Nick from Chicago, IL
I just have to say the hype for this game on Sunday is getting REAL intense. I don't know about you but what's the biggest thing you're looking for in this game? For me, it’s our receivers versus their secondary.
That’s a good place to start on paper and I will be curious to see how Seattle adjusts without Earl Thomas in its secondary. At the same time, I could see both teams’ passing games taking a backseat if Green Bay ends up getting as much snow as the most recent reports are calling for. If we have 6-to-8 inches of snow dumped on us from Saturday night through Sunday night, it’ll make last week’s game look like everyday winter flurries. Regardless of how much snow falls, I’ll be keeping a close eye on the Packers’ running game and how they use James Starks, Christine Michael and Ty Montgomery, who was the hot hand in the second half against Houston.
Jay from Land O Lakes, FL
The key to stopping Russell Wilson is generating pressure in his face to prevent the long throw. The next most important is containing his scrambles. The snow and cold may take care of his run threat. With Perry out and Clay hurting, who will step up to generate pressure? Look for Jayrone, Fackrell or Lowry to make an impact.
Well, Fackrell is out. He’ll miss his third consecutive game with a hamstring injury. I believe it’s going to come down to Julius Peppers keeping his recent hot streak going (a sack in each of the Packers’ last three games) and the rest of the rotation stepping up in Perry’s absence. I’m not entirely sure what the Packers’ plan will be with Matthews. First, you have to be mindful of his shoulder. Second, there are so many weapons the Packers must be cognizant of and only one CM3. Do you rush him at will? Do you play him at inside linebacker? Do you use him to spy Wilson or maybe cover Jimmy Graham?
Bill from New Lenox, IL
I'm no football coach, but with Matthews’ ailing shoulder, I’d like to see him cover Jimmy Graham on obvious pass downs. I can’t imagine his shoulder will be that much better that he will be a difference-maker rushing the QB. As far as I’ve read, Clay's hamstring is better and his legs are good to go. Am I crazy or does this make some sense?
I don’t think you’re crazy. The Packers dabbled with this last year to some extent against the Seahawks. However, injuries at outside linebacker could make it more difficult to move Matthews around.
Diane from Greenfield, WI
No question, just a comment. So glad GB brought Joe Callahan back. He has a spark that is needed. Go Callahan!
Joe Callahan made a believer out of me in the preseason. I had my doubts about a Division III quarterback making a jump to the NFL, but he proved me wrong. He was a true gamer in completing 54-of-88 passes (61.4 percent) for 499 yards and three touchdowns in four exhibition games. The Packers had to be patient, but they have to be excited to have him back.
Bill from Nowthen, MN
Guys, I've heard commentators wondering if Sunday's weather will adversely affect Seattle. I don't think it will. After all, this is a team that won a frigid outdoor playoff game in Minnesota last season. Your thoughts?
It may not affect the Seahawks as much as it did Houston, but I still think it could impact the game. While Seattle’s veterans have played in freezing conditions before, this likely will be the Seahawks’ only cold-weather game this season. Even their game against Philadelphia last month had a game-time temperature of 54 degrees. They merely adopted the cold. The Packers were born in it, molded by it.
Mark from Bettendorf, IA
Is the new limit on practice time hurting the draft-and-develop teams?
It’s a challenge for any young player trying to get caught up on the speed and physicality of the NFL. I’m sure if you ask any coach, he’d want more time to work with the team’s rookies and undrafted free agents. In the end, it’s up to teams to be more efficient in how they train players and make the most out of the reps allowed. In Green Bay, I think they’ve done a pretty solid job at it when you consider how second-year players such as Ty Montgomery, Jake Ryan and Damarious Randall have developed after seeing significant playing time. How many times have we heard Ron Zook say you can’t buy experience?
Travis from Bainbridge, PA
Do you think if Blake Martinez is back, and with most of the starting defense in the game we can get back to shutting down the run like we did at the beginning of the year?
It definitely would help reinforce the depth at inside linebacker, which has really been tested over the past month. Defending the run is all about playing sound, fundamental football. The more breakdowns that occur, the greater the possibility of a big play developing. That’s not always easy to accomplish when you have to keep plugging in new pieces.
Thomas from Milwaukee, WI
That Thursday night game was a sight for sore eyes! Good football for a change. Anyway, I have a hunch that MM might do some sort of trick or surprise play in this game, something he has been known for throughout his career. Any insight as to why he has slowed that down recently?
I really thought the end-around to Janis would buy us at least a week off from the “Why the lack of trick plays?” crowd.
John from Simi Valley, CA
The remarks about the electric football games also brought back memories for me. My set was from the late ’60s and the figurines were one color. I hand-painted green jerseys on my yellow figures. Biff, what was your favorite silly thing the figures did? Mine was how the linemen would hook elbows and spin around in circles, like they were dancing.
I used to love how all the players would end huddled up in the corner of the end zone if you played long enough without resetting the pieces. It always made me chuckle. I didn’t have a Nintendo like my many of friends. While many people have great memories of Tecmo Bowl, a smile always comes to my face whenever I see an electric football field. The sad thing is I probably haven’t played it since I got that PlayStation in 1996.
Joshua from, Rochester, NY
I have this feeling about this year’s team, just something seems like these guys have something special about them and maybe some postseason magic will follow. Who knows, one game at a time, right? Seattle first.
That’s what I find so fascinating about the situation the Packers are in. Yes, their backs are still against the wall. Yes, the odds are stacked against them in many ways. But it’s that “what if” that keeps me thinking. What if they do run the table? You’d have to argue the Packers are the hottest team in the league if they could enter the playoffs 10-6. First, you have to take care of Seattle. This is Green Bay’s chance at making statement that it’s a contender in the NFC playoff race. As professional bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman once said, “Ain’t nothin’ to it, but to do it.”
Micah from Baraboo, WI
Don't have a question, just an apology. I had written in a few months back griping about how Green Bay booted (pun intended) the two punters they had during the entire camp and preseason while picking up a guy that Tampa Bay cut. He had a rough start but Schum is really shining to me as of late. I hope it's the start of a fruitful relationship. Apologies all around. GO PACK!
It’s all good. That’s why I preached restraint when talking about players, though. This is a difficult game. It’s nearly impossible to be at your best every week. What’s important is making sure you don’t let a down performance affect your next one. I’ve been impressed with how Jake Schum has responded. He’s been a key part of the Packers’ winning the field-position battles in their last two victories with four punts inside the 20-yard line on six attempts, including the one that was downed at the Philadelphia 1.
Charlie from Tokyo, Japan
I watched a show with Boomer Esiason and Michael Irvin, among others, where they recapped last week's games with players mic'd up. I watched Ha Ha put some absolutely huge hits on various Texan ball carriers. You guys have spoken of the incredible speed of these athletes recently, so it was veritably on my mind. After watching several of these highlights I understood. My respect grew deeper for guys like Tiki Barber and Megatron who walked away from the game in their prime with their bodies seemingly intact. It also makes what Favre accomplished much more incredible!
I couldn’t believe Will Fuller held onto that ball after Clinton-Dix’s hit. It was a good, clean hit, but a lot of pass-catchers don’t have the presence of mind to bring that ball in. I also respected how quickly he got up and returned to the line of scrimmage. If it were me, I probably would have been crying.
Steve from Grand Rapids, MI
Hey guys, can you explain the expansion draft when new teams are added?
The last expansion draft occurred in 2002 when the Houston Texans entered the league. It required teams to expose five players with Houston required to either claim 30 players or meet a certain salary threshold. A pre-existing team had the right to withdraw its remaining players if two were taken. Houston ended up drafting 19 players, including former Packers QB Danny Wuerffel, who was then traded to Washington.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
On kickoff returns, what do runners look for in making the decision whether or not to bring the ball out of the end zone?
It depends on what’s called, but also a certain amount of common sense. Teams that have game-changing returners, like Minnesota’s Cordarrelle Patterson, have the latitude to take a ball out from 9 yards deep, but that’s the exception to the rule.
Jordan from Medford, NJ
You can tell Patrick from Fort Collins, CO, that time is real considering it is a man-made method of keeping track of the natural progress of the universe. Asking if time is real is like asking if the metric system is real.
Is the metric system real?
Adam from Ventura, CA
The new guys’ answers are too long. (Please just reply "ok.")
Bill from Wilmington, DE
Wes, could Aaron Rodgers’ statement about running the table be this year’s "R-E-L-A-X"?
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