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Packers got Jaguars out of the way

Single-high safety still defensive scheme of choice vs. Green Bay


Dean from Leavenworth, IN

WORRY, WORRY, WORRY. Vic had us all worked up about the Jacksonville heat. Turns out it didn't seem to be too much of a factor in the game.

I wouldn't say it wasn't a factor. T.J. Lang and several other players in the Packers' locker room mentioned how stifling it was throughout the game, making it difficult to breathe on long drives. I think what you might be trying to say is the conditions didn't heavily favor the Jaguars as many expected going into Sunday. I'd agree with that. To me – watching from an air-conditioned press box – it seemed like Jacksonville was just as stressed as the Packers were, and for good reason. As toasty as it gets in Florida this time of year, it was exceedingly warm and humid at game time.

Zach from Crystal Lake, IL

Insiders, our fans showed up big. The Packers prepared for the heat as well if not better than the Jaguars (Julius Thomas notably missed a number of snaps in the second half with cramping). It seems we took away home-field advantage. Do you agree? If so, how much of a factor do you think it was to the end result?

There were a ton of Packers fans in Jacksonville. While Vic and Spoff are vets to the Packers Everywhere pep rallies, I was flabbergasted at how many turned out at Blackfinn the night before the game. There were also quite a few cheeseheads occupying the end-zone pools inside EverBank Field. It wasn't a capacity crowd, but the Packers seemed well-represented. I'll give the Jaguars fans credit, though. They were loud for their team when they needed to be. Overall, the heat was a problem for both teams, but the Packers responded well considering it was tied for their third hottest game in franchise history.

Erick from Charlottesville, VA

Did anybody's performance jump out to you? My guy to watch is Damarious Randall. I thought he carried the weight of the secondary, and effectively won the game at the end.

I thought Randall and Sam Shields played a really nice game. Shields worked on an island for most of that game and didn't allow many tourists. He's always been a naturally gifted athlete, but he's so much savvier in Year 7. He played a tough, physical game against a few really talented receivers. Randall was exceptional. He plays the ball so well without having to forsake his technique. He made a terrific play on the ball against Allen Robinson in the fourth quarter and obviously helped stop Hurns late.

Ethan from La Crosse, WI

Our defense came up with the key stop in the end, but I think the Packers' game plan was to make the Jags get after Aaron to tire them out. He was running all sorts of bootlegs out of the pocket left and right. Great job, too, by the offensive line to avoid holding calls that can happen on those plays. Plenty to work on, obviously, but I like what I saw in Week 1.

I don't know if you ever game-plan for the opposing team to pressure your quarterback, but Rodgers' elusiveness seemed to wear Jacksonville down throughout the course of the game. The offensive line did an outstanding job of keeping the offense moving forward and avoiding negative plays.

Jerry from Des Moines, IA

I think this was a good win against an up-and-coming team. Even with the heat, did we play Jacksonville at a good time, early in the season before they really get rolling?

That was my argument going into the game. As much of a challenge as the weather presented, I think Jacksonville is the kind of uncommon opponent you want to get out of the way early. That's a young team with a lot of exciting football players on both sides of the ball. In the end, the more experienced team won, but the Jaguars are going to be dangerous sooner rather than later.

Tom from Fairfield, CT

The key symptom of the Packers last year was the opposing team's safety cheating up into the box and their DBs also cheating and playing the other Packer receivers close, all precipitated by Jordy Nelson being out. Did you notice if the Jaguars continued doing the same thing?

It seemed like the Jaguars still played a lot of single-high coverage with one safety creeping into the box. I don't think that's too surprising based on how effective that approach was against the Packers late last season. The more Rodgers gets into a rhythm with Nelson and Cook, the more NFL defensive backs will be challenged to keep that strategy.

Stephen from Toronto, ON

I think the biggest part of Sunday's game went unmentioned and that it went unmentioned made it the biggest part: Aside from some communication issues between Rodgers and Tretter, the O-line (with Lane Taylor) wasn't worth talking about. Like kickers and punters, O-linemen are best when we don't think twice about them and that seemed to be the case after Sunday.

I thought Lane Taylor played a really nice game. The Packers schemed a few things to help him against Malik Jackson, but otherwise he was an afterthought on the offensive line. There were a few communication issues (i.e., Starks' run on third-and-goal in the fourth quarter), but it was a solid first outing for the offensive front. It gave Rodgers a comfortable place to operate and opened enough gaps for Eddie Lacy to break a few important gains. It's only one game, but give credit where credit's due. My timeline was up in arms after David Bakhtiari was added to the injury report on Saturday.

Thomas from Milwaukee, WI

How did our two rookie defensive linemen fare this past Sunday?

They did fine, but only combined for 16 snaps. The Packers obviously were committed to using Mike Daniels and Letroy Guion in most first- and second-down situations. On third downs, it often was Peppers and Datone Jones rushing with their hands down. The game plan worked. The Jaguars managed a meager 48 yards on 26 carries (1.8 yards per attempt).

Jay from Land O Lakes, FL

I am becoming a big Nick Perry fan. He is great against the run and as a pass rusher. I think he should start. Your thoughts?

I thought it was a good start for Nick Perry, who had three tackles (two for a loss) and the sack that forced a 50-yard field goal. He was active during his 52 defensive snaps, applying consistent pressure on Blake Bortles and helping set the edge against the run. The Packers wanted to get Perry more involved on passing downs and keep Julius Peppers fresh for later in the second. So far, I think their plan for utilizing Clay Matthews, Perry and Peppers makes a lot of sense.

Scott from Green Bay, WI

So much for telling your quarterback never to throw across his body down the middle of the field. Has there ever been a quarterback do it better than Aaron Rodgers?

Not that I've seen. There's so many things Rodgers can do that nobody else in the NFL can, which I suppose is what makes him a two-time MVP quarterback. The confidence you must have in your own ability to make the 29-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams is unparalleled. Regardless of where he's throwing the ball from, Rodgers never ceases to amaze me with his footwork and awareness. The pass to Adams was the culmination of all his strengths balled into one.

Greg from Jacksonville, FL

When home teams purposefully not show replays of close calls, do the coaches in the booth have access to the replay?

The coaches and administrative assistants have access to video in the booth, so it's not like they're completely in the dark. If something needs to be challenged, they'll call down to Mike McCarthy to throw the flag. It's just those on the sidelines don't have the luxury of an instant replay on the scoreboard like Lambeau Field.

Kevin from Superior, WI

Amongst all the drama in the game, there is one hidden stat that stands out for me and I think overall it may have been the difference. Zero turnovers.

That's what it comes down to. The fact of the matter is there was one turnover in the game – Bortles' interception on the opening series – and the Packers immediately scored after getting the ball at the Jacksonville 29-yard line. The four-point margin of victory shows you how critical turnovers can be.

Craig from Green Bay, WI

I noticed Julius Peppers played a pretty limited number of snaps and when he was in he was playing as a down lineman. Can we expect to see both limited snaps as well as his hand in the dirt or are these things just temporary until we have Pennel back?

Dom Capers told reporters on Monday that Peppers' workload will vary from week to week. The Packers were using him mostly in their dime package against the Jaguars, which is where you noticed him playing as an interior lineman. The coaching staff has developed a good feel for how to get the best out of Peppers over the past two years. When you have a 36-year-old pass-rusher, you want to keep him fresh for the long haul. My guess is that's why you'll see them pace Peppers early in the season.

Jacob from Madison, WI

Every season we have issues with time management. Sunday's game once again saw us burning timeouts because our offense couldn't get on the same page quickly enough. How big of an issue is this going forward?

My belief is you're observing something every NFL team deals with, but you probably don't notice because you're not watching every other game as intently. If you noticed, Jacksonville had more difficulty getting everyone on the same page in the second half, which resulted in burning two timeouts in rapid succession. It's certainly something to stick a pin in going forward, but many players in the locker room chalked it up to being the first game of the year.

Max from Neenah, WI

Insiders, in the past, we saw Kuhn in the game consistently. Sunday, however, we saw very little of Ripkowski. Was this just part of a game plan, or a sign the coaches are less confident in him than they were in Kuhn?

Consistently is a strong word. I mean most of Kuhn's 200-plus snaps last year came in the last month of the season. On average, I think starting fullbacks averaged around 15 percent of their offense's snaps a year ago. Spreading passing games have resulted in a reduction of snaps for those type of players. That's just kind of the life of a fullback in today's NFL.

Zane from Buffalo, WI

Guys, I think there's something to be said about Davante Adams. With a lot of talk on the wide receivers going to Janis and Abby this preseason, Adams definitely got better in the offseason. He's healthy and he looks faster and stronger this year, poised to have a great season. Case in point, strength and speed to hold off the defender and make the tough catch at the end of the first half. Gotta love it.

I really like Adams' makeup. I know there's been some ups and downs, but he speaks confidently and doesn't make excuses. There's something to be said for that. Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the Packers' offense know what the former second-round pick is capable of. I think you'll see the best Davante Adams in 2016 for a number of reasons, many of which you already pointed out. I don't think you also can discount what it means to Green Bay's receivers to have Jordy Nelson back on the field, as well.

Justin from Cape Coral, FL

Good day, Insiders. With the Vikings coming up on Sunday night, I am hoping Green Bay brings their "A" game on all sides of the ball. What do you think will be the biggest challenge for the Packers to face against the Vikings?

Adrian Peterson. While the Vikings couldn't get their run game going against Tennessee, the Peterson factor cannot be overstated going into Minnesota's regular-season opener at U.S. Bank Stadium. He's still a big-play threat on every down and will be another significant challenge for the Packers' young defensive front. They passed their first test in Jacksonville, but another monster awaits this Sunday.

Kate from Temecula, CA

Did anyone else watch the Saints/Raiders? Besides a GREAT game (husband is a Raiders' fan) the Saints fans did the KUUUUUUUHN yell. Nice for him.

I didn't get a chance to watch the Saints game, but that's neat to hear. In an age when NFL teams are questioning whether to carry a fullback, Kuhn deserves credit for his longevity and everything he's accomplished in his more than 10 NFL seasons.

Pete from Naples, FL

One-word answers can be a thing of beauty. Do you have one word to describe the Pack's victory?


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