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Inbox: This team’s resolve will keep getting tested

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Jake from Kalamazoo, MI

I figured out why I like the Inbox so much after Sunday's loss, when all I wanted to do was read Monday’s Inbox: It allows me to commiserate with my fellow suffering fans, echoes and answers questions that I have and sometimes can't fully articulate, and your optimistic, realistic and witty comments always console me. Thanks!

We do our best, and you’re getting me for a second straight day because Wes needed to take a personal day on Monday. Here we go.

Al from Green Bay, WI

OK, fine, 2-2-1 is not what we expected at this point. But consider the events that have led to this record. A hobbled star QB. A questionable RTP that turned a win into a tie, and another that dampened a comeback bid. Some quirky plays (like the punt that may or may not have hit Kevin King). An absolute aberration in which our stud kicker had a bad game. In all that mess, there are still only two losses. This team has resolve.

I was taken aback momentarily on Monday when McCarthy referenced Rodgers “playing through a lot,” suggesting more than just the knee, but he didn’t specify. I don’t get hung up either way on quirky plays or questionable calls because they’re a part of life in the NFL, and every team has to fight to overcome them. The best ones succeed in doing so. I think this team has resolve, too, but the proof from Week 1 only lasts so long. This team’s resolve will keep getting tested, within games and week to week.

Jimmy from Arlington Heights, IL

C.J. Beathard thinks the 49ers are still a playoff team. They've dug themselves a big hole, but still have some game-changing players on both sides of the ball. This is easily a trap game for Green Bay.

Right now if the Packers believe they can beat anybody the way they just played, they have bigger problems than the 49ers. This is the furthest thing from a trap game.

Andrew from Superior, WI

In this Inbox I have learned to move on and look forward. In my effort to do so I had a question come to mind. Could this week be a powerful teaching week for JK Scott as he watches a true pro in Crosby show up and take the next steps to move on and succeed?

I think it’s a potentially valuable week in that regard for every young, unproven player in the locker room. If you aren’t watching how the true pros go about it, you’re missing out.

Matt from Salt Lake, UT

Who coaches the scout team each week to mimic the upcoming opponent? Seems like a massive mental hurdle for players to learn and effectively execute a different team’s plays each week, plus potentially know the Packers’ scheme if they’re called up.

It can’t be easy. The quality control coaches have a role, and some of the position coaches have prep duties in that realm as well. We don’t get to see any 11-on-11 periods in practice during the regular season, but I’ve often wondered when injuries crop up how many young players are taking snaps with both the regular and look teams.

Stephen from Washington, DC

It's pretty clear there are still a lot of questions about this team, their identity, and their consistency in all three phases. I'm optimistic about this team and think some of those questions could be answered in a big way on Monday night, but I'm curious – what questions about this team do you think have already been answered?

A large chunk of the draft class belongs and will help this team as well as continue to improve. Davante Adams appears to have no issues living up to his new contract. Otherwise, a lot of questions remain, mostly due to the team’s inconsistencies, and I suspect most of them will be answered after the bye week.

Mark from Iron Mountain, MI

I'm not as concerned with the missed field goals and missed throws by Rodgers as I am with the bonehead penalties. When McCarthy starts holding the players responsible for taunting, trash talk or gestures, retaliating and other unsportsmanlike penalties, maybe the offense could sustain drives or the defense could get off the field. There is a definite lack of discipline on this team and it's hurting them big-time.

Lack of emotional discipline and technique discipline have produced too many personal fouls already, and I’m not even talking about the controversial RTP stuff. Fifteen yards is 20 percent of a 75-yard touchdown drive. That’s doing too much work for the other team.

Tony from River Falls, WI

How is Kevin King doing after taking a cleat to the mouth? I have never seen that much blood in an NFL game before. Props to him for walking himself off the field, too.

I’ve learned to never lose respect for these guys’ toughness. He said Monday the cleat busted the inside of his upper lip as well as his lower lip/chin, which needed a handful of stitches. He said if there’d been another defensive series to play, he’d have gone back out there.

Daniel from Eau Claire, WI

While Marquez Valdes-Scantling has had the most production out of the rookie wide receivers so far, the most potential out of all of them has to be Equanimeous St. Brown. His catch and run in the fourth quarter was a thing of beauty. Once he gets on the same page as Rodgers, look out.

The potential for both is evident. MVS is actually the faster of the two. We haven’t seen him gain many yards after catch yet, but his burst in the open field could be scary. St. Brown’s long strides are impressive. There’s a lot to like.

Peter from San Diego, CA

I love the Inbox, thank you for providing a great forum for the fans! It's interesting how much the officiating has had a hand in the win loss column this year. What was your take on the punt early in the first quarter that was recovered by the Lions deep in the red zone after touching a player of the receiving team? It didn't appear so obvious that it touched Kevin King before being recovered by the Lions.

A ton of folks asking about the punt play, and many saying they saw replays at home showing the ball clearly touched the Detroit player’s hand/arm first. I’ll admit I never got a good look at a replay, but what I did see didn’t give me any confidence the call would be overturned. King insisted on Monday the ball never touched him, emphasizing if it had he’d have spun around and tried to grab it. My problem was with, not so much the original call itself, but how it was called, which was after a huddle when no one on the field knew in real time what was up. Isn’t an official supposed to throw the blue bean bag when there’s a loose, live ball? If that comes out, I know Williams is smart enough to pounce on the ball. The Packers weren’t given that chance.

Keith from Sheboygan, WI

In fact forget the 15 yards, I don't even want the 15 yards. I just once would like to hear a referee admit that something was their fault. That's what I want, I want an admission of guilt.

Good luck with that. Let me know how you come out.

AJ from Sheboygan Falls, WI

We've got three of the best TEs in the league, two of which are outstanding run blockers. We were down two of our top three WRs in Sunday's game. Wouldn't that normally spell three-TE formation and pound the rock? Even before the game started to slip from 7-0 to 14-0 to 17-0, I didn't see a three-TE formation once. Not to mention, wouldn't this solve our red-zone inadequacies that we're suffering from lately? A play-action bootleg with Lewis and Graham floating through the end zone looks good.

Don’t assume those things weren’t in the game plan. Game plans are built to have certain concepts set up others for later, but three times in five weeks, the games have gotten so tilted the plans essentially got tossed at halftime. The abysmal execution and avoidable mistakes piled up so early and often, there’s no way to know if the plan would’ve worked. They did put four tight ends on the field and ran the play-action pass to Kendricks, who lined up as a fullback, for a TD in Detroit.

Carroll from Madison, WI

Largely agree with your conclusion re: which four stats are most revealing. But if you had to narrow it further to just two? I've read that the most telling is "Differential in [(Plays over 20 yards) + (Turnovers)]." Would you agree? Thanks for your insight.

Big plays and turnovers decide games more often than not, yeah.

Josh from Minneapolis, MN

Spoff definitely picked the wrong title for Monday's Inbox. How did you pass up "You create your own mojo in this league"?

Another missed opportunity.

Dave from Germantown, TN

Other than Sunday, have the Packers (or any other NFL team) lost a game where they never punted in the game?

McCarthy mentioned Monday there have been close to 100 no-punt games by one side or the other in NFL history, and the team with no punts has won three-quarters of the time. In 2014, the Packers played two games in which neither side punted. They won at Chicago but lost at New Orleans.

Jim from Ocean, NJ

More a comment than a question. I thought the young receivers looked good at times but at the same time it was clear that several pass patterns had mistakes...too many receivers in the same area. On Rodgers’ roll-out fumble someone (I think a receiver) ran into Montgomery knocking him down just beyond the line and I'm sure he was the checkdown receiver on that play. In 60 years I've never seen a game quite like this before.

It was actually Adams and Montgomery who crashed into each other in the middle of the field, but McCarthy again referenced mistakes by the rookie receivers on Monday, which I’m sure includes routes and route adjustments.

Zach from Clarkfield, MN

The correct spelling would be "bologna," not "balogna."

At least we know what the Inbox really cares about.

Chris from Minneapolis, MN

To improve the question in Bobby's scenario: in OT, first team kicks field goal, second team throws an interception, but the interceptor fumbles, recovered by the offense and not advanced. Game over?

Yes. Once the second team loses possession, that play is allowed to conclude and any results from that play count. But that’s the last play of the game, barring a penalty that nullifies the turnover.

Scott from Sauk City, WI

The Detroit Westin, huh? I was really curious about that place the last time I flew through DTW. Aren't there planes flying overhead almost constantly? All night long? Does anybody get any sleep at that hotel? Or did they do something to make it quieter? The convenience had to be nice, but I wondered if it was possible to get any sleep there. Who picks the hotel? Packers staff? The NFL? Lions staff?

NFL teams make their own travel arrangements. Most years I’ve been here we’ve stayed out in Dearborn for that trip, but we’ve stayed at the Detroit airport Westin twice now. It’s incredibly quiet, actually. So much so that when I lost the TV cable signal just before the kickoff of the Badgers game, I called the front desk and they said the huge thunderstorm outside was affecting the satellite feed and it would clear up soon. I had no idea.

Jonathan from Muenster, Germany

Hi guys, Aaron Rodgers just became the fastest player to throw for 40,000 yards and 300 passing touchdowns. Do the games he wasn't playing but was active during the first three years also count? This would make his record even more impressive.

Those “fastest to” records are measured by either games played or total pass attempts. Rodgers is the fourth fastest to 40,000 yards at 154 games, but the fastest to have both milestones. Back in 2017, Rodgers became the fastest to 300 TDs in both games played and pass attempts, I believe.

Col from Ludlow, UK

Others have thanked you for the work you produce for us. But the biggest thank you has to be lavished for not shouting at us on “Packers Unscripted.” I can’t express how much I appreciate it. From what I see, it makes you unique. Thanks again, and don’t ever change.

So much for inviting Skip Bayless to join the show.

Don from Swaledale, IA

Do you think the Brewers have a real chance to win this next series?

A real chance? No, only a fake chance. C’mon, Don! What kind of question is that?

Nic from London, UK

Is the Inbox a microcosm of American society? It seems like everyone either hates you and assaults your integrity/intelligence/allegiance when your opinion is different, or in an effort to show support they offer such saccharine positive reinforcement that it borders on sycophantism (coining it!). I sometimes agree with you, sometimes don't, and think you're better than many at your job though like all humans, susceptible to mistakes, self-deception and displays of great insight.

I can live with that.

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