Skip to main content
Powered by

Inbox: That's all you can do

Christian Watson’s deserving of all the opportunities coming to him

Packers' defense
Packers' defense

Jake from Madison, WI

Is it just me or did that loss feel different than the rest? I can't quite put my finger on it, but something felt…amiss.

This week was a rollercoaster of emotions. For players, coaches, and fans, it's difficult to go from an uplifting overtime triumph on Sunday to another defeat four days later. I said on "Packers Unscripted" going into the Detroit game that Green Bay could turn around the complexion of its season in a span of 11 days. Instead, the Packers went 1-2 and here we are.

Chuck from Sun Prairie, WI

The Titans handled the short week and the cold better than we did. They controlled the line of scrimmage, time of possession and absolutely destroyed our defense on third down. Tennessee, with a hot QB and the pounding of a monster back, was the wrong team to be facing for a Thursday game. When our offense is one-dimensional, we're limited. On the bright side, Randall Cobb and Christian Watson showed how important they are in this offense, just not enough when we couldn't run the ball effectively.

I meant what I said on Thursday – willpower wins on Thursday nights and the Titans came ready to play. They did what they do with a Derrick Henry-heavy offensive game plan but also incorporated a few trick plays and wrinkles, too. Tennessee beat Green Bay in all three phases and the result was the result. There's no shame in losing to a team like that, but the Packers needed to get another one back to make up for their October doldrums, and they came up short.

Markus from Aurora, CO

Insiders, thanks for keeping us updated. I saw a lot of good stuff last night at TNF, but I also saw Aaron Rodgers trying too hard to get the big yardage when all we needed was three or four yards to get another first down. Then again, you're darned if you do, and you're darned if you don't. Off to the mini-bye.

Tennessee was a tough matchup for the Packers' run-oriented offense, but Green Bay still needed to execute better than it did. Both sides met the challenge of stopping the other's ground game, but the Titans were far superior with how they capitalized on downfield opportunities in the passing game. For the Packers, Thursday was a grind for yards as opposed to Sunday against Dallas when the offense looked more in sync.

Brett from Effingham, IL

Thanks for always informing, entertaining, and this year now comforting. So, what is happening? We hit your "keys" of stopping Derrick Henry, going 50% on third down, winning turnover margin – and still were completely outplayed/outcoached. What gives?

The Packers did a good job of stopping Henry before he could leak into the second level but still gave up way too many third-down conversions that allowed Tennessee to stay on the field. Ryan Tannehill deserves credit, too, for doing what it took with his arm to beat the Packers. As many Green Bay defenders said afterward, they thought they would've won that game if Henry is held to 3.1 yards per carry. But the explosive plays the Titans generated off breakdowns did the opposite.

Rob from Lennox, SD

II, in Aaron Rodgers' postgame press conference he states that they have to get "9" the ball more…would the reason they aren't be due to ML not calling more plays for him or "9" not being open? Thanks for all you do!

I don't think there was any hidden message there. Watson caught five of Green Bay's six touchdowns this week. He's deserving of all the opportunities coming to him.

Chad from Rhinelander, WI

Was it just me, or did there seem to be a lot of missed calls by the refs? The big hold/chokehold on Quay that opened the door for a big Tennessee gain immediately comes to mind...

As Rodgers alluded to after the game, Bill Vinovich's crew tends to swallow its whistles. Generally speaking, I'm usually OK with that in a league filled with over-officiating, but the Walker non-call was bad. These are the calls you gotta make because it changes the trajectory of the play.

Dave from Pasadena, MD

I think the frustration for me this year has been that we always seem to be one or two key plays away from victory. A muffed punt here, dropped pass there and now the season is on life support. We all know it's a game of the past those inches went our way and this year it seems they rarely do. This year for me it seems to come down to a lack of chemistry. I don't see the unifying voices in any phase that we have had in the past. Do you see this from your perspective?

The voices are largely the same, but this team just hasn't executed to the level it did during LaFleur's first three seasons. As you mentioned yourself, there has been a lack of consistency in all three phases. In this league, too much inconsistency often leads to losses. Period.

Jim from Phillips, WI

How come no one ever mentions our abysmal defensive schemes? It is like that subject is taboo on this site. Of course, the players have to execute, but it all starts at the top with coaching, and you know as well as I do there is a problem.

The Packers are 4-7, Jim. The coaches have said many times over that what they've put on the field this season hasn't been good enough. We are where we are and it is what it is.

Collin from Kirkwood, MO

I'll say it and I'll hope you'll print it. It was awfully disappointing to hear the booing at the game. Maybe worse than the loss itself. Sure, our fans pay good, hard-earned money for seats and they have a right to voice their opinion. If they're booing now at a four-time MVP and first-ballot HOFer, I can't imagine how they will feel when we have a problem at QB which is inevitable to come at some point.

Fans are frustrated. I get it. Trust me, everyone at 1265 is frustrated, too. But booing the team to the locker room when the Packers were down 14-6 and getting the ball after halftime was flat-out strange to me.

David from Red Lion, PA

Good morning, II! So, stop the run, but not the pass. Stop the pass, but not the run. As frustrating as this game was, there were plenty of moments to be optimistic about. Keisean Nixon seems to be a great fix for our return specialist, we saw some more promise from Christian Watson and our offensive line is playing markedly improved. But, with the errant and inconsistent throws from No. 12, is there a point where we put him on IR for his thumb and start Jordan Love?

I have no idea how much discomfort Rodgers is feeling with the thumb. We're all reading tea leaves in that regard. But any decision that would result in Rodgers missing games would be up to him and the organization. LaFleur said again on Friday he believes Rodgers can play through it.

Donald from Tomball, TX

I didn't see this question asked, but when the Titans QB was walking away from center and the ball was snapped to the running back, why wasn't that a motion penalty? I thought everyone had to be set for at least 1 second.

They were set. Offenses are free to motion pre-snap as long as only one player is moving, laterally or backward, at the snap. I don't think the Packers were fooled at all, though. It's just that hard to stop Henry when all he needs is one yard.

Dave from Lake Zurich, IL

Why wasn't Ramiz Ahmed active to handle kickoff duties? Mason Crosby can't get the ball into the end zone. One Tennessee drive started at the 40.

The Packers and Crosby must have felt his back was OK. Although having 48 players active sounds like a lot to the average fan, it's really not. Green Bay needs those extra spots for coverage players on special teams. Only three guys who dressed didn't play: Jordan Love, Zach Tom and Sean Rhyan. And you're required to have eight O-linemen up to have 48 active.

Christopher from Gallatin, TN

So, I think everyone from Mark Murphy down to the intern posting articles for click-bait sites knows we haven't been able to play complementary football. Question is, how do you change that? Can't see it being something that is practiced and can't really see it being coached. Does it come down to calling high-percentage plays that can be executed at the right time, or is it just an observation that explains bad performance?

The biggest thing is capitalizing on the opponent's mistakes. The Packers just haven't done enough of that this season, whether it's an explosive play or a takeaway. I felt like Keisean Nixon's 24-yard punt return was a good example of that Thursday. The Packers get their longest punt return of the season, start at the Tennessee 44, and the offense goes four-and-out. Green Bay had all the instruments this season but has struggled to play in concert with one another.

Randy from Arcola, IN

On the bright side, there were no fumbled punts or returns...How many touchdowns did Davante Adams have his rookie season? Watson and Quay Walker have proved that our draft picks this year were spot-on.

Adams only had four touchdown receptions in his first two NFL seasons combined. That's how special Watson's week was.

Marcus from Broomfield, CO

I'm trying to decide if what I'm feeling is more consternation, befuddlement, or obfuscation. I could also make an argument for inveigled. What direction do you lean?

Slap whatever word you want on it. It's all disappointing.

The Green Bay Packers unveiled LeRoy Butler's name on the Lambeau Field façade in honor of his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction during halftime of the Week 11 Tennessee Titans game.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

If the Packers have enough talent, what don't they have enough of?

Wins, Paul.

Andrew from Minneapolis, MN

How are y'all holding up? I want to say thanks for the II and keep up the good work. I'm making the choice to be thankful for the Packers. I thought Quay Walker and Preston Smith were a dominant duo Thursday and that was really encouraging moving forward. The Packers are our team, and that is awesome. New life is springing up from the ashes and we can all focus on that and let the negativity quiet.

We're doing fine. It would've been great to go into the extended break (and Philly) with a little positivity and momentum, but it takes a lot to put away a team like the Titans. This season has been a reminder of how difficult it is to win the NFL.

Bill from Mequon, WI

How to inflict cruel and unusual punishment, schedule a Milwaukee ticket game for a Thursday night in mid-November with work/school on the next day. Fortunately, the weather was not that bad, but having to take off early to make the kickoff and not getting home until after midnight is a problem. No wonder many fans left early.

Yeah, it's always home games No. 2 and 5 during the regular season. Those are just the breaks. I hope everyone made it home safely.

Paul from Gorham, ME

Good morning, I thought I'd pause with this comment until today. How about that doink off the upright? The broadcast captured great audio on that, but c'mon, I know these Inbox readers were thinking one word: lasers.

Is it just me or was that like the slowest-developing extra-point kick in NFL history, too? It felt like Josh Lambo's attempt was in the air for 10 seconds.

Bret from Hertel, WI

Dear Wes, I had the privilege to be at the listening and question-and-answer session with Roger Goodell in 2015. He answered every question except if Joe Buck and Troy Aikman could be banned from doing Packer games. He even told us he would suspend Tom Brady for four games prior to issuing the punishment. My question was if he could make a team redo their field because it had turf problems that injured players. His answer was he could make a team do it immediately.

Oh, it's definitely doable. I just don't know the logistics of the league forcing ownership to do that. Goodell runs the NFL bingo, but he also works for the owners.

Greg from Downers Grove, IL

Unfortunately, our Packers are not where we want them to be. We have a challenging final six games. Hopefully, we can be competitive.

Six more games. Six more opportunities.

Nate from Edwards, CO

Does anyone remember Rodgers saying he doesn't want to be part of a rebuild? Where do we go from here?

The thing about the future is there's an infinite amount of time to discuss it. I ain't rushing to get there.

Joe from Wausau, WI

How's the knee, Wes?

MRIs came back negative. I'm getting better every day.

Kyle from Osceola, WI

Welp, as disappointing as Thursday night was, we Wisconsin deer hunters/Packer fans won't have to worry about watching any football this season until well after our hunting is over next Sunday afternoon. So, we've got that going for us. Which is nice.

Pa Hod will be out there in his blaze orange with you. Happy birthday to Pa Hod, by the way. Thank you for helping me adult and always being just a phone call away.

Aaron from Brooklyn, NY

No question today, I just wanted to share some perspective that I was provided this week. Yesterday morning almost 200 of my coworkers found out that they were losing their jobs. As fans, and particularly as owners, we get heavily invested in the team and it's understandable to be frustrated and upset with how they played. Remember this though, it's a very fortunate thing if the biggest problem in your life is how soft of a zone the Packers play.

Our thoughts to you and your coworkers, Aaron. Hang in there.

Al from Green Bay, WI

I'm often guilty of getting too emotionally involved with the happenings of the Green Bay Packers. I don't work for the team, so there's nothing I can do to help them succeed. I'm mindful that, as we approach Thanksgiving, we can't be derailed by the failures of our favorite team. Life is too short, and we all have so much for which to be thankful. Meanwhile, I'm thankful for Team Spoffkiewicz and their informative and rational reporting, consumed on a daily basis. Keep up the great work!

Win, lose or stalemate, we'll be here.

Bob from Houston, TX

As long as they're not mathematically eliminated, you keep playing to get in the playoffs, right?

That's all you can do. Have the best weekend you can, folks.

Insider Inbox

Insider Inbox

Join writers as they answer the fans' questions in Insider Inbox