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Mike's Mid-Week Chat: How do Packers bounce back?

Editor Mike Spofford answered fan questions in his live chat

Offensive huddle
Offensive huddle

Hey everybody, welcome to this week's live chat. Quick turnaround after the Monday night game and I'll admit to still being a bit sleep-deprived, but I'll do my best. Hope all is well. Let's get started.

How does the Giant's press box experience rate among NFL Stadiums? The plusses, the minuses?

It's pretty standard. Decent view from up on the corner of an end zone, enough space (at least for this particular game). The only drawback was the really long walk from the bottom of the elevator to get to the Packers postgame locker room/press conference area.

Morning Mike! Never done this before. Do you understand why Malik Heath's TD was called back? I was positive it would count after seeing the replay with him get control and take a few steps before a defender batted it out. I'm glad his second attempt was a success, making the play inconsequential.

It was really close. He got two feet down, but they determined he didn't have a third foot or a "football move" before the ball got knocked out. Honestly, I think if it had been called a TD originally, the review wouldn't have overturned it. It was so close they were sticking with the call on the field.

I didn't see any snaps for Kenyan Drake, even though he was elevated. Was that more to be emergency if Dillon or Taylor went down?

Pretty much, yeah.

With NYG coming off their bye, do you think the read option with DeVito was an unscouted look? It didn't seem like the defense was prepared for it at all.

I wondered about that and mentioned it to Wes at the time in the press box. I don't know if the Giants had run read-option with DeVito in any of his prior starts or not, but both times he ran it and kept the ball -- for 26 and 13 yards -- the Packers' defender on the edge did not play the QB and got himself way out of position. It wasn't the same edge guy on the two plays, either.

Monday was the first time this season I was expecting the Packers to win and they laid that giant egg.

I've been doing this too long to go into any games with expectations. This league is nuts. You absolutely never know. That said, it's a game the Packers should've won and I don't think would've had to play great to win it. But they played lousy and much worse than a rather average to below-average opponent.

Hi Mike. Baker Mayfield does not seem to be as mobile a QB as the last few we have faced. How do you dial up a defensive game plan to shut him down? And if we can, how are the Tampa Bay running backs?

TB's running back White is playing pretty well for them, and Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are a pretty formidable WR duo. The Bucs have weapons, and Mayfield isn't afraid to sling it around. You're right, the scrambling isn't as big a concern, but he can move around and make plays on the run. But the game plan has to start with stopping the run. When the Packers don't do that, they never force the opponent to abandon it, no matter the score or situation, and it makes it harder on the defense for 60 minutes.

Without getting ahead of Final Thoughts for the Bucs game, which currently absent player (#33, #9, #23) will be key to get on the field to increase the odds of a securing a W?

I don't know how you rank them. I think the Packers could use all of them. It's clear defenses play the Packers differently when Christian Watson is not out there, and GB's defense just has more options coverage-wise if Jaire Alexander is out there. We'll see. Don't know if anyone will be back this week, honestly.

Hi mike, thank you for all your efforts to keep us (even far away in Germany) entertained and educated. Out of curiosity, do you consider the current NFC or AFC stronger?

I think the NFC is stronger at the top with those three teams at 10-3, but the AFC looks deeper, in terms of what appear to be pretty good teams fighting for those wild-card spots. Right now in the NFC, 7-6 is at the 6 seed and a bunch of 6-7 teams are haggling in there. Being 6-7 in the AFC right now you're close to out of it entirely.

Hey Mike, There's never "one thing" that went wrong, but what do you believe the biggest issues were against the Giants?

The run defense, the special teams miscues (missed FG, fumble) and a lack of any rhythm on offense for most of the game. It was a three-phase failure. No other way to put it.

Mike, why do you think Special Teams has not improved in Bisaccia's 2nd year here? They seem to have taken a step back, no?

I think that was inevitable to some degree going with a rookie kicker and punter. There were going to be ups and downs there for sure. I think the surprising thing has been the inability to clean up the penalties. The ST units have drawn a bunch of flags, all season, which have hurt field position in a lot of games.

Two stipulations. You know more about football than I do, and the coaches know more than you. However, I want to bring up a topic you answered in yesterday's II. You didn't think the hurry up with three minutes to go had any effect on the game. I thought we ran two extra plays before the two minute warning, but from your answer we probably only ran one extra play. Even so, wouldn't forcing the Giants to use one more time out, or run an extra 40+ seconds off the clock be an obvious advantage that could change a game?

Yeah, maybe they ran one extra play before the two-minute, but I don't think you can worry about the clock too much, especially with a first-year starter at QB, when you need a touchdown. If you only need a FG, different story, which would've been the case had the earlier FG not been missed. But the Packers needed a touchdown and you have to make sure you get it, whenever the opportunity is there.

The best thing about this being a short week is getting to put Monday night in the rear view mirror faster.

Perhaps. The Packers came out pretty darn well on their last short week, Thanksgiving, but that was coming off a win. We'll see how that works coming off a loss now.

Good morning, Mike. I hope all is well. You always say it's a week-to-week league, and yet another example was Keisean Nixon's performance against KC (positive) versus NY (negative). Did you get a chance to speak to him after the game? I'll be rooting for him to have a bounce-back game this week.

I mentioned that on the Unscripted episode Wes and I just shot. This league can humble anybody very quickly. Nixon was the defensive hero with his INT of Mahomes. Huge play, one of the biggest of the season. He had two very rough plays (one ST, one D) in the second half vs. NY that were very costly. It can happen to anybody. I did not speak to him after the game. I was at the press conferences with LaFleur and Jordan Love, with Wes going to the locker room. That's how we divide and conquer the postgame duties. Wes did quote Nixon in one of his stories, either Key to the Game or Game notes, can't remember which one.

Hi Mike, I was at MetLife on Monday night. I was astonished at the signage that was allow to flash during a play. It must be distracting. Are there league rules and limitations around this stuff ?? (I recall either the Saints or ATL getting fined for piping in amplified noise ...)

That's another thing I mentioned to Wes. With that ribbon board and the four big video boards in the four corners all flashing like crazy throughout the game, I have to imagine that's distracting to the players. It was distracting enough for me up in the press box. I wondered if the end zone throw to Reed where he appeared to lose sight of the ball had anything to do with that flashing stuff on the ribbon board.

Wow Wes threw 2 humorous daggers your way in II today. What did you do to him in New York / New Jersey ?

We're just trying to have fun when we can. The shot at the live blog was just a follow up to me in Tuesday's II telling everyone if they want to throw any blame my way for a subpar performance, they're welcome to.

Was at Monday's game. That hurt. Now that the disappointment has worn off, just beat the Bucs. Then, just beat the Panthers. That alone brings the playoff percentage back up to about 75%. SEA has two straight tough games, MIN has two straight tough games, NO/NYG play each other, LAR/NO play each other, NYG/LA play each other. Lot of losing will be done by GB's competition in the wild card. Everything is still right in front of us.

The schedule still works in GB's favor, Monday's huge missed opportunity notwithstanding. But there's no reason to be looking at other teams and schedules right now until the Packers win another game. Get back to 7-7 and see how everything looks.

I've seen this quote from ML about last game's defensive miscues: "if one guy's got dive responsibilities, let him take the dive and the other guy has the quarterback." What does 'take the dive' mean?

On the read option, the QB is putting the ball in the RB's belly for a dive run up the middle. Depending on his read of the edge defender, he'll either give the ball to the RB, or pull it back and run it himself, if the edge defender crashes toward the middle to defend the dive and ignore the QB. That's what DeVito read both times, because the edge guy has to hold his ground in case the QB keeps it and let the interior players handle the dive.

It's surprising, because for the most part I thought defense did well against Saquon outside of a few runs. It was more the inability to keep the QB from big runs that the perception of the run defense did awful. At one point midway through the game, I think Saquon was only averaging 2.5 yards a carry.

Yeah, Barkley got 51 of his 86 yards on the back-to-back runs in the fourth that led to the fumble. They did do well against him until the end, but it's a 60-minute game. But in addition, the read-options we've talked about, and the Wildcat pitch to Robinson broke for big gains that added up quickly. The Packers played those plays very poorly. Even if you take away DeVito's scrambles on pass plays, the run defense still would have given up about 170 yards. That's not good enough. Not even close.

Jordan Love did not look good on Monday night and has been inconsistent all season Do you think it was lack of preparation, or was the Giants defense doing something the Packers were not prepared for, or was it just overlooking the Giants and expecting an easy victory?

He was off target with throws early and that clearly prevented him, and the offense in general, from finding any rhythm. LaFleur suggested Tuesday he was indecisive early and that contributed to the throws being off. On the INT, he admitted he made a bad read. That ball never should've been thrown. That was an easy INT for the safety.

I was at MetLife on Monday night. There was a lot of Green and Gold in the building .. (I'd guess 15 - 20% ish). That was good to see and fun to be with other Packer fans in our section.

It's funny how the season has gone. I've thought the Packers had very good road representation in Vegas, Denver and Jersey, and they lost all those games. Then when almost no Packers fans were in Detroit, they won. Go figure.

Perspective - People are stating Anders has repeatedly been missing kicks and isn't consistent, get a new kicker. I see it as he's preparing to kick a 35 yarder because of 3rd and 6. Having the QB take a sack for a loss of 10 doesn't necessarily place him in a better position to go out there and execute. There's more to these miscues, but he takes the brunt. All are professional players, but I don't remember any kickers at 100% reliability. I think he's been a steady player with room for improvement. Thoughts?

I think he's been inconsistent with room for improvement, but with plenty of talent to work through it. The miss on Monday night wasn't a bad hit. He drilled it pretty good, but it went dead straight from the left hash and stayed there, just missing. He hit it solidly from what I could tell.

Our last defensive series was ugly to say the least. Chunk plays given up to an offense not exactly top of the NFL heap. Correctible or is this who we really are as a unit, inconsistent.

As LaFleur noted, the two consecutive plays that put the Giants in FG position were man coverage calls, and the defenders were not tight enough to the receivers. The first play went for 9 yards to the boundary on a 4-yard stop route. The second went for 32 yards due to bad footwork and positioning from the slot. Man to man, they have to play tighter and make it more difficult for the opposition, and that didn't happen.

With WR depth looking iffy, might MLF lean on the TE and RB passing game, dial up more Tucker Kraft, Ben Sims, AJ Dillon, Patrick Taylor passes?

He's going to dial up whatever it takes to move the ball consistently. Kraft's production has been impressive lately and he's shown a ton of improvement. I think Taylor has shown he could help more, too, though he made a huge mistake not going out of bounds late in the first half Monday night.

Hey, Mike - I'm thinking 33 plays this week back in Lambeau on our grass. Held out maybe on that turf in MetLife? Any thoughts?

I don't know anything for certain, but I don't think the turf had anything to do with it. When Jones spoke to the media after last Friday's practice, he mentioned hoping to get some team reps (11-on-11) on Saturday, which meant he hadn't taken any yet, only individual drills. One day of 11-on-11 reps is not enough to get him back in the lineup after an injury like that.

Mike, as frustrating it is for us as fans to see the Packers play like they did Monday night, how much more frustrating is it for the coaching staff? I remember from the Ask Vic days about fans complaining about "full consistency". This season, it seems that the Packers performance is like a coin flip. You just never know which team is showing up.

It's to be expected somewhat with a team so young on one side of the ball, and playing more young guys than expected on the other due to injuries. But the ups and downs happen to everyone in this league. The Chiefs have five losses already. They're the defending champs with basically the same team back. The Eagles were 10-1 and have suddenly gotten smacked by two really good teams, but they honestly weren't even competitive in either game. Every team has stinkers in this league. It's just the teams that have fewer get to play some more games at the end.

IDK what it means, but if memory serves, Baker hasn't had very good luck at Lambeau.

Strange item that I'm doing some more research on -- Mayfield is coming to Lambeau as the opposing QB for the third straight season with a third different team. Browns, Rams, now Bucs. The Packers have done well against him, but I don't think that means much Sunday. The Bucs are riding high after their big road win in Atlanta in the final minute on Sunday.

That loss hurt of course and was frustrating to witness, but in the end we did take the lead and played very subpar. Are we guilty of playing to our opponent?

I don't really believe in that. Either you play well or you play poorly. Frankly, without the two turnovers the Giants simply handed to the Packers -- GB did nothing to "force" the turnovers on the punt or on Barkley's run -- the Packers don't even have a chance to win. That's how poorly they played.

Enjoy the Wes and Spoff banter and setups in the II. Great to have coworkers that can laugh at themselves. Wes is also good at Demovsky shots, saying he went to the Italian place with friends and Demovsky :)

Yeah, he'll never let up on the jabs, but we have fun. I was with the crew for the visit to the Italian place in the East Village and it was a fantastic meal. Wes's friend Gio who owns the place was a fantastic and gracious host for us.

Mike, your thoughts on the Bears beating the Lions last Sunday? Do you think the Lions are returning to their "norm"?

No, they've just hit a rough patch like pretty much every team does. They should've lost to the Bears a few weeks ago but rallied from down 12 in the last 4 minutes to pull it out. Credit to them, but sometimes you learn more when you don't rally to win those. Since then, they got smacked by GB on Thanksgiving, nearly blew a 21-0 lead in New Orleans, and got beat in Chicago by two TDs. They have some soul-searching to do now, and I expect them to straighten it out and fight hard, but sometimes those miracle comeback wins don't help you as much in the long run. After the Packers rallied to beat the Saints after three miserable quarters of football, they lost four in a row.

Has Jordan Love made any comment about how he handles cold-weather games? Weather looks unusually nice for the next few weeks, so he might not even experience it this year.

He only made a comment the other day that it can be harder to grip the football the way you want to at times, but he doesn't seem too fazed by it.

Do you think blitzing DeVito more would have helped? It probably would have lessened his ability to get out of the pocket. Experienced QBs can gash the blitz because they know right where to go with the ball, but a rookie QB, not so much.

Hindsight is always 20-20. I think there's a hesitancy to blitz when your starting CBs are Carrington Valentine and Corey Ballentine, who were expected to be reserves. They've played well, don't get me wrong, and have more than done their part. But leaving them on an island in tough spots might not sound so appealing and could be why there haven't been many blitzes. That's why I mentioned earlier getting Alexander back gives the defense more options.

Also, with how NYG has been playing, (and IDK if it helps at all) I feel like GB's loss was less embarrassing than MIA's, loss of Hill notwithstanding.

I don't get into comparisons, but I saw a stat that something like the last 767 teams that had led a game by 14 points with three minutes to go had won. What Tennessee pulled off was truly rare.

On the last drive by the Giants, explain to me why the DB's are so far off the ball when it's man coverage and you know they're throwing to gain yardage for field goal position. Even ML seemed to be questioning this. By now, you would think Barry and the coaches would be practically yelling this from the sideline.

I don't have an answer for that. Those man coverage calls were not played well, period.

Other thing in response to Big Jeff, Wink sometimes comes through on defense. It's just that, after handling Spagnola's defense quite well, the inability to handle Wink's is what frustrated me.

Like I said before, I thought the missed throws early just stagnated everything. They actually did burn Wink on the one really big all-out blitz he sent. The Giants sent 8 guys at Love on the third down from the 6-yard line that was the TD by Heath to take the lead. 8 rushers.

Re: Jordan's wobbly start, do you think it has anything to do with not having played on that field before? I've heard that different fields really do have different "feels" to them. For example, whether the field is crowned or not can mess up a QBs perspective on how far he needs to throw the ball.

No idea, and there's almost no field that's "crowned" anymore the way they manage the surfaces. But maybe it's not a coincidence he played well from the jump in Detroit given he had played a whole half of football in that building in the reg. season finale in 2021.

Not trying yo dredge anything up, just wondering about the rule. And forgive me if this has been answered. IF GB would have declined the personal foul against the chiefs would the 10 sec runoff have applied? Many thanks.

I don't know. I'm not entirely sure you'd want to, though. Do you want the opponent to have 50 seconds from the 50, or 40 seconds from the 35? Not a slam dunk decision, I don't think.

Hey Mike, In reference to one of your game blog comments, take it easy on New Jersey. After all Vince Lombardi lived here. (All in good fun.) Signed, Ray from Clark, NJ.

Ha. My dad grew up in Jersey. He came to the Midwest to go to college and never looked back. So he likes it when I take shots at Jersey. That was for him. LOL.

Mike, some folks were commenting on the wind patterns at MetLife. Do you think that had any impact on some of the poor throws from Love?

Again, I don't know. Maybe. The flags at the top of the goal posts didn't seem to be moving much, but I did notice when we arrived and got off the bus, it felt breezy outside the stadium. So perhaps.

What's frustrating is how we bottle up a QB like Mahomes, and then let a highly sacked third stringer have complete rein over us.

Yeah, it's frustrating. But I'll also say that DeVito was wasting no time getting out of there. He wasn't standing in the pocket waiting for something to develop. Getting sacked four dozen times in four weeks or whatever it was will have that effect on a QB. If he saw an opening, he just took off, and the Packers never seemed to adjust. The other thing I noticed is most of the time their checkdown options were at the boundary, for horizontal throws, leaving the middle of the field wide open when the outside receivers were running deep. So every time he got out and didn't take the checkdown, he had space in the middle to get 6-7 yards minimum.

I'm wondering if part of the problem with out backfield D in the last drive had to do with the CBs being maybe too sensitive to DeVito's scrambling ability and thus "peeking" into the backfield and losing track of the WR they're trying to cover in man.

LaFleur referenced peeking on the big play to Robinson for 32 yards. In man coverage, you can't get distracted by what's going on back there. You have to let the other guys handle that.

How likely do you think it is that we finally see Eric Stokes on the field this Sunday?

Decent chance. His window to be activated closes at the end of the week, so if he's going to play this season, they have to activate him now. Again, that would be another option in sub packages perhaps. I wouldn't expect Stokes to suddenly start after all the time he's missed.

Did defense play more pony package to deal with the Giants running game, the 5 -1- 5 package?

Pony package is on offense, with two RBs. The 5-1-5 on defense is a big nickel, and yes, they played it a fair amount.

Mike, regarding Monday's game; was the ball wet, or was the wind tricky? Seemed like both sides had trouble passing, both sides missed kicks, the ball was mishandled a couple times, etc. On the replays of Nixon's fumble, the ball looked really shiny. Nobody mentioned it on TV or after the game, but that would go a long way to explaining at least some of the issues we saw (on both sides).

All the kicking balls are shiny and new. A kicking ball gets put into play on any punt or field goal.

It seems like there is a lack of communication on the defense and also an unwillingness on the part of the coaches to change things up situational wise/personnel wise when things aren't working. Eric Wilson makes a huge 4th down stop and yet doesn't play much at all other than ST.

You can look at my WYMM for a breakdown of the fourth-down stop. The Packers had a personnel package on the field for that play they almost never use. Only one DB was out there. The other 10 were linemen and linebackers.

Another Bears question for you. Even though Fields is playing better, I've got to believe if they have the #1 pick, they'll draft a QB.

We'll see. If they go with Fields, maybe they trade the No. 1 pick for a bunch of assets. Who knows. Honestly, I'm not paying much attention to that right now.

I did study abroad in Italy for 2 semester so did some good eating over there. Many classmates tried to avoid weight gain, but most gave up and just enjoyed the food to their heart's content. They have more choices in the pasta aisle of stores than we have cereal choices here .

I can only imagine. Nothing quite like true homemade, authentic Italian pasta.

What do you think about the Viking's changing their starting QB to Mullens? Seems like it had to be done, but heck, that's their 4th starting QB this year. Asking cause we play them at their place in a few weeks.

They gave Dobbs one last shot and weren't getting results. I'm not surprised they made the change, but whether it will change the fortunes of their offense or not remains to be seen. Getting Jefferson back -- I know he got hurt again Sunday -- will help whoever's playing QB for them.

Someone suggested he noticed Love's eyes dropped to the rush more so than in previous games? Perhaps in being prepared for blitz's, he lost eye discipline?

No idea, but you never know what Wink is going to throw at you. LaFleur also mentioned there were defensive fronts that were mid-ID'd on offense and that might have had something to do with it, too.

Which contract made you shake your head more...Ohtani or Chourio?

Ohtani. 700M? Goodness. And he's deferring 680M of that until after 2034 I heard. Probably either going back to Japan after he retires or moving to a U.S. state without income tax.

Ohtani only taking $2 million a year some would say that is cheating the financial rules in the Dodgers favor. I don't understand how they can get away with that?

What difference does it make? They have to pay him the money at some point. There's no cap in baseball so salary structure is pretty much the wild west.

Mike, JL seemed late on several throws on Monday night including the one to Kraft down the seam. Hit him early he's still running. The throw in the end zone to Toure was also late as noted by Aikman due to one little hitch in his giddyup. There were others. Is it indecisiveness? Pass rush? What do you feel threw JL off a bit?

Might be a little indecision, but those are not off by much. Every fraction of a second counts, and considering he's still in his first year as a starter, not everything is going to be picture-perfect. The one throw I thought he'd really like to have back was when he stepped up in the pocket to buy time and Toure was streaking across the end zone to his right. If that throw is on target, maybe a TD. It was too far out of Toure's reach, out of bounds. On the flip side, he threw a terrific end zone pass to Romeo Doubs near the boundary that was a great catch, but the defender managed to push Doubs so he couldn't get his second foot down. Very close on those.

The really shocking thing to me is the offense with Mahomes scored 19 points, and the offense with DeVito scored 24. Your thoughts?

The Giants got one of their touchdowns when they took over deep in GB territory following the muffed punt. They didn't turn the ball over like that vs. KC or Detroit. That's the difference, more so than the QB.

Are David Bakhtiari and Tyler Davis in Green Bay during their rehab, or elsewhere ?

I haven't seen Bakhtiari, and he indicated to reporters he would be going elsewhere for his rehab. I have spotted Tyler Davis around the team lately.

Mike, any insight into that early ST penalty on Ford? I thought if you were engaged in a block that wouldn't be called. The announcers also described it as the person fielding it running into Ford.

Doesn't matter if you're engaged or not, you have to give the returner room to catch the ball. If you're engaged and can make the returner's teammate run into him, that's a different story. But if the contact is made with you, it's a foul, unless you're pushed into the returner.

One thing Love has done this season is bring the team back to take the lead late in the 4th quarter (and win a couple of them.) One of the early knocks on Rodgers was that he "wasn't a clutch player", though I remember some games where he got them into position only for a kicked to be missed (Chicago) or the defense to give the lead back. Whatever else happens, it was encouraging to see Love take advantage of a horrible start (then an overturned TD) to get us the lead with less than 2 minutes left.

I agree. If there was one redeeming quality to this game, it was Love getting the offense moving pretty well in the fourth quarter. Three drives really, the first one ending in the missed FG. He's done that every game this season, good start to the game or not. He's given the team a chance late in games.

Mike, saw where Wes handled today's II. Will you be doing tomorrow's and Friday's editions?

Correct, I'm taking two straight now after Wes did two in a row (Saturday, Monday). That just kept us on track with him doing the last one before a game and me taking the next morning after a game. We did the same thing with the other Monday nighter in Vegas.

Hey Mike, I want to thank you again for what you do with WYMM. I went through that today and I always feel like I've learned something. I thought the breakdown of the blocking on the Reed end around was particularly illuminating. Much appreciated!

Thanks. There wasn't a lot of fun film to look at from that game, but there's always something worth highlighting.

Ah yes, Big Nickel. Is that usually extra safety or extra cornerback?

No, it's a normal nickel secondary (5 DBs) but with an interior lineman replacing one of the inside linebackers.

I don't really care, but don't pretend that Mullens is a "4th String". He played a decent amount of games for Shanahan in SF.

Agreed. He's Minnesota's 4th QB this year, but he's got plenty of experience and has won games in this league.

I've never agreed more with you than on the merits of pasta in Italy. Same goes with the gelato. Not the same anywhere else.

I was too full to have any gelato. That was my one regret.

Do injured starters automatically regain starter status when they are healthy? I ask because I was surprised one defensive player returned.

That's a case by case thing. Depends on the player and who the replacements were/are.

Patrick Taylor often seems confused regarding the need to get out of bounds..thoughts?

Against KC, I thought he correctly stayed in bounds late in the first half, because they were trying to prevent Mahomes from getting another possession. Different clock situation, different approach. He absolutely needed to get out of bounds in Monday night's case. The worst of it was he would've gotten more yards than he did had he stayed on the path to hit the sideline. At least 3-4 more I'm guessing.

With noon game, you get an omelet again. And to maybe watch Sunday Night Football.

I'm just looking forward to a normal night's sleep after a game again. Two night games in a row is killing me. I'm getting too old for that.

I don't want to just see certain big name players on the field again, I want to see them make a difference. I know, easier said than done but it's about actually making big plays that decide the game.

True. But they can't make any big plays if they aren't out there.

The few times TV showed him. MLF was very frustrated, and not shy about letting the players know it. It was what TV chose to show, I know. But seemed more pronounced than usual. It appears he didn't see this coming either.

He clearly didn't. Said so after the game. Also said last week he thought Thursday's practice, after the players got the extra day, was one of their best practices of the year. All that matters is how you perform when it counts.

Packers can beat anyone, I just wanna see a cleaner game.

We all do. We know they're capable of it.

In the name of Jay Lillge, just beat Tampa Bay!

Now there's someone who knows my past. If you're still in touch with Jay, tell him I said hello. Been way too long.

Mike, Have you considered not having an II the day after a game so idiots like me don't vent stupid comments? Seems me and others are much more lucid 48 hours later.

That column has been sponsored, for which we're thankful, for a long, long time now, and when it's sponsored we're required to produce it.

On the blind side block, it wasn't a blind side block because the runner saw the blocker coming his way.

I never got a good look at that one, but LaFleur certainly seemed to question whether that was a penalty.

I can't believe anyone could be too full for gelato. In any case, couldn't you just steal a spoonful from Wes?

He got a chocolate lava cake. Not my thing.

Appreciate you chatting so long today, Mike. I thought for sure you'd no longer be live by the time my last meeting wrapped up.

Yeah, I should probably get going. Could go a little longer because the team doesn't have practice, just a walk-through today, which is not open to the media. In any event, thanks for all the participation and questions today folks. Take care and talk again soon. Best, Mike.

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