strides down the tunnel toward the field, didn't even get halfway, and froze, almost literally, in my tracks. The wind off the lake that day was something else.

Nathan from Great Falls, MT

Hey Insiders! I saw that Jordan Tripp was recently signed to the active roster. Being from Montana and being a Griz fan, I am excited to see how he does for the Pack. Do you see him more as a special-teams player or someone who will get in for some defensive snaps as well? Keep up the good work fellas.

Special teams would be his first avenue to the field. With Martinez and Ryan getting healthier at inside linebacker, I see him as insurance only on defense, for now.

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

Crosby's miss was his first 50-plus attempt of the year. Seems odd to me, does it to you?

Yeah, hadn't even realized it. He has averaged between five and six attempts per year from 50-plus in his career. He's always practicing the long ones in pre-game, to get his range for the day, so I don't think the stat is anything to be alarmed about.

Gary from Davenport, IA

What did you think of the Wake Forest scandal where the radio announcer fed the opposing teams inside information? What would the repercussions be if that ever happened in the NFL?

I can't imagine a faster way, legally, to kill your career in sports. Trust matters.

Theodore from St. Louis, MO

Hey beverage moron, in light of Wake Forest's radio announcer's shenanigans, what is the most egregious behavior you have witnessed in the press box?

One of the first times I covered a game at Lambeau Field, in the mid-'90s, I was in the auxiliary press box in the end zone, which doesn't exist now because after the 2003 renovation the main press box was significantly enlarged. I was very cognizant (ding) of the no cheering rule, but the auxiliary box wasn't closely monitored, and several in-state radio reporters started acting like they were in the stands. Another writer tried to make a point by loudly mock-cheering for the other team, but these guys didn't get it. To steal a line from Andy Dufresne, how could they be so obtuse? It was both comical and embarrassing to witness it. When I came back for the next home game, I mentioned the behavior to the Packers PR rep who had been gracious enough to continue credentialing a young reporter from Wausau like myself, and I discovered I wasn't the only one to bring it up. She then sat in the auxiliary box herself that game, and it was pretty quiet for the rest of the season, thankfully.

Kivanc from Ankara, Turkey

Hi, Insiders. What are you thinking about the Colts-Vikings game?

I'm wondering if the result determines whether or not Adrian Peterson plays at Lambeau Field on Christmas Eve.

Matthew from New Berlin, WI

I'll take a division title over an MVP award and I suspect 12 would, too.

No question. I just think it could be a piece of ancillary drama at Ford Field. If that game is for the division title, it's hard to see the loser getting the MVP. Rodgers wasn't the MVP in '14, in my view, until he limped back out of the Lambeau Field tunnel in the second half in Week 17 and did what he did.

David from Whitefish, MT

Insiders, let's imagine the Packers make the playoffs. What is the biggest knock against Rodgers' MVP case?

Losing six times in a span of 10 games is really the only knock, but when that's all before Thanksgiving, it matters a lot less than the other way around.

Ryan from Staten Island, NY

We all see what Rodgers can do outside of the pocket when the situation calls for it, like the bomb to Adams, but some think the reason Rodgers was not as consistent in the first half of the year was because he was leaving the pocket even when he didn't need to. Do you think the injury is forcing him to be more of a pocket passer, and do you think that is part of the reason he has played so well?

It's the current popular theory, but I'm not buying it. I saw Rodgers finding his groove in games before he got hurt, like Atlanta and Washington, and now he's adjusting well to dealing with the injuries.

Chuck from Tucson, AZ

Good morning. So I am a little skeptical about this whole WR turned RB situation that the Packers are doing. Is this a case of the best player available playing the position, or has coach MM come up with a new philosophy towards the running game?

I think it started as the former and has evolved to the point that Montgomery's skill set can help the team more at running back, where there are ways to get the ball in his hands that don't necessarily take away opportunities from a receiving corps that already features Nelson, Cobb, and Adams.

Brian from Alta Vista, IA

I don't know if anyone has ever asked you this but how does one go about getting a job doing what you do? Any specific requirements? Getting a job working for a college or professional sports team would be a dream come true. You guys are lucky.

I do consider myself fortunate. I got into sports journalism covering high schools, and did that with some college and pro assignments mixed in for almost a decade. Some writers pay their dues even longer, others don't have to. There's a lot of right place, right time to this business, but you also have to prove you can write – quickly and cleanly – with the ability to inform and entertain. Looking back, the most important thing I did early in my career was to never turn down an assignment, no matter how unfamiliar the material might have been. My best stories on the preps beat were wrestling features, and the first time I went to a wrestling match in my life was as a reporter. I learned, from scratch, and I grew as a writer as a result. Always be willing to learn.

Matt from Dyersville, IA

Greetings Insiders! What is the toughest/most demanding part of your job on game day?

Writing stories that capture the moment and hit all the right notes and quotes, but doing so as quickly as possible because in the online world, timeliness is everything. The added challenge comes on the road, performing the duty on bus and plane rides rather than at my own desk.

Robert from Albuquerque, NM

Insiders, something nobody has brought up maybe out of fear but heck, I'll bring it up. We can still get the No. 2 seed. We win out, Dallas wins against Tampa, Atlanta loses twice, Lions lose once before playing us, and Seattle loses twice. Extremely far-fetched but possible.

You said it yourself, it's far-fetched. I'm all for mathematical possibilities, but with neither the Falcons nor Seahawks playing any opponents at .500 or above over the final three weeks, I just don't see it.

Chris from Cincinnati, OH

Insiders, everyone's talking about playoff scenarios, but between the Packers needing to win out and the Bears playing much better, this Sunday will be the Bears' Super Bowl. Agree?

If I'm John Fox, I'm having Josh Sitton give the pre-game speech in the locker room.

Marc from Bloomsburg, WI

In 1987, Gayle Sierens did play-by-play for the Seahawks-Chiefs game. She was offered six games the next season but declined. To date she is the only woman to call an NFL game.

Thanks for sharing.

Dan from Fort Wayne, IN

Aaron is not on fire, his stuff is on fire.

Much like the pesky fly and Matthews with the broom, it took me a few viewings before I noticed Cobb wielding the fire hose in the background at the very end.

Jon from Bloomfield, NJ

What do you think of the "middle school offense" comment by Todd Gurley? To me, it's a weird comment, because it's not something the fans can personally assess the validity of on their own. So it seems like somewhat pointless toxicity to me. But I'd like your professional opinion.

I can't pretend to know the ins and outs of the Rams' situation, but the comment brought to mind something I've heard McCarthy say numerous times about playing a young quarterback. He has always preached that it's not about whether the young guy is ready, it's about whether the team is ready for the young guy.

Joe from Pittsburgh, PA

Suddenly the Cowboys do not look like the Super Bowl lock we thought they were. It could be the Romo sideline presence is making Prescott look over his shoulder and start to press. If the offense stays stuck in neutral this week, do they pull the plug on the rookie before playoff time? It's a tough call.

I'd be shocked if they made a change now.

Bill from Bernards, NJ

The O-line has been absolutely brilliant this year. Does Rodgers do anything special for them? Gifts?

I think he does, but it's not normally publicized, on purpose. I remember one year (I think it was 2011, but I'm not sure), the media happened to be let into the locker room the week of Christmas right after a whole bunch of big screen TVs had been delivered to the offensive linemen's lockers. They were from Rodgers.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

Any idea of the deepest a tiebreak has ever had to go?

The tiebreaking procedures have been modified over the years, but based on some quick research going back to the 1970 merger, I found two instances where a tiebreak for the final playoff spot came down to one of the net points factors. Coincidentally, both involved Chicago getting into the playoffs over Washington. In 1977, the Bears got the last wild-card spot based on net points in conference games. Two years later, it was net points in all games. The deepest I could find the Packers being involved were strength-of-victory tiebreakers, twice, to get in (2010) and be left out (2006).

James from Crown Heights, NY

Through the difficult weeks of this Packers season, all I could think about was the fact that they have a chance to tie the all-time series with the Bears. When I was a child in the '80s it seemed impossible to imagine closing the gap. I checked the tally every season of my life and I've been waiting to see this chance. Playoffs are not on this fan's mind. Just beat the Bears!

Lots of readers have mentioned the all-time series this week. The history intrigues me, too. The Bears got ahead by 20-plus games before Favre and Rodgers became Green Bay's QBs. For a great historical footnote to all this, be sure to check out Cliff Christl's piece going up on the site later today. It's a gem.

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