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Who says it has to stop?

The stockings were hung by the lockers with care


Brent from Portage, WI

Your Inbox cares way too much about awards, considering that the NFL season is still in full swing and Green Bay is in the hunt. Award-talk is for the offseason!

You raise a good point. We've been trying to quantify who's the best at what since the beginning of Western civilization. But I bet any MVP or Pro Bowler would trade those individual accolades to call themselves a Super Bowl champion.

Phil from Portland, OR

Hey Insiders, the Packers have been essentially playing must-win, playoff-style football the last four games, with two more regular-season games and the playoffs still ahead. Is there any limit to how long teams can keep up this intensity? Or does it make them more likely to be prepared for big games down the stretch?

There was no limit on the Packers in 2010, or the Giants in 2007 and 2011. I think you can ride the wave as long as you're able to stay on it. If I'm the Packers, I'd rather be 8-6 after winning four straight entering the last two games of the season than 8-6 after losing the last four. This is a game of momentum and the pendulum has been swinging in Green Bay's favor for the past month. Who says it has to stop?

Grant from Rochester, MN

Insiders, am I the only person who still wants Montgomery to prove himself? He has had one good game and people are acting like he IS the answer. I hope he is, but I'm not convinced after one game.

First, Montgomery hasn't had one good game. He's had like six. Second, I think there's a huge difference between a player proving himself to his football team and the pundits. Montgomery a good football player who's developed a lot of trust in the Packers' offense. He was called in to step up in a pinch and he's done that. That's what matters. You'll have six months to debate what the future is for Montgomery, but right now he's playing an important role for this offense.

Alex from Bartlett, IL

For fantasy purposes, how much will Michael be involved? Because if it's not that much I'll pick up and play Montgomery.

How on earth is Montgomery still available in your fantasy league?

Mez from Milton, WI

Guys, again this morning I hear on a national sports talk show about our offensive line being in question. I've dismissed this talk all season long but have heard it, well, all season long. I think our line is playing lights out and has been most of the season. Is there anything to what these outsiders keep saying? Am I drinking the Kool-Aid?

What kind of national sports talk show is breaking down the Packers' offensive line? We're in the last two weeks of the regular season. They seriously don't have anything better to talk about? Regardless, I'd highly question how much authority they have to speak on the play of the offensive line. It would be like me talking about how the Baltimore Ravens' line is playing. I haven't seen them. I think it's quite astounding what the line has done this year with the turnover on the interior. I'd challenge anyone to show me a pair of tackles who have played more (and better) than David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga.

George from London, UK

Hey Insiders, I've recently had surgery for a torn ACL just as Jordy did. Did he let on any rehab secrets to how he got back to playing at such a high level?

I don't think he had any "secrets." He just credited the training staff for challenging him in his rehab and giving him a wide variety of workouts to help him avoid boredom. I wish you the best in your recovery, George.

Greg from Danbury, CT

One of the most prolific coaches in the NFL? Hmmm. Turns out those howling wolves are a bunch of yipping shih tzus. Team on a four-game skid? I'm pretty sure the coach knows about it, OK? I think the fans in the bowl need to work on a "Mac-Mac-Mac" chant. Can't wait for Saturday.

I worked on that story for the past month. I wasn't trying to draw any major conclusions other than to get a better idea of the consistency the Packers' offense has shown over the past 11 years. It's not easy to have a top-10 offense for a decade. Teams rise and fall on a yearly basis, but yet McCarthy's Packers are always in the thick of things in December. In the meantime, that offense everyone was so worried about two months ago is looking pretty good again.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

You seem to appreciate a finely crafted query. Is it like catching a bullet thrown in a very tight window? Do you get a lot of stumbling, fumbling questions that never make it to the line of scrimmage and get sent to the sidelines to stay forever on the Insider Inbox bench? What is the Insider Inbox attempts-to-completions ratio?

I look for three things:

1)  Is the question posed in a respectful, courteous tone?

2)  Does a question insult my ancestors?

3)  Is it focused and timely?

If the question passes those three levels, there's a good chance it'll get answered.

Kevin from Superior, WI

Do the playoffs count when considering MVP?

Negative, ghost rider.

Courtney from Butte, MT

GB controls its own destiny. Just win baby and become division champs! But I can't help but ask, now that the Giants lost to Philly, will Dallas take it easy against Detroit? Hope not!

I don't know how it would be smart for the Cowboys to pack it in for the last two regular-season games, take a week off and then expect to win three postseason games.

Brian from Alta Vista, IA

So if the Vikings win, resulting in a Packers loss, and the Lions also lose, what would have to happen for the Packers to win the North.

The Packers would need to beat the Lions in Week 17 to win the North. Detroit would clinch the North with a win or tie against Green Bay in the scenario you presented.

Sean-Luc from Oceanside, CA

So when will you or Wes admit that cutting Casey Hayward was a bad idea by Ted? When he's gone to the Pro Bowl two times, three times...?

I really like Hayward as a football player. He's fiery, competitive and a natural ball-hawk. But I have to say it is funny how I didn't get a lot of these comments back in March. Back-seat drivers are the best.

Matthew from Scottsdale, AZ

Nothing taken away from HHCD, but interceptions and splash plays will get a lot of notoriety and result in Pro Bowl votes no doubt. After watching the film, just how big of a jump has he made this year?

He seems to be surer in his assignments and flying around the secondary. He has a lot of ability, but his instincts really have to be kicking in. As Darren Perry talked about, he's also improved his tackling quite a bit. I think it's also helped to have him and Morgan Burnett on the back end with all the injuries the Packers have dealt with at cornerback.

Dave from DeKalb, IL

Why must fans over-analyze every game regardless of the outcome? I was at the Seahawks vs. Packers game and the Packers vs Bears game. They were two completely different games in just a week's time, but I enjoyed the experience and the outcome the same. Last time I've checked it doesn't matter if you win pretty or ugly, a win is a win especially this time of year.

Because fans need something to do to get them from Sunday-to-Sunday. It's the game's biggest blessing and its biggest curse. You love the passion, but it also creates unrealistic expectations that if you dominate one team, you should dominate another the following Sunday.

Jerry from Wilmington, NC

What's your thoughts on blue-color football fields?

I'm a big fan, but it still doesn't compare to Eastern Washington's Roos Field.

Braedon from Endicott, NY

Wes, in the injury report story, you said Randall and Cobb in that order. Was that on purpose? I couldn't help but laugh when reading it.


Bruce from Savage, MN

I don't understand how Vic can be such a weather pansy. Didn't he grow up in Pennsylvania?

Thank you for submitting this question 15 times.

Lisa from Plymouth, MN

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through Green Bay
Hoorahs could be heard after the BIG WIN that day.
The stockings were hung by the lockers with care,
In hopes that a playoff berth soon would be there.

Biff was snuggled all snug in his bed,
While visions of "the thing" in Vic's old office danced in his head.
Vic in his flip-flops, and Spoff in his cap,
In SC and WI, taking their post-football game nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
Spoff sprang from his bed like he was JC Tretter.
Away to the window he flew like Micah Hyde,
Tore open the shutters and opened the window wide.

The moon shining down on the new-fallen snow,
Gave the lustre of mid-day to the frozen tundra below.
When what to Spoff's wondering eyes should appear,
But a big all-terrain bike and eight "live" Janis deer.

With an energetic rider, so lively and quick,
Spoff knew in a moment it had to be Vic.
More rapid than Trevor runs with the ball in a game,
Vic whistled and hollered, and shouted Packers' names.

"Now Aaron! Now Jordy! Now Randall and Davante!
On Julius, on Ha Ha, on Morgan and Clay!
Win the next game, baby! In fact, win them all!
Go Pack Go! Stay focused on your call!"

As footballs before the wild hurricane blow,
When they meet Crosby's foot and through the uprights they go,
Up Lombardi Avenue the coursers they flew,
With the deer running at full power, and of course, Vic too.

Then like a Schum punt that goes soaring up high,
Vic was launched in the air heading straight for the sky.
And as Spoff drew in his hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney Vic came with a bound.

Vic was dressed in all fur, from his head to his toes,
His clothes green and gold as any loyal Packer fan knows.
A bundle of hot dogs he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a stadium vendor opening his pack.

His eyes how they twinkled and soon it was clear,
He would craft the Insider Inbox column and he would craft it right here!
His favorite computer was in Edisto
But Vic sat at Spoff's desk and was ready to go.

The end of a hot dog Vic held tight in his hand,
Spoff was careful not to comment, fearing he'd immediately be banned.
Vic had a fervent look as he pondered each word,
And the clicking of the keys was the only sound that was heard.

Vic was warming up quickly, a right jolly Packer elf,
And Spoff laughed when he saw him, in spite of himself.
A wink of Vic's eye and a twist of his head,
Soon let Spoff know a good story was ahead.

Vic spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Typed up the column, then turned with a jerk.
And moving his fingers away from the mouse,
He packed up his things and exited the house.

Vic sprang to his bike, and the deer cleared the way,
It was back to the beach and his home far away.
But Spoff had heard Vic exclaim when he logged off the site,
Merry Christmas to all, to all Cheeseheads goodnight!

Thank you for that, Lisa. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend!

*(Editor's note: Vic's day-after-game Insider Inbox will be posted the morning of Monday, Dec. 26.)

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