Thu. Oct 22nd, 2020

Inbox: Control the controllables

5 min read
Inbox: Control the controllables

Playing against Mahomes would be a bigger challenge, but how much of an added challenge is it being the first team playing KC starting their backup QB?

The unknown – of whether Patrick Mahomes can actually go, and if he can’t, how differently does Kansas City’s offense look with Matt Moore at QB. LaFleur can’t worry about all of that, though. The Packers need to remain focused on the task at hand and prepare for every possibility. Control the controllables.

Steve from Middletown, KY

Game center stats show KC offense is first in passing yards and weak in rushing. KC defense is top 10 against passing yards and near the bottom against the run. Without Mahomes, do you think they will try to run the ball more or try to continue their strength of passing? Since KC is weak against the run, will we pound the rock more early to soften the back end for 12? After last week, KC defense may have to pick their poison, so to speak.

I don’t know what to make of Mahomes practicing Wednesday. Personally, I think it would be bad optics to play an MVP quarterback on a recently dislocated knee cap, but I’m not a doctor. As far as Moore, he has a ton of experience and a plethora of weapons, but can he deliver the ball in rhythm? Because we all know he won’t be able to extend plays like Mahomes does. Regardless of the QB situation, the Packers need their run defense to make this game one-dimensional and their pass rush to keep the pressure on whoever the quarterback is for 60 minutes. Offensively, this game is tailored to what Jones and Williams do best. Let them eat.

Gentlemen, do you feel that Andy Reid is throwing up a smokescreen? Doesn’t it seem kind of foolish to jeopardize a season to win a game or two by playing the franchise QB on one leg?

That’s my headspace right now. I don’t know why you’d jeopardize your season for an intra-conference game against an opponent KC wouldn’t see again until the Super Bowl. On a personal level, Mahomes is eligible for an extension after this year, so is the risk of re-injury really worth it? Don’t get me wrong – I’d love to see Rodgers vs. Mahomes. But at what price glory?

Chad from Kansas City, MO

The crowd at Arrowhead won’t be as loud as you might think. Ticket prices have dropped significantly and there will be a very large Packer contingent.

One way or another, I expect it to be loud.

Craig from Brookfield, WI

The Packers’ schedule with so many road games loaded in the second half will really tell what kind of team this is. After fretting about it early on, I’m now thinking it may have been a gift. With a new coach, new offense to learn and new key players on defense, it was probably good to get that all rolling within the friendly confines of Lambeau, not having to try and run the new offense on silent counts and such.

That’s why I feel like this game Sunday night is so important. Whatever the crowd at Arrowhead looks like, I can already tell you the Los Angeles game is going to be Lambeau Field West. With what the Chargers are, uh, charging, I expect that stadium to be 80-90 percent Packers fans. Maybe more.

What are the chances that we see No. 23 in green and gold tracking No. 10 in red all day? That’s what I’m hoping to see…

That’s the decision Mike Pettine, Jason Simmons and the Packers’ defensive coaches will have to make this week. Kansas City can stress a defense in multiple ways with Travis Kelce’s versatility and Sammy Watkins’ big-play potential. But certainly a Tyreek Hill-Jaire Alexander matchup alone would be worth the price of admission.

As we near the midpoint of the season, how would you grade out this year’s rookie class?

I’d probably go with a B so far. Darnell Savage and Elgton Jenkins are looking like All-Rookie Team contenders, while Rashan Gary has had his moments.

Last week, KC had nine sacks. I think the Chiefs’ D will want to win one without Mahomes. How do you see the KC pass rush against the Packers’ offense?

I think last week was a coming-out party for Frank Clark and Kansas City’s pass rush. I also think the Packers’ offensive line is much better than Denver’s at the moment. I think the starting five will be up to the challenge.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Regarding passer rating, when it was created in 1973 it was intended as a way to measure past QB years or careers to QBs present and future. I don’t think it was ever intended to be used as a one-game metric. But I was surprised to learn AR’s 158.3 was the first-ever perfect QB rating in a game for the Packers. This can be achieved with a stat line of 8-of-10 for 125 yards, two TDs and no picks. Difficult but not impossible. How surprising is it to you that in 100 years this is the first time it happened?

That’s interesting about pass rating, because if it truly was intended to measure QBs past and present, it failed miserably. Regardless, it is surprising it took that long for the Packers to have a quarterback register a perfect rating with the lineage of Hall of Famers that have strolled through Green Bay.

With the rhythm the Packers’ offense has been establishing, with the reality that some key players (Adams, Savage) are nearing a return, I would make the argument the Packers’ arrow is pointing up. Where is the arrow pointing for the rest of the NFC North?

I made this point on “Unscripted” this week – we talk so much about Mike Zimmer’s defense but how about Mike Zimmer, the head coach? Zim did an exceptional job of guiding his team through a tough time and has the Vikings back at 5-2. The Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions are at a crossroads no different than the Vikings were a couple weeks ago. Both teams have to find a way out of the hole or they’ll succumb to it.

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