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Belief at crunch time matters

Posted Oct 9, 2017

The Cincinnati comeback was big, the Dallas one was bigger


Jay from Rome, NY

Aaron Rodgers does it again. Aaron Jones makes his presence known. Damarious Randall redeems himself. Davante Adams is Superman. Where do we even begin?

I hope by reading the stories and editorial Wes and I cranked out on the bus and plane last night. If you’ll allow me to toot our own horn here, I’m really proud of how the website coverage came together last night. It was fun and frantic all at the same time.

Eric from Stevens Point, WI

Men, I got it. McCarthy said it himself in the postgame interview and I feel it is the identity of this team and will be, going forward. He stated he loved the resolve and loved the result even more. So that’s the slogan. Resolve breeds results! Send that to the press.

Rodgers once again re-iterated his no excuses mantra. They both work for me.

Andrew from Norfolk, VA

Where there's A-Rod, there's a way.

That, too.

Greg from Hamilton, Ontario

Is Aaron Jones entrenched as the starter now?

That’s a decision for the coaching staff, but there’s certainly no reason for Montgomery to push it if his movement is hindered or his health is compromised in any way. That was a whale of a performance. The vision Jones showed and cuts he made were special. To get the call on fourth-and-1 was meaningful. Now let’s see if he can do it against a better defense in Minnesota.

Ryan from Irvine, CA

With the Packers' success at AT&T Stadium it had me wondering. What is the longest win streak a team has at a non-home stadium? I imagine it's likely a division rivalry but what about non-division record as well?

I don’t know, but I think Ben Roethlisberger has more wins at Cleveland’s stadium than any Browns QB. I guess the Packers can just be glad old Texas Stadium was torn down. They lost their last nine games there between 1993 and 2007. Nine.

Katie from Somerville, MA

Linsley's snaps on the last drive all appeared to be on the low side. I kept getting nervous that one of them was going to get away from Rodgers. Were my nerves just getting the best of me or was something off?

The snaps didn’t look as clean as you’d like, but the two sacks the Cowboys got coming right up the middle when the Packers appeared to miscommunicate up front might have had something to do with it.

Daniel from Albany, NY

This was my first away game and I couldn’t have picked a better one. The “Go Pack Go” chants started to pick up right before Randall’s pick-six to put the Packers up. They didn’t stop after that. The fans came to play just as much as the players did.

It was interesting that the Dallas fans had to shout down the Green Bay fans, which made for a lot of noise when the Cowboys were on offense, and lo and behold, the ball bounced off Williams’ shoulder on what should have been an easy catch.

Len from Oshkosh, WI

Did Jordy Nelson get hurt late in game? He, of all people, was watching from the sideline as the Packers won.

McCarthy said he was being evaluated for something, but didn’t know the specifics.

Cyrus from Twisp, WA

I feel Rodgers spoke to the identity and trajectory of this year’s team in his "This is what we do!" down the hallway. It feels like we are going to have to win a lot of these types of games this year. But I believe we can. Your thoughts?

The Cincinnati comeback was big. This one was bigger, coming on the road against an NFC foe. Belief at crunch time matters.

Dick from Fort Worth, TX

Quite a game. However, who was that alert Packer who realized the ball was still live until he fell on it on the last play?

I didn’t see it, but the press box stats credited Perry with one recovery, and another at the end of the play to Rollins.

Dave from Long Beach, CA

Wow.

That was the text I got from my dad when the game ended.

Ethan from Bloomington, IL

There are ton of cameras for the game. The have about 10 angles to the play and so much being filmed at once. They have cameras on upper deck, over the field, in the pylons, they have cameras filming the play, the sideline, the booth, and the stands. About how many cameras are in use for one single game?

I don’t know, but it was an astute comment Mark Murphy made sitting next to me on the Dallas fourth-and-1, when he said without the suspended overhead camera, there’s probably no angle that gives the Cowboys the first down there. Other readers said the same. It’s crazy how this game works and you’ll drive yourself nuts trying to make sense of it all.

Jamie from Bismarck, ND

Great game, great win! Question on the last fourth down that the refs overturned. While I saw Elliot stretch out the ball, I also saw him pull it back under his own power. Does that not negate forward progress? It's one thing at the goal line to break the plane, but I would think it's different for a first down.

I wondered the same thing, as did numerous other Inbox readers, if there’s a difference between the goal line and first-down line in those instances. Trying to apply logic to it, I guess the ruling is he reached the ball out while in the process of being tackled, so he gets the forward progress to that spot. But did I say something about driving ourselves nuts?

Travis from Fresno, CA

How did the schedule makers not make that a prime-time game?

FOX probably put it at the top of its priority list, and the Packers were scheduled for the prime-time max of five anyway. You can only have more than five if you get flexed.

Clyde from Iron Mountain, MI

I didn't see it covered in the postgame interviews. How does a team get caught with only 10 men on the field?

Stuff happens that shouldn’t, but it was the only time Elliott got loose all day. That says something, at least.

Mark from Iron Mountain, MI

It's getting close to the time when officials’ calls need to be reviewed. The Martinez penalty and a later hands-to-the-face penalty were jokes. Fortunately, they didn't cost us the game. Where would a person write to complain about the poor quality of officiating this year?

Park Avenue, New York City. I’ve been preaching that this player-safety stuff has to be reviewable, because that call on Martinez was ridiculous (Sonia from Alaska, that was for you). I’m not changing my stance on that. Hey wait, is Clyde just your alias so you can get another question in? Iron Mountain’s not that big. Love the skiing there.

Chad from Tarpon Springs, FL

When I think of some of these play calls in this game, isn't it poker rather than chess? Especially the last play? Especially if you manifest odds into the game?

If I didn’t find the right words in my editorial, listen to Rodgers’ postgame press conference. I don’t hear poker, listening to the way his mind works.

Bob from Titusville, FL

A great win and a big sigh of relief! But I'm sure you'll get this question asked by many...why go for two points when they did? It served no advantage at all and if they got one point (which wasn't a given in itself), then a FG would have won at the end. Can you explain the logic?

You try to go up by six to force them to make the PAT. The kick being 33 yards now, instead of 20, has changed the thinking I believe. Keep in mind, also, that had the Packers kicked to go up five, the Cowboys would have gone for two after their TD to try to go up three, so there’s no guarantee Green Bay would have been in position to win with a field goal at the end, as many readers are assuming.

Travis from Fresno, CA

Did Josh Hawkins and Aaron Jones move up the depth chart? Did Randall make a step forward? That pass breakup on the last Dallas drive and somewhat lucky pick-six come to mind.

Randall’s breakup on the deep-ball free play gets forgotten in the midst of everything else, but it shouldn’t. I’m not excusing how he behaved last week, but if he learned something, the Packers will be better for it. I just wish he hadn’t flipped the ball at Prescott for the taunting foul. The Packers got lucky it didn’t end up hurting them.

Mike from Somerset, WI

Mike, who gets a game ball: the offensive line, Aaron Jones, or Davante Adams?

Jones would be my first choice, hands down, but there are plenty of candidates.

Matt from Oswego, IL

In the past, the Packers have shown a tendency or willingness to lock up WRs into contracts before they hit free agency. Do you expect them to be able to re-sign Davante Adams before free agency? If not, how likely is it once he hits free agency? We all know Jordy Nelson isn't getting younger, Cobb isn't the same player he was when they signed him in 2014. I feel re-signing him is huge for this team because of his youth and what he has shown the past two years. I just wonder why Ted Thompson hasn't locked him up beyond 2017 yet.

It always takes two to tango, and there are motivations on both sides that factor, so let’s see how it plays out. This isn’t the time to sweat it.

Keith from Andover, MN

A little kink in the long snapper to holder to kicker? More practice needed there?

Clearly, but pros can work this out. I expect they will.

Magnus from Gothenburg, Sweden

When Prescott scored, me and my buddy didn't even have to look at each other as we instantly shouted, "They left too much time on the clock!" How many team's fans do that?

Plenty, I would think, but the mood with which it’s said makes the difference. It’s funny, on the bus ride to the airport, while I was furiously writing, the Dallas postgame show was on the radio and they were discussing whether Prescott should have taken a knee on the 1-yard line, and how it could have worked or backfired.

Greg from Perkasie, PA

All this talk about McCarthy got me thinking. Do you believe he has done enough to make it into the Hall of Fame if he didn't coach another game, or is not winning a second Super Bowl hurting his chances?

Where things stand now, I think it’s an interesting debate. If he wins a second Super Bowl, there is no debate.

Charlie from Waukesha, WI

How many Coach of the Year winners since 2007 have been fired?

Two, if you count the 49ers “mutually parting ways” with Jim Harbaugh as the second. Atlanta’s Mike Smith was the other.

Luke from Lake Delton, WI

What's the reasoning for the grass at Lambeau being replaced? Is it too worn out? I am very happy Lambeau has kept a grass field for so long. If the switch was ever made to artificial turf, it would ruin the beauty of the place and I would cry!

The synthetic fibers that are stitched into the natural grass have worn out, so the field needs to be replaced. The new surface will be the same type as the old one.

Bruce from Milwaukee, WI

While admitting that I really like the Packers traditional uniforms, I've noticed over the time I've been reading this site that a lot of people are really into uniforms and colors. Why do you suppose that is?

Because as Jerry Seinfeld said, we’re really just rooting for the laundry.

Jim from McLean, VA

I just don't understand why we wasted three draft picks on running backs instead of going after AP in free agency...

Ha, good one.

Brandon from New York, NY

How many times did you have to change your lede?

I didn’t start writing it until Adams caught the ball. I stayed patient.

Jake from Cottage Grove, MN

Hey Insiders, after the Packers' first touchdown, FOX went to commercial, came back for the kickoff, then went to another commercial. I thought that wasn't supposed to happen anymore. What gives?

I think the lack of breaks in the game in the first half with all the long drives forced them to break the new rule.

Rick from Boyd, WI

I guess Rodgers and Bennett are starting to click.

The short throws from before are turning into bigger gains now. It’s a process. Three catches, on three targets, for 53 yards. You’ll take that efficiency with a tight end who also blocks like Bennett.

Paul from Middleton, WI

At what point will we have to make up new words for what Aaron Rodgers does?

McCarthy’s “expand my vocabulary” line was pretty good.

Matt from Austin, TX

I know a lot of people are going to complain about the play of the defense, but the bottom line is they made enough plays to win. The strip sack at the end of the half, forced a punt in the third, and the pick-six. Just give 12 a chance to win at the end and I’m good.

I think this defense has looked different with King on the field, and it was unfortunate to lose him against a high-powered offense. Let’s hope he’s OK from the concussion.

Kasper from Durham, NC

Isn't the unpredictability of the NFL beautiful? The Jets and Bills are tied with the Patriots atop the AFC East, the Jaguars blow out the Steelers and Aaron Jones outrushes Ezekiel Elliott (on fewer attempts). The only sure thing in this league is that Aaron Rodgers will beat Dallas in the final seconds.

Careful now, but it’s going to be a fun week. Two 4-1 NFC teams square off Thursday night (Philly and Carolina), and the Packers go to Minnesota to try to keep pace with the Thursday winner (plus Atlanta) atop the conference with just one loss.

Erik from Anchorage, AK

This game could be a mini-lesson on resiliency. How many team and individual struggles occurred from last week through today’s final whistle? How many visceral, immediate and negative reactions did we have as fans either in private or in the Inbox? Trust the process and hold on tight. This season has the makings of being quite memorable.

And it’s really just getting started.


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