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Inbox: Corrections must be made, but the way forward is together

Jayden Reed proved again Sunday that he is a very exciting prospect


Editor's note: Due to technical maintenance being performed on all team websites across the league, Wednesday's Insider Inbox and other regularly scheduled content (such as Mike's Mid-Week Chat) will be delayed, possibly until Wednesday afternoon. Apologies for the inconvenience.

Paul from Johnson City, TN

My wife has always said, "If you love your team, you stick with them even when they're losing." I almost turned the game off at halftime but kept it on. Although the ending wasn't what anyone wanted, it was one heck of a game. I guess I'm just glad I have a football team – that I love dearly – to watch on Sundays.

I just want to see what it looks like when the Packers start a game with a TD on their opening series. It's one thing if Green Bay was getting blown out of the water, but that's not how it's been. Like Matt LaFleur said, the Packers have lost three games by a total of seven points. They've been in all these games but just haven't had the right start and the right finish. That can be maddening for both a team and its fanbase, but it doesn't make the challenge insurmountable.

Tom from Santa Paula, CA

Very happy to see AJ Dillon returning to form. I believe part of the positive change is taking more carries with Jordan Love under center, so Dillon is building a head of steam as he receives the ball. Shotgun handoffs, where he is nearly stationary as he receives the ball, have tended to produce minimal, and thus, bad results. Are you also seeing the disparity in results based on formation or am I way off-base? Thanks, and God Bless!

I think most running backs would prefer to run with the QB under center, but it doesn't always work that way. Whether it's shotgun or I-form, I think Dillon is running behind his pads and playing really well. His 171 total yards the past two weeks are more than his first four games combined (143).

Justin from Pontiac, IL

Was Aaron Jones on a snap count? I like AJ Dillon, but he is on the field way too much. Including a drive in "got to have it" time at the end of the Broncos game. I don't think there is anything about this team or Matt LaFleur that drives me crazier than the team's usage of Aaron Jones. The Packers have a premier back they've used like a change-of-pace back for his entire career.

Jones played 23 of the 64 snaps and told reporters afterwards he still wasn't quite 100%. Credit to Jones, he gutted through the hamstring to be out there with his team. That's the right mentality to have.

Jordan from Cedar Rapids, IA

It seems like we don't have a grasp on why our offense is starting slow and don't know what to do about it. Matt LaFleur provided answers such as "I've got a few ideas," "we need to be more consistent," and "I'll have to look back at film" after this week's loss. Very vague responses. Are we truly at a loss for words? Can anyone shine some light on what may be the underlying issues?

Listen, no coach is going to be able to stand at a lectern 30 minutes after a game and go blow for blow on what went wrong. If that's what you want, you're better off watching LaFleur's Monday pressers. Once LaFleur reviews the film, he has no problem dissecting plays and explaining what's happening. He did yesterday for 20 minutes. But yes, what the Packers are doing hasn't been good enough. The search for answers is ongoing, but the effort is there.

Eric from Crystal Lake, IL

Throughout the losing streak last season, I believed that one spark could be all it took to start to turn the tide on the season. Sure enough, the breakout games from Christian Watson and Keisean Nixon really seemed to change the vibe of the team. Could one game like that be enough to jolt this team out of the lull, or is there just too many things going wrong in all phases for an infusion of energy to make much of a difference?

That's what turned Green Bay's season around in 2022. Final result notwithstanding, there still was promise in that performance. Dontayvion Wicks' pass to Aaron Jones was creative and helped key Green Bay's first scoring drive. Defensively, guys didn't hang their heads after the injuries and the slow offensive start. Corrections must be made – the season depends on it – but the way forward is together. That's how the Packers will get where they want to be.

Ray from Phoenix, AZ

It seems to me that ML calls a run on first down a very high percentage of the time. Opponents must see this too and move safeties up. I know he wants to establish the run, but it is hard to move the chains on third-and-7-or-8 most every series. With no longer sustained drives, the defense is getting gassed being on the field so long. Am I wrong in my observation?

That's a high percentage of the league, especially when offenses are usually starting from their own 25. If the Packers throw three straight times and punt, everyone would be asking why they aren't running the ball.

Kyle from Waunakee, WI

This season, Love has thrown a lot of balls to WRs that had a step on their defender or at least a 50/50 shot. The defenders in many cases do not get their heads around and are close to interfering, but the WRs continue getting out of the way to make a circus catch and let the defender off the hook. No one wants to get plowed over but slowing down half a step would have guaranteed penalties on many occasions. Have you heard the players or coaches address the mindset in those situations?

It's just experience and understanding how to run your route, but you can't bet the farm on a flag being thrown. One of the topics I discussed with James Jones and Mike Heller on the Packers' pregame show Sunday was how officials are allowing defensive backs to play more physical this year.

Bill from Whiting, IN

With all the problems this team has, can an accurate assessment of Jordan Love's ability as a quarterback be made?

Assessments? Sure. Declarative statements about the Packers' future and Love's career arc? Not so much. But each week we're learning more about Love. He's had some errant throws, but the young man rolls with the punches – and several have been thrown his way as of late. Love's response is what impresses me most.

Bryan from Valencia, CA

What is Russell Wilson's record against the Packers? Seems like he always does just enough to beat us.

He's 5-5 now.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

Insiders, in the past I seem to recall that when the D jumped offsides on a snap, that was a free play? Not so now, refs are blowing the whistle and calling the play dead. Am I wrong or just a bad memory?

They made that a point of emphasis about five years ago. I believe the reason was player safety, but I think it's just led to a lot more confusion.

Bill from Mediapolis, IA

If there is anything came out this game to be excited about. You need to keep your eyes on Jayden Reed. Remember he is a rookie and playing like he is on his second contract. If his arrow keeps pointing up, Reed will be unstoppable in a few years.

Jayden Reed proved again on Sunday that he is a very exciting prospect. Big plays are one thing – and he's made a few this season – but Reed is such a smart, heady player. The comeback isn't a conversation if not for Reed pulling down the touchdown off the deflected pass.

Check out photos from the Week 7 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023.

Dean from Huntsville, AL

Help me understand the expectations of the fans this year. Sorry for the math, but 35% of our salary cap is going to players that aren't playing this year. I think it takes longer than six games for most rookies to learn how to play in this league. Give them a full year at least and bring in some vets next year. My expectation is anything beyond five wins is a great year for this team. Heck, Aaron only won six his first year, and he had a much more experienced team than Love is working with. GPG

Fans want to win. Regardless of what was said in the offseason, fans want to win…which is why LaFleur has talked many times about the expectations not changing.

Tom from Rochester, NY

If Gene Steratore was correct, the only chance for a simultaneous catch is if all four hands are on the ball and the four feet touch the ground at the same millisecond! How often could that happen?

Personally, I take Steratore's commentary with a grain of salt relative to Dean Blandino and Mike Pereira. To me, it's the offense's ball. If the receiver maintains possession and comes down with it, then it's a catch. The burden of proof is on the defense to either break up the pass or cleanly intercept the football. Patrick Surtain never prevented Doubs from catching the ball. This isn't complicated.

Kevin from Kirkland, IL

I think the biggest thing for Love to learn is what Herm Edwards said, "You play to win the game!" I think he is trying too hard to win every play (like Favre used to, but without the rocket arm). He needs to (and ML needs to also) remember the big picture. Take the checkdown, run for the short gain, throw the ball away and get 'em the next play. Sunday we only needed a FG with plenty of time remaining and player and play-caller wanted a TD. It feels like that every game.

I'm too tired and grumpy to look this up right now, but I'd be curious how many negative yardage plays/penalties have preceded Love throwing an interception. As far as taking the checkdowns, I agree with you and I'm sure Love would, too. It's a difficult lesson to learn in the moment but will serve Love well in the long run.

Dale from Port Washington, WI

Didn't see this addressed earlier, but the illegal procedure call on the Packers' center towards the beginning of the game. Does anyone have a clarification on what he did wrong? I've seen every center in the league make that move. Sigh, I know gambling is illegal in Bushwood…what about drinking?

No idea. Maybe Steratore can tackle that one.

Keith from Truro, NS, Canada

I hope the NFL suspends that idiot that hit Luke Musgrave. A fine is no good. He's played dirty too many times. Someone is going to get seriously hurt. They should suspend him at least two games. And on another note, when the Pack had the ball on Denver's 44-yard line, even though it was third-and-20, why not at least try and pass for 12 or 13 yards to set up a winning field goal opportunity? So, if they got it to the 30-35-yard line how long of a field goal try would that have been?

Jackson has been suspended for four games. Per the NFL, that's the longest suspension for violating a player-safety rule since Vontaze Burfict (12 games) and Myles Garrett (6 games) in 2019. It was warranted. I've seen this film before with Jackson. He's not a rookie. He's a 35-year-old man. As far as the final sequence, debates will be had all week in the media. You could probably take the underneath option and live to play fourth down. It is what it is.

Highlights from the moments leading up to the Week 7 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023.