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Inbox: Pretty typical NFL Sunday

It’s part of the game within the game


Dylan from Bozeman, MT

Tell me something good. Sports get to me sometimes. Love my Crew.

This isn't 2011. We all knew then Fielder and Greinke weren't long for Milwaukee at that point, and the team still needed a shortstop. This is different. I truly believe that.

Jeff from Cedarburg, WI

Spoff, what are the keys to beating the Rams? I do believe our offense can keep pace, but I feel ball security will really make the difference here. If the Packers take care of the ball and maybe get one themselves, we should be okay. We've also talked about the two-minute offense being very effective, but in this game I feel like we will try to sustain longer drives and keep the high-powered Rams offense off the field. Quick slants and screen passes to keep the defensive front off-balance.

The Packers don't want to get into a shootout with the Rams. They'll need to win the battle of explosive plays while maintaining some ball control as well. That may not be an easy balance to find. Winning the turnover battle is an absolute must. It's going to take the Packers' best performance of 2018 so far.

Chris from Atlanta, GA

Considering pass rush to be a big need for the defense, do you see Gute making a trade for some help this year? There are actually some very reasonably priced guys on losing teams that might possibly be pried away from their current teams. Two guys that come to mind are Jerry Hughes in Buffalo and Chandler Jones in Arizona, with Hughes having put up 13 sacks in 2013 in Pettine's defensive scheme. Would it be worth it to trade a 3 or 4 for either of these guys in your opinion?

I think it would be, but I'm not sure the price tag on either of those players will be that low. Gutekunst has shown he'll explore all avenues of player acquisition. That'll be the case here as well, but it could come down to price.

Jordan from Sturgeon Bay, WI

After watching a lot of non-Packer football during this bye week, I have concluded our defense doesn't look much different than anyone else's. Offenses with good QBs are gonna score in today's NFL. We need our offense to score more than theirs, and a couple of turnovers here and there would be neat as well.

If you can limit the number of big plays allowed on defense, you give yourself a chance to hold teams to field goals a couple of times. If your offense is keeping up reasonably well, that ends up being the difference in these games.

Curt from Oronoco, MN

If I only had a dollar for every time someone brought up statistical regression in the Inbox...

Maybe I could afford to welcome back Wes with a PSL.

Jeff from Placitas, NM

I have to reply to Ben from Del Rey. He can't cite regression towards the mean until he has defined that mean mathematically. He seems to be implying over time the Packers will not win close games because those wins are outliers, and the Packers' performance will ultimately drift towards a loss as weighted by their average performance. On average, however, the Packers win these close games. In fact if averages hold, the Pack will reach 10 wins this season, and six will be fourth-quarter wins.

All I know is 10 wins is the target, the Packers have three, and they have to get to four before they can get to five.

Bob from Sydney, Australia

Gents, Coach says he wants to run it more, but it feels like he says that most weeks in good times and bad. Is that line coach-speak for the fact that he'd rather the team be playing in front or not too far behind, or does it mean he is trying to find more ways to keep the ball on the ground no matter the game scenario?

Some of both. The Packers won't be able to afford multi-score deficits in the coming weeks, in my opinion. Not against these opponents. The flow of the game dictates how open the call sheet is.

Take a look at photos of Lambeau Field through the first half of the Packers' 2018 season.

George from North Mankato, MN

What percentage of the Coliseum will be wearing green and gold? Having lived in San Diego, it was always fun to see Lambeau West when the Pack played in SoCal!

This game has been pegged for a while as one Packers fans will attend. I'm very curious to see what the crowd mix is. But this game wouldn't be much easier if it were taking place in the actual Lambeau. You don't have to watch much film of the Rams to know what you're in for.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Sunday was another high drama day in the NFL. Missed PAT, near Hail Mary, 59-yard game-winning FG, 52-yarder off the pipe, etc. I missed seeing our Pack in action, but the drama was quite entertaining. Those predicting the demise of the NFL may want to reconsider their stance. What was your impression of the day?

Pretty typical NFL Sunday. The number of bold decisions by coaches really stood out. Teams went for it on a lot of fourth downs, from what I saw. Tennessee's call to go for two and the win in London. The 59-yard field goal might have been the boldest decision of all, with nearly two minutes still on the clock. A miss would have given Mayfield the ball at midfield. They're called gambles for a reason.

Cris from Sachse, TX

Who is going to block Aaron Donald?

I doubt just one guy.

Tyer from Fargo, ND

We know the controversies of the new roughing the passer rules all too well. However, what are your thoughts on the successes and failures of the other new or modified rules such as the ones for catches and kickoffs?

Catch-rule controversies seem to be down, but it's still early. There's still bound to be one that puts the issue back in the headlines. It looks like the new kickoff rules have worked out. There are definitely more returns and it remains an exciting play, but when the injury data is studied in the offseason, that'll determine whether the goals were truly achieved.

Kevin from Asbury Park, NJ

Watching the Chiefs and the Rams yesterday it's obvious the best way to build a team is to stack great players, offense and defense, around a good young QB who is making almost no money against the cap. How can a team with a highly paid veteran QB (even if it is Rodgers) compete with that?

Protect the football and take it away. It starts there. If you aren't doing that you aren't going to win enough anyway.

Marin from West Lawn, PA

What exactly is the NFL rule regarding televising overtime games to out-of-market regions? Seems every time Fox is showing an OT game, they have to eventually cut away, citing this rule. It's very frustrating not seeing a game to its conclusion!

My understanding is as soon as 3:25 p.m. CT hits, the primary game in that time slot gets an exclusive audience, so the networks have to cut away from any "bonus coverage" at that moment. Only if your local game is still going can it be shown on top of the 3:25 p.m. "national" game.

Lori from Brookfield, WI

Does it seem like 2018 ball-carriers are doing more spin moves and high hurdling than in the past?

The hurdling is getting out of control. Someone is going to pay the price with his career if this keeps up, and I'm not just talking about the ball-carrier. Nick Collins' career ended when he was being hurdled. Freak accident, yes, but aren't they all?

Margo from Solvang, CA

Multiple Margos indeed! The attendance sheet at the recently convened meeting of "Margo on the Run" showed just one Margo. "I don't know" of any others who contribute to the Inbox. And while the vagabond theory is intriguing, the actual story is that I used to live in Bloomington, IL, but recently retired and moved to Solvang, CA. Happy to clear that up!

Much appreciated.

Steve from Cedar Falls, IA

I was talking to a friend that played defense in college and he told of a top rusher that had a tell. If not in the play or going straight ahead his toes were straight ahead in his stance. If getting the ball and going right or left would have his foot pointed in that direction. The defense was coached to sell out in that direction. He had a miserable day and his team took the loss. My question is do the position coaches look for tells such as this on opposing teams and even our own players?

All the time. The players themselves do, too. It's part of the game within the game.

Dana from Reno, NV

Do you think Adams and Lancaster are enough to rotate effectively and keep Clark, Daniels, and Lowry refreshed enough to be effective?

I think they're going to have to be. Clark's workload is the one that concerns me. I know he's young, but it's hard to imagine him keeping up this pace the rest of the way with no more bye weeks.

Kristen from Surprise, AZ

I'm admittedly nervous for Sunday. What do we need to do to beat the Rams?

In addition to what's already been mentioned, tackling well will go a long way. It's the first step to preventing simple plays from rupturing into big ones.

Jim from Prairie du Chien, WI

A plaque in the Packer Hall of Fame states that Willie Wood (at 5-10 tall) could touch the crossbar of the goal post (10 feet) with his elbow. Have you heard of anyone close to matching this and which current Packer has the best vertical leap?

It has to be Davante Adams. I can flip a bunch of quarters off my elbow. Is there a plaque for that?

Brett from Gulfport, MS

I'm hearing from other fans and writers how Jimmy Graham has lost a step, and they point to his long reception in Monday's game to prove it. But I wanted to share some perspective. After re-watching, you'll notice the DB No. 20, Jimmie Ward, catches up to him. But he's a first-round safety that ran a 4.47 at his pro day. Meanwhile, No. 48 third-round linebacker Fred Warner, who ran a 4.64 at the combine, has no chance. You can't put a linebacker on him.

Graham hadn't had a reception of 50-plus yards in something like five years. The Packers should be getting the veteran gang back together at receiver now. Let's see where the offense goes from here.

Zach from Delavan, WI

Well, it was an exciting month with the Brew Crew. I got to get my old T-shirt with Bernie Brewer holding a keg that said "12 in a row" back out. Was extremely entertained by the drama. Players and management deserve much commendation on a well-fought October. How are you guys holding up after Game 7?

The disappointment is tough, because there are no guarantees they'll get back to that point for another shot. I do think this team is built to contend for a while, but in a division with the Cubs and Cards, nothing will be given to them. It was such a fun group to watch, no one wanted it to end. I guess that's the hardest thing. I don't want to wait almost six months to see this team play again.