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Inbox: It felt like defenses ruled most of Week 6

That’s the idea

Browns DE Myles Garrett

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

Calling my shot now, before the games. Panthers upset the Dolphins.

Sorry, you picked the wrong upset on a day of big ones.

Stan from Jupiter, FL

So the Browns with a third-string journeyman QB beat the vaunted Niners. Just goes to show you it's a game-to-game league. (I'd say week-to-week, but some games are 4, 6 or 10 days apart, which is not exactly a week. P.S. – Does that count as math?)

You're forgiven.

George from North Mankato, MN

Break out the bubbly. There are no further unbeatens this season. Did you see either the 49ers or Eagles losing this week? Which was a bigger surprise?

I wouldn't have thought either would lose, but I guess I'd rank the Niners losing as the bigger surprise. If not for P.J. Walker's near pick-six that set up SF for an easy TD in the fourth quarter, the Browns might've won that game rather handily the way their defense was shutting down the Niners.

Graydon from Menomonie, WI

Another week with several players sustaining significant injuries. It reminds me of two things. First, how physical this game is. Second, how important it is to build depth throughout your roster and your practice squad.

The Niners lost Deebo and CMC and suddenly Purdy, who had been talked about as an MVP candidate, looked like an ordinary QB struggling against a tough D. Funny how that works. Nobody likes or wants to use injuries as an excuse, and that's the mindset with which coaches and leaders have to coach and lead their teams, because injuries are part of the game. But the reality is injuries to particular players can dramatically change how teams look and function. That's also part of the game.

Zach from Waupun, WI

After watching the Browns beat the 49ers, it got me thinking. It's hard to win when your top RB, top receiver and top OL (who even came back in the game) goes down.

As I said, funny how that works.

Joseph from Sioux Falls, SD

Could you guys continue to pick a couple of teams to talk up each week? Say things like, "I don't see anybody else except (insert whoever the Packers are about to play) in the conference championship game." Then post that on "Packers Unscripted" each week, and let's see what happens.

Yeah, that take not aging well was practically a given, right? As soon as something starts to feel like an inevitability in this league, the wind is almost certain to change direction. An NFC title game rematch this year still wouldn't surprise me, but the conference doesn't feel quite so top heavy all of a sudden.

Emma from Draper, UT

Aside from the fact that the Browns knocked off a previously undefeated, their defense was phenomenal. If Deshaun Watson can come back from injury and get into a rhythm, they could surprise a few people in the AFC.

Or they just wasted a ton of money on Watson and could've gone any number of different directions with that defense. Time will tell. I saw a statistic that Cleveland has given up fewer total yards through five games – 1,002, or basically 200 per – than any team since 1971 and the third fewest ever through five games. That's difficult to fathom.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

The Lions rushed for like 40 yards and won easily? Must be 2023!

Detroit played a masterful ball-control passing game. The Lions threw the ball twice as often as they ran it and held a 13-minute advantage in time of possession.

Dan from Grayslake, IL

The '72 Dolphins are popping the corks. The Detroit Lions are among the elite in the NFL. Unfortunately we won't see them against the 49ers or Eagles in the regular season. Are the Lions for real? Do they belong in the conversation with the Niners and Eagles? They looked susceptible to the long ball though the Bucs couldn't quite connect.

A popular question regarding the Lions and whether they might be the best team in the NFC, or as good as those other two. Despite Sunday's results, I think I'd still take the Niners or Eagles in a head-to-head matchup, but I wouldn't be shocked if the Lions beat either one. Not right now anyway.

Bill from Forest Park, OH

Watched a real nailbiter of a finish in Cincinnati on Sunday. The Bengals' D had to hold the Seahawks off in the red zone several times in the second half to secure the win. The offense (even with a healthier Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins back in the lineup) couldn't seem to do much of anything in the second half. Sound familiar? Definitely an exciting finish, ending with a near-sack of Geno Smith and Seattle turning the ball over on downs for the Bengals win.

With a couple of exceptions, it felt like defenses ruled most of Week 6 in the NFL.

Scott from La Crosse, WI

Hey II, I never thought much about TV injury updates but lately I have been curious about the rules. Watching a game I hear that "player X has been 'officially ruled out.'" So the question is, are teams required to disclose an injury status in-game? If so, why? Does the opponent receive the update?

I don't know if it's a specific requirement. It may be more of an expectation for any update that can reasonably be obtained. I'm honestly not sure. The updates aren't hand-delivered to the opposing sideline, but any coach in the booth watching the broadcast would get the info.

James from Orlando, FL

Good morning II. I was watching a very tight, low-scoring game between the 49ers and Cleveland, and just as the 49ers were starting their final drive with about 1:40 to go FOX announced due to NFL rules they had to switch to another game. As Vince once said, "What the hell is going on around here?" Please enlighten us why this happened.

The TV rules are rather byzantine and I don't pretend to know them all. One thing I do know is the broadcast of a local market team is considered sacred, so to speak. So Sunday on FOX, any market that had a local team playing in the 3:25 p.m. CT window lost the ending of 49ers-Browns so the local-team broadcast could be shown from the start, including the annoying last round of pre-kickoff ads. In your case, the Buccaneers were the local team that usurped coverage of the 49ers-Browns ending.

Chuck from Waterloo, WI

After watching this weekend's games, I have a question about timeouts. What constitutes a "30-second timeout?" Who decides? The coach? The referee? The network?


Greg from Long Beach, CA

Good morning Mike, just curious about the players' pay. Are their game checks 1/17 or 1/18 per regular-season week/game? If a player ends up traded and therefore has two byes or zero byes, how is that reflected in their pay? Thanks for everything you guys do.

Their checks are 1/18th of their contracted salary. If a player loses or gains a bye week via trade, it doesn't impact his pay.

Gardner from Circle Pines, MN

Good morning II. The long-term health of the NFL I believe, is predicated on the long-term health of its star players. The injury bug is and always has been real, but it seems that with the 17-game schedule the number of players available to play a full slate of games is dwindling. I can't imagine an 18-game schedule with a meaningful game on the last weekend being played by subs and practice-squad players. Am I wrong to believe a longer season dilutes the product on the field?

It's a valid concern, but the NFL has a lot of rules protecting quarterbacks, and with the billions being spent by the networks for the broadcast rights, ratings are the primary concern. If people are still tuning in, no one is going to scale back on offering the product.

Matt from Waunakee, WI

I thought Yosh Nijman played pretty well last season. How surprised are you he hasn't been able to be part of the best five offensive linemen?

A little. Nijman has played some good football for the Packers, but I'm not evaluating the practice film every day. Players improve, others plateau and maybe find another step to take, maybe not. I do think the coaches have looked at everything over the bye to evaluate what's best moving forward with the knowledge Bakhtiari's season is over. If I'm Nijman, I make sure I'm ready. You never know.

Al from Green Bay, WI

I see Marcus Peters was fined over $13K for the horse-collar tackle on Watson in Vegas. Do you think heavy fines in that situation are enough of a deterrent?

Not at all, but they aren't rewriting the rulebook in the middle of the season. Folks have to get over this one.

Sandy from Green Bay, WI

With so many young players on the team, how do the locker room leaders emerge? Do coaches identify and nudge players to assume the positions of leadership, do teammates push their peers to step up, or do the natural leaders somehow rise to the occasion in a natural progression?

When it's choice C, the chances are better for the leadership to be more impactful and long-lasting.

Darren from Wakefield, MI

Hi Mike. For the non-Packer weekend I went to my first Badger game and to see my daughter, who is now a senior at UW. I hoped to see some winning football along with, but alas good thing the important thing was spending time with my daughter. Bucky had a bad day and the Heartland Trophy didn't come home where Iowa hasn't won in Madison in quite some time. Gotta be able to score one TD in four quarters. What are your thoughts on the game?

I, too, witnessed Saturday's Badgers breakdown. Transitions are hard, and progress is rarely if ever linear. That reality doesn't make it any easier to take. But even amidst all that, opportunities to change games are there and must be seized. It's always a play here or there regretted most of all, in this case one long TD run allowed and a dropped INT off a deflection.

Dave from Huntsville, AL

What round do you think the punter from Iowa goes? If he can have that kind of impact at the next level, no later than the third?

I have no idea how pro scouts will view and project his abilities, but that dude was incredible. I've never seen a punter have that big an impact on a game.

Niels from Bridgetown, Barbados

Not a question but some good news. Today, for the first time in at least a month, I was actually able to watch the videos in a WYMM entry. This was on an iPad with the Packers app. Whatever changed, keep it up! Also generally, thanks for the good work!

For those who are/were having issues with WYMM videos, we were able to change the publishing mechanism, which should eliminate any problems. Apologies for all the trouble, and appreciate your patience. For anyone who gave up their WYMM reading/viewing habits, please give it another shot.

Scott from Tukwila, WA

Greetings II. I hope you got to have a nice weekend off. I just have to say that it's weird to not have Packer football to watch for three consecutive Sundays. That is all.

Well, now five straight Sundays and nine of the next 11 will include your favorite team.

Phillip from Wonder Lake, IL

Hopefully a win in Denver can turn the team in a winning direction?

That's the idea.

Tucker from Belton, TX

13 teams in the NFL currently have three wins prior to SNF. For all of the sky-is-falling attitude around the Packers, they're a win away from being squarely in the mix of everything.


Steve from Wabasha, MN

I just have to say I can't wait to see "Magic Mike and the Loud-Mouth, Hot-Take Artists" at the Leinie's stage in June. What kind of music do you play?

Happy Monday.

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