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Inbox: It did for one day

It’s the type of play you don’t want or predict


Tristan from Durham, NC

Did winning make everything better?

It did for one day, which is what the team and the building needed, so that's what mattered. Now we'll find out in six days if the Packers simply took advantage of a struggling Falcons team, or if there's more to it than just one day.

Bobby from Aberdeen, SD

I'm still wondering, what is a catch in this league?

You're not alone. I never got a great look at the second one, but if that first one is the new definition of establishing control and completing the process, the game is truly changing again. Remember what I said after the Seattle game about looking for ways to call something a catch now after years of the other approach? That was a phony-baloney justification, and I actually said baloney.

Patsi from Riverside, CA

Congratulations to Aaron Rodgers for setting the NFL record for passing attempts without an interception! Even better to pass another all-time great: Tom Brady.

Rodgers himself admitted there's a lot of luck that goes into a streak like that. He hit a defender between the numbers each of the last two weeks.

Eddie from La Crosse, WI

Yea or nay: Breeland's pick-six was a "galvanizing moment." Maybe not THE galvanizing moment, but it was definitely "a" galvanizing moment.

If I had to pick one, I think it was when Rodgers got drilled by Poole. It's the type of play you don't want or predict, but it has an effect.

Jordan from Walpole, MA

One of the things I was most glad to see out of this game was the response to the early adversity. With all the injuries and calls going against their way early on, this game could have had a familiar ending but the team didn't seem phased by it.

I agree. There was no "here we go again" feeling. It felt like a fresh start all the way around. Give credit to the offensive line, playing without three starters. It wasn't perfect, but the unit deserves kudos. No matter who's healthy enough to go, next week is the biggest test for the Packers' offensive line all season the way the Bears are playing up front.

David from Florence, AZ

Any pictures of Wes with his teeth bared?

Sorry, that'll cost you extra.

Patrick from Valrico, FL

Mike McCarthy has shown he is the definition of a true professional. Speeches to the team and full-page ads in local papers without an iota of negativity. He was the right person for the job in 2006 and I truly hope the Packers find the right person for the job this time. What do you think are the most important qualities the new coach needs to have? Do you look for an innovator at head coach or for a true leader who will find the next great innovator as a member of his staff?

Hopefully all of the above. Realistically, that's what the interview process is for. You're looking for a leader with a vision, and a plan for implementing that vision. Whether that's purely via direction from above and/or by the people with whom a head coach surrounds himself, it comes down to whose plan has the best chance to succeed.

Geoff from Racine, WI

Do you think "Mike McCarthy" will appear on Lambeau Field's ring of honor someday?

He would have to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame for that to happen, and that's going to depend on whether he wins a Super Bowl with another franchise. If he accomplishes that, then yes.

John from Albuquerque, NM

Why didn't Mike McCarthy ever call the Aaron Rodgers magically escape the pocket play or the pick-six play?

Good one.

Chase from Ft. Huachuca, AZ

So you're telling me there's a chance…

I am aware, but still too many dominoes to fall for me to get all that excited. Assuming Philly, Washington and Carolina all lose one more, the Packers will still have to get past Seattle or Minnesota. If the Seahawks lose to the Vikings tonight, then they still need to lose two more against the trio of San Francisco, Kansas City and Arizona. If the Vikings lose tonight, they still have to lose two more amongst Miami, Detroit and Chicago, who could clinch the division before Week 17 even if the Packers beat the Bears next week. The whole ordeal is not impossible, no. But yeah, I guess hanging onto whatever's left beats the alternative.

Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI

Aaron is held to a different standard, but in the category of SB QBs it doesn't look like an end-of-career dropoff like Peyton or Eli have or are making is obvious. However, Montana had some mid-career doldrums between '85 and '89 and Kurt Warner a bad spell between his Rams and Cardinals tenures. Do you see any lessons there that the Packers could deploy to get Aaron back to MVP-candidate levels?

I don't know about lessons because every QB is different. I think the Packers have to determine whether the best way to get the most out of the final third of Rodgers' career is to challenge him to apply his immense talent to a whole new system, and if so, let that at least partially guide the decision-making process. Personally, I think that type of challenge could revitalize him, and maybe even put a little chip back on his shoulder because many will wonder whether he can do it. But I say that having never played quarterback nor coached one.

Rob from Antioch, IL

How often do you think Tom Brady is allowed to improvise on third-and-short? I would guess almost never. Seems to me that most teams treat third-and-short like the two-point conversion and run a specific play. I want the Packers of the future to be less predictable and diverse on offense, with Rodgers' audible freedom somewhat restricted in those tight situations. To actually capitalize on scheme first and Rodgers' gifts second. Can the two really be balanced?

I would never want to take away Rodgers' ability to get the offense into the best possible play based on the defensive look. But what options are available to him in certain situations would depend on the offense's overall design.

Lance from Grafton, WI

I noticed that an article title you wrote yesterday had internal rhyme (day, way and bay). How do you come up with article titles and what do you attempt to accomplish with them? Do you try and capture the readers' attention, or sum up the article? Or does it come in time naturally? As a writer, I struggle mightily with this.

It's taken me a long time in my career to feel serviceable as a headline writer. The goal is to say something that accurately reflects what's in the story while simultaneously trying to interest the reader. Sometimes thoughts just arrive. Other times it's not so easy.

Joe from Dundee, IL

Hi Insiders, I feel that the Packers' brass is in a tough spot with Kevin King. He played six games this year, and in three of those games he did not last for the whole game. I realize he is still on a cheap contract, and I also realize they do not want another Casey Hayward situation. So I am guessing Kevin gets at least one more season to prove himself health-wise? Agree?

King has two years left on his rookie contract as a second-round pick. At that price with his talent, he'll be given every opportunity to prove himself over the next two years.

Keith from Normal, IL

Hello Mike, with all the safety rules, when do you think hurdling will be banned in the NFL? Almost every time a runner does it the defender's head gets hit and that could cause a neck/spinal injury. It's happened before.

I hope someone shows the appropriate league committee one play from Week 2 of 2011 in Charlotte. It's going to happen to someone else soon enough.

Paul from Milwaukee, WI

Wes/Mike, a lot has been made of Sean McVay being a new innovative coach and one that many Packer fans would like to see here in Green Bay. I'm not so sure I buy that argument. He took over a team that had the luxury of high-end draft picks the past few years. They also had more cap space to sign quality free agents before Sean took the reins. Though I admire what they've done and how much talent there is on that team, I have a feeling they won't be great long-term. Thoughts?

I take nothing away from what McVay has accomplished in L.A., Sunday's off night notwithstanding. But the longevity of their competitive run will come down to how they manage their cap and build their roster once Goff gets his second contract. They've done well to get Gurley, Cooks and Donald in the fold long-term before having to deal with Goff.

Kevin from Whitehall, WI

Regarding your response to Trevor from Carmel, NY, is it actually possible to jinx a curse? If so, conversely, can one curse a jinx?

Apparently, because the Packers got their first win this season on FOX. Now it's time for the first road win, so we have to talk about that all next week.

Terry from Westboro, WI

Very interested to hear your reaction to the Winston Moss interview on FOX Sunday morning. I almost wanted to go back to church and do a group prayer for the guy. I was always disappointed in the way he treated you and the other Packer media prior to being taken off the coaches' interview day. Seems to be justifying his comments about/to AR. Are you buying or selling?

I can't help you.

Mike from Fort Wayne, IN

Another great example of a week-to-week league!

Are you talking about the Packers, Bears, Giants, Eagles, Patriots, Colts, Texans or Browns?

Bob from Atlanta, GA

Before the season everyone was anxious to know what Pettine would do with the defense. At this point in the season, how would you characterize his defense?

Improving despite health challenges.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

Do you think the NFL is satisfied with the quality of officiating it is providing for games? I find it more and more frustrating, and that is for all games. Clete Blakeman's crew was just awful in Dallas-Philly, and the replay crew in New York must be playing drinking games all day. Just awful all across the board.

The image you just conjured up for the command center in New York made me laugh harder than I have in weeks.

Ken from Blue Mounds, WI

Wow! Jaire Alexander is a player!

Are you just tuning in?

Jim from Traverse City, MI

Well, that felt good. Happy Monday!

On to Chicago.


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