Donna from Darien, WI
I wish growing pains didn't hurt so much.
The Packers have to get past them, and soon. After a certain number of games, it shouldn't remain a topic of discussion. I don't know what that number is, but it can't climb much higher.
Doug from Union Grove, WI
Granted, no loss is a good loss, but, conventional wisdom says this was a bad loss.
Eric from Kenosha, WI
Learning how to win in the NFL really is a process, isn't it? That game felt so there for the taking.
Multiple times in the second half, yeah.
Jessi from Sterling, KS
Well, that wasn't very much fun. Guess we can chalk it up as a win/win for the Carlson family. One brother kicked better, while the other's team won the game! I seriously thought our comeback was coming when Daniel doinked. Sigh. Not our night. What was the biggest flaw of the night for the team?
Just missed chances. First-and-goal inside the 5, but only three points. A missed INT on defense. Deep shots that were close but no plays were made. Two catchable throws on the final drive right before the fateful INT. It's a long list.
Al from Green Bay, WI
Christian Watson is an amazing deep threat, and a skilled receiver. With that said, in both interceptions in which he was the target, I thought he needed to be more aggressive coming back to get the football. Fair observation?
He pretty much said the same thing himself after the game.
Greg from Johnson City, TN
Man, that horse-collar tackle to prevent Watson from getting the TD definitely hurt. I understand the rules and everything but that still bothers me.
One of those instances where the punishment obviously did not fit the crime. So it goes.
Dan from Tomah, WI
I know we are young and still figuring things out. How do we run the ball well on the first drive by having Love under center and Dillon getting a running start for good yardage, then change it up after that? I have never been so critical of ML's play calling but it's just so inconsistent. And in the passing game… where was Reed and Doubs? Why not get them and Watson involved more with the running game that started out solid?
All valid questions. As I said in the live blog, I think LaFleur believed with the solid start to the run game, that would open up other concepts in the game plan, but that didn't happen, either due to breakdowns, poor execution, good defensive calls, you name it. Then it took way too long to get back on track.
Pete from Caledonia, MI
Gents, tough Inbox, I'm sure. We, again, saw an offense that has zero identity, no rhythm and no playmakers. They, allegedly, are there but have done nothing of consequence. Love has made poor decisions (not unexpected) and needs to be better. My question is the O-line. They are supposed to be a team strength but have been terrible. Is it a matter of just playing better? Injuries could be blamed, but our "jars on a shelf" were supposed to be strength. Do you see anything differently?
I think terrible is a little harsh. I see a group that can establish the line of scrimmage at times, but can't sustain that control series after series. When one guy gets knocked back at the snap, it seems to throw everything off-kilter. Brief lapses put the offense behind the sticks and drives stall. You ask if it's a matter of just playing better. Yeah, it is, as simple as that sounds, because there are instances the unit shows it's capable.
Jonathan from Taylorsville, NC
At the end of the day, it's our play in the trenches that is not up to par so far. With the loss of Bakhtiari, this has been magnified. If our offensive line doesn't improve quickly, this will be a long season. In key situations, they just don't block as needed.
Bakhtiari's season is over and it's time for his absence to stop being magnified, to use your word. Again, I don't know how to peg the number of games, but it's getting there.
Karen from South Beloit, IL
What was the greatest improvement in this week's game?
Running the ball and stopping the run. Both were better. Considerably better. But it was also against a 1-3 team. Hopefully it's something to build on for both sides of the ball.
Bob from Pocatello, ID
The Packers look lost. This isn't a rant of a frustrated fan after a loss. Rather it is an unsettling (to me, at least) observation after an extended period of bad football. I am committed to staying patient, but the team looks lost – players and coaches on both sides of the ball. Now we will get a good look at the character of the team.
Totally agree with your last point. The character of the players, coaches, everybody is getting tested. They certainly look lost in the first half offensively. It's both befuddling and frustrating to see three straight duds and six points in six quarters. That's not how you start any games, let alone three in a row. I know the defense allowed two long drives that had their own frustrating moments, but by and large a group that's been as up and down as the offense did what it could, holding tough in some key spots while losing more starters. It feels like the Packers wasted a defensive performance that was good enough to win, and big picture, that's the biggest regret.
Robert from Verona, WI
As much as I don't want to use injuries as an excuse, I just don't think this young team is built to withstand injuries to key guys at this point. The running game was better, but not dynamic enough without Jones. The defense was pretty good, but would have been better with Campbell and Walker. Bakhtiari isn't coming back this year, but we need those others because they can be true difference makers.
I agree, but nobody's feeling sorry for the Packers. If you're on the roster, you have to produce and find a way to make a difference yourself. Opportunity has been plentiful on this team but in most instances it has not been seized.
Jake from Madison, WI
Preston Smith was lined up on Davante Adams on back-to-back drives. WHY was Preston Smith lined up on Davante Adams on back-to-back drives?
LaFleur explained postgame how that can happen, reminding everyone the Packers got matchups like that against him, too. The offense sees the personnel group the defense is in, schemes Adams to the far inside slot, and lets the opponent react. The defense has to check out of the call and adjust, but that carries its own risks if it can't be done fast enough, and having two backup inside linebackers might hinder the communication speed to get that done. I'm just speculating there but that's what I gathered from his answer.
David from Milwaukee, WI
Do you think the bye week will help or hurt the GB players?
As banged up as the Packers are, it'll definitely help. But rest, recovery and health aren't going to cure all that ails this team. The bye week needs to result in a mental refocus and sharpening, because better execution will be needed to win games no matter who's out there.
Rachel from Hudson, WI
Young team plus injuries means the margin for error is razor thin. We knew this season wasn't necessarily about wins and losses but it's sure frustrating to watch this team's inability to scheme (Preston on Adams!?) and execute the simple stuff (whiffed blocks, dropped passes). Is this the most important bye week of the past 5-10 years to get these young guys going for real and get other guys healthy?
I don't know how to rank them. My only hope is a bad loss like this one heading into the bye week will do them more good in the long run than a win, which makes it easier for things to get glossed over. Of course 3-2 would look and feel better than 2-3, but these guys shouldn't be happy about, really, anything the way these last two games went. Stew a bit and use the anger to push forward with more purpose.
All right, with that I'm going to continue with various queries I answered before the game. Lord knows we'll have enough/too much time to keep talking about this loss.
Dennis from De Pere, WI
Is it true that each night Allegiant Stadium escapes its moorings and vacuums the neighborhood?
Wes and I were talking about the strange similarity of the stadium to a Roomba when we drove past it for the first time Sunday. Getting inside Monday night, I actually think there's a lot of resemblance to U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, except all the purple is black instead.
Craig from Sussex, WI
It's truly amazing how the 49ers have accumulated so much talent (and staying under the salary cap) after giving up the farm for a quarterback that didn't pan out.
That franchise's recent story is rare. From being maybe the best team in the league over a three-year span (2011-13) but not winning a title, to being in the midst of another outstanding run (2019-present, minus the injury-ravaged 2020 season) but still striving for that elusive championship.
Jim from Naples, FL
I don't think Philadelphia and San Francisco got your memo on it being a week-to-week league?
Still a long way to go, but I hear you. The Niners were on a mission Sunday night. I'm not sure we've seen the best of the Eagles just yet.
Jim from West Hills, CA
In reply to one of your readers' notes on Packers having franchise-altering injuries where Bak, Collins and Sharpe were mentioned, I would add Tim Lewis to that list. I feel he would have been a solid piece to the Pack's secondary for years to come and he really never was able to play after the head/neck injury.
It's a shame we'll never know how good Lewis might've been, but a star corner wasn't going to save Bart Starr's job, nor alter the Forrest Gregg or Lindy Infante eras to any considerable degree.
Joe from Liberty Township, OH
I also feel Bakhtiari's injury probably kept the Packers from going to the Super Bowl after the 2020 season, and possibly the next year as well. But another injury that possibly kept the Packers out of the Super Bowl was Rodgers' calf injury in 2014. I think they win the game we don't talk about had Rodgers had full mobility.
Agree on all counts.
Dan from Green Bay, WI
Is it time to quit calling Belichick the greatest of all time?
Not until somebody wins as many Super Bowls as he has. He's two clear of the field, with Chuck Noll's four coming pre-free agency. I know people love to hate him, but just because this game can humble the very best doesn't take away from what he's achieved.
Sam from Janesville, WI
Good morning! Something I noticed while watching the Sunday slate. Many times the road team does a silent count, but the right guard will throw his arm forward and a half second later the center snaps it. My question: How is that not a false start on the guard?
Movements that don't simulate the snap or start of the play are not illegal.
Kevin from Athens, GA
During the Minn-KC game, there was a play in the end zone where the KC dude took off his helmet. I thought it was a penalty to do that. It was clearly heard on TV that ref told him to put his helmet on. I am puzzled, like what is next, hey you were offside but next time don't do it? Or perhaps, ref says next time do not rough the passer with a blow to the head? I understand imperfect people are asked to make perfect calls but the helmet one was a bit strange to me.
It should've been flagged. That was obvious. But without pass interference being called, and with the play result being a turnover on downs, the penalty would've been assessed after the change of possession, not in order for the Vikings to keep the ball.
Joe from Swansea, IL
Did my heart good to see Coach Hackett get all those heartfelt hugs from his coaching brethren Sunday night. Hope the coach on the other sideline took heed, but probably not.
So happy for Hackett. I'll leave it at that.
Carl from Holmen, WI
I wrestled in that dual of Wisconsin Rapids vs. Ashwaubenon as Rapids' 112-pounder. Coach Jody Van Laanen is a great guy and his team brought it that night! It was the only year in a 10-year span we weren't state champs.
Long before Wes ever saw a wrestling match, I covered Rapids wrestlers plenty while working at both the Wausau and Green Bay papers. That program was incredible.
William from Fairhope, AL
Guys, do "analytics" play any role within Insider Inbox? How many Margo's will we use? Let's parse the topics we reply to: Nostalgia, Witty Semantics, Gritty Packers News, etc.? Is there a place for AI in this column?
Jim from Simpsonville, SC
Saturday's Inbox left me with a vision of Mike on the sidelines covering his mouth with a clipboard but instead of calling a play he's telling the QB, "I'm covering my mouth to look like I know what I'm doing but I have no idea what to do here. Give it your best shot kid!" Insiders could probably write the script to a great football comedy with such fodder.
We could probably all use a little comedy right now. Happy Tuesday.