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Secondary turned in gutsy performance against Giants

Potential is there for this team to be McCarthy's most balanced


Barrett from Lubbock, TX

After reading Vic's column I believe a lot of fans forgot that our offense is actually what secured the win in the fourth quarter. We also drove well and had a touchdown called back that turned into an uncharacteristic turnover.

One of the most overlooked aspects of the Packers' last two victories has been the pair of successful four-minute offensive series. As good as the defense has played in the first four games, the Packers' offense stayed on the field and did what it needed to do to run out the clock against both the Lions and Giants.

Don from Newark, DE

How in the heck were the Packers able to cover those three studs without issue yesterday but they couldn't handle the Lions? Scheme?

That's football. You could have a week or two where you struggle in one area and then it all turns around. Quinten Rollins, LaDarius Gunter and Micah Hyde turned in some gutsy performances after finding out during pregame that Damarious Randall wasn't going to be available. Not only did they have tough assignments, but they had to stay on the field throughout. It also was a terrific game plan by defensive coordinator Dom Capers to prevent the Giants from establishing any rhythm.

Eric from Minneapolis, MN

With the Packers' passing game still struggling to find a rhythm, why isn't the team trying different personnel packages and getting Abbrederis on the field? There were some different packages employed in the first half, but then in the second half they seemed to resort to the usual Nelson-Cobb-Adams personnel package.

I don't know what else you want from an opening series other than Abbrederis not being on the field. The Packers switched up their personnel after nearly every snap on the 16-play, 75-yard series that ran almost 9 minutes off the clock with a lot of unscouted looks. Maybe it's just me, but I thought that was the perfect series coming out of a bye week. It seemed like it helped Green Bay get things rolling.

Andrew from Fullerton, CA

Hi Insiders, I see nothing but positives. The defense did great and will hopefully get its top corners back soon. Offense showed signs of coming back to life like Lacy breaking tackles, Adams getting open, Cobb being clutch, OL blocking for hours, and Nelson starting to find the timing with Rodgers. When the offense fully wakes up and defense gets healthy, watch out! Agree, or am I being too optimistic?

This is what I was talking about a few weeks ago when I implored fans to let the picture come into focus. The foundation is in place and the potential is there for this to be one of the most balanced teams the Packers have had under Mike McCarthy. There will be good times in the weeks to come and probably some challenging moments, as well. My challenge to everyone is not to get too high or too low.

Brian from Yakima, WA

Watching that game, Fackrell sure showed up, and I'm wondering if Gunter might be the best corner in the team. Any young guys stand out to you?

So many people were asking about Fackrell during training camp and here the rookie is making a huge play at a crucial time for the defense. He's really come on since the final week of the preseason. Gunter really has impressed me the first month of the season. He's a savvy cornerback with great size and physicality.

Josh from New Berlin, WI

In four games, and on very limited snaps, Kyler Fackrell has managed two sacks and a forced fumble. That is more than OLBs Leonard Floyd (0.5, 0), Darron Lee (0.5, 0), Kevin Dodd (1, 0), Jaylon Smith (has yet to play), Myles Jack (0, 0), Noah Spence (1, 0), and Jordan Jenkins (0, 0), all of whom were selected above Fackrell in this year's draft. You can't ask for a better start to the season than that.

Nice work, Josh. That's pretty good stats and info work.

Allan from Kokomo, IN

Thirteen targeted passes to Jordy and four receptions last night. Half of those incomplete plays were the result of good defense. How did the Giants' secondary rate last night in your opinion?

I actually was really impressed with what they did in the face of so many injuries, especially Apple and DRC's lingering issues. I thought Janoris Jenkins played really well. He read plays well and played like the No. 1 cornerback the Giants need him to be. Apple leaving with the groin injury put them in a bind with Michael Hunter, signed off the practice squad two weeks ago, lined up against Adams on his 29-yard touchdown.

Dan from Long Beach, CA

Insiders, shouldn't McAdoo have thrown the challenge flag on the Starks catch and fumble that looked like an incomplete pass, with about 2:30 left? No risk since he was going to use a timeout anyway, and little reason to save the last challenge that can't be used in the last two minutes. If he wins the challenge, not only does the clock stop and he keeps the last timeout, but also the Packers are in third-and-13 instead of third-and-10. I know it's easier to evaluate these things from home, but I imagine that's a hot topic in New York today.

I thought that same thing when it happened. If you're going to call the timeout, you might as well burn the challenge with the two-minute warning only one play away. I don't know everything that goes into making that decision, though.

Aaron from Green Bay, WI

Does it feel like this offense doesn't have a true weapon besides Rodgers? With Jordy on the wrong side of 30, I feel the Packers need a younger elite level outside receiver which can only be found with a first-round pedigree.

Eddie Lacy was a bulldozer out there until his ankle flared up, Randall Cobb responded several times in clutch situations and Davante Adams came through with a few big catches. I don't mean to be crass, but I think you picked the wrong game to support your argument.

Steve from North Hudson, WI

The offensive line is among the best in the NFL. It seems clear to me that Sitton was let go so he could cash in now at another team's expense. If he played another year in GB, injuries might wreck his big contract year. Not that we didn't want him, just couldn't afford his next contract, and respected him enough to let him go to better money. What do you think of my theory?

I think Lane Taylor has played really well.

Rick from Mounds View, MN

Do you have an update on the Lacy injury? He was really running hard on Sunday night until he turned his ankle.

Lacy said in the locker room afterward that he was able to walk all right and hopes it won't cause him to miss any time. We probably won't know anything more until the team hits the practice field on Wednesday.

Scott from La Crosse, WI

Seems like the Packers are mainly in a three-receiver set. Why not 4-5 wide receiver sets once in a while like when we last won the Super Bowl?

I think I get this question every week. The Packers use plenty of four-receiver concepts, but I don't know how many teams in the NFL run their base personnel out of four-receiver packages. It seems like it would be hard to find balance with the run game. Chucking the pigskin sounds great in theory, but I don't know how realistic it is on an every-down basis.

Dan from Wichita, KS

There was a Jason Spriggs sighting on the Packers' first drive of the game. Any insight as to why? "Equipment malfunction" for one of our starters, perhaps?

The Packers used Spriggs as a sixth offensive lineman on five offensive snaps. If you recall, it's something they've done in the past with their extra tackle (JC Tretter, Don Barclay, Evan Smith, etc.) on occasion. It's just an extra body to run block.

Mike from Somerset, WI

Insiders, Sunday's TV announcers stated that in 2014 the Packers' wide receivers had enough speed to get the defense to keep one safety high, and if they didn't the Packers made them pay in the run game. In Sunday's game, the Giants kept seven back in coverage the entire game, Aaron Rodgers was never sacked, and Eddie Lacy was on fire until his injury. It seems teams are now respecting the speed the Packers have at WR by how they are defending the offense. We were just a couple catches away from something special on Sunday. Do you see it the same way?

There are definitely a lot of talented receivers that defenses have to account for. We've seen how Jeff Janis, Trevor Davis and Jordy Nelson can stress a defense vertically. However, I'm guessing the Giants' game plan also had something to do with wanting to help out the reserve defensive backs who were thrust into the game by injury.

Jonnie from Detroit, MI

Hi Insiders, I couldn't help noticing during the game that the special teams units were struggling greatly. Schum did not have a single good punt, and most of his punts went out of bounds. Was this a habit of his when playing for Tampa, or is he having a bad year? Field position could have played a huge role in the game had the defense not played so well. What do you see McCarthy and Co. doing to address the lackluster special teams play?

A lot of folks asking about special teams. Obviously everyone is in agreement Schum needs to punt better, but the Packers aren't in the business of swapping out their punters on a weekly basis. They saw what Schum can do during the preseason finale against Kansas City, and the coaches are giving him a chance to work through it. Special teams will heavily influence whether Green Bay fulfills its goal of winning the field-position battle this year, so it's on the punter and coverage units to help make that happen.

Johnny from San Antonio, TX

We're in for a show this weekend! No. 1 running team vs. No. 1 run defense. Something has to give. Can't wait until Sunday to say, "The baloney stops here," except I won't say baloney.

As the late, great Gorilla Monsoon used to say, the irresistible force meeting the immovable object. I'm excited to see that defensive front lock horns with Dallas' offensive line and Elliott. It's going to be a big-time challenge to contain them, but I'll bet we see the best Mike Daniels and Co. have to offer on Sunday. They're going to be jacked for that encounter.

Michael from Santa Cruz, CA

Now that LT is locked up and based on what I've seen thus far this season, Micah Hyde needs to be moved to the top of the "must re-sign" list. Not only has his play been stellar, but his ability to play any and all secondary positions in essence saves a roster spot for a different position. What say you?

I don't make personnel decisions here, but I'm with you about how valuable Hyde is to the defense with his ability to play every position in the secondary. That's critical when you consider how difficult it is to keep five or six defensive backs healthy for an entire season.

Chris from Victor, ID

I understood the nostalgia for John Kuhn after his big game last week, but I think Ripkowski showed us why he's the one still in Green Bay. More interestingly, he showed us why the Packers are okay with only two RBs on the roster.

There was a lot to like during Ripkowski's rookie season. His overall strength and power is something that really stood out to me, especially last year in Carolina. Ripkowski learned from the master last year and could be a force in the run game for years to come.

Heather from Green Bay, WI

Wes, I was feeling for you last night during halftime highlights. Take a deep breath. You've got this.

Appreciate you, Heather. I've been subbing the past two weeks for Greg Matzek. I've never claimed to be John Anderson. My goal has been to just avoid ending up on YouTube. So far, I hope I've succeeded.

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