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Packers.com Editor Vic Ketchman conducted his weekly Friday chat


Hi, everybody, and welcome to today's chat. Go chat go!

Comment From MM

The team is healthy with the long rest. No excuses for Sunday!

When have you ever heard them makes excuses?

Comment From Guest

Do NFL teams have certain players who do well in games when there's rain -- sort of like "mudders" in horse racing.

I knew a coach who was fond of saying little guys fall down in the mud.

Comment From Jeffrey

Is ball security the number 1 worry on days where it rains the entire time?          

Yes. The Packers practice ball security more than any team I've ever covered.

Comment From Nik

Do you think the Panthers will go undefeated?

Back at midseason, I think I wrote that I liked their chances better than the Patriots', but I think 19-0 is next to impossible in today's league of parity. The Panthers could face a big decision in a few weeks. If they're undefeated, I believe they should play for it, not rest their starters.

Comment From Andrew

With the emergence of Jake Ryan, will we see Clay Matthews back on the outside?

*I don't think that's imminent.   *

Comment From Chris

Vic - How do the Packers establish momentum early, in the air or on the ground?

*I'd like to see them open with the run. I'd like to see them be patient against a Cowboys team that isn't likely to run away and hide. I'd like to see the run lead the pass.              *

Comment From Scott

Which receiver gets targeted the most this Sunday?

I'm going to say Richard Rodgers.

Comment From John

Do you think Dez will be fired up afte what happened last years playoff game?

*He's always fired up. If he doesn't have a reason, he'll manufacture one.          *

Comment From Steve

Vic, I am from Fergus Falls also, I don't know Eli or agree with his views why should I be band for a view of someone else. You once answered my question and said Fergus Falls seams like a lovely place to live.

I've changed my mind. You're banned.

Comment From Kyle

Which running back do you think will have the hot hand this week?

Eddie Lacy.

Comment From Craig

How healthy does the offensive line appear to be going into Sunday's game?

Better but not all the way back. Corey Linsley will likely miss the game.

Comment From John

What are ty montgomery's chances of playing this week?

They sound improved.

Comment From Arohit

Do you think Lacy gets to carry the ball first or Starks keeps his 'spot'.

Good question. I think Starks starts, but I expect Lacy to play early and often. He's being challenged. His coach will want to see how he responds to the challenge. In my opinion, this is still Lacy's running game, whenever he wants to take it.

Comment From MaxInNeenah

My wife insists I ask, why does Clay Matthews play with his hair down, then pull it back for the media post-game?               

I don't have a clue. Those things just don't matter to me.

Comment From C-Lee

I agree that Lacy will be our main RB this Sunday, but what do you think Crocket's role will be?

I think we've gone Crockett crazy. Do we even know he'll be active?

Comment From Andrew

Who would be active if Crockett isn't?

Lacy, Starks, Kuhn, Ripkowski; how many backs do you need?

Comment From Chase

Is there any possibility we will see more Ripkowski instead of John Kuhn over these next few weeks, any possibly more seasons to come?

Ripkowski has a future with this team, but Kuhn is a dependable veteran. This is his time of the year. That's my opinion.

Comment From Josh S.

Who do you think is the Cowboys' best pass rusher?      

Greg Hardy is a special player.

Comment From Lonny

Without Romo, how will Dallas try to beat Green Bay?

*Bleed the clock, convert third down with Witten, make big plays with Bryant, take the ball away on defense. *

Comment From Chase 

Do you think the Cowboys would have a better shot at defeating us if they had their squad from last season?

*That was a good Cowboys team the Packers beat. Dallas could've won in Seattle.           *

Comment From BrettGB 

What color eyes do you have?


Comment From Nik 

Is it just me, or did the Cardinals look beatable in Arizona?

Is that the good news or the bad news. The Packers may have to beat the Vikings three times this year to get to the second round of the playoffs. I'm not crazy about that.

Comment From Matt 

Sorry to say, but the weather favors Dallas.

I don't agree. Aaron Rodgers is an outstanding bad-weather quarterback.

Comment From Kevin D. 

Did you happen to catch Herm Edwards' rant on McCoy? I feel like what he said is something you would agree with.

*I didn't see it.   *

Comment From Pat 

Will you get a chance to meet up with your old friend Jack Del Rio next weekend?           

For sure. We met at the owners meetings last March. I think he's building something there. I look forward to the conference call next week.

Comment From Andrew 

How does McCarthy motivate the players?

He has his finger on the pulse of the team. He knows what they need in the way of a nudge, but that's all a coach can do, nudge his team. Motivation has to come from within, because pep talks wear off in the first quarter.

Comment From Alex 

What is your gut telling you for this game?

I'm very confident of a Packers victory.

Comment From Matt 

Competition also breeds motivation. Nothing motivates more than job security.

Job insecurity.

Comment From Andrew 

How's the weather today in Green Bay?

40ish. Sunday is warmer but wet.

Comment From Pete Puma 

Do you have TV monitors in the press box that show the broadcast feed?

Oh, sure. We have several. You can't cover an NFL game without seeing replays.

Comment From Tom 

Going to be a pretty pumped-up Cowboy team, don't you think?

I'm not sure. They're only a game out of the lead, but do they believe they're for real? It always comes down to a team's belief in itself.

Comment From Pat 

Wouldn't a all yellow color rush similar to what Oregon wears be cool for the Packer with a yellow chrome helmet?               

*I don't think the helmet should change. The helmet and its logo is a team's most lasting identity.         *

Comment From Andrew 

What other games are you going to keep an eye on this week?

*Steelers at Bengals, Colts at Jaguars, Seattle at Baltimore.          *

Comment From Tony C 

You afraid of the Giants at all ?? They can still win the NFC East, incredible though that is ....

Do I think they can get hot and go? Yes, I do. JPP was dominant last week. It's up to Eli Manning now. It's that way for every team. They'll go as far as their quarterback takes them.

Comment From KJ 

Who do you feel the Packers match up better against? Arizona or Carolina?        

I would have no fear of going back to Carolina. Arizona's rankings are scary good. I'll have a better feel after the game there.

Comment From Leigh B 

Will the Packers learn anything from the Vikings, Cardinals game last night?

What I learned is the Vikings are a better team than the one the Packers beat.

Comment From Ray N 

Peterson seems to have lost a step; he gets extended horizontally a lot more these days. Do you see the same ??

*No.        *

Comment From Russell 

If the Packers get hot the rest of the way, would it be better to not have the bye and keep the momentum rolling, or would the extra week of rest be more beneficial?

This team needs to get on a roll and stay there. The bye week sure didn't help it.

Comment From SC Robert 

We can't stop talking about the Panthers and The Cardinals. What problems could the Raiders pose for us in 'their house'?

It depends where the Packers' passing attack is. The Raiders are No. 28 against the pass.

Comment From Pat 

Who will be the surprise to make it to the playoffs in your mind?

*The Jets.             *

Comment From Timothy 

Vic, can you believe Teddy didn't throw it away earlier?

*He's only in his second year. Aaron Rodgers wasn't playing in his second year. Bridgewater has the look of a legitimate franchise QB.             *

Comment From Will 

Which team likely to miss the playoffs do you expect to be the most improved next year?

The Steelers have a killer schedule down the stretch. I don't think they'll make the playoffs, but they're close to being something special now. Add a shutdown corner to that team next season, and a healthy Leveon Bell, and look out.

Comment From Reggie 

Tampa Bay is today where the Panthers were five years ago      

Take a look at the Bucs' rankings: 9-2-24, 9-7-16. They may be grossly underrated. Maybe they'll be the surprise team.

Comment From Ben 

Maybe it's too early to tell but what will be the strength of the 2016 draft?

Wide receivers. They're everywhere.

Comment From Robert 

Vic, I can't tell from past answers in your column, but did you grow up a Pitt fan or ND fan?

*Both. Those were my teams. There's a story involving my father and Pitt. One day I'd like to tell it.       *

Comment From Ross C 

Which bowl games are "must-see" TV for you? 

Only the playoff games.

Comment From "Rogers that" 

Vic, what color hair do you have?

Brown. I have it dyed grey.

Comment From "Rogers that" 

Vic,,, no Rose Bowl?

What's the significance?

Comment From Owen 

How about Notre Dame-Ohio State?

It has no significance. Both of those teams did that to themselves with late-season losses.

Comment From Ben 

Larry McCarren said that Julius Peppers runs scout team. Can you elaborate on that?

No, media isn't permitted to watch practice other than for the warmup session.

Comment From Chris 

What do you think of the number of bowl games there are? 39 this year.

They're good practice for teams; it gives them a head start on next year. That's the significance of them. If you don't play in a bowl game, you're already behind the other teams for next season.

Comment From Jason H 

I just watched a video on the Packers site where Marshall Faulk referenced the Packers "finally fixing the offensive line" at the end of the year. Is he watching the same Packers team?

Tony Boselli told me there's nothing wrong with the Packers line. I believe Tony.

Comment From Alex B 

Vic, what is the best case scenario for our playoff position if we win out?

That's a great question. Mike and I think it could be No. 5. I hate to give away the division title, but I think No. 3 might require a tougher road through the playoffs.

Comment From Max 

What would your dream playoff scenario be?

Beat the Vikings in the wild-card round, win at Arizona in the divisional round, and then beat the Seahawks in the NFC title game.

Comment From Mark E 

You mentioned 19-0 is difficult. What about 16-0? Panthers schedule doesn't make it impossible.

What good is 16-0? 19-0 is all that matters.

Comment From Jonathan 

So your saying an away game against a weak division winner is better than a home game against a good team? No home field advantage advantage?

We all have our opinions.

Comment From Jesus 

It mattered to us.

*That's a great entry. Those were the words on the sign that hung in Indianapolis after the Colts pulled Manning and lost. It was felt they sacrificed a perfect season for playoff positioning. You get today's award for best post of the day.      *

Comment From Josh S. 

If I run into you on Sunday, will you spare 15 seconds to take a picture with me, or would that be intruding?

Of course.

Comment From Braden 

Didn't you say to not worry about who you play in the column and "Just win, baby"?

*You have to give me some wiggle room.             *

Comment From tyler 

or - 1 turnover for the packers this week?

If it's not , they could losel. They were -2 against the Bears. This is a rain game, which means turnovers are really big.

Comment From Ed 

Vic, Who do you pick - Steelers or the Bengals this week?

Bengals. If they Bengals don't win, the Steelers will win in Cincinnati in the playoffs. That's the nightmare scenario for the Bengals.

Comment From Kevin D. 

Where are all the snow games? We need snow games.

*One's enough for me.  *

Comment From Max 

Does the term "Defense wins Championships" still apply in today's offense run league?

Arizona is No. 1 on offense, Carolina is No. 14, New England is No. 3, Denver is No. 20 and Cincinnati is No. 8. Those teams are 4, 3, 13, 1 and 10 on defense. Defense would seem to be very important.

That's it for today. Thanks. I enjoyed it.

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