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Which are the Rams to watch out for? Read Mike's chat transcript senior writer Mike Spofford reviewed the 49ers game and looked ahead to the Rams game in his weekly chat


Hi everybody. Plenty to talk about today I'm sure. I'll do my best. Ask away.

Comment From Josh S.

Well, this is EVERYWHERE today, might as well get it over with: what are your thoughts on #BatGate from the Seahawks/Lions game last night?

First, I'll start by saying I don't have much sympathy for the Lions, because they're the ones who fumbled with the game on the line. Had they recovered and eventually scored, they might have won the game in as lucky a fashion as the Seahawks. That said, the officials can't blow that call. The league is talking about subjectivity in the rule. Did that official really think it wasn't intentional, or did he just not know the rule? That's the question. Those of you who have been on these chats with me before have heard me say with all the player safety rules they've added in recent years, they've given these officials too many rules to keep track of. This one got lost in the heat of the moment, in my opinion, and it's because the league is constantly asking its officials to do too much.

Comment From Jacob                   

Are the Seahawks the luckiest team in the league?                         

My dad emailed me just before this chat, Jacob, and said maybe it's Seattle's stadium. Weird things happen there. I'm starting to agree.

Comment From Tony L                 

Do you think we need to watch out for a 'trap game' this weekend. Rams no pushover                 

This is not a trap game in any sense of the word, Tony. The Rams have beaten the Seahawks and Cardinals. They are legitimate playoff contenders.

Comment From Mike D

Biggest question has to be the status of you see him making it back before the bye week?

Hard to say, Mike. Coach McCarthy's comments yesterday about Bulaga being close to resuming some football activities is encouraging, for sure, but there's a long way from that to playing in a game. I'm betting he's not back in a game before the bye, but that's just me.

Comment From Sean H.

Notice the hit Clay put on Kaepernick when he handed the ball off and faked running himself? He didn't run so aggressively after that.

The Packers were rarely fooled by anything CK did, Sean, and unless he was running toward the sideline, he seemed to be more interested in getting down than getting extra yards. He even slid for a one-yard loss. I think he's been told to avoid excessive contact, and it's hard to run the read-option and play that way.

Comment From Ryan

Hi Mike. The defense has really stepped up so far this season. Who would you say is your defensive MVP through the first 4 games?

Without a doubt it's Matthews. He makes this defense go. He's Dom Capers' ultimate chess piece, and he's the best athlete on defense.

Comment From Packs 13th                         

Can the Packers defense maintain its high level of play for all 16 games?                               

*I doubt it, but I'm just being real. It's a long season. Injuries will play a part. The key will be when somebody finds a new way to attack and be successful, how will they adjust? *

Comment From Linda P

Mike, Why didn't Barclay get some help n the last game? Granted the 49'ers defense were covering our receivers and the line had to hold longer, but I was concerned for Aaron's health.

It's hard to commit extra help schematically when the other team isn't blitzing. That was mostly a straight four-man rush, with seven in coverage. Give more help than the regular five against that and Rodgers has one fewer option on a route. The 49ers pass rush was the key to holding the Packers to 17 points, but I look for the O-line to bounce back this week.

Comment From Pradeep

Mike, do you think Damarious Randall locked up the corner opposite Sam shields on the outside?

It's clear that Shields, Hayward and Randall are the three corners in the nickel, and the Packers play nickel so much, I don't know how much it matters who's the second corner in the base. That might be a matchup decision more than anything.

Comment From Holly

Hi Mike. Tell us about a typical home gameday for you. Do you stay at the team hotel the night before? Do you have breakfast at home with the family? Do you and Vic meet at Perkins for breakfast to strategize the day's coverage? What time to you get to the stadium? What do you do when you get there?

I do not stay at the team hotel for home games. I'm at home and I simply meet Vic in the press box. Nothing fancy. Usually my wife is preparing to go to the game with friends, so our house is pretty busy a few hours before a game.

Comment From Dave-Vermont                                

What's the biggest challenge in facing the Rams?                             

*Gurley and that pass rush. Both are formidable.              *

Comment From Guest

Randall Cobb's shoulder looked a bit sore, any thoughts about giving him some time off to heal?

If he hasn't rested by now, I don't see that happening. I'm sure Randall wants to get through these next two games and get to the bye.

Comment From Frank

Burnett and/or Adams back this weekend, Mike? From what I've read, it seems like Adams might be out until after the bye week. Thanks.

No idea, Frank. The players are back at practice tomorrow. Then we'll have a better idea.

Comment From KK

Mike, What do you think it says about our improved defense over the last 3 weeks that we can hold Lynch, Charles, Kapernick, and Hyde in check?

I've seen a combination of speed and power on defense that I don't think the Packers have had for a while, KK.

Comment From Don S

Are we seeing the real Nick Perry this season? Glad he's playing well for us now but cannot help but wonder if it's just the money he's after. Is he even playing enough downs where he would even be considered an every down player? I'm just not sold on him as a long term answer for OLB.

That question will be answered after the season and into the offseason, Don. Perry has had health problems throughout his career. When he's been healthy, he has produced. But he hasn't been healthy enough for anyone's liking, most of all his own I'm sure.

Comment From Brooke

I thought the game against the 49's was a great win! But some people have been a little hard on the Packers for the lack of offense. But what I haven't seen discussed anywhere was the heat the Packers were dealing with. I believe it had to of had a factor in the game. You could just see the visitors sideline blaring in the sun and that 84 degree field temp.

I heard some players say in the locker room after the game they were definitely feeling the heat as the game wore on. Coming off a short week and then dealing with that, I think the Packers did what they needed to.

Comment From Eduardo Gutierrez, Costa Rica

Hi, everybody. Mike, I'd like to read your thoughts about the Ty Montgomery strong start

What's not to like? If he catches that deep ball on the first play Sunday, we're talking about him a lot more.

Comment From Jorna                   

Did you have to bail Vic out of Alcatraz over the weekend?

*I unplugged all phones when I went to sleep, just in case.                          *

Comment From matt

Mike, do you ever get to sit at the table in the atrium for pre game? I will be there this weekend and would like to meet you. my question is how long o you think it will take to plug Abby into the offence? or will he be mostly special teams.

I am not in the Atrium pre-game. Vic goes there to do radio. I'm in the press box working on a pre-game blog post. As for Abby, Edgar Bennett said yesterday he's getting close and praised his last two weeks of practice. We could see him soon.

Comment From Andy

I have to imagine with the Rams coming into town, there is going to be a major emphasis on protecting Rodgers after the o-line seemed to be pushed around a lot last week. What do the Packers do to slow down the Rams impressive d-line?

It comes down to winning one-on-ones. The Rams don't have to blitz much with that front line, so the Packers will have to win their battles. You can't help everybody all the time or there's no one to throw to.

Comment From Evan                    

Damarious Randall looks he belongs already. Would you agree?                                               

*No question.                    *

Comment From Bernie Flores

Big Mike! Is there a game in the schedule where you can say, "That'll be a tough game". That being said, I know every game is tough.

*Oct. 11.                *

Comment From Josh

Another week another tough running back. I take it stopping the run will be the packers main objective once again on defense. Who else do the rams have that we should watch for on offense?

Tavon Austin is a speedy, dynamic receiver. They like to throw short and get him in open space. He's a game-breaker potentially.

Comment From Willie

Vic has been talking about how unfair the fumble through the end zone causing a touch back is a harsh rule on the offense. My opinion is that if you are lose with the football around the end zone that ought to be consequences. While I do not care for the Seahawks. The Lions should something last night in spite of the fumble at the end.

It's always a risk to reach the ball out for the goal line. It's one thing if it's third or fourth down. That would have been first and goal at the one, but everybody does it. They're always trying to reach it out, and that exposes the ball.

Comment From Linda P

Mike, What's your opinion of the Vikings? With AP playing the way he is, they look real to me.

No doubt. To come back from 10 down on the road in the fourth quarter at Denver says a lot about that team. They aren't going away.

Comment From Molly

Are those spiffy Packer shirts you wear in your videos from the Pro Shop? I'd love to get some of them for my husband. Do you get them for free or at least at a discount?

Yes, they are from the Pro Shop. I have nice people here who dress me well.

Comment From Sarah                   

Best and worst thing about your job?    

The best is being witness to such big games every year, covering an annually contending team. The worst is simply the hours. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to a noon kickoff on Sunday after back-to-back night games followed by a West Coast trip.

Comment From Funk

How many years has it been since the Green Bay defense was ranked higher than the offense??

Great question I don't know the answer to. I think in '96 both were ranked No. 1.

Comment From Jacob                   

What's your favorite thing about Vic?... if you have a favorite                    

*His love of the game.                   *

Comment From Ryan

What player on the roster do you expect to emerge in the later part of the season?       

We're just seeing the start of things with Ty Montgomery. On defense, I would have been inclined to say Jake Ryan but missing time now with the hamstring injury doesn't help him. We might see more of Quinten Rollins, too. He certainly looks ready to step in whenever needed.

Comment From Brett NJ

I'm really looking forwarding to the cold weather and getting back to pounding eddie lacy. Do you think he's going to be a notorious slow starter or this year he's just slowed because of the ankle?

I think the ankle is a factor, but he's not dealing with anything nearly as bad as the ankle from his rookie season.

Comment From Lonny                  

What does St. Louis do best?     

They're now running the ball with Gurley to go with a stout defense. They forced the Cardinals to kick five field goals last week. It's a tough unit to finish drives against.

Comment From Mike W.                             

What are your thoughts on the resurgence of "The Freezer"? (BJ Raji)                  

He's playing the best I've seen him play. He has at times dominated his man up front, and his agility and movement are impressive. When he chased down Hyde on that short/screen pass on Sunday, I said wow.

Comment From David

Mike, I was at the game on Sunday and there were tons of fellow Packers fans. Do we always travel this well?

Often, yes, but I would say I thought there were more GB fans there than usual for a road game. Not sure why, but it was neat to see.

Comment From Josh P.                                

I don't see anyone writing in to fire DC this week                             

*Nope, but watch out if that No. 8 ranking slips out of the top 10.                             *

Comment From Paul

We've been talking a lot about the great RBs the Packers would be facing the first 3 weeks, overlooking Hyde and Gurley a little bit but it recently dawned on me the first 5 weeks will have them facing great rush attacks. I'd say the defense has stepped up so far. What challenges do you see Gurley bringing this Sunday?

When the season began, no one was sure if Gurley would be playing in Week 5. He broke out last week and now here we are. He looks incredibly fast to me, and he's got size, too. He's exactly the type of RB that Jeff Fisher loves to use as a workhorse.

Comment From QT

When you do your film breakdowns do you do everything yourself? Or do you consult with the coaches for their insider perspective? God I love those!

I do it myself. The coaches are way too busy to spend that kind of time with an amateur like me. I just try to analyze it as best I can, but I have no way of knowing if some of my presumptions are totally correct or not.

Comment From Joe  

Caddyshack or Stripes? Talledega Nights or Old School?

The first two work for me.

Comment From John O  

Vic said that Clay is the leader on Defense: that he needs to play well for the D to succeed. What back-up plan do you see if Clay does get hurt?                        

Um, Mr. Miagi? Seriously, though, the Packers have the depth at outside linebacker to get after the QB, and the depth in the secondary. But Clay is the ripcord to the engine, if you know what I mean.

Comment From Rob  

Do you think the 49ers game plan to commit to coverage and concede the run is something other teams will try. I think the Rams have the D-Line to have some success with that strategy on Sunday.                         

*I fully expect that to be their plan. I'm anticipating seeing two safeties deep, and they're going to invite the run against a six-man box. The Packers have to win that.                        *

Comment From Connie  

What story have you heard Vic tell the most in the office? You don't have to say that you're sick of it (though we know you are).

*The Frenchy Fuqua one is getting a little old, but I admit it still makes me laugh.                            *

Comment From Guest  

With Flex Scheduling starting this week do you see this game potentially being Moved?                               

*Those moves have to be announced at least 12 days in advance, until Week 17 (six days notice). So, no, this week is staying at noon.                              *

Comment From Mike  

Do you Think Philbin will ever work his way back to the Pack? M.M. had good things to say about him    

No idea on that. It will probably depend on whether other coaches move on, and where Philbin is at that time. I really liked having Joe here. Insightful in interviews, and just a super guy. Can't help but feel bad for him. Big picture, I'm wondering if the lesson here is that it's not a good fit to take a coach from a draft-and-develop team and put him in a place where they're going to spend like mad in free agency.

Comment From Chris  

How important is it that we've played the best pass rushers at home? It is going to be a huge challenge in Denver.          

*Excellent point. We saw the difference somewhat this past Sunday. The 49ers didn't jump offside once and give 12 a free play. It's always an advantage for the pass rush to be at home where the offense needs a silent count.                               *

Comment From Bobby  

I see that some guy named Duke works on the website. Is that his real name or just an alias?

*It's his real name, and let me tell you, Duke is The Man.             *

Comment From Josh S.                                

Have you ever had the privilege of holding the Lombardi Trophy?                            

Yup. Equipment manager Red Batty walked it around the plane on the way back from Dallas. Pretty cool.

Comment From Patrick  

A tough win on the road after a Monday night game. Defense looked great, Rodgers did enough to win. A good grind iy out victory is exactly what we needed with no new injuries to report. I prefer this type to a 42-38 shootout. Your thoughts?                                 

*I think the sign of a really good team is winning whatever way you have to. If it's a slugfest, find a way. If it's a shootout, win it that way. The best teams don't have to play a certain style. They can play the way any team wants them to, and still beat them.                        *

Comment From Greg in Colorado  

Hi Mike. Considering the years both Nick Perry and Mike Daniels are having, both have to be paid to be retained for 2016. How is the Packers salary cap health looking right now?                                

*The Packers' cap is plenty healthy. That's never a worry around here. They have several players on defense in addition to Perry and Daniels in the last year of their deals. They will decide on a value and go from there. If the price gets too high, they're always willing to let players walk. That's why the first thing I said here is always true.                 *

Comment From Paul  

Rumours abound that The Pack will be prowling the streets of London next year, can you confirm this or shall us Brits have to hold our breath and wait and see if we can see the Best QB, maybe of all time, in the flesh along with his Pack??

*If the league keeps adding more overseas games like they're talking, it's only a matter of time before the Packers hop the pond. It'll happen. I just can't predict when.                             *

Comment From Adam                                  

Yo Mike, How many stadiums have you covered games in?                         

I haven't done a full count, but I can tell you the only current stadium in the league I haven't been to will get crossed off my list this year -- Oakland.

Comment From Joe  

Just watched WYMM for this week, thank you for doing those, very informative! Has Ha-Ha made that year 1 to year 2 jump that the coaches are looking for?

*Looks to me like he has. I think he's going to become a major playmaker on this defense before too much longer.                        *

Comment From Tom  

Seems like penalties killed at least one drive on Sunday. Offensive holding was the one I saw the most. I believe overall the Packers had 6 penalties for 70 yards on Sunday that seems like a lot to me. Your thoughts?

*McCarthy has mentioned penalties as something they want to clean up. I did see on one play Sunday when Sitton was called for holding it was a smart play by him. Something was off with the line call and there would have been a free guy coming right at Aaron, so he just grabbed his shoulder and spun him around. You have to accept those kinds of penalties, because the alternative is worse.                           *

Comment From jolmaj  

Watching post game player interviews the past couple weeks, their responses to questions seem to be measured, consistent, and disciplined. It appears they have taken on their head coaches personality and totally believe in his message. Common thread in responses,is to get back to work and improve. I like. Thoughts?

*Generally it's how it's done here. There aren't a lot of tabloid type headlines when you're covering this team, and that's the way they like it.                      *

Comment From Josh P.                                

Would you have called the time out to prevent the free play attempt?                 

Good question. If the Niners had scored there in the fourth quarter and made it 17-10, the lack of one more timeout might have cost them. Then again, did taking the timeout prevent a touchdown? Rodgers is by far the best in the league at the free play.

Comment From Pat  

Is Don Barclay struggling or is he doing an admirable job against some top notch pass rushers?

*He didn't have his best game Sunday after two solid performances against top rushers. There's no reason to sugarcoat that. What I like is the offensive linemen as a group were not particularly happy after the game on Sunday. They know they didn't play their best. That's why I'm confident in a bounce-back game this week.                              *

Comment From Cory  

Mike, people keep saying the Packers lack the deep threat, even with James Jones. Could Jeff Janis be or become the deep threat, only preserved for later uses or off tape for some sort of advantage later?             

*They'll keep working to find that. If Montgomery had caught that first pass of the game, we wouldn't even be having this discussion. They took an early shot with Janis against KC. It'll come.                     *

Comment From Adrian  

This Packer fan is thrilled with the D so far. The championship teams of the 60's won with defense. It's hard-nosed old school football. I don't like shoot-outs. Too many rules favor the offense, IMO. Your views?

*The game is tilted toward the offense. Even the best defenses are going to get nickel-and-dimed on illegal contact calls and such, and if they come on big third downs, it can kill you. That's why I say you don't worry about winning a certain way. Win whatever way it takes.                            *

OK, gang, I've gone an hour. I'll take a few more.

Comment From Doc Brown                        

Hello Mike. the Delorean is all fueled up for you. Which game would you go back in time to see in person and why?                       

*Wow, never been asked this, but I love the Back To The Future stuff (and my kids love the movies, too). Off the top of my head, I'd say the Ice Bowl. Or maybe Super Bowl III or the Immaculate Reception game. Or the '58 title game. Too many to pick from, Doc.                *

Comment From Amos  

"No funny business from Ha Ha." I like what you did there.

*Corny but I couldn't resist. I just knew I wouldn't keep a straight face if I said it on camera, so I didn't. *

Comment From Mike    

Mike, what has surprise you most about this years team?           

That the defense, other than Week 1, has resumed the form it had for the first 56 minutes back on Jan. 18. I didn't think it could come together this quickly.

Comment From JDG  

Hi, Mike. If Clay Mathews is Dom Capers' ultimate chess piece, then he's not only the best athlete on defense but the Queen of the Lambeau field chess board. Now we know why he sports such long blonde hair!!                                

*You go ahead and call Clay a queen. I'm not going there.            *

Comment From Rob  

Mike, I'm running out of things to worry about. Can you help me think of one?

Don't worry, but have the utmost respect for the Rams. They're for real. On that I'm going to sign off today. Thanks for all the participation. Sorry if I didn't get to your question, but let's talk again next week. Take care. --Mike

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