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Never underestimate the power of an explosive play

Posted Sep 26, 2017

The toughest turnaround of the NFL season is here


Jon from San Antonio, TX

Not really a question but a comment. The 51-yard completion to Kendricks to start the second half reminded me of the Dallas game in 2013 when Eddie Lacy ripped of a 60-yard run to start the second half when the Packers were trailing 26-3. We know how that game ended. Just goes to show it's not over 'til it's over.

Never underestimate the power of an explosive play.

Nathan from New York, NY

Being that the game was hot and exhausting, and the Packers have a game on Thursday night, if you were the coach of the Packers, would you have gone for two after the last touchdown?

No, especially with the way the Packers’ defense was playing at that time.

James from New Bern, NC

Gentlemen, on the game-winning play, what would have happened if Mason Crosby had missed the field goal on second-and-goal? Does it become Bengals’ ball? Secondly, are the odds of a good field goal at that distance so high that it makes no sense to try and run or pass our way in first and then boot the chip shot in on fourth down?

Yes, it would’ve been Cincinnati ball if Crosby missed. It serves as a punt in some ways. Yet, the high probability of Crosby making the kick outweighs whatever could be gained by risking a turnover with a run or pass.

Anders from Arlington, VA

Two concerns at this point after three games: 1. Rodgers seems to throw interceptions like never before. Is this a QB/WR timing thing or are you seeing defenses actually figuring out Rodgers? 2. We are not winning the turnover battle. This is worrisome because we need this to get our advantage to work for us (Rodgers and offense).

Rodgers has thrown an interception in each of the Packers’ first three games, but he’s also thrown a league-high 134 passes. That’s 17 more than second-place Eli Manning. Is his one pick for every 44.7 passes more frequent than his career average of one every 63.9? Yes, but that’s still a pretty incredible number. Rodgers will be fine.

Dante from Fredericksburg, WI

The best game yet for Blake Martinez. Is it time for one of those ILBs to separate themselves in the middle of that defense? Oh, and what has happened with Kenny Clark in the middle?

That was Martinez’s best performance in a Packers’ uniform in my opinion. He looked strong, confident and decisive in his gap fits. The Packers needed that kind of showing against the run with Jake Ryan out.

Grady from Grand Island, NE

With the short week, what does the Packers’ schedule this week look like? Can’t believe they allow this short of a week in the NFL. I play college football at Concordia University in Nebraska, and I couldn’t imagine playing Saturday then coming back Wednesday.

It isn’t easy. Players were back in the stadium early Monday to lift and attend install meetings. They’ll practice Tuesday and Wednesday, and do as much regeneration they can before having to get back on the field Thursday. I definitely feel for them. It’s the hardest turnaround in all of sports and it’s here.

Dale from Owatonna, MN

I think Jordy had some issues making cuts, probably due to the injury. Am I mistaken in that it was a factor in the pick-six?

William Jackson made a tremendous play on the ball more than anything. I don’t know if Nelson’s quad had anything to do with it. There’s no question he wasn’t 100 percent, but I don’t think that contributed to the pick.

Dayv from Hustisford, WI

Could Geronimo Allison be the next big WR in GB? Do you see him leap-frogging Davante Adams?

This is the trap fans fall into after young players have a big game. Allison had a great game Sunday and the Packers needed him to pull off the comeback, but nobody is taking anybody’s job. Maybe Allison makes a case for more playing time, but this offense is still built around Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams. That’s the starting point.

Shawn from Kissimmee, FL

Now that Rodgers finally threw his second career pick-six, hopefully he doesn't spot the other team any more points this season, haha. It was great to see so many young players step up big-time when the Packers needed them. How many times did you have to change your post-game analysis?

Zero…and yes, I am comfortable with that. I am enlightened. The game is 60 minutes...or in this case 63:38.

Tony from Oak Lawn, IL

The Packers do not have an interception on the season. Who do you think gets it first? Josh Jones looks like a prime candidate.

I’ll go with Ha Ha.

Alex from St Louis, MO

Didn't we tie the Vikings a number of years back? How is Aaron's overtime record 1-7? Shouldn't it be 1-6-1?

Rodgers was out with the collarbone injury at the time. Matt Flynn led the comeback for the tie.

Jackson from Fort Recovery, OH

I respected Romo immensely as a player, but he has stolen my heart on the mic. In 10 years I'd love to hear Romo and Rodgers as an announcing duo.

Romo blew me away. I was really impressed with him on the mic. He was loose, funny and had terrific insights. His takes and checks at the line of scrimmage were almost always on point. You can tell he’s still passionate about the game, too. He practically was willing Rodgers on late.

Gene from Midland, GA

I don't watch many NFL games besides our Green and Gold. However, it seems like the Packers are more willing than others are to play young players. I know injuries play a role, but do you see this as part of the Pack's way of building a team?

I don’t know if the Packers have put any greater emphasis on youth this year. They’re a draft-and-develop team at their core, but I feel they definitely infused the perfect blend of size and speed into the defense this offseason. I think Josh Jones and Kevin King each bring unique tools to the table, which allowed Green Bay to weather the absence of Davon House and Kentrell Brice.

Phil from Portland, OR

Romo said a couple of times that a new offensive coordinator has a distinct advantage the first couple of games because there's no tape on them yet. Do you think that could explain some of the defensive performance in the second half? From my living room, it seems like they found a way to make some key adjustments that got them off the field, where they didn't in the first half.

I saw a defense that adjusted to what the offense was showing and young players learning from their experiences. Jones, Martinez, Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry all came through with big performances in the second half to pick up that W.

Jim from Maple Grove, MN

On to the Bears. They looked pretty impressive in their win against the Steelers. The defense looks stout and their ground game has been the strength of their offense. Is this team one potential-realized Mitchell Trubisky away from “Look out”?

I feel like on every given Sunday…or Thursday…every team is one potential-realized player away from “Look out.” The Bears have taken some hits at their skill positions, but Jordan Howard helps.

Dylan from Apple Valley, MN

Wes, read the column every day; keep it up guys! Quick question, do you have an older relative named Dominick? My father grew up in De Pere and has told me some stories involving him. Anyway, to answer the question from yesterday's post about the stadium atmosphere, I was lucky enough to be there and it was a tale of two halves. It started out loud when we answered to tie it at 7 then went pretty quiet and mixed in some boos at halftime. Then right after the long pass to Kendricks it got loud and stayed that way till the end. Lots of “Go Pack Go” chants exiting the stadium. What a game!

My great grandfather’s name was Dominick. He raised his family in Pulaski, Wis., if that helps. The atmosphere was great in the second half, but what’s up with all the booing? You’d think this team hadn’t won a game in two years. Then, fans start cheering while the Packers have the ball. Oy vey. Love the enthusiasm, but be efficient with your energy.

Tim from Spooner, WI

So Aaron Rodgers is the master of the free play. Does this imply that he is too cautious the rest of the time? If his success is so good, and it is, shouldn't we see more of these downfield throws under more normal circumstances?

No, it means he’s the master of the free play. He’s hit plenty of home runs on deep balls without the help of a flag over the years. The penalty just allows him to throw up more 50/50 balls that otherwise might be picked off. Just look at Earl Thomas’ interception in the end zone in Week 1.

Maggie from Kenosha, WI

Does the field get repainted on a short week like this? With such a quick turnaround between an OT finish Sunday evening and prepping the stadium for Thursday night, I can't imagine all the work that goes into getting everything ready.

I’m pretty sure they’ll throw another layer of fresh paint on it. Only the best for the Frozen Tundra. Or if the weather is anything like Sunday, the Smoldering Tundra.

Robert from Charlottesville, VA

I attended the Packers/Falcons game on Sept. 8, 2002, Michael Vick's first game. Weather Underground says high temperature on that day was 87 degrees, so until yesterday it was the hottest in history.

With all due respect to Weather Underground, the National Weather Service says the game-time temperature of the Packers’ meeting with the Falcons was 83. That’s the fact, jack…or Robert.

Dustin from Mason, OH

All I have to say is wouldn’t it be awesome to see Clay Matthews break the Packers team sack record? On the big open stage, in Lambeau and against those Bears?

That would be fitting, especially given Matthews’ track record against the Bears (8½ sacks and three interceptions in 14 games).

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Wes, if the Packers have to keep extra blockers in (a back and or TE) how does that affect the playbook?

There might be some minor adjustments you have to make, but chip blocks are natural and germane to offensive football. Rollouts, quick passes and the Packers’ use of two tight-end packages I think helped take some of the pressure off Kyle Murphy and Justin McCray during the rally.

Eric from Oshkosh, WI

Grit is becoming the most overused word associated with the Packers. The only reason they need grit is because they keep digging themselves in a hole. What can they do to start faster so that maybe not so much grit will be needed?

Execution, rhythm and tempo. It’s no secret. Everyone understands that’s how offensive momentum is built.

Jeremy from Eau Claire, WI

What did you think of Kevin King on Sunday? He matched up against one of the best in the league play after play. I think that shows a lot about a rookie in game three of hopefully an amazing career.

King summed up what I feel makes him a special player with a two-word response to being told he’d be covering A.J. Green on Sunday: “Thank you.” The guy has moxie.

Bob from Racine, WI

Guys, wondering if Montravious Adams played vs. the Bengals? Looked for his number but didn't see it.

He played four snaps in the Packers’ dime package. It kind of reminded me of how Green Bay used Ahmad Brooks in his first game – find a package, develop a plan and let him get comfortable.

Tom from Iron River, WI

One of these days, this team gets healthy. How good can this team be at full roster strength?

So good.

Domenick from Kenosha, WI

Mike, I love you guys and your writing, but I'm sorry, your refusal to address the outrage of us fans that are being so disrespected by players’ political statements is unfortunate. You took the time to rebuke the President for his remarks, then refuse the other side the opportunity to engage. None of this should be a part of football and everyone involved in the NFL needs to start saying that. Sport writers included!

I’m sorry you feel that way, but I stand by what Spoff wrote 100 percent. He said it better than I ever could. I also thought Mike McCarthy made an important point Monday when he said we could all do a better job of listening to each other.

Jeff from Chesapeake, VA

I am a Marine and have served 26 years, since I was 17. I wish people would stop insisting that honoring, or not honoring, the national anthem is disrespecting the military, that somehow we (military) own it. We do not swear an oath to the flag, we swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. The Constitution allows us to stand or not to stand. Forcing someone to stand is something despotic leaders force their citizens to do, and is shallow. I like McCarthy's approach to educate and inform and ultimately let the players decide for themselves. I'm certain that everyone has very real and personal reasons for making the choice they have, and am grateful that they have the ability to make it for themselves.

Thank you for your service, Jeff, and the sacrifices you made to keep our country safe and free. I agree McCarthy’s approach is the right approach. You educate and provide players with the resources to make informed decisions.

Perry from Carrollton, GA

Ted Thompson has set the Packers back 25 years; 15 years without a Super Bowl, now Rodgers has no offensive line, why? Because the great Ted Thompson cannot draft the right players to make this team better.

Well, at least there’s some form a question in this rant even if it is rhetorical. What I fail to understand in your impassioned argument is what the Packers potentially being on their fourth-string option at left and right tackle has to do with Thompson. You only get 53 players. You can’t draft and develop five left tackles at the same time. By golly, I’d hate to have seen your reaction had the Packers lost Sunday.

Aaron from Hayden, ID

I like seeing Josh Jones getting sacks, but his celebration worries me. I'm afraid the strain from flexing so hard will cause senseless injury (but here's hoping to see a lot more celebrating before that happens).

Jones is going to be fine. Only the woefully un-athletic such as myself get hurt celebrating.


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