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Inbox: It was a day for road teams

Every week is a new adventure in the NFL

Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate
Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate

Shilo from Murrieta, CA

Well, four games in, and the NFC is a glorious mess, and the AFC is the same as usual (except for the Steelers dropping down). Game on, and Go Pack Go!

Let the season's second quarter commence.

Kevin from Grand Rapids, MI

After watching the Bears hold the Vikings to 40 yards rushing, I'm not feeling too bad about our running game. We've played some very good defenses so far.

That win in Week 1 takes on a different look now, doesn't it?

Bill from Mediapolis, IA

We lost Thursday night and we're still leading NFC North. Fun to watch our rivals beat up on each other.

Detroit was awfully close to taking over the top spot. Crazy game at Ford Field. Turnovers galore. Both offenses kept stopping themselves by not hanging onto the ball.

Michael from Winfield, IL

Watching Detroit v. Kansas City and Chicago v. Minnesota combined with all three teams' performances in the other non-division games leaves me more impressed with the wins over Chicago and Minnesota. This could be a four-horse race going into Week 17. What does Green Bay need to do to build a cushion other than taking care of division games?

Cushion? Don't concern yourself with a cushion. Just concern yourself with the next game. Just look how difficult it was to get to 4-0 for all the teams that tried this week. Kansas City and New England barely pulled it off and everyone else with a shot failed. Every week is a new adventure in the NFL.

Glen from Green Bay, WI

With the players having the weekend off, will most of them have watched the Cowboys-Saints game to get a head start studying their opponent? Or, is the film broken down by the Packers' video department such that they benefit more from that source?

In these circumstances, it's often both. The players will watch the game on TV and then study the film breakdowns as well.

Gary from Davenport, IA

Why was Vontaze Burfict ejected for his helmet-to-helmet hit but not Derek Barnett? Burfict was the first to make contact with his opponent while Barnett hit Williams while he was being held up and driven backwards by his teammates. Was this an ejection based on reputation?

I have to believe it factored in. While I applaud the officials for the ejection, I read it was after a replay review. To which I add, hallelujah. My face is finally a little less blue, except of course it makes one wonder why Barnett's hit wasn't reviewed. At least I'm not aware that it was.

Eddie from La Crosse, WI

Mike, we Brewer fans need a group hug and a prayer! Do you have any tried-and-true magic rituals that could help the team heal up fast and shock the baseball world? If you do, then IT...IS...TIME...

I have no magic words. Baseball was never meant to have everything on the line in a one-shot deal, but it is what it is. With everything they've done the past month, the Brewers have no reason to doubt themselves.

Randy from Raymond, IA

Wow, some very surprising scores this week. I think on any given day, any team can beat anyone (with the obvious exception of the Miami Minnows). What score shocked you the most?

Probably the Buccaneers putting up 55 to beat the Rams in LA. But the bigger shocker is that of all the games played Sunday afternoon, home teams won only two of them. It was a day for road teams, for whatever reason.

Liam from Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Two years later and the Packers go into their fifth game of the season at Dallas with a 3-1 record. The schedule-makers surely are talented. Can we expect the same drama as 2017?

All four games the Packers have played in that stadium have been filled with drama, right? Why should we expect any different?

Dave from Germantown, TN

If you were the Packers coach in last Thursday's game and if the Packers had scored with 20 seconds to go, would you kick the point and take your chances in OT or would you go for two to win the game?

I don't normally answer hypotheticals, but this one intrigues me because I was thinking about it during the game and there were so many arguments on both sides. Playing at home, coming from behind with momentum, the conventional move is to play for OT. But as much as the defense was struggling on the night, maybe you should take your shot to win. Then again, after so many failed go-to-go tries in the fourth quarter, how confident are you in any single play from the 2-yard line? I never settled on an answer because I didn't have to.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

A problem not being discussed is the officials deferring to replay when in doubt by ruling that the play is a score or turnover. And the officiating experts seem to endorse this view. The problem is that it shifts the burden of proof (so to speak) on close plays involving a score or turnover. I prefer officials calling what they see rather than intentionally swallowing the whistle or signaling a score as the default and hoping for a camera angle.

I've discussed this issue several times in this space in the past. I think letting the action play out is, generally speaking, the best course of action. But I no longer agree with giving the call on the field the weight and precedence it's given. Everyone knows on these bang-bang plays, the call on the field is an official's best guess. He can't be expected to do any better. So why should a best guess matter? Replay will always provide a clearer, more comprehensive look at the play, so for plays that go to review, call it how you see it on the video. Period.

See photos of Green Bay Packers cornerbacks during their college careers.

Max from Rockford, IL

After that disgusting loss Thursday, here is the elephant in the room. G.B. will lose against Dallas, K.C., L.A., N.Y., and Minn. Maybe Chi.

Elephants are fortune tellers? Wow, never knew. Ask them how they insert those little pieces of paper without breaking the cookies. Thanks.

Shelby from Fond du Lac, WI

Hello, looking at strong running back duos, is there a benefit to having two RBs on the field at the same time? It's looking like Gallman belongs on the field, but it's difficult to take away snaps from a healthy Barkley. Same with Gordon being back and how well Ekeler has played. I know there is value in saving fresh legs for when defenses are tired, but when would a team want to have two RBs on the field?

You employ both on occasion to see how the defense responds personnel-wise. The defense's personnel package to defend both backs on the field at the same time could give you a matchup somewhere to exploit, and it wouldn't necessarily be a matchup with one of the backs.

Mike from St. Louis, MO

Too much replay in the game. It's like being in a relationship with someone who constantly corrects your grammar. You know they're technically right, but it's still annoying.

You mean he or she is technically right.

Evan from Durango, CO

One quarter of the way and we sit tied for the division lead while owning the tiebreaker against two division rivals. Great start, now we need in-season improvements from our coaching staff and players. Another good O-line is coming up and we need to attack it better than we did against Philly.

Unless too much of an attack mentality was the reason for so many bad run fits and big holes. You can't play passively up front, but being over-aggressive isn't always the answer.

Mark from Vincennes, IN

So, will 10 days help?

It won't hurt.

Nathan from Philadelphia, PA

So far, five of the NFL's "top 100 games" (obviously a list with some recency bias) have been games where the Packers' season ended in sudden death: fourth-and-26, Tom Coughlin's nose freezing, Brandon Bostick's ill-timed leap, and two desperation comebacks in the desert. What's your perspective as a reporter who covered most or all of these games? Are the Packers particularly lucky? Unlucky? Not all that unusual among franchises with a bunch of playoff appearances?

I've said before I think one of the most remarkable statistics of the McCarthy era, baked into his 10-8 postseason record, is five of the losses came on the final play of the game. To me, that's not a disparaging stat. It's a reflection of having a team always prepared and ready to play in the games that matter most.

JR from East Moline, IL

If I remember correctly, Bakhtiari was flagged for a false start. But I thought he always watched the ball. So that's weird.

He watches the ball when they use a silent count on the road. I think every starting offensive lineman has been called for a false start through the first quarter of the season. That's one of those smaller areas that needs cleaning up.

Drew from Rogers City, MI

Bright spot from Thursday's game was Kevin King, who played like a stud!

Indeed he did, but he also left the game late with a groin injury. That's one to watch, as we all know. There's already been a trickle-down effect in the secondary with Raven Greene out. There will be another one if King is out for any length of time.

Jack from Wauwatosa, WI

Why do so many people overreact to a game like Thursday's? They lost a competitive game to a good opponent by a touchdown in the closing seconds. That's the NFL! It happens. This team is going to be fine.

Lotta football left.

Kyle from Eden Prairie, MN

I would like to submit my resume for the next opening at the NY office that reviews calls. I feel that my complete lack of on-the-field officiating experience makes me the perfect candidate, as I have no bias towards a bad call made on the field. Can the Packers organization at least get my name into consideration? Would it help if I used yellow parchment and spritzed my resume with a bit of Drakkar Noir?

I don't even know how to respond to that one.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

Do you know if the wording or definition of pass interference is different when officials review a play when challenged? Is there any language in the rule that states the interference has to be "egregious" or similar wording in order to overturn a call? If the same language is being used in replay to establish PI, they need to scrap these challenges immediately because the integrity of the sport is being severely compromised.

As I noted late last week, "clear and obvious" is the language in the PI replay review rule. I think it's morphing into the word you suggested, or something else. I also think the Vikings' overturned TD in Week 2 at Lambeau prompted a change in how these plays are being looked at.

Erik from Sisters, OR

Wes and Spoff, if you were to be Packers what number would you wear? I'm guessing No. 88. I'm thinking of buying a custom jersey with No. 88 and Wespoff on the back.

Oh my.

JoAnne from Seattle, WA

Are you glad that the grilled cheese sandwich is back on the menu at 1919? Hope you enjoyed your Sunday.

Wes isn't, but I have no complaints. Happy Monday.


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