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This game could decide a playoff berth

Will Congress mandate that Clay Matthews play inside linebacker?


Dominic from Islington, UK

We all have our thoughts on the format of the Pro Bowl itself, but which of the Packers do you see playing at a Pro Bowl level this year?

Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson come to mind right away. Josh Sitton continues to play at a Pro Bowl level. I would consider those three players to be the Packers' top candidates at this point in the season. Here's one more: Jarrett Bush. He's a sensational special teams player.

Brian from Albertville, AL

If I were an opposing defensive coordinator, I'd double-cover Jordy and Cobb and hope for the best. What about you?

That'll likely leave six in the box, which is what the Lions did successfully to beat the Packers, but that was two months ago and I don't think that would work again. You would likely get gashed with the run.

Nick from Durand, IL

I would like to see Clay play inside more because he seems to be better with the ability to play the entire field, plus he can still rush from the inside.

Sounds like a winner.

Guilherme from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

I am a new football (Packers) fan and still learning the game. How should I evaluate our defensive ends? It's more important to stop the run or break the pocket to get to the QB?

Stop the run.

Jack from Chicago, IL

Vic, I think something that hasn't been touched on much is the Eagles defense. I think they match up well against the Packers. I expect an exciting game.

The Eagles defense's numbers aren't that good: 24th overall, 20th against the run and 23rd against the pass. Of course, it must be acknowledged that a defense married to an up-tempo offense is likely to surrender more yards than a defense that's partnered with a huddle offense. The Eagles are 10th in sacks per pass play, which makes you take note, but by and large I like the way the Packers match up with the Eagles defense.

Rodelio from Sta Rosa Laguna, Philippines

Vic, when Clay Matthews lined up at inside linebacker, the Packers had two former college and/or pro defensive ends in Julius Peppers and Nick Perry lined up at outside linebacker spots. Did this situation commonly occur with the Steelers?

It's a common occurrence in all 3-4 defenses. Terrell Suggs played defensive end in college and has played end and outside linebacker with the Ravens. This is what I like about the 3-4. It has a position for tweeners, which deepens the pool of players from which 3-4 teams can draft.

Zachary from Holland, MI

Vic, please don't get me wrong, I completely agree with your insight and knowledge, however, is it possible inside linebacker is becoming more important than outside linebacker?

In Green Bay, yes. Leaguewide, no. The top two in sacks are outside linebackers, Justin Houston and Elvis Dumervil.

Ben from Indianapolis, IN

Who touched the ball first, Frenchy or Tatum?

Only Frenchy knows, and he has the answer sealed in an envelope.

Robin from Flagstaff, AZ

What would be different about Aaron's career if he doesn't develop behind Favre for four years?

He'd have more touchdown passes and yards passing.

Chris from Eden Prairie, MN

Vic, how comfortable are you with the defensive depth heading late into the season? It seems that if they can stay healthy, they're as good as anyone.

Wow! What a difference a week makes. Moving Clay Matthews to inside linebacker is absolute genius.

Donovan from Fort Bliss, TX

What would the people who are complaining about Rodgers not getting a chance at the NFL record for TDs in a game say if he was allowed to continue to play in a lopsided victory and broke his collarbone?

Fire everyone.

Jeff from Pekin, IL

Vic, do you think the Eagles will make the playoffs? Obviously, Green Bay will.

There's a chance this game could decide a playoff berth. A win this Sunday would make me considerably more secure about the Packers' playoff chances.

Tim from Rosario, Argentina

Vic, big game in the NFC this week, as Detroit visits Arizona. What are your thoughts on that game?

If Carson Palmer hadn't been injured last week, I'd favor the Cardinals. With Palmer out, I favor a Lions victory. Hey, just win, baby. The Lions have to come here for the last game of the season.

Scott from Hudson, OH

The defensive move to put Matthews at ILB was brilliant. For me, the impact on the game ranks as high as Rodgers' performance. The up and down performance of the defense makes Matthews' performance more meaningful. Any reason not to play Matthews more at ILB?

I think Congress should pass a law forbidding him from playing anywhere else.

Jeff from Andover, MN

Vic, the Jets benched Calvin Pryor for chronically being late to team meetings. One first-round safety is ascending while the other is descending. I'm glad we have Ha Ha.

Yeah, but Pryor will knock your face in.

Trevor from Wausau, WI

Coach McCarthy stated in his conference that the Packers were in a four-minute offense a lot during the Bears game. What exactly does he mean by that?

Kill the clock without going into a shell.

Kevin from Natick, MA

I've turned more games off at halftime this one year than I have in my entire lifetime. The explosion in offense and the lack of the field-position game has made close finishes much rarer. How do we get teams to play the field-position game so we can watch some more classic finishes?

Make it more difficult to score points; it would make yards more valuable. Forget about it. The casual fan prefers an air assault over a ground war.

Michael from Madison, WI

Vic, I am beginning to think Cobb is having too good of a season. At this rate, he may be able to command more in free agency than the Packers are willing to shell out. I know it's a tough game for tough fans, but the thought of Cobb playing against the Packers is more than I can bear. Help me maintain perspective.

OK, here's the perspective: Nothing is more important than the health of your salary cap, and maintaining a healthy salary cap often means having to make difficult decisions. I have no doubt the Packers have a plan for retaining Randall Cobb, but the risk he could leave in free agency is a risk conscientious cap managers know they must accept.

Marc from Roxbury, WI

Last game, Aaron Rodgers tied Daryl Lamonica for most touchdown passes in a half. Since he was a little before my time, what do you remember about Lamonica?

The "Mad Bomber" threw one of the best deep balls in NFL history. In the first game I ever covered, he threw one to Mike Siani. I can still see the play.

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