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Inbox: No need to change the perspective or approach

Just keep plugging away and see where this goes

Head Coach Matt LaFleur
Head Coach Matt LaFleur

Jonathan from Richmond Hill, GA

'Tis the season. Why's the carpet all wet HOD?

Did it really take seven years for that to show up?

Jesus from El Paso, TX

I was disappointed that Mr. Spofford didn't even mention Taylor Swift in Monday's column. Please tell me you are playing her music non-stop at your cubicle all week, and that you are giddy with the anticipation of possibly hosting her.

I honestly couldn't care less.

Paul from Northglenn, CO

Hey Mike, in your humble but expert opinion what took this team past the abyss? Consequently what must they do to continue on with the success? Playing BTB nationally televised games certainly must have the team's attention to prove their worthiness against a KC squad playing a bit below expectations but always DANGEROUS of having your chicken nuggie things stolen from right in front of you by coach Reid. This is a big game both for both teams.

As Wes mentioned, what got them through to the other side was belief. They believed in the process and the progress being made in practice, even if it wasn't showing up in the games as readily as everyone hoped. That goes for everyone, players and coaches alike. LaFleur made some small adjustments to the training routine, but he didn't just toss everything out and "start over." They've kept after it, they've persevered through injuries and frustrations, and they have to keep doing so. The worst thing now is for the Packers to think they've "arrived." No need to change the perspective or approach. Just keep plugging away and see where this goes.

Shawn from Milwaukee, WI

Can I hear a Go Bears echoing through the bountiful land of beer and cheese?!? What a strange sound! Ope, it's gone! Hahahaha.

A fleeting memory.

Steve from Land O'Lakes, FL

Two takeaways from Monday night's game. The Bears won and both teams looked very beatable. Both bid well for the Packers.

It's a week-to-week league.

Ken from New York, NY

I've been thinking about my takeaway from the Bears-Vikes game, and all I could come up with was…just beat the Chiefs.

Good choice.

Robert from Oconomowoc, WI

Well, that certainly changes the landscape for a week anyway. Maybe it's best for all those of us with a team in the playoff hunt to just sit on our hands, metaphorically speaking, and watch with interest as this all plays itself out in the next six weeks or so, and hopefully beyond. It promises to be a wild finish.

That, too.

Tom from Fairfield, CT

Have you noticed the Vikings' and Seahawks' remaining schedules?

Most certainly, but none of that matters if the Packers don't keep winning.

George from North Mankato, MN

Outside of Mahomes and Kelce, what does the Chiefs offense do well? Any other big threats to pay attention to?

Don't sleep on Rashee Rice. The rookie second-rounder from SMU hadn't posted more than five catches or 72 yards in a game until last Sunday, and then he went off for eight grabs, 107 yards and a TD.

Joe from Swansea, IL

As we inch closer to Sunday night, which injured player's return is most crucial for the game plan for the Chiefs? 33? 23? 59? Someone else?

23 - If Alexander is back and can cover Rice, the safeties can devote more attention to Kelce.

Tyler from Cross Plains, WI

Hey guys, with the roster moves Monday, do you think we'll be getting both Darnell Savage and Eric Stokes back this week? On another injury note, any word on Luke Tenuta? I believe we kept him on the initial 53 before moving him to IR, so his whole season wouldn't be lost?

It sounds like the hope is for Savage and Stokes to be back this week, but the coaches have to see how they move through practices. I've heard no update on Tenuta, but you're correct regarding the initial roster move with him.

Andy from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Steve Spagnuolo's defenses have always made me nervous. How much of a benefit will it be to JL that he has faced it before? Granted, they threw everything at Love in his first start, so I doubt that would be their game plan again. But I think the Lions are the first defense he's seen for a second time, so he could learn something from seeing the Chiefs before.

It was the third time he'd seen Aaron Glenn's Detroit defense, counting the second half of Week 17 in 2021, and I agree. Read on.

Aumed from Moorhead, MN

I understand a lot changes over two years. But this is still relatively the same Steve Spagnuolo Chiefs defense anchored by the likes of Chris Jones and Nick Bolton. Do you expect the same zero-blitz type pressure to be fired Jordan Love's way multiple times the way they did in 2021? How much can the film from that game help knowing it's still the same scheme?

The film will help because there aren't too many other blitzes the Chiefs can throw at him, considering how many different ones Spagnuolo dialed up. So Love and the offense can review them all. But I guarantee you the Chiefs will review their calls as well and bluff many of those same looks to drop into different coverages second time around. Love will have to process everything post-snap quickly and know which answer to call upon.

Marc from Holmen, WI

Just saw a stat that Love has thrown 15 TDs against zero interceptions against man coverage. Two questions: Does this reflect more on Love or the receivers responding to reads against zone? Are any DCs going to go man against him the rest of the year?

I'll be honest, stats like this make the game sound much simpler than it really is. If a corner assigned to a receiver has safety help over the top, is that categorized as man or zone coverage? Because both of the end-zone INTs in Vegas and Pittsburgh were those exact looks. If man coverage is defined as defenders singled up with no safety help, and a QB's stats are decidedly better when his receivers are being guarded solely one-on-one, my response is this: Duh.

Dan from Grayslake, IL

A few Insiders have commented on the O-line rotation in the last two games, Weston mentioned it in his Game Notes, and Coach Butkus addressed it in his media session. I like the competition in the room mentality but wonder if there's more to it. Is it coincidence that Yosh Nijman and Jon Runyan are in the final year of their rookie contracts and Rasheed Walker and Sean Rhyan are in the second year?

Not entirely. Technically, Nijman is playing on a one-year RFA tender, but yes, two of those players are headed for unrestricted free agency and the other two are younger with possibly more growth in front of them. To me, it's a combination of competition and assessment going on.

Greg from Perkasie, PA

Two games at Meadowlands only one day apart? How might that affect the field conditions for whichever teams end up playing the second game on Monday night?

It's an artificial surface, and a rather notorious one at this point.

Alan from Sparta, NJ

The 59-yard kick in the rain by Jake Elliott to send Eagles-Bills into overtime Sunday night might have been the greatest kick I have ever seen. What is the best kick you recall seeing?

That one ranks up there. But the greatest kick I can recall, considering the stakes, was Vinatieri's 45-yarder in the blinding snow to send the Tuck Rule playoff game to overtime. Similar to Elliott last Sunday, when he lined up for it in those conditions, I thought there's absolutely no way he's making this.

Josh from Newhall, CA

I think it's become common practice when down 15 to go for the two on the first TD. Either way you need one, and if you fail at least you know in advance you still need two more scores. I was curious what you thought of GB going for two on the last TD instead of just kicking and going up 16 to force Detroit to need two twos just to tie.

That was an interesting call. As I mentioned in the live blog, I'm in favor of going up 16 to give the defense that much more leeway, so to speak, in a "two-score" game. But I understand the attraction of making it a three-score game with a 2-yard play. That's an enormous opportunity. I can totally see it from both sides.

Wayne from Stevens Point, WI

Would you give me the upside of contested catches? I can give a downside, "Ya weren't open!" Heath made catches of all four of his targets, three of them contested. The article that made that statement made it sound good or impressive. Please help.

You can't count on getting wide open in the NFL. That usually means the defense busted a coverage. Getting open at all doesn't mean a lot of space in this league, and it can become even less space by the time the ball gets there. If a receiver always has to be open to help the team, or for the QB to throw him the ball, he won't be around long. But if the QB can put the ball in a spot that gives him a chance to make a play against tight coverage, now the offense has more ways to succeed.

Steve from Colorado Springs, CO

"... I think Thursday proved the offense has developed to the point where it can build a game plan around Love and the receivers." Can't argue with Weston on that, but boy, what a far cry from all the preseason chatter that the running game would need to set up the passing game. Like the old folks say, you never can tell.

You could say the best laid plans for this Packers offense never had a chance the moment Jones grabbed at his hammy on that third-quarter TD in Chicago, and when Week 1 became the only game Bakhtiari would play all year. But at this point the season is all about the here and now.

Brian from Sussex, WI

The situation this year's young team hasn't experienced yet is being down one or two points and getting into position for a FG attempt as time expires. This would be a good week for it.

I remember writing on the flight back from Denver how important it would've been to get the crack at a game-winner, even if it didn't go Green Bay's way. That was a missed opportunity in more ways than one.

Jill from New Castle, DE

Anders Carlson has struggled the past few games, although he appears to be having a better season than his brother with the Raiders. Are Anders' struggles related to his mechanics, the operation, a mix of the two, or something else? I expect the team will need him to make a field goal to win a game at some point, and we all want him to be in the best situation possible.

I can't pinpoint the reason for his recent misses, but typically there's more than one. I understand the angst. All he can do is keep detailing his work, and he will. He was locked in at the beginning of the season and he can get there again.

Jake from Greenfield, WI

Speaking of the NFL becoming more popular internationally, our German friends said that they attempted to get tickets for Frankfurt and were 400,000 in the queue logging in right when they became available. The queue got as high as 2 million and sold out in 15 minutes. The stadium only holds 43,000 people. They might need to consider a bigger one next time!


Jim from Ashburnham, MA

Regarding coaches guaranteed contracts: Between 2018-2022, teams paid out $800 MILLION to fired coaches. Other than this showing the insane riches of the NFL to be able to afford that, it shows one should choose wisely and perhaps have a modicum of patience.

Double mercy. If the statistic is accurate, that's astounding. The average NFL head coaching salary is around $7M, I believe, which means over those five seasons, the 32 teams paid out around $1.1B to the acting coaches and just $300M less to fired ones. Sorry, broke the math rule.

Steve from Hurricane, UT

In WYMM it was great how you showed the Packers virtually nullifying Hutchinson out of the game on Thursday. Always appreciate and learn more of what to look for with your explanations. Are they much more fun to do after a victory for you as they are to watch for me?


Bill from Raleigh, NC

Hi II, living in NC, I'm hearing all about Frank Reich getting fired in his first season after going 1-10. Carolina took their big swing by giving up a first-round pick, and two second-round picks to get Bryce Young. We took our big swings paying AR and DB the money they needed to stay with the team. The NFL is such a tough business. If you take a big swing then you better be right. Our next big swing is coming into sight. Is JL worth a big QB contract? Maybe isn't an answer.

And that's why I'm sitting here and several others are getting paid the big bucks to make other big bucks decisions.

Dennis from Parrish, FL

The game ended at 29-29? HAD to be a "Scorigami"?

Yup. It was.

Ron from Meridian, ID

I felt an 8-8 season would be a good first year for the era of Love. Do you feel this is still an acceptable win-loss season to accept?

No. I feel it's an impossible win-loss season to accept.

George from Edinburg, VA

To my fellow George, you're usually spot-on. To the community, thanks for clearing things up. Having sent a few I wished I hadn't – to Mike and Wes, one of your greatest gifts, is unanswered questions.

Happy Wednesday.

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