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Inbox: At some point the narrative needs to change

The Lions just didn’t beat themselves


Craig from St. Paul, MN

Mama said there'll be days like this. Yea? Well that's like, your opinion, mom.

Truth is not an opinion, but I had to start somewhere today.

Keith from Bend, OR

Don't even publish any negative "harangues." No need, on to Monday night and the 49ers. The Packers will put everything into the corrections, and on we go.

I wish it were that easy, but this is the Inbox we're talking about. Mentally, I'm with you all the way. Love the beer brewed in your town, by the way, which I've probably said before.

Matt from Sea Girt, NJ



Ryan from Iowa City, IA

If you want to talk badly about the special teams, that's fine. If you want to talk badly about the offense, that's fine, too. But for once, I don't want to see a single complaint in this column about the defense. Those guys have worked their tails off two weeks in a row and had to deal with some terrible field position. I don't know about you, but I'm proud of that unit for the first time in a while.

I thought the defense had three bad plays (excluding penalties) in this game – the 60-yarder over Jackson's head, letting Jones Jr. cut across the back of the end zone wide open late in the first half, and the untouched 24-yard run by Johnson in the fourth quarter. The personal fouls giving away free first downs are inexcusable, but the lists of major breakdowns in the other two phases are certainly longer.

Shane from Saxon, WI

Offense C-, defense C+, special teams F.

The really frustrating part is a C from special teams might have been enough to win. It's not as though Detroit played some lights-out game. The Lions just didn't beat themselves.

Keith from Yorktown, VA

Five games in and the Packers are yet to get off to a quick start on offense and have been shut out in the first half twice. Granted that probably should not have been the case against the Lions, but they had to settle for FG attempts instead of TDs. What do you think is behind the offensive struggles early in games so far? Does the pressure grow the longer the trend continues?

The pressure doesn't grow if you just take each game as a singular opportunity and not get bogged down by thoughts of the past and other potential distractions. I thought it was clear from the get-go the Lions were going to have trouble stopping the Packers. The early drives should have put a few points on the board, and the second half should have had that to build on. It didn't happen that way.

Jim from Maple Grove, MN

If I told you Friday that the Packers would have twice the yardage as the Lions, and Aaron Rodgers would throw for almost 450 yards with three TDs and no picks, and the Packers would never punt, what would have been your prediction for the game?

I would have asked for the turnover margin in the game before answering.

Nate from Baltimore, MD

Over the last few years it seems that the Packers fall victim easily to a "snowball effect." The opponent gets a quick score, Packers surrender a key turnover early, miss a kick or two, and momentum grows for the opponent. All the while, the snowball just keeps getting bigger as it rolls down that proverbial hill. It's hard to stop these snowballs week after week. Particularly when it makes the offense one-dimensional. How do you keep early mistakes from "snowballing"?

You make a kick, you score a touchdown, you get a turnover. The game is about big plays. If you're not making them, usually the other team is, in one phase or another.

Lauren from Tampa Bay, FL

Hey Spoff and Wes, I may be wrong but I do not remember seeing the Packers walk through an airport like they did in Detroit...seems they usually have a bus waiting on the tarmac. Is this uncommon?

Yes. We stayed at the Westin inside the Detroit airport, so there was no bus ride to the hotel.

Sigiani from Ribeirao Preto, Brazil

Rough game, but this one didn't feel like we were outmuscled. We were just a few kicks from a W. I am very excited with the young receivers. How did you guys grade their game?

They made some plays, and those have value moving forward, but both McCarthy and Rodgers said they made some mistakes, too. Nothing about the offense was consistent enough until the second half.

Tyler from Pierre, SD

Wes has completely missed the mark on his follyrot usage. The context clearly shows that it is a synonym to tomfoolery or shenanigans, or a personal replacement to a more expletivacious offering – as if Caleb were saying balogna, but without saying balogna.

It always comes back to that, doesn't it?

Kristen from Surprise, AZ

Just a note of encouragement. I love reading the Inbox and the insight you provide the fans. Per some of your responses it's obvious you both take a lot of crap for not always providing the popular opinions, but I for one (and I'm sure others) appreciate your candor, knowledge and witty responses. Keep up the good work!

Kind of you to say. We love the banter and debate. No one needs to apologize for having a different opinion, but anyone asking us to validate everything they believe is likely going to be disappointed.

Jordan from Sturgeon Bay, WI

Aaron Rodgers and Mason Crosby let this game go. Crosby needs to make those kicks, and Aaron missed several throws and those fumbles were very uncharacteristic. They blew it, and they know it. Nothing more needs to be said. It's on to next week. I fully trust Crosby to makes kicks next week; this isn't his first time facing adversity. I fully expect Rodgers to rebound, he knows he needs to play better out of the gate. On to the 49ers, go Pack go!

Way too convenient to pin the loss on two guys, when they had nothing to do with 11 of the 12 penalties and the worst of the three turnovers. But they are veteran players who are being counted on, and just like the Washington game, mistakes by proven veterans are tougher to overcome. They just are. I agree they'll rebound, but as I said **in my postgame editorial**, at some point the narrative needs to change from whose turn it is to bounce back.

Brandon from Helena, MT

"We have to put together a full game," Rodgers said, "one of these days." Seems like a far cry from "R-E-L-A-X" doesn't it?

There's not much relaxing going on when facing second-half deficits of 20, 18 and 24 points in the first five weeks. The Packers need to start helping themselves early in games, not hurting themselves.

Ethan from Bloomington, IL

On Thursday Night Football I heard that Tom Brady threw his 500th touchdown and has thrown touchdowns to 71 different receivers. How many has Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre thrown to?

I can't be 100 percent certain on these numbers because I compiled them quickly. With the Packers, I found 45 different receivers who caught TD passes from Favre, and 31 from Rodgers. There is some overlap with those lists (Jennings, Driver, Jones, etc.).

The Green Bay Packers traveled to Ford Field to take on the Detroit Lions in a Week 5 NFC North matchup

Bruce from New Canaan, CT

Insiders, what single word would you use to characterize the Packers' performances in their two road games this season? I offer desultory for your consideration.

If that's word to describe wildly and maddeningly self-inflicted inconsistency, then OK.

Nick from Kihei, HI

Wespoff, I came across the actual definition of follyrot: the notion that Google actually influences our behavior throughout the Inbox submission process, compelling us to use words that will in turn guide others back to the search engine. We're all just puppets it seems. Anyway, I need to go to a Packers game this season, and since Lambeau is a bit far from Hawaii, I'm trying to decide between LA and Seattle. From a fan experience standpoint, which game would you rather go to?

It depends what you're looking for. If you want to see the Packers try to knock off the team establishing itself as the one to beat in the NFC, then LA. If you're going for stadium atmosphere, CenturyLink in Seattle is something else.

Ron from Sun Lakes, AZ

Let's just hope this game got our bad mojo out of our system. Thanks for all you do with Inbox.

Wishing it won't make it so. You create your own mojo in this league. The Packers have had legitimate chances to win every game. The worm won't turn on its own.

Andrew from Simi Valley, CA

Are the pep rallies kid-friendly? I have a 4- and 2-year old (Packer fans of course) and would love to bring them.

They're crowded and noisy and in an establishment that serves alcohol. But we haven't had any incidents of unruly behavior or anything like that.

Jason from Wausau, WI

The officiating I witnessed Sunday (in addition to the Packer game) is atrocious, and it's resulting in momentum changes and outcomes of games. I said atrocious; I apologize...I meant pathetic. How does the league get a handle on all of the officiating shortcomings, which are numerous?

I think I've said my piece on this topic enough over the last few years.

Adam from Wausau, WI

Advice from an experienced groin puller: When you think it's healed, give it two more weeks.

The Packers took the cautious approach with King before putting him back out there, and they seem to be doing the same thing with Alexander.

Nick from Prescott, WI

I think Aaron should save a few glasses of scotch for Mason.

The support the players and coaches showed for Crosby was genuine. He wants nothing more than to be able to reward their faith the rest of the season.

Chris from Davenport, IA

Ben from Ontario's question about a nine-point OT victory got me thinking. What happens if on the opening drive the first team with the ball gets tackled for a safety? Does the defensive team automatically win?


Bobby from Joplin, MO


What if the team on defense is winning by three, they get an interception and then proceed to fumble the return. The offense picks up the fumble and runs it in for a touchdown. Who wins the game?

The offense, which is why any team winning in OT that gets a turnover would be mighty foolish to do anything but go down and get the whistle.

Daryl from Marinette, WI

Dim-witted and too mediocre to recover. is like a shiny ad for a new car that we know has a broken engine. Why don't you change your tune to reflect reality?

Where exactly did our coverage of this game ignore reality? Did we report the Packers won?

Collin from Newport News, VA

So we are 2-2-1 through five games. We have played terribly and played well. Big deal, just win the next one.

Get to 3-2-1 at the bye, use the time off to get healthy, and then buckle up. I don't see anyone running away with the NFC North. This team will play better, but it must take a bigger jump than otherwise thought because the schedule gets tougher, too.

Kurt from Woodland Park, CO

This will probably be the easiest loss to absorb thanks to the Brewers! On to the Niners.

The day was indeed at least partially redeemed.

Margo from Solvang, CA

Sheesh! Normally I'm mad at the defense when they lose, but the defense didn't play that badly. How can I be mad at Mason Crosby? He's an exemplary human being and a total professional. Aaron Rodgers? For having a bad game vs. all the other games he has almost singlehandedly won? What's a fan to do?

I don't know, Margo. (This had to be a set-up, right?) Get ready for another game in seven days. That's all anyone can do. Lotta season left.