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No one's going to feel sorry for the Packers

Posted Oct 16, 2017

It's up to them to respond


Kelly from Springfield, OH

Should I freak now or maybe just sit in denial for a while?

Denial, anger, bargaining and depression aren’t going to do any good. Might as well speed through them and get to acceptance, because the 2017 Packers season has a new reality. But accepting a new reality does not mean resigning oneself to a foregone conclusion. It’s about opening the mind to possibilities. Let’s see where this goes.

Max from Mequon, WI

What now?

Watch a young quarterback grow up before our eyes. These are the circumstances that can create great stories.

Jessi from Sterling, KS

Oh, the panic that must fill the Inbox! I hope you had your coffee this morning before tackling us, Mike. I think as Packers fans in order to enjoy the rest of season we have to adjust mentally (like not comparing Hundley to Rodgers). The question is, do we form a new identity with a new QB at the helm, or build on the old one?

We have to see. McCarthy will build the offense around what Hundley does best, and we’re going to find out each week some new things he does well, I suspect. The injuries up front won’t make that task any easier, but Hundley is mature enough to know he can’t be Rodgers, he has to be himself. The fans need to keep that in mind, and enjoy seeing something new unfold.

Brandon from Orlando, FL

For those of you upset McCarthy never won Coach of the Year, here's his shot.

He wasn’t thinking about any awards, obviously, but it was impressive to me to hear after the game how determined McCarthy sounded to not let this wreck the 2017 season. He loves a challenge, and he’s the last person to back down from one.

Alex from Chicago, IL

Wow. This one stings. This Packers fan is sad, but still has faith. I'll ask it straight up: Do you think this team can win with Brett Hundley as the starting quarterback? I imagine the phrase "full week to prepare" will be thrown out a lot this week.

The Packers can win with Brett Hundley, just like the Vikings are winning with Case Keenum, but the way Rodgers could make everyone around him better is the part that’s on everyone else. The running game needs to improve. The offensive line has to get healthy and in sync. The receivers have to get themselves open. The defense needs to tackle better. The punting needs to be more consistent. The rest of the team needs to elevate its game without Rodgers. That’ll help Hundley succeed.

Steve from Nashotah, WI

How much different might the offensive game plan be with a week to scheme around Hundley? Am I thinking too hard if I’m wondering if it is possible to install something like the K.C. or Houston spread scheme meant to simplify decision-making for the quarterback?

Hundley has been learning this offense for three years. He knows the parts of it he likes best and has the most confidence to execute. That’s where the game plan for New Orleans starts, depending on other matchups of course. Then he’ll need to build more confidence in more of the playbook moving forward. This will be development on the fly in a fast-paced world.

Hudson from Hadley, MA

That's it, man. Game over, man. Game over!

OK.

Josh from Waukesha, WI

I'm not looking forward to multiple weeks of the "sign Kaepernick now" wolves. Brett Hundley is our quarterback for the immediate future. He's the backup for a reason! Does this Inbox get more general statements submitted than actual questions asked?

All the time.

Robert from Greendale, WI

One thing I noticed in the Vikings-Packers game was that our corners did not turn their heads to look for the ball. It seemed Case Keenum had picked up on this and threw some balls up for grabs, and we were hit with PI calls. I can recount at least two passes that were interceptions with just a head turn to look for the ball. Thoughts?

That’s how the game is played, by everyone. DBs who don’t turn their heads will get picked on, and sometimes guys will make great catches, like Treadwell did. What can’t happen is when a horrible pass, like Keenum’s deep ball for Thielen right after the Adams touchdown, turns into a PI. That’s a killer. The Vikings’ defense didn’t let the Packers get away with any mistakes. When Rodgers left the game, Harrison Smith took over. He was the best player on the field.

Preston from Tallahassee, FL

Sad to lose A-Rod on a cheap shot (and YES, it was...I do not care what commentators said). But, losing Burnett hurt badly. Our secondary was not very disciplined with their tackling. Too much speed, not enough control.

The tackling was poor, and I agree, it was over-aggressiveness and not staying in balance at the moment of truth. Not having Burnett, King and House didn’t help the defense, but they had plenty of chances to make tackles after completions to keep some of those points off the board.

Cid from Orlando, FL

If Rodgers is indeed out for the season, what is his role on the team? Is he still in the QB room? Can he be on the sidelines? And, me being a basically optimistic person, could he still play in the postseason?

I would expect Rodgers to still attend meetings to help out Hundley and Callahan, and he’ll be on the sideline during games, as he was in 2013. I don’t know what the Packers’ plans are for the roster, but as for coming back at some point, he’d either have to remain on the 53 all season, or if he goes on IR, the Packers would have to save one of their two designated-to-return moves for him.

Gary from Davenport, IA

As Vic used to say, you're not hurt until your quarterback is hurt. I guess we're hurt.

No one is going to feel sorry for the Packers. Personally, I can’t help but feel bad for Rodgers, as many of you have expressed. This robs him, potentially, of another year in his prime, and it robs of us of enjoying his game. That stinks. No two ways about it. But the rest of the league will be looking to kick the Packers when they’re down, and it’ll be up to them to respond.

Craig from Laramie, WY

How, where, when, do I submit a question to Mark Murphy for his monthly "Take Five" column?

You can submit it anytime to the email address MurphyTakes5@packers.com. Mark’s column publishes on the first Saturday of every month.

Keith from Lincoln, IL

In the road game arrival photos the Packers are always shown walking down stairs and across the tarmac. Do they not have to exit into the terminal because they fly charters?

Correct. The buses to take the team traveling party to the hotel are always waiting out on the tarmac when the plane lands.

Jeremy from Sheboygan Falls, WI

That game was a disaster. I've been of the opinion that these are grown men willingly risking their bodies for a huge paycheck. With all the injuries this season though, I had to turn it off. I feel like a Roman watching the Gladiatorial games.

I don’t blame you.

Cameron from Augusta, GA

Wes and Mike, can you all please end your next Facebook Live/Periscope game preview with an original Insiders celebration? Maybe it’ll earn you guys another T-shirt.

Maybe Wes can come up with something. I don’t know if I’m creative enough.

Nick from Marquette, MI

Every year it seems there are a couple of players that have added motivation or a fire lit under them. It’s visible watching them play. This year Blake Martinez looks like one of them. My question is, do you guys notice this added motivation or fire in interviews, practices, etc.? What player(s) have stuck out to you this year, and if they have, do they ever elaborate on their motivation and drive?

I think what you’re seeing, and it certainly applies to Martinez this year, is young players starting to play faster because they’ve adjusted to the speed of the NFL game, they’re comfortable with their responsibilities, and they’re simply reacting more than thinking out on the field. Martinez all but admitted he was thinking too much last season. When players are confident enough in what they’re doing that they can let their football instincts take over, they may look like they have more motivation or fire, but I don’t think it was ever totally missing.

Dan from Jimboomba, Australia

Great rivalries are made with wins and losses. I never saw Walter Payton No. 34 play but just watched the NFL documentary on him. Wow, he looked incredible. It really put weight behind how big the achievement to pull back the all-time ledger in our favor really is. Any stories on what that time was like for Packers fans?

The Bears’ dominance of the rivalry in the ’80s is what made the “Instant Replay” game in ’89 so cathartic for Packers fans. The Bears had won eight in a row and 10 of the last 11 before Majkowski-to-Sharpe, and they won five of the next six after. In the Forrest Gregg era, the action on the field got chippy, and at times downright nasty. The euphoria of the “Instant Replay” game was real, and the Bears were so bitter about it they had an asterisk next to the result in their media guide for about 20 years.

Josh from Seattle, WA

If you put together a season of stats from Aaron Rodgers' 16 NFC Offensive Player of the Week awards, what does that season look like?

Well, I put these stats together before Sunday’s game in order to answer the question. I know no one’s in the mood for it, but here you go: 375-of-510 for a 73.5 percent completion rate, 5,051 yards, 62 touchdowns, two interceptions, and a 142.8 passer rating.

Dan from Grand Rapids, MI

I know that football is an injury-prone sport, but even without the Rodgers injury it seems the injury bug is singling us out this year, no? We haven't finished a game with our starting O-line six weeks in.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen injuries hit one position group this badly, ever. It’s just been non-stop. It really makes you appreciate 2014, when Green Bay’s offensive line had its starting five intact for 17 of 18 games.

Austin from Fremont, CA

How can I donate my collarbone to AR? I don’t need it.

The sentiment is appreciated.

Garrett from Houston, TX

You know what, I don't know if the season's over. I don't know if we'll make the playoffs, heck even if we do I don't know if we'll advance. But I do know one thing – now we get a peek preview at what McCarthy can do with whatever quarterback comes after Rodgers (though hopefully that's a long time away). No one can replace Rodgers, but a lot of lesser quarterback have won Super Bowls. Buckle up, I'm in for the ride.

Me, too.

Mitch from Sheboygan Falls, WI

Many have said that the season is over. I for one will never, ever, ever lose faith in the Green Bay Packers. How soon we may forget what happened in 2013. Last time I checked we are still led by one of the most resilient coaches of all-time, with one of the league’s best receiving corps ready to help Hundley grow and improve. I still believe.

I don’t see the point in taking any other approach.

Peter from Racine, WI

Guys, with the result on Sunday, I know a lot of fans are thinking the season is lost. The way I look at it though, we have a choice. We can be negative, gripe, and complain, or we can put all our energy to getting behind Hundley and this team and make Lambeau the toughest place to play. So my question is this: What's it gonna be?

This Packers are going to be tested. So are its fans. Don’t let your team down.


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