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Inbox: You play the odds, and the Packers played them exactly right

RB Jamaal Williams
RB Jamaal Williams

Carlos from Maricopa, AZ

Great team win. We're 5 and 1.

As are the Seahawks and Saints in the NFC, with the Niners 5-0. Hang on, folks, this is just getting started.

Richard from Madison, WI

How hard must it have been for Jamaal Williams, a guy who's had a nose for the end zone his entire career, to take a seat on his way to a certain score? Did he know on his own to do that, or was he under instructions?

It was communicated from LaFleur to Rodgers to everyone in the huddle. But I love the fact LaFleur said after the game he knew he didn’t actually need to say anything to Rodgers because he would have taken care of it regardless.

Bobby from Green Bay, WI

Feels like we would have had a completely different opinion of Williams sitting down on the 1-yard line if Mason missed that kick. I know everything worked out for the best, but it seemed overly risky to not take the assured points when you don’t even have a lead yet.

Prior to that game-winner, Crosby had made 107 of 109 field goals in his career (including playoffs) from 29 yards and in. That’s 98.2%, not including hundreds of 20-yard PATs over eight years with only four career misses on those. I have as much faith in Green Bay’s defense as the next guy, but I give Matthew Stafford a better than 1.8% chance to drive his team down for a winning score with 90 seconds on the clock. You play the odds, and the Packers played them exactly right.

Noah from St. Francis, WI

The 3-0 turnover ratio was enough for football gods to say, just not your week. What are odds with that turnover ratio to win?

More with odds, OK. I found an online piece that said since 2005, teams plus-three in turnover margin have won 91.4% of the time. This was fortunate, but those three turnovers producing just nine points for the other team is what made it possible.

Horgus from Eau Claire, WI

Look where the ball arrives, even the missed catches. That is why other teams fear Aaron.

He put up a 90.0 passer rating on a night various teammates let chances get away. And when he gets the win he doesn’t care.

Ryan from Colfax, WI

I always thought that the LS listed for Hunter Bradley stood for long snapper not leap supporter.

Thirteen years for Mason Crosby without a Lambeau Leap. I think he earned one, no matter what it took.

Jessi from Sterling, KS

"I think it evens out over the years." – AR. Mic drop.

That was the best, and only, answer to give. Officiating controversies aren’t going away. They’re unfortunately part of the fabric of the game now. But the players who get caught up in it will only get distracted and damage their chances of emerging victorious. The best players and coaches know this. Just keep playing.

Mark from Verona, WI

The box score doesn't have specifics on penalties, I'm probably missing something, but did the defense have just one penalty for offsides? That would be impressive.

Correct.

Tony from Chanhassen, MN

I feel bad for Darrius Shepherd. I hope he can come back from it. He worked so hard to get here. If you get the chance, please tell him we’re still rooting for him.

Shepherd has a lot of guys in that locker room rooting for him, too. But now he’ll have to earn back any future opportunities. Lazard just shot up the depth chart, perhaps significantly.

Jack from New York, NY

I loved Lazard’s grit and determination stepping up last night and giving us that boost we needed. Could this have opened the door for Lazard becoming the No. 2 receiver on this team once Adams returns? I mean, it looks like Rodgers trusts him.

I’m not sure about all the way up to No. 2, but four catches for 65 yards in 10 minutes when the guy had one catch for seven yards to his name coming in? It doesn’t get much better than that. Wes can confirm, as soon as the ball was released, I couldn’t believe Rodgers was going right back to Lazard on the next play after the pass breakup to him in traffic down the seam, and lo and behold it’s a touchdown. I didn’t say a word the rest of the game.

Thorben from Bochum, Germany

Unpopular opinion: I actually like the officiating around pass interference. The consensus seems to be that the ruling on the field is only changed if it is blatantly obvious that the call was incorrect. So it is pretty much limited to situations similar to the Saints-Rams non-call and not applicable to some gentle contact before arrival of the ball. In my opinion the mistakes have been made in not communicating precisely that this is the way it is officiated, especially to the coaches.

Except that’s not the way it was officiated the first two weeks, then it changed. Remember that Vikings TD wiped out at Lambeau in Week 2 on an automatic review that found OPI? Never going to see that again. The league and the officials hadn’t communicated amongst themselves before this all started. It was supposed to be worked out in the preseason, but that didn’t happen. Now it’s been overcorrected, with something like only one of the last 24 challenges on PI calls getting overturned. Good luck with those odds. More odds. What is it today?

Jarrod from Hazard, KY

After last night’s controversy it’s clear that TV broadcasts are setting a dangerous precedent with slow-motion replay. What do you think the league’s course of action is here? Do they further scrutinize bang-bang plays with more replays and risk ruining the game? Or perhaps in the future we’ll see the league using “no slow-mo” as a bargaining chip for broadcast partners? How does the league deal with the over-scrutinization and make these games enjoyable to all?

Great question. Technology begat replay. Better technology begat more replay. The technology isn’t going to get worse, and the league isn’t going to cut its broadcast partners a price break, so the networks aren’t going to sacrifice any of the in-home experience fans have grown accustomed to. I don’t know what the answer is, honestly.

Dennis from Batavia, IL

To my knowledge, not one onside kick has succeeded thus far this year. Last year only three succeeded. When will a team attempt a different methodology? Like how about squib it through the gaping hole right down the middle, but not too far that the deep man can make an easy play? Naysayers will say “that’ll never work.” How do we know? Do you know if teams practice or try out different onside kick strategies on their own unsuspecting hands team?

I think if there were a better method, someone would have figured it out by now. I go back to my comment after the Dallas game last week, and how teams will have to manage end-of-game comebacks differently. A team needing a touchdown and a field goal has to strongly consider kicking the field goal as soon as possible, with enough time to kick off, play defense, and get the ball back, rather than get in a position where it all rides on the onside kick.

George from Milwaukee, WI

Who was the first team or coach to start scripting the first 20 to 25 plays of a game?

I don’t know who was the first to devise an opening script, but Bill Walsh was the first one I recall who publicized and popularized the planning procedure.

Denny from La Crosse, WI

I was watching the Vikings and Philadelphia game and noticed that Cousins got a number of big plays off of bootlegs and rollouts. When the Packers played Cousins they had a defensive player pressuring him on rollouts. Did the Packers pick up on a tell sign that they were always there pressuring?

No, they just learned from film study to assign a player in the defensive front to stay home on the play-action rollout, and Dean Lowry was that guy in Week 2. He did his job very effectively that day.

Brian from Pleasant Prairie, WI

Pumpkin Spice Brat? Now we KNOW he does this to you on purpose, Mike. I suppose he washes it down with club soda. I apologize for what you are about to endure from that response.

I appreciate the support.

Sandy from Green Bay, WI

Wes and Mike, you both do an exhaustive and professional job of imparting pertinent information to your readers and viewers about everything Packers through a variety of media formats. Is there one format that you find you prefer utilizing over the others? One that you find most rewarding to use as a means of communicating with your followers? Thanks to your efforts, I feel I am able to hold my own in conversations regarding Packers football.

Thanks for the kind words, and glad to help. I’ve always considered myself first and foremost a writer, not just because it’s my job title but the duty I enjoy the most. The videos, podcasts, etc., I’ve learned along the way, and they’re fun, but I’ll always be a writer.

Josh from Nicholasville, KY

So the NFL fined Jones for the wave. Shouldn’t they also discourage networks from using the footage and images of the play to discourage the behavior? I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a play used in promotions as much as that one.

You noticed that, too, eh? Funny how that works, and in some of the league’s own videos, I might add. On another note regarding fines, it was good to see Rashan Gary wasn’t fined for his bogus RTP against the Cowboys.

Dylan from Belgrade, MT

If I buy a Danny V. jersey from the Pro Shop does it come with a faux tattoo sleeve?

Only if Wes hasn’t hoarded them all.

Jess from Little Chute, WI

Phil Dawson failed to convert a 71-yard attempt fair-catch-kick in 2013.

I was thinking there had been one more recent that Crosby’s shot in ’08. Thanks.

Margeaux from Tallahassee, FL

Is there a team as it stands today that is a bit overhyped? Under?

I admit I’m more than a bit surprised both the Chargers and Browns are 2-4 right now, after how they finished last year. But there’s a lotta season left. I’m with Wes in buying what the 49ers are selling.

Eric from Reedsburg, WI

What happened to Dallas? They went from legitimate contenders to pretenders in a few short weeks.

You know the old saying. It’s not who(m) you play, it’s when you play ’em. Getting the Jets right when they got Darnold back was a difficult “when,” coming off two straight losses.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

There's a pretty simple reason the league hasn't added any other referees, for safety or otherwise. That's 17 extra people the league has to pay (one per crew), which, if my brief research is correct, could cost almost $3.5 million. Even adding only 4-5 at a central location like New York could still be $1 million. Let's not pretend that's an amount the league or team owners would be willing to part with at the benefit of improving safety. It's a sad truth but profits are more important to them.

They might seriously consider the investment worthwhile if fans continue to question the legitimacy of outcomes.

George from North Mankato, MN

What an interesting day of football Sunday. What game surprised you the most?

I know Houston is pretty good, but Kansas City losing a second straight at home still surprised me. And the Chargers failing to beat a third-string QB, also at home.

Steve from Middletown, KY

How often does a Saturday submission get posted to Monday's II?

Occasionally, and it can even reach Tuesday when the normal Monday guy is delayed a day.

Lambeau Field hosted a Monday Night Football matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions on Oct. 14, 2019.

Blake from Salt Lake City, UT

I have some sympathy for Flowers and the Lions. With that said, that narrative is overshadowing the defensive performance put on by the Pack. Less than 300 yards total after the tough start with two big plays and the short fields they were asked to protect on numerous occasions. Oh, and they might not have even actually given up a TD.

Detroit had 132 yards of offense less than five minutes into the game. The Lions added 167 to that total over the last 55 minutes.

Ross from Hudson, WI

Am I the only one who has a huge smile come to my face every time Marcedes Lewis makes a catch?

He’s one of many great stories on this team so far.

Brady from Madison, WI

This one’s a blessing and a curse. A win is always a blessing, especially when it puts you that much further in the division lead. This win was a curse, because now, on a short week, the Packers will have to deal with all of the noise that comes with a slew of unhappy football fans and screeching talk show hosts, while the Raiders had last week off. But no week has been without adversity, and the Packers have risen to the occasion five times out of six so far. I trust this team.

The Packers did not process their success well on a short week late last month. I don’t expect that to happen again.

Jeff from New Richmond, WI

Hey Mike, great team win. I thought after some bad breaks and questionable calls we were due for some positive karma. Well, we got it perhaps in excess. What’s your take?

It was a typical, weird NFL game. As I said in the live blog, three touchdowns were scored in the game, with strangeness to them all. The Lions got a highly questionable call on fourth-and-goal, and the Packers got second chances on both of theirs, with the 12 men on Detroit’s field-goal block team, and the illegal hands to the face wiping out a third-down sack. You just have to keep fighting to the end, always, even when it doesn’t work out. Just like the Cowboys did last week, just like the Packers did last night.

Todd from Brighton, MI

Please fix replay. It is broke.

No, it’s broken. Happy Tuesday.

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