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There's always a chance with Aaron Rodgers at QB

The Packers executed in all three phases against Philadelphia


Greg from Yorktown, NY

McCarthy reminded everyone of his ability to call a game. Those formations were creative and effective. Winning fixes everything and yesterday's performance is what makes being a Packers fan so much fun. With all of that being said, I'm waking up to many reporters saying "take this win with a grain of salt." Do you agree with that statement?

I dug the game plan. It was innovative, multiple and contained plenty of unscouted looks. I liked the use of Starks, Montgomery and Cobb together in the backfield at times. Like all season, they weren't afraid of mixing up their tight ends and receivers anywhere on the line. For the traditionalists, the Packers even brought back the full-house formation with two fullbacks late in the game. The Packers didn't have to keep subbing personnel often, either. They found packages that worked and stuck with them. I thought McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers put the offense in a position to thrive. It was a great game plan to outduel what's been a terrific defense at home.

Dustin from Warrensburg, MO

Clearly this team begins and ends with Aaron Rodgers. It's his play these past few weeks that makes me believe he's right and we can run the table. With him there's always a chance.

Rodgers was masterful on Monday night. He got the ball out quickly, made great decisions with the ball and was deadly accurate with his throws, particularly downfield. Hey, we even saw him run a triple-option at one point. You can run out of adjectives describing his play at times, but Rodgers was exceptional against the Eagles. He was always one step ahead. It's one game but it's unquestionably a confidence-builder.

Geert from Old Windsor, UK

What impressed me most was our ability to shorten the game; long drives by offense resulting in points, defense bending but not breaking or big plays (with a lucky penalty) and special teams playing good field position. Is this the identity of our 2016 December Packers?

The Packers' dominance in time of possession and field position was the most encouraging sign from this victory because it took all three phases to do it. The offense made every drive matter, special teams held Philadelphia's returners in check, and the defense responded to early adversity with its best performance since the Bears game. It's not always easy to be this effective in all three phases, but the timing was perfect for the Packers.

Troy from Milwaukee, WI

All you can do is focus on winning the game in front of you. The divisional stretch in late December will be fun to watch and I'm going to enjoy the ride. Do you think this defense has enough stops in them to give us a chance in crunch time?

I do assuming they can stay healthy. I've made it no secret in this column I believe the first six games of the season were a better reflection of this defense than the four-game losing streak. They needed to do a better job of overcoming adversity and I thought the Packers did that in Philadelphia.

Mike from Somerset, WI

I am sure glad the Packers had patience with Davante Adams. Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy complemented each other with another draft-and-develop success story. With those two leading the Packers, I believe we will stay the course for continued success.

This is the reason you have to be patient with young players. I don't think we truly got to see the real Davante Adams last year. He showed grit in battling through that ankle injury, but it affected him for a majority of the season. He never made excuses, though. He revamped his training and picked up right where he left off during the 2016 offseason. Ted Thompson knows how to draft receivers, particularly in the second round. On his way to his first 1,000-yard season, Adams fits right into the fraternity.

Dennis from Hinzerath, Germany

Could this game be a turning point for the defense from which they find the confidence to go on a run?

*It's a turning point in the sense that it's a reminder of what the Packers' defense can do. This is the healthiest the Packers' secondary is going to get this season outside of the usual nicks and bruises. Frankly, this was a good game for Damarious Randall to return. The hope is he and Quinten Rollins can regain the momentum they started building as rookies with five regular-season games remaining. If the pass rush keeps getting pressure, I like the defense's chances going forward with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix patrolling centerfield.  *

Don from Torrington, CT

How much do the Packers give up by moving Matthews inside? He still gets QB pressure from the middle.

Matthews pointed this out after the game. Since the Packers bolted out to such an early lead, it allowed Matthews to get after the quarterback more than a traditional inside linebacker. The strategy really worked well for the Packers during the latter half of 2014 when he had 8 ½ sacks in the final eight regular-season games. I don't know what the plan moving forward will be, but Matthews' versatility is one of this defense's greatest strengths. Green Bay tapped into it in Philly.

Christopher from Echo Park, CA

So, maybe it's been the human wrecking ball, Ripkowski, all along? Feed the beast!

Aaron Rodgers heaped praise on Ripkowski after the game. He lauded his work ethic, but also his talent. It says a lot about what the Packers think of Ripkowski to put the ball in his hand on the goal line at a critical point in the game. On another note, I was pleased we were finally able to unveil last night the Ripkowski graphic we recently developed for Twitter.

Will from Nottingham, UK

Is Davante our No.1 receiver?

No disrespect to your question, but I think we get too fixated on who's a No. 1, 2, 3 or 4 receiver, especially in today's NFL. It's probably a product of a generation of fantasy-football players wanting to know whom to sit or start. When it comes to the actual game of football, the only question I want the answer to is whether a guy can produce. Adams has shown time and time again that he most certainly can.

Toua from Houston, TX

Should a playoff team be allowed to have another player on IR come back in the playoffs? Why or why not?

If that's how a team chooses to use its return designation, I don't see a problem with a player coming back in the playoffs. Think of it this way – if an injured player on a contender is activated during the regular season, should he not be allowed to play in the postseason?

Eliza from Pembroke Pines, FL

What has Jason Spriggs shown you at the guard position? Rodgers made it a point to recognize his performance during his on-field interview after the game.

You have to tip your cap to him considering he's really the third option at that spot after the injuries to T.J. Lang and Don Barclay. Spriggs' natural position is at tackle. You only need to look at his 6-foot-6 frame to recognize that, but he's a gamer. Give credit to Bryan Bulaga and Corey Linsley for helping him get comfortable. Lang is an integral part of that offensive line and not easily replaced.

John from Highland, IN

What did you think of McCarthy's use of Michael at RB? Glad we have Starks and his 2.4 YPC for us. At least Michael will be healthy for next year.

Michael played two snaps in Philadelphia, but that's not a huge surprise. He's working his way into the offense. He'll get more opportunities as time goes on.

Greg from Manhattan, NY

Is there any benefit to carrying two fullbacks on the roster? I know some teams don't even carry one.

Joe Kerridge, the Packers' backup fullback, was an accomplished special-teams player during his time at Michigan. The Packers have room for those players regardless of position. They like to categorize tight ends and fullbacks together based on their body type, so seeing four players between the two positions on the 53-man roster isn't really a surprise. The offense even found a way to get both Ripkowski and Kerridge on the field together for a handful of plays.

Luke from La Crosse, WI

I know we all shouldn't get ahead of ourselves and should only take the rest of the season one game at a time, but I can't help but wonder about the Packers' chances of making the playoffs should they not successfully "run the table."

If the Packers win out, it'll be nearly impossible for them to miss the playoffs with rematches with Minnesota and Detroit on the horizon.

Gary from Bronx, NY

Any chance you can explain Pederson's decision to use his last challenge on a 2-yard gain?

I didn't get a chance to hear what he had to say regarding the decision, but it didn't pass the cost-benefit test for me. It's risky to go a quarter without the ability to challenge. It never came into play, but it could've been costly if there was another close call.

Bo from Helsingor, Denmark

What happened with Makinton Dorleant? Last Wednesday, the Packers said they would activate him from IR but they never did.

The Packers designated Dorleant as their player to return from injured reserve, but that doesn't mean they have to activate him immediately. There's a window to allow designated players to return to practice without having to be activated to the 53.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

The Packers called approximately 45 pass plays and 22 run plays Monday night. Is that an optimal pass/run ratio going forward?

I'm not sure what the Packers' coaching staff is gunning for on a weekly basis, but that seems like a pretty productive ratio. It's enough to keep defenses honest in the run game, but also gives Rodgers enough opportunities to do what he does best. Plus, it seemed to work for the Packers Monday night.

Jeff from Summerville, SC

Lifelong Packer backer since I was 8. I am now 63. My question concerns the IR. Does a player on the IR list remain on the list throughout the playoffs or is it only up to the regular season? Keep up the good work. Go Pack Go.

You remain on that list for the remainder of the regular season and postseason unless you're given the designation to return.

Chad from Port Edwards, WI

Oh boy. Here we go. The "sunshine and rainbows" group is going to come out and say everything is fixed.

Well, it is easier to take than the "Scorch the earth and roll in the ashes" crew.

Green Bay traveled to Philadelphia to face the Eagles on Monday Night Football in Week 12. Photos by Evan Siegle,

Jon from Minneapolis, MN

Was there anything schematically the Packers changed in the kickoff coverage? They did an excellent job on that unit all night. So nice to see. Make them go 80-85 yards to score, not 60-65.

I don't think you could have asked much more from the kickoff coverage team aside from a turnover. Guys stayed in their lanes and swarmed to the football. That was an explosive group the Packers faced and the coverage team made sure the Eagles didn't venture outside of the 25 once.

Mark from Bettendorf, IA

Great punt by Schum. Why touch that ball?

It's just the natural reaction. Fortunately, Jayrone Elliott had the presence of mind to reestablish himself back in the field of play before touching the ball.

Jim from New Ulm, MN

It was with no small level of bemusement that I read multiple postgame comments along the lines of "glad MM finally listened to the fans and got rid of the 'balanced' approach." Because I'm sure the first place Mike goes prior to crafting his game plan is onto the message boards. What is the source of such self-absorption and self-importance? Madden?

*I say Madden, but maybe it's the digital age that's empowering more armchair quarterbacks to voice his or her opinion. That's the beauty of the NFL, though. I suppose it's better than indifference. *

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

Packers aside, what team or couple teams that are either up or down surprise you the most this year?

The entire NFC has blown my mind this year. I didn't see Carolina and Arizona combining for nine wins in Week 13. Dallas obviously surprised everyone, especially given how things fell apart after Tony Romo was injured last season.

Andy from Pittsburg, KS

The way I look at it. If we don't make the playoffs, it happens. If we do make the playoffs, we will have to be one of the hottest teams when it matters most.

It worked out pretty well for the Packers in 2010 and the Giants in 2011.

Brett from Green Bay, WI

What did you think of the Michigan-Ohio State game on Saturday? Do you think Michigan should still get into the playoff?

I think the Big Ten champion should get into the playoff.

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