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Inbox: There’s no putting a price on that

CB Jaire Alexander breaks up a pass intended for Vikings WR Stefon Diggs
CB Jaire Alexander breaks up a pass intended for Vikings WR Stefon Diggs

Steve from Fergus Falls, MN

Encouraged, but it’s only two games. I hope everyone is keeping this win in perspective.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. That’s a mantra that covers a lot of ground, if you know what I mean.

Dale from Owatonna, MN

I live in Minnesota so most of my friends are Viking fans. I came away from this game grateful for a win. I think this game was two of the best in the league. I applaud the Vikes for making it a game. It’s the NFL so a 21-point lead in the first half is not a guarantee. Put Dec. 23 on calendar for the day our division gets decided.

I’d take that right now. Through two weeks, everyone in the NFC North has at least one win. That’s rare. This is going to be a long, drawn-out fight.

Phil from Madison, WI

Second quarter II submission: Hey, these guys could be pretty good! Postgame II submission: Well, a win is a win, at least we're 2-0 … (and the above could still be true).

Yes, yes it could. September football. It’s like March Madness. Survive and advance.

Jennifer from Middleton, WI

Thanks to the digital team for sharing the video of the halftime celebration for Bart. I was choked up. First by the number of men that left wheelchairs to walk out on the field for him and second by sweet Cherry. Oh and the stills! How sweet was it to see Favre and Rodgers practically on their knees to hug her. Evan captured it perfectly. Any in-person anecdotes would be most welcome!

I could only partially pay attention while handling my halftime duties, but it was a special day at Lambeau Field. According to ESPN, the last time the Packers blew a 21-point lead and lost was in 1983, when Starr was coach. Go figure.

Theologos from Athens, Greece

It would have been more fitting to take the game with an Aaron Rodgers dive for the winning touchdown from the 1-yard line with 13 seconds on the clock, but I’ll take the win anyway.

Beggars can’t be choosers.

Louis from Warrington, UK

Our defense looks legit for the first time in a good few years. To my eye, we still have some deficiencies on the offensive side of the ball. Is it time for Gutekunst to explore trade possibilities for a wide receiver and/or TE? Our passing game looks like Davante or bust to me.

Two games, two wins, and you want to start making trades? This offense can get there with the personnel it has. They were a play here or play there from a really big day. Allison’s fumble, the fourth-down mixup, several passes getting knocked away at the last second by good defensive plays. When Aaron Jones can run the ball against that defense for five yards a clip, the rest will come along. There’s work to do, but the offense is not as far away as it appeared after Week 1.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

Fangio must be an II reader ... but thought the tie-equals-loss rule already had been implemented.

Crazy finishes to some of these games. Penalties, clock operators, injuries, you name it. Week 2 had it all in the NFL.

Adam from Wausau, WI

Hey Spoff, I missed who the starters were for the start of the game, but noticed Jenkins was in there, then Taylor, then Jenkins again at LG. Was Jenkins the starter then got injured or what is the story about that? Also, did you see the end of the Broncos and Bears game where Chubb got flagged for roughing the passer? I believe if roughing-the-passer penalties were reviewable it would have been reversed. Considering what happened in that game and what happened last year do you think that will be added to what plays can be reviewable next year?

To your last question, no. We’re only at this point with PI because it happened in a conference title game. Jenkins subbed in for Taylor on a couple of series. LaFleur characterized it as an ongoing competition.

Jordan from Sturgeon Bay, WI

How wild of a ride was that?! I am not talking about the game, I am talking about the II entries from the first half, compared to the ones from the second half, compared to the ones after Kevin King’s INT.

I never read any submitted during the game for that very reason.

Gary from Sheboygan, WI

Question on "too many players in the huddle" penalty. Assuming it's 12 men actually in the huddle, not coming in and leaving the field, is there a “grace period” of a second or two to give the players a chance to react? Or is it called the instant the replacement is in the huddle?

It’s called right away if all 12 players are huddling up. Can’t do that. If substitutions are going on, often you’ll see a QB take a few steps back from the group, to clarify that they’re not huddling when more than 11 are on the field.

Gar from Key West, FL

Hi all, on the failed third/fourth-down series, what was the confusion? Rodgers appeared to be upset with the referees over something, and it was mentioned in one of the stories that there was miscommunication between Rodgers and LaFleur. Thanks guys for all the great work you do.

I spelled it out in my editorial after the game. Weird sequence. Fortunately for the Packers the confusion wasn’t more costly.

Vincent from Boston, MA

What a difference a year makes. Think opposing quarterbacks have now gotten the message that this isn't a defense (against which) you can make desperation throws to the end zone?

That was pure quarterback malpractice by Cousins. The Vikings had just run three straight times for 25 yards. They go play-action on first-and-goal from the 8 to see if someone slips free for a quick-hitter with the defense focused on the run. Doesn’t work, so instead of living for another play, he scrambles and heaves one up. Diggs didn’t help him by putting his hand up when he wasn’t really that open, but still. That’s a gross mismanagement of crunch time. If opposing teams make mistakes, you have to capitalize, and the Packers did on that one.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Tony Brown (league min. salary) gets a $28K fine for unnecessary roughness. Greg Robinson gets a $10,527 fine for intentionally kicking Kenny Vaccaro in the head. I saw the Robinson penalty and it looked worthy of a minimum one-game suspension or at least a maximum fine. I'm confused? What are the league rules pertaining to a situation like this (intentionally kicking an opponent)?

There’s a schedule of fines for various violations that’s part of the CBA, and each violation has minimums for a first offense and second offense. “Striking/kneeing/kicking” is cheaper than a blindside block or hit on a defenseless player.

John from Northfield, MN

25 years since Sharpe has played? I couldn’t believe that! Man I am getting old!

Tell me about it.

Bob from Ventura, CA

After watching the play Tramon made pushing the WR out of bounds before he got both feet in it occurred to me that this doesn't really need to be so rare. If a receiver needs to go high to make a catch and there are, say, two defenders around, what is to prevent them from just keeping him in the air while traveling toward their defensive end zone (to prevent a whistle for lack of forward progress) and dumping him gently out of bounds?

If a receiver is literally carried out of bounds by a defender, and it’s not in the course of a natural hit or shove, the pass can be ruled complete.

The Green Bay Packers honored Bart Starr throughout their Week 2 game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Zach from Clarkfield, MN

Have you ever tried grilled asparagus?

Yes, it’s the best way to prepare it in my opinion.

John from Topeka, KS

Seattle and New Orleans use the audio systems to augment crowd volume, while to the best of my knowledge Kansas City has yet to succumb to such inflation. If a stadium of human beings can create a noise that influences the game, I guess I'm OK with that.

Me, too.

Eddie from La Crosse, WI

I mean, listen, we're talking about grammar – not capital letters, not spelling, not punctuation…we talking about GRAMMAR. Not a game. Not, not…Not the game that I go out there and die for and write about every game like it's my last. We're talking about grammar, man. I mean, how silly is that?… And we talking about GRAMMAR…

Or syntax or usage, as others have pointed out, to be technically correct. Or something along those lines. But by and large, nicely done.

Dan from Chippewa Falls, WI

Doesn't JK's speaking mannerisms remind you of a young Anthony Michael Hall? There is something very likable about him. Maybe you guys could start a Packers “Breakfast Club” segment with him. If Rock is the athlete and Mike is the lunch-stealing criminal, does that make Wes the princess or the basket case?

Now we’ve really gone off the rails.

James from Hudson, WI

Regarding the senior nominees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, when does that list come out? I would love to see Bobby Dillon get some serious consideration. After hearing about his passing away last month, I did some more reading about him. He really was a remarkable player and still holds the all-time interceptions record for the Packers, all the while only having one working eye. Any senior nominee players you would especially like to see get in?

Dillon, Sharpe and Verne Lewellen are all worthy of consideration, but I can’t speak to how big a backlog the senior committee has in terms of players it deems contenders.

William from Palmdale, CA

Mike, not a question, but a huge thanks! Friday was special for my "owner" son and I in that you published his question: e.g. Kegan from deployed, re: the HOF question. Not only was this a true joy as a proud dad, but it brought tears as he is away in harm’s way serving with the Navy in a war zone on a war ship. Thanks for making our day and for the exemplary way in which you and Wes handle yourselves serving Packer Nation. If either one of us make it to Lambeau, we would be honored to meet you.

The honor would be mine. Please stay in touch if that indeed happens.

Dave from Comer, GA

Why hate ties? It is the ultimate tiebreaker at the end of the season. My suggestion for the regular season is to eliminate OT altogether and allow a tie. What's the harm? I was at the MLB All-Star Game in Milwaukee that ended in a tie. I remember some drunk fan complaining, "I paid to see someone win!" My thought was, "No, you paid to watch the game. Your expectation was that someone would win. There was no guarantee. You got what you paid for, but not what you expected."

First, I believe I prefaced my original comment by saying the tie/loss scenario would never happen, so despite my intrigue, we can let it go. Second, I covered that MLB All-Star Game and my assignment was to write a story on the game’s MVP. Then they didn’t pick one. One of the strangest stories I’ve ever had to write, on deadline no less.

Jon from Appleton, WI

Would you say the Lambeau crowd kept up their end? I heard a lot of noise for the Vikings but it seems like Cousins spent a lot of time covering the ear holes in his helmet to get plays in.

Too many Packers fans sold their tickets, I’ll say that. Way too much purple in the stands for a new head coach’s home opener. But the Green Bay fans who were there made themselves heard at the right time.

Matt from Waukesha, WI

I'll take the win and the offensive improvement over last week, but what can they do to keep that offensive rhythm throughout the game? A handful of third-and-1 or third-and-2 plays with nothing working has got to be frustrating for everyone.

The Packers got a lot more manageable third-down situations this game, which was a focus, and they should have done better than 5-of-15. After converting their first three, they were 2-of-12 thereafter. You’d like to find a short-yardage call or two you can hang your hat on, to go to with regularity and confidence, and off of which to run play-action if the defense is overplaying it. That’s going to take some time. They had no third-and-shorts in Chicago, and their first ones against Minnesota didn’t go well. It’s another part of the work in progress.

Lauren from Tampa Bay, FL

Thankful for the win, but I feel like I need some goat yoga after watching the last three quarters of that game.

If you want to hear what QB1 thinks of this defense’s tandems at corner and outside linebacker, watch the latter portion of his postgame press conference. He doesn’t go into detailed praise like that just anytime.

Sam from Boston, MA

I'm already reading articles saying, "How many more times can the defense bail out the Packers?" I'd rather see this as a good defense making great plays when it matters most.

Minnesota had four legitimate possessions from five minutes left in the third quarter to three minutes left in the game and didn’t score a point. I talked all week about the Vikings’ skill players being way better than Chicago’s, and they had their share of explosive plays, but Green Bay’s defense was better with the game in the balance. There’s no putting a price on that.

Donna from Darien, WI

Can we please have the duo of Smith & Smith press conference every week?

If they keep playing like this, why not?

Travis from Bruce, SD

Hey guys, the pick Cousins threw in the end zone to seal the game to Kevin King, heck of a play but the way the ball squirted out at the end when he was rolling, honestly I thought it was gonna be overturned because of the making a football move/possession throughout/Calvin Johnson rule. Your thoughts?

I was concerned, too. Under the original rule, I think it would have (a la Johnson, Dez Bryant), but the most recent clarification from a year or two ago saved King and the Packers there.

Dan from Rosthern, Saskatchewan

Two games, two fourth-quarter interceptions in the end zone. Whose turn is it against the Broncos? I'm guessing No. 23!

What’s genuinely fun about watching this defense is nobody cares who it is.

Colin from Tripoi, WI

Guys, please explain to me, when is winning close, gut-check games against a fierce divisional opponent ever a bad thing. I don't get all the gloom. The offense will come around.

My thoughts exactly. Happy Monday.

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