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Inbox: Many of those factors blend into each other

The unknowns make this a really interesting week for the Packers

RB Aaron Jones
RB Aaron Jones

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

In Packerland, I thought "a season with no expectation" was real. What happened?

Fandom and competitive fire generate passionate responses. It reminds me of when I used to play "Madden." I'd tell myself before each season of franchise mode that I wouldn't throw my controller. A few games in and I was already buying a new one.

John from Livermore, CA

So, the bye is over, the team got some rest and a reset. There are no undefeated teams left, and it feels like there is an opportunity to go on a winning streak. Who has to step it up the most to make the push to the next level?

Every single man who walked back into that locker room on Monday. The Packers don't need a hero. They need to play as a team.

Dan from Algonquin, IL

Hi Wes, after a game, we love to pinpoint specific plays and players to explain the outcome. A player at the far end of the bench can affect the game on one play. In reality, wins and losses come down to a few key factors. If you are successful with these things, you will win most of the time.

1) Health of starters, especially elite players

2) Turnover differential

3) Time of possession differential

Total yards, penalties, QBR, and other stats are key secondary factors. Would you agree?

That's a fair assessment, though many of those factors blend into each other on the field of battle. Turnover differential is so critical in this league. Spoff mentioned the defensive performances over the weekend – the Jets quite literally beat the 5-0 Philadelphia Eagles due to their defense getting four takeaways to zero giveaways. But certainly, the game changes when you're without your stars and that's unfortunately the boat the Packers have been pedaling.

Ed from Windsor, CO

Prime's Buffs squandered a 29-point halftime lead. The 49ers looked unbeatable one weekend then lost. The Jets won, etc. I watched a local high school team score 63, more points than they had in their previous five games. Football is indeed a difficult game to figure out. The Pack has not had a lot of success in Denver. What do they need to figure out to get a W?

Those first 15 minutes – and not just because the Packers have gotten off to slow starts in the first quarter. The only quarter in which Denver has outscored the opposition this year is the first (41-32). When facing a one-win team, you don't want to give it hope. The Packers need to set the tone and sustain. Those are my keys to victory in this one.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Wes, it seems both Green Bay and Wisconsin are working through a transition with serious growing pains…to be expected, but how do coaches know if the arrow is pointing up? What signs can they look for before the full maturation is demonstrated in games that matter?

I look for improvement in the areas the Packers need to address. No NFL team can cover all bases. There are too many variables, many of which are out of your control. But when a team invests extra time and attention to a certain phase, you want to see marked improvement in that area.

The Green Bay Packers held practice at Clarke Hinkle Field on Monday, Oct. 16, 2023.

Jonathan from Green Bay, WI

Hi II. Love your content. Does it surprise you that we can't utilize our "quick game" on offense? Without Aaron Jones it seems almost impossible. I still believe that slants and intermediate crossers would allow an opportunity to establish rhythm for a new starting QB. Jayden Reed and Dontayvion Wicks have shown promise in the slot; Luke Musgrave, as well. I just don't think it's ideal to have Love sailing deep shots as much as he does, especially with a banged-up OL. GPG!

That also was my hunch. I can't compare percentages to past years, but it seemed like the Packers weren't going to their quick hitters as often through the first five games. We've now seen the type of playmaker Jayden Reed can be for this offense. Likewise, you want to see him get more than one touch for seven yards. Coming out of the bye, it'll be telling which personnel the Packers deploy. The unknowns make this a really interesting week.

Robert from Antioch, IL

It seems to me that without Aaron Jones the Packers needed to be a bit less behind center and move the pocket more. They look good in the two-minute shotgun style offense; I would like to see that urgency and some more movement of the pocket if not in the shotgun. Give the offensive line a chance to gain leverage and use our tight ends a bit more in our blocking schemes.

The blocking piece is a work in progress for Green Bay's tight ends right now, but I thought the Packers did some good things out of the pistol in Vegas. I hope we see more of it after the break. I also would like to see more of the six O-lineman looks. That was a productive package for Green Bay against Chicago, but it's been put on ice due to all the recent injuries on the O-line.

TK from Grafton, WI

Watching other teams' games can give GB fans perspective. "You mean, OTHER teams struggle too? I thought every other team started 22 All-Pros!"

I honestly thought the same while watching Minnesota and Chicago.

Avida from Vienna, VA

When the Packers' schedule originally came out in the offseason, the initial thought may have been that the bye week was too early in the season, but given the number of injuries suffered to date, is this actually a good time to have an earlier bye?

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the fabled Week 9 bye one of these years, but I'll gladly take Week 6 over Week 13-14. A late-season bye is about healing bruises. I think an earlier bye also can help a team adjust.

Daniel from Cudahy, WI

"It felt like defenses ruled most of Week 6." What rule changes can we expect to see next year to prevent this from happening again?

Defenses no longer will be allowed to pressure the quarterback inside two minutes.

Bill from Wilmington, DE

Wes, while watching the games Sunday, there was an illegal man downfield call. I understand the penalty but couldn't find a specific distance "downfield" the player can go before it becomes a penalty.

It's not a distance-related penalty like defensive holding outside of five yards. Any offensive lineman who's beyond the line of scrimmage can be penalized if not engaged in a block prior to a forward pass being thrown.

Michael from Baraboo, WI

It is a long season, and anything can happen. Hopefully, the Packers can go on a run by putting things together on offense and defense. How do you predict the rest of the season will turn out?

There's going to be some brilliance and some turbulence, but the most important thing is the promise the Packers showed early on. The potential is there. We saw it for the first seven quarters of the season. This team just needs a win right now.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

The Packers desperately need another road win. The bigger picture for them is that the Raiders are not particularly good, but the Packers lost to them. On the road, that can happen. Now the Packers will play on the road again against a team that is not particularly good. If the Packers win, they will be at 3-3 which is about what many thought before the season. However, back-to-back losses to poor teams, even on the road, will be very disheartening because GB has the better roster.

This is a big game. Again, I don't care if the Denver Broncos are 5-1 or 1-5. The Packers must respect this opponent and leave Mile High with a W. If Green Bay can accomplish that task, then the team is back to .500 on the road with three of the next four at Lambeau. That's as favorable as the second-half schedule is gonna get.

Steven from Frisco, TX

Gents, while this bye week has been a good opportunity for the team to tend to injuries and rest, how important has this extra time been for Jordan Love to take stock of the prior weeks and grow?

I think it's big for Love – not only the football player but also the person. He just made five straight starts for the first time since Utah State. That's a lot of information to process. My hope is Love was able to break away for a few days and then back to dissecting what happened vs. Detroit and Las Vegas.

Robert from Oconomowoc, WI

Any inside update on Aaron Jones?

He looked good in practice on Monday. Afterward, Jones came through the locker room but couldn't talk because he had a treatment appointment. We'll hear from him later this week.

Sue from Tomah, WI

What game has the Pack dedicated to Salute to Service in November? Also, to Sandy from Green Bay: Cream always rises to the top.

The Rams game on Nov. 5. In my experience, the best leaders aren't forced to lead. It's those who choose to lead.

Bob from Rome, NY

Wes: Just a comment about the horse-collar rule for the whole league. In the NFL, if holding occurs in the end zone while the QB is there, two points are awarded to the other team even though there was no guarantee the held player would have sacked the QB. My thought is if a personal foul is committed by the defense to prevent a touchdown and no other defender has a chance to make the tackle, award the TD. Keep things consistent. Your thoughts? Thank you!

Rasul Douglas brought up on Monday what would happen if a defender took an offensive player down by the facemask to save a touchdown. Does the penalty fit the crime? Probably not. Whether it's an ejection or points on the board, the league should take steps to disincentivize a defender committing a flagrant, possibly dangerous, foul to save a touchdown. Three yards and a $13,000 fine aren't enough.

The Green Bay Packers once again hosted the popular Halloween-themed Spooktacular event in the Lambeau Field Atrium on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023.

Steven from Sauk Rapids, MN

Can we all agree the Niners got hosed by that hit to a defenseless receiver? I mean, what is he supposed to do, let him catch the ball and then hit him? The hit was clean, and he ensured that the catch couldn't be made. The missed field goal ultimately cost them the game, but this play certainly had a huge impact on the final score.

The 49ers definitely caught some bad breaks at the end of that game, but that's how it goes in the NFL. It was a close game and San Fran got bit. It happens to everybody.

Steve from Cedar Falls, IA

Did you notice all the blue in the stands at the Lions/Bucs game? Wasn't just a Lambeau thing.

I mean, did you hear the end of the game when Tampa Bay was in hurry-up? It sounded like Ford Field. I give Lions fans credit. They showed out even when their team was struggling and they're enjoying every bit of this 5-1 start.

Mike from Aurora, IL

Good morning. Two questions from this weekend: 1) With two more bad "safety related" flags – one against the 49ers and one against the Giants – do you ever see the NFL changing course on this and making them reviewable? I know this has been discussed here before, but it is frustrating to see games impacted by these calls. 2) Has Miami emerged now as the clear AFC favorite?

Miami is right there at the top. The Dolphins took it on the chin against Buffalo, but they're so fast, dynamic, and Mike McDaniel is a wizard with some of those play calls. I've lost hope with the contact penalties. Like I said about San Fran, officiating is part of the game teams just have to deal with.

Brian from Madison, WI

Do you expect any former or current NFL players to be on the roster for the 2028 U.S. Olympic flag football team?

I do…and sure hope Gronk is one of them.

Kent from Homosassa, FL

An expansion on James from Orlando being switched to Tampa Bay/Detroit. The Packers are scheduled for the 3:25 p.m. game. The 12 p.m. game on the network goes into overtime and does not end until late in the first quarter of the Packers game. I'm sure James and I would be able to hear the screams in Green Bay and Milwaukee all the way down here if the "switch to local rule" was not in effect. This example has actually happened down here.

I'm still buzzing from "byzantine." I'm having difficulty staying focused after that Spoff drop. But yes, I concur with whatever the English major/ editor said.

Brian from Chesapeake, VA

Not many movie references stop me to really make me think more than "NCFOM." Putting that in the Inbox can do a lot of good for us Packers fans. Change is coming and there isn't much we can do about it, so much is life, mostly chance...and throughout, it is hard to explain everything.

"No Country For Old Men" is one of my all-time favorites. It's certainly made an impression on me.

Terry from Green Bay, WI

Good morning, Wes. The bye week gives us a chance to take a look at what's coming in the second half of the season. Doing so brings up a question: The Chiefs come to GB on a Sunday night. Will there be TV coverage of the actual game? Or with the possibility of Simone Biles and Taylor Swift being in attendance, will all the cameras be pointed at the sky boxes?

Maybe distinguished Wisconsinite Justin Vernon drops by, and we can have an impromptu halftime show?

Preston from Tallahassee, FL

I like, and trust, the leadership of this franchise. I also like our team; I have not seen one moment of quit. As someone who enjoys Florida, I liken my hopes for this season's team like a round of golf...avoid double bogeys (two losses in a row) or a string of bogeys. When you drop one, get it back and stay close to par. So, beat Denver, get back to (stay close to) par for a few weeks. Get hot on the back nine.

Sounds like a plan, Preston. Have a great Tuesday, everyone.

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