Skip to main content
Powered by

Inbox: It says as much about the man as it does the QB

Sunday was a game everyone can learn from

QB Jordan Love
QB Jordan Love

Blake from Itasca, IL

Being young means you don't know what you don't know. Hopefully a road loss like this will force this young roster to take that into account. Inversely, I hope they don't dwell on it too much and somewhat use ignorance to their advantage. Be a goldfish.

It's a game everyone can learn from, players and coaches alike. The Packers came up short in winning time. It happens, especially with a young football team. I think the positive sign came in the postgame locker room. Players were disappointed in the result but not defeated. Like Spoff wrote, the Packers split on the road and now need to take care of business at Lambeau. That's it.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Wes, is getting it done at crunch time something you can learn? I hope so. Seems one of those things you either got it or you don't.

I think you can learn to win in those situations when your QB has the right mentality and Jordan Love most certainly does. That's where I feel like the team can grow the most from a loss like that.

Dean from Ottawa, IL

On Love's long run it ended with Love trying to leap over two defenders when he had a clear path to the sidelines. We can't have our QB doing those types of plays. To me that is a major issue that needs to be fixed, your thoughts please.

Nobody wants Love to get hurt, but I think proper context also matters. Matt LaFleur said he talked over the decision with Love on the sideline between quarters and Love's rationale was: "Hey, I thought we needed some juice." And you know what? Green Bay came out and scored its first touchdown a few minutes later. Love was there to compete. That says as much about the man as it does the QB.

Rudy from Cedarburg, WI

Dropping two pick-sixes was the game. Look how one pick-six cemented the Bears game. True the D was on the field way too long and true the offense didn't execute well, but if the Pack had 14 more points the game would have been played differently. Catch the ball! Am I the only one with this opinion?

You gotta make plays in this league. Even when the Packers managed to pick off Desmond Ridder, they had to punt the ball back minutes later. Complementary football, folks. The Falcons made more plays when the chips were down. Simple as that.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Wes, what were your positive takeaways from Sunday's game?

Young players continued to step up in a hostile road environment, especially Jayden Reed. The former Michigan State standout looks like the real deal. These early reps are going to take Reed and this rookie class far.

Alex from Charlotte, NC

By my research, only three teams started the season with two road games: Packers, Dolphins and 49ers (90% 49ers fans in LA). Is this something the league actively tracks when making the schedules? Feels like the Packers haven't had a season opener at home in quite some time.

Everyone talks about bye weeks and Thursday nights. The NFL needs to take a hard look into how teams are starting the season. Over the last seven years, the Packers have now had as many back-to-back road trips to start a season (2016 and 2023) as they've had home openers (2017 and 2018). Comparatively, from 1924-2015, they had just one back-to-back road trip to start a season. Brutal.

David from Minneapolis, MN

I guess the Falcons showed up to play, too. That Bijan Robinson kid looks legit, only time will tell if this was a fluke game or if both of these NFC teams will be seeing more of each other in the years to come.

If I'm a Packers fan, I'm glad the Lions passed on that young man. Green Bay's defense made plenty of mistakes, but Robinson came as advertised. He is the real deal.

Jeff from Ely, MN

I had the same five "unfortunate moments" that Mike listed in his response to Tucker from Belton, TX. The Atlanta fourth-and-6 keeper for a TD was especially painful. I was screaming at Rashan Gary to maintain containment … but alas, he didn't hear me, bit on the fake and watched Ridder run by him. Do you think this is a player overly anxious to make a play after a long injury layoff? The read option shouldn't have been a surprise. Looked like Rasul Douglas thought the same.

Well, it can be when a running back is having that much success on the ground. Truthfully, I bit on that play fake, too. It was a good call by Atlanta and something Green Bay will need to look at this week. The Packers' defensive front clogged the middle pretty well but really got stretched horizontally in the second half.

Tom from New Berlin, WI

I would appreciate an explanation concerning the call on the third-and-1 when it appeared to me that the first down was made. His body was well over the 35-yard line. Yet, the ref said his knee was down before the 35. What is the rule? Is it where the ball lands by the ball carrier or where the knee lands?

AJ Dillon's body finished past the 35 but what counts is where the ball is when his knee hits the ground. The officials ruled it was before the line to gain. Green Bay went hurry-up to try getting the sneak and the rest was history.

Dan from San Antonio, TX

Mercedes-Benz is the loudest stadium I've ever been in. I saw a lot of empty seats (especially the lower level) and about 40% were Packer fans. I just wonder if they were piping in crowd noise like they allegedly did at the old Georgia Dome. It really affected the Packers' offense in the fourth quarter.

I forgot how loud that stadium can be, and it wasn't even at full capacity. There was a good number of Packers fans that made life difficult on the Falcons' offense at times, but the Atlanta faithful made its voice heard in the fourth, too.

Jay from Wilmington, NC

My daughter and I attended the game Sunday. I thought Packers nation definitely showed up, as well. I loved that the first "Go Pack Go" chants were rewarded with an interception, but too bad we didn't do anything with it. It was such a great game and I thought it was in the bag until the 45-yard bomb! I just felt that was the spark that got their crowd going. And boy my ears are still ringing from that ridiculously loud and out-of-tune sound system, and Falcon screech! Did it bother y'all?

With Mercedes-Benz's open-air press box, I'm good going another six years without traveling back to Atlanta. The noise pollution might be worse than U.S. Bank to be honest. But yes, Packers fans brought it from beginning to the very bitter end. There was a "Go Pack Go" chant even after the incomplete pass to Samori Toure. That's commitment.

John from Boca Raton, FL

If I recall correctly, the FG that wasn't was a 51-yard attempt before the penalty. After the penalty it would have been a 56-yard attempt. You draft a kicker with a huge leg. Why not give it shot? I know I was shaking my head at the punt. You?

Fans have the benefit of hindsight. Coaches do not. LaFleur said on Monday he probably would've reconsidered that decision had he known it would be a one-score result. But it was the first quarter at the time, and he was thinking about field position. C'est la vie.

John from Virginia Beach, VA

Name me any team in this league that can be without their No. 1 running back, wide receiver, and left tackle then lose their starting left guard after 18 snaps, with a QB making his third start and reasonably expect to win…

Yep…and there's a segment of the fanbase that still expects a three-TD win regardless. That's football.

Check out photos from the Week 2 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023.

Dave from Oshkosh, WI

What happened to Lukas Van Ness during the game? After he made a tackle, he went off the field and we didn't see him the rest of the game. Did we just miss him, or did something happen to him?

Elbow injury.

Gilles from Rumelange, Luxembourg

Hi II. I saw it coming, after the first game everybody seemed super hyped about how "good" we were, a bit too much in my opinion. After the Falcons game, we see the real us again, nothing changed from previous seasons, our same struggles and mistakes and we hear this "we have to play better" after every single game over and over. Do you think we eventually will find a solution?

If that's the popular sentiment in Packers-verse, take it up with them. In this column, I'm going to parrot what I wrote last week: "It's fans' right to celebrate. It's only human after a long offseason of change. However, we stand by what we wrote last week. Win or lose, the Packers can't get too hung up on Sunday's result. The Packers have bigger goals than beating the Bears. They did it twice last year but didn't make the playoffs. They cannot be snake charmed by early success. The Packers must stay the path."

Dave from Gordon, WI

The question not covered was what would have happened if Rodgers had 54 seconds and needing a field goal. A seasoned Love could have done better for sure. Time will tell.

Is that how we're gonna define success for the next 15 years?

Brian from Adel, IA

To my untrained eye, it didn't look like the moment was too big for Rasheed Walker. You always want your All-Pro LT in there but hats off to the "jars on the shelf" for stepping up. On a related note, was our running game struggles a product of missing Aaron Jones, second-string OL, or a combination of both?

Walker was one of the most improved players on the Packers' roster this offseason. Like I talked about in the preseason, the moment is definitely not too big for him. Walker was a starting tackle for years in State College. Depending on what happens with David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins, the Packers may need Walker in the weeks ahead. Losing Jones is never easy, but it takes more than one player for the running game to thrive.

Nick from New York, NY

With it looking like Elgton Jenkins may miss a couple weeks, what do you think the chances are that we see Zach Tom move over to left guard and Yosh Nijman or Rasheed Walker taking over right tackle?

It's something the Packers will have to mull over this week. We'll see what Wednesday looks like.

Steve from Ellison Bay, WI

Daniel Whelan is my surprise for the first couple of weeks. His punting has been great and has gotten down more than one bad snap. Does the film confirm? Hat tip to the scouts.

He has one heck of a leg.

Brent from Delano, MN

Joe Barry is the defensive coordinator. He is responsible for the defense. He is making the calls for alignment and responsibilities during the game as well as the overall game plan. I am frustrated by the writers of the Inbox unwillingness to criticize Joe Barry. You will criticize the defense but will not make critical assessments of our defensive coordinator. I'm not asking for you to vilify the man but to make an honest assessment of the defensive plan.

Honestly, reading through questions – or more like statements rather – I feel like Will McAvoy in the series premiere of "Newsroom." I don't know what you want me to write to make you feel better, Brent. LaFleur stood at the podium on Monday and said the Packers got gashed on the ground in Atlanta. What else is there to say? The plan and execution weren't good enough to win.

Bill from Sheboygan, WI

What did you think of the defensive call that put De'Vondre Campbell out on the border covering a receiver? To me that is about the poorest D play call I've seen!

It's man defense (humorously, it's the look most fans blindly clamor for) and Ridder checked to the slant. You can watch LaFleur's presser for the full explanation.

Jeff from Athens, WI

Two observations from the game: 1) edge containment on defense was poor, verging on horrible and has to be cleaned up; you can't give a kid like Bijan Robinson the edge, he will burn you almost every time. 2) It is very difficult to win a game like that when your QB throws for 151 yards. The Packers have to be more efficient and successful in the passing game. The second observation I think will work itself out, the first I am not sure about. Barry needs to adjust now to be able to win.

The passing yards weren't the problem. The 47 offensive plays were the issue in a game in which the opposition ran 78 and held the ball for more than 36 minutes. The passing game was fine absent the final series.

Bobby from New Berlin, WI

Do you think Aaron Rodgers would decide to play for the Jets in 2024 again or maybe go elsewhere where there is a team with fellow teammates?

I don't know. I cover the Packers.

Ed from Windsor, CO

Thank you for rational responses to the one-point road loss. Learn from it and prepare for the next opportunity and opponent. The Packers' glass is at least half full – home game and we beat the Bears.

Again, the Packers went 1-1 on the road and now have two games at Lambeau in five days. You have to capitalize on the only two home games Green Bay has for the next six weeks. I'm gonna end it here. Have a…Tuesday.

Insider Inbox

Insider Inbox

Join writers as they answer the fans' questions in Insider Inbox