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Inbox: You can see confidence blooming from that progression

The Packers have to feel good about the long-term prospects of this receiving corps


Michelle from Ringgold, GA

What do you think has caused the turnaround with the Packers the last few games?

Maturation, execution, and self-belief. A few days from December, the Packers look like a football team that has been through the fire and benefitted from it. Now, you can see confidence blooming from that progression.

Mark from Seattle, WA

Hi guys, will Malik Heath get more playing time against Kansas City after a stellar Thanksgiving game?

That was a big moment for Heath. He's been getting more opportunities as of late and I thought he showed why on Thanksgiving. Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Jayden Reed are all healthy and playing well, so Heath and Dontayvion Wicks just need to keep capitalizing on their snaps. As I wrote about Monday evening, the Packers have to feel good about the long-term prospects of this receiving corps.

Rob from Antioch, IL

Undoubtedly, the comparisons will be made between Jordan Love and Patrick Mahomes next Sunday. Mahomes has a similar poise and demeanor in the backfield. Arm strength between the two seems comparable, Mahomes seems the better improviser for sure, but Love has shown signs of that ability as of late. What do you think of when comparing the two?

Comparison is the thief of joy, Rob. Patrick Mahomes is a two-time MVP and Super Bowl champion. He could retire today and be a first-ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer in my eyes. Love just needs to worry about being the best Jordan Love he can be for his football team, the man who led the Packers into Ford Field last Thursday and silenced the naysayers.

Jason from Austin, TX

Did Jordan Love make more adjustments than usual at the line of scrimmage this past week or was I just seeing things? I feel like I hadn't seen him make many so far but noticed him making hand signals to wide receivers several times this week and they appeared to be successful. More signs that he and the receivers are getting on the same page.

You don't need to be an NFL scout to see Love taking charge at the line of scrimmage. He's a smart guy and a student of the game. He's mindful of the little details the defense is offering. Love's also been throwing to these wideouts for six months now and developed chemistry from that connection.

Mike from King George, VA

Hello Insiders, in response to Kevin from Whitehall and the stats from J-Love and AR, Love is 5-6 with 2,599 pass yds, 19 TD/10 INT. Aaron was 5-6, 2,599 pass yds, 17 TD/9 INT. Brett Favre was 7-4, 2,624 pass yds, 16 TD/8 INT (Weeks 3-13, first 11 starts). But Jay Cutler was 5-6, 2407 pass yds, 16 TD/13 INTs ('06-07). They all had different paths, end results and legacies. Let's let JL be JL. I'll enjoy seeing his career unfold, however it goes, and hope he brings home the trophy (a few times). GO Pack GO! Beat KC!

Exactly. If you really need to play the comparison game, then at least wait until the season is over and assess from there. At the end of the day, the Love/Rodgers stat is as inconsequential as it is coincidental.

Mike from New London, WI

The Detroit game was interesting in that we ran a more aggressive offensive game plan than previous weeks. The reverse was used and wonder if you think after showing it, we might effectively run a fake reverse off a jet sweep. We have the personnel that can do it and I think in the right situation it would work. Any thoughts?

The Packers used their speed to neutralize the Lions and it worked brilliantly. Every opponent requires a different plan, but I think Thursday proved the offense has developed to the point where it can build a game plan around Love and the receivers. This offense feeds off the pre-snap motions, though, and the Packers ate their fill of 'em in Detroit.

John from Palmdale, CA

Our O-line is finally healthy and functioning well and even with the injuries to the running backs, we won three of the last four games. Trust the people running the team, folks!

That's the other piece to this puzzle. The offensive line is doing great work right now. I obviously spoke glowingly about Zach Tom's performance against Detroit, but the entire group played well. With Love's natural composure, he can dice up a defense if given time to operate in the pocket.

Bob from Rome, NY

Wes: Looking at this week's matchup with KC. Not only are they the best opponent the Packers have played this year but they are going to have to go against a Steve Spagnola defense that likes to bring heavy pressure and mix up coverages. I remember the game when Love filled in for Aaron Rodgers and it was nonstop blitzes. Any chance Jones is back to help with blitz pickups, reduce third-and-longs, and make the KC defense play more honest? Looking forward to your feedback.

Matt LaFleur has stepped in front of this train before and said that loss was not on Jordan Love. To be fair, I wouldn't put that on the coaches, either. The Packers were in a tough spot after Rodgers was placed on the COVID-19 list. Love is a much different QB today than he was then and I'm confident Green Bay will have a better plan for how to attack Spagnola's defense.

Al from Green Bay, WI

My favorite part of Wayne's call on the Watson touchdown: "Yes! Yes! They made the Lions pay!" Of course, he was referring to the Lions' risky decision to try a fake punt from their own 23-yard line. Big credit for the Packers coaches and players to blow up the fake. What tipped off the Pack to the potential for the fake? The Lions' punt formation looked normal to me.

When you execute fake punts with the frequency that the Lions do, the opposition is always going to be on high alert for it. Lukas Van Ness told me after the game Rich Bisaccia harped all week to be aware of the possibility. Lukas Van Ness also said they had a rush call on the play, which was the perfect call to defend a direct snap. Just a lot of good for Green Bay and too much bad for Detroit on the play.

Kevin from Savage, MN

Out with some friends Saturday night, and she has a nephew who is a linebacker for the Rams. She mentioned that he's said the biggest adjustment to being a starter is not being able to walk for the first two days after a game. Kind of puts the game in a new perspective. Can you describe for the TV fans out there how rough the game really is? Seeing things on TV would not appear to give it justice. Now just beat KC. GPG.

I have such deep respect for what players put their bodies through to be ready each Sunday – and Thursdays in some cases. One of my most vivid memories from covering a game was when the Packers played the New Orleans Saints in 2014. T.J. Lang injured his ankle and needed a cart from the locker room to the team buses, which were located on the other side of the Superdome. Before it departed, Josh Sitton asked if he could catch a ride after playing through a painful toe injury of his own. Neither guy missed a game that season.

Jeff from Victorville, CA

Wes, when the Lions scored late to make it 29-20, they decide to go for two which ended up working for them, but I thought it was strange not to just kick the extra point to get within eight. If they miss there, the game is basically over at that point. Why do you feel they attempted the two-point conversion than instead of staying within eight and trying to get it later if they scored again? That just didn't make sense to me.

You're not wrong, but I'm guessing MCDC planned to go for two to win the game if Detroit got it to 29-28. At least, that's the only way it made sense to me. You can't go for two twice if you don't do it the first time.

Steve from Plover, WI

If the season were to end today, the Packers would be ranked eighth in the NFC. Is there a proper time when we are allowed to contemplate sneaking into the playoffs? I know, I know, just beat the Chiefs.

Playoffs are fun to talk about, but Green Bay needs to get back to .500 before any of that chatter becomes meaningful.

Jeff from Indian Lake, NY

Six inches of snow up here in the Adirondacks last night. It would appear that winter is here to stay. Will the tundra be frozen when the Chiefs visit?

The forecast calls for 38 degrees and rain, as of Monday evening. We'll see if that changes at all.

Paul from Hewitt, WI

Do you think the NFL would ever adopt the concept similar to baseball's retroactive IR list? An example would be a player like Jaire who has been out for the past two weeks. Under the current rule if the Packers listed him on the IR today, Alexander would be out for an additional four games before he was eligible to play. Under the baseball model, Alexander could be placed on the IR retroactive to the prior two weeks and eligible to return in two weeks. What approvals would this change require?

I don't think that's necessary as long as the NFL allows teams to elevate players from the practice squad for gameday. If the league ever stopped that, then I could see a case being made for retroactive IR. But practice-squad elevations allow teams the flexibility to "replace" an injured player without having to move him to IR.

Penny from Colgate, WI

What are the plans for the injured roster?

To heal it, preferably.

Brian from Twain Harte, CA

Probably the primary reason that there were few Packer Backers at the Lions game was due to its being on Thanksgiving, Most people want to be with their families. When I was a teenager, I bought a ticket to the "The Last Waltz at Winterland" in SF. My mom made me sell the ticket because she insisted that I be home for Thanksgiving.

And props to Lions fans. They didn't sell their tickets. That was a fully packed Ford Field with a sea of Honolulu Blue. It's my favorite (non-Lambeau) stadium to cover a game in the NFC North. Win or lose, Detroit's fans show up.

Neil from Tunbridge Wells, UK

Just saw AJ Dillon talk to a UK-based show in the locker room at Detroit. Made me wonder how many nationalities cover our team!?

I'm not sure how many international outlets officially cover the NFL, but American football is quickly becoming a worldwide sport. I can speak from experience that the Packers have incredible international fan groups. I also know Ireland took great pride in Daniel Whelan winning Green Bay's punting competition last summer. You love to see a team bringing the global community together.

Paul from Farnborough, UK

Dear Wes/Spoff, after the game is over, do the players/coaches chill out and chew the fat in the players' lounge or do the visitors pack up and high tail it out of town?

There is an area set aside for players visit with family and friends after games, but most still head for the exit after games. The season doesn't stop, and that alarm is already set for the next morning.

Eric from Wausau, WI

So, Wes was gobsmacked by Jordan Love's pass to Jayden Reed. I believe the American for that is flabbergasted, but I was wondering if that is a hangover from last year's London visit, too much British "telly" or the Shakespeare Academy acting classes he takes for "Three Things?"

To follow-up on Spoff's reply: "Hey Eric, why don't you mind your own business, bruv?"

The Green Bay Packers held practice at Clarke Hinkle Field on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023.

Andrew from Stockton-on-Tees, UK

Which is the most exciting team to watch you have ever seen? I'd say the 49ers of the '80s

The early 2000s Atlanta Falcons with Michael Vick made me fall in love with football. They won unconventionally and turned the sport on its head.

Brian from Hackensack, NJ

With the Packers and Giants winning this past week, does that make the Monday night game on Dec. 11 safer from being flexed? When is the deadline for that decision to be made?

I'm not one to put the cart before the donkey, but the Jets host the Houston Texans on Sunday, Dec. 10, at MetLife. Conceivably, that's the only game that could get flexed into that time slot. That decision has to be made this week.

David from Crivitz, WI

Good morning! In light of Frank Reich being fired only 11 games into his four-year contract, it made me curious about the following question: Are coaches' contracts fully guaranteed unlike player contracts? Obviously, they don't count against the cap but is Carolina (who also fired a coach last year) paying multiple former coaches to not coach their team?

Correct. It's not that unusual in today's NFL to be paying two former coaches at the same time. Las Vegas is in a similar spot.

Matt from St. Paul, MN

George from Kennebunkport is wrong about the clock on a fair catch kick. Page 12 of the NFL rulebook states: "The game clock operator shall start the game clock for a fair catch kick down when the ball is kicked" (Rule 4, Section 3, Article 3). It is possible that the kick would have taken less than five seconds, but the clock would have started on the kick.

And there you have it. I tried to thumb through the rulebook on Friday, but I couldn't find an answer on when the clock started on a free kick.

Ed from Minneapolis, MN

Morning Wes, it dawned on me the other day. Might you get the opportunity to interview Ms. Swift?

I have heard nothing on the Swift situation, but I have a blank space in my schedule. I'll write her name.

Tom from Highland Village, TX

Hi Mike/Wes. In Monday's column, George from Kennebunkport said ML was correct in not trying a free kick at the end of the half, because the clock would not run until the Lions touched the ball. In my research (which was less than a minute), I found video of the last NFL free kick, in 2019. The clock started as soon as the ball was kicked. Did anyone ask about the reasoning behind eschewing the free kick for an offensive play with five seconds in the half?

According to my research (which was less than a minute) has shirt potential. Have a great Tuesday, everyone.

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