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Inbox: It's turn-the-page day

Clearly there are segments that remain a work in progress

Lions QB Matthew Stafford

Jerry from Rhinelander, WI

Allen Lazard brings much more to the team than catching whatever is thrown his way. He brings a level of toughness we haven't experienced in a long while. He's going to punch you in the mouth and if you get up, he'll do it again.

Almost as though he's had his lunch stolen a few times.

Derek from Eau Claire, WI

How many different seasons have the Packers had to face Adrian Peterson? It feels like 100.

It's incredible isn't it? Sunday will mark Peterson's 20th career game against the Packers, and he needs 25 rushing yards for 2,000. He's averaged 5.1 yards per carry on 385 totes vs. Green Bay. Think about that. He has faced the Packers every year since his rookie season of 2007 except '14 and '17.

Thomas from Appleton, WI

Which Kenny has more impact if they're able to play Sunday, Kenny Clark or Golladay?

Great question. I'll call it a draw. Detroit's offense and Green Bay's defense aren't the same without their respective Kenny. But both have injuries that require the utmost caution.

Joey from Groveland, MI

Is the Bobby Layne Curse real?

I have no idea. All I know is it's turn-the-page day, and it means nothing for Sunday. But in my lifetime the Lions have had some really good players enjoy little to no postseason success. Billy Sims was 0-2 in the playoffs. Herman Moore 0-1. Barry Sanders won his first playoff game, then went 0-5 after that. Matt Stafford is 0-3, two of those losses with Calvin Johnson. Lions fans are true die-hards.

Matt from Bloomington, IN

I just watched the Lions game from Sunday, and in spite of their fourth-quarter collapse, they look like a fairly dangerous team (especially on offense). What do you think will be the keys for our defense when it comes to stopping Detroit's balanced and potentially explosive offense?

Get pressure with four. You're not likely to fool Stafford with anything, and he's going to know exactly where to go with the ball against the blitz. In passing situations, the four-man rush is the key.

Mark from Ocala, FL

Tough break for Lane Taylor. Guy played with the determination and heart of a lion. Time for next man up. Is Jon Runyan now next man up? Glad to see Runyan and Rick Wagner hang tough after being called in. Is Billy Turner ready to be back? Love reading II each day.

It'll be interesting to see how this takes shape, because once Billy Turner and Lucas Patrick are healthy again, the Packers will have options. Turner could go back to his right guard spot from last year and Wagner could play right tackle. Or Turner could take right tackle back and then right guard is between Patrick and Runyan. I suspect Elgton Jenkins is going to stay at left guard for now, but I guess you never know for sure there, either.

Patsi from Riverside, CA

Mason Crosby must be feeling for Stephen Gostkowski. Shades of Ford Field in 2018. I'm so glad he had the final seconds of the game chance for redemption.

You just knew that game was coming down to Gostkowski's foot, right? That's partly what made last season's Detroit games special. Crosby had to wait a year but then he earned a double dose of redemption with the two walk-offs.

Steve from Boise, ID

When Aaron Rodgers changes his cadence to draw the opponents offside and get those free plays, does he let his teammates know he is going to do this so they don't jump, or does everyone just have to be very disciplined not to jump?

There's a code word, or something to that effect, in the cadence that makes it live versus a dummy one. It does take discipline on the part of the guys up front.

Jerry from Wichita, KS

A question from many fans: How many cans of beer can be consumed by a GBP football team during a 40-minute flight back home after a big Game 1 victory?

None. The NFL does not allow alcohol on team flights.

Dave from Huntsville, AL

Did any of the coaches talk about what Krys Barnes did to go from practice squad to starting ILB, passing by Oren Burks and Ty Summers in the process? Give Krys credit, he didn't seem to be out of place and did a great job.

It was a solid as well as surprising debut. No one saw the depth chart shaking out like that, and I'm sure Pettine will be asked about it when he speaks with the media later this week.

Tom from Sturgeon Bay, WI

II, talking about perfection for Sunday's game, except for wasting timeouts to avoid delay-of-game penalties. Why still the problem carrying over from last year? Would have thought shortening the verbiage would improve the timing.

It was supposed to, and I think it did in some instances. There were multiple occasions Rodgers had time to try the hard count and/or survey the defense extensively. LaFleur also suggested on Monday several calls included two plays, giving Rodgers his choice at the line. I suspect some of those longer calls created the delays. Clearly there are segments that remain a work in progress.

KB from Kaiserslautern, Germany

An observation from the weekend: the six teams that got "better" by drafting first-round WRs went 1-5 in their openers. Perhaps there's more to a team's improvement than just who they do or don't draft in a given year?

By a longshot. Anyone who's read this column regularly knows that. At the same time, though, judging any rookie impact based on Week 1, this year in particular, is immensely foolhardy.

Statham from Pineview, GA

In response to Josh from Melbourne, as of Sunday, the word was that the Packers game will be the Saints' first go with fans in attendance. Even still, limited capacity is far better than full capacity in the Superdome!

True that.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Mike, do you expect to see more productivity from the TE position against the Lions?

That's a matchup question. The Packers' four tight ends combined for more than 100 snaps. They were on the field plenty, but only three of the 44 pass attempts went their way, the rest to the receivers and backs. Why? I'm guessing Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr. That's as good a pair of cover linebackers in the middle of the field as you'll find, and the Vikings had a bunch of young corners the Packers wanted to attack. The plan was to look for those matchups first, and check it down to the backs if nothing was there. Not every defense will be built like Minnesota's.

Gary from Mountain Home, AR

Why hasn't anyone mentioned Aaron Jones' blitz pickups? I saw him stop a defender blitzing 12 and stopped him in his tracks. Not once, but twice. Both times it was beautiful work.

We've come to expect it, but we certainly shouldn't take it for granted.

Daniel from Allen, TX

Getting Tyler Ervin for nothing is the NFL equivalent of Ed McMahon showing up at your door with a Publisher's Clearing House check. I might be showing my age with that reference.

Opportunity and circumstance matter in the NFL. The lottery and sweepstakes don't necessarily work that way, but I get your point.

Jim from McLean, VA

I imagine the Lions will be coached all week to not fall for the hard count. They'll likely be offsides less than the Vikings, but that small bit of uncertainty and hesitation should give Rodgers and Co. an extra beat for a play to develop in their favor.

Bingo. Rodgers from last week: "More than (getting penalties and free plays), it's on their minds. I think it takes a little bit of the steam and the aggression out of getting off on the snap count."

Richard from Mifflinburg, PA

Could you please put the play on the website of Josiah Deguara making the big block. I missed part of Sunday's game but heard it on the radio and the announcers went nuts over it! Please let me see it!

It's in my WYMM segment as Play No. 3, which I included because of everything else going on during that play in addition to Deguara's great block. Don't miss his block in Play No. 2 either.

Gary from Benevides, Brazil

At the start of the fourth quarter Cousins scrambled for a first down and there was also a flag for illegal contact on the play. I expected the penalty to be declined since the play result was greater than the penalty. Then I was surprised that the 5-yard penalty was tacked on to the run. What is the criteria for a penalty that is tacked on as opposed to one where the team has to choose between the penalty and the result of the play?

I mentioned this in the live blog during the game because fans were asking there as well. Live-ball defensive penalties are tacked onto the end of running plays, but not passing plays (except for personal fouls).

Jacob from Kansas City, MO

II, what was the thought process Minnesota had to go for two down 43-32? They converted which made it a nine-point, two-possession game. If they failed, now they find themselves down 11 and would need to attempt another two-point conversion to be down three. Tampa Bay tried the same thing against New Orleans as well. What am I missing?

I wondered the same when they scored to get within 12 and went for two rather than just get it to 11. Some coaches in recent years when rallying from behind are playing the numbers game to win, not just to tie and get to OT. That's all I can figure.

Craig from Appleton, WI

Does the victory formation kneel-down honor falling to Tim Boyle officially confirm who won the No. 2 quarterback position?

If any fans were still wondering, which would confirm they were absolutely not paying attention, it became official 90 minutes before kickoff when Jordan Love was a game-day inactive.

Chris from West Allis, WI

Just watched ML's press conference. Why do I get this feeling that you could bait this guy all day and he'd still never take the credit or get too high on his team?

If there's one thing I know about how the best coaches are wired, it's that they go into every game believing they're going to win. So they are never surprised by success, and hence are always focused on what they must do better to believe they're going to win the next one.

Joel from Green Bay, WI

If it wasn't a free play, after the two drops, do you think Rodgers goes to Marquez Valdes-Scantling on the completion that took them down to the 2-yard line?

Yes, I do. It was a three-by-one set. The one was Davante Adams, with the only deep safety (Smith) shaded his way. On the three side, the other safety (Harris) was at the line to pick up the far inside slot, Allen Lazard, with a linebacker zone dropping in the middle. Split far right was Robert Tonyan against a 6-2 corner (Dantzler). Between Lazard and Tonyan was MVS, with a clear one-on-one against a 5-10 corner (Hughes). There's no question where the best matchup was, and while it took you 15 seconds to read that explanation, I bet Rodgers processed it all in 3-5.

Steve from Wauwatosa, WI

Two weeks ago, I watched last year's December meeting. Even though the Packers won that game, I found the offense to be very frustrating. Sure there were turnovers, but the thing that really got me was Rodgers holding on to the ball – forever! That has been a big problem for the last few years. This year, Rodgers threw in rhythm and the angels sang! I didn't scream "Get rid of the damn ball!" Not even once! Do you think this is what he saw from his studies of the past?

I don't know. What I do know is what I wrote Monday, so I'll repeat it: He mentioned his comfort level in the offense again after the game. Those aren't empty words. I noted last year several times that learning a new offense might refresh and rejuvenate him and his game, as challenging as it might be after so many years. It's only one performance in 2020, but let's see what unfolds.

Andy from Avondale, AZ

After watching the games on Sunday I was wondering if the lack of fans actually helps teams, especially on the road. And for rookies it could be an easier transition to the league when you don't have 50,000-plus sets of eyes on you, which could help calm the nerves. Especially in places like Minnesota, Seattle, New Orleans, etc. Your thoughts?

I'm not sure about the rookie part, except in the beneficial case of one like Runyan jumping into unexpected substitute duty on the offensive line and not having to worry about the silent count. But as I mentioned on "Unscripted," when you look at what Rodgers did at Minnesota, Russell Wilson at Atlanta, the Bears at Detroit – and I realize it's only one week – but I'm wondering if a potential season-long storyline will be diminished home-field advantage in these indoor venues that normally can be so disruptive to teams.

Casey from Frisco, TX

In the answer to the question about Kamara, Wes referred to Kamara and Cook as being "one in the same." I was corrected recently using the phrase, "You've got another thing coming," and informed it is an eggcorn that evolved from "another think coming." I feel compelled to pay it forward and let you know that "one in the same" is an eggcorn for the correct phrase "one and the same. Now, for those who believe GB is looking past Detroit to Kamara, well, they have another thing coming.

And now I know what an eggcorn is. What a wonderful word.

Kenton from Rochester, MN

Did you know that the final score of Sunday's Packers-Vikings game (43-34) had never occurred before in NFL history? Apparently that's called a "scorigami" (see: The previous Packers scorigami was just two years ago (Sept. 16, 2018), a 29-29 tie, also against the Vikings. And the Packers had another scorigami against the Vikings, this one a 26-26 tie in 2013. Cue the Twilight Zone music…

Happy Wednesday.