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Inbox: That's how to finish off a gritty win

Just keep winning, plugging away, and trying to get healthy

DL Kenny Clark

Eric from Kenosha, WI

Mike to Wes's lunch: "I still own you."

Nicely done.

Anthony from Auburn, WA

Aaron Rodgers was a little fired up after his TD run, to say the least. I don't recall a time that he's voiced his "love" for the opposing teams' fans like he did today. The vibe on this team already feels a little different. They're not relying on Rodgers, Aaron Jones, or Davante Adams to always save the day. The defense played great today and Kenny Clark made his presence known when it counted most. The "next man up" mentality seems to have really helped this year's team gel and play together.

They've weathered an early storm of injuries and adversity. They've filed Week 1 into an ancient dust bin of history. They're surviving in the ultimate survival league, and there's still an awfully long way to go.

Douglas from Bemidji, MN

Did the Bears wear their white jerseys because a game at Soldier Field is basically a home game for Aaron Rodgers?

Easy on the chortling. I'm sure part of the Bears' thinking was to change things up considering the Packers' success in that stadium the past decade. Rodgers has won 10 of his last 11 there, and it's 11 of 12 including Hundley's win in 2017. That's rather insane when you think about it.

Chris from New Richmond, IN

How about the double-up on each side of halftime by the defense? We talk so much about offensive doubling up, but equally important for the D.

The Bears had an opportunity to get their lead back and the Packers stopped it both times. Then a score, and the Bears never got the ball back down just one score again. That's how to finish off a gritty win.

Dick from Albany, NY

I am always happy when we beat the Bears. But I can't help but worry about the slow start we had. Too slow. I know divisional games are always tougher than whatever the opponents' records show, but both the offense and the defense seemed overwhelmed from the get-go. First-world problems, I realize.

You said it yourself. The Packers beat a division rival on the road by 10 points. You take that anytime. The coaches put a lot of work into their game plans, but when things don't go right early, they have to decide what changes are necessary. LaFleur switched up the approach to the running game and the commitment to it paid off handsomely.

Josh from Adams, WI

It was incredible to see "Bojo" boom it 82 yards and still look disappointed about the touchback. He is the real deal! Who holds the Packers and NFL records for longest punts?

Yeah, the only thing that would have made that better is if the Packers somehow could have downed it in tight. Don Chandler has the franchise record for longest punt, at 90 yards, in 1965. The NFL record is 98 yards by the Jets' Steve O'Neal in 1969.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Let's flip the script on the red-zone defense discussion. Isn't it rather impressive that, through six games, opponents have only entered the red zone 15 times?

It is, and you'll take holding any opponent to 14 points in this league. I don't have an answer for the red-zone struggles. The Packers had the Bears in first-and-20 after a penalty and still couldn't hold them down there. That's troubling. But at the end of the day, the Packers will take what happened Sunday over stopping 40% of the red-zone tries when the opponent is 3-for-5.

Paul from De Pere, WI

Setting aside any injuries from Sunday, how many preferred starters are currently out for the Packers?

Before the Bears game, the list was David Bakhtiari, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Za'Darius Smith, Jaire Alexander and Kevin King. Then Josh Myers, Preston Smith and Darnell Savage also went down. It was good to hear LaFleur say he doesn't think Myers' injury is season-ending, because it didn't look good. The Packers are expecting to get Bakhtiari and MVS back pretty soon. No idea on anybody else at this point.

Steve from Marinette, WI

So was that No. 97 for the Packers getting key sacks at the end of the game or was it No. 92? Kenny Clark sure brought back fond memories of Reggie White at the end of game! Right when they needed it. What say you?

I love seeing Clark get rewarded for his unending hard work, which can be so thankless at times. He is a problem for any offense. I think LaFleur saying he was about to throw up when he saw Clark go down briefly says it all.

Scott from Norwalk, CT

So, Kenny Clark had as many sacks as Quinn and Mack combined? We got that going for us.

Jonathan Garvin almost had two as well. His second takedown of Fields was just across the line of scrimmage. Not a sack statistically, but it stopped the drive.

Colin from Appleton, WI

What was the best part about the win?

24 carries for 135 yards from Jones and AJ Dillon, a 5.6 average, including an explosive run by each (28 from Jones, 36 from Dillon). The Bears came in allowing 3.9 per carry on the ground. The Packers won that battle handily and it kept them in good shape all day.

Henry from Brown Deer, WI

Spoff, I was keeping an eye on the live blog and when you said it was fourth-and-26, I had immediate deja vu. It brought me back to Philadelphia, I was hoping you didn't jinx it. Not important because we got the W. Stay safe.

I intentionally gave the down-and-distance because you can't hide from it. Face it head on. Besides, Tom Crabtree's fake-field-goal TD vs. the Bears came on fourth-and-26, so the jinx was broken long ago.

George from North Mankato, MN

What a team win. Although it would be fun to watch a blowout win, I think the way this team is winning may be an advantage in the long run. They are proving that the next man up is good enough to contribute to the team and the experience younger players are gaining is invaluable. If they can get healthy, this is a team to be feared.

No one is going to fear the Packers. That's not how this league works. But given the injuries they're dealing with, it's true the Packers haven't played their best football yet. They haven't had all their best players. Just keep winning, plugging away, and trying to get healthy.

John from Livermore, CA

What is your assessment of the rookie class to date? Anyone surprising you?

Well, I didn't expect Royce Newman to be a starter from Day 1. But with three draft picks (Eric Stokes, Myers, Newman) in the starting lineup, this draft is already in home-run territory, and in limited opportunities, we've barely seen what Rodgers, T.J. Slaton and Kylin Hill might do.

Barry from Sun Prairie, WI

The NFL uses 12 to 20 cameras per game. Over the years, there have been many innovations to the broadcast product (I'm old enough to remember when instant replay came out). Do you ever think we will see the advent of the "helmet cam"? I think it would enhance the TV viewer's experience, especially on the quarterback or a safety.

If the device can be protected and a player's helmet is not compromised in any way, I could definitely see it.

Sam from Melbourne, IA

Spoff, what was your take on the St. Brown offensive pass interference?

I noted in the live blog I thought the official flagged Brown based on how he moved his arms, not based on any impact the move had on the defender.

Lee from Grants, NM

I must admit, I'm not looking forward to facing Justin Fields twice a year in the foreseeable future. Thoughts on his progress so far?

He's going to be bigger trouble down the road. His accuracy was a little erratic, but that's common for a rookie QB. He's poised and a whale of an athlete. The ceiling is unknown.

Aaron from Scottsdale, AZ

I find it fascinating how each season is its own long game, from offseason through the playoffs. Teams are constantly evolving and looking to counter the successful trends of other teams leading to some hybrid of cyclical return of past strategies and innovative schemes. Then there's roster turnover and attrition, players blossoming and declining. It's a constant ebb and flow. Few teams can achieve consistent annual success due to all contributing factors. What a beautiful dance indeed.

Do you mean it's a year-to-year and week-to-week league? I love it when a crowd catches on.

H.R. from Las Vegas, NV

That TD to Allen Lazard? Carolina ran the same play on a two-point try against MN today. And that was good too. I'd be looking for that play to come up in games this year.

It's also a copycat league.

Soldier Field hosted a Week 6 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021.

Ed from Minneapolis, MN

Gents, with all the flux of a 69-man roster, how do the personnel departments keep track, league-wide, who is available? Do GMs, scouts, and coaches keep their draft board in mind? Are these folks watching loads of film, perhaps to see if their hunch fulfilled their potential? I guess I'm interested in knowing how they find their diamond in the rough.

They keep all their pre-draft reports on players and watch film to stay up to speed. The personnel department has its emergency list of players ready to bring in when a need arises. It's also keeping tabs on roster bubble guys on other squads who might become available if an injured player is activated, for example. Their options are always ranked and the board is constantly updated.

Jeff from Woodridge, IL

I'm going from memory, but it sure feels like very few drops from all of our pass-catchers this year. Impressive.

No complaints.

Randy from Clarksville, TN

Hey guys, can't express how proud I am of our secondary. Coach Gray has done a super job cobbling a unit slammed with injuries.

Living down three starters is not easy. Sometimes it's not pretty but the group battles and competes. Its bigger challenges lie ahead on the schedule, and it will need to get healthy.

Janet from Auburn, WA

We won the turnover battle. The Packers stuck with the running game. We got some sacks. We survived more injuries (again). We held Fields to under 200 yards passing. All on the road! The Packers are winning in different ways every week. This has been a lot of fun to watch.

The commitment to the run, and the success with it against that defense, is what I loved best about this game. That's going to serve the Packers well moving forward.

Dustin from Stockbridge, WI

Someone tell Dean it's Packers-Bears.

He gets another chance in two months to get it right.

Joe from Swansea, IL

This next one scares me. Coming off five tough wins, an emotional victory over your century-old rival, and after the WFT, games with the Cardinals, Chiefs, Seahawks, Rams, Bears again and Ravens. Yikes? What does Coach tell the lads so they avoid the Overlook Letdown Blues next weekend? Did I mention I'm scared?

A much-anticipated stretch of the schedule is right around the corner, but weeks like this are when coaches earn their money. They have to keep the team focused and prepare it as though the future games don't exist. LaFleur is a true believer in one day at a time, one game at a time. He lives it.

Richard from Madison, WI

How concerned should we be that the Packers lost all of their preseason games?

Happy Monday.


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