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Inbox: It's an immensely valuable trait at any unsung position

That can’t be the criteria

G Elgton Jenkins

Neil from Tunbridge Wells, UK

Any chance there will be a totally international Inbox?

Right after I put together the intergalactic one. That's when everyone becomes so detached from reality they sound like they're from another planet.

Jim from Tucson, AZ

Elgton Jenkins was graded the No. 3 offensive lineman last week. Now, these grade or ranking things are not to be taken too seriously, but how does this happen. How does a third-year man, playing out of position, grade this high? He's good. I understand that. But, there are many the same size and probably equal athleticism playing the position. What does he have?

Bore-you-to-death consistency. It's an immensely valuable trait at any unsung position.

Scott from New Orleans, LA

Totally agree that the roughing-the-passer penalty should be reviewable. It doesn't seem much different than targeting, with a review to see if the player should be disqualified, especially since many times the flag is thrown based on contact to the head or neck.

I understand the impulse on the part of the official to throw the flag when a hit looks bad, in the interest of protecting players. But perfectly clean hits can make a player's head/neck snap back and forth, so that can't be the criteria, and a review of safety-related calls would confirm or deny whether a rule was actually violated. That's all I'm asking for.

Clipton from Pasadena, CA

Do you know if the team will get any feedback from the league regarding the reason for Za'Darius Smith' RTP penalty? Moving beyond whether it was a good call it seems unfair not to give guidance to the team so they can coach their players on how to avoid similar penalties.

LaFleur said he heard back, and while he didn't get into specifics, he suggested the league admitted the call was incorrect. I bet it took just one look at a replay to determine it. That's all it took me.

Andrew from Simi Valley, CA

To improve at stopping the run, is it just about beating the man in front of you or is it implementing more scheme and stunts?

The former.

David from Minneapolis, MN

Regarding the disproportionate number of blowouts compared to overall losses, I think you are approaching it wrong. The fact is the Packers have performed far above expectation in one-score games the last two years. Statistics would predict at least two more losses each of those years in close games. If we therefore performed as expected in close games, we likely have 15 losses over the last two years (playoffs and last week included) and the number of blowouts may feel different.

Two years ago was really the outlier. The Packers definitely busted the curve when it came to one-score games in 2019, going 9-1, including the playoff win over Seattle. Last year's mark was a more modest 4-3, including the final defeat, a reflection of a better team that won more games convincingly and didn't live on the edge quite so much.

David from Minneapolis, MN

I love the pundits talking about how the answer to stopping Rodgers has been found. This conversation happens every few years and it's derivative because it's the answer to stopping any offense, not just the Packers. Yea, if you can keep the box light while stopping the run, rush only four while still getting pressure, and flood the passing lanes while keeping two high safeties you will stop any offense. The truth is you need the personnel to do it and that's why it doesn't work most of the time.

David gets a double-up today because I have one simple response to this post: Ding-ding-ding!

Mitchell from Edmond, OK

Regarding unscouted looks, how long do these last in a season? Do teams go through most of their plays in the first few games, or all they always creating new looks to have tricks up their sleeves?

Teams are always looking to toss in something new here or there, but in terms of larger concepts not previously on film, they're mostly out there within the first four weeks.

Scott from Sheboygan, WI

Matthew Stafford has a strong arm and showed it off against the Packers many time. What does Jared Goff bring to the table?

A track record of winning. Goff doesn't have some of Stafford's physical tools, but he's chalked up a lot of victories for a young QB. He's also thrown his share of interceptions, though. Over his last two years with the Rams, he was INT-free only 11 times in 31 starts.

Brandon from Imperial, MO

Good morning, keeping in mind it was only the first week, teams like the Rams, Cardinals, and Browns looked better than advertised before the season started. Those games, along with the likes of the Chiefs, Ravens, and Steelers make this schedule look even more daunting. Should we check our expectations about having another 12- or 13-win season?

I said all offseason this schedule was no joke. I mentioned in my Mid-Week Chat the focus should be on winning the NFC North, and if that can be achieved, we'll see where the chips fall.

Steven from Birchington, UK

What was your biggest surprise in Week 1?

Also noted in the chat, it was Arizona's runaway win at Tennessee. The Cardinals were never threatened in that game against a 2020 AFC playoff team.

Bob from Port St. Lucie, FL

My memory may be short but most of the blowout losses occur when the Packers get behind early and then try desperation plays to get back in the game which fail. My question though is a different slant to this. Do you know how frequently in the Aaron Rodgers era he comes back to win after a poor first half and a 14-point or greater deficit?

By my count, including deficits of 13 points, Rodgers has come back from two TDs behind to win 11 times in his career, and two other times from 11 points down. I also counted three times he's wiped out such deficits but the Packers still eventually lost.

Markus from Aurora, CO

Insiders, where do you anticipate the biggest improvement against the Lions?

In the trenches. I think the Packers are better than they showed on both the offensive and defensive lines, particularly as it pertains to the run game.

Dylan from Cary, NC

Did Lucas Patrick get concussed during the game? I don't remember him going out.

It happened on the Packers' last offensive play.

Braedon from Endicott, NY

Mike, as a Packers fan from New York, I can't tell you enough how thankful I am that you do the play-by-play blogs during the game. But, next time things aren't going the Packers' way, I may have to stop reading your blog to protect my sanity. It's infuriating reading people's reactions to a single quarter/half/game. I have no idea how you can handle it!

All part of the gig. I don't entertain all the ranters by posting too many of their thoughts, but I try to pick out ones that are representative of what's coming in and provide a response when appropriate.

Andy from Brooklyn, WI

Could you give us a name (and a little background) of someone in the building who is instrumental to the Packers winning and losing whom we have never heard of?

Joe Reuter. His official title is football technology assistant, and I don't know everything he does, but things like the sideline tablets and helmet speakers are among his responsibilities. Our digital department misses him because he used to help us out with a lot of our IT issues until he transitioned into a full-time football role a few years ago. He also races cars in his free time.

Austin from Woodstock, IL

Insiders, what is an acceptable level to root for Williams on Monday night? I have always had a lot of respect for him and love to watch him play, but I really don't want to watch anyone run all over the green and gold.

I'm good with one play where he gets to shimmy or dance afterward. But that's it.

Thomas from Rowlett, TX

What are you looking for in the way the Packers play this week as they try to bounce back?

Similar to an earlier comment, just control the line of scrimmage. Do that and I'm confident the Packers have the better perimeter players (receivers, DBs, etc.) on both sides of the ball.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

I started following the NFL and the Packers in 1970. I just would like to share that media coverage of the game was very different in the old days. Today the coverage is very geared to ambulance chasing. Notice how every team that wins a game somehow becomes the greatest thing since sliced bread while the losing team may not win another game. Very short attention spans appear to dictate that narrative, until the next week when the winners lose and the losers win. Rinse, repeat.

That's because 50 years ago there weren't myriad cable channels and countless websites clamoring for your attention. How do they grab said attention? By spouting takes couched in future predictions and hypotheticals, because everyone wants to know what's going to, or might, happen next. To have even limited credibility, those takes can only be based on what already has happened, so the strength of the argument is inversely proportional to how deep we are into the season, rendering any broad analysis after one game virtually meaningless. But the media consumer doesn't care, and won't remember who was right or wrong anyway. The games and the media that cover them now are both in the entertainment business, for better or worse. Unfortunately, that also applies to things that matter way more than sports.

The Green Bay Packers practiced on Clarke Hinkle Field on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.

David from Dubuque, IA

Insiders, one of you mentioned the other day about how the quickest path to the division crown is to win divisional games. When was the last time a team won its division while losing all six divisional games? And how did they fare in the playoffs?

To my knowledge that has never happened. Under the current format, I believe the worst division record for any division champion is 2-4.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

I so wish in his interview after the game that AR12 had said, "Let's not make the moment bigger than it actually is." Maybe it wouldn't compare with R-E-L-A-X but it would have been a fine start to a season-needing perspective.

He said exactly that on Thursday. After the game, he just gave the straightforward numbers for proper context: "One game. We've got 16 to go."

Russ from Henrico, VA

We all want to know it's going to be OK. It seems we can't know anything good until Week 4. If the Packers lose this week we can know it's not great. If they win, they just beat the Lions, not exactly a championship indicator. Week 3 is another trip to SF and all bets and trends are off. A loss is just one more bad West Coast trip with nothing learned. Week 4's Steelers game looks to be the first real acid test with no qualifiers. Do we really have wait that long to have a clue?

You said it yourself, sort of. Just beat the Lions. Happy Friday.


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