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Inbox: They were the tougher, more resourceful team in adverse conditions

Everyone’s in tune with what must get done

Chicago Bears vs. San Francisco 49ers
Chicago Bears vs. San Francisco 49ers

Thomas from Madison, WI

Windsor Old Fashioned, eh?

Only when I'm not in the mood for a beer, which is pretty rare, but it does happen.

Keith from Dodgeville, WI

Guys, I could see the Packers and the Lions winning this week to even things out, right?

The entire NFC North at 1-1 after two games sounds about right to me.

Benjamin from Groton, CT

Is the feeling in the building this week different than last week? I would expect that there is at least some urgency. Thanks for all of the content.

It doesn't feel any different around here than it has in the past after a loss. Everyone's in tune with what must get done.

Paul from Ledgeview, WI

I am still working off my Packer hangover from our Week 1 loss, but it seems clear to me watching Coach LaFleur at his press conference he has flushed it. Is that just his personality, or is it a job requirement?


Karl from Carmichael, CA

No question, just comment. C'mon Mike, you whiffed on the Mid-Week Chat softball, "For what other team you'd like to work Mike, other than the Packers?" Gotta be the Brewers over the Bucks. I'd agree though, 90-plus times out of 100 I'd take working in Lambeau, too.

Oh, Brewers, sure. Badgers, too. I read the question as referring to NFL teams, sorry.

Bill from Raleigh, NC

Hi Mike, a win is win and hard to come by in the NFL, but the Bears got three TDs on 220 yards of total offense on a rainy day. Fields looked slippery and that was needed in his long TD pass, but he didn't run for a lot of yards. How do you judge the Bears after Week 1? You've called them hungry, but we're hungry now, too. Are the Bears also improved? Gritty? Fortunate? Or it just too early to say?

It's very early, but I give the Bears credit. They were the tougher, more resourceful team in adverse conditions last week. Other than that, I'm having a hard time gleaning much from that game.

Jim from Franklin, WI

In response to Dave in Florida, regarding aiding a runner … the competition committee felt it was often a subjective call and was difficult to enforce, so just allow it in the rare cases. Same with the "force out" rule on receivers along the sideline. Easier on the officials to just determine if the feet are in or not. Period. Not a subjective interpretation of a force out or not. A lot is about making it easier to officiate. Hope that was useful.

It was, but I don't think "pushing the pile" is all that rare these days.

Chase from Citrus Heights, CA

I'm sure the schedule-makers are very happy with the result of that Week 1 game. They pitted a team adjusting to the loss of its biggest playmaker against a new regime with a lot of unknowns and a lot of talent in their home stadium. With the Vikings win, considering recent trends, the North is set up for a lot more drama. That said, I still hate having division games in the first quarter of the season.

I agree on all counts, but chiming in from the southwest, Aaron makes a good point here.

Aaron from Phoenix, AZ

We talk an awful lot about how the scheduling inequities create imbalance in the impact of Week 1 games. I believe we're over-focusing on this. The league is trying to create an appealing product, and the rules that help create equality and balance exist within the framework of the draft, how often teams can have padded practices, impartial officiating, etc. WHEN games get scheduled is just a part of the randomness that all teams must face season-to-season and seize or overcome accordingly.

Fair enough.

Jack from Black Mountain, NC

Do you think that there is enough parity in the league this year that 4-5 losses will be good enough to make the playoffs?

I have a hard time seeing any 12-5 team not getting in with seven spots available in each conference. Even 11-6 for that matter. Last year, 12-5 earned the top seed in the AFC and 9-8 got the last wild-card spot in the NFC.

James from Appleton, WI

I guess I understand the impulse to compare the yardage put up by the Packers' receivers with Davante Adams' day, so in another bit of irrelevance, doesn't Adams earn more than all of the Packers' WRs combined?

Almost twice as much, actually, if anyone cares. The APY on Adams' Las Vegas contract is $28M. The total APY figure for the seven receivers on the Packers' 53 is roughly $15.5M.

Mike from Verona, WI

Can you remind us which players are on the roster because of the Adams trade? Devonte Wyatt, Christian Watson, Rasul Douglas … anyone else that was signed with the cap space?

Jarran Reed, Sammy Watkins, Keisean Nixon, maybe Pat O'Donnell. And technically it would be Walker, not Wyatt, as Walker was chosen with the Raiders' first-round pick. Some like to lump De'Vondre Campbell in there, but his new contract was signed, sealed and delivered while Adams' franchise-tag number was under the cap.

Matt from Racine, WI

Can we compromise on the "should have played starters in the preseason" by saying there was rust to knock off Week 1 regardless of whether starters had played? When you hear what 12 is saying, vanilla schemes don't prepare anyone for the real deal. Only real games knock off whatever rust might be there.

Ding ding ding!

The Green Bay Packers held practice at Clarke Hinkle Field on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022.

John from Livermore, CA

The Pack seems to have a tendency for slow starts at the beginning of the season. Any theories as to the causes?

Under LaFleur, the Packers started 3-0 in 2019 and 4-0 in 2020. Last year, 0-1 turned into 7-1. We'll see what this year's 0-1 becomes.

Forrest from Albany, WI

Sorry, but this week's game against the Bears not only feels like a must-win. But also a must-win by double digits.

I've never looked at a game like that before. Not in the NFL.

Zach from Delevan, WI

Sorry if this has been considered already this week but, I can't help but feel last Sunday was more about the Vikings being a really, really good team with a new creative coach than the Pack just being out of sorts. I know it's very early but what are your thoughts on the Vikes being a very serious NFC contender this season? Thanks.

They made everyone take notice. I maintain the Packers are the team to beat in the NFC North, last week notwithstanding, but the Vikings still have a lot of key veteran personnel from their last playoff team in 2019 – Cousins, Cook, Thielen, Kendricks, H. Smith, Hunter – and they've added Jefferson, Z. Smith and others since then. Minnesota has a Monday nighter this week at Philly and then the Saints across the pond in Week 4. We'll find out plenty more about the Vikings very soon.

David from El Segundo, CA

Got harassed by two different Vikings fans today. One was my boss. I calmly tried to explain that it was Week 1. They weren't having any of it. One was slapping the "SKOL" cheer in my face. Fools never learn. Can't wait until their hearts are crushed. Yet again. The story is already written. We just need to get thru all of the pages.

The rematch is New Year's Day. I'm in no rush.

Paul from Wolcottville, IN

I am seeing a lot of "new coaches, new scheme," excuses for the MN loss and then turn around and point to the Bears as a more winnable game. Don't the Bears have a new coach, new scheme as well? That week one slog-fest in Chicago I'm sure didn't show as much of the Bears' playbook on either side of the ball. Why will this week be any different than against MN? Not as many weapons in Chicago to worry about?

Not as many highly accomplished veteran players, but no one in this building is underselling the Bears. They have plenty of up-and-coming talent, beginning with QB Fields, and their gritty win last week provided everyone full buy-in and belief.

Nick from Springfield, MO

With a night game approaching it has me wondering why teams don't schedule their practices each week based on the time of the game? Seems like it could help with their body clocks being in sync with game time. What are the drawbacks?

Constantly switching up the routine. The Packers don't have the same kickoff time for three games in a row the entire season, so it wouldn't be a matter of adjusting here and there. It'd be endless change.

Bob from Covington, KY

It's fine to talk about getting the running backs more touches but teams have both run and pass well to be successful. Until there is improved production from the wideouts, won't opponents expect running back overload and sit on those plays?

Probably, but with both backs on the field, and either able to take a handoff or pitch, or run a screen, checkdown or wheel route, that gives defenses a lot to think about.

Todd from Owasso, OK

Let's be real about this. Fairy tales don't start out with "happily ever after."

Duly noted.

Thomas from Madison, WI

How cool would it be if the Packers ran the same first play on offense this Sunday as they did in MN? Is there even a remote chance they would pull that?

I would put nothing past LaFleur.

Tom from Spencer, WI

More of a comment than a question. Just two short years ago GB had one of the best O-lines in the NFL, and now, not a single one of those guys is playing for GB. How fast things can change in the NFL!

Hopefully that changes soon regarding an injured veteran or two, but in the spirit of Chicago week, it's worth saying life moves pretty fast … if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Ferdie from Galt, CA

Sad that Hackett's first game was defined by his decision to trust his kicker than his Super Bowl-winning QB. Had they not suffered self-inflicted wounds, the Broncos would have been comfortably ahead 30-17. Denver's loss prevented what could've been a Week 1 sweep by first-time coaches. Did that happen before?

Interesting question. I don't know. If anyone does, feel free to share.

Andrew from Chicago, IL

Minnesota sure gave everyone a blueprint to burn our secondary. That is, you know, assuming every other team we face this year has a receiver the caliber of Justin Jefferson.

And also assuming the Packers are going to take the same approach every week and not change things up, which I'm not going to do.

Dan from Fenton, MO

Guys, I saw a lot of plays where it appeared Rodgers did not even look through his progressions and often threw to his check-down option. Had he been more patient, it was clear that guys were open. Can we just chalk up an overall bad game/poor execution from Rodgers and be encouraged that our young WRs were getting open? We knew it would take time to get in sync on offense. I would expect improvements each week.

Me, too. Timing is everything. Complex real-deal defenses do everything they can to disrupt it, and sometimes it doesn't take much, like a flash of pressure that makes the QB's eyes peel away from a read just before the receiver – whose footwork might've been a little off or slow, due to indecision regarding an option route – breaks open. That's pro football, and you just keep working to get it all in sync.

Rich from Miami Gardens, FL

Good day Wes and Spoff! When watching our Packers lose from the press box, how does Inbox duty and who's up tomorrow affect your emotions in the moment? Thanks, looking forward to Christmas. GoPackGo!

The day-after Inbox is always my assignment, but I honestly have so much work to do before I get to it – live game blog, game recap, editorial – that I don't even think about it until everything else is done.

Dylan from Cary, NC

How does an Insider prepare for a night game? Gradually load up on sleep the week prior, or rely on a hearty nap come Monday?

Ha, I wish. Monday's work just gets done in a zombie-like state, and the older I get, the more zombie-like it is.

John from Madison, WI

...and the Rock puts last week's game to bed for good – "Being down, that's understandable, but don't stay down." Can I hear a "Just beat the Bears"?

Gimme a sec.

Jim from Lowell, IN

All the hoopla, second-guessing, and misunderstood perceptions in Minneapolis a few days ago, here comes the Bears. Game 2, if things will consolidate on both sides of the ball should be a win. The true test will come in Week 3 when the current regime looks to turn an 0-2 record against the Bucs. The all-time record for 57 games (including two postseason games), has the Green Bay Packers winning 33-23-1. Question: Is there a better test to find for much of a contender the Pack will be?

Just beat the Bears. Happy Friday.