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Inbox: There's plenty of blame to go around

What matters now is responding to what just hit you


Austin from Woodstock, IL

I'd like a refund on the bye week.

Ha. Good one.

Big from Rochester, NY

A tale of two interceptions.

Crazy that two of Aaron Rodgers' three career pick-sixes have come at that stadium. And I'll have to look up whether he's ever thrown picks on consecutive possessions before. Not even one of the greats is immune from a bad day at the office.

Barton from Tulum, Quintana Roo Mexico

Do you get the feeling our Packers will be confronting the Bucs again in the postseason? Hope the game is at Lambeau Field and it's snowing.

Anything to slow down those linebackers. Wow are David and White good. Really good. But we're a long way from thinking about January. Lotta season left, for both teams.

Mike from Dubuque, IA

I think the offense can fix itself. I'm not so sure the defense can. What do you think?

I have fewer worries about the offense. LaFleur said he didn't have a good game plan and they practiced "like crap." It happens. The defense seems to need a big play, and when it doesn't get one it struggles to turn things around. The last two possessions of the first half were especially disheartening. Four third downs, no stops, two touchdowns and the rout was on.

Brian from Okinawa, Japan

Did you see anything positive we can take away from that game? I need something to make me feel better about waking up at 5 to watch something with so few positives.

Sorry, I've got nothing for you. As I was saying in my live blog at the time, there was no rhythm to the offense even when it scored the first 10 points. Everything was extended, off-schedule plays, and Rodgers confirmed that after the game. They were off-kilter from the start. The early success with improv on third down delayed the Bucs' dominance a tad, and then the two picks accelerated it.

Chris from La Porte, IN

OK, who chortled?!

Another good one.

Salman from Linden, NJ

I think I can speak for all of Packers Nation when I say STUNNED. Almost felt physically ill. It's a long season and we will bounce back. But I can't help but think that this was a golden opportunity to show everyone what this team IS capable of. How does the team process this showing and build on it? Especially when most of our starters seemed to be back?

When you hear the words and phrases used by LaFleur and Rodgers after the game – poor practices, lethargic, no answers, etc. – it's clear there's plenty of blame to go around amongst the players and coaches. That message will be delivered and taken to heart. I believe that. They know they got beat by a good team, but they also know in a variety of ways they never gave themselves a chance.

Kyle from Osceola, WI

A grammar lesson on champing vs. chomping, and a paraphrase of "Planes, Trains and Automobiles." I love this bar.

Virtual bar, founded long before virtual became a way of life.

Mario from Kettleman City, CA

When did Wisconsin become so anti-science?

I wish I knew. I grew up here and the subject was a regular and required portion of the curriculum.

Donna from Darien, WI

As hard as it was to watch the Packers lose their first game of the season, I am just thankful for having a Packers game to watch. Every week that we get is a win in my opinion. Just trying to stay positive.

Not a bad approach, all things considered.

The Green Bay Packers faced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a Week 6 matchup on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020.

Dean from Ottawa, IL

Were the Packers outcoached today, or just flat?

Both. LaFleur said the team was outcoached before he even took a question from the media. The game plan was not up to par and he always looks at himself first. I admire that about him and I think the players appreciate it. It (and he) doesn't let them off the hook by any means, but when the leader acknowledges that, it trickles down to the leaders in the locker room doing the same.

Steve from Alexandria, VA

Why weren't the Packers able to hit more underneath routes behind the blitzers?

Probably because Rodgers couldn't see behind the blitzers with all that pressure right in his face.

Mike from King George, VA

Morning II, I've been reading since Ask Vic. "It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get back up." My favorite quote in all its variations. I figured the Pack would get knocked down sooner or later, it's just so hard to string together so many wins in the NFL. I hoped it wouldn't be with playoff ramifications involved. How long do they spend analyzing what happened before planning for Houston, and do you think this changes how teams game plan for the Packers?

Well, nobody else has a linebacker pair like David and White, in my opinion. Teams might try to scheme defensively like the Bucs did, but if they don't have the personnel, it won't matter. The Bears are the team that could glean the most from this film, but the Packers will have learned some lessons, too. Defensively I have more concerns. Brady made a couple of dynamite throws to Gronk, but otherwise there was nothing flashy about that offense, yet it rolled up over 200 yards and 24 points (of its own making) in the second and third quarters. Evans wasn't a factor. Ronald Jones is a good back, but the Packers will face better. Brady had been sacked eight times and turned it over five times, but the Packers got close to one pick, that was it.

Chick'n Lit'l from Cheesequake, NJ

The sky is falling!

I thought you were from Oakey Oaks?

Matt from Minneapolis, MN

Playing devil's advocate, with the frequency and severity of injuries in football, expanding playoffs slightly may allow a talented team who had a bad rash of injuries to get their shot. Take this current (talented) Packer team. If Rodgers were to miss much of the regular season but the Pack squeaked in the playoffs and Rodgers could return, wouldn't that be a good thing?

For every scenario you describe, there'd be a team in good position that fades down the stretch, injuries or not, but will slide in when it otherwise would have been eliminated. There are plusses and minuses. I don't think the plusses are worth it.

Patrick from Elkhorn, WI

It would seem we lost this game in the trenches, agree?

The Bucs were better up front on both sides, yes, but the trenches had nothing to do with two picks handing them 14 points. The Packers probably lose even without those, given how one-sided the rest of the game was, but that was a fast way to fire up the other guys.

Sam from Melbourne, IA

Did it seem to you guys that the Packers didn't run as much pre-snap motion this game? Is that because of scheme or mostly needing to throw to get back in the game? It feels like the motion is what makes this offense tick. Why would they move away from it? Maybe I just wasn't paying attention well enough.

No, they didn't run much of it at all. LaFleur said after the game the coaches' film study showed the Bucs defended jet sweep action without issue, so it wasn't a featured part of the plan. What the coaches have to figure out is if the offense was out of sorts because it wasn't using it. If so, there's a problem, because that's using scheme as a crutch, which isn't viable long term. I don't think that's it. I think they were just handled by a really good defense that had Rodgers' eyes constantly searching for openings.

Kevin from Asbury Park, NJ

I understand all teams struggle against a great pass rush but it seems like this team just can't come up with an answer for it (re: SF x2 last year). Can you help us understand how a team like Chicago who, compared to the Packers, has a much lesser QB and much lesser running game is able to handle that TB rush and the Packers can't?

I'd say it's a week-to-week league again but I'm sure you're tired of hearing that. So I'll try to do better. I don't recall the Bucs blitzing the Bears nearly as much. They played a lot more coverage, and Foles took a lot of short stuff. He was still sacked three times and threw a pick, and 10 of the Bears' 20 points required less than 60 yards of total offense thanks to two short fields. The bigger difference was the Bears' defense buckled down after a rough start.

Katie from Little Falls, MN

Is it coincidence that two of LaFleur's four regular-season losses as a head coach have come off the bye week? Or does it have something to do with how they are preparing during the off week? On to Houston!

I think the quality of the opponents is the biggest factor, but the bye week has definitely squelched momentum both of his seasons.

Steve from Seven Devils, NC

No way to sugarcoat this. One play, pick-six, and the entire team and coaching staff imploded. But, it is one game. But, question on Rodgers' TD called back on replay. Penalty for late hit, reversed. Yet, ruling was he gave himself up so no TD. Then, it should have been a late hit.

We had this same discussion in the live blog when it happened. The league/rules can't have it both ways there, I agree.

David from Sheridan, WY

I submit that the missed throw to a wide open Marcedes Lewis was a huge play, possibly the spark to get some momentum back.

I concur here as well. At 14-10, that play is going to lead to points of some kind, it appeared. Very costly miss.

John from Evans, GA

Has Green Bay ever won a Super Bowl in a year in which they lost a game by more than 20 points in that season?

No, but pre-Super Bowl, two of Lombardi's first three title teams had such defeats, in '61 (45-21 at Baltimore) and '65 (31-10 at Chicago).

Vince from Auburn, WA

Unlike last week's game at Chicago, I noticed Tom Brady make an intentional effort to seek out Rodgers, Mason Crosby, and even Jon Runyan. It seemed as if he and Runyan have a prior relationship based on their exchange. Are you aware of a Brady-Runyan connection?

Not specifically, but I'm sure it has something to do with Michigan, Runyan's dad, etc.

Will from Denver, CO

LaFleur has lost only five games as head coach, but by an average of 19.2 points per game. Is there a trend here, or just bad luck?

I don't know, that's a weird one, to be 18-5 but on the wrong end of four ugly ones. He's only lost one close game. It's hard to explain.

Sean from Vermontville, MI

Regarding David Bakhtiari "stretching the limits of what is legal," isn't that the whole purpose of having a defining line of what's legal and what isn't? I'm not saying I agree with the old adage that "if you're not cheating, you're not trying," but anything and everything up to what is "legal" is fair game. If it wasn't, it would be illegal. Bakhtiari is a master of the game at his position. If other guys can't achieve the same level, hey, that's football, baby.

Bakhtiari is making no apologies, believe me, nor should he. Hopefully he's OK.

Mark from Cumberland, MD

I'm not concerned that we lost. Nobody goes undefeated. I am concerned, however, with the lack of effort this team showed after the picks. The Packers looked shell-shocked and defeated for the last 2½ quarters. This wasn't the team I saw go 4-0. Maybe it was the heat. Maybe it was Brady. Maybe it's just the wake-up call this team needs. You always say there will be adversity in a season. Here it is.

It won't be the last adversity, either. But what matters now is responding to what just hit you.

Andrew from Burke, VA

Yowza, that was a real stinker. A-Rod looked shook. Goes to show that even one of the greatest of all time is still human. If you were in LaFleur's place, how do you get the team, especially your QB, to put that one in the rear-view mirror and reset?

You hold everyone accountable in the film room on Monday, you tell the players to rest physically and mentally on Tuesday, and you demand the focus and urgency that got you to 4-0 starting Wednesday.

Gerald from Santa Fe, NM

So, I guess we'll see how our team responds to a good old-fashioned butt kicking.

In LaFleur's short tenure, they've been whipped before and bounced back appropriately. Now they have to do it again.

T from Waterloo, IA

In a game of inches, we got beat by a mile. On to the Texans.


Lynne from Muskego, WI

The only bright spot of yesterday's game is that Tampa Bay is not in the NFC Central anymore.

I'll keep that in mind.

Homer from Springfield, OH

Stupid Packers.

I admit the humor I found in the Inbox was unexpected yet refreshing.

Randy from Clarksville, TN

4-1. We're OK! Learn and move on. Deep breath II.

Happy Monday.