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Inbox: The response is all that matters now

Make it the last one


Scott from Chugiak, AK

The Giants tried hard to lose that game, we tried a little harder.

That pretty much sums it up.

Patrick from Murfreesboro, TN

Earned the outcome, unfortunately.


Al from Green Bay, WI

We've seen what this team is capable of doing. That wasn't it. Silver lining?

I'm not into silver linings after a performance like that. But you're right, that's not what this team is capable of. If that's the last backstep in this up-and-back season, the Packers will be fine. But it's up to them to make it the last one.

Van from Mississauga, Canada

I know gadget plays add another wrinkle to defend and Jayden Reed's speed makes him a good candidate to run them, but I'm not sure why ML would dial up that play for the two-point attempt after the Giants had defended his rushes very capably since the first-quarter touchdown.

You mean since Green Bay's first offensive play of the second half, a 20-yard Reed run. But yeah, the Giants clearly adjusted the rest of the way. LaFleur admitted after the game the two-point play was a bad call.

Jeff from Foothill Ranch, CA

Mike, was this Week 4 or Week 14? I knew more growing pains were coming, but this looked like a team that never left GB. No pass rush. No pass block. A backup scrambling QB burned them. ST blunders. Turnovers. Did they practice this week? Did they need this to knock them down a peg? ML went to that reverse to Reed at least three too many times. We had no other threat to make them commit to anything else. We got manhandled up front. And the prevent D didn't prevent the FG. Did I miss anything?

Missing field goals and two-point plays always loom large in games like that. And not winning a game when handed the luckiest of lucky breaks – as if the first gift turnover on the punt earlier in the game wasn't enough – just speaks to how poor the overall performance really was.

Nicholas from Washington, DC

Terrible clock management on our last offensive series. Why would we go hurry-up on that last drive? We had plenty of time, and ended up leaving way too much time on the clock, which came back to bite us.

I'm not sure what you wanted done differently. The Packers took the clock from 3:34 down to the two-minute warning with four plays that gained 20 yards. Then the next four snaps, before the TD, were two incomplete passes, a third-down conversion that went out of bounds, and the QB draw, after which the Giants called a timeout. New York still had two timeouts left and would've used them in any running clock situation once it was goal-to-go.

Marty from Plymouth, WI

Another 200-plus yard rushing game given up when you know the opponent is going to run the ball. Ugh. And when you let a team you should beat hang around, they find a way to bite you. Disappointing doesn't accurately reflect this game.

That's four times now, 200-plus on the ground. When the opposing QBs have been Ridder, Goff, Pickett and DeVito. I was too tired to hunt amidst all the vitriol for a question asking my biggest concern about this team the rest of the way. So I'll just answer it here. It's the run defense. LaFleur mentioned his concerns after the Kansas City win and I wrote about them early last week, knowing what was coming up. That's the most disheartening of the many frustrations from this game.

Kevin from Chemung, IL

Disappointed, obviously, as that game had a lot of potential but ultimately the team couldn't overcome their mistakes. Surely they can find a plethora of learning opportunities, but if you have to pick one thing on offense, defense, and special teams what is your point of emphasis as you prepare for TB on Sunday?

Already mentioned the defense. On offense, they have to make the simple plays. The ones that are there. Throws need to be on target. Hands need to be sound. Stouter up front. On special teams, the penalties and inconsistencies in the kicking game have been present all season. Those have to smooth out at some point.

Thomas from Edgewood, NM

Brutal game to watch. The highs and lows were to an extreme. Seems like we play to the level of the other team. Played great against the Lions and Chiefs, then played just bad enough to let a down-and-out team beat us. Are we playing that way or am I reading too much into it? Just disappointed in how flat we seemed to play, and now we have to move on.

If folks want to buy into the "playing to the level of the competition" idea, that's fine I guess. I personally don't believe there's that much difference amongst NFL teams and the last several games have shown that. The Giants weren't down and out, they had won two straight, had their bye week, and went to battle. It's a week-to-week league and it all comes down to how you perform on that day, regardless of which opponent.

Tyler from Stetsonville, WI

Turning point of the game was Keisean Nixon's decision to get up on the punt.

That felt like watching a disaster in slow motion unfold.

Joe from Pittsburgh, PA

We got what we deserved. Sloppy and uninspired all night, and the defense folded without a whimper at the end predictably. And Jet Sweep Matt should look to not beat that horse to death, get back to basic football. They probably had to fumigate Met Life stadium after this stinker and make the Packers pay for it.

C'mon now, the stadium's in Jersey after all.

Pat from Kennesaw, GA

Wow, and frustrating. Has to be the worst game of the year by all three phases and unfortunately all in the same game. It amazes me how a team can look so different from week to week.

It happens all the time, all over the league. Just look around. It just happens less to some teams than to others. That's the difference.

Brad from Nampa, ID

I don't think it would've mattered if Danny DeVito played QB for the Giants. We had too many mistakes in every phase to win that game. It appeared the team wasn't prepared at all. I thought they battled through their miscues but wasn't enough to overcome. How much do you think this loss affects the psyche of the team and how do they respond to this loss? I hope this loss is a good learning experience for this young team coming down the home stretch. That no team can be overlooked.

If they didn't know that already, that's on them. I don't think they overlooked anybody. I don't think they were unprepared. They just played poorly. The offense found no rhythm, the defense got killed on the ground, and the special teams made game-changing blunders. The response is all that matters now. As I wrote in my Rapid Reaction piece, the Packers have been here before. Maybe they didn't handle success well, but they've handled adversity before and have to do so again.

Jim from Tempe, AZ

That loud thud was the Packers falling back to earth. Ugh! That was ugly. Learning to deal with success is definitely on the to-do list.

Here's to hoping they get another chance in that realm.

Don from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Was this the definition of a trap game? They just seemed off and reverted back to some things that had seemingly been fixed.

Nothing's ever fixed except the one time you do it right. Then the next time you have to do it right again. This wasn't a trap game. I don't believe in those. This was a backsliding game. It was going to happen. Better now when there's still time to compensate for it, unlike Week 18 last season. They had a letdown at 6-6 instead of 8-8. Like I said, make it the last one.

Robert from Seattle, WA

So sloppy at this stage of the season! Got to call out the coaches!

Call out whomever you'd like. Nobody's shielded from criticism after a performance like that. Nobody. I'm sure my live blog wasn't good enough, either. Throw some blame my way if it makes you feel better.

Jared from La Crosse, WI

I don't even know what to say after watching that.

I think I've wasted enough words on it, so from here, the column proceeds with a portion I worked on during pregame.

Patrick from Oronoco, MN

Hi Mike, do the Packers use the Jets' locker room when playing the Giants at MetLife stadium? Or is there a third locker room? Happy Holidays!

There's a visitors' locker room. The Giants and Jets each have their own.

Caleb from Knoxville, TN

Biggest surprise of Sunday?

The Texans, in the thick of the playoff chase, getting just blown out in that second half vs. the Jets.

Tabb from Houston, TX

Hi Mike. Another great episode of "Packers Unscripted" last week, where you gave due credit to both Mahomes and Kelce for responding like champions would and placing blame on no one but themselves after the defeat at Lambeau Field. At the time I wholeheartedly agreed, but I feel the wind is out of that sail after Mahomes revisited the officiating during the Packers game in light of a legitimate offensive offsides penalty called before a heads-up play by Kelce was even made. Your take now?

I'll stand behind what I said last week, but I understand the Chiefs' frustrations reaching another level when the officiating once again was front and center. After what was said at Lambeau last Sunday night, though, I was surprised (and disappointed) at the lack of accountability thrown Toney's way by Mahomes and Reid for such an obvious miscue. When interviewed by the pool reporter, referee Carl Cheffers called it an "egregious" violation, and on Twitter/X, CBS rules analyst Gene Steratore called Toney "blatantly" offside. Both are absolutely correct. For Mahomes to insinuate afterward part of Kelce's HOF legacy was somehow shorted, and for Reid to follow up Monday and say Toney was "an inch or two from being legal" are frankly laughable assertions. It was not a ticky-tack offensive offside (unlike the ones on Jon Runyan for the Packers earlier this season). It should've been called, and Toney not checking with the nearest official regarding his alignment is 100% on him. Again, I can appreciate the Chiefs' frustrations, and I think the intensity of their rivalry with the Bills played into their emotional reactions. But episodes like this distract from the justified criticism directed toward officiating in this league. That particular firestorm was entirely undeserved.

Kevin from Tinton Falls, NJ

It's pretty wild, I never noticed it before, but I just watched Mahomes do it again! He ran for the first down and literally stopped in bounds and waited for the defender to hit him. Thankfully the defender held up and barely hit him but wow. Any advantage, I guess.

That's why I brought it up last week.

Brad from Solon Springs, WI

Mike/Wes, "Josh Allen wills his way into the end zone from eight yards out." Reality… three players pushed him into the end zone! Even the reporters are sweeping it under the rug.

You mean sweeping it under the rugby? I'll see myself out in a minute.

David from Zephyrhills, FL

17 punts and 3-0. What is NFL record for most punts in a game and what is the last time a game only had three points?

The Giants and Jets combined for 24 punts in a game earlier this season, most in the league in 20 years. The record is 31, set by the Packers and Bears in 1933. The last 3-0 game was in 2007, Pittsburgh vs. Miami. There have been only three 3-0 games in the last 40 years.

Clay from Council Bluffs, IA

Mike, how does MLB hand out $700 million contracts to one player? Hasn't the NFL passed MLB in viewership? Where does this type of money still come from?

Nearly 10 times as many games as the NFL with roughly half the roster size and no salary cap. Some teams have bottomless pockets. That's what makes MLB less appealing as a competitive entity.

Michael from Box Elder, SD

Not to discredit what the Lions have accomplished so far, I think they have had a heck of a season. But you made a comment earlier in the year to the realm of "how will they handle success down the stretch?" I have noticed the last five weeks that they have barely squeezed by or lost to struggling teams during crunch time of the season.

It's a long season, even longer now than it used to be. The Broncos were 1-5 and are now one game behind the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs for first place in the AFC West. To paraphrase the infamous John Blutarsky, "Nothing is over until the numbers decide it is."

Chris from Milwaukee, WI

The Vikings eked out a victory and the Bears didn't give up their lead to the Lions this time. How did the others teams that could have helped out the Pack's playoff seeding fare this weekend?

The losses by the Rams and Seahawks certainly were helpful. But the whole picture in the NFC is really something now. Three teams (Niners, Cowboys, Eagles) are tied at 10-3 for the No. 1 seed, three teams (Falcons, Saints, Bucs) are tied for first at 6-7 in the NFC South – the same division that produced a sub-.500 winner last year – and three others (Packers, Rams, Seahawks) are at 6-7 in the wild-card picture. Buckle up folks, here we go.

Ed from Windsor, CO

This is hard to say but give the Giants some credit. That was not a trap game, it was out of sync ugly. Now, forget about it. Next game mentality and you have a column to write. What did your night look like?

Long. Or short. Depending how you look at it. As LaFleur says, nobody cares. It's Tuesday.

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