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Mike's Mid-Week Chat: What will turn the tide for the Packers?

Editor Mike Spofford answered fan questions in his live chat

OL Zach Tom
OL Zach Tom

Hey everybody, thanks for logging on a day later than usual. Appreciate you adjusting. Go ahead and start sending in your questions and I'll get rolling.

Does the league not have enough money to hire IT folks that can finish website upgrades in less than a day?

I'm not a tech guru, so I don't know the ins and outs of it. The maintenance took place overnight on Tuesday and carried into Wednesday. Unfortunately but not unexpectedly, when things were up and running again, there were some bugs and not all was smooth. It happens. But we're plowing ahead now.

11 points from being 5-1. Youngest team in the NFL. QB with 7 career starts. Injuries to critical players. One of the worst teams in one half and one of the best in the other half. This team is pretty much where we should expect them to be at this point. Now, start growing and end the 2nd half of the season on a positive note and 2024 will be there for the taking.

There's something to be said for that. But it doesn't change the fact the Packers had two very winnable road games against sub-.500 teams and did not play well at all, losing close games that should've been won. Winning is needed for the psyche in this league. Not just for fans. For everybody on a team. The Packers have to get a win.

I've tried applying SEVERAL times but never make the cutđź’”

Ha, applying for what? We don't have any job openings at the moment.

Hey Mike, I was watching for Eric Stokes in the game and didn't see him. Now he's on IR. What happened?

He was playing on special teams and reinjured the hamstring that had delayed his activation to the roster and return to the field. He had recovered from the foot injury/surgery in pretty good shape and on a somewhat early timeline, from what I understand, but he had hamstring issues crop up in rehab and it resurfaced in Denver during the game.

Wouldn't a dump-off to AJ Dillon on that last play have gotten them into field goal range?

I doubt it. 10 yards would've made it a 62-yard FG. Is that actually in range? It's possible in Denver, but I think they needed at least 15 yards for a realistic shot. If you get 10, I think you're going for it on fourth-and-10 anyway, and that's maybe a better route than going for broke on third-and-20. But the deep shot was underthrown, too. If he throws a better pass, Toure has a shot. If Toure gets a better read on the underthrow, maybe he comes back to fight for the ball. You can pick it apart from any number of directions.

Is the streak of teams that eliminate the Brewers eventually going on to the World Series one of the strangest in sports?

Sure seems that way to me.

Besides the obvious Harrison Smith and Danielle Hunter, who on the Vikings D should we be aware of this Sunday?

Jordan Hicks is having a fine season. He was really active in the Chicago game a couple of weeks ago, and he seems to have really settled into that defense. Cam Bynum picked off Purdy Monday night on SF's last two drives in the fourth quarter.

Read an interesting take. Yes, it's his first year as a started, but Jordan Love learned the offense for years with Rodgers. He knows where guys are supposed to be and when according to how Rodgers saw it. I understand he's not the same guy, but the rookies wouldn't have Rodger's trust either they way the in game mistakes are happening.

Very true. There are stretches the timing of everything on offense looks off, and that usually has to do with routes, protection, etc. Love still needs to find a way to make things happen at times, and he's got to improve, but the offensive struggles are not all on him, not by a longshot.

In spite of several very disappointing results No season has brought more excitement waiting for the next game

At some point it's going to click for this group. Maybe not for a whole game, and it might not even result in a win given the tougher opponents coming up on the schedule, but we'll know it when we see it.

Hey, Mike, thanks for having us again. It seems a lot of injuries hit the Packers this year as well as others to key players. I feel like these guys feel they need to push and strain themselves harder to make up for shortcomings whilst others learn. To sum it up; over-exertion. What do you think?

Everyone wants an answer to the injuries. Reasons, someone to blame. I don't go there. I know nothing about the issues. There are years injuries seem never-ending, and other years the team stays relatively healthy. I think it's mostly luck, to be honest.

Have the new DB been in practice

Yes, Rochelle was on the practice field yesterday. And the new PS addition at CB, Gilbert, was out there, too.

I know it was only for a few plays, but did it seem that Zach Tom at C and Yosh Nijman at RT actually worked better than Josh Myers at C and Tom at RT?

Too small a sample size to tell. I do think Tom is playing some really good football for this team. He wasn't himself against the Lions and Raiders. Looked like he wasn't all the way back from that tweak to his knee when he did the splits against New Orleans. But I think he's back now.

Why are the last two "games that should have been won"? We're a young, struggling team with key injuries. Have a hard time thinking the Raiders and Broncos look at the Packers as games they should lose.

Of course not. Every team expects to win. But I'm only speaking from the Packers' perspective. The Raiders were 1-3, the Broncos were 1-5. Both teams had struggling defenses, and the Packers didn't perform. They only played half a game on offense and still almost won both games. What does that tell you?

It is hard to believe we are finishing the last full week of October and the Pack has played only 2 home games. As a fan, I blame the schedule on some of the young offense's woes. Compared to Bears, 4; Vikings, 4; Lions, 3.

Once the season gets rolling, the schedule isn't something I reflect on much. The Packers have four of their next six at home. At that point, it will be 6-6 home/away. So be it.

Hi Mike we knew this was going to be a different year, but not sure many of us expected this? How do we get a W this week? Can't let minny eek out a win, we need this one for multiple reasons!

The Packers need to get something going on offense sooner, and the defense needs to generate a takeaway or two. The defense has just two takeaways since Week 2 -- the INTs by Ford vs. the Lions and Raiders. That's it.

Mike, won't Darnell Savage and Stokes both be eligible to return after 4 weeks on IR?


This is a big week for playoff implications. If the bucs, rams, commanders, and saints lose, which could definitely happen, and we beat the Vikings, we would be the 7th seed, and then beating the rams in week 9 would be really helpful!

Just beat the Vikings.

It seems like the O-line has underperformed since week 2. There aren't a lot of names on the injury report. What gives?

I've said this several times. I thought the Packers' pass protection was the strongest facet of the offense through the first three games. Love had lots of time and a chance to execute in rhythm. Since the Lions game when their defensive front just wrecked everything, the pass protection hasn't been nearly as stout. As mentioned, I think Tom is back to himself. Elgton Jenkins is back from his knee injury and hopefully ready to settle in.

hi Mike, AR seems to be fine mentoring ZW, did you see/hear any of that with JL?

There were never any issues with the relationship between Rodgers and Love. Both really appreciated what they had together, from what they said, often.

Are you going to be able to catch the Bucks first game tonight?

LaFleur didn't sound too concerned about him missing Wednesday's practice. Just said he was sore, to be expected. They're hoping he can take on a bigger workload this week.

how do the new players get to GB? By charter jet, regular airline? They seem to arrive very quickly

Usually commercial flights. You have to remember those guys are here to take a physical and sign their contracts before we announce the acquisition.

Would the NFL ever go to the retroactive IR provision like MLB ? The case of Campbell is a prime example for me . Then Packers put Savage and Stokes on IR right away which seems like a shift in philosophy ?

I don't think they'll go retroactive. As Wes mentioned in the Inbox this morning, you get a maximum of 8 players who can return from IR, so if you think there's a chance a player's injury won't be 4 weeks and you know he's going to be back at some point regardless, keeping him on the roster can save one of those 8. Several players on the roster are inactive on game days anyway.

Speaking of injuries and in defense of the players like David Bakhtiari and Stokes and others, we basically concentrate on the amount of injuries on the Packers because that's who we watch and read about. But alot of injuries happen around the league. Case in point, Joey Bosa has missed 25 games his first 5 years in the league.

Injuries are everywhere. It's part of the game. Injury news is the most clicked-on news out there, for various reasons.

I was surprised they did not experiment with a new OL group. Then we got a brief chance when Myers got hurt. With Myers still nursing injury , maybe this week ?

I don't know. We'll see come Sunday.

How realistic do you think winning the division still is? If the lions lose 1 more before thanksgiving, the would be 7-3. We would have to win our next 4 to be 6-4. That would mean if we beat them we would both be 7-4. Our next four games are definitely winnable, but so we're the last two.

Just beat the Vikings.

Mike, did I miss the note you put on top of Tuesday's II or did you put that on later? I must admit, it had me thinking of a helicopter and an old friend.

That note on top of Tuesday's column was not on there when it was first posted. It was added a couple hours later when we found out the potential length of the maintenance work.

Any news on how Ja's back is feeling? Back issues can linger like hamstrings.

It's obviously been a struggle for him, being in and out of the lineup. He was practicing Wednesday, which was a good sign.

Hi Mike, Do you believe that collectively as a team they are trying too hard, thinking too much, creating too much pressure on themselves.Maybe they should take everyone bowling Tell them on game day to get out there and have fun.

I don't sense that, but I can't really speak to it either. There's a lot of thinking you have to do as a young player in this league to get your assignments right. At some point, the game starts slowing down and not as much thinking is required. But every player reaches that point in his own time.

For the offense to go, you have to win at the line of scrimmage. Fix that, and everything looks different.

Agreed. The Packers won up front, handily, through the first 7 quarters of the season. We've seen it only in fits and starts since then.

At times before, I've thought "we need one guy to make a play, and it all changes". This year feels different. The mistakes are scattered all over the place. One good play just can't fix it. At least not so far. Is that the youth showing?

One good play isn't going to magically fix everything. But one win can do a lot, I believe.

I'm an old man and have never had a hamstring problem. I guess it pays to be out of shape.

Whatever works. I play racquetball and have had issues with my calf muscles for years. Years. I go long stretches with no problems at all, and then suddenly, boom.

What is in your opinion the biggest strength and the biggest weakness of this team? In your interaction with the team do you feel they are downtrodden?

No, this team isn't down. They're fighting. They're not thrilled with anything, but they know they can play better, and they have to take advantage when the opportunities to win are there.

The way everything reads in the hot take world, it's a team game until the time comes to blame someone. On offense, it's going to be the QB every time.

Part of the deal.

Is the weather in Green Bay trending into the colder and more difficult weather to play in

A cold front is supposed to move in this weekend. It's only going to get to like 40 degrees on Sunday.

StarWarsGuy is bordering on a math in the inbox violation, LOL . This is the 1st year in a long time I am not " standings watching " . Just focused on see progress and some consistency by year's end.

There's no point in looking at the standings when you're two games below .500 in my opinion. I love to pay attention to all of that stuff, but the Packers need to get their record back to even before it'll matter.

Electrolytes Mike. My calves would always cramp after playing racquetball or ice hockey. Putting electrolytes in my water completely solved that.

Appreciate the tip.

Somehow the close losses are harder to take than a blowout, where you are clearly outplayed and the best team won.

I think that's natural. There are some games you're just going to get beat, and things won't go right. When you have a chance to win, there are a lot of regrets when it gets away.

Think the Vikings will be a tad overconfident this week?

I doubt it. That team's got a lot of seasoned pros on it. I do think they're looking at an opportunity to get back to even, put the 0-3 start way into the rear-view mirror, and start moving forward. The Packers have to put a stop to that momentum.

With that, I'm going to call it a chat. Thanks again for adjusting to a different day. Hopefully all will be back to normal moving forward. Take care everybody and have a good weekend. Best, Mike

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