Eric from Denver, CO
Is it just me, or do Jamaal’s and Aaron’s styles resemble that of Ingram and Kamara in New Orleans? It's a copycat league, and if MM uses our guys similarly, I think it's a recipe for success the next two weeks vs. Cleveland and Carolina. I don't want to look past Cleveland, but the Saints beat Carolina twice this year with that recipe...just sayin’!
Just sayin’? You know what I’m just sayin’? The same thing I’m always just sayin’.
Greg from Perkasie, PA
My only thought about the Browns game is, be prepared for everything. Fake punts, fake field goals, trick plays. This team has absolutely nothing to lose so they can take all the risks they want.
I’m not so much on the lookout for constant risks, but perhaps a single, very well-timed one.
Jordan from North Charleston, SC
What’s the strategy for defending the Browns? Two weeks ago, I’d say to try to make Kizer beat you with his arm. However, with Gordon back in the mix and him and Njoku being so athletically gifted, I’d rather not see them in any jump-ball situations one-on-one.
Just don’t surrender the chunk plays. Gordon and Njoku will be targeted, but if the big plays are avoided and you make the Browns’ offense try to sustain long drives, you’ll get your chances for stops.
Paul from Middleton, WI
Warrick Dunn was very shifty, and had excellent vision.
Of all the Jones comparisons submitted, this one spoke to me the most. Take Dunn and add nearly 20 pounds.
David from San Francisco, CA
How does the firing of the Browns GM impact our battle with them on Sunday?
The players know the personnel department’s current opinions of them don’t mean much anymore.
Ryan from Atlanta, GA
Rodgers is running the scout team this week. Does he approach it as if he, Aaron Rodgers, is running the Browns’ offense, or does he try and mimic the play of DeShone Kizer by throwing some questionable balls, maybe staring down a receiver or two?
He runs Cleveland’s offense to the best of his ability, to show Green Bay’s defense what to expect if the Browns play their best game.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
I feel like it is only a matter of time until we see Trevor Davis streaking down the field for a special-teams touchdown.
Me, too, which is why I have a story on that exact subject going up later this morning.
Paul from Ellensburg, WA
Hey fellas, I know you shared thoughts on Lenzy Pipkins earlier this year (I believe you said his good quality was being physical?) but could you give us an update on where he’s at? To be honest I was rooting for him during camp just because of the name.
Since the Minnesota game, when Pipkins got a lot of action on defense, he’s played almost exclusively on special teams. With King on IR needing shoulder surgery, and if House also doesn’t play, I could see Pipkins getting his number called on defense again on Sunday.
Joe from Bloomington, IN
This year presents a good argument for the importance of a fast start, doesn't it? Without it, where would the Packers be now?
Generally speaking, you’re at your healthiest at the start of the regular season, and a fast start gives you a cushion for when injuries hit or other circumstances come into play. The 4-1 start was enough cushion to get the Packers to this point, but it’s been used up.
Scott from Sydney, Australia
Dear Insiders, could you please provide your opinion on the similarities/differences and perhaps relative strengths/weaknesses of Ha Ha vs. Nick Collins.
First and foremost, two very instinctive players with good ball skills, though Collins probably let a few more interceptions slip through his hands early in his career before he started snagging everything. Similar with their aggressiveness in the box. The biggest difference between the two, to me, is open-field speed. Clinton-Dix isn’t slow, but Collins could fly, which made him a classic centerfielder able to cover a ton of ground, closing gaps in a heartbeat.
Sean from Phnom Penh, Cambodia
How do you think the Saints are feeling after deciding to go for it instead of kicking the field goal?
They made the right call, because the way the second half was going, I think Sean Payton felt his defense wasn’t likely to stop Matt Ryan from beating him with that much time on the clock. A Hall of Famer made a bad throw. It happens, and it saved Dan Quinn from having to regret, possibly for the entire offseason, declining the penalty that allowed the Saints to go for it on fourth-and-inches.
Steve from Tosa, WI
Five more years of Roger Goodell? Really? I believe he is presiding over the slow death of the sport I have loved my entire life. Do the owners not notice the empty seats in their stadiums? Do they not care about steadily declining TV viewership? Officiating is a mess. The rule book is unclear. The league cares more about football air pressure than they do about dangerous and flagrant hits. Worst of all, politics have been allowed to infect and fester in one of the last apolitical bastions of America. The NFL is in decline and the chief enabler of that decline has not only not been asked to resign, he has been re-signed. Am I missing something?
The owners obviously have a different view of the state of the game than you do.
Daniel from Copenhagen, Denmark
I just wanted to illustrate the arbitrariness of football and especially overtime football: Brett Hundley now has as many overtime wins as Aaron Rodgers.
There you go.
Joe from Des Moines, IA
For as much flak as the Cobb jet sweep was given in previous weeks, it helped us seal a win this time around. We’ve seen Cobb get stopped for minimal to no gain a few times on that play, but in overtime we faked the jet sweep to Cobb and the defense bit, opening up Jamaal Williams in the flat to the opposite side. Props to McCarthy for that well-timed call. How often is a play call made with a counter play in mind?
All the time. I repeat, all the time.
Paul from Clarkston, WA
Oh my goodness...with the forward pass nonsense. Now, I hate the Seahawks and love to watch them lose as much as the next person, but it wasn't forward. I'm guessing that Wilson was running forward at least 15 miles per hour, probably more. He flipped the ball back at a considerably slower speed, say 5 mph. The ball would be backwards from his position, but still travel forward relative to the world around him at 10 mph or so. In other words, throw an object out your window when you’re driving at 15, even if you throw it out slightly back, it will travel forward as it carries forward momentum from your rate of travel. On a side note, nobody that has ever played a rugby game thought that was a forward pass.
But this isn’t rugby, and I don’t need a Neil deGrasse Tyson physics lecture (as entertaining as he would be). All that matters with regard to the NFL rules for a forward pass is whether or not the ball was caught beyond the point from which it was released. The movement of the players is irrelevant. It was illegal.
Patrick from Dallas, TX
Why is JuJu’s block on Burfict any more than a taunting penalty? Looked totally clean to me.
Blindside blocks, where the offensive player is running back toward his own goal line and squares up to hit a defender, were deemed illegal this year. Same call was made against Minnesota’s Laquon Treadwell against the Packers back in Week 6.
Jason from Klamath Falls, OR
It's been said Dean Lowry is the heaviest player with a Lambeau Leap, which I think is false. In 2012, Mike Daniels had a Lambeau Leap, and he's over 300 pounds, and Lowry is roughly 295.
Mark Tauscher had one, Christmas 2005, but his touchdown reception on a tackle-eligible play was called back by a holding penalty on a fellow lineman.
Mike from Rochester, MN
Great use of the word capricious Spoff! It reminded me of Uecker when Cosell called him truculent and asked if he knew what it meant. Ueck said yes, "If you had a truck and I borrowed it, that would be the truck-u-lent." Classic.
I know Uecker has cut back on his workload in recent years, but I hope he never retires.
Dave from Sheboygan, WI
The game you were referring to where Rodgers ran the read-option with four minutes left was the regular-season finale against the Lions.
Last year, yes, thank you.
Kyle from Valier, MT
Regarding ejections, do you ever see it in the future where a second-half ejection disqualifies a player for the next game? Gronk should have been ejected, but as far as impact in a game, the suspension for the next game will have more impact than missing the final minutes of a game that is basically over. I believe college ball does it that way on the targeting calls.
It wouldn’t surprise me, but I’m not sure about a blanket rule. With the discipline and appeals process currently in place, which could change in the next CBA, I would still expect incidents to be looked at on a case-by-case basis.
Scott from Greensburg, IN
Mike, I would like your opinion on whether fining and/or suspending coaches for excessively violent, unnecessary, or illegal hits might further deter such hits and add to the safety of the game. When one watches the body language of the coaches whose players commit such hits, and of the coaches of the victims, it isn't all that difficult to "just know" which coaches are truly on board with player safety and which coaches are clinging to more "old-school"/intimidating philosophies.
I’d prefer harsher penalties for the players to curb the behavior before I’d start holding coaches accountable in the way you describe. More, or longer, suspensions of repeat offenders will get coaches’ attention. If a coach knows he might lose a key player for multiple games, he’ll get him to change, if losing paychecks isn’t enough. I’m not advocating for mass suspensions, but now that guys are getting suspended occasionally for one game, their history becomes part of the discussion next time. This is the first year the league has taken it this far. Let’s see what impact it has moving forward.
Matt from Kua, HI
Watching the Steelers-Bengals game I had an epiphany about the decline in NFL attendance and ratings. That game was an old-school, violent football game that used to be the norm. Maybe I should be ashamed to admit it, but the game was nostalgic and I liked it. The rules in the modern game are designed to put an end to games like this for the sake of player safety, which I get. But if we are honest, the appeal of the game has always hinged on pushing the envelope of the danger and violence, and the drama resulting from that. Players like Ray Nitschke, Dick Butkus, Joe Greene and Ben Davidson would be out of place in today’s game, and it is less dramatic and interesting as a result of that fact.
Fantasy football is the attractive tie that binds now, and the league’s embrace of it, even as it’s tangentially connected to gambling, has saved the game while the attempt to legislate the violence has changed it.
Andrew from Winnipeg, Canada
I think it's really unfair that Andrew from Huxley got his question answered yesterday when there were other Andrews asking better questions that never even got a chance. Andrew was the only Andrew to have his question answered, and because he was Andrew of the day, no other Andrews were even considered.
Unfair? Life isn’t fair.
Andrew from Huxley, IA
Hi Mike, if you are the Packers do you take the ball if you win the toss? With 20 mph winds expected it seems like going the correct direction in the fourth quarter would be important.
You’d have to take it into consideration.
Jesse from Appleton, WI
A few years ago, the Packers attached yellow boxes to the barriers separating the field from the first of row of stands. There's a box every 10-15 yards, I believe. They also put the same boxes above the exit tunnels in each section. Do any of the Insiders know what purpose these boxes serve?
5,767 Likes, 60 Comments - Davante Adams (@taeadams) on Instagram: "Lil "Red light/Green light" action...violent hip drop emphasis... @wideouts #bagsecurity"
Josiah from Mission, KS
Not a question but a fun observation. During the summer, I saw a video (on Instagram I think) of Davante Adams training. He was running the width of the field stopping and starting over and over, focusing on "violent hip-drop emphasis." When I saw the replay of his route against the Steelers I immediately remembered seeing that video of him practicing that route. That was a cool moment to see how Davante's summer work directly paid off in a TD during the season.
Offseason work isn’t just about getting and staying in shape.
Nick from Chicago, IL
Mike Daniels Mic'd Up is one of the best things I've ever watched! That dude BRINGS it. No filter. I love the rawness and power. Get this guy a Pro Bowl bid.
Did you hear the reference to the D-line being on the cover of the game program? That was for Wes.
Donny from Elkhorn, WI
Insiders, as Cliff's article points out, the Packers have done some wonderful things over the years to make the playoffs. On my list to Santa I only asked for one thing, to be able to watch the Packers play a game on New Year’s Eve with a chance to make it in. Would that be on your list as well?
(Sigh.) Just beat the Browns.
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