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Inbox: He wouldn't be the first to get overlooked

Run the ball, protect the ball, and tackle well

G Elgton Jenkins
G Elgton Jenkins

Mike from Dubuque, IA

Three Things, Three Guys, but what happened to Three Mics? Spoff get mad and take his mic home?

I take no chances.

Mike from Charlotte, NC

I laugh at the notion that Mahomes is gonna play. "He's a fast healer," they say. I'm sorry, but genetics are genetics, and healing is healing. It takes time, and usually when they say three weeks, they mean three weeks. Aaron Rodgers was a "fast healer" and took the prescribed amount of time to come back, and he clearly wasn't all the way back when he did. Nelson jogged off the field and tried to "walk off" a torn ACL. Mahomes might be tough, but they're not playing him unless they've lost their minds.

We'll find out soon enough. Dan from Kenosha also mentioned RGIII, acknowledging it's not a totally valid comparison. No one wants anything resembling a repeat of that.

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

Who are your surprise teams both good and bad so far this season?

What the Colts and Panthers are doing with changes at quarterback really stands out. Where the Chargers and Falcons appear headed does, too.

Mike from Las Vegas, NV

The end of the Charger game was pathetic. IMHO instant replay is supposed to reverse obvious wrong calls. Instead it is now determining the location of the football which you can't actually see within inches based on video evidence from angles not precisely on the goal line. Gimme a break. Based on this precedent they can now overturn anything (including the Lions' non-touchdown last week). Sorry...I'm just a bit frustrated at the whole replay process as I am sure you guys are too.

Your point about the camera angles not precisely on the goal line, and other instances we've seen of the overhead camera not being right on the goal line or at the first-down marker, is definitely an issue. We've discussed it before in this forum. But I've never heard any rumblings from the league about the distortions, large or small, that physics dictate are inherent in those replays.

Joel from Mosinee, WI

I've watched a fair share of college games this year and in my opinion the officiating at the college level has been very good, so why in your opinion has the NFL officiating been so in question? I thought these officials were the best in football and went through a lengthy vetting process. Is it that the league has not done enough to train the officials?

The college game is slower, its officials are not bogged down by "points of emphasis" from the league that have them looking to throw flags, and the replay system is better. That pretty much sums it up.

Neal from Fort Worth, TX

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the KC defense?

Teams have run the ball on the Chiefs to the tune of 150 yards per game and 5.0 yards per carry. That's their biggest issue. I'm still not sure what to think about their pass rush. They're coming off a nine-sack game against Denver but posted only 11 sacks through the first six games. So your guess is as good as mine there.

Jeffery from Seminole, FL

With the quarterback situation in limbo at Kansas City who are the Packers preparing for the most?

Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, LeSean McCoy, …

Brian from Chesapeake, VA

Adding to the narrative II readers have too much time on their hands, my favorite "mock belt" is Zak Showalter's after a game-tying 3 at the Garden. UW never should have lost that game.

I filled some high school days watching Zak's dad star on the hardcourt at UW-Platteville. Great memories.

Daniel from Chattanooga, TN

Purely aesthetic question: Is the Packers vs. the Chiefs the best color scheme ever for fall football or what? Maybe it just hearkens back to SB I, but the combo of the two teams always struck me as classic for watching football live or on TV. Are there any better combos that come to mind?

The one we just saw three weeks ago – Packers in green vs. Cowboys in white – might be the best in my book.

Samuel from Brooklyn, NY

What are the chances that we see No. 23 in green and gold tracking No. 10 in red all day? That's what I'm hoping to see...

I'd say the odds are pretty good.

Dave from Boise, ID

NFL pundits and writers often speak about rookies hitting the wall their first season. With Savage missing so much time with the ankle sprain, is it possible he might be fresher at the end of the season benefiting the Packers?

I don't know about that. Players talk about daily rehab being as grueling if not more so than practice. Hitting the wall results from the non-stop process, dating back to the final college season to the college all-star games to the combine to rookie minicamp to OTAs and then a 20-game slate including preseason. I'm not sure missing a few games and rehabbing as a substitute provides much restorative effect.

Sean from Glen Ellyn, IL

The Bears recently held a players-only meeting and the local radio was discussing their effectiveness, mostly saying they're useless. What are your thoughts on player-only meetings? Do they accomplish anything or are they more for show?

They're for show if the players come out blabbing to the media about everything that was discussed. If the contents of the meeting are kept players-only as well, it can help.

Blaine from Fennimore, WI

Does this year's trading seem more active than most? I know the deadline is approaching but it seems players are moving more often than most years.

I would agree there's been more activity. I think pushing the trade deadline back two weeks has contributed.

Howie from Saint Ignace, MI

Consensus opinion with the national media seems to be that Andy Reid is a great coach but has never won a Super Bowl. Why is he so revered by them?

He's coached his teams to 14 playoff appearances, including six trips to conference championship games. He appeared in five NFC title games before he ever had a one-and-done in the postseason. He's finished outside of first or second in the division four times in 20 years. He's had 10 assistants become head coaches, two of them have won a Super Bowl, and a third got there. Most important currently, he reinvented his schematic approach when he got his second head coaching job, and he resumed winning. The respect for Andy Reid is beyond well-deserved.

Markus from Aurora, CO

Insiders, I'm probably not the first (or last) to ask this, but what are the top three things the Packers will have to do on Sunday night in order to overcome the Arrowhead Stadium hostility and be victorious at the end of 60 minutes?

Run the ball, protect the ball, and tackle well.

Malte from Odense, Denmark

Mason Crosby has been solid this season. He's currently 24th on the all-time list for points scored. My question is if you guys could ever see him reaching the top 10 as a Packer?

Well, if this season continues on its current path, he'll be closing in on 1,600 career points after this year. Then he'll need roughly three more full seasons to challenge the 1,900-plus mark that would get him into the top 10. I could see it, yeah.

Jim from Fairview Heights, IL

One thing I have noticed about the new offense is the fact that AR now seems willing to make his reads downfield and if nothing is there, he takes the check-down, especially on first and second down. Last year you could see receivers in that 4-to-6-yard area, wide open and he would go into the scramble drill rather than take the easy yards. Not only does that net positive yardage, but it also keeps his uniform clean, as evidenced by the O-line only allowing seven sacks (in the last six games).

I leaned over to Wes and made the same comment during last week's game. As I've noted before, it's different that the outlets in this offense are more often along the boundary rather than in the middle of the field. This is me spit-balling a little bit, but I wonder if he's more comfortable with those types of check-downs because they appear to be lower risk with higher reward. What I mean is, he has the arm strength to whip the ball to the outside, knowing it can beat the defender there, and the outlet receiver has more vision to survey the situation and get yards after the catch. Whereas a check-down option in the middle at close range requires a more difficult touch pass so as not to produce a deflection and possible pick, and the pass-catcher has his back to the defense, so a fumble-causing hit is more likely and yards after the catch less likely. Like I said, just thinking at the keyboard …

Bob from Rome, NY

I noticed in the box score that Packers running/fullbacks had 10 receptions. It seems like the offense is either deliberately using the backs as a primary point of emphasis in the passing game or utilizing them more as check-downs this season. Do you know the total receptions for backs this year compared to last year at this time?

Through all of 2018, the quartet of Jones, Williams, Vitale and Montgomery combined for 69 catches, 588 yards and a TD. In just under half the 2019 season, the first three plus Carson have recorded 53 catches for 421 yards and four scores.

Joshua from Appleton, WI

When was the last time an offensive lineman won offensive rookie of the year? Halfway through the season I think Elgton Jenkins should be in that discussion.

An offensive lineman has never won the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award. So don't hold your breath for Jenkins. He certainly wouldn't be the first to get overlooked in that regard.

Craig from Sheboygan, WI

If San Francisco and Green Bay stay hot, I wonder if our game with SF will be flexed to a Sunday Night Football game?

I could see FOX protecting that one.

Al from Green Bay, WI

I'm looking to find a compelling NFL matchup to watch Sunday afternoon, and the pickings are slim. Maybe Philly at Buffalo? What will you be watching?

That one, because that's what the KC market is getting in the early window. I'm really disappointed Chargers-Bears isn't the selection with the Bears trying to right the ship and the Packers playing the Chargers next week.

Andy from Stevens Point, WI

Are other teams kicking off short to force a return? Against the Raiders it looked like they would take the chance of a long return because they counted on pinning us inside the 20. Making the field five or 10 yards longer matters.

Two opponents in a row have done that on kickoffs. The Lions used the same strategy. It's up to the Packers to change how teams approach that phase.

Ronald from Panabo City, Philippines

Insiders, the one phase of the Packers' game that I think needs to be improved is the return game. Shepherd had that one muff. Is he just thinking too much now or is it more failure of the blockers on the return units?

Some of both perhaps.

Lucas from La Crosse, WI

If the Vikings were at a crossroads a few weeks ago they've been in the carpool lane ever since. Let's see what happens when they merge back into traffic this November.

I see what you mean. At KC, at Dallas, at Seattle …

Joe from Manitowoc, WI

If a team lists a player as "out" on the injury report on Friday or Saturday, can he play on Sunday?

No. If there's any chance the player could play in the game, he can't be ruled out on the Friday/Saturday reports.

Darren from Kingston, Ontario

Insiders, I've got a case of good old-fashioned excitement! I'm excited about winning without a few key starters! I'm excited about team chemistry! I'm excited to read II every day! I'm excited about our team's potential this year! I'm excited about the return of Davante Adams and Darnell Savage! I'm excited to see what the Smith Bros.' next video brings! Brats excite me! I'm nothing but excited these days! Acknowledging your job requires you to temper your emotions, can I ask? Are you (even a tad) excited?

Well, I certainly don't use my exclamation points as haphazardly as you do. But hey, I've said it before. This job is a lot more fun when the team is winning. I give my best effort regardless, because I owe that to everyone, but the last two seasons were long, and this one is flying by. That says it all.

Justin from Fayetteville, AR

When Packers fans complain about the long break the opponents have gotten the last three weeks, it's because we've conveniently already forgotten that we got a long week before playing our toughest division rival in Week 2, a long week before a pivotal road game in Dallas in Week 5, and we will get a bye before a potentially huge game in San Francisco this year. Every team has things they like about the schedule and things they don't. We've already talked about this too much.

Indeed. You take the games as they come, and all that matters right now is Sunday night.

Dana from Eau Claire, WI

Who needs to be the studs on offense and defense for the Pack to beat KC on the road this week?

I'll take the Aarons and the Smiths. Happy Friday.