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Inbox: One win can go a long way in the NFL

The Packers have to believe in their mantra


Paul from Farnborough, UK

Dear Wes/Spoff, couldn't we ask the network to re-run last season's game with the Vikes at Lambeau and hope nobody notices?


Scott from Holly Springs, NC

What do the Packers need to turn the season around?

Win. I've said it numerous times already but I'm telling you one win can go a long way in the NFL. Just ask the Minnesota Vikings. Their season was on the brink six days ago but a win over the San Francisco changed everything. Look at "run the table" in 2016 or the four-game win streak the Packers got on last year after that win in Chicago. There's magic in victory.

Bob from Rome, NY

Gentleman: With this Sunday being the first home game in a while, I am concerned that if the first two offensive drives are three-and-out, the crowd murmurs or worse will start. Your thoughts? Thank you.

I'm not worried about reactions. My primary concern is the Packers getting back to playing their brand of football from the jump. All gas, no brakes, right? The Packers have to believe in their mantra. Last week, it seemed Green Bay was trying to be too perfect on the opening possession. Identify what you do well with what you have…and do that. That's how this football team went 13-3 in 2019.

Mike from San Francisco, CA

The offense seems to get going when Love can use his feet to make plays. We learned from him stiff-arming Maxx Crosby that he has no fear of defenders. Do you see the Packers using more designed QB run plays to get things going?

I don't see the Packers drawing up run plays specifically for Love, but it's possible they get him out of pocket more. To my eye, this offense has been its most consistent when it runs the ball effectively and gets the play pass going. I think Pro Football Focus had a stat that Jordan Love was 9-for-9 for 90 yards and two touchdowns on play-action passes in Denver.

Roger from Lakewood Ranch, FL

Good morning, Wes. I see that Jaire Alexander was listed as limited on Wednesday and then listed as DNP on Thursday. Did he have a setback or was he given a rest day? Sure hope he can play on Sunday.

The Packers gave him a day to rest and recover in lieu of Thursday's padded practice. Alexander went into greater detail on Friday regarding his back. The injury stemmed from an accidental collison in practice last month. He's feeling better but it's just something he's going to have to manage for the foreseeable future.

Matt from Middleton, WI

Everyone is worried about the blitz. How many of the top blitzing teams have a winning record?

Per StatHead, the Vikings lead the NFL with 150 blitzes through seven games. Only New England (108) and Jacksonville (103) have topped 100. Four of the top 10 blitzing teams are above .500: the Jaguars (5-2, third), Kansas City (6-1, fifth with 95), Pittsburgh (4-2, seventh with 92), and Baltimore (eighth with 82). The Vikings are throwing the kitchen sink at teams. The Packers have to be ready to dodge.

Ray from Phoenix, AZ

Do you anticipate more two-back sets since the Vikings blitz so much.?

*Mayhap. If Aaron Jones can play more this week, I'm sure we'll see more of the "Pony" package. Either way, the backfield's pass pro will be tested against this front. *

Bob from Emmaus, PA

Good morning II. It seems that our opponents may have played their best games against the Packers. Is this the result of the high potential of the Packers or are teams settling in after uncertainty during the first games of the season? The "dominant" teams have not looked as dominant in the last couple of weeks. Hopefully, the game against the Vikings will be an opportunity for the Packers to settle in and play a complete game. GPG

This game is all about explosive gains and takeaways. The teams on an uptick are doing that. Unfortunately for the Packers, they haven't "won" those two categories during this three-game skid and their record reflects that.

Joe from Fargo, ND

In regard to the question about Sean Clifford possibly replacing Jordan Love because of what he did in the preseason, I'd like to remind the readers of Brett Hundley. He excelled in the preseason, and we actually had people in the Inbox wondering if we could get a first-round pick for him based on how he played. Clifford played well in the preseason, but the preseason and regular season are two different animals. Jordan Love needs to play every down he can this season.

Jordan Love is the Packers' starting quarterback. Sean Clifford is the Packers' backup quarterback. I don't mean to be trite, but it's the truth.



AND THE INBOX LOVES YOU, RICK! Fundamentals. Everything is fundamentals. There's so much more that goes into delivering a pass than just the throw. Timing and footwork are just as integral to having success downfield. Jordan Love has the arm to make every throw. The next step is tying it all together on a consistent basis.

Craig from Sussex, WI

A lot of people are complaining that the Packers should have drafted differently in 2020. If you look closely, you will see that there weren't any phenomenal, generational players chosen when the Packers' picks came up. I just think it was a weak draft after Justin Jefferson was chosen. Maybe Jordan Love isn't the guy (maybe he is), we should know after this year, but we wouldn't be the first team to strike out with a first-round QB draft choice.

Fans can feel however they wish to feel, but I'd personally take the Packers' circumstances over the situation in many other NFL cities. Green Bay has a young quarterback, a healing salary cap and endless potential.

John from El Dorado Hills, CA

Much is made of the Packers being a young team, learning together and growing together as a team. But, in today's NFL with the length of rookie contracts in the four/five-year range, how effective is this approach? If it takes at least a couple of seasons for a team to gel then there is precious little time left for them to play together before many players sign with other teams primarily due to salary-cap restraints. Please tell me which piece(s) of the puzzle I'm missing.

For sure. The window is narrow to win with stars on rookie contracts. Where the Packers differ from a lot of teams in the NFL is they don't have a lot of established veterans who are healthy and playing. I counted seven players who are on multi-year, unrestricted free-agent contracts (Jones, Kenny Clark, Alexander, De'Vondre Campbell, Rasul Douglas, Elgton Jenkins and Preston Smith).

Tom from Vista, CA

I was watching the three of you – to be sesquipedalian – on "Three Things." Whoever was running the camera just had "the finger" perfectly highlighted in the frame. Not that I wouldn't be any less concerned about our first-half performances this season than anyone else but Larry pointing out that the Packers have not fumbled once this season absolutely astounded me. Thank you for pointing that out albeit in an angular manner!

Nobody parties with numbers quite like Larry. It was a very perceptive observation. Hopefully, the Packers continue that trend while punching the ball out a couple times on the opposite end of the equation.

Nate from Jackson, WI

With hindsight being clear, can we criticize Gutey for passing on Makea Nacua twice, drafting Sean Clifford and Dontayvion Wicks instead? Although, I think Wicks is our best WR right now, he can't get any snaps, but that's a question for another day… Go Pack…

A lot going on here, Nate, but the answer to your question is no, you cannot criticize an NFL general manager for passing on a fifth-round pick that the rest of the league's general managers also passed on three to five times. Kudos to Les Snead and the Rams, though.

Carolyn from Greenlawn, NY

Prior to the start of the season, I was confident that we'd be competitive in each and every game. That confidence has shifted to hope. Too dramatic?

Not to be a stickler but they have been competitive in every game. They just haven't won enough of them.

Donny from Green Bay, WI

With the Bucks debuting Damian Lillard and instituting him as the closer, is the NFL equivalent a stud receiver or pass rusher?

Whatever it was that Za'Darius Smith was doing in 2019.

Jack from Chicago, IL

I know this is pretty late, but I noticed during the Raiders game that Greg Van Roten is still in the NFL. Disappointed that you all failed to mention such a key connection when discussing all of the overlapping players between the two rosters…

You're right, Jack. It is pretty late.

Kyle from Saint Charles, MO

Without intending to do any additional salt rubbing, Mike mentioned 2011 Cards and I perked up a bit. One of the most memorable and craziest last two months of sports I've witnessed. The World Series stat about your Brew Crew was pretty crazy. If Milwaukee ever were to make it to the last series, I could see myself pulling for another NL Central WS championship. Something I could not bring myself to do in 2016.

The 2011 playoffs broke me. Maybe I have weak constitution but the Brewers losing to Tony LaRussa quite literally knocked the fandom out of me.

Dennis from De Pere, WI

Zak from Huntington Beach used the words sesquipedalian and verbose to describe the playbook. Isn't using both of those words superfluous and redundant?


Derek from Eau Claire, WI

Two roads diverged in a green and gold woods,
The path to victory so far less travelled.
As the winter air descends,
Fully embrace the Frost.

With temperatures hovering in the 30s on Sunday, we finally found ourselves some dang football weather.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

The season opened with so many questions to be answered
Now a frustrating month brings more questions and more injuries
And a homecoming against a rising border rival
The heroes and legends aren't walking through the doors to right the ship
Those must be found within
Find your path, Green and Gold

It feels good to be home. Hopefully, the Packers can find their path at Lambeau. Enjoy the game, everyone.

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