Patrick from Minneapolis, MN
In regard to your 10 things the Packers must do to beat the Vikings, I thought I'd point out that the Packers did not stop Adrian Peterson, did not get an early lead, did not rush the rookie (much), did not block the ends, and the crowd noise was there almost all game long. Explain to me how they brushed off your checklist and came out with a W.
They almost didn’t, did they?
Jake from Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Pretend you're a Vikings sportswriter. Would you question Leslie Frazier's decision to punt with two-and-a-half minutes left in the game?
No, I wouldn’t. I said it in my blog before Frazier made his decision. “I punt,” I wrote. He had all three timeouts and the two-minute warning stoppage remaining. He was also in a good spot on the field to punt; his punter could’ve let it fly, and let’s not forget that the rookie return man had an issue catching the ball earlier in the game. The Packers’ pass game looked jittery in the fourth quarter, and Frazier had to figure his fourth-ranked run-defense would stop the run. Here’s the big one: If he goes for it on fourth-and-10 from his 36, he’s going to be asked by reporters, “Why didn’t you punt?” The answer, whether he would admit it or not is, “I didn’t think my defense could stop them.” You don’t want to send that message. Always, coaches have to keep the big picture in mind. You challenge your players to make plays and you judge them according to their response. Frazier’s logic in punting is sound. If he gets the stop he’s counting on, the Vikings would’ve gotten the ball back outside the two-minute warning.
Zach from Woodstock, IL
I find it interesting that both times the Packers have deferred to rookie quarterbacks, they've gotten behind early. Is that simply coincidence, or is this a pattern worth noting?
Those are pretty good rookie quarterbacks. As it turned out, this WAS a good quarterback draft. I didn’t talk to a scout that hadn’t soured on the quarterback class heading into last April’s draft but, as it turns out, the crop appears to be as strong as projected before the 2010 season began. Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Blaine Gabbert and Christian Ponder are already starting.
Benjamin from Saint Marys, GA
Which should I be more excited about, being 7-0 or winning 13 in a row?
It depends on which you prefer, the big picture or the little picture. The 13 straight is a Packers record for which two teams must share the credit. It’s a feel-good record and it says a lot about the state of the franchise and the roster going forward. If it was six wins at the end of a nonplayoff season and seven straight to start the next season, I don’t think it would say nearly as much as it does with a Super Bowl championship included. I’m a big-picture guy. I like what the Packers’ 13 straight wins say.
Kim from Overland Park, KS
To counteract all the fans whining about lack of sacks, or contemplating about a perfect season too early, I have this to say: I am just plain happy right now. I wish they could be, too, because it's far less stressful. Just win and be happy, baby.
This is a powerhouse team; that’s what should be making everyone happy. You don’t win seven straight to start the season and do it the way the Packers have done it, which is to say they’ve gone into the fourth quarter of each game protecting a lead, without being a powerful team. The Packers are the reigning Super Bowl champions and they are the only undefeated team in the league. They are the unquestioned best team in the game and their performance is deserving of that acclaim. If that doesn’t make you happy, then you don’t wanna be happy.
Jacob from Sioux Falls, SD
If defense doesn't win championships anymore, is it just a coincidence that last year four of the top five and seven of the top 10 defensive teams were in the playoffs, not to mention that arguably the two best defenses, with no doubt the two best defensive minds leading them, made it to the Super Bowl? It was moreso defense that won the Super Bowl last year than the offense.
Easy, Jacob. The point I was trying to make, and I did make it, is that you can’t win with defense only anymore, as the 2000 Ravens did. You can’t win in today’s game with an offense that doesn’t score a touchdown in the month of October. Those days are over. This is a game of offense. The best teams have the best quarterbacks. It starts there. You’re not going to win with Trent Dilfer at quarterback in today’s game. Those days are gone. You win with Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees and Tom Brady, etc. My point is this: It’s difficult to win without a good defense, but it’s more difficult, maybe even impossible, to win without a good quarterback.
Dave from Goodman, WI
In your opinion, how many games should someone be suspended for kicking someone in the groin? In my mind, this is about as low as you can go as an athlete.
I guess I’ve been calloused by the years. George Young was always fond of saying, “It’s not a game for the well-adjusted.” I guess I just accepted that as fact. I will say this: Whatever the fine is, it should be doubled.
Steve from Appleton, WI
On several TV close-ups of McCarthy calling plays, you could see pictures of people on the back of his play list. Who were these people and why were their pictures on his play list?
I don’t know but my guess is that he’s picture-coded the depth chart on his play-calling sheet. Coach McCarthy is very detailed when it comes to his play-calling sheet. I know that because in the conference room where he views tape and assembles his play-calling sheet, there are probably 30 felt-tip markers of different colors on the table where he sits. I hope he saves those play-calling sheets – most coaches do – because they’re gonna make for a nice “McCarthy exhibit” in the Packers Hall of Fame someday. Count on it; he’s gonna have his own exhibit.
Aaron from Washington, DC
What are your thoughts on Brian Robison's kick to the groin of T.J. Lang? It seems that a 15-yard penalty enforced on the kickoff is pointless. Why doesn't the NFL enforce the penalty on the play itself, giving the Packers a first down? That would be much more of a penalty for the defense.
It was post-play and that’s why it’s assessed on the next play. That rule could be changed, of course, to include flagrant violations as a continuation of the play. As it stands, if you’re going to kick someone in the groin, before a kickoff is the perfect time to do it.
Noor from Jakarta, Indonesia
When Jones threw the ball into the stands, did the NFL send him a bill?
The NFL doesn’t send bills, it deducts from your paycheck.
Brian from Hayward, WI
After the ESPN poll naming the Packers as the true “America's Team,” when will the Packers make Dallas stand up and explain their claim?
I hope they won’t. The whole thing is silly. Just win, baby.
Joe from Waunakee, WI
I spoke with doctors to the matter of weather-related players in different parts of the country. They all agree that conditioning is the issue. With correct fitness and mindset, any player can play anywhere, anytime effectively. Are they off base?
Tell them to go for a midday jog in Florida in August and let me know how it worked for them.
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