Skip to main content

Mike's Mid-Week Chat: How do the Packers handle the quick turnaround?

Senior writer Mike Spofford answered questions in his weekly live chat

DL Kenny Clark
DL Kenny Clark

Hey everybody, hope you had a great Christmas. Thanks for logging on today. Let's get started.

Is it too late for a receiver other than Davante Adams to "flip the switch" and will we see more targets for the Tight Ends?

The tight end question is a week-to-week game plan decision a lot of times. As for flipping the switch, all of the Packers' receivers behind Adams have had their moments, so they're all capable. They don't have to flip the switch as much as be ready when their big chance comes.

I know it's "any given Sunday" and all, but what can the Lions do to win? Have they won any games without Stafford?

Their last win was in late October against the Giants and I honestly don't remember if Stafford played. The Lions have a ton of starters on IR and the Packers should be able to take care of business. I think it mainly comes down to taking care of the ball. I wouldn't recommend three turnovers in the first half again. Protect the ball and the Packers should win.

Hey Mike, would you agree with me that Rodgers lasso move is actually him spinning an old school noise makers?

I have absolutely no earthly idea.

Why is Matt never mentioned in the COTY convention? But guys like Harbaugh and Tomlin are? A rookie head coach with 12 wins and a possible first round bye!

I think he'll be in the mix when it's all said and done. Tomlin won't be if the Steelers don't make the playoffs. But Harbaugh, Shanahan, Payton and some others are all legitimate candidates, along with LaFleur. I wouldn't say there's an obvious choice and the vote could be close.

Do you anticipate this will be another packers "home" game in Detroit?

I'm very curious to see how many Packers fans visit Ford Field on Sunday. Tickets should be pretty easy to come by, and cheap. Detroit is one stadium we haven't seen GB fans really take over in the past. Maybe this week.

What is press box set up like at Ford Field for you? Any guesses what percentage of fans will be Packer fans? Thank you for doing this

The press box at Ford Field is way up high, but we can certainly see everything. It's also open air, so we hear all the crowd noise as well, just like we did Monday in Minneapolis.

I sent this on II, I'll be at the game Sunday with my girlfriend and we have field passes for pregame. What are the odds I'll see you pre game?

Wes and I will be on the field somewhere around 2 hours before kickoff doing our livestream preview. If you see us, definitely say hello.

With Seattle's current RB situation, do they have a realistic chance at a running game against San Francisco?

Bringing back Lynch sure makes things interesting. You wonder if he's got enough left in a short burst here to make a difference.

Do you have any info on Jamaal Williams's injury, will he possibly play against the Lions?

He's listed on the injury report with a shoulder injury and he wouldn't have practiced yesterday had the Packers held a workout. That's all we really know. He told some reporters on Tuesday (I think) that he felt he'd be OK, but we'll see what the doctors say as the week goes along.

I know each player is different but how does a players day change from Monday night in Minnesota compared to a 1 PM start in Detroit this Sunday

Players almost always prefer early games, because they get out of bed and go to the stadium. They're not sitting around all day waiting for the bus ride.

I only question Harbaugh because I feel like Lamar Jackson turning into a super star was more of the reason for the Ravens success, but I suppose 13-2 looks good on any coaches resume. Go Pack Go!

But the Ravens built a whole new style of offense around Jackson and that takes pretty good coaching. The argument for Harbaugh is plenty strong.

Dean Lowry had a nice game for going in questionable... is Tyler Lancaster the surprise in our D Line... injury update coming out of Monday night... Thank you!!

Lowry did have a nice game, with the batted pass and blowing up the little inside handoff to Thielen on third down. Lancaster is no surprise. He was last year, but he's built on that and carried it forward.

I know the Packers are pretty healthy, but I haven't seen much about injuries coming out of Monday night. Any player injuries you think would greatly benefit from bye week, including players playing hurt?

After 16 games, a week off benefits everyone physically. Guys are playing through stuff all the time. It's not necessarily listed on the injury report if they're not being limited in practice, but any time off helps guys feel better.

Will MLF sit some starters Sunday just as precaution against injury?

Not if they're healthy. You play to win this game, period. It gets you to the second round with a home game. That's huge.

I'm thinking not pound our #1 back. Is there a third if Williams can't go?

Tyler Ervin played a handful of snaps on offense Monday night. Dexter Williams  would also be available but he hasn't played all season.

While watching Kevin King's pick on replay it looked like DPI could been called on Jaire Alexander. Glad the refs were letting them play

Vinovich's crew is the best in the league. Low numbers of penalties. They let the players decide the games.

How will the Packers create a game play with such a short week being off until today?)

LaFleur mentioned Tuesday the coaches were going to work late Tuesday night and then come in Wednesday afternoon to put together the game plan. The players were given the plan in meetings this morning when they came in.

Kenny Clark was a beast again on Monday. Does he have a shot for All Pro team?

That might be tough because he hasn't been a dominant player all season long, but the way he's playing right now he's as good or better than anyone else at his position.

At the start of the last game, it felt like we were falling back into a slow start that we had seen in LA and San Francisco (Which we never overcame). Is this last game a sign that this Packers team has improved mentally and is able to play from behind (as far as momentum is concerned)?

I thought it was a huge step in that way. The Packers hadn't been able to right the ship in a road game that started poorly, but they did in a very big game Monday night. The road wins at Dallas, KC, Giants all had fast starts. This one didn't, but they found a way.

Isn't it great that the final regular season game in Seattle determines the NFC seeding for 4 teams?

It's pretty wild. The implications are most significant for San Francisco. Win for the 1, lose and the Niners drop all the way to the 5. A lot hinging on it, and as long as the Packers take care of business, I'm looking forward to getting back from Detroit in time to settle in and watch how it plays out.

There is a lot of talk that we know what we need to do, but SF only needs 1 win as well. If you were a betting man, which side to you give the advantage to Sunday night?

I really don't know. San Fran posted a heck of a road win not long ago at New Orleans. Then again, it's hard for me to see Seattle stumbling at home twice in a row after last week. I think the 49ers are the better, healthier team, but that's a really tough place to play with a lot on the line.

Sunday 's Game should be stop the run and let the undrafted rookie try to beat you. I see three picks in this game.

If the Packers control the line of scrimmage and make tackles the way they did at Minnesota, the defense will be just fine even if it doesn't get a bunch of turnovers.

Thanks for a great week in Minneapolis as a Packers fan. The silence is golden. Can the Packers continue to own the trenches into the playoffs?

That'll be a big determining factor. There will be better offensive lines in the NFC playoffs than Minnesota's, but the Vikings' D-line is as good as anyone's and the Packers did a great job on that side, too.

The coverage in the secondary has improved all year. Are the players now really getting Coach P's defense?

I asked DB coach Jason Simmons about this last week, because you can see on film how much smoother things are when routes are passed off from one defender to another, etc. He said the communication has improved considerably, and it was a huge emphasis after the breakdowns in San Francisco.

All of a sudden the Packers are as high as #2 on power rankings...all from one game. No one is sleeping on them now, huh?

I talked all last week about the national narrative on the Packers changing if they went to Minnesota and won. No one in the locker room cares, but I'm not surprised at all how perceptions have suddenly changed.

the defense played lights out and they needed that game to show who was boss....get'r done

Now the challenge is staying at that level against a playoff-caliber offense at full strength.

If the Packers lose to Detroit, does that mean they drop to the number 4 seed in the playoffs?

No, they would drop to the 3, unless the Saints also lose, then the Packers would still get the 2 and a bye. The NFC East winner will be the 4.

Do you think Christmas week plus intensity of the MN win will negatively affect our prep and performance in Detroit?

That's part of the challenge this week. It shouldn't, because these guys are pros and know what's at stake.

It just feel wrong to want the Seahawks to win... but man a #1 seed would really be something

No one likes cheering for the Seahawks. No one liked it when they played the Vikings a few weeks back, either. But if they can help the Packers, you take the help.

If the 49ers lose and the Pack wins, who is the Pack's next opponent? Or do we still need to wait and see?

If the Packers get a bye, it's wait and see. The 2 seed can end up playing the 3, 4 or 5 depending on wild-card weekend results. The 1 seed could play the 4, 5 or 6.

I think Z played a notch above his usual regular season energy. Did you sense that? He was already at playoff intensity...and the rest of the D followed.

That was a tour de force performance by 55. Big game, on the road, high stakes, and he dominated. He beat every Minnesota offensive lineman at one point or another in that game.

Still waiting for that one game where everything clicks. This could be that week—and subsequently give the team a big push into the playoffs.

The Packers aren't going to prove anything against the Lions this week. They just have to win.

Hi Mike! I know people want to see great numbers from our receivers, since it's basically what we've been used to because the running game has been inconsistent year after year. But why not take a moment to recognize their run blocking efforts as well this year? A WYMM on this can't hurt either.

I thought about highlighting that (I did it for a game earlier this season) but there was so much talk about the WRs blocking it doesn't really fit with the WYMM theme. If you know what I'm going to focus on, it's not WYMM, you know what I mean?

Has anyone talked about Zimmer's postgame handshake?

I haven't seen any players comment on it. I'm sure LaFleur won't. No reason to.

Saw groin on Bryan Bulaga. Is that new?

I believe so but no idea how serious it is. We'll see how the rest of the week plays out.

I personally feel that Lynch beast will not be a huge or even significant factor given the new Seattle offense since he previously played. I hope he is but do you agree?

I really don't know. I'm sure there are plenty of plays they could dust off without too much trouble if they feel the need.

Don't want to play the Vikings again. Are they locked in at #6?

Yes they are. They will travel to face the 3, which could be Seattle, New Orleans or GB.

The Super Smith Bros post-game interview was touching. When Za'Darius Smith was choking up and struggling to answer a question, Preston Smith  stepped in and helped out. What great teammates!

Those two are nothing if not entertaining.

As great as the win in MN was, am I wrong to feel like there is still another level that can be reached from the offense...and that we are still waiting for the "click"? Are other teams thinking this, too?

The first half was definitely disjointed with the turnovers, some off-target throws, and some drops. The second half the running game carried the day and the passing game hit on the plays it needed to. There's still another level, and LaFleur and Rodgers know it.

All right, I think it's time for me to sign off. LaFleur will be going to the podium soon and then we have locker room interviews today. Thanks again everybody and enjoy the rest of your holidays. Talk again soon. Take care, Mike

Related Content