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Packers need team defense at its best

Dak Prescott hasn’t been sacked much


Bob from Madison, WI

With all the talk about the Cowboys' offensive line and the Packers' D-line playing so well, the obvious topic has been the rushing showdown. What about sacks? With Dallas leaning so heavily on the run and thus passing little, how many sacks has Dallas given up? Will that be a very hard matchup for our outside linebackers or nothing worthy of much attention?

Prescott has been sacked seven times in five games. The Cowboys' offensive line doesn't get all the praise for being half-good.

Tristan from Aurora, CO

I was among the many people who were really disappointed when the Packers didn't pursue a MLB in free agency. However, the play of Blake Martinez and Jake Ryan has once again proven to me that TT knows exactly what he's doing. However, both players are very young, and I'm worried that they may struggle against one of the better running backs they've faced in their careers. I know they'll be important, but exactly how imperative is it that the pair plays well?

Watch those double howevers. They can get confusing. Seriously, though, it's not just Blake, Jake and Joe Thomas, it's everybody against a ground game like this. If the blockers get to the second level, it's a mismatch size-wise on the inside linebackers, so the guys up front have to prevent that. Elliott is no treat to tackle, either, even with a clean look. This will have to be team defense at its best.

Nathan from Baltimore, MD

Sad to see Callahan go, but obviously the Packers have plans for that spot. So who do you think gets activated this week, Pennel or Goodson? Or do they bring up someone like Don Jackson from the practice squad given the uncertainty with Lacy and Starks?

Given this week's opponent, I'm guessing Pennel gets activated. The possibility of Jackson will depend on what they find out about Lacy and Starks in Saturday's practice.

Bill from Bellmawr, NJ

Hello, Mike. Biff posted a cool idea. For this week's throwback uniform game, he is going to try and persuade you to wear 1937-style press attire for the game. But to make that more effective visually for us readers, how about you also do it for "Final Thoughts"?

I was going to try. Really, I was, but I couldn't find a hat I could stick a little notecard in to say "Press."

Joe from Holmen, WI

How is Denver using a different than normal helmet on color rush Thursday? Packers had used the faux brown one until a few years ago, but helmet safety rules took that out of the equation, or so I thought?

It looked to me like Denver was using its regular dark blue helmet. They just removed their current decals and put on the old ones that originally went with the lighter blue helmet from the early Elway days. As far as I know, the Packers will be removing their decals and wearing the plain gold helmet on Sunday.

Matt from Boston, MA

No love for Daniels? What do you call the cover of SI?

That was great to see a few weeks ago. Daniels has probably forgotten it already, though. He'll keep that chip on his shoulder, whatever it takes.

Toz from Golden Bay, Australia

I appreciate the way you guys all take it in stride, but the way some readers attack your integrity is pretty poor. Imagine all the money and time you could have saved on college if you just took journalism lessons from Steve in Illinois.

One of my graduate J-school professors at Northwestern was named Steve.

Duane from Newnan, GA

Hello Insiders, I get the feeling people think the offense is the only reason the Packers won their last Super Bowl title. Apparently, they've forgotten it was the defense that kept many games close and in the case of the N.Y. Jets, keep them off the scoreboard. It wasn't until they had to win every game that they did. Green Bay was 10-6 in the regular season and didn't win the division. Also, they were the sixth and final seed. Don't forget the defense was a big reason they won games in the postseason. We need to enjoy the ride and stop worrying.

I tossed out several of the 2010 defensive stats at one point last week. Everyone remembers the offense lighting up Atlanta in the playoff run, but it's not as readily recalled that the Packers won the other two playoff games scoring just 21 points in each, and the defense had one of the six touchdowns in those two wins. No one knows if you have a championship team until it's win or go home.

Wayne from Green Bay, WI

When do the Packers start talking contract with Nick Perry? I feel it's possible that if he continues to play this well, we won't be able to sign him.

I have no idea if the Packers have begun any discussions with Perry, and they aren't going to tell us. I also don't know if Perry is interested in an extension or finding out what he's worth on the open market, but nothing has leaked as of yet. Ted Thompson is fond of saying, "It takes two to tango." We can only watch and wait, but given what has transpired through four games, I do think this is the most intriguing contract decision currently facing the Packers.

Shane from Iowa City, IA

I just saw a stat that shows the Packers are the NFL's top scoring offense in the first half, but 31st in scoring after halftime. As Vic says, there's no full consistency, but if the Packers can find a way to produce anything in the second half of games, adding to this defense so far, we will have very little to complain about. Coach McCarthy isn't wrong for getting angry, the team isn't far off. It just comes down to execution.

It always does. The Inbox was spitting out that stat mercilessly, and you're the only one who wasn't dying for an explanation, which no one is going to like anyway. The explanation is the game is four quarters long.

Larry from Chippewa Falls, WI

Enough BS. If our receivers don't start getting open and Rodgers doesn't stop throwing at their feet, behind them, or overthrowing them, the score will be all in Dallas' favor. Then you will really hear the wolves howling.

Sounds like you're looking forward to it.

Chris from Minneapolis, MN

This week's color rush uniforms for the Chargers and Broncos were outstanding, and just what the color rush is supposed to be all about. I think the Chargers should switch to that blue color permanently.

I could go either way on the uniforms, but I wish the Chargers had never ditched the dark blue helmet with the lightning bolt. I always thought that was cool in the Fouts/Jefferson/Joiner/Winslow era of Air Coryell.

Rob from Scottsdale, AZ

Hey Insiders, how come last year with just Vic, we had two Ask Vic articles per day. Now that we have 2 1/2 people doing insiders, we have only one Insiders Inbox per day. Sounds like Vic was killing it while the two newbies are killing it not so much.

I'm going to try to be respectful here and also offer a shameless plug. Please understand that recording and producing a new half-hour TV show/podcast five days a week this season takes up some time. If you haven't hopped on the "Packers Unscripted" podcast train, I'd encourage you to give it a try.

Taylor from Fargo, ND

Last season fans were complaining that McCarthy gave up offensive play-calling. Now that he has taken over the duties again this season, fans are complaining that he isn't creative and is too predictable. "Next man up" seems to come in all different forms, even when it comes to looking for someone to blame.

That's going to be my new one-line response to blame-game submissions. Next man up!

Richard from Madison, WI

Re: interceptions. I've heard it said of DBs "If they could catch the ball, they'd be wide receivers." Any truth to that?

That always sounds cute, but it usually has little to do with skill. Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins are 5-11. Jordy Nelson and Jeff Janis are 6-3. I'm not going to get into all the variations, but you get the point.

Bill from Menominee, MI

I try to keep up with MM's press conferences. I can't help but notice he looks like the nation's president answering high school council members' questions. Let's see media ask him something he has to elaborate on for a good story versus, "What's wrong with the team? We're only 3-1." My humble opinion is that if the press conference questions show appreciation and respect for a successful team, it will translate into Insiders Inbox fan questions.

You're funny.

Mike from Berlin, WI

What is Aaron Rodgers' record in games that Brett has attended?

If we're only counting games Rodgers has started, I believe it's 2-3.

Jason from Baraboo, WI

Can you settle a family bet? During the cadence, is Rodgers saying, "3-19" or "Green-19"?

A local brew house has a beer named Green 19.

Dan from Morehead City, NC

My dad pointed out to me that it seems the Packers' offensive woes started when Joe Philbin left. While they keep saying the players have to win the one-on-ones, isn't it up to the coaches to put the players in position to win those one-on-ones?

Next man up!

Tom from Woodbury, MN

Good morning. I listened to an excerpt from Trent Dilfer on, talking about why Aaron Rodgers' numbers are worse. Not only did he nail it, but he put it in terms a fan can understand. The short answer is nothing is wrong. In 2011 through 2014, the Packer offense was passing based with a few runs. As it does, the NFL adapted to that style. Mike McCarthy, being always the innovator, has shifted the offense to about a 50-50 balance. By definition that means fewer passing yards. With the emphasis on run, the passing offense is not as crisp at the beginning of the year. Overall, it's working, because the Packers are winning. Third-down efficiency is up, the four-minute offense is better, and time of possession is way better, helping the defense. Aaron Rodgers is still Aaron Rodgers. This offense, most games, doesn't need him to light it up. Just win. I appreciate this site every day. Thank you.

Thank you.

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