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Inbox: He's been the right guy at the right time in the right defense 

The Packers have one goal this weekend – rest, recover and reload

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CB Rasul Douglas

Douglas from Union Grove, WI

As I drove across Highway 172, yesterday morning, the big "G" seemed to glow a little brighter. Coincidence, I think not.

Victory Fridays don't get any better than that.

Kirsten from Madison, WI

I've seen several comments about how the Packers got lucky at the end of the game. Just to be clear: Pro Bowler A.J. Green missing his assignment? That's lucky for us. Rasul Douglas' heads-up play, reaching for the ball and hauling it in? That's talent.

There's no such thing as luck in football. Opportunities are either missed or they are seized. The Packers came through in winning time. The Cardinals did not. That was the difference.

Michael from Winchester, VA

I appreciated the headline of Wednesday's II (Who's it going to be this time?) and I even enjoyed trying to guess. But the one answer I don't think any of us saw coming – but saw Thursday night – was "pretty much everyone." I can't recall such a balanced game with so many "next man ups" since the 2010 season. That said, what's the word on Robert Tonyan? And Marcedes Lewis – no stats, but I assume he was a blocking machine? Didn't get to see him much on the broadcast, but that's good, right?

It took everyone…and then some…to get the job done in Arizona. Unfortunately, it appears the Packers lost one of Aaron Rodgers' most trusted targets in Tonyan but I think the hope would be Green Bay gets David Bakhtiari, Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Allen Lazard back on the other side of this mini bye. Meanwhile, Lewis was his steady, consistent self and bodied a few defensive ends in the win over the Cards.

Jeffery from Brooklyn, WI

Only thing I seen which would make this win sweeter would be if Marcedes "Big Dog" Lewis had got both feet down for the TD.

I wanted that catch – no, I needed that catch. That would've been one for the ages.

Tim from Clear Lake, IA

I found it interesting that the two players involved in the final play of the Cardinals game are very representative of our team, especially Brian Gutekunst's style of putting the team together. First, you have A.J. Green, a big name that all the "experts" say we should sign. But Gutey passes on him. Then there's the unknown Rasul Douglas that gets signed off a practice squad and comes in and contributes right away. And when injuries hit, Douglas and other "unknowns" produce. Kudos to Gute.

Green has been a great signing for the Cardinals, especially with the hamstring issue DeAndre Hopkins has been dealing with. The beauty in the Douglas signing is he was the right guy at the right time in the right defense. Even before the INT, Douglas has played good football for Green Bay over the past three weeks.

Mitchell from Edmond, OK

I loved a particular quote from Rodgers after the game Thursday night. "I told them in the locker room after the game to savor these moments because these are the kinds of things you think about and talk about 20 years from now when you're done playing." Yes, it's a week-to-week league and composure is important. But taking a moment to think about some of the crazy, wild, exciting games over the years. That's why we love this sport. Memories make us rich.

It's a week-to-week league but we're also the sum of our shared experiences. You must savor moments like Thursday night. Because I'd venture to guess all 48 players who put on Packers jerseys began playing football in the pursuit of moments like that.

Tom from Palatine, IL

Watching the tape of the game from Thursday night and am wondering how the replay booth overturns Aaron Jones' second touchdown after barely looking at the first? Both were called touchdowns on the field and the first one had a clearer look than the second in all that traffic, unless they had a clearer look down the line that wasn't shared with us. There was so much traffic on the second call that I can't see how they could say they had clear indisputable proof that he was short of the end zone.

As Spoff mentioned with my "seeing ghosts" comment, I wasn't a big fan of the officials overturning that call. Was Aaron Jones in? Probably not. But the call on the field was touchdown. By the letter of the law, the officials need indisputable evidence to overturn a touchdown. That was not indisputable evidence. If you count Antonio Gibson's fumble last Sunday, that's two times in five days where officials kind of "guesstimated."

Jeff from Winnipeg, Manitoba

A-Rod has indicated that he sees some trends from the 2010 Packers team in the 2021 team. I noticed the 2020 Bucs were thumped by New Orleans 38-3. This is the same score that the Saints beat the 2021 Packers by. Could New Orleans beat consecutive Super Bowl winners 38-3? Feels like good mojo to me.

I think any NFL team will gladly take one bad loss to reel off seven straight wins, especially when the most recent comes against the league's last unbeaten team.

Mike from New Orleans, LA

How are broken tackles calculated in the stat sheet? AJ Dillon had three broken tackles, yet 60-plus yards after contact. I'm pretty sure every time a defender contacts the player with the ball, they are trying to get them down.

LaFleur praised both Jones and Dillon on Friday for their yards after contact against the Cardinals. He didn't have a final count on the number of broken tackles but I'm sure it was into the double digits.

Kathie from Grand Forks, ND

I never armchair quarterback or coach, as I always figure the people making the calls know a heck of a lot more than I do. But even I asked out loud why Dillon wasn't the RB at third-and-1, let alone fourth-and-1.

I'm not going to belabor the point on all these questions about the Packers' red-zone offense and the goal-line calls. LaFleur said pointblank the plays need to be better. They'll look at it, get healthier and make the necessary adjustments entering this third quarter of the season.

Daniel from Lakeland, FL

Some writers to II rightly note people like Rasul Douglas rapidly adapting to their role. The Packers seem to be particularly competent in taking non-starters or free agents and turning them into contributors when vacancies force the need. Is that my imagination, or do other teams accomplish the same with such players?

It's three things. First, you gotta give credit to the players. Douglas, Corey Bojorquez and even De'Vondre Campbell came to Green Bay with something to prove. They took the snaps they were given and ran with the opportunity. The Packers' coaching staff also has done an excellent job of developing their entire rooms, not just the starters. Finally, you have to give credit to Brian Gutekunst and his scouts. They appear to have found the sweet spot of filling the practice squad with NFL-ready players, while also still utilizing free agency to acquire veterans such as Douglas and Whitney Mercilus in-season.

Bryan from Fort Collins, CO

Not a question, but an observation. I saw several times in the game a Packers defensive lineman would win his battle but settle down and sit in the running lane instead of going for the sack. That is pretty impressive, especially when it appears that they could have had the sack with ease. Mental discipline!

Jerry Montgomery, Mike Smith and the rest of the defensive coaching staff did a magnificent job of readying their rushers for Murray. I think the Campbell sack in the second quarter was the embodiment of that. The Packers didn't chase the big plays Thursday night. They let the plays come to them.

Matt from Oshkosh, WI

Kudos to the entire offensive line but a special shout out to Lucas Patrick. I want 11 Lucas Patrick on my team, any team. What an unsung warrior! He was fighting his butt off on every single play to the last second. It was a privilege to watch.

No NFL team has won a Super Bowl with 53 first-round picks. You need Lucas Patrick, Rasul Douglas, De'Vondre Campbell, Allen Lazard and Corey Bojorquez. Patrick may not be a "starter" on the team's (unofficial) depth chart but he's as important as anyone in that starting five. He will not quit. Ever.

Keith from Rockville, MD

Per Jennifer's comment, what more does Matt LaFleur need to do to get serious consideration for COY – walk on water? Speaking of which, I really think that God must be a Packer fan because there may have been some divine intervention on that last play.

It comes with the territory of being the head coach of the Packers. I touched on this two years ago when the AP voters selected John Harbaugh over LaFleur for Coach of the Year. Again, LaFleur isn't losing sleep over it. In his first 40 games as the Packers' head coach, LaFleur has won more times (33) than any coach in the Super Bowl era. I promise that is all he cares about – winning football games, preferably the granddaddy of them all.

Michael from Dover, PA

How good can this team be? A 7-1 team that talks more about the mistakes they made, the points left on the field and how much work needs to be done speaks volumes.

As good as they want to be. I mean, it's all out there for them right now. The Packers still have a tough November slate ahead but they carry with them the knowledge they can play with the NFL's best even when they aren't close to full strength. As players return, they must continue to grow but this team's mental toughness cannot be questioned.

Gretchen from Dousman, WI

Was that a legal hit on Kylin Hill during the kickoff return? The viscousness of that tackle makes me doubt my love of the game.

It was completely legal, yet brutal. As I tweeted, it's those types of plays that made me happy the NFL moved kickoffs up 5 yards several years back. After watching both Hill and Jonathan Ward get carted/stretchered off, I'd be cool with maybe moving kickoffs up another 5 yards.

Gretchen from Dousman, WI

There was a great little video last night of Tongan limping with his hand on a trainer's shoulder. One of those shots that says such a lot about the game and its players. Wishing Big Bob all the best.

I think that's the hardest part of this whole deal. Tonyan has done it the right way. He is a team-first guy who became a self-made star last season. You could hear in LaFleur's voice how much Tonyan's injury affected him and undoubtedly that locker room. Tonyan still has a lot of good football ahead of him, and hopefully in Green Bay. Until then, it's up to Lewis, Josiah Deguara and perhaps Lazard to help fill the hole Tonyan's absence creates in the offense.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Is it true Coach LaFleur is 26-1 when the team is leading at halftime?

Correct…and 25-0 under LaFleur in the regular season when the Packers win the turnover battle.

Ron from Superior, WI

Can the league enhance the fine on the player with the late hit? It was not only late but he drove Rodgers into the ground.

Jordan Phillips needs to have a few zeros wiped off his game check. For all the ticky-tacky QB penalties we've seen this season, hits like that remind me why the NFL is having to enforce it the way that it is.

Graydon from Menomonie, WI

How does playing on Thursday night change the team's schedule (practice, prep, etc.) for next week's game?

Besides rehab and weightlifting, players are in the midst of a three-day break. The team will get back together Monday for an extra practice day and then shift back into its normal routine Tuesday. And then it's onto KC…

Duane from Oak Creek, WI

Just saw "Z" is back in town. How long do you think until he gets on the field?

I don't know the timeline for Za'Darius Smith, but that's obviously a big deal to have him back in Green Bay. All the Packers can do right now is keep winning games and hope Smith can return and contribute to a championship run.

JR from East Moline, IL

If not for the incomprehensible achievements of New England, do you think the Packers would be widely regarded as the best football team of the last 30 years?

I think so. To me, the Packers and Patriots have been the league's two most consistent teams. I mean, how many losing seasons have they combined for over the past 25 years? Seven?

Lynn from Riverside, CA

No question, just a comment. My wife of 45 years, Judy, passed away on Aug. 23. We often went to Packers road games, notably two at what was then-University of Phoenix Stadium. Judy wasn't a rabid football fan but enjoyed hobnobbing with other GB fans at games and was such a good sport about sharing the fun with her goofball fan of a husband. Her fav player was Randall Cobb and it had to be a sign when he played the way he did. I could hear Judy yelling from above and Rasul had that end-zone pick.

I'm sorry to hear that, Lynn. I hope Judy was smiling when Cobb pulled down those two touchdowns Thursday night.

Dar from Mansfield , TX

Saturday, no Dean

Thursday game, poem's been done

Thought I'd fill the breach

You get an A for effort, Dar.

Bob from Bella Vista, AR

When did the NFL lose the term "taxi squad"? It has more personality than practice squad.

Blame Uber.

Peter from Morganfield, KY

Good morning! Just want to point out that one of you almost jinxed us with your Dennis Green reference – because "we" HAD them! And then almost did let them off the hook. Still "our" most impressive outing this year, I'd say.

But they didn't. Rasul Douglas wouldn't let them.

Hap from Graham, WA

Is anything more important than going on to beat KC? I say the first goal must be to empty the IR during this mini bye.

The Packers have one goal for this long weekend – rest, recover and reload. Because it's still another month until the team's actual bye and still plenty of games left to be played.

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