What can the Packers expect Monday night?

Packers.com senior writer Mike Spofford took reader questions in Mike's Mid-Week Chat


Hey everybody. Thanks for logging on. Fire away.

Comment From Matt W.

What did you dress up as for Halloween?

I did not dress up, but my wife was Professor McGonalge (sp?) from Harry Potter, and my daughter was Frenchy from Grease, so that was enough for me.

Comment From Bill

Hi Mike, Do the play in part of the playoffs kinda sorta start on Monday?

If I understand your question, I don't think we're to that point, but these next two games, both against division opponents, are big. You already have one division loss.

Comment From Jeff

Are we finally going to be healthy this week?

That's the hope. It was good to see Taylor and Burnett both on the practice field on Tuesday. That was a positive sign. Getting both the O-line and the D to play together, with the same guys, week after week would really help with Hundley at QB.

Comment From Linda P.

Mike, If Don Barclay was released because he couldn't play this year, why did he sign with another team?

I assume he was released because the Packers felt better about the linemen they have on the roster. In order to be released from IR without an injury settlement, he had to pass his physical, and obviously he passed one with the Lions as well.

Comment From Jeff

So the Lions and Bears both lost. Two out of three ain't bad.

This becomes a really big game for both Detroit and GB. The Lions have lost three straight after a strong start, and the Packers need to get that first win with Hundley. If the Packers win, they're one game back of the Vikings. If the Lions win, Minnesota has a two-game lead on everyone at the halfway point.

Comment From Tom

Rumor has it that the Packers made a move to acquire Hoyer. Do you think this will affect the locker rooms confidence in Hundley, knowing that the front office has its doubts?

I saw that report. Don't know if it's true or any details. Maybe the Packers were looking more at a backup to Hundley, not to replace him, if indeed the report is accurate. I don't know.

Comment From Steve H.

Have you seen/talked to Rodgers yet, post-surgery?

No. I haven't seen him, and he hasn't spoken to the media. All the players yesterday talked about him being back, but whether or not he plans on doing any interviews is up to him.

Comment From Bruce

Mike, I am still a little worried about how the Packers will come out on Monday night. Do you think we'll see a pumped up squad ready to prove everyone wrong, or a very tentative group of players?

I don't anticipate enthusiasm and drive being a problem. The Packers won't be tentative. They just have to execute, get Hundley into a rhythm, and get some stops on defense on third down. Do that and the home crowd can really work for you.

Comment From Paul

Your thoughts on Bennett, should Packers reduce role, cut or status quo

The coaches can decide that. I think he can really help a young QB like Hundley, but he has to produce.

Comment From Mike

So too early to say if Mitch is "the Man" for the Bears? Hope not-keeps my in-laws quiet!

The Bears will be committed to Trubisky for the long haul. They didn't draft him No. 2 overall as an experiment. I think the Bears will be tough to beat the rest of the year, not so much because of the QB, but that defense and running game will give them a chance every week. Trubisky made a few more plays against New Orleans, and he's going to keep getting better.

Comment From Tom

Mike, Any word on whether or not Detroit will have players suspended his week?

Haven't heard anything, but we'll see. A'Shawn Robinson's penalty was certainly a significant infraction the league will take a look at.

Comment From Kevin

What is it we should expect to see from hundly and the offense on Monday night now that he will have more preparation under his belt

I think there'll be a more concerted effort to get the ball to Nelson, Adams and Cobb. Let them make a play in space. They have to touch the ball, and everyone knows it.

Comment From Declan

Rodgers wasn't in a sling for his Halloween instragram shot, but is he walking around in one?

Blake Martinez said yesterday that Rodgers wasn't wearing a sling around the facility, either.

Comment From Pete

Hi Mike, Vikings 2 wins, Packers 0! When will we see the Pack in London. There were many cheeseheads there on Sunday, even to watch (but not support) our biggest division rivals.

I've been saying all along I expect one of GB's games the next two years in LA -- vs. the Rams in '18 or Chargers in '19 -- to be moved to London. I've been betting on Chargers in '19.

Comment From Ray L.

I know most think it doesn't matter, but funny coincidence that the Lions picked up Barclay this week. It seems to happen often.

I've always felt getting intel from a player on a former team is overblown. The Lions have had injury issues on the O-line. I think that's all this is.

Comment From Linda P.

Mike, as awful as Aaron breaking his collarbone is, it seems to me it could have been way way worse. Look at Andrew Lucks injury... and Peyton Manning was never the same after his. Better the collarbone than the shoulder, don't you think?

I'm no doctor, but bones seem to be more predictable in terms of how they heal.

Comment From Paul

Hey Mike Do you think our secondary would have more success playing man coverage? Seems like nobody covers in the zone scheme?

I think the Packers generally are better in man coverage, but the other team's scheme factors into how you play them, too. I'm curious to see how the Packers move forward on D after the bye.

Comment From Tom

Mike, Wisconsin at 9, fair or foul?

More fair than 4 or wherever the other polls have them. They're not that good, in my opinion. But it really doesn't matter, because they're most likely going to get a shot at PSU or OSU in the Big Ten title game, and that will be their proving ground.

Comment From Blaine

Since we don't play until Monday night, what are your games to watch on Sunday?

Haven't looked at specifics yet, but last Sunday I watched that RedZone channel for the first time. Wow, that's quite a way to take in all the action. I was impressed.

Comment From Jon

Will we see Biegel on the field on Monday night? Do you think that our defense is better than they have appeared? I know we haven't been impressive, but we also haven't had our full group healthy at any point since the opening game.

I think Biegel can definitely help this defense. Winston Moss seemed very enthusiastic about him when he spoke to the media before the Saints game. A consistent pass rush, without having to blitz, would really change how this defense looks, in my view.

Comment From Paul

With all the issues NFL is dealing with this year do you think locker rooms are more divided?

No. I think the anthem thing has created more divide between players and owners in certain places, a gap the commissioner is trying to close by having the meetings we've heard about.

Comment From Pat

What is the biggest threat that the Lions offense poses for our defense this week? What does the Packers D want to shut down?

Stafford hasn't had a true go-to weapon since Calvin Johnson retired, but I think it's made him a better QB. He really spreads the ball around now. The Lions need to run the ball better, but Stafford will throw it around as much as possible. They just couldn't find the end zone against the Steelers.

Comment From Kevin

Who in the AFC do you think has the best shot at knocking the pats off in the playoffs

The Chiefs are the obvious choice, bc they already beat them. By the end of the year, Watson could make Houston really, really tough to beat.

Comment From Ethan

Game 7! What a series it's been. What do you want to see that we haven't yet this series, besides an Astros win? Houston deserves it after the hurricane

It's been a phenomenal series. Game 2 was epic, and then Game 5 surpassed it. I can't wait for tonight. This series already has had just about everything, but maybe another surprise awaits.

Comment From Blaine

When do we get the first injury report this week?

Thursday, because it's a Monday night game.

Comment From Jon

How do you anticipate snaps being shared in the backfield this week. Jones seems to have earned a significant role. Is Montgomery feeling any better?

I would imagine he's better now after some time off, but I think Jones has to be your top guy going forward. Montgomery will have a role, and is still a matchup issue, but Jones has given the ground game a huge boost.

Comment From Joe

The pack need to win at least 5 games to be in the picture. I think they have a shot against Balt. and Cleveland with at least 2 in division game wins in upcoming weeks could make week 16 and 17 relative.

Just stay in the hunt as long as you can, whatever it takes.

Comment From Dennis

Our run seems to sputter in the 4th Q and our run defense seems to sputter in the 4th Q. What do you think is going to change to make this change?

A productive passing game will fix the former, and better time of possession can fix the latter.

Comment From Tyler

Weather looks to be cool and calm on Monday night. Would we favor a brisker home game to stop Stafford?

I always feel with a dome team coming in, the harsher the weather, the better for the Packers.

Comment From Lori

What will be your first question for AR when you see him?

How's the arm?

Comment From Mo

Hi Mike, what are your thoughts on Julius Peppers on how he's able to produce 7.5 sacks thus far. That's incredible for someone at that age.

It is. Everything about Peppers defies logic. He was called a freak of nature back when he was drafted, and that hasn't changed. His size, durability and longevity are all remarkable. He was rather productive over three years in GB and he seems to have been rejuvenated by returning home after seven years away.

Comment From Mike

Which of our young players do you expect to make the biggest jump the second half of this season? We could really use one of them to step up. Jones? King? Biegel? A second year guy?

I think with the defense as a whole getting healthier, I look for King and Jones to make a bigger impact.

Comment From broadwayjoe

Mike, the harsher the weather might be better for the Packers but it's harder on the fans. I ain't getting any younger.

I hear you. But I sit inside in the press box :)

Comment From Paul

Hey Mike Do you stop talking and thinking football when you get home in the evening?

I try.

Comment From Grant

What team was in better position for a run? 2013 or 2017?

I think this team is, because Hundley has been in the system far longer than Wallace or Tolzien, and it took bringing back Flynn a few games in to get some wins in '13. I'm very interested, as we all are, to see what Hundley brings in his second start.

Comment From Mike

What player(s) in the World Series look like they would be good playing football?

Puig, of course.

Comment From Dylan

I remember the game a few years ago against the Steelers where it was cold and snowy and Lacy almost carried the team to a win... can Jones do the same?

Maybe we'll find out, but I think getting Hundley going and finding offensive balance is the priority. Make defenses play you honestly, and Hundley will have the best chance for success.

Comment From Joycel

I know Rodgers had surgery to help his collarbone heal correctly, but will it affect the timeline for his return? I know, I know, you're not a doctor, but you have more intel than the rest of us.

From what I've read, the surgery also would help allow him to begin throwing sooner in his rehab program. But we'll just have to see how long the entire recovery takes.

Comment From Joe

Who is tonight's hero and goat.

Kenley Jansen will be one or the other.

Comment From Grant

The Lions put up 400 yards passing on the Steelers.

That's what I'm talking about. Stafford can move the ball on anybody, and they beat the Steelers if they execute better in the red zone. The Packers will have their hands full. They have to get pressure on Stafford.

Comment From Luke Mashak

My feeling is that Rodgers will be back for the Carolina game.

That's the best-case scenario. If that indeed becomes reality, I think the Packers need to have at least 7 wins by then.

Comment From Adam

Who improved most at the trade deadline yesterday?

In the near term, I think Seattle and Buffalo. Long term, probably San Fran.

Comment From CJ in MN

TJ Watt would be leading the Packers in sacks. Just sayin'. I actually really like King Jones, but I don't blame the naysayers for wanting Watt and what he could have done for the pass rush.

I don't blame anyone for wanting Watt, either, but as I've said since the draft, we have to let this play out. The Packers go King and Biegel with the pick they would have needed to use on Watt. The final analysis will not be after their rookie seasons.

Comment From Mr. Sparkle

Do you think this will be the week Green Bay returns a kick or punt all the way?

Who knows, but I think Davis is going to break one in the punt game soon. We're going to start seeing more kickoff return opportunities as the weather gets colder, too.

Comment From Dave

Would you ever want to be a GM in the NFL?

Goodness, no.

OK, I've gotta run soon. A couple more.

Comment From Alex

Monday night we may see more quick passes to Adams and Cobb. How important is it for Brett to be able to complete more passes downfield? Is this something we can reasonably hope for in his second start?

Well, you can't come out just chucking it downfield. Use the run game and the short passes to open things up, but clean execution is the key.

Comment From Dennis

BTW - and this comes from Scotland - it's McGonagall. You guys should come visit. WHile America is a magical big country, Scotland is a magical wee one.

Thanks. I didn't read the books, only watched the movies with the kids, as shameful as that is to admit.

Comment From Lauren

Do you think this will be a close game?

I do. I see the Packers being in position to win in the fourth quarter, just like they were against the Saints. Now it'll be about finishing strong. We'll call that the last word for today. Thanks everyone. Take care and have a good week. --Mike

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