Mark from Indianapolis, IN
Spending Christmas in Green Bay with the family has been wonderful. The game wasn't what we had hoped, but the memories should last long past the score is forgotten. A night game, meeting Jake Ryan, skating and tubing in the shadow of Lambeau, a HOF visit and an upcoming tour with LeRoy Butler. It's great to be a Packers fan, don't you think? Merry Christmas all.
I told you there's nothing quite like Lambeau Field during Christmas weekend. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the experience. **
Collin from Kirkwood, MO
"The importance of next year's draft cannot be overstated." Is it fair to say Rodgers' injury exposed the current roster as it is built today? Something tells me if he hadn't been injured, next year's draft wouldn't be on the radar heading into Week 17 as these Packers could be heading into the playoffs as favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
Franchise quarterbacks are like Mickey Mantle rookie cards. They're indescribably valuable and you want to keep them in mint condition. When they're not there, it changes things. Look at the Eagles scratching and clawing to score against the 6-8 Raiders without Carson Wentz Monday night. You could take Aaron Rodgers off any team in the NFL and there's going to be a drop-off. It's unavoidable. So I don't think Rodgers' injury exposed anything. It just reflects the importance of the QB position in today's NFL.
Gary from Wrightwood, CA
Just wanted to say I think the Rock Report on Kenny Clark was excellent.
If you won't listen to me about how good Clark has been this year, please check out what Larry has to say. Clark is incredibly gifted, but he's blended his natural athleticism with sound fundamentals. I don't want to act like pass rush was the last frontier of his development, but it will be a key part of his arsenal. Clark's future is bright. It's been a challenging year, but the interior defensive line is in good hands with Clark and Daniels. **
Tom from Two Rivers, WI
I'm trying to understand the frustration of fans for the Packers' disappointing season, but I just can't get there. We've watched playoff football for 17 of the last 24 years. That's freakishly good. Two Super Bowl victories and three appearances. Six appearances in the NFC Championship Game. Eight straight playoff appearances. Show me a fan from another NFC team who expects his team to win more than we expect the Packers to win, and I'll call him delusional. We've been spoiled by excellence. We've watched two Hall of Fame quarterbacks for 25 years. I'm 50 years old, and I've seen the best and worst of times. I'll remember it all with love for the game I cherish, but you're kidding yourself if you think these last 25 years aren't the ones I'll remember most. Only one team gets to win the Super Bowl every year. And only one team in the entire world has had 17 chances to be that champion over the last 24 years; our Green Bay Packers. Perspective is everything. Thank you Mike and Wes and Vic for sharing our passion.
I understand fans who scream, shout and want their team to win every Sunday. That's passion. I get it. What I've grown disenchanted with is this belief Spoff talked about a few months ago that the other 31 teams in the league exist only to lose to the Packers. It doesn't work like that. You can never guarantee a Super Bowl. This game is too complicated to predict when they'll happen. You only can put yourself in a position to compete. It didn't happen this year, but that doesn't mean it can't happen the next. Perspective is everything. The Packers' first non-playoff season in nine years is going to wind up still being better than nearly half the league. Think about that.
Scotty from Lombard, IL
Season's Greetings, Insiders. It appears this offseason will be filled with a good deal of activity. Since AR is the key to everything, I believe it is imperative we get him as much protection as possible. I know there are needs at several positions, but I think we must address our offensive line first, then inside linebacker next. I am going to be sorry to see some of our longtime favorites leaving, but that is life in today's NFL.
View photos of the Week 16 Packers-Vikings matchup at Lambeau Field. Photos by Corey Wilson, packers.com.
The Packers have decisions to make on the line, but the left side is set for years to come with David Bakhtiari and Lane Taylor. Corey Linsley and Jahri Evans will be unrestricted free agents and it remains to be seen what the forecast is for Bryan Bulaga at right tackle. We'll see how all that shakes out, but I'm with Spoff on re-signing Linsley. He's a solid player and good locker-room guy. I'll also add that Justin McCray's season has earned him the opportunity to compete for a starting job next summer. I'm just not exactly sure which position. **
Greg from Marquette, MI
This season we witnessed life after Rodgers. Mortgage the farm the next five years and let's win two Super Bowls. We can then go back to "draft and develop."
Because it's that simple. Because it's that easy. Mortgaging the farm ensures only one thing – a higher mortgage. Each year, 31 teams put together their 53-man roster in hopes of winning a Super Bowl. Only one succeeds.
Mike from Las Vegas, NV
Aren't the Packers locked into third in the North based on division record, even if they beat the Lions? I believe the Redskins and Atlanta are locked in third, too. So basically we know all the Packers' opponents next year.
It's pretty much set. Even if the Packers win Sunday, the Lions would hold the tiebreaker for second with their 4-2 NFC North record versus Green Bay's 3-3. So it would appear the Packers will host Atlanta at Lambeau next year and travel to Washington in addition tothe rest of their predetermined opponents.
Chris from New Canaan, CT
Brutal though it might be, let's imagine the Vikings get to the Super Bowl. Please tell me the stadium would be treated as a neutral site and we would not have to endure that hideous Helga horn during the broadcast.
I think it would have to be, right? I mean Minnesota technically would be the road team.
Jeff from Miami, FL
Do the Packers have the personnel to play a 4-3 defense, or would that require a big roster overhaul? How could that work with our current defenders?
You can change the overall philosophy if you want, but the 3-4 versus 4-3 argument is stale. This isn't 2009 anymore. It's a sub-package league. Teams are using their nickel and dime packages more than 80 percent of the time. Plus, if you've been watching this year, the Packers have run their 4-3 variant with Clay Matthews or Kyler Fackrell playing off the line of scrimmage in nearly every game this year.
Gary from Tompkinsville, KY
It seems to me that the best tight end on the team this year was Richard Rodgers. I haven't been impressed by Bennett or Kendricks. Also, I'm glad to see Michael Clark play. Clark makes a good red-zone target. Throw the ball high and let him go get it.
Kendricks has done some nice things this year, but Richard Rodgers is a player I don't think gets enough credit. Sure, he's not Jermichael Finley, but Rodgers has been steady, consistent and extremely durable in his four seasons in Green Bay. He's barely missed a practice, let alone a game. He also accepted a reduced role this season without any public complaint. Rodgers has been a true pro since Day 1.
Phil from Madison, WI
While we all want the catch rule simple and clear, here is my pet peeve of a rule that needs to change. When a receiver and defender are running downfield and the receiver initiates contact and tries to run through the defender to get to a poorly thrown ball (or intentionally thrown to draw the penalty) that is called good defensive positioning, not pass interference.
Michael from Portland, OR
Do two-point attempts count in the team's or individual statistics? For example, a completed pass, interception or tackle?
Jimmy from Cedar Rapids, IA
Ted, what changes do you plan on making before next season? Please be specific.
Sorry. Wrong number.
Keith from Truro, Canada
You mentioned that GB has a lot of draft picks for 2018. At this point, do you know how many and where did they all come from?
The Packers have seven draft picks, likely four compensatory picks and I believe a seventh-rounder from Buffalo from the Lerentee McCray trade coming their way. We'll know the picks in their seven rounds next week and the compensatory picks sometime in March.
Wayne from Green Bay, WI
It seems like people think we are set at RB now, but I really don't see it that way. Aaron Jones suffered two knee injuries during limited playing time. Jamaal runs tough but lacks explosion and there is no way he lasts a full season with his limited size and running style. Ty is injury-prone and Mays has ball-security issues. We need playmaking ability at the position. Look what adding an explosive rookie did for the Saints.
I tend to disagree. If I'm the Packers, I feel good about where I stand at running back. Jones and Williams give them different options, and a healthy Ty Montgomery provides plenty of explosive playmaking out of the backfield. Green Bay has areas to address this offseason, but I don't see running back as one of them.
Steve from Menomonee Falls, WI
Insiders, since we are playing out the string, is it OK to make our playoff predictions now? Pretty easy for the AFC, Pitt beating The Fighting Belichicks. In the NFC, I see New Orleans losing to the Rams. I get parity, but nobody else has separated themselves in the NFC based on the eye test these past few weeks. Thoughts?
I'd be shocked if the AFC representative isn't Pittsburgh or New England. I think the Steelers are a little better-rounded, so I'll give them my vote. The NFC is anybody's guess. There are so many different teams with different strengths. I think the Saints probably have the best odds given their offensive firepower and their best defense in years. As it stands, I'll say Steelers 34, Saints 28 in the Super Bowl.
Shane from Sanger, CA
Do you think McCarthy will ever step away from the live-game side of things and take up a personnel job, like Tom Coughlin? Can't imagine assembling a roster that matches his vision for the team is a gig many would turn down.
McCarthy has been asked every offseason for as long as I can remember whether he'd be interested in being a GM someday. Every time, he reiterates his commitment to coaching. **
Paul from Beaver Dam, WI
We have to talk about this Rodgers situation. Because he didn't have a "new injury" before being designated back on IR, that means the Packers violated NFL IR protocol and that Rodgers would be subject to waivers!? And who has first choice in waivers? None other than the Browns and John Dorsey. Could this actually happen?
As Spoff said on Monday, the NFL has control and approval over transactions. If there was a real issue here, it would've already been addressed. The Packers followed the protocol like they do during any transaction. Furthermore, I don't get why this is a thing. The Packers aren't going to the playoffs. There's no competitive advantage here. Maybe it was good for a few clicks. Not much else.
Roger from West Bend, WI
If you think our defense was so great Saturday night, just remember the Vikes' head coach was not going to do anything to disrupt his team going forward. Had they needed it, the Vikings could have found the next gear. The Packers wouldn't even know where to look.
So if the defense plays poorly, everyone is to blame? If the defense plays well, you discredit and call it an anomaly? Got it.
Jim from Lake Tapawingo, MO
Have you heard how the Pack as well as the individual players are going to attack their lack of strength and training to diminish the injuries in 2018? They were sorely out of shape in 2017.
Being out of shape wasn't the issue.
Dennis from Cameron, WI
The frozen tundra is past history. Tradition is important, but times have changed with a different generation now. Don't you think a dome is needed for fans, players, and attracting free agents? Fan since '58.
Would you put a roof on your convertible in July? Never.
Mike from Somerset, WI
Wes, have you taken a tube down the sledding hill? How is it?
I haven't had a chance yet, but I hear it's a laugh riot. I'm looking forward to bringing my nephews this winter.
Tony from River Falls, WI
I want to thank you guys for putting up with the yahoos and naysayers throughout this season. So many of my friends and coworkers have been crying out for a change in Packers coaches and leadership because of this season, which is ridiculous. Thank you guys for speaking truth and for answering the tough questions. We are fortunate and blessed to not only have a great team year after year, but a great group of writers and staff providing us with team info and coverage every week. This Packers season has been a difficult one but a fun one to watch. Thank you Mike and Wes for all you do!
Thank you, Tony. It's comments like this that makes everything Spoff and I do worthwhile. I hope you all had a tremendous Christmas.