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Inbox: The eagle has landed

Consistency goes a long way up front

Packers hold Friday practice outside The Grove Hotel in London ahead of their first-ever international regular-season game on Sunday, Oct. 9, against the New York Giants.
Packers hold Friday practice outside The Grove Hotel in London ahead of their first-ever international regular-season game on Sunday, Oct. 9, against the New York Giants.

Ben from Visalia, CA

Are we there yet?

The eagle has landed. By the time y'all are reading this, Wes and I will be trying to get work done through a bleary-eyed trance over there.

Jeffrey from Eveleth, MN

Frost. Duck blind. Live blog Packer game. This ought to be a first.

Likewise, my friend.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

Are the two of you doing a Muppets-style tour of the city?

I don't know about that, but if Lady Holiday's Fabulous Baseball Diamond gets stolen, rest assured Wes and I will be on the case.

Mark from Omro, WI

It's 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, and we just got into our London hotel, after being up since 6 a.m. yesterday. I feel great, there was a lot of green and gold at the airport in London, and at the Winsor Castle, lots of British guys and gals stopped to talk Packer football. London sure is welcoming Packer fans.

I'm not sure it has much choice.

Greg from Taylorsville, UT

Jon Runyan hasn't allowed a pressure, sack, or committed a penalty this season. So he's got that going for him, which is nice.

Stenavich said Wednesday the most consistent lineman of the young guys on the interior has been Runyan, and consistency goes a long way up front.

Steve from Toronto, Canada

The Packers have a huge opportunity in front of them this Sunday. They'll be going against the No. 1 rushing team in the NFL in the NY Giants (192.5 rushing ypg), while fielding the league's No. 22 rushing defense (126.8 rushing ypg). 3-1 records and London setting aside, this is about the Packers having the chance to make a statement. The Giants have been hit hard by injury at WR, so we know they'll be looking to run all day long. We know what's coming, but can we stop it? I, for one, think we will.

Success or failure in that regard will dictate what type of game this is going to be.

Stephie Rae from Flowery Branch, GA

You must be so excited to head overseas Thursday! Quick question I couldn't find the answer to, so I hope you know. Curious if Aaron Rodgers made it to 500 career touchdowns before 100 interceptions?

I should have made it clearer in my postgame stories last Sunday that Rodgers' 500 TD passes includes postseason, and when you include his postseason interceptions, he's over 100. As for the official regular-season quest, he's currently at 455 TDs with 96 INTs. Throwing three picks in the first four games this year has made the challenge immensely more difficult.

Dave from Germantown, TN

With two more close wins in the first four games what is LaFleur's record in one-score games?

According to my research (which could be wrong), he's 21-8 including playoffs. He was 9-1 his first season and has gone 12-7 since.

Nick from Oquawka, IL

Excuse me, but the Dez catch would have been first and goal. Let's not give him the touchdown he still didn't get.

You're right, my bad. I miswrote touchdown instead of just reception. He most likely would have been ruled down at or inside the 1-yard line.

Sal from Hailey, ID

I can't imagine reporting while jet-lagged, let alone playing professional football – the morning game is going to be a challenge for everyone (including those of us in the western U.S.). Do you have any word on Adrian Amos and Jaire Alexander's availability ahead of the game?

They both practiced Thursday before getting on the plane.

John from Shorewood, WI

Given that you have been to most stadiums in the league, I know that there are some you prefer and some you disdain (but would never say, right?), but which stadium has the easiest route to get in/out of the game? It seems these new stadiums are being built far from metropolitan centers and have horrible parking.

Sorry but I can't help you there. We get to the games on the team buses, so I can't speak to the ease of access (or lack thereof) at other venues.

Patsi from Riverside, CA

We just received our annual postcard with our wait list priority number for Lambeau tickets. No math in the Inbox, but based on my side calculator computation I think we are now about 80.9 years from getting tickets. So glad that you are there to keep us updated with the weekly game blog.

With a few more shifts in the matrix your wait time might be confined to this century. But I won't be doing the live blog that long, sorry.

Robert from Chandler, AZ

Would it be fair to say at the four-week mark that NFL defenses are ahead of NFL offenses thus far … with Buffalo and KC, e.g., being exceptions?

I don't know if it's that simple. When I look at the top five scoring offenses in the league right now – Detroit, KC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Buffalo – without looking at the defenses they've played, the common thread to me is continuity on that side of the ball from last year, and good health so far.

Curren from Edmonton, Alberta

Hey guys, does someone wanna tell Keith?

Wes was awfully nice. That submission was II HOF-worthy in my book.

Bruce from Travelers Rest, SC

Having reached the quarter(ish) pole, what are your thoughts regarding the league's emphasis on illegal contact? I haven't watched enough games to have a reliable sample size but I haven't heard too many complaints, which is good, because it may be the worst penalty in the NFL rule book. Not because of the penalty itself but because of the penalty, pun intended, of an automatic first down. I cringed when I heard it was going to be a point of emphasis but maybe the officials are being smart.

It was emphasized in the preseason, and either teams got the message or the officials aren't calling it as tightly in the real games. Whichever it is, I've never liked the penalty either, not so much because of the automatic first down, but because the penalty doesn't exist in college and doesn't seem to affect the game much, if at all. Defenders legally can contact receivers downfield in college before the ball is thrown, as long as they don't hold and grab. To me, it's always felt like a rule put in place in the NFL to just make life harder for defenses and promote scoring.

The Green Bay Packers held practice at Clarke Hinkle Field on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022.

Chris from Saint-Paul-Trois-Chateaux, France

In the NFL, we've seen coaches move between coordinator and head coach and then, after being fired, moving back to coordinator. Do you see some people thriving in the role of head coach more an issue of personality or opportunity?

Leadership and good players. Categorize those two items however you wish.

Tom from Iola, WI

I have been a fan for over 60 years and observed a potential long-term evolution. In the '60s and '70s the running game was king and the standard defense was the 4-3 defensive alignment. Then the rules changed and the NFL became a passing league … hence the evolution to the 3-4 alignment. Now the running game seems to be making a resurgence. Will we see alignments with more heavyweights on the line?

I doubt it, not with how many dynamic quarterbacks there are in this league. As Rodgers has mentioned at his locker a couple of times, the running game is going to pull defenses out of two-shell (two safeties back) to add run support in the box, and then the quarterbacks are going to attack single-high. But defenses aren't suddenly going to beef up their fronts with big guys that aren't athletic enough to rush the passer. You're still going to have to affect the QB to succeed defensively.

Frank from Waterloo, IA

Joe Barry's comments today about the defense putting together a complete game got me thinking. They had three drives out of what, 12 total, in which the Patriots' offense scored points. That seems like a pretty complete effort in today's game. We can't honestly expect our defense to pitch a shutout every week, can we?

Of course not. But what was disturbing about New England's two TD drives was the Patriots never faced third down on either one. The Packers didn't even give themselves a chance to get off the field.

Craig from Milwaukee, WI

Do you think this offense will get better soon?


Tom from West Palm Beach, FL

When do you think we'll see another "shot" play to Christian Watson? Given his speed and separation on the Week 1 drop, there's no way that play was crossed out of the playbook.

Oh, not a chance. I would bet there's one in the game plan every week. It just depends whether the right situation arises, and LaFleur feels right in the moment to call it.

Matt from Waunakee, WI

Hey Mike, does the press box over their have curtains? Asking for a friend. Cheerio.

Nicely done.

Dustin from Kansas City, MO

As a St. Louis Cardinals fan, I'm curious how you Brewers fans feel about our big three finally retiring? I'm personally feeling awfully bummed to see them go. I suspect you all are more of the "don't let the door hit you on the way out" opinion on the matter. Also, I meant to write this when it happened, but super classy move by Yelich for not swinging at that first pitch. Tip of the cap to that young man.

I have a ton of respect for the Cardinals organization as well as those three greats and what they've meant to the game. I sincerely wish them the best personally. But the Cardinals are responsible for two of the biggest baseball heartbreaks of my life, so forgive me if I'll be rooting against them every step of the way in the playoffs.

Curt from Green Bay, WI

How about this: You have to possess a ball in order to fumble it.

Ding ding ding!

Jeff from Woodridge, IL

I'm mid-60s and this season so far is the first time in many a year that I can recall the Packers being so heavily reliant upon the run. It's weird (given the current and former great quarterbacks we've been blessed with). The fact that we've won in spite of offensive woes tells me we will have a real team when our passing attack gets on track.

Oh, this team is real, it's just not yet spectacular.

Tom from Harker Heights, TX

Lads, have a safe trip to London. While you're there, you might fancy some prime rib with au jus, and a Yorkshire pudding. But remember, if you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding!

I should've known Pink Floyd was going to make an Inbox debut this week.

Clark from Popejoy, IA

I keep getting this vision you two get caught in a London roundabout with Mike repeatedly saying, "Look Wes, Big Ben, Parliament," and you miss the entire Giants game.

This reference has been all over the place, but I'm just going to declare now that if I'm behind the wheel at any point this weekend, something went terribly wrong.

Adam from Madison, WI

Well, I've never been to England but I kind of like the Beatles. Do you have to pay income tax to the Brits? I thought we took care of that in 1776.

I'll double-check. Happy Friday.