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Another new era begins

The Packers stuck to the game plan they wanted


Gary from Murrieta, CA

Vic gave me a different way of looking at a football team and its buildup, along with a more personal approach to looking at my Pack. You guys have stepped in and done a great job continuing that aspect of the game and the team. Now comes your first Monday column. I'm excited for you as well as for us. Go get 'em guys!

And away we go as another new era begins…

Michael from Eau Claire, WI

I'm sure I'm one of many saying this but my hat is off to our defense. Lights out. I know it's only one game, but I think they won the "belt" Sunday.

It was a great start, but now it needs to be the start of something great.

Venny from Montgomery, AL

Phenomenal performance from Mike Daniels. He was extremely disruptive inside.

The word of the Inbox on Daniels was wow. I couldn't agree more. Cindy from LA referenced his great Cheerios line, which I can't print but I love. If you don't have a Pro Bowl-caliber player blocking him, he demands a double team. It seemed like he hardly came off the field. I hope the Packers can get him some rest, because they'll need that Daniels in a few months, too.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

For the first time in what seems like about six years, the defense is not wholly reliant on CM3. And that is a very good thing. Top picks at multiple levels of that D and they looked great. Really excited to see what Capers can do with this much talent.

I like your take on things, as opposed to all those writing in asking where Matthews was in this game. But, it was one game, against an offensive line that was poor last year and didn't improve. Atlanta, at home, opening a new stadium, will be a gigantic test.

Damien from Sierra Vista, AZ

Really liked the change of no commercial after the kickoff. It seemed to make the game flow more quickly. Did it change the feel of the flow of the game in the stadium?

Yes. I think on the whole game times were shorter. I read something that seven of the nine early games finished in under three hours. I think that makes for a better experience on TV and in the stadium.

Michael from Graniteville, SC

Vogel stepped up. For a rookie, he appeared to punt like a veteran. Do fans realize how critical a punter is to today's game?

Jon Ryan was killing the Packers early, but I thought Vogel's 57-yarder from out of his own end zone in a scoreless game was the special-teams play of the day.

Don from Torrington, CT

Have Joe and Troy stopped complaining about the refs yet? My goodness, I had my three young sons (flag footballers, two 8-year-olds and a 9-year-old) watching the game with me and it got so bad I had to remind my little guys twice that "we don't blame the refs, right?" I mean, come on! From the press box, did the game seem like it was that badly reffed?

I never got a good look at why Lane was ejected, but that was certainly a big call. I saw some Twitter chatter about Graham getting mugged in the back of the end zone, but I don't think that pass was catchable. I didn't pay attention to much else officiating-wise.

Ed from Cannon Falls, MN

Were you more surprised with the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Cobb or Bennett? I was surprised by both. Fortunately neither was costly.


The one on Cobb was. It's a first down near midfield without it. Taunting was a point of emphasis in the officials' presentation during training camp, and you could see that flag coming from a mile away. The Bennett one didn't bother me because the Packers didn't need points, just one more first down, from wherever they were on the field. Rodgers going back to Bennett to seal the game was a nice touch, I thought.**

Bones from Ripon, WI

Lacy had five carries for 3 yards. Is he done?

The Seahawks may have trouble running behind that offensive line all year, but not having Rawls didn't help them, either. The way the Packers' run D was playing, it might not have mattered, but again, next week is a bigger test.

Scott from Martinez, GA

On the free-play touchdown, A-Rod's eyes played a huge part as well to mislead defenders.

Actually, he said after the game he was just looking to his right to make sure the side judge threw the flag for the 12-man penalty.

Collin from Omaha, NE

I have two things to say to everyone (rightly) annoyed by the pick-six that got called back. 1. Fail Mary. 2. Karma's a baloney, ain't it. And I don't mean baloney.

The officials in camp talked about an emphasis on unnecessary hits on QBs on plays like that. While there was clearly no malice to the shove of Rodgers, you wonder if that extra emphasis prompted the flag anyway. Rodgers' career pick-six total still stands at one. As my grandpa used to say about golf, they don't ask how, just how many.

Mike from Stillwater, MN

In your opinion how did Kyle Murphy do overall against the Seahawks?

Fine. The Packers went empty backfield way more than I thought they would with a first-time starter at right tackle. I give Murphy credit for allowing McCarthy to stick with the game plan he wanted.

Kyle from Baldwin, WI

Where was the halftime chat?

On my Twitter account, so I can do it without any additional web support while colleagues in our department are busy with other tasks. Please come check it out next week.

Luke from Madison, WI

My two takeaways from the game: 1) Ty Montgomery seemed to do well picking up blitzes, contrary to fan worries during camp. 2) Martellus Bennett looks like he may take Lane Taylor's spot as "enforcer," and I'm OK with that. Care to add a couple more takeaways?

Lang was really the enforcer in the past, but either way, we don't need to get carried away on the topic. You could see Montgomery's progress in blitz pickup in camp, and I thought he ran the ball really, really hard against some tough fronts.

Mark from Cape Coral, FL

What a way to start the season! A big Packers win thanks to the wire to wire effort of our defense and thank you packers.com for allowing this fan to keep up to date with the game as satellite and power failed.

You're welcome, and praying you're all safe down there.

Ron from Waukesha, WI

Let me start out by saying I really like our final 53. The NFL is a passing league and last year we had one of the worst pass defenses. Ted kept 12 DBs this year and I think two or three of them need to develop into "difference-makers" to make a successful run at the Super Bowl. Would you agree?

In 2010, the Packers' secondary had a veteran star in Charles Woodson, a budding star in Nick Collins whose game continued to climb, and then Tramon Williams emerged late in the year as a playmaker. You don't have Woodson, but I see Clinton-Dix in the Collins mold, and young talent ready to take off.

Kevin from Little Chute, WI

Please tell me you have a connection with someone who runs the scoreboard at Lambeau. Unfortunately, the fans need to be educated on when to cheer and when to be quiet. The fans were doing the wave and loud "Go Pack Go" chants during the most important drive of the game. The offensive players had to ask them to be quiet and it may have been a factor in their timeout. Maybe the "Shhh....Offense at Work" videos need to come back.

It was Week 1 for everyone. At least they listened when Rodgers told them to pipe down.

Jake from Greenville, NC

Did you see any of Falcons-Bears? Atlanta still looks stupid fast on defense, but I don't know what to make of their offense or Chicago's defense.

Bears had a great chance to pull the upset, and I thought they were going to. Great effort by Chicago's defense. Never underestimate Vic Fangio, especially when he has a whole offseason to prepare for you. The Falcons never look the same on grass to me. Atlanta's defense will be plenty fast in their new dome with all the noise.

Davy from Hustisford, WI

What was the best quarterback class since 2000? If ranking each draft, based on the top two quarterbacks of each draft, would Rodgers/Smith be No. 1 since 2000?

Probably. Ryan/Flacco in 2008 would be close, but not quite. If you go beyond the first two QBs but stay in the first round, I think it has to be 2004: Eli, Rivers and Roethlisberger.

Christian from Champaign, IL

Hoebelheinrich huh?

I nicknamed him Triple H, and I'm not even a pro wrestling fan.

Andrew from Vancouver, Canada

Pretty sure Spoff was just referencing "Seinfeld." He wouldn't actually drive to the airport during a Packers game. Inbox, Insiders! I'm a heartbeat away!

It's a heck of an organization we're running up here.

Drake from Owens Cross Roads, AL

Yanno, it's quite possible Rodgers will throw for 400 TDs before he throws 100 interceptions. Just sayin'.

The math certainly puts him on pace.

Jacob from Beloit, WI

When a draft pick, like let's say Yancey, gets released on cut day but after clearing waivers gets added to the practice squad, does he keep his rookie contract or is it a different one he signs since he was released?

His initial contract is terminated. Practice-squad contracts are different, because the player is technically a free agent.

Neal from Chicago, IL

With all the changes that have been being made regarding player safety and how they can hit one another, are you a surprised at all that cut-blocking is still legal?


Ken from Tomah, WI

I was wondering if you could please tell me how many official TD hookups Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson have?

They have the official franchise record of 60, three more than Favre and Freeman now after Sunday. That's the regular-season number. Including postseason, the Rodgers/Nelson total is 65, two behind Favre/Freeman at 67.

Matt from East Troy, WI

Insiders, I don't recall Clinton-Dix dropping down to be the hybrid safety/linebacker. Does he not fit that role physically or is there another reason?

I think he could play it if asked, but the Packers like using him in other areas of the field better.

Paul from Beaver Dam, WI

I saw in the Week 1 infographic that Rodgers currently has 245 pass attempts since his last interception which is good for second all-time in franchise history. Didn't we just see Rodgers break this record? I recall him having a streak like this that ended with him throwing two picks in one game. Against the Rams I think? Could you clarify please?

This was Rodgers' third career streak of 200 or more pass attempts without a pick, and it was his longest, ending Sunday at 251. Though again, these franchise marks do not include postseason (he threw an INT at Dallas in January). The team record is 294 by Bart Starr (1964-65). The streak you referenced that ended with two picks against the Rams in 2015 was 586 consecutive passes at home without an INT.

Patrick from Byron, IL

I recently saw a video showing all of Charles Woodson's pick-sixes in his career. He had a stretch of 6 consecutive years with one from 2006-2011. Is that an NFL record for most consecutive years with a pick-six?

It was at the time. No one else had done it more than four straight years. I can't say for sure if it's still a record, but I think so.

Andrew from Memphis, TN

Mike, at the risk of overreacting to the first game of the year, I'm not so sure that Alex Smith should be left off the "on watch" list. The one main knock on Smith has always been his "game manager" reputation as not taking shots and instead deferring to the safer option. Watching the game Thursday night, especially on the wheel route, I saw a guy who was not afraid to pull the trigger playing against a defense who didn't expect him to. When he is playing with that mindset of not being afraid to make a mistake, he truly looks like the quarterback everyone thought he would be coming out of Utah, and that team gets a LOT more dangerous.

I agree, but the question is whether he can continue to play like that on a weekly basis. No one's book gets rewritten after one game.

Tom from Birmingham, MI

OK, where do I send the T-shirt?

1265 Lombardi Ave., care of Wes Hod.

Josh from Seattle, WA

So the game hasn't started and I'm watching Raiders vs. Titans and whose name do I see but Giorgio "don't call me Sergio" Tavecchio making his first regular-season field goal. Congratulations to that man grinding until he made his dream come true.

Wonderful story of perseverance. I hope this truly is a new beginning for him. He deserves it.

Jeff from Victorville, CA

Big play on offense, big play on defense, no TDs given up, doubled the time of possession, clock-draining final drive, undrafted punter excelling, no major injuries, 1-0. What's not to like? Went as perfectly as we could've hoped. On to Atlanta!

Week 2 is here.

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