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Will the next game show the Packers' resolve? senior writer Mike Spofford took reader questions in his weekly chat.


Hey everybody. Hope you voted or are planning to. Aside from that, let's go.

Comment From Don A

No one is going on a run; look no further than the last three games of the year to determine our destiny.

In the North, no one has gotten hot enough yet. Not even a five-game win streak by the Vikes has put any distance between anyone. Hang on to your hats.

Comment From Blaine

Which game has been your favorite to watch this season?

This season? The opening of U.S. Bank Stadium was a treat. Incredible atmosphere, close game, down to the end. I know the Packers lost, but I enjoyed being there for it.

Comment From Dave

hi mike, do you think Montgomery will remain the RB1 when starks is back?

I think 44 and 88 become a new 1-2 punch, in whatever order. I don't see either guy getting 20 carries a game, if that's what you're asking.

Comment From JD

What is your take on signing another FB? Is it strictly for special teams or is Rip having injury problems or possibly taking a bigger role on the offense takes him away from special teams?

I think this was about special teams.

Comment From tom c

Mike Daniels said (on camera): "there are a lot of people angry here now". Good - the players and coaches SHOULD be angry about that performance. Us fans are angry too.

Nobody is happy about Sunday's game, believe me. But you can't let one game beat you twice. You have to plow ahead.

Comment From Nathan

Has this been a worse than usual year health-wise for the Packers, or does it just seem that way every year?

This one seems a little worse as far as lately, certainly the worst since losing Rodgers for half the season in 2013 and Matthews for a chunk of that year as well.

Comment From Nick D

Mike it feels like so many people want to look ahead to what could/maybe be, most importantly is just going out there this weekend and finding a way to rebound against Tennessee.

No question. My grandpa used to have a saying when he'd par the first hole on the golf course. "You can't par 'em all unless you par the first one."

Comment From Linda P

Mike, As poorly as we played, we still had a chance. Seems to me if the run game gets better the offense will perform better. Special teams has played well with this game as the exception. Clay Mathews will be back. I don't see things as lost, but they certainly have to get going now..What is your take on the team at this pont?

I thought the first three-plus quarters was about as rock bottom as it gets, given all the lapses in all three phases. I was glad after the game that no one was putting much stock in that late rally, because you can't play like that for the bulk of the game. We've heard about this team having good leaders in the locker room. We're going to find out if that's true.

Comment From tom c

Aaron Rodgers said (in press conference) that the team lacked juice. You and Wes said the same thing in your podcast. Now coach McCarthy said that there was nothing wrong with the energy levels. So..... what gives ??

In our next podcast, which Wes and I taped this morning, I posited that McCarthy is going to leave the emotional/energy stuff to the players, the leaders in the locker room, like Daniels. His change of tune to execution, details, etc., is what he wants to focus on as a head coach. All of it must be addressed, but I think McCarthy doesn't want his team thinking if they just show up with more emotion, everything will be fixed.

Comment From Guest

Packers Injury report continues to look long. Can we expect anyone back this week? Matthews? Cook? Any of the Dbs?

McCarthy provided no update on Matthews, other than saying he had a setback late last week. Starks and Cook are expected to practice more this week than last, so we'll see. I don't know how serious Hyde's shoulder injury is. Randall I'm guessing is still a few weeks away.

Comment From JD

What was your overall evaluation of Gunter on Sunday? Is he becoming a legit starter at corner whenever the injury bug is cured for the other CBs?

I thought he had some rough moments against the Colts' speedy receivers when left one-on-one. He's a young corner with a lot of ability and a lot to learn. There are going to be ups and downs with that. It's all part of it.

Comment From Jimmy

Mike, this one is somewhat personal. How do you handle all the negativity in your inbox? I admired Vic, for handling it so well, and I commend you and Wes as well, cause I couldn't do what you guys do. People are overly critical and harsh.

You just hope that some people, whatever small fraction, are interested in a little sanity in the discussion.

Comment From Linda P

Mike, Looks to me like the Lions are the hot team in our division.

They've won 4 of 5, so yeah. I noted it in Inbox this morning, I read they've been trailing in the last 90 seconds of all five of their victories this year. That's stunning to me. Stafford is never out of it.

Comment From Bob

My grandpa used to say, "You can't drink all day if you don't start when you wake up."

OK then.

Comment From Tyler

It seemed the fans were unenthusiastic all game... am I being a pessimist or did everyone else hear Luck's voice echoing through Lambeau at the line?

I'll be honest, I can't really comment on the crowd. At Lambeau, we're behind big glass windows, so we're insulated from the noise, and we don't have the sound on the TVs either.

Comment From JD

BTW, your Animal House reference during "Inbox" today had me rolling. Keep up the great answers and entertainment. I hope the other readers appreciate it as much as I do.

The Inbox right now is full of emails from people who think I actually believe the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor. I guess Animal House isn't the cultural reference I thought it would be.

Comment From Brian

Who should the Packers be more worried about at this point? The Vikings or the Lions?

You worry about the Titans for now and watch the scoreboard on the other two. You have six more games before playing either, and both of those teams could be in vastly different situations by late December, just as the Packers might.

Comment From Eric

Mike, For everyone still questioning MM's leadership,I think MM sending a message was never more clear with the release of Jermaine Whitehead. Do your job or be prepared for the consequences. Thoughts?

That's why I don't buy into everyone believing McCarthy is responsible for motivation and all the pep talk, rah-rah stuff. These guys are pros. If the motivation isn't obvious and internal, you're in the wrong business.

Comment From Wyatt

It's a shame that such a great game for Ha Ha leaves him in regret.

That was too bad. He had an impressive game. Going back and watching it, I saw that when Burnett got that sack of Luck, he went lower and spun his legs around to get him down. Clinton-Dix went high both times, and the first time he needed Perry's help to make the sack. I'm sure HHCD was wary of the rules about going low on QBs. All that plays into it.

Comment From Kevin

Mike, great job with everything you do on the site. If Sam and Eddie are available to come off IR at the same time, which would you select?

I've seen this question a lot, and it depends on so many factors -- the health of those individuals, first and foremost, and the team's health at their respective positions will come into play if both are actually healthy enough to come back and a choice must be made. We're still a ways from getting to any potential decision.

Comment From Mez

There's been a lot of talk about officiating, with botched calls again last night. One play in question was the last Bill's play of the game. Sherman creamed the receiver in the end zone as Taylor rolled out. Does the receiver lose all protection on a roll out play like that? Obviously Sherman plays by his own rules but what is the actual rule?

There's no illegal contact beyond 5 yards when the QB is out of the pocket but before the ball is thrown. Only defensive holding could be called, or pass interference if the ball is in the air. Some teams are coached when receivers are near the sideline, if the QB steps out of the pocket, shove the receiver out of bounds. Perfectly legal, and essentially removes him from the play.

Comment From Vipes20

MNF was so confusing before the half. Halftime started and I left feeling like the Bills should have had 3 more points. Why did they try to make the kicker leave the game? Is faking an injury against the rules?

That was an incredible botch job by the officials. I don't think we'll be seeing some of those guys getting playoff assignments.

Comment From Dave

I really miss the play action..

It's hard to run play-action when you don't have a real running game.

Comment From Sam

In order to hit ten wins we need to go 6-2 down the stretch. Do you see this as even remotely possible?

Of course. There is no one on the schedule GB isn't capable of beating. There's also no one on the schedule incapable of beating GB. That's the kind of year this is.

Comment From Aaron

Do you have any sense of what is going on in the locker room? Seems like there is some turmoil there.

I don't sense that. I think Daniels was letting out some frustrations with his shouting in the shower, but I haven't gotten the impression it was directed at any individual(s). Daniels is the first one to say he didn't play well enough, either, though I think he's one of this team's more consistent performers.

Comment From Pennsylvania Packer

Did it seem like Rogers was targeting tight ends in first half, when on replay it appeared others were open. Easy to judge post game, but it appeared that way

It did seem there was a conscious effort to feed the tight end early. They must have felt they had a good matchup there. It worked for a few plays but that was about it.

Comment From tom

Was Whitehead's performance on kick coverage really that bad?

He wasn't the only one responsible for the TD. Let's make that clear. But when you watch the film, he got way out of his lane, and proceeded to get blocked into a teammate in the process. His mistake cost the coverage team two potential tacklers on the short side of the unit, because they were split 6-4 around the kicker

Comment From JD

Did you see anything that resulted in the missed FG by Crosby? It wouldn't have been a huge momentum swing but it hurts when you get nothing after a TO deep in the zone.

If Crosby makes the FG, it's still a win for the Colts because that drive started at the Indy 29. Not getting any points out of that was a double-whammy.

Comment From Ray L

Being unabated to the QB, I think Dix was too anxious and wide-eyed on the last missed sack and over ran it allowing Luck to duck out of it.

When I looked at it on replay, I saw Gore change HHCD's angle ever so slightly, and Luck crouched down, setting his strong legs as a base, knowing the sack attempt was coming.

Comment From Dan

Mike, after the Packers beat the Lions in week 3, the general mood of the fans (myself included) was that we didn't beat them by a wide enough margin. That seems silly now, doesn't it?

You take a win however you can get one and move on. You think the Seahawks are upset they "only" beat the Bills by 6 at home and had to fend them off in goal-to-go at the end?

Comment From Wyatt

How many wins do you think it'll take to win the NFC North?

I think 10 could do it now. I didn't think that a few weeks ago.

Comment From Wyatt

What is Larry up to during the week? I miss his daily Rock Report videos

Those are posted Thursday and/or Friday.

Comment From Dave

If it were up to you, do you give Janis another go or do you let Davis loose for the next 50yard bomb? Janis' size is very appealing but he has got to make that catch!

Yeah, he has to catch that, and he knows he does. I'm not giving up on Janis, but I could see Davis getting a shot or two deep coming up here.

Comment From Timmy D.

I can't seem to get a good read on the Titans, but this appears to be a pretty tough game!

Their QB Mariota is playing pretty well. They're a team trying to build something, and the Packers will have their hands full. I haven't looked at them too closely yet.

Comment From Matt

We keep talking about how the Packers don't run the ball well. WE RUN IT WELL, WE JUST DON'T RUN IT ENOUGH.

I think there would have been more rushing attempts for Montgomery last game if he hadn't been on a snap count from his prior illness/missed game.

Comment From Joe

Why does it seem that the front 7 is so greatly effected by the absence of Mathews?

Because he's the guy offensive coordinators target and game plan around. Players like that tilt the other team's scheme.

Comment From kirk

Mike, do you think that the long ball passes that where dropped contributed to the ¨ not enough enthusiasm¨that Rodgers talked about?

Probably. Only one was dropped that I recall, the others were close misses with the throws. To miss on those in the second quarter and then have the defense allow a 96-yard TD drive just put the team on its heels.

Comment From tyler

After Tennessee we have two prime time nationally televised games. Do you think that plays into our favor? even on road?

After what I've heard from McCarthy, Rodgers and Daniels the past couple of days, I don't think the energy and emotion will be a problem for this team moving forward. It's going to be the details and the execution.

Comment From JD

The Cowboys look like the class of the NFC now. Do you believe it's the offensive rookies making the difference or are you as surprised as I that their defense has played better than expected?

Their defense is better than I expected, but a defense's best friend is a running game that controls the clock and limits the opponents' possessions. The Cowboys have that.

Comment From Matt

Nobody's complaining about keeping too many CBs anymore.

There never seems to be enough of anything anymore with the way injuries happen.

Comment From Mez

Mike, the Vikings have not responded well to adversity and appear to be reeling. Do you think the upcoming game can give us a good read on the resolve of this team?

That's a fair way to look at it.

Comment From Gordon

Mike, Who became the Special Teams captain after Banjo got cut?

The Packers don't officially designate captains until the playoffs. During the regular season, they have weekly captains.

Comment From Tyler

Mike, what's baffling about Montgomery's snap counts, is that he said he didn't know he had one. Is that something you've heard about before? A player not even knowing their own status?

It's not unheard of. Players rarely make their own medical decisions when it comes to this stuff, and maybe the coaches have a reason for keeping things open-ended.

Comment From Sean

In defense of the Ha Ha detractors, both INT's were thrown right to him. Average plays at best.

The Packers have had several opportunities for INTs this year that were dropped. He made the plays.

OK, I've got to go soon. A few more.

Comment From kirk

With how the packers have been playing recently, it makes me think they are not playoff eligible team, am I wrong?

They aren't playing well enough right now to make the playoffs, no. But there's still half a season left. They're fortunate to be only one game back in the division. There's still plenty of opportunity, and that's the only way to look at it.

Comment From Timmy D.

I love watching the Badgers football team, they just seem so disciplined don't they? Fingers crossed for another shot at Michigan!!

I love watching that Badger team play defense. The offense can be hard to watch at times, but yeah, a rematch with Michigan would be fun.

Comment From Matt

I'm not crazy about Rodgers calling out the rest of the team for their energy and exempting himself, but it seems to fit a pattern lately. During games, I see a lot of visible frustration from Rodgers directed at the rest of the team. I certainly think he has a reason to be frustrated, but at what point do you worry about players' confidence and keep it to yourself?

I don't think Rodgers exempted himself in his postgame comments. I heard him call on the entire team to be mentally tougher, himself included.

Comment From tghn

Mike, they win the turnover battle, TOP is basically even, gain more yards, yet it felt as though they got whipped. Why?

The special teams gave up 10 points, and missed a field goal. That's a lot to overcome.

Comment From Eric

Mike, Everybody needs to exercise their right to vote today so we can continue to enjoy forums like this!

We'll let that be the last word for today. Thanks everybody. Appreciate all the participation. Talk again soon, Mike

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