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Inbox: Nothing was strung together

All is never lost, not in September


Nate from Amherst, WI

Well, that wasn't much fun.

Something tells me this won't be either.

Lauren from Tampa Bay, FL

Hey Spoff and Wes, this game was such a cluster all over the board. What's your take on the game overall?

The Packers had numerous chances to snag the momentum and give themselves a chance to win. The dropped passes and penalties were killers, but it's also about seizing the moment. When the defense gets a pick, the offense needs to capitalize. When special teams pins the opponent on the 2-yard line, the defense needs to do its part. When the offense hits a 64-yard touchdown, … you get the idea, and that was just in the first half. It's like a baseball lineup that needs to string hits together, not spread them out. Everything the Packers did well was spread out. Nothing was strung together, and that's the end result.

Jeremiah from Madison, WI

In before the game ends: Looks like you called it for the tie this week. Saints-Falcons.


Steve from Lake Stevens, WA

I've heard "not ready," I've heard "lacking focus," I've heard "looking ahead." One pundit even suggested the Packers and Vikings were tired from having to play an overtime game. None of that seems rational to me. What is your take on why both Green Bay and Minnesota laid eggs against teams they should have been able to beat and neither was really ever in the game?

It's the NFL. Rationality is in short supply when the difference in talent is so minimal. Especially early in the season, when good days and bad days are common everywhere. When teams don't play well, they lick their wounds and come back next week. All is never lost, not in September. Just ask Buffalo. Or Detroit.

Chad from Waukesha, WI

A couple obvious questions but I will stick with one topic. Despite the rain, which one of you pranksters greased up the footballs? Drops happen but that game really proved timing is everything.

It's especially disappointing when veterans don't come through in the moments they're expected to. I fully anticipate them atoning sooner than later, but when proven players have bad days, I think it's tougher on everybody.

Stephen from Cottage Grove, WI

I think what bugs me most about the roughing-the-passer penalties is always the phrase "looking to take those hits out of the game." Again the hit was not vicious and Clay appeared to make every attempt to hit cleanly and without injury. So it bugs me it's in the same category as spearing the quarterback and breaking ribs or knees. Granted not the same impact in the game as last week, but still.

Couldn't agree with you more. There's an argument to be made the way Payne sacked Rodgers is what they're trying to eliminate, but the referee can't flag what he doesn't see through the pile of bodies. We got to hear Rodgers' brief conversation with the referee when he left his mic on during a TV timeout. I won't get on my replay soapbox again. Rules can look great on paper, but practical application needs to be a larger part of the discussion, obviously. A lot of readers are harping on the "unnecessary" part of these calls getting lost. I agree with that as well.

Brian from Newark, VT

View from Packer Mountain: First, thank you all for the rally in Arlington. It was a pleasure to meet you. Second, I'm glad nothing is decided in September. Third, in the spirit of levity, do you think Clay will set the NFL record for most sacks in a season that don't count? Fourth, why would McCarthy go for a 60-yard FG and not a Hail Mary at the end of the half?

You're welcome. Nothing ever is. He's had four RTP calls in the first nine years of his career, and now three in three weeks, which obviously says a lot. I'm guessing Rodgers' lack of mobility was a factor in that decision, not wanting to expose him to a potentially big hit given what it takes to set up a Hail Mary, and Crosby was drilling a ton of long-distance kicks in warmups. It's too bad he didn't get the shot.

John from Wayzata, MN

Last week, I was impressed by the composure Clay Matthews and Coach McCarthy showed in the face of the horrendous officiating. Now, I've officially switched to being disappointed by it. It's now abundantly clear that the league won't fix this until a player or coach takes matters into their own hands with the officials, fines or suspensions be damned.

It wouldn't do an ounce of good, and I don't expect any in-season changes.

Mike from Mason City, IA

We really need a healthy Kevin King and Josh Jones, don't we?

The Packers are certainly better with King, but his absence still shouldn't produce that first half. I'm waiting to find out what role Pettine has in mind for Jones. I just don't know.

Travis from Bruce, SD

I feel sorry for you for more questions on another terrible call on Clay. The footage speaks for itself. Anyways, looks like the run game was going alright till the Pack fell in a hole, huh?

The Packers have an opportunity to find a productive balance on offense with the running backs they have. Jones can be really special in my opinion. Rodgers continues to say the offense is a work in progress. If they keep progressing toward balance, I like where it's headed.

Jay from Land O'Lakes, FL

Guys, the trend is not the Packers' friend. Heroic win, heroic tie, terrible loss. You say?

I say 13 games remain, at least.

Allen from Zephyrhills, FL

Perhaps a different take on the roughing calls. The NFL has now demonstrated that full-speed form tackles are no longer allowed. I think it's time for McCarthy and Matthews to recognize this and adjust accordingly. The grace period is up.

Indeed it is. As Dustin from Onalaska, WI, also said, "Adapt or die." I say bear hug and hold on for dear life.

Green Bay and Washington squared off at FedExField in a week 3 matchup

Todd from Carson City, NV

The review of Peterson's touchdown was extremely frustrating. If the live-action refs had a 60 percent level of confidence that Peterson scored, then they rightly called it a touchdown. But, if the review officials had a 90 percent confidence level that he did not score, then they should overturn it. Why does the review have to be 100 percent conclusive? Live-action refs make judgment calls, shouldn't review officials be able to exercise judgment as well?

You're trying to make too much sense. Don't hurt yourself. The system is flawed, we all know that. Yet another flaw is that if this had been FOX's No. 1 crew, the suspended camera from above would have provided the definitive view. Not all games are officiated equally.

Daniel from Delta, PA

Well, we kept pace with the Vikings. Hell of a game by the Redskins and A.D. still got it. With that said, I think they beat themselves. I don't agree with Matthews RTP or Alexander's PI calls, but costly drops and penalties at crucial moments kept the momentum in the 'Skins favor. To go along with your article about past Washington games, I do feel this was a "needed" L to get GB focused and clean up certain aspects of their play for the rest of the season, wouldn't you agree? On to the Bills.

I'm not a fan of saying a loss is ever needed, but it's what you do with it that matters. We'll find out.

Philip from Ashland, WI

Spoff, looks like converting Wes to a Seinfeld fan is complete. Do you think he comes by his opinion of JK Scott's leg honestly, or did he stumble into Scott in the sauna?

Oh my.

Rick from Pacifica, CA

Not a question, just a comment on the Newseum in D.C. My wife and I took a redeye to D.C. the night they got Osama Bid Laden. We arrived too early to check in at the hotel and decided to drive to the Newseum as our first stop. They have the newsboxes from all over the world in front. Before we even got in the door we went headline to headline from papers all over the world, it was amazing. Until we walked up we had no idea anything had happened. Great start to an awesome trip.

I visited the Newseum when we came to D.C. last summer for a preseason game. Well worth it, whatever the news of the day is.

Donald from Rochester, MN

Hey Insiders, with all the suggestions about reviewing plays inside the two-minute mark, what happens if the play starts at 2:02 left but ends inside the two-minute mark?

When the play ends determines whether it falls under the category of booth review or challenge. If it ends right at 2:00, I believe it must be challenged.

Zach from Fort Wayne, IN

Did you ever see this week's training video from the league that includes the Clay Matthews hit and why exactly it is a penalty? If you guys mentioned it, I missed it.

The officiating video distributed to the media did not include the Matthews play, the Kendricks one, nor anything about roughing the passer. Unless there's another "teaching tape" that's circulated to the teams, the report on the inclusion of the Matthews play was apparently misguided.

Eric from Oakland, CA

Guys, why no love for JK Scott? His first games have been epic.

I **posted this story** last Thursday. Please don't think just because something isn't highlighted in the Inbox that we're not paying attention.

John from Simi Valley, CA

"They practice in Green Bay before heading to the airport." A follow-up question: When the Packers play a team on the West Coast, surely they do not wait until Saturday to flight out there? When do they usually fly and where do they practice when they are in LA, SF or Seattle?

McCarthy has done it different ways throughout his tenure. Most of the time, the team still travels the day before. Occasionally for a West Coast trip, Friday has been travel day, with the final practice at a local college or high school.

Jake from St. Clair Shores, MI

Multiple drops, 11 penalties, poor tackling, coverage issues, missed throws, no pass rush, significant injuries. I'm not disappointed, I'm mad.

That's a crowded place to be today.

Keith from Lincoln, IL

Agree or disagree? Outside forces will not kill professional football; the NFL will kill its own game.

They're trying to save it, but they're going about it in a very sloppy and frustrating way. A whole lot about that game was sloppy and frustrating that had nothing to do with the officials. Maybe the fans can perseverate on this topic, but the Packers can't. The team that just kicked your division rival's rear is up in six days.

Ryan from Plymouth, MN

Whether you think the roughing calls are fair or not, I think the irony of the situation through three weeks is that the league changed a rule and created the emphasis to prevent star QBs from missing games with injuries, but the hit that almost ended Rodgers' season wasn't flagged, and none of the QBs that Clay was flagged for hitting missed a snap or even looked shaken up. Meanwhile, Jimmy Garoppolo goes down with a knee injury on a non-contact play. What do you think?

I think my brain hurts.

Randy from Raymond, IA

So, what are you predicting? Will the sun come up tomorrow?

I am. Happy Monday.