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They have to build off of one another

Posted Nov 7, 2017

Each side must capitalize on the chances the other creates


Jessi from Sterling, KS

Were you thinking about the Inbox during the game? I was and feeling sympathy for you guys having to handle emotionally distraught Packer fans! Take a big gulp of your coffee, Mike, and then help us see some perspective after that disappointment at Lambeau.

I don’t drink coffee, but my perspective is Hundley improved, and four of the next five opponents aren’t nearly as good on offense as the last two, I don’t believe. But no one can play like that on third down and win. On offense, 2-for-9 (and 1-for-8 after the opening sneak). On defense, 152 yards allowed, including the Daniels penalty. The Lions didn’t just win on third down, they dominated, on both sides of the ball.

Ashley from Yaounde, Cameroon

So does the coaching staff not trust Hundley to actually throw the ball, or is Hundley just checking down on every play?

Some throws were definitely check-downs. On others, I can’t evaluate if he should have been looking downfield more because I don’t know the play calls and progressions. Whichever it was in the first half, I saw his eyes downfield a lot more in the second half.

Sam from Sioux Falls, SD

Hey guys, I have to say that Mike Daniels’ penalty that kept the Lions moving on the opening drive stung. It changed the game. Daniels preaches playing to the end of the snap, but then preach to not play after (the whistle) and cost the team yardage. If the Packers get off the field there, then the offense doesn't have to play from behind.

It was inexcusable, and the kind of mistake – like the bad snap on the opening field goal – the Packers simply can’t afford in their current situation. It was as though Daniels talked himself into that penalty after all the thoughts at his locker Saturday about sending messages. He’s better, and smarter, than that.

Zach from Honolulu, HI

Guys, I think Brett is playing OK and will probably get better as the season goes on. I'm concerned about the defense, though. No punts last night by the Lions, first time they did that since 1971. We can blame the Rodgers injury all we want, but the defense needs to be a lot better than it is so Hundley and the offense have a shot in the game. My two cents.

The defense hasn’t forced a punt since the second quarter of the Saints game, and it has just one turnover in that six-quarter span. The biggest issue, as I see it, is the pass rush. I cautioned last week about needing to rely on blitzes to get pressure, and that was the case again. On an early third-and-10, a five-man rush got nowhere close to Stafford, and Jones eventually got open for 16. Then, down 20-10 with nine minutes left, the Packers went for broke with an all-out blitz, and the Lions burned them with the screen to Riddick for 63 yards. When you can’t get pressure from standard looks, you can’t beat good quarterbacks.

John from Belleview, FL

I am also annoyed by the players always asking for a flag to be thrown. My solution would be a 5-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for trying to influence the refs. Wouldn't take much time for that behavior to go away.

That might be a tad extreme, but I wouldn’t mind a penalty like that after an initial warning, to give everyone one chance to adjust. For all of their greatness, I pin this on Jerry Rice and Cris Carter. That’s admittedly not fair, but I remember watching those two beg for flags incessantly, even childishly at times, and the result wasn’t criticism but a trend that only got worse. Even though I thought a flag should have been thrown on Slay on the deep ball, I was glad to see Nelson maintain his professionalism.

Jeff from Cobb, WI

I'm sensing a little edge, Wes. I like edge.

A little?

Alex from Rochester, NY

One of my managers from long ago always used to say "a man without data is just a guy with an opinion." So I figured I'd put my education in statistics to good use regarding the ongoing question of defensive rankings and Super Bowl success. Over the last 10 Super Bowls, considering rankings for both points and yards, the winner had a top-10 defense no more than 50 percent of the time. So what does this tell us? Sometimes it matters and sometimes it doesn't.

And even when you have a top-10 defense, or one that’s playing like one, you still never know what’s going to happen in the playoffs.

Curt from Oronoco, MN

For my money, I would sign Lloyd Braun. No one will ever compete with that guy.

Serenity now.

Michael from Portland, OR

Do two-point conversion attempts end up as a regular stat? For instance, does an interception thrown count in a quarterback's season total?

No. None of the stats accumulated – completion, incompletion, yardage – count at all. Only the points do.

Joe from Clio, MI

This team does not look disorganized, undisciplined, or indifferent, they just don’t look good enough to win games.

Right now, they’re not, but I expect the offense to continue to improve with Hundley and the defense to find a way to help more. Both have to happen.

Sam from Janesville, WI

“He did what!?” I still haven’t forgiven my parents for making me go to bed during that Monday night game, but thanks for the replay yesterday.

I watched that ending on TV from the bowels of Lambeau, writing the instant recap for the early print run of the Press-Gazette that night to help out the beat guys. Everyone forgets that Minnesota lined up for a short field goal to win at the end of regulation. It was first down with eight seconds left, and the holder bobbled the snap. Had he just thrown it out of bounds incomplete, the Vikings would have gotten another shot at the win. But he tried to complete a pass and it was intercepted, sending the game to OT and allowing for the Monday night miracle.

Matt from East Lansing, MI

It is starting to get irksome that a potentially undefeated Power 5 champion (Wisconsin) could be left without a playoff spot. Really makes me think eight spots are necessary: One spot for each Power 5 champion and three at-large selections. Having back-to-back undisputed Big Ten champions boxed out is baloney.

Well, we don’t know if that’s going to happen yet, so let’s see. But hey, it’s a system with five “power” conferences and four playoff spots. What did anyone expect? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the NCAA had the playoff system staring it in the face with the four BCS bowls 20 years ago. Six (then) major conference champs plus two at-larges in the four biggest games. They should have seeded those and called them the national quarterfinals. The refusal to do so was willful ignorance disguised with reams of excuses.

Scott from Little Rock, AR

Arkansas 39, Coastal Carolina 38. The worst win in Razorback history. Wisconsin Badgers owe us a beer...or just take him back. Please.

Paul Chryst is from my hometown and I watched him quarterback my high school to its only state football championship, so whatever roundabout way it took to make him the Badgers’ head coach, I’m not complaining.

Simon from New York, NY

Hi Insiders! I know that the personnel staff has infinitely more information than you guys (so be a good sport and play along please), but can you give an example of when you really disagreed or were flabbergasted with a Packers personnel decision?

If you go back and read everything I wrote prior to the 2017 draft, I said edge rusher had to be this team’s top priority. I even thought they’d draft multiple prospects. So, I wouldn’t say I was flabbergasted, but I was surprised Green Bay didn’t draft an edge rusher until the third day. Now, if King, Jones, Adams and Biegel all turn out to be solid NFL starters, who am I to argue? If you draft good football players, you’ve succeeded.

Andrew from Dayton, OH

Has Packer Nation always been this negative? I don't recall this much negativity with Vic. Did he just ignore the mouth-breathers?

To channel my inner Vic and quote Chuck Noll, “Nobody knows.”

Amanda from Villa Rica, GA

Will the Packers sell anymore stocks in the distant future?

The Packers must use the proceeds from a stock sale toward stadium improvements, and to my knowledge there are no stadium projects on the horizon that would rise to the level of requiring another stock sale.

Caleb from Shawano, WI

Wow, the Sunday games were very eventful. A few blowouts by the Rams, Saints, and Eagles, a few surprises such as the Chiefs losing to the Cowboys, some wow moments such as Tyreek Hill’s “mini” Hail Mary and T.Y. Hilton’s TD by just barely juking out the DB, and the insane almost Hail Mary for the Seahawks. But the best part were the three fights that occurred. What was your favorite moment from the Sunday games?

The fights were juvenile at best. Grow up. The Hill touchdown for K.C. at the end of the first half in Dallas was incredible. You wonder if something like that will be tried more often now than some lateral-crazy deal. The most bizarre moment was seeing former Packer lineman Marshall Newhouse try to run with the ball and fumble it while getting helicoptered and injuring Ndamukong Suh in the process. Huh?

Mutt from Blaine, MN

Remember when that Packers-Falcons game could impact home-field advantage in the playoffs? Now both teams will be happy to make the playoffs. Oh, how things change.

Welcome to the NFL.

John from Youngstown, OH

"Mike McCarthy, it's time to take the training wheels off and let this kid play. Live in your hopes, not your fears." Can you give any thoughts on Jon Gruden's quote?

It all sounds good, but I’ll reiterate, I don’t know how anyone can evaluate the approach without knowing who the primary receiver was on every play call. Don’t confuse results with intent.

Rene from San Diego, CA

After Monday’s performance against the Lions the price to re-sign Rodgers went up significantly.

A trendy thought, but not really. He was going to become the highest-paid quarterback in the game regardless, and it’ll be based on the percentage of the cap they can devote to him, which was going to be maxed out anyway.

Gary from Belle Mead, NJ

Five of the Packers’ nine possessions took 2:03 or less off the clock. Not to give the D an out, but that puts a struggling group in an even worse position. Stafford seemed way too comfortable pre-snap. Where was the crowd? How can Packer Nation let him make so many audibles so easily? Very disappointed.

The offense has to play to the defense and vice versa. They have to build off of one another, and it’s just not happening at the moment. Defense gets a stop and missed field goal, offense goes three-and-out. Offense ends the first half with a field goal, defense gives up second-and-18 to open the second half. Defense gets a turnover, offense goes three-and-out. Offense gets a touchdown, defense gives up 75 yards in four plays. When one unit does something good, the other is not capitalizing.

Matt from Kula, HI

I have been on the optimistic side since Rodgers’ injury so it pains me to say this, but the Packers are no better than the Colts without Luck. Reality is that Hundley was overrated. McCarthy will start to lose credibility if he continues to say that he has what it takes to be an NFL QB.

I’m not about to question McCarthy’s QB acumen. If he says Hundley has it, I believe him. Hundley hasn’t produced the “wow” moments yet to convince everyone on the outside, but there’s no question he was better than two weeks ago, and I think he’ll keep getting better. Now he has the challenge of a short week of prep and a road start. I said the day after Rodgers got hurt we were going to watch a young QB grow up before our eyes, and it would be an ongoing process. I plan to keep watching.

Jennie from Salt Lake City, UT

It's our job as fans to have hope – for the next game to be a win, for a great play that makes us leap out of our seats (whether it's in a bar, living room, or in Lambeau), or for a quote from a player or sports writer that makes us think about things in a way we haven't before. Some seasons make having hope a bigger challenge than others, but such is the life of a true fan. I'll keep hoping.

I’ve never gotten anywhere by giving up.


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