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Inbox: This is a long road

Take what they give you, or what you can

WR Allen Lazard and RB Aaron Jones

Patsi from Riverside, CA

I am just happy on so many levels after seven months.

You're not alone.

JVC from Chandler, AZ

Gotta love a 40-burger with my cheese!

Packers' first 40-point opener since 2011, when there also was no offseason. Hmmm.

Paul from Los Angeles, CA

Not only does Aaron Rodgers not have to wash his jersey for next week, I'm not sure he even needs to shower after this game. He made it look easy.

He did, and an offensive line that dealt with some adversity and moving parts deserves a ton of credit. The Vikings sorely missed Hunter. I thought they had no pass rush for the most part. The Packers controlled the line of scrimmage offensively start to finish.

Eric from Stramproy, Netherlands

Good win. Bad injuries.

Crossing the fingers on whatever news we hear in the next few days.

Bob from Ventura, CA

In order to short-circuit all the hand wringing let's get it over in one question: What about the defense? What about the red-zone fails? What about the Marquez Valdes-Scantling drops? They still can't stop the run! I'll never watch again if they players stand up for themselves!

I appreciate the sense of humor.

Christian from Ontario, CA

Yes, it's only Week 1, but no one expected these two defenses to struggle this way.

Certainly not, but I say this every year – no teams are going to look in December like they look now. Maybe this year more than any other. This is a long road. If you can chalk up wins while figuring out what needs to be cleaned up, it beats the alternative.

Sreedharan from Pewaukee, WI

"Just catch the ball" – Jaire Alexander did bring his A-game! Hope the rest of the defense catches up soon.

That was a tremendous display of concentration to make that play. It also was a terrible throw by Cousins. You have to cash in on those, and Alexander did.

Steve from Cedar Falls, IA

More of a comment than a question. Jon Runyan performed well thrown onto the big stage. Name never mentioned (flags, penalties, etc.) after he entered the game.

I'm interested to see the film on Rick Wagner and Runyan, and how they performed coming off the bench. They certainly seemed to hold their own.

Debbie from Delafield, WI

I'm a longtime reader but I've never asked a question. Great to see Davante Adams have a great start to the season. Did MVS and Allen Lazard play up to your expectations? I was very pleased myself.

It was big to see MVS bounce back from his two drops to make a big play. That didn't happen last year after things started to go south for him. Lazard is just solid. He can run any route required in this offense, and his hands are reliable.

Susan from Santa Cruz, CA

Hi Mike. Thanks for doing the live game blog. Being out of market, this was the only way I could track the game for most of the game. I used to be able to stream Wayne and Larry, but that is apparently not possible this year. One suggestion: Have your tech crew include the banner from the homepage that shows the score, possession, timeouts, and downs.

I'm not sure if that's possible because of the live blog being on a different platform, but I will ask about it. I probably just need to do a better job of repeating those details as I go along as well. Glad you joined in.

Karl from Bruce, WI

To think what we could have done if only we had drafted some receivers.

Imagine what Rodgers might do once the tight ends get involved. One catch for 12 yards for Josiah Deguara. That was it. In all seriousness, though, clearly the plan was to attack the young corners. Kendricks and Barr are pretty good cover guys in the middle of the field on the tight ends. Take what they give you, or what you can.

Max from Ingolstadt, Germany

Can you explain the concept of playing prevent defense? I think our defense played fantastic for the better part of three quarters, then started to play prevent defense and gave up a lot of points in very little time. What's the idea behind that?

The idea is not to give up any big plays over the top, and make the other team take a while to score. The Packers were fine with the first part, but they were playing so soft the Vikings were getting 20-yard chunks with very little resistance. Two 20-yard plays only takes an extra 20-30 seconds compared to one 40-yarder, so it has to be tightened up, no doubt.

Brad from Basalt, CO

1:16, 2:07, 1:58. You are going to get letters.

The 14 seconds at the end of the first half weren't good either. The Packers' defense had its share of rough moments. It also had an impressive sequence in the second quarter of sack-safety, third-down sack, interception. Wildly up and down like that is unsettling, for sure, but I want to see a few more games to get a handle on who they're really going to be.

Barb from Marengo, IL

I noticed in the pictures of the team heading for the plane to go to Minnesota that several players were not wearing masks. I realize they were outside. Are they required to wear them on the plane?

I believe so, yes.

Hap from Thomson, IL

Hello and thanks for all you guys do to keep us connected to the Pack. I see that the Packers brought in seven players for tryouts Saturday. Who is in attendance and who actually works out these players? I would think the coaching staff is in final prep for Minnesota and I would think it would take quite awhile to work these prospective players out.

The personnel department conducts those workouts, not the coaching staff.

Jesse from Adel, IA

A Rodgers sneak for a first down? Could the II provide his career total of first downs by a QB sneak? I feel it was good to see.

I don't have the list in front of me, but they are rare. I seem to recall at least one last year. Perhaps LaFleur is less hesitant to call it than McCarthy.

Troy from Ninety Six, SC

So that block by Deguara...

It was like a reverse welcome-to-the-NFL moment.

Mark from Grayson, GA

Guys, the Saints, Vikings and Rams are in the bottom 10 of the league for cap space. Yet, they are able to give significant money in recent contracts. How are the teams able to afford the players? Please tell me the cap is not a myth.

It's not. But if a team has limited cap space now it can always create more by structuring any new contracts to alleviate a cap crunch and push money into the future. Here's an oversimplified example: Say a player has a $6M salary, and cap number, for the final year of his contract. The team could sign him to a new five-year, $51M contract that replaces his current one (in effect a four-year extension). The new deal could have a $10M signing bonus and a $1M salary for the first year, and a $10M salary for each of the remaining four years. Because the signing bonus is prorated cap-wise over the length of the contract, the player's new cap number for the current year would be $3M ($2 pro-rated signing bonus, plus $1M salary), an immediate cap savings of $3M. The player is getting $11M in his pocket for the current year ($10M bonus plus $1M salary), an increase of $5M over what he would have pocketed for this year if he plays out his deal. His cap number jumps to $12M the following year ($2M bonus proration plus $10M salary), but the team gained some instant cap relief. Hope that helps.

Corey from Richland, WA

How did it feel to be back in the action of furious writing, live-action tracking, and tight deadlines?

It was a huge adjustment covering a game on TV for the first time in a decade, but all in all I'll put our coverage up against anybody's.

Kevin from Starr Pass, AZ

In a word how would you describe Sunday's game?


Dale from Lima, NY

Let me see if I've got this right. Each week any team can activate up to two players from the practice squad and put them on the active roster for game day. But there's no reason, no advantage to doing this unless you also make that/those player(s) part of the 48 who are actually suited up for the game. Am I right? Or have I taken one more step toward creeping senility?

You're right, in a sense. There's always a chance someone is promoted from the practice squad to the active roster as injury insurance with a player who is questionable, but if the player ends up good to go, the promoted player might still end up on the inactive list 90 minutes before kickoff.

Judy from Springville, IA

This was the offense I envisioned ML bringing to the Pack. Offense worked horizontally, laterally, and every other directionally in between. Runs sideline to sideline, passes over the top and in the middle, the ball was EVERYWHERE on the field and everyone's talents were on full display.

Rodgers and his mates understand it all so much better now, too.

Nate from Naples, FL

In one of Mr. Siegle's recent practice galleries, we see a few shots from the team parking lot and a large, semi-handcrafted sign for Soap Products Co. What can you tell us about this mysterious sign?

It's not just a sign. It's a small business that has been tucked into that little spot for as long as I can remember. It was probably there before the Hutson Center was built. Guess what they sell?

George from Manassas, VA

Guys, I only remember one offensive holding call and no false starts. Did I miss them, was it due to not needing the silent count, refs swallowing their whistles for Mike, or was it an incredible job with all the shifting on the line?

The Packers were the more disciplined team in the trenches, that's for sure. The two personal fouls on defense were unfortunate, but offensively it was a pretty clean game. I thought not having to use the silent count in that place was a huge factor, as I wrote about in my editorial.

Sal from Hailey, ID

In one of the first few plays on defense I noticed No. 51 making plays and had to figure out who it was. I guess they put Krys Barnes on the roster right in time!

I don't think we've seen the last of him.

U.S. Bank Stadium hosted a Week 1 matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings.

Cory from Oregon, WI

You have to look at the Favre interception thing as a glass half full. Cy Young has the record for most wins and losses in a career. Nolan Ryan owns the records for most strikeouts and walks in a career. All three really special players and all three had extremely long careers. You stick around long enough and you get some bad with the great.

The point is the great so outweighs the bad that the best are around long enough to set all the bad records.

Joao from Belo Horizonte, Brazil

I'm not panicking over this … but am I the only one a tiny bit worried about David Bakhtiari saying that nothing meaningful has been discussed in regards to his contract? I know that the Packers want him back, but it just felt weird hearing this after Aaron Jones said that his agents and the packers are "definitely" in talks about a new deal.

Any words from either side in these situations can take on different meanings. Might be posturing, might be an attempt to ward off more questions, etc. You never know what the words actually mean.

Jonathan from Hulsberg, Netherlands

Last year, first game, "We have a defense." This year first game, "We have an offense?" Or still too early to tell?

You and Caleb from Knoxville had almost identical submissions. Quite a difference for Rodgers & Co. compared to Week 1 last year. He mentioned his comfort level again after the game. Those aren't empty words.

Rich from Grand Rapids, MI

Plenty to like and plenty to work on. But it sure is nice to be 1-0 with a road division win to start the season.

A lot like last year after Week 1, just the concerns are different, except for the offensive tempo with getting play calls in and getting out of the huddle. That clearly still needs work.

Scott from Muir Beach, CA

Should J. Alexander get the game ball? He was the game-changer.

I'd give out a lot of game balls for this one. Alexander, Adams, obviously Rodgers. And all seven of the offensive linemen who had to play.

Dylan from Appleton, WI

Would Aaron Rodgers have been better if he had more playing time in preseason?

Was waiting for that one. Thanks.

Jessi from Sterling, KS

Spoff, thank you for stuffing Hod's lunch in the Viking horn. It was a gift to our ears!

Happy Monday.