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Inbox: They'll see each other again

The NFL has some things to consider after that game


Mike from Ridgewood, NJ

I'm already looking on to Washington. How about you?

Absolutely, but I gotta feeling you and I are the only ones fishing in that boat. I honestly considered just posting the hundreds of comments we received and stepping away, but here we are. Good morning!

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Wes, in the first half when Eric Kendricks was called for roughing on Aaron Rodgers, my wife and I both said the same thing (terrible call). At the same time, textbook tackle just as the pass leaves the QB's fingertips, head and body weight to the side as he's brought down. Then, Clay Matthews gets the flag on a virtually identical call that ultimately decides the game. It's hard to put this one on Matthews. Should he or the coaches have anticipated it? Do they need to move forward?

Mike McCarthy said something similar Monday afternoon, drawing a connection between the personal fouls called on Kendricks and Matthews. While McCarthy agrees with the need to protect quarterbacks, he also said the league has to make sure the emphasis isn't creating a competitive disadvantage for the defense. You teach the technique and fundamentals, but you can't account for every variable.

Paul from Lexington, KY

Please tell me why the Packers threw the ball on the last regulation drive instead of running to run time off the clock?

Spoff addressed this Monday and I agree 100 percent with everything he said. The Vikings were going to have time regardless and you needed a touchdown to win the game. Like always, nobody complains if the Packers score a touchdown there. There's a reason why the time stone is the most powerful of the six Infinity stones, y'all.

Trent from Red Wing, MN

Did you think Josh Jackson's Lambeau Leap would come this soon? I knew it would come but not this early in his career. On to Washington now, I hate dwelling on things that can't be controlled by myself which is something many on this forum struggle with when things don't go the way they wanted it to.

Yes. Truly. The guy is a magnet for the football.

Jay from Land o Lakes, FL

Wes, what is your assessment of the defensive back performance versus the Vikings? My concern surrounds the availability of Kevin King.

I liked what I saw for the first three quarters, but McCarthy admitted the defense didn't respond well enough to King leaving the game with a groin injury. It's a tough spot to be in. As Spoff said on "Unscripted," the narrative changes if Alexander's interceptions stands. Cousins is held to 280ish yards and throws picks on the final two series to end the game. As McCarthy said, though, you have to battle back from moments of adversity.

Matt from Oshkosh, WI

I know he was "limited" but even after Rodgers beat MIN once with his feet I'm amazed how many times he was able to step through the pocket into daylight. Was this more a result of strong line play, or the Vikings D discounting Rodgers' willingness to run if needed?

I think Rodgers caught everyone by surprise when he stepped up and ran for the first down on third-and-7 in the first quarter. Lane Taylor made an astute observation on Monday about how that play showed the Vikings that Rodgers wasn't going to be a sitting duck all afternoon. They still needed to account for his mobility.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

Is 10 minutes too short an OT period? Seems like the team that wins the coin toss is almost guaranteed an extra possession. Of course that depends on the time for each possession, and it was still a possibility with 15 minutes on the clock, but it's definitely not doing any favors to the team that loses the coin toss. So why not just turn the game clock off, give each team two possessions and be done with it? The NFL is really lacking in the "thinking ahead" department lately.

It's funny. I think the league did the right thing getting rid of the sudden-victory stipulation, but then it immediately gives the advantage back to the team winning the coin toss by reducing overtime from 15 to 10 minutes, all but ensuring one team gets two possessions and the other only one.

Greg from Marquette, MI

I don't understand why Rodgers is always rushing to snap the ball with 1 second left. Many times I have seen linebackers timing their rush as the play clock runs down. Also, I think it contributes to all of the wasted timeouts.

You know all that cool stuff Rodgers does? Well, that cool stuff starts with how he diagnoses the defense pre-snap.

Joe from Mandan, ND

Early on in the game this week we saw Cousins launch a ball deep into the secondary. There wasn't a receiver anywhere close to this pass, and Cousins was still in the pocket. Why wasn't there an intentional grounding called on this play?

The referees determined he wasn't pressured on the play.

Jim from Janesville, WI

I know Inbox was full of questions and complaints of the roughing-the-passer penalty on Clay Matthews, but here is one more from an analytical point of view. The ref says that he flagged him for "lifting him up and driving him into the ground." After watching the video countless times, I saw no "upward" motion. What I saw was a leaning-backwards quarterback on one foot getting hit by a linebacker at the same time in a horizontal motion. There was no upwards motion whatsoever.

Right. Cousins rushed that ball off his back foot much like when he twirled that pass earlier to Laquon Treadwell when Reggie Gilbert was breathing down his neck. Matthews did everything he could, including putting his hand down to demonstrate he wasn't landing with his full weight on Cousins. The emphasis on player safety is admirable, but you have to give rushers a fighting chance. Replay would give them that opportunity. The NFL has some things to consider after that game.

Lowell from St. Paul, MN

More of a comment but kudos to Clay Matthews for his restraint when asked about the roughing call. I thought he handled it like a pro. That's a veteran setting a good example for young players on how to handle controversy.

Matthews has handled it better than I probably would have. He's saying and doing all the right things…no different than his play on the interception.

Austin from Woodstock, IL

It looks like the NFL is doubling down on Clay roughing Cousins at the end of the fourth quarter. If this is roughing the passer and not a clean sack, we are going to get more and more plays like Mike Daniels pulling up on sacking Cousins. This seems bad for football. Protect the quarterback but the defense has to be able to play.

I don't typically make it a point to check out the league's weekly officiating video, but I'll be watching this week. The way this league's argument is presented is going to be very important for how the game is played the rest of the season.

Green Bay and Minnesota played a full overtime period at Lambeau Field, ending the game tied at 29

Max from Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada

What do you think about this? For all those iffy calls (like the Matthews roughing the passer), there is a referee in the booth who quickly looks at the replay once or maybe twice. If he deems Matthews did everything correctly then they pick up the flag. They already have that for false starts, don't they? Why not for all subjective calls?

There's an element of subjectivity on practically every play, but it's the referee's job to sort through all that information to keep the playing field even. I have to admit I was wrong, guys. Many of you asked me about officiating during the preseason, and I said I'd start to worry about it once the games mattered. Well, now we see the result.

Rich from De Pere, WI

I'm not sure I have ever seen so many game-changing calls go against one team (Matthews roughing call, Adams interference call, Taylor holding call, non-call against Graham). All four of those were terrible. I know in basketball, coaches will often point out to an official the scoreboard that shows one team is getting a lot more foul calls than the other. Do football coaches ever suggest to a referee that calls seem to be going one way?

Anytime you see a flag on TV, how often do you see the coach talking to the referee? There are conversations between coaches and officials throughout. It's part of the game.

David from Los Angeles, CA

I was watching the end of the Vikings game with a friend who is a Washington fan. Late in the game when Rodgers was sacked and he had already been downed by a Viking, another Viking player came in and also hit Rodgers. My friend's comment was "If Matthews' hit was a penalty, why didn't they throw a flag on the second Viking to hit Rodgers as he had already been tackled?" After all, are they really interested in protecting the QB or determining the outcome?

There's only so much room on the plate and the referees are doing the best they can to balance all the biscuits. On Sunday, we saw several laying around Lambeau Field.

Gene from Midland, GA

Rodgers' injury last year effectively ended playoff hopes. Now, the NFL's obsession with "protecting the QB" birthed yet another subjective foul into the game. Guess the trade-off is: take your lumps being on the receiving end of questionable roughing-the-QB calls, or let the defense pound a QB into a season-ending injury. The Matthews penalty factored into the tie, but it didn't ruin an entire season of chances like what was dealt with Rodgers' injury. We still have hope next week.

The confusion is what concerns me because you have the former head of officiating Dean Blandino saying the dress is blue and Al Riveron saying it's gold. But this isn't an Instagram post. This is a professional sport. We need clarity.

Robert from Pflugerville, TX

Many were commenting about the play that Mike Daniels held up. I think a play that speaks to the effect of the "new" NFL, Kentrell Brice would have lit up Adam Thielen on that touchdown catch a couple of years ago. Thoughts?

I didn't get a chance to talk to Brice during Monday's locker room, but that's how it appeared to the untrained eye.

Toby from River Falls, WI

On Davante Adams' "drop" in the end zone, everyone's talking about catch/no catch, but no one mentioned that should have been a penalty. He's already on his back and the safety comes in and hits him right in the helmet. How was that not a "hit to the head of a defenseless receiver"? His helmet is even half off when he stands up, pretty obvious to me.

It looked like a hit to the head-and-neck area from Harrison Smith, but I don't know. Credit where credit is due – Eric Kendricks made a terrific play on the ball.

Randy from Jonesborough, TN

Always disappointed when the Pack loses (or ties). However, despite the missed opportunities, questionable calls (it is what it is), etc., I'm excited about this team's prospects for the rest of the year. They went toe-to-toe with arguably the best team in the NFC and possible SB winner, according to many pundits and magazines, and did not lose. Our D played well all day, even though they were a bit "gassed" at the end (according to Larry McC.). Go Pack Go!

That's what's kind of lost in this game. The Vikings are one of the favorites in the NFL this year and the Packers controlled the tempo for much of that game. They'll see each other again. Heck, I could see these two playing three times this year.

Adam from Saint Louis, MO

Two games in and I am drained from watching both these games from a glass case of emotion! Hopefully we can get a week without so much drama, but until then, what are your early impressions of the team so far?

I asked Tramon Williams about the wacky start to the season after the game and he said the team will be better for what it's been through the past two weeks. These are the type of games the Packers will need to win down the stretch to get where this team wants to go. Overall, every team is a work in progress in Week 2, but you can see the potential.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

So what was the deal with all the purple in the stands? The crowd noise made it feel like an away game at times. I get it when the home team is really bad, but for this to be happening at Lambeau Field is really disconcerting.

I agree. There were a lot of Vikings fans. It was a gold package game, so it's possible there were more tickets available on the secondary market than a typical week.

Laird from Yelmj, WA

The Pack has one more game against the Vikings this season. When is the last time, if ever, both games ended in a tie?

No team has tied twice in a single season since the NFL introduced a sudden-death overtime period in 1974.

Jeffrey from De Pere, WI

Good morning Insiders, I was very happy to see a more dedicated approach to the run game. What can we expect with Aaron Jones finally out of the Commissioner's doghouse?

I don't know how the Packers will divide snaps among their top three running backs, but Jones adds another dimension to Green Bay's offense. He looked explosive against Kansas City and one silver lining is these past two weeks gave Jones a little extra time to put that hamstring injury behind him.

Brian from Menominee, MI

With the plays associated with Graham and Alexander's first Lambeau Leaps being called back, do the leaps also get called back, or do they stand?

If you ask the fans, I think they stand. Alexander said he had difficulty getting out of the stands after his leap. Credit where credit is due to Alexander. He wasn't hanging his head at all last night after his first career interception got called back. He took it all in stride. That's true confidence.

Bobby from Joplin, MO

Get ready for all the tie-breaking questions you will get in the coming months. However, the thing people need to realize is this tie basically ensures Green Bay will not be tied with anyone else (with the obvious exception of the Vikings). It simplifies the tie-breaking process. If Green Bay has the same number of wins as another team, the Packers are ahead of them in the standings. If they have the same number of losses as another team, the Packers are behind them in the standings.

I guess that's one way to look at it.

Tom from Birmingham, MI

I'm a big believer in reacting to what did happen as opposed to what could have happened and what might happen next time. Nonetheless, I can't help feeling that what we saw Sunday was a Vikings team with Cousins playing perhaps his very best versus a Packer team with Rodgers hobbled by the knee injury, and almost winning (and not losing, at that). I feel a healthy Rodgers is enough to think a Packer victory is more than possible next time, even in Minnesota. Am I overthinking this?

We'll see in 67 days.

Nicholas from Jupiter, FL

OK, time to move on from that rough game. What do we have to do to win in Washington?

I thought you'd never ask.