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Inbox: The mix is working for this group

Grab it and don’t let go

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S Adrian Amos

Christian from Plymouth, MN

Was this the best defensive performance this year?

I wasn't sure the Packers could top last week's, but they did. Since Week 1, the Packers have allowed 15.8 points per game. I'd say that's pretty good.

Todd from Rochester, NY

Take a bow Joe Barry, that was a defensive masterpiece. Tell Eric we didn't beat them by 50 but it sure felt like it didn't it?

Shutting out Russell Wilson for the first time in his career has to mean something. I was following the live stats at the end of the game, and they came one play from holding the Seahawks under 200 yards. Preston Smith's late sack for minus-14 put them at 192, but then the 16-yard completion to Lockett on the final play made it 208. Regardless, bravo.

Chris from Eau Claire, WI

I'm glad the Chiefs waited a week to turn it back on.

I think more appropriately, the Packers kept it shut off. Just another example of the high level this defense has reached.

Izzi from Raleigh, NC

Tell me that wasn't the best 21 carries for 66 yards you've ever seen.

My favorite play was third-and-goal from the 3 with the score 3-0. AJ Dillon had been stuffed twice on short-yardage shotgun handoffs earlier in the game. Yet they ran another one there and he made it work. I wondered with that call if LaFleur had decided to go for it on fourth down, so he ran it on third, or if Aaron Rodgers checked to the run there. Either way, in that situation, I just loved seeing them pound it in.

Pete from Babylon, NY

Just as important as being a star is how Dillon has handled it and his attitude after the game. This will carry the team far this year. He realizes that he is a cog in the wheel of the Packers. And that tonight it was his turn but he cannot do it alone. That's what I was hoping for. Fantastic.

For a guy who was such a workhorse, and a legitimate stud, in the college ranks, Dillon is as much a treat to listen to as watch play. The Packers are going to lean on him all the more the next few weeks probably, but he'll take it all in stride, on and off the field.

Tyler from Cartersville, GA

We are winning the battle on the field but losing the war of attrition.

This is such a brutal game. I know these guys get paid a ton of money to play it, but man.

Jim from Marietta, GA

Would that win be the epitome of a Pyrrhic victory?

The Packers paid a price for this one, no doubt. The team could use some good news over the next couple of days on Aaron Jones, Whitney Mercilus and/or Rashan Gary, and it needs to get to the long-awaited bye week, somehow, without any more issues.

Joe from Iowa City, IA

Hello II, longtime reader and first-time submitter here. I was impressed by the showing this weekend, but that early missed field goal still stings. With the Packers' special teams seemingly being their weak point this season, do you expect to see opponents attempt trick plays on fourth downs against us (à la Detroit vs. the LA Rams in Week 7) to target this Achilles heel? Thanks and happy victory Monday.

I don't know about trick plays, but opponents are going to continue attacking the Packers' field-goal unit, to create distraction at a minimum, until it starts to look easy again.

Gary from Cross Plains, WI

I see Mark Murphy is no longer on the Competition Committee. Any reason you've heard for the change? Do you think there's any extra benefit to a team having a coach/exec on the committee?

I think there's always a benefit to having representation on an influential group like that, because it assures anything that has affected your club has a chance to be part of the discussion. As for the reason behind the change, that would be a great question for Mark's next Murphy Takes 5 column.

Marin from West Lawn, PA

Do any of the Insiders recall the last time an opposing player tossed a shoe at Lambeau Field? This has got to be the easiest 15 yards the Packers offense will be awarded this season.

That was one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen, and talk about childish. I guess Presidential press conferences in Iraq and wintry Sundays at Lambeau now have something in common.

David from El Segundo, CA

This probably won't get printed … but it's clear that the Pete Carroll teams never win or lose with class. Every big game his team loses, they start getting chippy and want to fight. That is a direct reflection of the coaching staff. Nothing better than beating the Seahawks.

I'll just say the difference in the two teams' cultures was on display on multiple occasions.

Allen from Birmingham, AL

II: Great win! Isn't it illegal for a disqualified player to enter the field of play (much less a huddle)? At a minimum, illegal substitution or illegal participation, but I would think that it's unsportsmanlike conduct to attempt to sneak yourself back into the game after DQ. Does a late DQ carry over to the first half of the next game like college?

No on the latter. Lots of folks asking about the former. I apologize, but I was busy writing the bulletin story to post when the clock hit zero, so I missed the melee. Maybe Wes caught more of it than I did.

Emma from Winter Garden, FL

Similar to last week, the offense seemed just a tad out of sync. Do you believe this is just a product of Love's first start last week and the layoff that Rodgers had the past few weeks?

Even for Rodgers, to expect him to be his MVP self after missing two weeks of practice and being ill in the interim is a bit much. With the short week before Arizona, he actually hadn't had a full-speed game-prep practice since prior to the Washington game. But the offense going through the running backs was still a great blueprint for this team. Jones and Dillon combined for 214 yards from scrimmage.

Steve from Cedar Falls, IA

Will be lots of posts regarding Aaron Jones' injury but appears AJ Dillon is up to being the No. 1 back. My question is: Taylor looked good but who is the next man up if Jones is out for a few games?

Ryquell Armstead is on the practice squad, and the personnel department will probably have to bring in another back, too.

Scott from Liberty Township, OH

Comment: Fourth-and-26 with nine seconds left still made my right eyeball uncontrollably twitch. Question: What do you see/hear in Joe Barry's approach and preparation that has elevated our defense to dare I say … elite?

Everybody's looking for the secret on defense, but it's really nothing different from other stout defenses. The Packers are proving they can stop the run with both safeties back, and they're generating enough pressure without having to blitz. Football is a numbers game, and if you can stop the run and get after QBs without having to commit extra personnel to doing either, offenses have a lot harder time. I think the inside linebacker play is the biggest reason for the run defense. The pass rush becomes a bigger challenge now depending on how long Mercilus and Gary might be out.

Nathan from Philadelphia, PA

On the Kevin King INT, the same official appeared to throw the beanbag for a turnover, then signal incomplete pass, touchback and first down, all within seconds of each other. It kinda reminded me of something. Did you get any clarification on how they ruled that was a catch?

Those who were following the live blog know I was befuddled by that call. I thought for sure King's INT would be ruled incomplete because he didn't maintain control of the ball while going to the ground. I am at a loss to explain the rule, frankly.

Caleb from Wauwatosa, WI

Hi Insiders, can you please help me understand the mechanics of how the DC makes personnel adjustments and calls the defensive play? I know they're looking to see what personnel the offense has in, but with the offense making adjustments, how does the defense have time to then adjust personnel themselves? Or do they just guess what personnel/play call to use based on down-and-distance/game situation?

The defense chooses its personnel package based on the offensive personnel on the field, which the defensive coaches are constantly watching and communicating via headsets. Anytime the offense substitutes, the defense has to be allowed time to sub as well. The package(s) in response have been determined during game-planning most often. Then the coordinator mentally combines his personnel with down-and-distance/game situation to make a call.

Matthew from Sheboygan, WI

Adrian Amos, refusing to bask in the glow of an elite defensive effort, stated, "You can't accept all the praise, and then get mad at all the hate. If you don't take it [one game at a time], it messes up your focus on what's here and what's now." Some fans keep their athletes in a box called "entertainer," but for me, Adrian Amos is always a leader, always an educator.

Two of this defense's captains are Amos and Kenny Clark, two of the most level-headed, down-to-earth guys on that side of the ball. Their demeanor is reflected in the unit's approach as a whole. That's not a knock on the third captain, Jaire Alexander (or Za'Darius Smith in the past), but leadership from guys like Amos and Clark can act as an effective counter-balance to the more gregarious personalities. The mix is working for this group.

Chris from Bettendorf, IA

I've seen a number of calls changed the last few weeks without formal replay review. I have not seen how that system actually works. Whether the calls are going for or against the Packers, it seems like they are getting the calls correct. The plays I'm thinking of are primarily around where the ball is spotted, especially whether or not a first down was made. What is the scope of what can be changed by the mysterious official we don't see but is obviously speaking in the referee's ear?

That's a great question, and I wish I knew the answer. I haven't seen the parameters of this additional communication, but it's a step in the right direction to reduce potential challenges on calls quickly and easily fixed.

Bones from Ripon, WI

Oh, PLEASE, keep the screen pass in the script!

It was funny to hear LaFleur admit Hackett was in his ear all game about calling a screen pass. Those gained some big chunks. Jones missed the catch on a high throw early or that one could've busted big, too.

Paul from De Pere, WI

So Lambeau Leap is one more thing Elgton Jenkins can do. How many other O-linemen could make that leap?

The whole unit used to do that on Family Night. They know where to pick their spots.

Matt from Waunakee, WI

Hi Mike, are the Lions off the schneid?

I don't think so. They're still winless. I honestly feel for Dan Campbell. He can't catch a break. The Lions have lost multiple games this year on walk-off field goals, including a record-breaking one, and then when he's got a chance to win one that way, the kicker misses. Sheesh.

Gardner from Circle Pines, MN

I will take a 17-0 shutout of an opponent over a 45-28 win any day! It just oozes toughness. Yes, the offense sputtered, but in the end they and the defense played complementary football almost doubling the Seahawks up in total yardage and time of possession. What do you say, Mike? Was that domination?

What I liked best was seeing, in a three-point game after three quarters, the finish. Two offensive touchdowns and a defense not giving in during the fourth quarter will win a lot of games, whether it's 3-0 or 23-20 heading into crunch time.

Keith from Bakersfield, CA

Sunday's win comes with a lot of concern. More potentially huge injuries, another missed FG, and another game where the offense struggled to put points on the board. Which of these concerns you the most going forward?

Definitely the injuries. As I wrote in my postgame editorial, the Packers managed on defense with the cornerback spot depleted for a while. Now it's edge rusher, the other linchpin that requires the most depth. It might necessitate some creativity.

Pancho from Neshannock, PA

Are we really this deep in the season and Minnesota has only played one division game? The rest of the division, only two. Is that unusual?

I don't have the list in front of me, but I would say so. The Packers can all but mathematically put the division away next week. A chance to go up 4½ games with six to play? Grab it and don't let go.

Mike from McFarland, WI

The pregame snow pictures were gorgeous.

The first time every year Lambeau gets covered in snow, the place feels like the eighth wonder of the world. Happy Monday.

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