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Ty Montgomery is making a name for himself

Playoff mode means putting your best players in position to make plays


Kent from Tucson, AZ

On the 60-yard bomb to Jordy Nelson, did he fall down on purpose to burn time and set up the last-second field goal?

Nelson said afterward his only focus was catching the ball. He wasn't going to do anything to jeopardize that. Without asking him that question, I'd assume it was the momentum of the play that took him to the ground.

Margo from Bloomington, IL

Hi Insiders, I've watched the Rodgers-to-Nelson bomb a dozen times. My favorite part is how Jordy does not celebrate or even risk setting down the ball. He is immediately in "clock it" mode and making sure they can make the next play. That's a team player right there.

There was no time to celebrate, though Nelson would probably be the last player in the league to do so. He showed a lot of veteran awareness after the catch, especially when Bears safety Deon Bush tried to swat the ball out of his hand. Nelson made sure to get the ball to the official, set himself with the rest of the offense and get Mason Crosby on the field for the kick. He's exuded professionalism throughout his nine years in Green Bay, but that said a lot about Nelson that he kept his composure after such an emotional play.

Daniel from Sugar Land, TX

After Jordy caught the bomb from Aaron, Deon Bush ran up to Jordy and tried to knock the ball from his hands (presumably to prevent the ball from being set in time to kick a field goal). I assume that if Deon was successful, this would/should have been called a delay of game and/or a personal foul?

Correct…assuming the refs caught it.

Donald from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Noticed on Ty Montgomery's runs the defenders seemed to go after his towels or flags or whatever are those things. Might he be on to something?

It seemed like the Bears kept trying to strip the ball from Montgomery but the thing is he's been really sure-handed this year. He has one lost fumble on 97 attempts, but otherwise done a solid job of protecting the ball. I get trying to get a turnover, but it's going to make it even more difficult to take down a 220-pound running back. Montgomery made them pay for it.

Kevin from Bloomfield, NJ

Am I the only person that thought Ty Montgomery looked like Le'Veon Bell out there? Patience with a blend of speed, strength, and intelligence.

Montgomery is incomparable. There's really nobody quite like him. He's built like Bell, but he still has a receiver's mentality as a pass-catcher. The most surprising thing about Montgomery's season is the lack of mental errors. He has a natural ability to break tackles, but he also reads the hole well and is patient in setting up his blocks. Look out once he gets into the open field. He caught the Bears by surprise in the first game, but this time they knew what to expect and it still didn't matter. Ty Montgomery is quickly making a name for himself.

William from Eau Claire, WI

How does Christine Michael fit into the locker room atmosphere?

It really seems like he fits in well based on my limited exposure to Michael. By all accounts, he's fit in and become close to his fellow running backs, particularly Montgomery and Eddie Lacy. I'm not really sure what more you could want. He plays with a lot of passion and energy. I can see why everyone was so high on him coming out of Texas A&M. He has a lot of talent, but also leaves it all out on the field.

Ed from South Beloit, IL

A hard-fought, tough, gut-check win for the Packers over the Bears. This team is playing exciting football to say the least. I certainly appreciate all the hard work the players are exhibiting as this season progresses. Hard work, determination and grit may have been best displayed (among others) by Bryan Bulaga getting downfield on Ty Montgomery's 61-yard run. A big man, in the cold, running like that!

I don't know how the Pro Bowl balloting is going to turn out, but both Bulaga and David Bakhtiari deserve serious consideration. Both tackles have been so important in not only allowing Rodgers enough time to make big plays happen, but also rolling with the punches with all the changes at guard this season. Bakhtiari was the 10th tackle taken in the 2013 NFL Draft. By the time it's all said and done, he could end up being one of Ted Thompson's greatest selections. Everyone knows what Bulaga is capable of, but the fact he's stayed healthy this year has allowed it to be showcased on a weekly basis.

Jeff from Corvallis, OR

Not that I'm complaining, but why is spiking the ball to stop the clock an incompletion, and not intentional grounding?

It was a specific addition to the rulebook several years ago. A quarterback is now allowed to spike the football if it's done in that fashion you often see in today's games. I mentioned this question to Spoff and he reflected on how different two-minute drives used to be before the rule was enacted with teams constantly working the sideline.

Dana from Reno, NV

Any other team playing the Bears on Sunday would have lost. The Bears are for real. Packers beat a very good team.

Chicago showed a lot of mental toughness in that game. A lesser team would've quit after falling behind by 17 going into the fourth quarter. I definitely give John Fox and that locker room credit for not throwing in the towel.

Luke from Derby, KS

Should Detroit rest their starters this week?

The Lions still have a path to a first-round bye despite the loss to the Giants. They won't be sitting anyone and nor should they.

Matt from Rewey, WI

If Montgomery is RB1, why is he still returning kickoffs? Seems like an unnecessary play for him to be involved in.

The same reason Randall Cobb is returning punts. It's playoff season. You want to put your best players in position to make plays. I don't care if Montgomery is RB1, RB3 or the 45th player on the game-day roster. If he's the best man for the job, then you let him do it. Could that change going forward? Of course, but I didn't question that decision at all. There were a couple tough kickoffs late that he had to take up the field.

The Packers and Bears squared off for the 194th time in the rivalry's history. Photos by Evan Siegle, packers.com.

Steve from Spooner, WI

Insiders, I don't have a question but want to express my appreciation for the awesome photos from Evan Siegle. His game-day pictures have become the first thing I look at after a game. He does an excellent job of telling the story of the game through pictures. I am always blown away by the little details he captures to express a moment in time that relates to the feel of the game as a whole. I would like him to know this fan truly appreciates his artistry. He is quite talented.

I've had the pleasure of working with Evan for the past 10½ years between my short time here and the Green Bay Press-Gazette. I joined packers.com in April with Evan coming on board a few months later. He's the most talented, humble person I've ever worked with. I'm more than happy to be the second-best hire they've made out of the PG this year and glad you appreciate his work because it is truly remarkable. I feel blessed and fortunate to call him a friend.

Josh from New Berlin, WI

Seems to me that there has been an influx of players making dramatic positional switches in the NFL. For instance, career QB Terrelle Pryor broke out as a Pro Bowl-caliber WR earlier this season, and the Packers' own Ty Montgomery is shaping up to be a dominant RB. Do you think this trend can be attributed to the Belichick model of versatility, or is it something else?

I think it's putting talented individuals in positions to be successful. If you think about it, the Packers have been doing that for years with Montgomery, Randall Cobb, Datone Jones, Micah Hyde, Jermichael Finley and Mike Neal. Mike McCarthy and the offensive coaches really have been on the cutting edge of getting the most out of their offensive skill players, particularly when it comes to using players in the backfield.

Dan from Grand Rapids, MI

Have you ever seen a player back up his predictions like Aaron Rodgers?

I have not. Maybe Jason Terry, but he went double-or-nothing on the tattoo thing and came up short the second time. Rodgers has a real talent when it comes to messaging. He always seems to know exactly what to say to motivate and inspire.

Jack from New York, NY

Pumped for the final two games but where was the Packer pass rush on Sunday? Seems like Barkley had all day to throw.

We didn't get a chance to talk with Dom Capers on Monday with the short week, but I'm sure he was hoping to get more than one hit on Barkley. It's a tough spot for the Packers' pass-rush to be in with Nick Perry out, Clay Matthews battling the shoulder injury, Kyler Fackrell in his first game back and Jayrone Elliott developing a hand injury. Health breeds consistency. The Packers' pass-rushers need to get healthy. If that happens, the talent is there. We've see it time and time again this year.

Terry from Harvester, MO

Vic, it's good to see the Oakland Raiders have made it back to the playoffs. I was sad to see Reggie McKenzie leave the Packers front office a few years ago, because I knew he was going to be successful. How about a Raiders-Packers Super Bowl?

You can't help but be impressed by what McKenzie has built in Oakland. Out of all the former Packers personnel executives who have become GMs, I don't know if anyone inherited a worse situation than McKenzie. The Raiders were cap-strapped and downtrodden when he came on board. He's made the most of his first-round selections and built a program that can contend for years to come.

Jordan from Medford, NJ

"I like the way the Jaguars did it. Why make Bradley suffer through the holidays?" Yeah. Everyone loves a good holiday firing.

On a personal note, I was sad to see this happen. Bradley was a go-to-guy for me when covering the NFL owners meetings the past two years. He was approachable, thoughtful and very courteous in how he handled outside media. But at the end of the day, it comes down to winning and the Jaguars just haven't done enough of that. Jacksonville was patient with him, but 14-48 just isn't going to cut it. I wish him well.

Jacob from Madison, WI

Despite an up-and-down game, there were plenty of things that impressed me about this Packers team. Most of all, Aaron's steadfastness in targeting Davante Adams even after two touchdown drops. Isn't that the absolute best way a quarterback can restore confidence in his guy?

Absolutely. Jordy Nelson talked about it in the locker room, too. Davante Adams is a big reason the Packers are 8-6 and on a four-game winning streak. He has the absolute confidence of Rodgers and the rest of that locker room. Drops happen. Receivers are human. Rodgers definitely sent a message when he went back to Adams on consecutive plays on the start of the next series, including the 19-yard completion.

Don from McFarland, WI

Please explain why the Packers didn't have 10 seconds taken off the clock when we had a man down with less than two minutes left to play in the game? Thanks, guys! Excellent reports in a timely fashion.

The Bears declined the option for a 10-second runoff.

Dominic from Chesapeake, VA

Under Aaron Rodgers, the Packers historically have the best chance to control the ball and burn the clock by allowing Rodgers to throw. I am so tired of us trying to force the run when teams know we are going to run. It makes no sense to me. This is what allowed Seattle back in the championship game and this is what allowed Chicago and other teams to get back into games with us. I just don't like taking the ball out of Rodgers' hands at the most crucial time. Your thoughts?

I don't know what to tell you. The Packers dropped back on four of the six plays during the two three-and-outs to start the fourth quarter. Say what you will about the execution, but I don't think it was a byproduct of forcing the run.

Lucas from Spencer, IA

Do you remember how angry the fans were when Ted Thompson drafted Ty Montgomery instead of an inside linebacker? Everything seems to be panning out just fine.

Best player available, bay-bay. I actually was doing my best man speech at the moment the Packers drafted Montgomery in 2015. I was skeptical at first because it seemed like the Packers were set at the position with Randall Cobb re-signing, but Montgomery obviously has proven he's more than just a receiver.

Anthony from St Paul, MN

I will be at my first game at Lambeau next week for the game. Couldn't be more pumped. Any advice?


Blaine from Bagley, WI

I love this time of year. The Packers are still in this thing and they can go anywhere from the second seed to not making the playoffs. Let's win out and let the rest of the cards fall.

Sounds like a plan.

Greg from Ann Arbor, MI

A storied rivalry. Bright sun and steaming clouds of breath. Decals getting knocked off helmets. Ty Montgomery running through tackles. The Bears mounting an improbable comeback, and the Packers closing it out in the most dramatic way possible. My memory of last Sunday's game is set in slow motion, and scored to old-school NFL Films music. Insiders, is it as much fun to cover a game like that professionally as it is to watch it as a hollering fan?

It was after I got off the field and was back in the heated press box.

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