Fri. Dec 4th, 2020

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There’s no complacency in that room

5 min read
There’s no complacency in that room

With the Eagles coming to town, what matchup on the field should we keep an eye on this week?

Mike Pettine vs. Zach Ertz. Philly’s offense goes as Ertz’s goes. It’s going to be crucial for the Packers to contain him whether that’s Adrian Amos, Tramon Williams, Blake Martinez, Josh Jackson or a combination of players. I’m curious to see how Pettine moves his chess pieces.

Jonnie from Garden City, MI

As has often been said, it’s not necessarily about who you play, but when you play them. I think the biggest difference for the Packers-Eagles game will be how good Rodgers feels after taking only one hit last game, while Wentz is probably still feeling some of the beating he took from the Lions. What do you feel will make the biggest difference in the game?

There’s so much randomness to these Thursday night games because it’s not “true” football. It’s a TV dinner. I think the fresher team prevails. The only constant is health.

Alfredo from Albuquerque, NM

I don’t view the Packers’ defense as a defense that puts a total halt to the opposition’s offense. Rather I’ve observed that the Packers make other teams play ugly football, therein creating mistakes that the Packers capitalize on. The secondary creates problems for the passing game, which gives our linebackers and “bigs” the time they need to get to the QB. These, paired with our newfound ability to contain the edge have given us our recent success on defense. Is this what you’ve observed?

The defense hasn’t been perfect but it has been proficient in forcing three-and-outs and takeaways. When the opposing offense has success, it typically has to go the long way to the end zone, and the defense doesn’t cave in with big plays. The more plays the offense runs, the more chances the defense has for turnovers.

Vernell from Rancho Cucamonga, CA

John Kuhn just gave Blake Martinez a sugar rush. Watch out Eagles!

Watch John’s “Four Downs” Q&A or read my story on the Packers’ inside linebacker. Either way, has you covered on the Martinez front.

Gary from Stockton had a question about staying healthy being the most important part in winning a championship. If you look at 2010, the Packers were riddled with injuries. Grant, Finley, Barnett, etc., all went down for the season early. In the Super Bowl, they lost Woodson and Driver. While staying healthy is important, depth and “next man up” mentality are possibly more important. That may have been the deepest Packers team I can ever remember.

Depth, fit and chemistry. That’s how the Packers won Super Bowl XLV. It’s not just having a good backup but how that individual fits in with the unit. Look at the job Jordy Nelson, Erik Walden, Howard Green, Jarrett Bush and Charlie Peprah did during that run.

Regarding the question from Paul, La Porte, IN: Is there an accepted definition of “half a sack?” If so, what is it?

Have you ever shared a sandwich with a sibling? That’s it. That’s the definition.

Knock on wood and keeping our fingers crossed, the Packers are relatively healthy this year after three games into the season. The biggest playmakers on the team are still going full-throttle, even Kevin King. Is this just a stroke of good fortune or could it be Matt LaFleur’s approach to practice and training camp in August?

There always is an element of good fortune with injuries in the NFL, but I think you have to commend the Packers for having a good plan in how they handled the workload of Bryan Bulaga and King this offseason. I know King missed a couple weeks with the hamstring but the goal was to get him to Week 1. Mission accomplished.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

The Packers win if Aaron Rodgers throws for 300 yards.

The Eagles have the 29th-ranked pass defense right now and are banged up in the secondary. Philly is tough to run against with how its defensive front penetrates but there should be opportunities for the pass game to get going.

I think A-Rod is correct – the offense needs to do its part as opposing offenses start to find ways to better plan and execute against our defense. Who needs to be the player who steps up on O against Philly?

It’s not one player. As Jordy Nelson used to say, it’s about doing positive things in practice and carrying that momentum into games. That’s how teams come together. The offense has playmakers. Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Jimmy Graham, Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, Robert Tonyan and Danny Vitale all made a big play through the first three games. The Packers just need to string them together with more consistency.

Lisa from Kronenwetter, WI

Insiders, what has been your favorite opposing team stadium to watch a game at? I’m thinking about getting tickets for the Dec. 23 game versus the Vikings (significant other wants to see what U.S. Bank Stadium looks like). We’re waiting to see how the next few weeks of the season shake out before buying tickets.

The Georgia Dome. It was the last of a dying breed with a press box at midfield and not hovering among the clouds.

There has been lots of ink regarding Adams needing more targets this week. It’s come from the coach, Rodgers, and even Adams. Is there a downside to them all calling their shot?

I don’t think there’s a downside but I also don’t think it’s breaking news. Rodgers said from the first media availability of the 2019 offseason program that he has no problem targeting Adams another 170 times. Adams had his breakout performance against Philly in 2016. Don’t be surprised if he has another big game Thursday night.

David from Minneapolis, MN

Hey Wes, you starting Big Bob Tonyan this week? Just wondering if they have any TD plays for him on the call sheet.

Tonyan doesn’t need four catches for 90 yards and a touchdown to be successful. He needs that 28-yarder when the offense needs it like it did against Chicago or what would have been a 43-yard touchdown against Denver. Keep making plays and keep growing.

Regarding the short week, do you think playing on Thursday is more trouble than the following mini-bye is worth? Does it take too much a toll on players and coaches? Or does the extra time to rest and recuperate make up for it?

Probably not, but it is the only silver lining to an otherwise wretched week. And every team has to go through it at some point. Fortunately for the Packers, they were able to stay home for both games.

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