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Inbox: Nothing can be taken for granted

The blocked PAT changed everything

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes

Jason from Rochester, NY

Four-day break? You guys are gonna have to make it up to us next year by working Super Bowl weekend.


Mark from Westminster, CO

Awesome game. The winning play sure looked like the same play KC ran against the Eagles last year called "Corn Dog."

That's because it was.

Mark from Canton, GA

OK, is it now officially the time to stop saying that Tom Brady's record of six Super Bowl wins by a quarterback will never be broken?

It was broken three years ago when Brady got his seventh. Against Mahomes. More to the point, this was Mahomes' most impressive Super Bowl run in my mind. He's got three now, but nothing can be taken for granted. I remember when everyone assumed Tiger would overtake Jack's majors record, like it was only a matter of time. Still waiting on that. It's not easy.

Tim from Escanaba, MI

The Packers (and Lions) beat KC (Super Bowl champs) during the regular season, but lost to the 49ers in the playoffs. Yet, the 49ers lost to KC in the Super Bowl. What, if anything, can we conclude from this?

That Team A was better than Team B on that particular day. That's all the NFL is. Who plays better on any given day. When you give yourself a chance to play on the most important days, and you play better on those most important days, you win championships.

John from Byron, MN

Ironic, the 49ers were outplayed in both of their playoff games until the fourth quarter and won. Then they outplayed the Chiefs until the fourth quarter and lost. As you guys have often mentioned, knowing what it takes in crunch time is the difference maker.

Always and forever.

Bill from Forest Park, OH

I said to my wife at the time "that missed extra point is gonna come back to haunt them." This is what happens when you let Mahomes hang around too long. In any case, hard to ask for a more entertaining game (without the Packers).

Three quarters of rather sloppy play turned into pretty good football by both sides down the stretch. The blocked PAT changed everything. On their next possession, the Chiefs faced fourth-and-goal from the 6 with just under six minutes left. If it's 17-13 instead of 16-13, I have to believe they're going for it, and the success or failure of that play would have altered everything else that happened the rest of the way.

Dan from Wausau, WI

Mahomes will get the accolades because that is how it works, but the Chiefs' defense is the main reason for the Super Bowl run and victory. Also, if I were Shanahan, I would have gone for it on fourth down on the first drive of overtime.

KC's defense really stiffened after the Niners had the upper hand early. SF should've been able to build a bigger lead, especially after the INT in the third quarter, but they couldn't, which gave Mahomes too many opportunities. As for the OT decision, that would've been interesting, and I think if it's fourth-and 1 (or 2), he's going for it there, but not fourth-and-4.

Ron from Mitchell, SD

Note to self but I guess taking the ball to start OT in the Super Bowl may not be the way to go? If I'm the coach I would much rather defer and know exactly what I need to accomplish on my drive. Thoughts?

I also wondered about the coin-toss decision given the adjusted playoff OT rules. I figured the Niners chose offense because their defense had just been on the field at the end of regulation and needed the breather, but Shanahan said after the game his thought process was about getting the ball "third" if both teams matched scores on opening possessions. Interesting that Reid said if the Niners had scored a TD, he was going for two on a Chiefs TD. Lots to ponder.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

Great game. Tense. Two great defensive efforts. The difference in the SB was at QB1. Brock Purdy played a solid football game. Patrick Mahomes made plays in crunch time. Mahomes faced a handful of do-or-die and converted all of them when the game was on the line. He is the GOAT. It will take a full 60 to beat him and you do not want to try and match him score for score.

I thought the difference at crunch time was when Wilks dialed up a SF blitz, Mahomes made a play and made 'em pay. When Spagnuolo dialed up a KC blitz, Purdy didn't. If the Niners convert on third-and-5 from the 35 at the two-minute warning, they almost certainly win the game. They didn't react well enough to the Chiefs' blitz, and their best shot at victory vanished.

Ryan from Bloomer, WI

Not sure how much praise they should get, but I couldn't have imagined a better outcome on the officiating side of the Super Bowl. No blown calls, calls seemed consistent, and I loved how they kept play going after the Juszczyk diving first down in OT when he lost the ball making a football move and completing the catch. Hats off to the refs for once on a good SB.

Boomer Esiason mentioned at halftime that 49ers center Jake Brendel was illegally downfield on the Jennings-McCaffrey trick play TD. When I looked back at the replay, it wasn't egregious by any means and had no impact. He didn't even block anybody. A good no-call in my opinion.

Chuck from Waterloo, WI

We know it's hard to win in this league but the 49ers have lost their last three Super Bowls. This year, they had arguably the most balanced team in the league and still came up short. What more can a team do? Better luck?

The punt that morphed into a turnover was certainly their biggest piece of misfortune, but that's football. It's rather incredible how good the Niners have been for such a long period (a down year sprinkled in here and there) without winning a title. Since the Packers won Super Bowl XLV, San Francisco has appeared in seven NFC title games and three Super Bowls, but no Lombardi Trophy. Now they get one more year of paying Purdy peanuts, so we'll see.

Derek from South Point, OH

I wasn't rooting for the Chiefs but against the 49ers. Mostly, I wanted to be entertained, and I certainly was. Kelce made his presence felt on the field in the second half, but what will be most discussed, Taylor Swift aside, will be his tantrum in the first half against Coach Reid. I understand why he wasn't sat down, but I think many feel that would have been appropriate. Was it just his passion showing through, or should he have been invited to shower early?

In a Super Bowl? With a future HOFer? C'mon. You deal with whatever discipline is necessary at another time. This wasn't Week X of the regular season.

Bret from Hertel, WI

Dear Wes, thank you for the great story on Tom Grossi, NFL Fan of the Year. He makes you excited to be a Packers Fan. I visited with him at training camp last year. Several around me asked who he was, but know the world will know Tom. It is very special to have him represent the Packers, especially all the donations to different charities.

The story link is in Bret's submission above. Be sure to check it out if you haven't already. And don't miss this video of the commish in Wes’s presence.

Daniel from Allerod, Denmark

So pleased with Peppers' HOF induction. He was a great player and such a gracious class act here. Do the Packers intend to put his name on the Lambeau façade or was his stint here too short?

Three years (out of 17), with only one Pro Bowl selection here, is not enough. It's a curious question whether the Bears will "claim" Peppers as one of theirs, along with the Panthers of course. He played only four years in Chicago, but earned two All-Pro selections (one first, one second) and three Pro Bowls, so I could see that. With the Bears getting Hester and McMichael in, they're at 32 inductees to the Packers' 28 in Canton now, even without Peppers. The chase continues.

Ken from Blue Mounds, WI

II, with the players having their marching orders after the season ends, "notes on what individual players need to work on in the offseason were passed along during final interviews," is there any exception for a new coordinator to have contact with the players, or does he just look at film and make notes for his eventual meeting of the players?

They can have get-to-know-you chats, as far as I'm aware, but the conversations can't turn into coaching sessions where the coach is suggesting "work on this … check in with me," etc.

Dave from Comer, GA

We're going from a 3-4 to a 4-3. OMG! Who cares. Just get off the blocker, tackle the runner, force the turnover … just beat the guy across from you. If you do that you could run Vic's 0-0-11 scheme and still win.


Scott from Sussex, WI

I read that Mike Daniels is part of the search committee for the next Packers CEO. Is this the same Mike Daniels that used to blow up opposing guards for the Packers? Though he was but little, he was fierce.

No. There is a Michael E. Daniels, who is not the former player, on the board of directors.

Mark from Sheboygan, WI

ATMR (wcbw). I'm still confused what this is supposed to be shorthand for (and I guarantee I'm not alone). Please help! Thanks.

It's the phrase and corresponding caveat I came up with on a whim and use rather frequently now: According to my research (which could be wrong) …

Joe from Dartford, UK

Following on from the question submitted by Joe from Hampshire regarding non-playoff teams making the Super Bowl the following year, I assume it is less common for a team to get to the Super Bowl and then miss the playoffs in the next year. Do you have any statistics on that? Thanks for your hard work to keep us entertained.

ATMR (wcbw), it happens more often than you think. Dating back to 1990, when six teams from each conference began qualifying for the postseason (now seven), I found 23 Super Bowl participants who failed to make the playoffs the following year. That's out of 68, so roughly one-third. Four times, both teams missed – the '99 Broncos/Falcons, '02 Patriots/Rams, '03 Buccaneers/Raiders, and '16 Broncos/Panthers. In fact, for nine straight years, from 2001-09, at least one Super Bowl participant missed the playoffs the next year. Most recently, the Niners in '20 and the Rams in both '19 and '22 missed out. The most frequent culprits in this time frame? The Giants ('91, '01, '12) and Broncos ('90, '99, '16), three times each.

Tim from Charlotte, NC

OK, I'll bite Mike – 42 stadiums (currently) = 29 current stadiums (without SoFi) + The Murph and soccer stad. for SD, Oakland Col., (Dallas), ATL's old dome, Metrodome + UMinn for Minn., STL dome, Europe 2022, U of I (Bears), RCA Dome (Indy), Candlestick (SF), and LA Coliseum (Rams). And, SoFi makes 43. How'd I do?

Not bad, but I didn't cover that Packers-Bears game in Champaign, Ill. (before my time here), nor did I catch a game at Indy's RCA Dome (though I did cover a scouting combine there). The old Meadowlands and the 80-yard field in Winnipeg replace those two and you've got my list.

Estillac from Belem, Brazil

Mike said that the SoFi Stadium will be the 43rd different one in which he's covered an NFL game. Well, I can't help saying that I hope it'll be the 44th one. It'd be great to have the Packers and you two coming to Brazil in September! And if that's really the case, I hope I can be there in São Paulo too!

We shall see. I updated my passport last year, and after Wes's little stunt now I'm wondering if I should've waited so it would've been on the house.

Joe from Hampshire, IL

I hope Wes is not in concussion protocol after busting through the walls in his house. At the NFL combine, are GMs/personnel staff allowed to talk to player agents about potential trades and FA signings? Also do you have a favorite personal combine story of meeting someone famous there?

Discussions with agents are a regular part of the behind-the-scenes Indy action. Goes on all the time. I don't know if I've actually "met" anyone in Indy, but you constantly see familiar NFL faces in every hallway and around every corner. It gets a little weird, to be honest.

Steve from Beaver Dam, WI

I think the main reason for the mandatory retirement for board members is to force the organization to bring in fresh people and ideas, which is a good thing for the team. My question is, when Murphy retires, is the same organization structure he implemented with the coach and GM reporting directly to him still going to apply, or will the Packers go back to a more traditional structure with the coach answering to the GM?

Good question. That'll be up to the new head honcho.

Ross from Hudson, WI

What are the odds the Packers don't draft a wide receiver this year and soldier on with the current "brat pack" of pass catchers rostered?

The chances are pretty decent, and for all those weighing in on the "No. 1 WR" topic, here's my take: It's a fantasy football question, not a question that concerns anyone inside the walls at 1265.

John from Brandon, SD

Guys, regardless of how often AR might have changed ML's play calls at the line of scrimmage, does anyone really think he did that with the same frequency he did his first year as a starting QB? Of course not! Here's hoping JL is around long for many years and savvy enough to have the confidence and support to do the same!


Glen from Leesburg, VA

Close the books on the season. Everyone is 0-0. The future is now and I think this team truly believes that. It's going to be a lot of fun seeing this young team play the next several years.

You may not have as much fun dealing with me for the next few days, but Wes is out this week so talk to you tomorrow. Happy Tuesday.

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