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Inbox: That's how this works

There’s very little time and reps to reset

Falcons RB Bijan Robinson
Falcons RB Bijan Robinson

Tom from Harker Heights, TX

Hi Mike, will the team take to the friendly skies Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning?

Um … well …

Colin from Milwaukee, WI

Who throws a towel, honestly? Luckily the rulebook contains The Palpably Unfair Act. If an action is deemed against the spirit of the rulebook or integrity of the game the refs can take appropriate action to correct it. In this case they would have likely awarded the Pack with an extra point due to towel throwing. Powerful act, but I agree with its intent.

I declare it palpably unfair that Wes is 15 years younger than I am, particularly on these short weeks.

Richard from Madison, WI

Déjà vu? Wasn't it just last week that we observed that the Packers own half of the total victories of the entire NFC North? When do you expect that to change?

Thursday night. I just hope they'll have more than half rather than less than half when the clock hits zero.

Ed from Hilltown, PA

Mike, players can't be enthused about playing a Thursday game after a Sunday battle. I know this has everything to do about money, but it got me thinking about the NFLPA and are they just not strong enough to push back on this insanity. Fans love the idea of action on another day of the week but at what expense for these players? Do you ever foresee this being a topic of negotiation for the next CBA?

Nope. Amazon signed an 11-year deal worth $1 billion annually, that's billion with a B. The CBA dictates the players receive (I believe) approximately 49% of gross revenues now, which would be $490 million added to the salary cap each year from Thursday Night Football alone, or approximately $15.3M per team per season. I know that's too much math in the Inbox, and short weeks are brutal for the players, but they're getting paid rather handsomely for their efforts.

Ben from Visalia, CA

"When did the dream start?" Question of the year for me. Must have been when Preston Smith stated that he would bring the fight to the parking lot. What are your keys to victory against the Lions?

Keep a lid on Hutchinson as best you can and don't let him dictate the game. In the same breath, find some way to stay balanced on offense. As I noted on "Unscripted," the Falcons found out the hard way that playing one-dimensional football makes for a long day against Detroit's defense.

Sean from Vermontville, MI

This Lions team has no shortage of playmakers, but Hutchinson still manages to stand out. How do we game plan to keep him from disrupting the whole game?

Great question, and I'm not an X's and O's expert to provide a meaningful answer. I just know that after watching the Rams leave their backup left tackle one-on-one against Cincinnati's Trey Hendrickson with the game on the line in the fourth quarter Monday night, that's not the way to go.

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

A couple thoughts. First, wow, where did all our offensive line depth go? Second, the Lions stuffed the Falcons' run game, the same one that destroyed us the prior week. Gonna be a tough game.

Agreed. I can assure you the Packers' struggles vs. the run in Atlanta helped the Lions prepare for the Falcons' ground game, just as the Packers are taking note of how Detroit racked up seven sacks against the Falcons. That's how this works. That's (partly) why it's a week-to-week league.

Craig from Appleton, WI

Jahmyr Gibbs is similar in style to Bijan Robinson. How do we make sure he doesn't dominate this game the way Robinson did?

The Lions use a different running scheme, for the most part. But regardless, the Packers have to tackle better against Gibbs than Robinson. The team's tackling was much improved against New Orleans and it needs to stay there.

Kevin from Westminster, CO

To what degree does the WR group advance once Christian Watson gets his hammie right?

We won't really know until that happens and we see what unfolds. What I do know is when Watson burst on the scene beginning in Week 10 last year with that three-TD game against the Cowboys, defenses defended the Packers differently. I expect that to be the case again as soon as he's out there.

Dan from Algonquin, IL

Hi Mike, regarding the pre-snap penalties on offense, can that be corrected immediately through coaching and practice, or is it something that could linger if the personnel on the field is different every week and unfamiliar with working together?

Pre-snap penalties aren't related to player familiarity, to me. They're just discipline and focus issues. Yes, they can be corrected through refocusing on the practice field. The problem is on a short week like this there's very little time and reps to reset in that way.

Gretchen from Dousman, WI

Mike, you commented on the live blog that you were glad Gary wasn't flagged on the sack that caused Carr's injury. Was he too rough? I would sincerely like to hear your input. Thanks.

I don't believe it was anything malicious on Gary's part, but the way he whipped him around as he threw him down could've been construed as unnecessary roughness. RTP is one of those calls, or non-calls, that can be entirely dependent on the official who's watching.

Keith from Bakersfield, CA

I noticed in the Rock Report breakdown of Gary's three sacks that the Saints resorted to a sixth offensive lineman in an unsuccessful attempt to keep Rashan from the QB. That seems like a significant move and advantage for the Packers to force the opponent to put one less skill player on the field. Have other teams taken this approach against GB, and do you expect to see the sxith OL used against Gary more?

Teams will come up with different methods to devote more attention to Gary, particularly the more his snap count increases. Whatever their preferences for how, Gary is going to carry that kind of target.

Daryl from Watertown, WI

Have any other teams ever had both their divisional games on a Thursday?

According to our communication department's jam-packed Dope Sheet, two Thursday games against the same team in the same season has happened only once before – the Chicago Bears and Chicago Cardinals in 1926.

Chris from Deerfield, IL

Hey II, I frequently hear the terms "game" and "stunt" being used to describe plays. I have no bloody idea what they mean. Please explain. Thanks!

The terms are used interchangeably. I hear "stunt" more often and it most commonly refers to a pair of pass rushers not going straight at the QB, but criss-crossing on their rush, or having one slant this way while the other loops around him the other way. That kind of thing.

Jeff from Victorville, CA

Kirk Cousins blamed the home crowd noise for their false start that may or may not have cost them the game. It's nice to know Packer fans aren't the only ones who don't understand the importance of being a librarian when the offense is on the field...SHHHH!

There was no false start, but when Cousins couldn't hear the play call from O'Connell, he should've just hurried everyone up to spike the ball. They still would've had three cracks at the end zone for the win. I gotta hand it to the Lambeau faithful Sunday – they exploded when the big plays were made, and then settled down when Love was setting up for the next one. Just as it should be.

Michael from Ottawa, Canada

Good morning II. The football pundits are making a lot of noise about JL's low completion percentage. How concerning is this? It seems to me that when he has a competent ground attack, his completion percentage will be within normal parameters (approx. 64%). Also, he is still building chemistry with a very young and inexperienced receiving corps and has been missing a lot of pieces on offense. Do you expect a regression toward the mean?

LaFleur and Love have not been shy about pushing the ball down the field. The Packers aren't running some dink-and-dunk offense, no matter who's at their disposal. That combined with missing key players is going to impact completion percentage. Has he missed some throws he should've hit? Sure. Could his receivers have come down with a couple more contested catches? Also true. It's not a statistic to get hung up on after three games and considering the circumstances.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Mike and Wes, you guys have been watching Jordan Love from a much closer vantage point than most folks. What part of his development has been most surprising?

Seeing a fair amount of success on off-schedule, or slightly improvised, plays this early. I thought that part of his game would take longer before progress would be evident.

Greg from Perkasie, PA

Not related to the 2023 Packers, but to the Packers of recent past – I got the rare chance to watch football pretty much all day Sunday, so I ended up watching the Raiders-Steelers game. Davante Adams reminded me very quickly of how great he is. He seemed to be open on every single play. I thought he may have missed out on a chance at the Hall of Fame after being traded to Las Vegas, but his production has not seemed to slip at all. Do you think he has a legitimate shot at making it to Canton?


Dave from Lake Zurich, IL

Have there been many 18-17 scores in NFL history?

According to, it was the 15th final score of 18-17 in league history, and the first since 2015. Coincidentally, the first of the 15 games also involved the Packers, an 18-17 home loss to Pittsburgh in 1947. For those who love this stuff, Philly's 25-11 victory over Tampa Bay on Monday night was the first such final score in the NFL.

Kevin from Jupiter, FL

OK in the fourth quarter we held them to three 3-and-outs, then we get the lead and the defense softened up, they drove right down the field into scoring position. I don't understand why we didn't continue with the aggressive play. I will never understand why our CBs are 10 yards off the ball, just like their first TD if we are up tight we probably hold them to 3.

I don't know what final drive you were watching. The Saints made two meaningful plays on seven snaps. Olave hauled in a great catch on a contested ball down the sideline for 28 yards, with practice-squad corner Corey Ballentine all over him. He wasn't playing 10 yards off. Then Olave caught a shallow cross and slipped one tackle to gain 10 yards for another first down. Their other five snaps gained a total of seven yards. On the final third down, the Packers went for the knockout blow, blitzing with a six-man pressure, forcing Winston to get the ball out quickly. He did, and Savage closed in a hurry to make a great tackle on Thomas, holding him to two yards. On the money down, the defense was going for the sack to knock the Saints out of field-goal range with a very aggressive call.

Scott from St. Louis, MO

I'm on my way to Lambeau for the first time in 20 years. I have the ticket stub from that game framed and on display next to my share certificate. Since physical tickets are no longer used, what would you recommend as an alternative piece of memorabilia from Thursday's game?

Pick up a copy of the game program, a project for which Wes devotes a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

Dave from Dayton, WI

Good morning Mike, could you pull back the curtain on the live blog? You're watching and describing plays, posting and answering questions, reading many questions that don't get posted. No offense, but that's a tall ask for one person. I assume you have help. How many comments do you receive and who/how are they chosen for posting? I'm really just asking how is the sausage (bratwurst?) made? The live blog is enjoyable, except when you get too far in front of the TV broadcast.

Honestly, it's a one-man band. If I had help I'd be the first to give credit. But other than fellow members of our digital team inserting links to quarter updates or additional content, it's just me. Believe me, there are a (boat) load of comments I never see. When I have a chance to glance at them, I'm picking out an item that catches my eye, furthers the discussion, makes me laugh, or points out something I didn't see or haven't mentioned. I smiled when I heard LaFleur say Sunday the fourth quarter was a blur. Every game is a blur for me.

Trent from Alva, FL

No questions, just wanted to point out that after three weeks we only have three undefeated teams. Got to love football.

Plus Miami is at Philly in Week 7, and San Fran is at Philly in Week 13.

Bubba from Kenosha, WI

Hmm, nobody knows is we will get first seven quarters vs. Bears, Falcons, or the next four quarters vs. Falcons, Saints, or the last quarter vs. Saints … R-E-S-E-T expectations. Buckle the chinstrap and enjoy the ride. When the computer's creator in "War Games" was asked what Joshua was doing? "He's learning."

Shall we play a game?

Dale from Prescott, WI

With the Monday game following the Thursday game, the Pack will get a mega mini bye week, then a true bye week after that. They will play one game in 23 days after Thursday's game. Just beat the Lions, get healthy and prepare for the grind ahead.

Happy Wednesday.

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