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Inbox: He'll be getting a chance to prove he's up to the challenge

They have to show it

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LB Kingsley Enagbare

Greg from Virginia Beach, VA

Will Saturday be any good on Sunday?

Please see yourself out.

Adrian from Chula Vista, CA

How do we beat the Cowboys? They have a very good defense with arguably the DPOY, Parsons, and a strong secondary. Their offense is scoring, in spite of Prescott's momentary judgment lapses. They have a serious threat on special teams. And, their head coach wants to prove that the Packers were wrong to let him go. How do we get the W with so many of our weapons injured and not playing up to their potential?

Well first, I don't think McCarthy has any ill will toward the Packers. It's been four years, and he's too mature for that. The Packers' injury list is significant. There's no getting around it. But it's on every single player to prepare the next four days and execute on Sunday. The Packers are capable of better. They have to show it, and if they do, they'll have a chance at crunch time.

Steve from Alexandria, VA

To what degree, if any, do you feel there is any credence to the external claims or criticism that Coach LaFleur wants to run one type of offense and Aaron Rodgers wants to run a different type? Have there been any vibes or indicators that this is accurate?

Not that I'm seeing. I'm sure there are times Rodgers chooses pass on an RPO or throws a run solution when LaFleur wishes he'd just hand the ball off. I'm sure LaFleur also would prefer Rodgers have a healthy thumb so under-center snaps weren't at such risk of making the injury worse. There's a ton of collaboration that goes into every game plan, which is repped on the practice field for three days. The offense clearly struggled from halftime in London through the Washington game. But the last two weeks, the Packers have piled up 787 yards while scoring just 26 points. That's almost absurd when you ponder it. It's not about style of offense. It's about finishing drives now.

Dave from Waterford, WI

What does Green Bay need to do to be able to win a game?

Score more points.

Lloyd from Rancho Cordova, CA

Packer teams of the past had a better reputation concerning penalties, but I know our present team is trying to play well but gets caught up emotionally. How do coaches overcome all the penalties?

Coaches have very little effect on players' emotions during games. Those types of undisciplined infractions are totally on the players to me. The technique stuff, like holding (offensive or defensive) just has to be continually drilled, week after week, and the players have to take how they're being taught to the game field.

Ken from Berea, KY

I've been a Packers fan for 65 years. I still am, even in Kentucky. Along with many other fans, I really, really really wish that our offense would step up to the line, hike the ball and run the play. It seems like they're unsure of themselves, not wanting to start until they've exhausted every last second (and sometimes more) in contemplation. Meanwhile, the opponent knows they can tee off at zero. An unknown hike time is a strategic advantage being squandered.

I can appreciate the desire expressed and point made. You're certainly not alone, and I do think this past game was the most egregious regarding play-clock expiration, both in duration and frequency. What we don't know on the flip side is the strategic advantage gained by Rodgers as he surveys the defense. I'm sure it's minimal on some plays, but it could be substantial on others, and there's no telling what play will be the difference-maker. We've definitely learned that the past five games.

Dave from Edina, MN

The number of injuries in the Detroit game made it so much worse than just a loss. It sounds like Rashan Gary's injury is serious and Christian Watson's was a false alarm. Any word on Romeo Doubs?

It sounds like multiple weeks at this point.

James from Ottawa, Canada

Amidst the handwringing and general bewilderment – of which I am guilty of both – regarding the on-field product, I simply wanted to offer my thanks. You've done a masterful job at cutting through the chaff and bringing a balanced perspective to the season. Things aren't rosy these days, but having a place to get sane insight (as opposed to the hyperbolic vitriol floating around the ether) is a big comfort. The storm will pass and we can all take refuge in the Inbox until it does.

Bewilderment is not a word I had yet associated with this season, but it is honestly appropriate at this point. We do our best.

Ben from Madison, WI

I guess the last game was so bad, there weren't even five things to take away from it, only four. (In reference to the "5 takeaways" article posted on packers.com that only lists four things.)

Several folks have written in about this the past couple of weeks. All five items are there. Trust me. Just keep scrolling. There are paragraph break insertions (of which we have no control on placement) that make it look like the fourth takeaway is the end of the story. But the fifth is down there. Honest.

Randy from Trophy Club, TX

What I find most disappointing is that after nine games this team hasn't figured out its identity. We all knew that with the young WRs they wouldn't be able to lean on the passing game to control and win the game...but they haven't figured out how to lean on the running game; they use it heavily then get away from it. Dominate the Bills when running the football and then twice as many passes as runs against the Lions...I don't get it. Are the coaches and QB delusional? I can't make sense of it.

The Bills built a multi-score lead and sat back defensively, letting the Packers run it. They didn't want to give up a big play for a score, figured they could tighten down in the red zone, and had Josh Allen on the other side if a serious threat had been mounted. The Lions loaded up to stop the run, succeeded in shutting it down, and the passing game moved the ball well until it was time to score, then the mistakes happened. That's an oversimplification of the last two games, but hopefully it makes some sense. In both games, the Packers just didn't finish drives.

Tony from Cary, NC

At what point do the Packers consider playing Jordan Love? Rodgers is hurt and not playing well. The Packers need to see what they have in Love before his next contract. Is this even a possibility?

That's a popular question now, but a legitimate one only if the Packers get mathematically eliminated from postseason contention. If you still have a chance, and Rodgers can play, he plays.

Mike from Castle Rock, CO

Mike, 11 teams in the NFC are .500 or worse at this point, and I'd bet that no one expected the other five to be 6-3 or better through nine games. I'm as disappointed as anyone with how this team has found ways to lose over their last five games, but the Packers aren't the only team struggling to find themselves this year. I know expectations are always high for this team, but if there's ever a good season to be on the struggle bus, I'd argue this season gives the best chance for a turnaround.

I like your line of thinking, but I can't totally buy into it due to one thing – the schedule that awaits. All that matters right now is Dallas, but after this week, three of the last seven games are against division leaders. It doesn't get much tougher than that. If the Packers can turn it around, they'll have earned it.

Dan from Kenosha, WI

Insiders, I really feel that the most important play of the Detroit game was the effort-driven, unintentional running into the kicker penalty that Alexander got. Detroit got an extra two points, we would have kicked the PAT after the TD instead of chasing their eight and been playing with a 7-6 lead providing greater motivation to a defense already playing at a high level. Even after Detroit's second TD it would have been a one score game and completely changes the play-calling at the end. Agree?

It was an important play because it had a profound impact on the scoreboard the entire second half, as you noted. But most important? Nah. First-and-goal from the 5, four plays from the 1 … take your pick.

Eric from London, Canada

With a struggling offense, wouldn't it be better to kick some field goals instead of forcing fourth-down plays? Many games seem to be a bit more manageable to win if we had more points on the board earlier in the game.

The Packers have eschewed a 56-yard field goal in each of the last two games to go for it on fourth-and-3. I never really have a problem not trying field goals of 55-plus if the yards to go are reasonable. Those are not high-percentage kicks. And it's very rare teams kick on fourth-and-goal at the 1 these days. Every situation and its considerations can be different, but surrendering due to lack of faith in the offense isn't the type of attitude most teams want to foster.

Michael from Berrien Springs, MI

Hey Mike, another great WYMM as always. Acknowledging that I'm getting older and we have the worst internet service out here in the country, I keep wishing I could slow it down. I love the fact that I can re-watch it (especially when multiple players are involved) but is there any chance they could do a slo-mo version? Hey, if they can do Lego versions of plays, it's not too outside the box, right?

You've suggested a worthwhile idea. I'll have to see on plays with several players highlighted if I can slow the action down. I believe I can.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

With the very disheartening injury to Rashan Gary my assumption is that the workload of Kingsley Enagbare will greatly increase. At this point in his first season what is his greatest strength and weakness?

Enagbare has shown in limited action he can hold his own against the run and generate some pass rush. He continues to improve. As with all young players, the biggest question is consistency. He'll be getting a chance to prove he's up to the challenge.

Joe from Wausau, WI

Joe Barry mentioned last week he thinks Darnell Savage could be a very effective nickel. Perhaps the injury to Stokes is a good opportunity to see if Savage is better suited to nickel than safety?

That would require substituting Ford for Nixon. I guess it's happened before? Sorry, a little election season humor.

Brian from Urbana, IL

I hope whoever/whatever you voted for yesterday won! A question in pursuance of a fun distraction: Which former or current NFL head coach (excluding Jeff Saturday) would make the best U.S. President?

Mike Tomlin.

Kyle from Brooklyn, NY

Thanks Mike and Wes for your endurance through one of the toughest seasons I've witnessed. It would be great to see Mike McCarthy get an ovation upon his return to Lambeau. I think we all can agree he's earned it. I was thinking about it and can't remember the reception Holmgren received from the home fans. Will there be any official nod to MM on Sunday or will it be left up to the fans when he walks out the tunnel to receive him as they may?

I believe some sort of scoreboard tribute is being prepared. As for Holmgren, that was an entirely different situation. He left the Packers specifically for another, more powerful job, right after a devastating playoff loss, and then was back the very next year with his new team. As I recall, the reaction was slightly mixed, though mostly cheers, with some conflicting signs held up by fans.

Doug from Lafayette, OH

I truly hope Mike McCarthy receives his due upon his return. Let us not forget this is the coach who merged the Favre/Rodgers tenures during turbulent times. He's the same coach who said, "I've got a championship quarterback and I'm gonna use him." The same coach who brought the Lombardi Trophy back home. Thanks for the memories, MM.

They made us rich.

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

Favorite Mike McCarthy moment?

"We're nobody's underdog."

Phil from Portland, OR

There's that scene in "Bull Durham" where all the players meet at the mound and the coach walks up to find out what's going on. The catcher tells the coach the pitcher's eyelids are jammed, the first baseman has a hex on his glove, and none of them can figure out what to get their teammate for his wedding. I kinda wonder if that's what some of these Packers huddles have been like the last couple of weeks.

That's it, I'm bringing candlesticks to the press box this week. Happy Wednesday.

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