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Inbox: That type of spark meant something

How it gets characterized depends on what actually unfolds

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CB Keisean Nixon

Brent from Santa Maria, CA

Oof.

500 yards, 363 rushing, 40 points. Yeah, it's painful to type/read/process those numbers.

Rick from Franklin, WI

Wow… 363 hurts.

Pun intended? That dude is legitimately in the MVP conversation as far as I'm concerned.

Henry from Brown Deer, WI

II, regardless of the final outcome (which was unfortunate) that was one hell of a performance by our quarterback. To say he was playing injured is an understatement, there is no quit until the rib/lung pain got too bad. I hope everything is okay. On another note can anybody give me a tackle? Have a great day, I know the naysayers are out. GPG!

I can't imagine how much pain Aaron Rodgers was in, and however anyone feels about whether he should have been playing with the broken thumb or not all these weeks, anyone who lays it on the line like he does deserves credit. He's competitive to his core. As for the tackling, when LaFleur said after the game the defense was charted for 15 misses, I hate to say the number didn't surprise me.

Nathan from Philadelphia, PA

Good morning, Mike! I have a lot of questions after last night, but I'll start with something positive: Watching Christian Watson blow by two presumably fast athletes without even running all-out was really something. On a related note, did we learn anything new about Jordan Love?

It did look like Watson might have another half-gear or something, didn't it? Maybe not, but boy he can fly. I don't know if we learned anything new about Love. I was impressed with the way he just looked poised and confident, which isn't easy coming into a game down 14 in the fourth quarter on the road (especially that place). I know it was only two possessions, but he looked considerably better than in KC or Detroit last year.

Rich from Miami Gardens, FL

Our backup quarterback can play and I won't be running to the fridge during kickoffs. It feels like the rest of the season just got way more interesting than expected. Were you surprised by how well Love played?

Not entirely, but I honestly didn't know what to expect when we hadn't seen him take meaningful snaps for so long. I thought progress was evident in training camp this year, and it was good to see that show up when he was thrown into a tough spot.

Janet from Auburn, WA

Even during this disastrous season, one of my favorite things each week is to see Aaron Rodgers and Tom Clements sitting next to each other on the bench. It feels like a father-son moment each time I see it and it's obvious how much Rodgers respects his coach.

He was quick to credit Clements for the notable improvement in Love's game, too.

Peter from New London, WI

Agree or disagree. The backbreaker was the late first half Eagles TD after GB called a timeout and let Hurts & Co. convert on third down. I think it cost the ballgame.

It felt like it undid what was otherwise a positive first half, or at least a half to build upon. It wasn't a conversion, but allowing the Eagles to turn third-and-14 into fourth-and-1 was a killer. The Packers' best shot to get a lead would've been on the opening drive of the third quarter, and they never gave themselves that chance. The three-and-out to begin the second half down 27-20 also turned out to be the last time Green Bay had the ball down by only one score. So to answer your question, totally agree.

Phil from Madison, WI

A lot to critique on defense from an entertaining game, but I was disappointed again on the two-minute drive to end the first half to see our corners play 15 yards off on third-and-14, with predictable results.

I said in the live blog I have no answers for that, and I still don't.

Chris from Porti Coquitlam, BC

Are we now in the Jordan Love era? Rodgers gave it his all tonight, but you can only do so much with a broken thumb and a rib injury. How do coaches and management navigate the next few weeks?

To be determined. I tried to lay out the various postgame angles in the editorial, which I hurriedly sent in via my hotspot just before the plane took off. Probably not the most polished piece of work but I wanted to get it posted as soon as possible.

Kerry from Lakewood Ranch, FL

If Rodgers and Love are both on the roster next year how much potential money will the Packers have invested in the QB position?

About the same as this year. The equation changes dramatically in 2024 if the Packers pick up Love's fifth-year option or re-sign him after next year.

Agustin from Monterrey, Mexico

Do you believe this is the start of a rebuilding? While watching tonight's game suddenly that thought came to my mind.

I have no idea what's going to happen in the offseason. Rodgers said he won't be deciding on his future until then. LaFleur will have decisions to make, too. How it gets characterized depends on what actually unfolds.

Tom from Wildwood, FL

Defense gives up 40 points, 500 yards, and so many missed tackles. Has to be the low point to what has already been a very disappointing season. Seems like coaching, scheme, and execution are all to blame but am interested in your thoughts.

As I always say, there's plenty of blame to go around. Where leadership ultimately places the most blame will be learned at some point, because the only constant in this league is change. It's not my place to say much more than that.

Sal from Hailey, ID

Wow, you missed a Collinsworth doozie if you weren't listening to the broadcast. Double cheeking! If not for Aaron Jones' incredible catch in the end zone and the Love-Watson connection, that would've been my favorite moment of the night.

I said weeks ago that more and more QB sneaks are going to be run with the shoves from behind now that it's proven to be so effective. It's a rule the league will have to look at again, because this is football, not rugby.

Jake from Greenfield, WI

How much longer is Keisean Nixon under contract? Out of all the bad from the game, his special-teams play is something we haven't seen in years. I don't cringe from fear as long as he's back there returning for us.

He just signed a one-year deal I believe. He had the one flub/slip early but certainly made up for that with the Packers' best overall outing by a returner in a long time. That type of spark meant something. He's proven capable as a slot corner, too.

Dan from Oak Creek, WI

The way the game started I thought we were in for a blowout, not a shootout. I'm encouraged they kept it interesting until the end, and Love looked good when his number was called. But you're not gonna win many games in the NFL with no answers for 360 yards on the ground. Time to pick up the pieces, evaluate what went well and what didn't, and move on to Bears week.

Folks in the live blog were wondering if the Packers had quit when it was 13-0 in the first quarter. For all this team's faults, one thing it's never done is quit. It's just hard to know what to say about all those rushing yards. Most allowed by a Packers defense since '77 vs. the Bears, the year Walter won MVP. I'm at a loss. I don't know how that happens. It looked like they had no plan to deal with Hurts' scrambling early, and that had the defense on its heels against the run all night. They ran the same inside run with Gainwell on four straight third downs in the fourth quarter, and the Packers only stopped it the fourth time.

Jeff from Dorr, MI

On the ball touching the ground not being a catch. Isn't that how it used to be? Or am I remembering wrong?

That's how it used to be. It all changed with the Bert Emanuel non-catch in the 1999 NFC title game. Then it got infinitely complicated with the Calvin Johnson play in Week 1 of 2010, then Dez Bryant in the '14 divisional playoff at Lambeau, etc. The Emanuel play that started it all caused a huge uproar because it was in the final minute of a hugely significant game, just as the non-DPI in the '18 NFC title game led to the league deciding to review PI calls. That experiment was bailed on after one year. But the Emanuel rule stuck around, perhaps for the worse.

Tom from Cambridge, MA

I'm with Gary from Janesville. First-and-10 instead of 25 bothers me too. Here's the thing. The post-play penalty is only treated differently if the play results in first down. Change Gary's scenario just a bit. Third-and-7. Receiver gains 6. Fourth-and-1, right? Getting up he has words with the tackler and throws a punch. Flag flies and now it's not fourth-and-1 anymore. Fourth-and-16. Had the receiver gained 8 before the flag it's still first-and-10. Makes no sense.

Very fair point.

Phil from Sault Ste Marie, MI

Great win by Michigan! Two evenly matched teams separated by the one that made the most big plays. Perfect example of how momentum can completely flip a game?

More like how big play after big play can break a team's spirit.

Doug from Neenah, WI

Does a suspended player still hold a spot on the 53-man roster?

No. He goes on the reserve/suspended list.

Randy from Ooltewah, TN

Since this forum often mentions other Wisconsin sports, how about some congratulations to the Wisconsin volleyball team for securing their fourth straight Big Ten championship. The defending national champions lost a lot from last year's squad, but haven't missed a beat.

That's what powerhouse programs do.

Marteen from Reno, NV

Well, the lights went out in Philly, unfortunately. I hope ML can make the necessary decisions that are needed with all the defensive errors, lack of fundamentals, huge yards given up and nothing seemed to change. It wasn't just the defense either to be fair. It will be such a disappointment if AR decides to not come back next year to have it come down to this game. Are any changes done now or at the end of the official season?

I'm not anticipating any major announcements until after the season.

Craig from Lakeville, MN

That game was very bittersweet. Lots of positive mixed with lots of negative. Watson continued to impress, Love completely changed the way the offense looked, Nixon played amazing. The Packers couldn't buy a defensive stop, though. Where does the season go from here?

You try to avoid a ninth loss as long as possible and see if you can stay mathematically alive. That's all there is to do. So for now, personnel decisions will still be based on health. After one more loss, the discussions change.

Kristian from Aarhus, Denmark

Good mourning, gentlemen! (Yes, yes it was.) Does the Packers' loss to the Eagles mean we are not going to have another round of "Path to the Playoffs" this season? My kindest regards to a Packer Nation in pain.

I will miss writing those because I always enjoyed them, and this has been the time of year I normally start them up. If Packer Nation's Christmas present is a mathematical possibility after the holiday game, I'll put it on my radar.

Dave from Kaukauna, WI

Fly Eagles fly. Cry Packers cry.

This season hasn't been worth getting that emotional over. Disappointment is very different from, and less difficult than, heartbreak. Yet the latter is preferred. Funny how that works.

Randy from Raymond, IA

Well, that was a great game to watch. But unfortunately there was no upset. The better team won the game.

True on all counts. Happy Monday.

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