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Inbox: They deserved one more possession

That’s a building block for this defense


Jeff from South Bend, IN

Were the Rams who we thought they were? Did we let them off the hook?

That's pretty good for a difficult Monday.

Mike from Green Bay, WI

Boy, tough loss. But we just went toe-to-toe with the NFL's best team so far. The Packers surprised me, the bye did them good. My game balls go to Alexander, Martinez, and all of the Cheeseheads who chanted "Go Pack Go" for three hours. Who do you give game balls to?

The first one definitely goes to the fans. I've never seen a road game like that. Incredible. They deserved one more possession.

Anthony from New York, NY

What's wrong with the 25-yard line? Sigh.

Absolutely nothing, especially when it means Rodgers needs about 40 yards for a shot at a reasonable Crosby field goal. McCarthy said after the game Montgomery didn't execute the plan, which was to "stay in and give the ball to Aaron Rodgers." It's a shame, because 2:05 on the clock is a great time to run a draw play on first down and see if you catch them playing pass. You might get half of your 40 yards in one play.

Tony from Olathe, KS

That one falls squarely on the coach. In what world do you not tell 88 to take the touchback no matter what? I will take 12 from the 25 every time.

He was told to take the touchback. Just like Bostick was told to block. Montgomery didn't talk to the media after the game, so what we don't know is if he heard the instructions.

Mike from Verona, WI

Did we all hold are collective breath, looking for a flag, on Clay Matthews' hit on Goff around his neck/head area in the second half?

I know I did, but apparently the league would rather have a sack look a little nasty like that than have the defender land with his body weight on the QB. I don't get it, but I think the unintended consequences line has been mentioned enough.

Jordan from Sioux Center, IA

Longtime reader, first question to Inbox. I admire you guys for dealing with all the choleric fans every day. Thanks for keeping it real. I had a fairly high level of confidence we were gonna get the ball and win the game with two minutes left. To see it end that way was heartbreaking. Got anything to make me feel better after that sad ending?

No, not really. It all depends what happens from here. As I said in my postgame editorial, if the Packers don't make this their new standard of play, then it's just a crappy loss. If they do, then it's meaningful and a potential turning point in the season.

Brock from West Lafayette, IN

I thought the officiating crew for this game was one of the best I've seen of any game all season. Thought they were consistent for both teams for 60 minutes. What did you think about them?

I thought it was refreshing to see players allowed to play and decide the game.

Nick from Portland, OR

Really felt like a playoff game to me, and while those gut-punching, heartbreaking ends really eat at you, at least we can rest easy knowing that we play again next week and still have got more than half the season left to overcome this one. If you're Mike McCarthy, what do you say to the players after such a game?

You commend them for a tremendous effort, for handling the momentum swings, and for all the preparation they put in to be ready from the get-go and stand tall against a great team. But you emphasize the mistakes at crunch time that cost you (late sack, poor punt, fumble) and how those plays decide games. The clutch moments are when the focus must be sharpest.

Ryan from Menomonie, WI

Am I noticing a change in Aaron's personality? He used to seem calm, collected and patient on the sidelines, explaining situations when a mistake was made. It seems lately, at least once or twice a game we are treated to video of him yelling, swearing or in some other way expressing great displeasure. Having high standards is one thing but not everyone reacts well to being yelled at or about. R-E-L-A-X please.

After six games and a bye week, the time for teaching and patience is over. The Packers have hit the meat of their schedule. It's go time, and I thought the Packers played like it Sunday. They needed to, and need to moving forward.

Caleb from Nashville, TN

Heartbreaking game, but dude. Jaire Alexander.

What a game from him. It's felt all season like the Packers are a different defense with him and King on the field together, and we saw that. Their dual presence hasn't been the case often enough, but hopefully this is the start of a good run of health for both players.

Jeff from Littlefork, MN

Of course a loss hurts, but it seemed to me that we played a complete game very well. A couple of costly mistakes, but did this look good to anyone but me?

Given the opponent, it was the Packers' best performance of the season, hands down. The Rams are for real. When their defense was on its heels early and their offense was scuffling, their special teams picked them up with the two deep punts. That's what the best teams have, a phase that helps the others until everyone gets rolling again. The Packers withstood a pretty strong onslaught in the third quarter but kept throwing punches. They played their best game so far, but not a complete game. If they'd played a complete game, they'd have won.

The Green Bay Packers traveled to LA Memorial Coliseum to take on the Los Angeles Rams in a Week 8 NFC matchup.

Kyle from Mukwonago, WI

As you say, it usually comes down to a few plays that make the difference. Sadly, much of the fan blame will lie on Ty, but the whole 60 minutes tells a different story. Our defense that stood up to a juggernaut in the first half, and held their ground. An offense that was given more than enough opportunities to build a greater lead. I'm sure others would agree, but from a different perspective, that the game shouldn't have come down to the ball in Ty's hands. Team sport, team loss.

True enough, but the best teams don't let you build on a lead, and the best offenses are eventually going to do what they do. That's why their record is what it is. You were right where you needed to be to win the game. Some mistakes are killers, period.

Joe from Clio, MI

I felt before the season started the defense will be a two- or even three-year project to get to a top 10 level. I now think they are ahead of schedule with a lot of work to go, but the improvement is obvious. What are your thoughts?

The run defense did a solid job against the league's top back, and all the different pressure combinations up front kept Goff guessing and got him off his game a bit. Even some three-man rushes affected him. The Packers give the opponent a lot to decipher. The question now is can they execute like that when they haven't had a whole extra week to rest up and prepare.

Michael from Kansas City, MO

The Pack is really struggling on third down. Where other teams seem to be able to hit slants and such over the middle, Rodgers is often throwing long passes to the sideline with little success. My question is, why don't the Packers do some of what they did in the second half against the Bears? Short, quick passes which mitigate a big pass rush.

Third down was an issue all game. The Packers were 2-for-9 and still put up 27, so just imagine. The problem against the Rams was their pressure was on the interior, which takes away the throwing lanes for the passes you're talking about. I'm pretty sure Adams was there on a slant on the last third down when Donald burst through.

Vishnu from San Luis Obispo, CA

A valiant effort overshadowed by a stupid play. Definitely feel for Ty, but I am running out of sympathy for these players making boneheaded mistakes in critical situations. CM3's first RTP vs. Chicago, Brice getting beat deep late vs. Minnesota, drops and fumbles vs. Washington, special-teams disasters vs. Detroit. Championship teams don't do this. I refuse to call for blood, but how does this idiocy keep continuing week after week, and how does Coach McCarthy make it stop?

That's the million-dollar question, and my coaching experience resides in the T-ball and girls softball realm, so I don't have a good answer for you. The self-inflicted wounds are the story of the season so far. They came very close to eliminating them on Sunday. Hopefully that means the story of the season is about to change.

Matt from Waunakee, WI

Hi Mike, did you get a chance to go to Dodgers Stadium? I was there last fall, it has many of the same qualities as old Milwaukee County Stadium. Dodger dogs are overrated. I still had two.

Didn't make it. We arrived at our hotel Friday right around first pitch, and Saturday we had the pep rally. Tickets would have been too pricey for me anyway, but talk about some entertaining baseball. For Boston to get up off the mat after the 18-inning loss and a 4-0 deficit in the seventh inning of Game 4 and close out that series was truly impressive. So glad to see who made the last out.

Mike from Algoma, WI

Seven hours and 20 minutes? That's why a tie in the NFL is a perfectly acceptable outcome.

The NFL would play as long as it takes in the postseason.

Paul from Hartland, WI

Sam is a top 10 favorite Packer of mine. Some guys are just fun to watch and Sam's closing speed and instincts were amazing. Can you post a cut-up of all his interceptions as a Packer? Or at least check the vault to see if you can pull up the interception he had against Dallas in the Matt Flynn comeback game?

I know we've lost ready access to some of that with the website changeover this past year, but that pick of Romo in Dallas remains one of the most stunning, how-in-the-world interceptions I've ever seen.

Jim from McLean, VA

How NOT cool was it that Shields changed the momentum of the game?

The difference in the game was special teams, when you really think about it. Offensively and defensively the big plays and breakdowns were pretty even. The Rams' slight edge became a decided edge after the final punt and kickoff.

Alan from Mount Auburn, IL

How did the Packers come out of the game injury-wise?

I heard no injuries reported during the game, which has to be a first. We'll see if McCarthy divulges any on Monday. Some things can show up the next day.

Aumed from Moorhead, MN

I now fully support getting rid of kickoffs.

A popular sentiment in the Inbox today.

Sigiani from Ribeirao Preto, Brazil

We are no one's underdog. Just give this team a shot at the playoffs and we have a real chance. Wes/Spoff, this defense played very well, but Alexander was on a mission. How do you see the secondary as a whole moving forward?

I wrote during the week it was the first time the Packers had King, Williams, Alexander and Jackson available since the first half of Week 2, and it showed. The tight ends, Reynolds, and Gurley on the one pass did the biggest damage through the air, not the guys the corners were primarily guarding. That's a building block for this defense.

Margo from Solvang, CA

Guessing we'll never know what Ty was thinking by even bringing the ball out. Also guessing I'm the 9 millionth person asking you that. On the positive side, it was beyond awesome to meet you guys at the pep rally and so cool to see all the green and gold in the stands. Just wish they could have given Aaron a chance to win it. Why is it so much worse when you beat yourself?

I don't know, Margo. Sorry, couldn't resist. It was a treat to meet lots of folks at the pep rally. This community continues to be special. Thanks for all the greetings and kind words on Saturday night.

Alex from Kentwood, MI

I'm not mad, just disappointed.

Another popular sentiment this morning.

Stephanie from Tulsa, OK

Tremendous effort, but that felt like a must-win game to me. I feel this season slowly slipping away from us. Change my mind.

The Bears are 4-3, the Vikings are 4-3-1, the Packers are 3-3-1, the Lions are 3-4. Chicago, Minnesota and Detroit have played zero games against one another so far. The Bears still have to play the Rams. The Vikings still have to play at New England and at Seattle, just like the Packers do. I continue to believe no one …

Donna from Darien, WI

So close, but …

…it doesn't get easier. On to New England.