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Inbox: The response is all that matters now

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Ryan from Colfax, WI

OK, so the 2019 Packers are not going to be 16-0. Next!

The ultimate reality check.

Noah from St. Francis, WI

Can we all agree, at least that slant pick wasn't for the Lombardi?

It was a gut-punch of a way to end the first month of the regular season, but now that the Packers finally had a game where they gave themselves numerous scoring chances, they can specify what needs the most work – red zone and goal-to-go.

Kevin from Rockton, IL

This was a team loss balanced well across all three phases.

Well stated.

Bill from Sheboygan, WI

So we kind of know what a catch is, now we have to figure out what pass interference is. I was at the game I have no idea what the refs were looking at!

As I noted in my postgame editorial, it was as though the “clear and obvious” standard changed to something like “blatant” or “flagrant” in this game. Because MVS was interfered with by a defender who never looked back for the ball. So was Jeffery by King, with his arm clearly getting hit early. At least the no-calls were consistent I guess. The Packers obviously benefited from the call in the Vikings game that took away a Minnesota TD. Last night the balance tipped the other way. It’s how this is going to go all season long, I’m afraid. Clear as mud.

Graeme from Tucson, AZ

So that was a very disappointing and potentially damaging loss. For sure there were some good things for the Packers during the game but ultimately we had no run game, no run defense and too many mistakes. But what I want to focus on is four passing plays at the 1-yard line. I mean, seriously, not one play trying to run the ball? Not one handoff to a running back or a fullback? I get that run plays were not productive through the night but on the goal line at least keep the defense honest.

LaFleur’s tone after the game suggested he regretted not running it at least once, but Rodgers did have a run-pass option on third down and didn’t feel Jones would get in so he pulled the ball. Graham had two legit chances to make a catch. The Eagles played the play-action boot on second down perfectly. I try not to get worked up about calls. Every call, whatever it is, is designed to work. Make something work.

Molly from Aiken, SC

Vince Lombardi said, "We didn't lose we just ran out of time." I felt that sentiment in this game.

Not me. The Packers had plenty of chances and plenty of time. Plenty.

Joe from Chicago, IL

No question, just a comment: I'm having a hard time justifying continuing to support the NFL with my money when I'm watching young men carted off the field with vicious hits to the head. At least in college football it feels like they're making an effort to get those plays out of the game with in game ejections. Allowing Derek Barnett to stay in the game after his hit on Jamaal Williams tells me the NFL isn't serious about the problem.

How many times have I said in this space, in my live chats, on “Unscripted,” and everywhere else that the NFL’s refusal to make safety rules reviewable via replay continually casts doubt on how serious the league is about wanting the safety rules to be correctly applied, which therefore brings into question the commitment to safety in general? My face just keeps getting bluer.

Brian from Superior, WI

So much for player safety. No less than five helmet-to-helmet hits in this game, only two penalties and two players carted off the field. Have the new rules failed?

And bluer.

Joe from Parkland County, Alberta

Aside from a few plays the offense would like to have back they performed well. On TV the defense looked tired and struggled to get home. Is this just a product of short-week football, or is it something that could rear its head when the game is on the line? P.S. – Thoughts and prayers to both Williams and Maddox and hope for a speedy recovery.

I mentioned in the live in-game blog that I’m not about to draw any grand conclusions in September, and especially not on a Thursday in September. I don’t think the Packers’ defense is suddenly a sieve, nor do I think the offense is now a well-oiled machine. These games on short weeks, especially early in the season, are anomalies more often than not. Next month will tell us more about this team than this past month did.

Nick from Portland, OR

Just seemed like one of those games where everything that could go wrong, went wrong. Williams hurt on first play, our run defense/pass rush goes dormant, Adams gets hurt at the end, Bulaga goes down, not to mention all the stupid mistakes and untimely drops. Honestly, I’m impressed they kept this game so close despite the adversity. Plus the offense looked pretty sharp for once. We were bound to lose eventually, and I’m confident this team will respond the right way.

The Packers didn’t lose to a slouch. Wentz might be the best QB aside from Mahomes they’ll face all season. He’s a superb player, and he was in total command with the Eagles running the ball the way they were. You just hate to lose at home when it was there for the taking, but the response is all that matters now.

John from New York, NY

Is this defense built for rushing the passer only? What do you see as the main problem in stopping the run for us right now? Let’s not forget Denver was also running the ball on us.

And Minnesota. I’m not a coach so I can’t specify what’s wrong, but what I do know is run defense is easier to fix than pass defense, and this ain’t Pettine’s first rodeo.

Dennis from Rhinelander, WI

The Miami Dolphins, possibly the first franchise to have an undefeated season and a winless season.

Which is more likely this season? Some team going 16-0, or the Dolphins avoiding 0-16?

Michael from Fredonia, WI

We talk in II a lot about playing your best at the end of the year. Can we take a moment to appreciate Craig Counsell? What the Crew has accomplished in the last two Septembers is stunning.

David Stearns’ building of a deep 40-man roster and Counsell’s utilization of it the last two Septembers has been incredibly impressive, and they’ve done it this year without their MVP. The roster rules change next year, but that’s next year.

Tristan from Chicago, IL

(In relation to the Brewers) I guess there’s only one thing left to do...

I’ll second that.

Ronald from Panabo City, Philippines

Insiders, what is JK Scott's real full name?

John Kimball Scott III.

John from Scottsdale, AZ

Pundits talk about QBs having “arm talent,” a term I don’t necessarily like but certainly Rodgers is always mentioned, so it’s bearable. I recently heard punters referred to as having “leg talent” which IMHO is an even worse term. That said, when you watch JK Scott punt, his knee touches his facemask. Let me say that again. His knee touches his facemask! Hams, glutes and groin all working together. Talented indeed.

Scott told reporters earlier this month he once gave himself a bloody nose when he was punting with his helmet not strapped on tightly enough.

Bill from Fort Worth, TX

I love all the thought going into hoping the Bears or Vikings would win. I just figured I hate that stupid horn and the Vikings are the better team. Go Bears.

That works, too. FYI, if the Lions beat the Chiefs, they’ll be in first place at the quarter pole at 3-0-1.

Joe from Hartford, CT

Gentlemen, doesn’t it seem like a good idea to get Martinez locked up on a new contract before the end of the season?

It always takes two to tango.

Mike from Las Vegas, NV

When Aaron was asked about getting Davante more involved, he mentioned "messing with his split." What does that mean?

A receiver’s split refers to where he’s lined up in relation to the tight end, or to other receivers on his same side – how large or little space there is that “splits” the players.

Jake from Athens, GA

How different does that game look if Jamaal Williams doesn’t go out on the very first offensive play? The Eagles’ run defense came as advertised, but they were starting to show cracks there at the end, against a surely exhausted Aaron Jones.

I agree losing Williams was a blow, and Jones had to be wiped out playing all those snaps on a short week. But I don’t know what cracks you saw. The Packers didn’t run the ball once in the fourth quarter (not counting scrambles) until the second-to-last snap, and Jones’ last three carries in the third quarter went for zero, minus-2 and minus-4 yards. Philly’s defensive front is really fast.

Tyler from Minneapolis, MN

Second-and-goal. Packers have three plays and two timeouts at the end of the fourth quarter. A touchdown ties the game. The first down run was successful, so here’s my question: Why throw? Have we learned nothing from Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch? I know Jones wasn’t uber-productive rushing the ball for most of the game, but he had the hot hand on the last drive. That last offensive play was a bad play call. It wasn’t just bad execution. I hope LaFleur owns up to it.

Rodgers owned it. He’s got Shepherd wide open in the corner if he holds the ball for another split-second, or pump fakes. All the coverage converged on MVS.

Lambeau Field hosted a Thursday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4 of the 2019 NFL season.

Matty from Troy, MO

Just FYI, the proper method to share a sandwich is for one sibling to cut the sandwich and the other sibling chooses first. This method plus a bag of chips and a cookie is how you construct a sack lunch. Mom's rules, not mine.

I don’t care whose rules. It’s still gonna be my lunch.

Matt from Chicago, IL

Is a delay of game penalty (or non-penalty) reviewable?

No.

Kyle from Osceola, WI

Ipso facto? It was my understanding there would be no Latin.

Every once in a while, Wes needs to show off that Bay Port High School education.

Dave from Edina, MN

The Packers have three extra days to turn their attention to the Cowboys. The Cowboys have a tough Sunday night matchup before they can finally turn their attention to the Pack. How important is that advantage?

The physical rest likely will make a bigger difference than any schematic preparation advantage.

Rachel from Appleton, WI

To continue the sack questions, does the total sack credit for a single sack need to equal one? Or could three players be given credit for half a sack for a single play? Would they ever give someone credit for a full sack and then a teammate credit for half a sack? Or when a team sends in a play to give a player credit for a partial sack (like you mentioned earlier) does the original player credited with a full sack get knocked down to a half a sack? Thanks for your patience with my question!

Credit for a sack must equal one full sack, and it can’t be split amongst more than two people. If a play on which one player was credited with a full sack is sent in for statistical review and it’s determined the sack should be shared, both players get a half sack.

Ben from Madison, WI

We knew their weakness going in – defending the pass. The offense seemed more efficient than before, and we attacked effectively, but left some plays out there. Story of the game? Turnovers. They gave us a taste of our own medicine.

The first turnover gave the Eagles the ball at the Green Bay 17. On the two possessions before that, special teams gave them the ball at the Green Bay 34 and the Philly 40. Three touchdown drives covered barely more than 100 yards. The Packers started no drives from better than their own 30, and five from inside their own 25. Field position most of the game was decidedly in Philly’s favor.

TD from Potosi, WI

Now, they have to win one no one will expect them to.

That’ll certainly help, but I’m not sure I’d say that because it implies this game was supposed to be a slam dunk. I’m pretty confident the Eagles are going to be right in the mix when it’s all said and done, especially when they get healthy.

Bryce from Billings, MT

You have to give it to them, the Eagles played a good game. What do you think the Packers learned Thursday night?

Elite QBs don’t just give the ball away. They make turnovers harder to come by. Rodgers had his first two of the season, but those mistakes are magnified when the other guy protects the ball well, too.

Brandon from Pleasant Prairie, WI

Well, thank goodness for the few extra days off after that one before their next game.

That’s the only benefit to playing on a Thursday. The only one.

Eric from Melissa, TX

I don’t know about you guys, but I kind of preferred winning ugly.

Never apologize for a win nor stew over a loss in this league. There’s no meaning in either.

Joe from Des Moines, IA

With the team having a mini-bye week do you guys get a chance to sign off for a couple days and enjoy the weekend?

That’s the plan. Happy Friday.

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