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Inbox: They can't all be shootouts

There are no easy answers for how to handle overtime


Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Wes, you haven't mentioned your favorite SB commercial? For me, the NFLs 100th anniversary ad was tops and the story of how it came together in two months and was filmed during the playoffs in January is incredible. The only thing missing was No. 4 throwing a laser to Lofton or Driver in triple coverage, taking out a chandelier and Uecker saying "just a bit outside."

The NFL commercial was great. My other favorites were the Washington Post spot with Tom Hanks narrating and obviously the "Game of Thrones" commercial. You can never go wrong with the Mountain squashing fools. Good morning!

Tanner from Oklahoma City, OK

Even though 2018 didn't quite go the way we had hoped, it certainly provided entertainment. Besides the two Super Bowl wins I have enjoyed as a Packer fan, I think the comeback win in Week 1 against the Bears may be my favorite Packer memory. Before that, it was fourth-and-8 to Randall Cobb. I smile every time I think about that game. It will keep me satisfied until September rolls around again. What memory from this past season stands out to you?

The win over the Bears obviously tops the list, but I'll also throw in how the Packers responded to all the adversity and distractions they faced before the 34-20 win over Atlanta and the fourth-quarter comeback against the Jets. As far as a single moment, it has to be Jerry Kramer and Aaron Rodgers embracing after Kramer's halftime Hall of Fame ceremony in September.

Tyler from Los Angeles, CA

Hey Wes, the "Sean McVay coaching tree" is the shiny new toy in the NFL that seemingly everyone wants a piece of and obviously the Packers were the first in line. Do you think seeing McVay get out-coached (by his own admission) by Bill Belichick gives any pause around the league, and especially at 1265, that this new, young, "innovative" offense may wind up being a flash in the pan, say the way the Chip Kelly offense was?

You can't call a system that's produced 24 wins in the last 32 games a flash in the pan, especially considering how the Rams had been trapped in mediocrity before that. I also don't think comparing McVay to Kelly is fair. McVay and the Rams had a bad day against one of the best to ever do it. One game doesn't define a coach or a team – as long as they get back on the horse next season.

Jason from Austin, TX

Sometimes a big-time loss can propel a team forward. Sometimes the loss can stun a team and set them back. What do you think this loss did to the Rams on Sunday?

It's going to test their foundation and grit. The Rams are still an immensely talented team. Everything on paper says LA should be in the thick of things for the next few seasons, but it all depends on how a relatively young team responds.

Ambrose from Tuscaloosa, AL

Do you ever regret that the AFC/NFC structure of the league means some storied rivalries will never meet in the big game? Somehow winning the NFC championship over the Bears doesn't sound the same as beating them in the Super Bowl.

Disagree. I believe the sweetest victory for a lot of Packers fans out there was beating Chicago on its home soil on their way to Super Bowl XLV. I don't think beating the Bears on a neutral site for the Lombardi Trophy would add anything that couldn't be also gained in an NFC title game.

Take a look at photos of Packers G Lucas Patrick from the 2018 season.

Bruce from Green Bay, WI

With the opportunity for more playing time for Jake Kumerow, how do you see him help our offense? Jake is a decent route runner, but do you think he has enough speed to take over the slot position if we lose Cobb to free agency? He is big for that position, but can't that be a benefit, as well as having Rodgers' confidence and a good set of hands. A slot receiver can really help out on third down. I'm excited to see both Kumerow and Allison make an impact this season and garner more playing time.

Kumerow and Allison still seem like perimeter receivers to me, but there's no question the more receivers can do, the more it benefits both the player and the offense. At the same time, I think most NFL teams need a prototypical slot receiver. Whether it's Randall Cobb or another player, the Packers would be wise to have one on their 53 come Week 1.

Larry from Antioch, IL

That was a great article on Tim Boyle. Will you please tell me why he never got to play in any regular season games? DeShone Kizer played almost an entire game at the end of the season. Why didn't they split it and let Boyle play at least one quarter? How will they know if they don't give him a chance? He might be our next Aaron!

Boyle was a healthy scratch against Detroit. Even if Boyle was available, I still think the Packers would have stuck with Kizer. He was the undisputed No. 2, and at only 22 years old, there was value in those snaps. Boyle feels like he made a lot of progress this past year. He'll get his chance to show it this summer.

Jason from Austin, TX

If Julius Peppers won a Super Bowl with the Packers in 2014, would your view on him change with regards to his name on the Lambeau Field façade?

I don't think so. Maybe you could make that case if he played his last five seasons in Green Bay and finished his career with the Packers, but I'll always think of him for his time with the Panthers.

Michael from Milwaukee, MI

"The way the game is structured doesn't lend itself to an absolutely fair overtime no matter how you slice it." I disagree. Rather than have a coin flip to determine which team gets the choice, give the choice to the team that won time of possession during regulation. If they dominated the TOP, they deserve that choice.

Absolutely not, because you'd be unnecessarily punishing teams for their playstyle. Kansas City plays an up-tempo style of offense and ranked 27th in time of possession. And what about if your team had a defensive or special teams touchdown? That doesn't take into account TOP and the other team immediately gets the ball back.

Brady from Madison, WI

I just don't understand why this is difficult. Overtime should just be another quarter. Shorten the length if you must, but it's easy and fair. As far as the player safety argument goes, just eliminate OT in the regular season completely. What am I missing?

American fans hate ties, so I don't see how they'd be cool with the NFL ending regular-season games after the fourth quarter. Player safety is only one part of the full overtime argument, too. Like it or not, the league and TV networks still care about overall length. What do you do if the game is tied after a full 10- or 15-minute overtime? Play another full quarter? There are no easy answers for how to handle overtime. If there was, we would have discovered it by now.

Carrie from Lawrenceville, PA

With so many "fans" wanting to bet the farm on a huge name free agent, are there any instances on either the Packers or other teams where this strategy has failed in the past? It seems to me that even a year of success could have major detrimental effects on the long-term success of the team. I guess draft-and-develop is too engrained in me.

I can think of more examples when it didn't work than when it did. The 2011 "Dream Team" Eagles, 2010 Vikings, 2002 Rams, 2000 Washington and 1996 NY Jets come to mind. A lot of fans want to bet the farm, but few like paying the mortgage.

Al from Green Bay, WI

Peyton Manning won a Super Bowl with Denver despite clearly diminished skills, and then he rode off into the sunset. Tom Brady just won another Super Bowl with diminished skills. If you were his "life coach," would you advise Brady to ride off into the sunset? I seriously doubt he has enough gas in his tank to get back to this game.

Apples and avocados. Comparing Manning's last year to Brady's 2018 season is a drastic oversimplification. Manning had a 67.9 passer rating in nine starts. Brady didn't miss a start this year, threw for 4,355 yards and 29 touchdowns (97.7 passer rating). By no means were those career highs, but it also cannot be used as evidence Brady needs to hang it up.

Jeff from Montrose, CO

Did not watch the Super Bowl, but did watch the Senior Bowl. A lot of good talent I really like.

You took the time to watch the Senior Bowl, but not the Super Bowl. That puts you in some exclusive company, Jeff.

Theologos from Athens, Greece

The majority of the fans claim they hate New England, but deep down all we want is our team dominates the way the Patriots do. In an era of parity, they have an unprecedented success. I think we must respect and admire what Belichick and Brady have done for their franchise and hope that our Packers can dominate like that the next five years.

Every team in every pro sport is striving to be like the Patriots. If you're not, then your goals aren't in the right place. What stands out about Belichick, though, is he went 10 years without a trophy and still won three more titles with the same QB he built the first dynasty with. Incredible.

Derrick from Rockaway, NJ

"It's about finding the right free agents, not the highest-priced." I agree. It's also about when you do go after a high priced guy it's worth it. Stephon Gilmore vs Malcolm Butler. Belichick is not only a great coach, but undeniably one of the greatest evaluators of talent.

Belichick has made his share of mistakes, too, but he quickly moves on when a player doesn't work out.

Craig from Appleton, WI

Whose Packers career cut short by injury do you feel had the best shot at ending in a gold jacket prior to the injury: Sterling Sharpe, Nick Collins, Jermichael Finley, or someone else?

The easy answer is Sharpe. If he has a couple more All-Pro seasons and wins a Super Bowl ring, the guy had the talent to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. If Collins played 10-12 years, I think he would have been a Hall of Famer, as well.

John from Superior, WI

Cased re-opened. If Terrell Davis gets in almost entirely because of Super Bowl XXXII, Edelman should at least be in the conversation. You want to talk about Pro Bowls? I guess that means we have a second-rate LT. Not to mention Tom Brady is probably going to throw him the ball 4,000 times next year to prove all you people wrong. IN!

This Edelman thing is recency bias at its worst. You want to debate something – debate why LeRoy Butler hasn't been a finalist yet for the Hall of Fame. Terrell Davis is your example for why Edelman should be in? Davis rushed for 6,413 yards and 56 touchdowns in his first four seasons. He was a three-time All-Pro and former NFL MVP in addition to being the Super Bowl XXXII MVP in that time. It's over. Go home.

Mark from Bettendorf, IA

The Super Bowl had the lowest "rating" in 10 years. What does that really mean?

The game did a 44.9 rating with a 68 share. See you in 2019, NFL fans.

Eric from Greenville, WI

That Super Bowl was anything but boring. It was one play away from victory for both teams until the end. It took excellence and execution in every phase of that game by the Patriots to win. Why don't fans seem to appreciate football anymore?

In this same space 365 days ago, I unmercifully ripped Super Bowl LII for its lack of defense. So I cannot in good faith rip this year's for defensive domination. Love it or hate it, it was a good reminder there's still more than one way to win a Super Bowl. They can't all be shootouts.

Lee from Leesburg, FL

Do you feel the feelings of bad calls carry over to the next season?

I do. Unless they make some changes this offseason, I feel the league is further from the goal than where it started.

Dan from Rothschild, WI

I only buy one Sports Illustrated a year, the NFL Preview. I look at their predictions before and after the season. For the record, the reporters predicted two of the AFC playoff teams and three of the NFC teams, and were way off on the Super Bowl. Goes to show how unpredictable the NFL really is.

I think writers try way too hard to make a hipster pick when predicting Super Bowl teams. I'm guilty of it, too, from my days at the newspaper. It just isn't impressive to pick the Patriots to win it all every year.

Nick from Emerald, WI

Talks of moving the Super Bowl to Saturday? Nah, this is 2019. The classic Monday through Friday grind is a bit of a myth these days. People who work retail? Doctors? Caregivers? Moving the game to a different day will just cause more chaos than it's worth.

Super Bowl Sunday is a scheduled holiday no different than Easter Sunday or Thursday Thanksgiving in the United States. I understand it's a labor of love for those outside the U.S., but early start times don't stop my friends who love the Premier League from setting an alarm Saturday mornings.

Rick from Conshohocken, PA

Wes, to follow up on the special teams question from Tuesday, who do you identify as some of the current ST stalwarts on the Packers roster? James Crawford comes to mind after his last season. Maybe Trevor Davis if he could stay healthy. But it seems like the team has a real dearth of ST talent so to speak. It will be interesting to see if Gutey turns to the FA market to sign a Cordarrelle Patterson type over the offseason.

The Packers made the right move keeping Crawford on the 53. It reminded me of when Jamari Lattimore made the roster in 2011 despite not having a set position on defense. Crawford led Green Bay in coverage tackles and only had one penalty in 333 special-team snaps. As much attention as Davis gets on returns, he's also a terrific gunner in punt coverage. Whether it's free agency or draft, I'll be curious to see how Green Bay builds its special teams in 2019.

Take a look at photos of Packers LB Kyler Fackrell from the 2018 season.

Bob from Riverside, CA

I think Levine taking his shirt off constituted a wardrobe malfunction.

Fun factoid: if a lead singer gets sleeve and/or chest tats, that individual is contractually obligated to show them off as much as humanly possible.

John from Los Angeles, CA

Woohoo, an AAF question! Will you allow any AAF questions this offseason, especially if they pertain to ex-Packers?

If you ask, I'll answer – especially those of you looking for an update on Jayrone Elliott's season.

Julian from Gastonia, NC

I have to take exception to your claim that Floyd Mayweather was the greatest boxer. Please forgive my barbershop argument but the late Rocky Marciano might have something to say about that. Marciano was 49-0 with 43 knockouts and was knocked down twice. Mayweather was 50-0 was 26 knockouts and he was knocked down once. Also, many of Marciano's bouts were so violent and bloody, they would have been stopped during the era that Mayweather was boxing in.

But Marciano never beat Conor McGregor. Mic drop.

Jim from Chicago, IL

In high school, we ran a QB sneak on third-and-short. Our QB stayed on his feet and got seven yards. Our QB audibled to his own number on the next play when they left the center unguarded and we got six yards. Our backup TE came into the huddle and said, "Coach says we're just gonna keep doing that until they stop it." We ran seven consecutive QB sneaks/QB keepers for just over 50 yards. But I guess you can do that when you only count on your QB to throw the ball about eight times a game.

And the nose tackles weren't 325 pounds.