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Packers are taking what they want

Tough road ahead to Super Bowl


Michael from Dover, PA

They took what they wanted. Look out.

You're right. The Packers are imposing their will, which is the trademark of a special offense. When they lost Eddie Lacy and James Starks and struggled to find a running game, defenses turned their attention almost fully to stopping the pass. Amazingly, that's when the Packers' passing game began to peak. I think that makes the resurgence of the Packers' passing game even more impressive. Aaron Rodgers is beating defenses designed almost solely to stop him. He's winning with precision execution. He's playing as well as I've seen him play, and that includes 2011.


Tony from Appleton, WI

I had so many people say to me how the NFL has figured Aaron Rodgers out, and how he wasn't as good as he once was. I kept telling them to just wait. Tell me how amazing that touchdown to Allison was! What is a defense supposed to do when Rodgers is on fire?

When Rodgers is playing as he is now, about all the other guys can do is run the ball and limit his possession time. It's still the best formula for beating a great quarterback.

Matt from East Troy, WI

Vic, with Ty Montgomery's number, is there an advantage for him or the offense in general, out of the backfield?

His number is no advantage. Montgomery's advantage is the creative mind of his coach and the defense's focus on stopping Rodgers.

Nick from Modesto, CA

I've been reading the insider box every day. It truly has changed my perspective when I watch the Packers play. It's honestly made me a little happier every day. I just want to ask, what do the Packers have to do to beat the New York Giants?

This will be a win-your-one-on-one kind of game, especially on offense for the Packers. The Giants have a powerful defense that can match up in the secondary with the best receivers. On the other side of the ball, the Packers' depleted secondary will face a daunting task against Odell Beckham and company. I expect Dom Capers to throw a lot of blitzes and disguised coverages at Eli Manning. How do the Packers beat the Giants? With a get-the-ball-out-quick, possession passing attack on offense and a persistent pass rush on defense. One more thing: Make the cold your friend, not your enemy.

Mike from Buda, TX

Good game with a great outcome. Are the Packers hot enough to overcome the injuries and make a run, or do we have the curse of Bobby Layne to thank for Detroit's inability to put the division away and allow us to be in the position we're in right now?

The best team in the division won the division. So, what about that position the Packers are in? Well, as I see it, the Packers will have a tough road to the Super Bowl. There won't be any soft games the rest of the way. The Packers will host the Giants and could find themselves having to play in Dallas in the divisional round and in either Seattle or Atlanta in the conference title game. This is why I say it's all about getting hot at postseason time. What chance would a team not playing its best football have against that trio of opponents? Fortunately, the Packers are playing their best football.

John from St. Albans, Australia

What does "run the table" mean?

In the postseason, it means win the next game.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

Did knowing the Redskins lost earlier in the day make this game seem less exciting for you guys? Yeah, they won the division, but we already knew they were in the playoffs after thinking all week it could likely be do or die.

It didn't dampen my interest. Winning the division means hosting a playoff game. It's a reward for loyal season ticket holders. This is why I support the division title concept. If division champions weren't automatically awarded home playoff games, last night's game would've been largely meaningless.

Green Bay faced off against the Detroit Lions in a Week 17 matchup at Ford Field. Photos by Evan Siegle,

Drew from Madison, WI

I'd love to see the Packers go through the Giants, the Cowboys and the Seahawks in the playoffs. Those teams have brought us too much angst. Bring it on.

It wouldn't surprise me if you were to be granted your wish.

Luc from St. Thomas, Canada

Green Bay controlled the ball in the second half so well. Detroit had 40 plays by halftime, but ran only 24 plays the rest of the game. Very much looking forward to playoff football!

A possession passing attack frustrates a defense every bit as much as a pounding running back, but quarterbacks that can do what Aaron Rodgers does are in short supply. Rodgers, Tom Brady and Joe Montana are the best possession passers I've seen.

Jerry from Wilmington, NC

Vic, Cris Collinsworth pointed out several times how good the Packers' offensive line is at pass protection. Finally this unit gets the recognition it deserves, wouldn't you say?

Collinsworth said it's the best pass-protection line in the league. I would agree, but I would add Rodgers' mobility is an equally good protector.

Tristan from Washington, DC

Vic, Happy New Year! What is your resolution for 2017? How did being new treat you in 2016?

My resolution for 2016 was to "be new" because I knew I was facing a year of major change. It worked beautifully. I did all kinds of new things. I was bitten by a dog, fell down the steps, was helicoptered to a hospital and forced to evacuate my home for Hurricane Matthew. I'll never forget the feeling of waiting for the first report from after the hurricane passed. I've decided not to have a resolution for 2017.

Craig from Cedarburg, WI

The secondary really stepped up with Rollins going out; far from perfect, but got the job done. Can they hold on against one of the best passing attacks in the league?

That's going to be the No. 1 question this week. I think the frigid temperatures forecast for this Sunday present another question: What team will they favor?

Joe from South Bend, IN

It seems to me Aaron Rodgers has a clear case over Tom Brady for MVP. Brady didn't even play in four games. Take away Rodgers' three worst games and Rodgers has many more touchdowns than Brady, the same interceptions, a higher passer rating, plus his rushing touchdowns and a lot more rushing yards. Take away Rodgers' four worst games and it's even better. Isn't that a fair way to look at it?

What about Matt Ryan?

Del from Sterling, IL

Vic, a lot of people wrote the Packers off at 4-6. What was the most important factor that allowed them to finish on a six-game winning streak?

They listened to their coach.

Nathan from New York, NY

As fans, all we can do is watch. Let's make sure, though, the Giants fans will be watching the game from their homes, unlike last time when there was a sea of blue at that playoff game.

Above all, loyalty. Remember the story about the young coach?

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