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Inbox: There are worse formulas

LB Preston Smith forces a Joe Flacco fumble in Green Bay's 27-16 Week 3 win over Denver
LB Preston Smith forces a Joe Flacco fumble in Green Bay's 27-16 Week 3 win over Denver

Al from Spearfish, SD

So, what is the opposing QB rating through three games?

It’s 63.1. Opposing passers are a collective 60-of-106 for 671 yards with one TD and four picks.

Ben from Pensacola, FL

Upon being asked, "How does 3-0 feel?" Jamaal Williams: "I mean, doesn't sound as good as 4-0." My thoughts exactly. Onto Philly. That being said, still some offensive mistakes, but this offense is much closer.

I didn’t see the same progress in Week 3 that I saw in Week 2, but there’s no time to dwell on it. Week 3½ is already here.

Miranda from Rochester, NY

Oh man do we have a defense! Is it just me or is Preston Smith reminiscent of Julius Peppers? His stature, presence and tenacity remind me so much of him.

Peppers was a physical freak of nature. Preston is a little more “normal” size for his position. But the Smiths as a tandem (a trio if you count their new position coach) already have 7½ sacks between them. Matthews and Perry combined for five all of last season.

Bill from Raleigh, NC

Hi Mike, it looked like AR threw away a number of passes instead of trying to find time to make a play. Though AR has certainly thrown passes away before, Sunday's throwaways seemed to happen more quickly than in past years. Do you think we witnessed a new Packers approach to keep AR healthier and minimize big sack losses?

Not really. I think a couple of the quick throwaways were due to a specifically designed play (such as a screen) that wasn’t coming together, and he had no other options, nor was the play design going to give him a chance to buy time. It would have been fruitless, so just ground the ball and live for another play.

Lauren from Tampa Bay, FL

Kudos to the O-line for awesome protection. “12” said his uniform has never been cleaner, and he feels so good he may have a Scotch tonight while watching film. How will his condition coming out of this game help the offense as a whole on Thursday?

I think it’s a significant factor for a 35-year-old QB playing on a short week. It’s why I made such prominent mention of it in my editorial.

Thaddeus from La Jolla, CA

I’ve been a longtime reader but this is my first submitted question. On the second Broncos touchdown it appeared that their offensive lineman grabbed and pulled Phillip Lindsay across the goal line. I thought that you could push but not pull a teammate forward. What’s the rule there?

I thought it was illegal, too. But as I noted in the in-game live blog, even though all touchdowns are reviewed, that type of penalty is not a reviewable part of the play. If the officials on the field don’t call it, you’re SOL.

Hans from Orem, UT

Starting to think that if our defense can keep opposing teams under 20 points per game we're going to win the vast majority of our games.

There are worse formulas.

Paul from LaPorte, IN

Not that I want to take away from Preston, but it looked like Gary had ahold of Flacco’s jersey and helped the cause. Can he be credited with half a sack? Who looks into that?

If the coaches feel it’s warranted, they can send the play in to Elias Sports Bureau to be reviewed and have statistics corrected.

Zack from Oswego, NY

Well gentlemen, the NFC North is 8-2-1 going into Monday, with the two losses obviously being Green Bay handling their business with the Bears and Vikings. This division is very scary. Am I crazy to believe there will be three NFC North teams in the playoffs this year?

We’re way too early for that kind of speculation, but this division so far takes a back seat to no one.

Bob from Sydney, Australia

It's really neat that we have two regular question writers from different places called Athens. I hope Theologos and Jake get to catch up one day. I'm lucky enough to have seen both Athens and Athens with my own eyes. One is awe-inspiring and the other is simply beautiful. Both have excellent architecture. The Inbox is cool.

All righty then.

Terrance from Sun Prairie, WI

What two players are having the most impact on the defense?

Why only two?

Nick from Portland, OR

Gutekunst is looking like an absolute genius right now. Have you ever seen such immediate impact from a GM with regards to his early draft/free-agency successes?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. In his first two years (1992-93), Ron Wolf drafted Brooks, Bennett, Chmura, Simmons, Teague, Dotson and Evans, traded for Favre, and signed Winters and White. Thompson (2005-06) drafted Rodgers, Collins, Poppinga, Hawk, Colledge, Jennings and Jolly and signed Woodson and Pickett.

Andrew from Oconto, WI

Hi guys, what is the Packers' record in the throwback uniforms?

Sunday’s win put the Packers at 3-2 in that particular throwback, which was worn once per year from 2015-19. In the previous throwback (2010-14), they were 4-0, not wearing it in 2012.

Todd from Brighton, MI

Can “a trusted colleague” also be a “partner in crime”?

Indubitably.

Andy from Tomah, WI

I often see locker room stories mentioning this player is next to that player or between these players. Is this by design to develop younger players or camaraderie within position groups?

Often, yes. Occasionally when in-season roster moves are made, such as a player from the practice squad being signed to the active roster – which moves him from the auxiliary locker room into the main one – there aren’t any available lockers within or near his position group so he’s just given an open spot. But they try to keep positions groups near each other as much as possible.

Gary from Chippewa Falls, WI

When I think of the GM interviews BG has had and see what he has done for the Packers, it makes me wonder what the owners did not like. I am thankful for what we were left.

And he was the fourth Thompson protégé to get a GM job after Schneider, Dorsey and McKenzie. Think about that.

Dean from Vienna, VA

Unless I am mistaken I saw Jaire make three or four tackles in a row on players he was not covering. He is really special.

If I’m allowed to use a double negative, he never doesn’t know where the ball is.

Ronald from Panabo City, Philippines

Hey Insiders, the Packers obtained Adam Pankey from another team’s practice squad. How is that possible? We must have traded for him or what?

Practice-squad players are free agents. They can sign with another team’s active roster at any point. The primary stipulation is a player signed from another practice squad to the active roster is guaranteed at least three regular-season game checks.

Dan from Twin Lakes, WI

This team is made up of quite a collection of characters. Aaron Jones is like a cool little California surfer dude, even though he's from...Texas? Billy Turner appears to be a gigantic Rasta-hippie...with violent tendencies (huh?). Za'Darius Smith is like a dashing, swashbuckling pirate. Jaire Alexander has confidence he ain't even used yet. Matt LaFleur's clean-cut good looks and ready smile are reminiscent of a young Ron Howard. Not Richie Cunningham. Steve Bolander (American Graffiti).

And Wes is … Wes.

Derek from Norton, KS

Do you think Oren Burks will be plugged into the starting lineup upon return? Or will the Packers continue to use a hybrid approach to the second MLB?

I think Pettine will continue to use the hybrid in a number of packages, but either way, Burks will have to get some practices under his belt before he’s playing in a game. His injury occurred six weeks ago now.

Dave from Lake Zurich, IL

Packers can activate two players after eight weeks on injured reserve, right? Did the team have to designate which two are eligible? Sternberger, Greene, and Taylor were all placed on IR after the 53 roster was set.

Teams no longer have to designate players to return when they’re put on IR, which was the case when the rule was originally implemented. They can make decisions as they go.

Randal from Sheboygan, WI

I found the pictures of a foggy Lambeau Field interesting, but it prompted a question. Has an NFL game ever been cancelled because of fog?

I don’t believe so. I remember as a kid watching the Bears-Eagles “Fog Bowl” playoff game on TV. You couldn’t see anything, but they kept playing.

Colton from Reeseville, WI

Good to see you at the Brewer game, Mike. Are you a big baseball fan?

Uh, yeah. I had a chance to go Friday night and couldn’t stay away.

Jim from Bluffton, SC

If a player has a contract for the year and plays a few games, but then is cut, does the player get the total year’s salary or does the team get cap credit for the games remaining in which the player under contract does not play?

Generally speaking, it depends on whether or not the player is a vested veteran (four or more accrued seasons). Vested veterans are guaranteed their entire salary for the season if they’re on the roster for Week 1. High draft picks on their rookie contracts can have certain guarantees built in, but it’s complicated.

Brian from Madison, WI

The talk about the Patriots taking advantage of a weak AFC inspired me to look up how they’ve done against NFC teams. Since 2011, the Patriots went 3-1 against NFC teams in the regular season every year except 2012, when they were 1-3. In the Super Bowl in that time span, they are 3-2. So, the AFC might be weak, but there isn’t much evidence the Patriots would do a lot worse in the NFC.

Point taken, but there also is something to be said for how much their division has struggled over the past decade, and those opponents constitute six of their 16 games. There’s a cumulative effect to that.

John from Winsted, CT

Spoff stated: "Yes, the Chiefs were the last for Favre to cross off his list in 2007." It's not a correction I enjoy making, but I faintly remember Favre crossing the last team off his list two years later.

Touche.

Terry from Madison, WI

So Rodgers has beaten every team in the NFL (except the Packers). I’m curious, has he won a game in every NFL city? Did he ever win in San Diego before they lost their team?

Yes, he won in San Diego in 2011. I counted 10 current NFL locales in which Rodgers has never won as a starter. In eight of them, he’s had only one opportunity to date (LA, New England, Buffalo, Kansas City, Denver, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Indy). The only places he’s winless with more than one chance are New Orleans (0-2) and Tennessee (0-2).

Ray from Clark, NJ

Mike, regarding the Miami tanking issue, do you think the NFL should consider a draft lottery? I do think tanking is too strong an accusation for NFL teams, but Miami is clearly making moves and plans for next year with no focus on winning games this year. As you stated, how many teams will be in this mode next year with Trevor Lawrence on the horizon? I, for one, believe a lottery for the bottom five teams to decide the top-five pick order needs to be considered.

I’m still on the fence here, but if the 2019 Dolphins seasons goes as it appears and the NFL doesn’t consider it, it never will.

Lambeau Field hosted a Week 3 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Denver Broncos.