Stephen from Palos Park, IL
What do you think the Packers need to do better Sunday against the Bears than they did in their season-opening game against the Bears at Solider Field?
Offensively, it’s all about third down. In the opener, the Packers were 2-for-12, and six of the 10 failures required 10 yards or more. That’s no way to succeed. They had too many negative plays on first and second down. Get something on the ground and protect Rodgers so he has a reasonable chance on third down.
Jamie from Rhinelander, WI
Is the “100 Seasons” book going to be out in time for Christmas?
I spoke with Cliff the other day and it’s sounding like next summer. He’s just been behind on the writing and production.
If you had to select an individual offensive performance as a predictor of success for the Packers this weekend who would it be, and what would the stat line look like? For example, if Aaron Jones has 150 yards from scrimmage, do the Packers win?
To the uninitiated (yours truly), defensive line assignments seem to be “get to the QB or whoever has the ball.” Obviously, the game is much more sophisticated than that. From a D-lineman’s perspective, what is the difference in your job in pass defense vs. run defense?
Against the run, linemen are responsible for gaps, and depending on the call, their responsibility might be two gaps – to either side – or just one. If the back hits your gap, he can’t get by you. With the pass rush, it’s a “get to the QB” mentality, but with some exceptions. If the desire is to hem in a scrambling QB, rush lane integrity is paramount, so don’t create escape lanes by doing something crazy. There’s also the need to recognize screen passes when the offensive linemen release.
Jordan from Virginia Beach, VA
What is the deadline for the league to flex a game into a more desirable time slot?
It’s supposed to be 12 days in advance, except for Week 17, which can be six days’ notice. But there are reports the league is making an exception this year and still keeping options open for Week 16, depending on this weekend’s results (which wouldn’t affect the Packers, because Monday night games are not subject to flex).
Daniel from Liverpool, Merseyside
“The Packers have yet to win at U.S. Bank Stadium.” I looked it up and the Vikings have only lost seven games since U.S. Bank Stadium opened. That’s remarkable. It will not be easy, but is there such a thing in the NFL?
That’s for next week, and you answered your own question anyway.
I recently heard former Packer Will Blackmon tell a story regarding punt returns while filling in as co-host on a national sports radio show. He was struggling and Robert Brooks told him, “Just get the first 10 yards and everything else will take care of itself.” Blackmon said on his next return he got the first 10 yards and noticed he was still running with nobody around him and ended up taking it to the house. Perhaps this simple approach is all our punt return unit needs to turn things around.
I’ve always been in favor of getting what’s there first and foremost. Mennenga on Thursday described Ervin as “the definition of a north-south returner,” and I would wholeheartedly agree.
Xmas in II. Wes “Rudolph” Hodkiewicz: Has a nose for a heart-warming story. Willing to challenge the abominables in the Inbox. Mike “Hermey” Spofford: Trusted, hardworking, humble, balanced. May not aspire to become a dentist, but definitely has a heart for baseball. John “Yukon Cornelius” Kuhn: Last to join the 2019 group, red beard and mustache, exuberant communicator. Larry “It’s a Wonderful Life” McCarren: Genuine, always encouraging, seeker of gems for the good of the whole. Thanks!
I’ve got nothing after that.
Paul from Clintonville, WI
Under the current playoff system format, have the Packers been every seed in their playoff history? 1 thru 6?
Yes. In fact, during Mike Holmgren’s six-year playoff streak (1992-98), the Packers were each of the six seeds once.
Caroline from La Crosse, WI
Thanks for Thursday’s “Unscripted.” Thanks for the memories. Love what you do.
Appreciate the audience. It was fun to go into the way-back machine for a few minutes.
Hello Spoff, I have not seen any mention of the famous “after further review” game, which I can’t believe was 30 years ago. I had some discussion with some younger Bears fans that had no knowledge of that game. I had fun telling them about Don Majkowski, the controversy and how Ditka was so angry the Bears put an asterisk next to that game for the next 10 years. I imagine Wes might be too young, but how about you Spoff, do you have any good memories of that game?
I remember watching it on TV, and that was the game I learned the full rule – the passer’s entire body has to be beyond the line of scrimmage when the ball is released for it to be illegal.