That’s the yin and yang of an NFL seasonMike Spofford
Dwight from Brooklyn, NY
Football is football. Friday, 2 p.m. EST: USA vs. England. If No. 56 Saudi Arabia can beat No. 3 Argentina, No. 16 USA vs. No. 5 England is a go! Then, we cap it with a Packers win over the Eagles!
Somewhere Vic is closing his curtains.
Joe from Ormond Beach, FL
Mike, on a recent podcast Andy Herman stated that everyone in the organization top to bottom is to blame for this year's struggles except for one person, Wes. Can you explain to readers your responsibility in the losses?
Ha, I'm guessing Andy didn't spare me because I just realized the other day I haven't been following him on Twitter. I'm so clueless (and non-participatory) on social media that when I see conversations and references to various personalities, it doesn't register with me those I am or am not actually following. Hopefully he, and anyone else out there, can forgive me. It's truly not personal. It's my lack of attention to something I just don't let occupy much headspace.
Bill from Bloomfield Hills, MI
With Jamaal leading the league in TDs, something Aaron has done as well, are they on track to be the best two RBs the Packers ever drafted in the same year ...
Wes wanted me to chime in on this, so I will. I can't think of, nor find, another pair of backs drafted by the Packers the same year whose accomplishments compare. I will only add I think Lacy and Franklin in '13 had similar, maybe even better, potential.
Kevin from Louisville, KY
I look forward to "What You Might've Missed" each week during the season, but I keep expecting one day, after a game like last Thursday's, to click on the link only to find a blank page with only the words, "Yeah, you really didn't miss anything."
Ha, well, I've never reviewed a game film without having my eyes opened to something, so ...
Jay from Altoona, WI
Packers.com has a link on the homepage for Pro Bowl voting, which had me thinking about which Packers players have had a Pro Bowl season. Rashan Gary (before his injury) and Aaron Jones seem like obvious picks, but are there other Packers players worthy of the Pro Bowl this year?
Those two plus perhaps Kenny Clark and Jaire Alexander are the names that come to my mind for consideration.
Kerry from Lakewood Ranch, FL
Which is the biggest surprise, Packers and Rams candidates from first to worst, or all NFC East teams with winning records?
Flip a coin.
Dan from Algonquin, IL
Hi Mike, for the Eagles game, seems like our running game matches up favorably against their run defense. The Eagles' defense is No. 24 in yards/rush and No. 19 in rushing yards/game, and their pass defense is No. 1 and 2 respectively. Is pounding the rock, controlling the clock, and hitting a couple big passes the recipe for a win this week?
That and generating turnovers on defense. That's how Washington beat Philly two games ago. The Colts got two takeaways but couldn't run the ball and played dink-and-dunk with the pass to the tune of just 16 points. They gave the Eagles too many chances and paid for it.
Doug from Neenah, WI
Good morning, Mike. The Wisconsin Badgers were penalized for clipping in their win over Nebraska. In the olden days of the NFL, clipping was frequently called and carried a 15-yard penalty but you don't hear much about it these days. Has clipping been legislated out of the league or just renamed as something else? Thanks.
In those "olden days," any block in the back, whether above or below the waist, was called clipping in the NFL. Somewhere along the line, "illegal block in the back" (10 yards) replaced clipping for contact above the waist.
Bruce from Travelers Rest, SC
The NFC North is the only division in the NFL in which all four teams have a negative point differential on the season. Who knew playing the AFC and NFC East would be so daunting?
Minnesota's number is the most interesting there. The Vikings have won eight games by a combined 52 points and lost two by a combined 54. I'm not sure I've ever seen such a disparity before.
Johnny from Madison, WI
Does having Quay Walker (and hopefully De'Vondre Campbell) give this team an advantage against rushing QBs like Jalen Hurts, relative to years past?
That's certainly more speed than the Packers have possessed at inside linebacker in quite some time. They have a chance when chasing a running QB like Hurts.
Steve from Colorado Springs, CO
Hey there Insiders. Haven't written much lately but is seems some of the submissions have gotten a wee bit testier, which is understandable. But at this point I am reminded that for us, it is entertainment. For you-all and the Packers organization, it is business and work, and a lot of people are trying to figure it out. So...what's been most entertaining about the Pack for you this year?
Watching the rookies get established in this league. I think Walker, Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Zach Tom are all off to promising starts and on their way to solid (or perhaps better) pro careers. Kingsley Enagbare and Devonte Wyatt haven't made as notable a first impression yet, but I suspect we'll be talking about them more soon enough.
Jon from Arlington, TX
Hi Insiders, is it possible that the Packers' struggles this year have nothing to do with the Packers? We've been selecting from the bottom of the barrel for a number of years now. We've also been paying premium price for arguably the best player in the game. Management has done a superb job in fielding a highly competitive team. Nonetheless, is this the season the high-draft talent of other teams is finally catching up? That's not an excuse to lay down and not fight.
The Packers picked late in the early rounds of the 2020 and '21 drafts, yes, and got just one crack at a top 50 pick those years. But "for a number of years now" isn't accurate. They had a total of eight picks in the top 50 from the '18, '19 and '22 drafts. This year's rookies are rookies, and I outlined above what appear to be promising paths, injuries notwithstanding. One of the earlier five top 50 picks didn't see the end of his first contract, another has underperformed, and two have sustained major injuries (last year and this year, respectively). Make of that what you will.
Dave from Germantown, TN
In an alternate universe, do you think the Packers' season would be completely different if Watson catches the first pass of the season for a touchdown?
No, but I think the trajectory of the offense would've been different had Watson not hurt his hamstring multiple times and sustained a concussion.
Samuel from Skokie, IL
Over the past couple of years, ML has said he doesn't like the corners playing beyond the sticks on third down and long. The announcers have pointed it out critically and as a fan I don't like that brand of soft coverage. Has anyone asked Joe Barry about that strategy and what he is trying to accomplish? Pettine did it too. It's don't believe it's simply zone vs. man coverage.
It's not, but playing zone on second-and-10 and third-and-6 isn't the same, or at least shouldn't be. Third-down coverages are designed, or built to adjust, with the line to gain in mind. As I've said before, the players have to know where the marker is and play to it. If they don't, that's on them. If they don't know how, that's on the coaches.
Bill from Fort Worth, TX
I'm an even greater proponent of starters not playing in the preseason, for this season at least. With the first month of the season effectively being the preseason for starters across the league, I now think we snuck away with a couple wins when the Bucs and Pats were still figuring things out. Unfortunately, while they appear to have settled into some sort of grooves, we're still bumbling around like it's that first month.
When the Packers won three straight in Weeks 2-4, it was clear there were issues to address. In past years under LaFleur, certain things got shored up, which allowed other issues that arose to receive attention. That's the yin and yang of an NFL season. But when the early stuff isn't resolved, it gets compounded by whatever else inevitably comes up.
Rich from Miami Gardens, FL
Are we seeing a nascent evolution in officiating to combine on-field officiating with video review real-time to provide a better product by eliminating blatant bad calls? Once they work out the bugs it should be almost seamless.
Should be are the operative words. But we know it won't be.
Bill from Sheboygan, WI
Don't know if you saw any of the Vikings game but at the end of the first half there was a long catch that was questionable, it took a long time for them to stop play to review right up to the point that Dallas kicked a 60-yard FG, then the refs said there was no play. It should never have taken that long to stop for replay!
My point exactly.
Mark from St. Augustine, FL
All this talk about complementary football. Does it really matter when you score or make a stop? If the offense has three 3-and-outs and then they capitalize on a defensive turnover and score, does that check the complementary football box? Same philosophy applies to defense. It doesn't matter when you get a stop on third-and-short, a turnover or a sack. Great teams just get them. It's about making the most of every single possession and not worrying about what the other side of the ball did.
I couldn't disagree more, and why I went into it at length on our latest "Unscripted." How much good did stopping Henry on fourth-and-1 inside the 5-yard line do? The offense went three-and-out, the Titans got the ball back 93 seconds later and still scored before halftime anyway. How much good did Douglas' INT do? The offense went three-and-out and the Titans got the ball back 91 seconds later. How much good did the Packers' TD and two-point play do? The Titans were back in the end zone 129 seconds later. One phase building on the positives of the other, or turning around the negatives, has everything to do with the importance of timing and who wins games.
Dale from Fenton, MI
The "additive inverse" of "complementary football"! Do we need less mathmouth and more smashmouth football?
I don't know why but this really cracked me up.
Russ from Henrico, VA
With the exception of a small handful of exciting games, this seems to be one of the dullest NFL seasons in quite awhile. It's gotta be more than just parity, right?
Small handful? What league are you watching? Eight games decided by one score in each of the last four weeks. That's 32 of the last 56 games.
Daniel from Lakeland, FL
Look at the topsy-turvy results in the last two weekends, both in the NFL and college. The football gods are in a mischievous mood, discarding statistics, befuddling the "experts," and demonstrating to us mortals once again the importance of the human dimension of the game.
Andrew from Burke, VA
It may be a rough year, but I know I'm still thankful to have you both providing entertainment! What would you say has been the best and worst side dishes you have ever had for Thanksgiving?
I look forward to green bean casserole on Thanksgiving every year, because we don't have it often, and then I devour it on that day. Worst side dish? There's no such thing. You have to enjoy it all, including the best tripleheader of NFL football on Thanksgiving since the league added the third game at night about 15 years ago. What a day of games, folks.
Jeff from Ogden, UT
A special request. At some point this week many answers to the questions will be "just beat the Eagles." Could we, for the foreseeable future, change that to "just don't beat yourselves?"
Works for me.
Gretchen from Dousman, WI
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone at packers.com. There are many fans who are thankful for you.
We're thankful for this collective readership as well. Happy Thanksgiving eve, everybody.
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