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Sunday's game could be a launching pad for the winner

Plus thoughts on going for two, schedule quirks, and noisy stadiums


Blake from Fort Wayne, IN

Hey Mike, it's a different day now, can you tell us the tradition of big news breaking while you're checked out?

It started back in the spring of 2007, when I was on a fishing trip with my father-in-law when Bob Harlan and the executive committee suddenly changed the succession plan. The following year, I was at summer Cub Scout camp with my son when the supposedly retired Brett Favre applied for reinstatement with the NFL. After a few other lesser occurrences in the ensuing years, the Packers then signed Julius Peppers when I was on a spring break trip to Florida with my family in 2014. It's been kind of uncanny.

Johnny from Grand Chute, WI

Regarding the color rush uniforms, I don't care. Just play.


Chris from Minneapolis, MN

The old Chinese proverb is that a thousand-mile journey begins with a single step. For the Packers, it seems that the offense starts with a single first down.

It felt like that a few games last year, too, though I don't know if I remember a game where every drive was either a score or three-and-out like last week.

Daniel from Louisville, KY

Did Bill Belichick move up in your book with the win without Brady? He knows how to prepare a team.

Tony Dungy said it best on NBC after that game. Belichick takes away what you do best. He made the Cardinals not look like the Cardinals. Watching that game Sunday night after returning from Jacksonville, I came to appreciate even more McCarthy's creative game plan that produced a victory over New England in 2014, and the near-win with Matt Flynn in 2010.

Donald from Rochester, MN

OK then, Mike. If the helmet mic is shut off when the team breaks the huddle, when is it shut off in the no-huddle offense? Likewise, what is the timing for shut off of the defensive helmet mic when going against a hurry-up offense?

Let me clarify. I shouldn't have referred to the breaking of the huddle as part of the communication timing. My bad. The mic is turned on as soon as a play ends, and if a team is running no-huddle, it's turned off when the snap appears imminent (sometime between when the snap count begins and the snap is made, or when the play clock reaches 15, whichever comes first). It's basically the same for the defense. There is still the potential for coach-to-player communication in hurry-up situations.

Paul from Cumming, GA

What do you make of Jack Del Rio's decision to go for two, and the win, against New Orleans? Bold, or foolhardy?

I honestly don't have an opinion, but I find it interesting that there seems to be more talk of going for two in those situations now, even with the overtime rules (though imperfect) being altered to make things more fair than they used to be.

Chuck from Merrillan, WI

I think Vic is wrong on Lombardi not going for two to win. In the Ice Bowl he went for the win and not the tie.

That ball was inside the 1-yard line, wasn't it? If the ball is on the 2-yard line, I'm guessing Lombardi kicks it.

Randy from Johnson City, TN

Mike, in response to Luke from La Crosse's question regarding the 10-yard stakes and measurements. The rear stake is never used in a measurement. The head linesman uses a clip that is fastened to the chain at the main yard line nearest the back stake (usually on the back of the line). The clip is then positioned on that line when the chains are brought in for the measurement. The clip is very accurate.

Oh, I know how it works. My point (and I think Luke's) about the illusion of precision is that the rear marker is put in place on first down, eyed up from the sideline to match where the ball actually is. So when there's a measurement on the ensuing series, how do we know the offense didn't actually need 10 yards plus two inches to get the first down, or only needed 9 yards, two feet and 11 inches?

Ken from New York, NY

With the ball coming out to the 25 on kickoffs that are not returned, it doesn't seem that defensive penalties on scoring plays really hurt the receiving team on the following kickoff. Do you think the NFL should reconsider how it assesses defensive penalties on scoring plays?

It's up to the kicking team if it wants to use the penalty to help pin the return team inside the 25, right? That works for me. My question is, does the scoring team have the option of taking the penalty on the point after, for either a shorter kick or a 1-yard try for two? I don't know the answer. If not, why not?

LJ from Chicago, IL

Regarding kickoffs, I have a proposal. If it's kicked out of the end zone, the offense gets it at the 25. If they take a knee in the end zone, they get it at the 20.

That's funny, Mason Crosby's idea was**just the opposite**.

Scott from Janesville, WI

With talks of possible future teams in London and other areas I am curious how they fill these teams. How did they fill the Texans and Jags when they were formed? Was it with free agents and draft picks?

They held expansion drafts, which required every team in the league to make a certain number of players available to be selected (with some parameters on years of experience, players on injured reserve, etc.). I think London is more likely to happen via relocation than expansion, though.

Ralph from Victoria, BC

How many questions did you get that start with "Hey Idiot" because of Biff? I'm fairly certain he slid it in so Spoff and Vic would have to deal with the outcome.

Not much has changed. The editing process is constant.

Greg from Perkasie, PA

Mike, I know it's too early in the season to call this game a must-win, but it feels awfully important. A win against the Vikings now, while they are still figuring out their QB situation, could be very important for the second game when they could be hitting their stride with the playoffs potentially on the line.

I see this as a game with no devastating consequences for the loser, but as a potential launching pad for the winner. If the Vikings play Bradford and get a win, they'll be feeling like they're about to take off as their new QB settles in. If the Packers win, they'll have conquered a daunting road start to the season with four straight home games coming up.

Ken from Long Beach, CA

Gentlemen, Vic once said to expect the biggest change between Week 1 and Week 2 as some teams work out the flaws while other teams' flaws were discovered. What do you expect to be the differences in the Week 2 Packers-Vikings game?

I don't expect Adrian Peterson to be held to 31 yards rushing, and I don't expect Jordy Nelson and Jared Cook to combine for only 39 yards receiving.

Ken from Manitowoc, WI

Mike, should Wes get fired if he ever says "yellow" again? I think he should be gone already!

C'mon, McFly.

Jonathan from Green Bay, WI

Biff/Spoff, I like the AFC-NFC matchups to start the season. I would like to see the schedule have some consistency to when games are played. Weeks 1-4: AFC-NFC matchups; Weeks 5-8: divisional match set 1 (all byes will be completed in these weeks); Weeks 9-14: all remaining inter-conference games; Weeks 15-17: final divisional games. What are your thoughts and could/should this happen?

I see your point, and as much as I'm usually in favor of the most equitable structure to things, some charm would be lost. The varying, annual challenges that a given schedule present would mostly cease. Practically speaking, it also wouldn't work well for TV, because a lot of classic, divisional rivalries would miss the late afternoon, Sunday night or Monday night spotlights if they're not spread out. The current Thursday night arrangements, which often match up division opponents so the short prep time isn't as big a deal against a more familiar foe, would be altered as well.

Matt from Ames, IA

Hey Mike, this isn't meant to be nit-picky, more of a sanity check. The other day I believe you missed a Week 1 division match up, the 49ers and Rams (NFC West).

You're right, there were four division games. I forgot to check the Monday night games when I looked at the Week 1 slate. I didn't have that (entire) list in front of me.

Aaron from Atlanta, GA

Do refs always take the time to ask a coach if he would like to accept or decline a penalty? When something like the situation in Jacksonville occurs, and a pass interference is called but the catch for a TD is still made, it seems like a near insult to ask, but I know they must follow pretty strict protocols.

I'm sure the officials would enjoy insulting coaches once in a while.

Matt from Oshkosh, WI

With all the emphasis that the NFL is putting on player safety, why do they never address the noise in an indoor stadium? I attended several games in the Humpty Dome and could not hear for three days afterwards. The noise they piped in was crazy. I imagine U.S. Bank Stadium will be the same.

Rumor is it could be louder, which is hard for me to believe, but I heard the press box is open-air like the HHH, so I'll learn first-hand. If it's louder than the Superdome, next week will be a long week. My two trips to New Orleans covering this team are the only ones that have given me multi-day headaches. I can't even fathom how loud it must have been for that 2009 NFC title game down there.

Dave from Sister Bay, WI

Not a question. A comment. It takes two Insiders to replace one Vic? He must really be impressed with that.

Vic is not easily impressed.

Tyler from Red Deer, Canada

If a coach actually wanted to dress like Lombardi did on game day, could he? Or would that be a violation of today's dress code?

He has to ask permission from the league. Del Rio wore a suit on the sideline not too long ago. He might be the last one I remember doing so.

Ben from London, Ontario

The same-helmet-throughout-the-season rule is unfortunate. No more Pat Patriot, creamsicle orange, or grazing Buffalo Bill. As disappointing as it is, I guess if it prevents at least one man from a concussion, it's worth it.

I'm with you. I get it, but I got a kick out of seeing those old helmets once in a while.

Andrew from Joliet, IL

Hello Insiders, with Bakhtiari re-signed and Bulaga under contract for a few more years, what does this mean for Spriggs? I can't see the Packers wanting to leave him on the bench for his first three years.

Well, I doubt Bakhtiari and Bulaga are both going to play the next 47 regular-season games without missing one (or more). Let's be real. From another angle, these things have a way of sorting themselves out. You continue to build depth and develop young players so you don't have to worry so much about what's inside that crystal ball.

Jeremy from Mountain View, CA

Please tell me that is Wes on drums and Spoff on guitar in the Packers Unscripted podcast music intro/outro. Better yet, don't tell me, and let me just imagine it that way.

Suit yourself.

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