Mike's Mid-Week Chat: Get ready for the noise

Senior writer Mike Spofford answered questions from fans Wednesday


Hey everybody. Thanks for logging on. I'm in Seattle already, ready to take your questions. Let's go.

Why are the Seahawks favored over the packers even though they are coming off back to back losses? Does it have to do with the packers being winless on the road ?

Of course it does, but who cares? I never pay attention to betting lines. It's a week-to-week league. Always is.

Which Seattle running back do you think is the most problematic to stop? Which receiver?

Lockett is their most dangerous receiver to me because he can take a short pass and turn it into a big gain, and he can also just flat out beat you deep. Seattle's running game seems to work well no matter who's running the ball. They have three different backs who have all produced this season.

Ist this the week the offense is Putting everything together?

Tough to do on a short week with minimal practice, but if the Packers protect the ball and run the ball they way they have lately, that's as good a place to start as any.

With many of the big names gone from the Legion of Boom, how will the Seahawks likely go about covering Davante Adams?

Adams is seeing a lot of bracket coverage, with a corner underneath and safety over the top, or at least rolled to his side before the snap. I would expect the Seahawks to do that as well, no matter the personnel. MVS and Graham are the guys who have to take advantage of that, because they should be one-on-one more often.

Even though he's a rookie, I can't help but think the defense is better with Jaire on the field....his swag is infectious, I can't wait to get my jersey in!!

I've been saying all season long this defense is at its best with Alexander and King on the field as the top two cover corners. King is out right now, but Alexander is still doing his thing. What this defense does best is cover in the back end and disguise the rush combinations up front. But Wilson is the most mobile QB they've faced all season, and he rushed for almost 100 yards last week.

I am willing to place a bet that the all-white color rush uniforms was not the idea of the laundry crew! Which leads me to wonder . . . what tricks so they have up their sleeves to get uniforms cleaned each week? Or do the jerseys simply go into the trash? Because if that is the case, a lot of fans would go dumpster diving.

They don't trash them. The laundry shouldn't be as bad this week with the field turf out here. It's different after a Lambeau game for sure.

Slow day?

No one is sending in questions. I'm trying to figure out if there's a technical issue, or if there's a lack of interest.

What does your workspace Look Like on the Road on o short week? Where do you Stay and how do you or other non players (like Coaches, trainers, doctors.) stay and prepare/Work befor the Game.

Well, this is the type of road trip I've never had before in 13 years with the team -- traveling on a Tuesday for a Thursday game. It's unusual for everybody. I did a lot of writing on the long flight last night -- Inbox, my One Last Look column, etc. -- and now I'm doing this chat from my hotel room. The team is practicing today out here but it's the usual closed practice the day before the game. Once tomorrow comes, it's a normal game day again.

Tough to remember the chat schedule with it alternating days occasionally. Also, the week feels much more condensed, obviously. I can't believe there's already a game tomorrow. Imagine how the players must feel.

I know, I've had to shift it around a lot this year for various reasons and I apologize. It's just the way this year has gone.

What have you found out about Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny? Seemed to be just as explosive as Aaron Jones last week.

He was a high draft pick for a reason. A lot of people expected him to have a game like last week much earlier, but when he stepped in, he delivered and he could be a big part of not only tomorrow's game but the rest of this season for Seattle.

I can't think of a good question... Just amped to see the game tomorrow night. This seems like a potential turning point game. While a W or L might not decided the season, we might look back on this one as a turning point. I am getting that tingly feeling again this year about the Packers...

A win -- getting the first road win of the year and the first two-game win streak -- would definitely feel like a turning point. A loss doesn't doom the season, but a win would be significant, no doubt.

No one sending in questions, so I'll jump to it! Do you have a full, regular work day while you're on the road for an early week game like this, or is it a bit more relaxed?

As I said, I got a lot of work done on the long flight. We shot Final Thoughts outside in the rain this morning. Wes and I are going to do a Periscope live a little later. My wife flew out last night for the game and to visit her brother, so I'm going to find some time to spend with them, too.

Is it me and my bias or is this team so close to breaking out for a run. We seem so close to being a top tier and just can't break thru.

The Packers have been on the verge for a few weeks but have been undone by their own mistakes. It's up to them.

I asked this on II: Did anyone else notice the close-ups of Rodgers in the last two games in which he was holding his right arm and flexing it and his right hand as well? The announcers wondered if he had suffered some type of injury.

He hasn't said anything. He mentioned after the Miami game landing awkwardly on his hand or something like that, but he brushed it off.

I would consider Wilson the most dangerous running threat, because of how back breaking it can be. Third and long - everyone covered. He sneaks out for the first time and again. Is there a trick to preventing or limiting his style of running?

I agree with you. Those scrambles to convert first downs when you have the play so well-defended are back-breakers indeed. You can employ a spy on Wilson, but sometimes he's fast enough to outrun the spy. The key is rush-lane integrity. Don't rush to sack him, rush to contain him and don't let him get away and extend the play. Sack him by collapsing the pocket, not by jetting outside your lane, which gives him an escape route.

What's the most challenging part of road games? Is it mid-game stuff like crowd noise, or is it just the added effort and discomfort of travel?

Crowd noise and unfamiliar surroundings definitely play a part. Crowd noise here is unreal. It's amazing what they did here in the construction of an outdoor stadium to keep the noise in.

Speaking of hands, Byron Bell is a beast. Popping his finger back in when coming out of the huddle? I want him with me if I have to walk down a dark alley.

No doubt.

Were you surprised to see the announcement that they pulled the Rams/Chiefs game from Mexico this weekend over the field conditions? Having seen photos that field sure is a mess but you'd think the stadium could have prevented that from being this big of an issue.

I haven't read all the details, but it sounds like they had a series of events there during some bad rains, and it just wrecked everything. I'm not sure anyone is to blame, but the NFL probably has to get some stipulation on a dead period before a football game at those types of venues to ensure the field can be in good shape.

Regarding the ill-times mistakes that seem to be plaguing the Pack; is there anything coaching can do about that, or is it just something each player has to take personal responsibility for?

It's on the players. Montgomery was told what to do and didn't do it. The Jones fumble was unfortunate because it's not like he totally exposed the ball, he just got hit at the wrong time as he was going down. It happens. But that's the game.

So will you watch other football games on Sunday or take the day to get away from it all?

I'll probably stay away from it and then watch the Vikings and Bears in the evening while I write Monday morning's Inbox.

Do you know how the headset communications are handled regarding the shut-off with 15 seconds of the play clock? Is it some guys job to switch it off? I only ask because I saw Nick Mullens obviously listening to his headset with 5 seconds on the play clock on Monday.

That's interesting. I didn't see that. My understanding is a league official is in charge of those headsets.

I think the Allison injury is a real stinger - the wr depth is a little Bit concerning (but maybe this next men up will pay dividends down the Road)

Allison was off to a great start this year, got the concussion, and then suddenly other injuries followed (hamstring, groin). He was going to be a big part of the offense this year. MVS has certainly picked up the slack and will have to continue to do so, but Allison's experience in the offense has been and will be missed. EQ and Moore will continue to get more snaps, too, and this is a great opportunity for them.

So, given tomorrow night's likely-ugly color rush decor, I wonder if there is a way to change my television to black and white for the evening? Or maybe a special pair of glasses?

Good luck with that.

Do you expect Trevor Davis to be rusty and a potential risk for fumbles or muffed punts and kickoffs?

There's always that chance if he's indeed activated. But he did return to practice last week. I think the biggest thing for him will be just staying calm. He's naturally going to be amped up to get back on the field.

Who do you think needs to have a surprisingly good performance for the Packers to win? Or do you think it'll be more about the not-surprising performances (the Aarons, Adams, etc.)?

I'm looking for somebody like Josh Jackson or Josh Jones to make a big play on defense. Someone who's not the usual suspect.

Any chance any of the players that did not fly out make the game day roster? Would you have to wait until the inactives list is released to find out?

I can't say for sure, but I would think if those players had any chance of playing, they would have put them on the plane.

Do you think there will be amendments to the scheduling of Games? Games in the early Windows seems to become Longer and Longer. Are the kick off times subject to the cba?

No, the league and the networks determine them. They haven't made any changes for a while now.

I disagree with you about rooting for the bears this week. I think 9-10 wins takes the division so I don't think Chicago getting win number 7 is a good thing right?

It's not a clear-cut call. I do think the Bears have a little easier schedule from here on out, so I can see the argument for hanging another loss on them now.

Any word on the injury status of Jimmy Graham? This could be a big moment for him, considering Seattle let him go...

I think he's expected to play. I would imagine he'll be pretty fired up coming back here.

Would love to see a hurry up signal based offense this week. I think it might catch Seattle off-guard and with a little luck get us ahead early.

Running hurry-up/no-huddle can be effective at times to combat the crowd noise. It's hard to keep screaming like mad forever. You have to catch your breath sometime. But you still have to execute and move the ball.

Seattle fans in their stadium. On TV it seems less like enthusiasm and more like insane, frothing fanaticism. It's annoying. Just screaming like banshees for 3.5 hours and calling it home field advantage. What's your experience covering games there? I imagine you pack extra ibuprofin.

In the press box we're shielded from the noise a bit, but the place kind of starts to vibrate when it gets really loud. It's really an atmosphere unlike any other, because the only places that compare to it noise-wise that I've been to are indoors -- Metrodome and Superdome.

All right, I think I'm going to sign off now. Thanks everyone and we'll talk again next week. Best, Mike.

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