What will be the deciding factors on Saturday night?

There are so many variables that need to click for a team to win in this league. What variable do you think the Packers should be trying to control?

Just playing sound football. Missions as previously stated. The fundamentals like the tackle. Play good football and the other guys will probably make more mistakes.

Do coaches still have to answer questions from their next opponent’s beatwriters? I lost track of what happened to those media sessions when everything moved to Zoom.

No, those are gone now and I’m not sure they’ll ever come back.

Offense has had the fewest penalties in the NFL, defense 4th fewer

Fans and media are excited for the Packers to be out of injury and available for Saturday’s game. What kind of expectations should we have for players returning from long layoffs, like Jaire Alexander, Z Smith and Billy Turner?

I think all expectations should be tempered. Some guys can go back and play like they never left. But not everyone. There is no single prescription here.

Mike, what do you think of McCarthy’s comments after the match regarding the officials? It was weird to me because I don’t recall him ever blaming officials during his time with the Packers, including the Fail Mary game.

I can understand him being upset, but running a QB draw with 14 seconds on the clock is a huge risk. Huge. Could it have worked? Sure. But 16 or 17 seconds is another story. They obviously didn’t think it was such a big bet, but anyone else in the league would tell you it was. It takes a lot longer for someone to run 15 yards than to complete a 15 yards pass. In SF, Rodgers had 16 seconds, hit that last pass to Davante and enriched it with 3 seconds left. But he’s also the best at it and you could see everyone knew exactly what to do.

I’m looking for the confidence that we can limit their running game. Can you give me some?

These guys know what it takes, and this defense often responds in future games when things go wrong, like the Browns running over it at Christmas. I think they learned their lesson, that’s what I’m saying.

What can you say to Packers fans to calm their nerves and make them feel more confident heading into this game?

The Packers are a good team and just have to play like that. If the Packers play their game, they will win.

How will the Packers control Arik Armstead? The guy is a monster!

This whole 49ers front is really tough. When Bosa left the Dallas game, they were still pretty beefy. Armstead is an underrated player because Bosa attracts so much attention. They’re an active group and in Week 18 they were absolutely invading Matthew Stafford with that pass rush.

Hey Mike, if Smith and Alexander are able to play on Sat, have you heard any discussion regarding how much they will be playing??

No, the Packers aren’t going to reveal that stuff.

Taking a look at the AFC…looks like the Chiefs/Bills winner will represent the AFC…any thoughts on slowing explosive offenses like these two? Not sure we have a comparable offense left on the NFC side…

I wouldn’t count the Titans or the Bengals. The Titans could get Derrick Henry back, and the Bengals are a very complete and balanced team. I could see any of those 4 representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. Same with NFC.

Mike, with Jimmy G having his right thumb and shoulder injuries, If he’s not able to play this Saturday, what can we expect from T. Lance? Has there been a lot of action this year?

There’s no indication that Garoppolo won’t play.

Football is theatre. On the ground, we witness some of the most timeless human characteristics. Joy, sorrow, perseverance, success, failure, fear, hope, etc. Sometimes it’s comedy, sometimes it’s tragedy. I think our response to this theater says a lot more about us as individuals and our outlook on life than anything else. Hoping we like what we see in ourselves when the clock hits 00:00.

Absoutely. No matter what emotions are racing through everyone’s veins on Saturday night, it’s better to experience that than not having a horse in the race at this point.

I know the answer is technically “more than SF”, but how many runs do you think the Packers need to score to (probably) win?

30 was a pretty good number for this team, and they showed they could do it in the cold. Go ahead and I like GB’s odds. And maybe they could win with 27.

Alright, I have to run. Thanks for all the questions today. You brought them in fast and furiously and I’m sorry to anyone I couldn’t get to. I have LaFleur’s Zoom presser ready in a few minutes. Take care and enjoy the game. Best, Mike.