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Posted Sep 19, 2017

These are the moments that forge a team's character


Tom from Columbus, GA

I feel sorry for you guys having to deal with all the negative in the Inbox. It is only the second game of the season for crying out loud. Need to have a little faith and enjoy the season and not angst about the thing you have no control over. GO PACK GO!

I can’t speak for what Spoff was reading through hours after the game, but I was pleasantly surprised by how well fans are handling things for the most part. You have to press refresh and move on with your day. Hey, the Packers now have two games at home. Good morning!

Brian from Edgerton, WI

There was no mention of Mike Daniels in yesterday's questions. To me, his absence from most of the game was the biggest obstacle for the Packers to overcome. The defense just isn't the same without him. I don't think it is just because of his play either. I think he brings a lot more to the table as far as leading by example when he is on the field. In your opinion, is there anyone else on the defense that brings his kind of intensity-based leadership?

I don’t know if there’s anyone else in the NFL that brings his kind of intensity. Mike Diesel is one of a kind in that regard. His absence was felt Sunday night, especially on run defense. Daniels’ departure left Green Bay with only three active linemen – Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry and Quinton Dial, who played 33 snaps in his first game as a Packer. Talk about a tough assignment.

George from Wauconda, IL

Not a question but an observation which the Packers can build on as the season goes forward. Toward the end of the game with Atlanta, I couldn't help feeling they were getting a bit nervous. Almost as if this game is not in the bag even though we're down 11 points. The Pack never gives up!

These are the moments that forge a team’s character. I think it said a lot about the Packers they didn’t pack their bags and go home after Desmond Trufant returned the fumble for a touchdown. Not only did it speak to their grit, but it also helped the offense establish rhythm and tempo in the second half. Now, Green Bay needs to carry that over to the start of Sunday’s game against Cincinnati.

John from Brick, NJ

I don't want to make excuses for the Packers, but you would have to agree the Falcons have been at full strength the past few games, whereas the Packers always seem to be missing some of their best players. This team has got to find a way to stay away from the injury bug.

The Falcons were stung with two big injuries Sunday – linebacker Vic Beasley (hamstring) and tackle Ryan Schraeder (concussion) – but came into the game remarkably healthy. Only seventh-round rookie Brian Hill was listed on the injury report. Regardless, the Packers played to win the game and fell short.

Pete from Orland Park, IL

On Aaron's "fumble" in the third quarter, it appeared the defender led with his face to Aaron's face. I thought this was a penalty, correct? It was a similar play in the ’09 playoff loss to the Cardinals, I thought.

It’s been my experience that referees tend to swallow their whistles on turnover-generating plays like that, which is unfortunate since those types of hits often are what produce fumbles and injury.

Mike from Charlotte, NC

Losses like that hurt, and I was up there with the angst for refereeing and other issues, though my gut was unsettled before this one even started. I think Packer Nation knew this was going to be extremely hard to win, and the odds were not good. The Packers have a way of turning the tables in rematches. They did with Seattle. They can do it with Atlanta. There are still no guarantees that the rematch won't be played in Lambeau Field, either.

The season is not a sprint. As Davante Adams said after the game, there are 14 more games to go. The Packers can’t worry about Atlanta now. If they stick with the plan of winning their eight home games, good things will happen in January.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Did you think Randall Cobb was a very bright spot for the offense last weekend? He was so consistent, steady, and reliable, and he didn't drop passes. Obviously, AR really trusts him.

Cobb was steady as it goes until the shoulder injury popped up. He kept the chains moving and arguably should’ve had the explosive play he was trending towards before the pick penalty on Martellus Bennett. Cobb was in a good place. Now, we have to wait and see what happens.

Andy from Atlanta, GA

I know much has been said about the pick play called on Martellus Bennett, but was some of McCarthy's frustration in the fact that the official throwing the flag was deep in the secondary instead of at the line of scrimmage? Is that standard for an official that far away to make a call on something that close to the line of scrimmage?

I don’t know what McCarthy said to the ref or what exactly his frustrations were, but Spoff and I were flabbergasted when we reviewed the video and saw that’s where the flag came from. I don’t know how you make that call from that vantage point.

Jesus from El Paso, TX

I know nothing about the Bengals. Which names should I look up to get a feel for what they'll take to Lambeau?

While the Bengals are still looking for their first touchdown, A.J. Green presents another stiff test for the secondary. He battled injuries last year but remains one of the game’s top receivers. Vontaze Burfict is serving a suspension, but defensive tackle Geno Atkins is a game-changer on defense. He’s a sawed-off interior rusher in the mold of Mike Daniels.

Greg from Ann Arbor, MI

I've been impressed by Kyle Murphy's mettle. It looks like he's the swing tackle of the present. Is he also the swing tackle of the future?

I made a similar comment on Tuesday’s “Unscripted” podcast. I think if we’ve learned anything the last two weeks, it’s that the Packers can count on Murphy to step in at the two tackle positions if injuries arise. He’s the first to admit he wasn’t flawless, but that’s about as tough a situation a backup tackle can be put in and Murphy battled.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Does this loss have any implications to the team going forward other than putting one in the L column? Is there a lesson to be learned or motivation to be gleaned? Does it break confidence or damage psyche?

I don’t think it damages anything with how many veterans and leaders are on this team. I honestly don’t know how much you can draw from the loss because of how depleted the Packers were by the end. You learn whatever you can learn, and dust yourself off for the Bengals.

Matthew from New Berlin, WI

I don't mean to sound like I'm calling the Insiders out, but Mike related Sunday night's game to the 2014 opener. When readers, however, relate to last year’s and other past poor defensive performances, the line is "new year, new team." You can't have it both ways.

Every year is a new season, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t moments of déjà vu built in.

James from Spring Valley, MN

I guess the T.J. Watt groin pull has cooled his induction to Canton and his inevitable standing as the greatest draft pick passed over in Packers history. No disrespect to Barry Sanders of course.

I get the intrigue with Watt and wish him well in his NFL career, but I think fans need to start focusing on the rookie in hand (Kevin King) more than the one in Pittsburgh. King played well against Atlanta.

Dave from Lufkin, TX

After two weeks we all hoped we'd be no worse than 1-1. We all knew we had to be at least 1-1 or goodbye to the hope to have the NFC Championship Game in Green Bay. Well, we’re two weeks in, we're 1-1 and quite frankly I'm very happy to see we are. Now let's get healthy and go on a bit of a run that we also hoped for, and let's see what happens next.

You want to win every week, but you can’t sell the farm for a Week 2 road game. There is a long way to go. Bakhtiari and Bulaga are dealing with the types of injuries teams have to be smart with. You have to listen to your body and make a smart decision even if it’s a difficult one.  

Joshua from Pineville, LA

As there have been a couple of game-changing calls in both of the Packers' games these season, I've been stewing over an idea since last night. What are the chances that the league might implement a review system meant to protect against officials accidentally affecting the outcome?

I definitely feel the review system needs to do more to keep player safety in mind. Talking with Spoff on Monday, he made such a great argument about how the referees didn’t even consider Beasley’s hit on Rodgers that caused the “fumble” as a helmet-to-helmet collision. Why not?

Mark from Eureka, WI

How will a new OC impact preparation for the Bengals?

That’s a great question. Ken Zampese had been on Marvin Lewis’ staff since his first year in Cincinnati in 2003. History says it could go two ways – revitalize the offense or throw the Bengals into a tailspin.

Tim from Madison, WI

When Kentrell Brice left the game due to injury, I found it interesting that Morgan Burnett remained at the LB position and Josh Jones played deep safety. Why wouldn't they flip Burnett and Jones in that situation?

Jones took reps at inside linebacker in the Nitro package in the preseason, but that’s not an easy position for a rookie to jump right into. One of the reasons it works is Morgan Burnett’s experience and knowledge of the defense. That’s why they lined Jones up at safety.

Chris from Victor, ID

I don't think we should too caught up in Ty Montgomery's rushing stats this season, like 10 carries for 35 yards against the Falcons. He is a threat catching the ball out of the backfield or the slot, which may in itself open up the run for him in other situations. Regardless, I don't see the run/pass ratio getting more run-heavy. I see a new dimension to the offense that can be used to exploit matchups or create uncertainty, and it will win us some games.

One big run has an interesting way of turning those numbers on their head. Like I said with Eddie Lacy in 2014, I wouldn’t get so caught up on what the rushing yards say. I’d focus more on the total yards and overall production. Montgomery helps an offense move the ball downfield, plain and simple.

Ryan from Memphis, TN

Looks like Eddie Lacy might be on the chopping block in Seattle. Do you think he would make a better guard or tackle for us?

I think you’re picking low-hanging fruit. Be better.

Randy from Aurora, CO

Lots of muscle-type injuries during the game at Atlanta's new stadium. Any talk about the artificial surface being to blame since it was new? Some of those surfaces can be unforgiving.

I forgot to ask anyone in the locker room, but that’s a question that usually comes up with those playing surfaces.

Jerry from Kansas City, MO

Were my eyes lying to me or were there an alarming amount of empty seats last Sunday given the Falcons opening a new stadium against a potential playoff opponent?

Surprisingly yes. The stadium was relatively full at the start of the game, but I’d estimate half the crowd exited after halftime. If it were me, I would’ve been in my seat until the stadium was cleaned for the cost of those tickets.  

Floyd from Westfield, NJ

Will the overall defense ranking (22) be better or worse than last year?

Better.

Gary from La Crosse, WI

When are you guys gonna do something different like starting fast and finishing with a win?

Who are you to pass judgment? You haven’t even seen our city basketball team play.

Andrew from Port Washington, WI

Why every time we lose is it the end of the world to some fans? Negativity doesn't change anything! I was accused of being a fan in denial today, by another so-called Packers fan because I said it was way too early to make any kind of judgments of the 2017 Packers. According to him the corners are still junk, Rodgers isn't that good, and we only draft injury-prone players. I literally felt my blood pressure rise and had to walk away. RELAX PEOPLE it's only Week 2! GO PACK GO!

It’s easy to panic. It takes moxie to persevere.

Kyle from Milwaukee, WI

What is the point of the Insider Inbox if you guys avoid the tough questions and post the questions that are easy to answer and positive? For the third straight year our defense has let us down. We have been blown out by the elite of the NFC. And with refusal to change we will keep coming up short. The Insider Inbox is a microcosm of the entire organization. Refusal to change and adapt and face the reality of our below-average roster besides a stellar quarterback

This is why we don’t answer these type of questions – because they’re not questions. They’re just hapless rants, so you get nothing. You lose! Good day, sir!


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