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Grit can go a long way in this league

Posted Sep 25, 2017

The defense was re-energized in overtime


Daniel from Louisville, KY

Can we just sit here for a moment and enjoy this win? Wow, thank you players for several hours of great entertainment to distract from an otherwise crazy world.

The perfect start to this Monday Inbox if I ever saw one.

Andy from Brookfield, WI

Hi Insiders, the announcers said Aaron Rodgers was 0-7 lifetime in OT. Of those games, how many did he actually touch the ball for?

I wrote about that in my editorial late last night. He had touched the ball in only three of the previous seven OTs – the ’09 Arizona playoffs, and the ’10 regular season vs. Washington and Miami.

Vishnu from San Luis Obispo, CA

Good to see them finally win in OT. Liked what I saw from Rodgers, fitting the ball into tight windows, and going deep. If Bennett and Geronimo (although he redeemed himself) can hold on, look out. Also, I think Lance Kendricks has made a case for more playing time.

I thought it was an important moment when on the late fourth-quarter drive, Rodgers went right back to Allison on consecutive plays immediately following his drop over the middle.

Zach from Arlington, VA

Josh Jones was the best player on the defense. Blake Martinez was a close second.

Their impact was undeniable, and that’s what you need from young defenders on days your studs like Daniels and Perry are sitting out.

Ross from Newmarket, Canada

Looking back, that Josh Jones sack on third down was huge (and he was great in this game in general). It made it a longer field goal that Bullock missed and those three points could have been the difference in the game.

Not could have been, probably would have been. I tweeted on Bullock’s miss that one of the neat sights from the press box, with such a bad angle on field goals, is watching the home fans in that end zone tell you whether or not the kick is good by their reaction to the ball flight.

Scott from Henrico, VA

AR hit/sacked too often first three games. How long can he remain football healthy and grit pay the bills?

Grit can go a long way in this league. Get Rodgers to the short respite after Thursday, and then get him his starting offensive tackles back, and I think his health will be fine.

Stephanie from Broken Arrow, OK

Let's all just take a minute to acknowledge that letting go of Jared Cook and signing Martellus Bennett was a mistake. No rhythm with Rodgers and lots of dropped balls. Why did we let go of someone who was a clutch player and had a great thing going with Rodgers? I fail to see the value in Bennett thus far.

The Packers set their price with Cook and stuck to it. That’s the business. Bennett is a better blocker and helped the Packers’ running game vs. Seattle. I think his larger impact is still to come.

Robby from Loma Rica, CA

Can't say enough about how proud I am of this football team. Martinez having a huge second half. Allison looking like a seasoned vet. Key stops from defense. And all the while playing from behind. As sweet as it is, we'll have to turn the page quickly. What do you see going into a short week against a tough division opponent?

Get rested and get as healthy as you can, and be ready for the Bears to try to run the ball down your throat with those two running backs.

Aaron from Dallas, TX

Look up frugal in the dictionary, you'll find my picture next to it. I ordered a Lacy jersey on clearance for $20 today, picked up a Jones nameplate for $25. Saved myself $55. Do you think I've made a wise investment?

Nothing wrong with a little ingenuity.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Congratulations to Rodgers. Let's hope he never beats all 32 teams.

Amen.

Ralph from Oklahoma City, OK

"No excuses." This team is going to be fun to watch evolve.

For all the bad luck with injuries so far, the Packers got a dose of good fortune when Joe Mixon slipped on third-and-1 with four minutes left. When a break goes your way, you have to take full advantage of it, and the Packers did. These NFL games hang precariously on such threads all the time.

Corey from Tobaccoville, NC

Mike, please tell me I didn't hear boos from the home crowd directed towards our offense? Have we really forgotten 2016 already? Have we forgotten how the offense can flip like a light switch, as they did today? Whine about the defense, whine about the offense...whine whine whine! It's bad enough I have to deal with my 3-year-old whining, but c'mon Packer Nation! Get it together!

Rodgers said he probably would have booed at halftime, too. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen him start a second half with a more important play than the 51-yard completion to Kendricks. Most of the fans weren’t back to their seats yet, but after that, they didn’t dawdle and they brought it the rest of the game.

Jason from Friesland, WI

What a crazy day in the NFL, lots of surprise games and determined teams.

Anyone who thinks they have this NFL thing figured out is kidding themselves.

Mitchell from Edmond, OK

I wonder how many people posted comments to the Inbox during the first half of the game and then regretted it by the time the game was over.

I don’t know. After a game like that, I don’t read anything submitted before it ends. I have better things to do with my time.

Jeff from Schwartzbauer, ND

Spoff, Capers’ defense gave up 10 points after the first quarter. I would think any NFL team would take that in any week! Your thoughts?

They hung tough and gave the offense a chance to get back in it. They held the Bengals scoreless on five straight possessions, which is usually enough for Rodgers. I thought they were running out of gas, though, in the fourth quarter, understandably so. Mixon’s last four carries had gone for 6, 6, 7 and 9 yards before the slip on third-and-1. They were clearly re-energized in the overtime.

Abiegail from Granada Hills, CA

So, will the third shirt be sent to Vic?

I’ll work on that.

DJ from Brookfield, WI

Do you have any comments about the national anthem protest remarks made by the President?

His stance on the issue is not a surprise, and he certainly has the right to speak his mind. Doing so with insults and vulgar slurs is well beneath the office he holds, however.

Jonathan from Hednesford, England

What does linking arms during the national anthem mean, and why did three Packers players sit on the bench during the national anthem?

I’m taking the question from an international reader on purpose here. Rodgers mentioned the linking arms being about “love over hate and unity over division.” Bennett’s reason has been well-documented since his brother’s Vegas incident. Wes wrote about Kendricks in his Game Notes. King said he objected to Trump’s comments. The latter two both have or had family members in the military. With that, it’s safe to say the Inbox is filled with remarks on the issue and Mark Murphy’s statement. Many, many fans are upset and have vehemently objected since last summer. Others support the players’ First Amendment rights and what Murphy and Goodell said. There are plenty of places the issue can be debated, but for the sake of sanity the Inbox won’t be one of them. As for the short- and long-term fallout on the league, I can’t begin to predict, but I’m sure studies will be done and they will be worth discussing at a later time.

Bill from Marion, MA

Gents, what a great, gutty, short-handed win. This is the kind of "team” W that can be more of a force multiplier than just a single "stock" W. What was the atmosphere in the building after the game?

I heard a few “Go Pack Go” chants in the concourse as I headed downstairs to the media auditorium. But after frantically posting the fourth-quarter and overtime bulletin stories from the press box and hustling to get to the press conferences, my mind wasn’t on the atmosphere, but on my job.

Ryan from Lynnwood, WA

Not a question but a statement on reviewable penalties. Pass interference calls are also reviewable if a coach thinks there may have been a deflection on the pass prior to the interference taking place.

That is correct.

Paul from Gorham, ME

Who do we thank for hiring Wes? His favorite beer is “root,” born and raised in WI and doesn't like cheese and quotes The Carpenters. He's the gift that keeps on giving.

The Carpenters aside, he’s going to help keep me young.

Chris from Wauwatosa, WI

I loved the online segments from training camp between Wes, Larry and Mike (Three Things). My question is related to the reporters and the team. I understand that during the week of preparation for the next game reporters are allowed to attend certain portions of practice but then cannot attend the specific portions related to implementation of the game plan for the next opponent. Does this apply to all reporters or can someone like Larry McCarren, a color analyst/former Packer attend the game-planning part of the practice? I ask this question because as the game develops it often appears the color analyst has intimate knowledge of plays related to in-game situations; more than possible to gather and analyze in the few short seconds between plays.

As the Packers Radio Network analyst, Larry is allowed to watch all of practice if he desires, and he often does. I’m sure it comes across in his broadcasts, which benefits the fans. I also believe after covering McCarthy’s entire tenure that Larry could give that kind of insight even if he missed practice on occasion.

Keith from Yorktown, VA

High of almost 90 degrees? Who saw that coming?

History was made.

Ted from Findlay, OH

Guys, did you get a chance to see (presumably after the game) any of the network broadcast? I had heard that Romo was doing a great job, but was still more than impressed with his ability to call out what was going to happen by looking at formations, offensive and defensive personnel, defensive alignments, etc. He is providing insight that I do not recall hearing from other retired QBs providing game commentary. He needs to move to FOX so that we can get more of him working our games.

I’ve heard a lot of great reviews of Romo’s booth work, but I don’t watch TV broadcasts after the fact, only the all-22 film. I will have to make a point either this coming weekend or the bye weekend when the Packers aren’t playing to watch whatever game Romo is working. I look forward to hearing him live.

Patrick from Minneapolis, MN

On the Rodgers-to-Allison 72-yard play in overtime, Tony Romo: "Rodgers is about one of two people on planet Earth who can make this throw!" Whom else do you think Romo was referring to?

I don’t know. Dak?

Ryan from Columbus, WI

Awesome win by the Packers! Can you explain to me why there was a 10-second runoff at the end of the Lions-Falcons game? I can't find a technical explanation.

Because the replay reversal changed the call from touchdown to down short of the goal line, which would have kept the clock running had the correct call been made initially. That necessitates a 10-second runoff before the next snap, and the Lions couldn’t save those 10 seconds because they didn’t have a timeout to take.

Bill from Staten Island, NY

Thinking karma just caught up with Golden Tate.

Karma, Kramer?

Matt from Norway, MI

Spoff, let's remember that it's still baseball too. Go Crew! Why, in MLB, do the managers still wear uniforms like the players?

Why not? I’ve always liked the tradition, though I don’t mind the sweatshirts and other apparel that are often worn these days. Brewers have their work cut out for them now. Hard to see the Rockies blowing a two-game lead for the last wild-card spot with six home games to finish, but stranger things have happened.

Matthew from New Berlin, WI

Curious on your thoughts on the injury report. In recent years, "probable" has been removed. When you look at the Packers injury report seeing all of the "doubtful," or any team for that matter, you virtually know they are out. So I guess my question is, what's the point? All we have is questionable or out that means anything.

And questionable provides so much clarity.

Matt from Rochester, MN

Please help me settle an argument. Prior to 2008 the NFL rule for force-outs was...

If the official believed the receiver had a chance to come down in bounds but was knocked out of bounds and didn’t get the opportunity, he could rule the pass a completion.

Greg from Hamilton, Ontario

Why doesn't MM let Aaron Rodgers call his own plays on occasion?

He does in the no-huddle at times, and when he gives Rodgers run-pass option calls that are his to decide at the line of scrimmage.

Jimi from Seymour, WI

I was watching Bears-Steelers. Interesting play at the end of the half. My question is, if the Bears had a false start, shouldn't that have been their one chance at that play? If you get a 10-second run off I would think that a false start on an untimed down should end it. Maybe I just hate the Bears, but I didn't like that.

I wondered the same thing on the false start. A 10-second runoff is only applied to a running clock that’s stopped, though, so it wouldn’t be the same rule. But I guess since any other false start, with the clock already stopped, would not require any time to elapse, a false start on an untimed down does not eliminate the opportunity.

Nathan from Baltimore, MD

I'm fascinated by the poll asking if the receiver of Aaron Rodgers' 400th touchdown pass is currently on the roster. I realize that not all of our current top receivers will get another contract from the Packers, but I think one of those who does might end up being that guy. What's your take on it?

It would be a great story if it’s Nelson, who was a rookie in 2008 when Rodgers took over as the starting QB.

Stefan from New York, NY

What an inspirational win! Just when their backs were against the wall and the wolves were howling, perseverance, drive, grit and a little bit of luck and good coaching won out. Just when I feel myself turning into a wolf, this team continues to teach me life lessons. What were you thinking/feeling at halftime?

That some points on the opening drive of the second half would keep the Packers in the game until the end, and we’d find out a little of what the 2017 team is made of.


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