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Inbox: He just makes things happen out there

Sooner than later, the rookie label will become just a technicality

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RB Aaron Jones

T from Cedar Falls, IA

Oh, thank God.

Are we not entertained?

Daniel from Lakeland, FL

These last two games give meaning to the phrase, "Just win, baby."

There's a reason everyone knows the line.

Isaac from Columbia, TN

I'm glad the Pack got the win. Do you think it is possible for Aaron Jones to get too many touches in a game? If so, I have yet to see it.

I continue to say he's a special player, and I think he's the most important non-QB piece to this offense. It's a long season. LaFleur isn't going to wear him out, and there are multiple guys who need to be brought along and involved to up their level of play. But he just makes things happen out there.

Chuck from Sun Prairie, WI

This win may have been ugly, but the final drive was a thing of beauty. If Packer fans were told before the game Green Bay would have 199 yards rushing, Lazard over 100 yards receiving, Big Bob a TD and two rookie receivers would also score, no way anyone would have predicted it would take OT for a victory. Such is life in the NFL.

All true, and while Jones is the flashy one, Dillon is the finisher. That's not the last time I'll be saying that this season.

Jonathan from Spokane, WA

It just feels like when this defense puts a full game together they'll be the No. 1 unit in football. When they're on they can stop anyone, but when they're not, especially against the run, they struggle. Do you get that same feeling?

If you read me regularly you know I believe it's very difficult to be a consistently tough defense in this league. It just is. That said, in this particular game, I don't think the Packers adjusted very well to the Patriots adding the extra lineman to run the ball, and they reacted poorly to what I felt were obvious play-action opportunities (I was calling them in the live blog). Missing two of your top four DBs certainly didn't help with the latter.

Tom from Highland Village, TX

Do I need to lower my expectations about this team? I expected us to score more than 24 points in 60 minutes. I most definitely expected the Patriots to score less than 24 points, and that was before their quarterback was a rookie from Western Kentucky, who almost assuredly hasn't taken many snaps since training camp.

That was as Jekyll-and-Hyde as I've seen on both sides of the ball by the same team. The defense was playing lights out, making life miserable for the fourth-round rookie QB, and then suddenly had two awful possessions. The offense was in a major slump and then suddenly scored 17 points over three straight drives. I'm with you, I did not expect that kind of game against that opponent. But trust me, the Packers aren't in film sessions today feeling like they've got this all figured out.

Ken from New York, NY

I was hiding behind my couch.

This made me laugh, because the live blog got out of hand for a while there. I'll just leave it at that.

Troy from Westminster, CO

A win is a win and they're 3-1. On the pick-six, does it appear to you someone screwed up or was it simply a miscommunication between Aaron Rodgers and Allen Lazard? Without knowing the actual play, I tend to lean toward the latter.

Lazard either didn't anticipate the back-shoulder throw, or he tripped himself up trying to adjust to it. Either way, it was a poor read by Rodgers to try the back-shoulder, and Lazard fell down, putting him in no position to go after the ball, which made it super easy for the defender.

Joel from Washington, DC

Well, that game was enervating. But as frustrating as the win was, looking at the top line on ESPN afterward, all I saw was a long string of one-score games, with only a couple exceptions. The NFL seems as competitive as ever, so is it not OK to take the W with no apology, especially when Coach Belichick is on the other sideline? Or, should we genuinely wonder as fans at our guys' struggle to put this one away?

Honestly, I think it's both. When the defense was dominating, the offense was out of sorts. Once the offense found itself, the defense fell apart. The Packers know not every rollercoaster ride is going to end well. The more times you put yourself in that situation when it could've been avoided, the greater chance you'll get tagged with a very regrettable loss. The work doesn't stop.

Janet from Auburn, WA

It was so hard to tell what happened while watching it on television, but what got Kenny Clark so fired up when he was penalized?

I don't know, but that penalty somehow became the turning point for New England's offense. After the personal foul, the Patriots ran 12 plays, gained 121 yards and scored two TDs without facing a third down. After that? Three straight three-and-outs to end the game. You wonder how things get so sideways, but the defense responded when it had to.

Sonia from Fairbanks, AK

So where was Spoff in Final Thoughts?

For unexpected health reasons, I just needed to work from home for a couple of days. But all is well and I was back in the press box Sunday.

Jacob from Zionsville, IN

Double doink part deux was not as much fun as the original.

Will Lutz is one heck of a kicker, man. Wow.

Steve from Brookfield, WI

If two feet and an elbow isn't a catch...what is?

A receiver has to maintain control of the ball through contact with the ground. The only way that requirement is waived is if he's going to the ground after a third step and he's made a move common to the game. Romeo Doubs was close to doing neither and LaFleur admitted after the game it was a terrible decision to challenge an obviously correct call.

See scenes from the Sunday afternoon matchup between the Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots at Lambeau Field on Oct. 2, 2022.

Andrew from Durham, NC

It was expected given Belichick's prowess in this area, but special teams were a battle this time around. However, I'm very impressed with how gritty the group is, especially on punts; if not for Keisean downing the last punt at the 2-yard line (two games in a row!), who knows what the Patriots were going to be able to do with decent field position.

The Patriots won the special-teams battle overall in this one, but the Packers made the two most clutch plays in that phase – the punt you mentioned, and Crosby's kick. I just wish LaFleur hadn't wasted a timeout on the useless challenge, because those two clutch plays could've been just a couple minutes apart.

Joe from Wausau, WI

Does Adrian Amos need to have cleared concussion protocol before the plane leaves for him to be on the plane?

No.

David from Janesville, WI

"Illinois by a hundred, right?" I know Luke Butkus didn't guess the score exactly right but it kinda felt that way.

Larry is just going to give me "that look" when I walk by him in the hallway today. I know it's coming. I'm sad to see the Pride of Platteville lose his job and am grateful for what he did for the program, but after watching most of all three losses this season, I'm only shocked at the timing.

Matt from Boston, MA

"Syd Kitson, a former professional football player for the Green Bay Packers, is the mastermind behind Babcock Ranch in FL. Kitson envisioned it to be an eco-conscious and innovative neighborhood that is safe and resilient from storms like Ian." – CNN

For those wondering, Kitson was the Packers' third-round draft pick out of Wake Forest in 1980. He played guard and appeared in 49 total games (12 starts) from 1980-84.

Tim from Rosario, Argentina

Gosh that was fast, if you blinked you may have missed the jet sweep for the TD by Christian Watson.

If that play is run from anywhere on the field, against that defensive look, and with Doubs throwing that block, it's going the distance. Right opportunity, perfect execution.

Dave from Lakewood Ranch, FL

"Rashan Gary is a bust" said so many Insider fools.

While patience was preached from other keyboards.

Matt from Philadelphia, PA

I really hope the Packers pay Gary soon. He's on pace for over 17 sacks and if we don't pay him now we're going to lose him.

Well, he's on pace for about 20 sacks, actually, and he's under contract for next year, so it's no time to panic. The Packers would have a hard time constructing anything that would lower his cap number this year (they could for next year), and the way Gary's playing, he'd probably only shortchange himself by not playing the year out and seeing what kind of sack number he puts up.

Bo from Parkersburg, IA

Would a fair-catch kick have been possible at the end of the fourth? Would that even have been on LaFleur or Bisaccia's radar?

Interesting thought, and you weren't the only reader to bring it up. I don't know if they considered it.

Dave from Phoenix, AZ

OK, just have the freakin' play clock go into minus numbers after 00, e.g., -01, -02, etc. That way these refs will know it's timed out! I mean they were darn near at -03! ARGH...

It's asinine that in 2022 in the NFL this continues to be a weekly discussion. Sorry, but I've said all I care to say about it.

A.C. from Jasper, MO

So, are we the home team or the visiting team in London?

Home, to my knowledge.

Donna from Oak Creek, WI

What are your thoughts on the Packers not taking the bye after London? I hope it doesn't come back to bite them.

It's a tough call, but I think it's the right one. To take the bye after London would've meant 12 straight games to end the regular season without a bye, and only one playoff bye available. If the London game had been scheduled a few weeks later, I think the Packers would've more strongly considered it.

Dean from Leavenworth, KS

In Wednesday's chat you mentioned the team would depart for London next week after their Thursday practice. Assume that would mean a Friday morning arrival. That seems like a pretty short timeline to acclimate for the early Sunday game. Not a problem?

London time, the arrival is Friday morning, with a practice scheduled for that afternoon, then early to bed Friday night and a regular Saturday before a 2:30 p.m. kickoff Sunday (8:30 a.m. Wisconsin time). A lot of teams going over there have used this schedule, including the Vikings this past week. I'm no expert, but I believe the idea is to get the bulk of the game prep done as part of the normal routine back home, and take mostly down time over there to adjust to the time change, rather than be adjusting while conducting the main game prep.

Jessi from Sterling, KS

I got to talk to a longtime family friend in Iowa who is a lifelong Packers fan (she grew up in Sheboygan). She hasn't read Insiders yet, so I encouraged her it's where the Packers nerds go. Ya'll don't mind being nerds with me do you?

I've been called much worse.

Nathan from Philadelphia, PA

At least if we were going to play for 70 minutes, better this week than last week in Florida. What do the players and coaches need to do to rest and recover before the red-eye flight to London?

After two straight physically exhausting games and a long flight coming up, I'd expect Wednesday's practice to be maybe just a walk-through, or neck-up day as LaFleur says, to allow more body recovery time. Friday's practice in London might be pretty low-key as well. Coaches always want to prepare as best they can, but LaFleur keeps a very close finger on the pulse of his players' physical state.

Hannes from Glendale, WI

Good morning, Insiders. If we still had a 16-game regular season, this would conclude the first quarter. Since it's 17 games now, what's your biggest takeaway 23.53% into the season?

It really bothers me I can't say quarter pole anymore. My biggest takeaway? Doubs is going to be a huge part of this offense. What he showed in training camp wasn't some mirage.

Dan from Grayslake, IL

Ah, the life of a rookie in the NFL. Hoping Doubs will be able to navigate performances from last week to this week to next week.

He'll get there. With this much experience, positive and negative, so early, sooner than later the rookie label will become just a technicality.

Brian from Trego, WI

So after four games, do we really know who the real Green Bay Packers are? Very inconsistent and underachieving given the all the hype going into this season.

The hype is meaningless. That's why it's called hype. I said last Friday, in the headline, that in effect we don't know who or what this team is yet. There's little definition after four games, which doesn't surprise me on offense, though it does somewhat on defense. So you re-rack and go again. And again and again. Inconsistency is rampant across the NFL. Just look at the results. Underachieving? They're not winning the way anyone wants them to, but they've won three straight and are nowhere close to playing their best football. There are tougher spots to be in early October.

Jim from St. Paul, MN

Regardless of anyone's opinion, two things are certain. We're one game closer to a playoff shot, and no one knows what any of the 32 teams will look like in Week 18. Just take the win and enjoy the ride.

Happy Monday.

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