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Inbox: It was almost imperative

The next step must be taken next Sunday


Quincy from West Palm Beach, FL

Impressive shutout for the Packers. What stood out to you most about this win?

That it got the Packers above .500 at the quarter pole. It was almost imperative with three of the season's first four games at home. Five of the next seven are on the road, with the bye week sprinkled in. The challenges now increase.

Greg from Ann Arbor, MI

When we talk about Bell now, can it be assumed we mean Byron? The offensive line didn't seem to miss a beat with him in there.


Jim from McLean, VA

Just what the Packers needed. Not perfect, but a W with four complete quarters of solid play. I was most impressed by both the O- and D-lines.

The defensive line didn't miss a beat either, without Wilkerson. The two short-yardage run stops on the opening drive of the game really set the tone for the run defense.

Patrick from Dover, FL

That defensive performance was one for the ages. A marvelous game by the defense no doubt. The offense made some strides but surely had some plays they would like to have back. I know the offense will continue to improve, especially as Rodgers continues to get healthier, but would you say the defense has turned a corner or is it more just the fact that the opponent was simply not that good today?

The defense put forth a consistent performance for four quarters, and it cut down considerably on the explosive plays allowed. Those are the most important things. Pettine and his defense made Allen look like the rookie he is. The Packers were switching alignments and coverages at the snap and making Allen process all the changes on the fly, which can be a huge challenge for young QBs. He wasn't up to it. He's got a ton of arm talent, but his inaccuracy I felt was a product of being unsure of what he was seeing out there. His pocket awareness also left a lot to be desired, again a result of the mental challenges, in my view. This effort was huge for the defense to put together, but mental games aren't going to beat a veteran like Stafford next week. The next step must be taken next Sunday.

Benjamin from Delray Beach, FL

Looking around at the quarter-season (how are we already a quarter of the way through?), and it looks like the Bears might make a legitimate run this year. Very impressive win this week to get to 3-1. In hindsight, that Week 1 matchup wasn't quite the gimme that many of us chalked it up as, and the one-point comeback victory suddenly looks much more impressive than a lot of us assumed.

I said after Week 1 the Bears could be really dangerous once Trubisky gets comfortable attacking downfield, after Chicago ran a lot of short, horizontal stuff at Lambeau Field. Nagy is cutting him loose now, and the Bears have the defense to go with it. The first round of adjustments starts now in October.

Kevin from Asbury Park, NJ

12 was not a happy man after the game. Not trying to stir up controversy or anything, but in his postgame press conference did it seem like he was unhappy with the play-calling? Sometimes his comments can be very telling, but hard to interpret.

I think he's frustrated with a lot of things, and as I **mentioned in my postgame editorial**, I think he was sending a message that any inspiration he's providing by playing through his injury has worn off, and it's time for inspiration to be replaced by execution.

Christy from Louisville, KY

Aaron seemed very frustrated with the offensive play and strategy in the postgame press conference. With his limited ability to practice it makes sense to me that the offense isn't going to click during the game if they aren't getting reps in together at practice. I foresee this being a continued problem if Aaron's knee continues to limit his ability to practice.

I think he was tacitly acknowledging that while also pleading for everyone involved with the offense to step up their games.

Caleb from Pine Island, MN

I wore my Clay Matthews jersey today. The follyrot stopped. Coincidence?

I guess, depending on whatever follyrot is.

Alex from Winter Haven, FL

During the turnover review for the Kenny Clark fumble recovery I heard "Let It Be" by The Beatles on the TV broadcast. Is this just a coincidence or is this something the Packers do when they want the play being reviewed to stand?

Not everything is a coincidence.

Jessi from Sterling, KS

I love a shutout, it's nice to breathe during a game for a change. roughing-the-passer calls on Clay. We'll have to find a new subject this week.

Praise be.

The Packers improved to 2-1-1 on the season with a 22-0 win over the Buffalo Bills at Lambeau Field

Peter from Irvine, CA

Dear Insider, I'm bad at math. If the Bills beat the Vikings by 21 points and the Packers beat the Bills by 22 points, does that mean the Packers are 40-some-odd points better than the Vikings or evenly matched?

The two results against Buffalo clearly point to a 29-all tie. Isn't it obvious?

Chris from Waukesha, WI

Never seen 51 fly off the edge like he did on that last drive.

We all predicted Fackrell leading the Packers with three sacks through four games, too, didn't we? Great game for him to build on.

Ryan from Menomonie, WI

Is that some of that Mike Pettine scheming for a free rusher we heard about that we're seeing? Would Josh Allen's fumbleruski sack-avoidance strategy actually be legal? Drop the ball, get back up, throw the ball. If so, what buttons would I hit in Madden?

Maybe Wes knows on the buttons. The free rusher is the ideal outcome on certain calls, but the longer the season goes, the harder it is to catch the opposing offense without an answer. Once all the tricks are out of the bag, you either have to be ingeniously good at disguising what you're doing, and/or the rushers who are one-on-one have to win their battles consistently.

Tim from Normal, IL

Mike, Aaron Jones makes our offense so much more dangerous. Even on runs where Williams gets 6 or 7 yards, Jones would be getting much more. How can McCarthy keep trotting Williams out there when he's simply not as effective as Jones?

I can tell this is going to be one of those blue-in-the-face topics. Jones' workload is increasing. He went from seven total touches at Washington to 12 on Sunday. I can see him getting more. But the Packers want all three of those running backs healthy all season, and there are (at least) 12 games left. All you have to do is look at Jones' injury history early in his career, and the Packers' approach here makes perfect sense.

Ryan from Atlanta, GA

Has Rodgers ever mentioned what type of scotch he prefers?

Not that I know of. Perhaps his agent is waiting for a phone call.

Ken from Irving, TX

I am curious about the helmets used by the Packers during throwback games. Are these new helmets or do they just remove the decals from the regular helmets?

The latter. It creates two weeks of extra work for the equipment staff, because now they have to put all the decals back on.

Brandon from Pleasant Prairie, WI

Ha Ha interception, Benjamin gets hurt. Did anyone else notice the sportsmanship of Tramon Williams, how he stayed with Benjamin while the play continued?

Every player knows he could be next. That was one wicked collision. Perfectly legal and part of the game, but a reminder of how tough this game can be to play no matter what rules are put in place.

Sam from Melbourne, IA

Tramon returning punts, what year is this?!

If there's a new ageless wonder now that Terence Newman is no longer playing, it has to be Williams.

Jeremy from Shorewood, IL

So according to Pro Football Focus the Packers so far have the third-best defensive line and fourth-best offensive line. Once Rodgers gets healthy and the offense starts clicking, and getting King back for an improved secondary, look out. Isn't being strong in the trenches a common thread amongst the best teams?

Quite frequently, yes. It guarantees nothing, but the reverse will guarantee struggles.

Michiel from Brussels, Belgium

Well, what do you know, this defense might actually be improving through the year as the coaches suggested. Nice, nice indeed.

I don't think the coaches were the only ones suggesting it.

Shawn from Kissimmee, FL

My idea for coaches to challenge (penalties) is to give them one challenge flag per half and they cannot carry it over to the next half if unused. If they use their challenge flag and get it right, they get to keep their challenge flag to use again one more time. If they don't win their challenge they lose their challenge flag for the rest of the half. Thoughts?

I could get on board with that. Chris from Marshall, WI, also would concur wholeheartedly.

David from Appleton, WI

Spoff, you called for a review system for penalties. Judging by the way the league backed up its officials and their calls on Clay (as well as Dean Blandino agreeing), the review system would not have overturned either of the poor RTP calls made. No review system will correct stupid – which is what we witnessed these last couple of weeks.

You may be right, because a lot of replays reviews with Riveron running the command center have been head-scratchers, if you ask me. Though I don't recall Blandino agreeing to any of the calls in question.

Matt from Waunakee, WI

Thoughts on the Browns spot being overturned? You can review all the calls you want, it still doesn't guarantee the calls will be correct. Go Brewers.

That appeared to be a very disputable definition of indisputable.

Jeremiah from Madison, WI

A lot has been made of the Colts decision to go for it on fourth at midfield, rather than settle for an almost guaranteed tie in OT. Transpose to Aaron Rodgers at the helm: what would you have done?

It has nothing to do with my QB. The Colts have Luck. Fourth-and-4 on the wrong side of the 50? In September? Fourth-and-short, maybe, but otherwise I'm taking the half win.

The Green Bay Packers equipment staff prepared the team's historic third jerseys before Sunday's matchup with the Bills at Lambeau Field