Zahir from London, UK

By focusing so much on stopping the run, did the Packers take Bradford’s ability to make big plays so early on in his Vikings career too lightly?

Pick your poison, right? Coach Noll would say how do you wish to die? I can’t think of many defensive coordinators that would choose the Adrian Peterson poison. Sam Bradford played the game of his life. He threw pinpoint passes in the face of a fierce rush. He was a hot quarterback and I don’t know what the Packers could’ve done to change that. Can he play that way every week? If Peterson was lost to a knee injury last night, Bradford’s role will have increased dramatically.

Kelly from Kaneohe, HI

Isn’t the problem for the Packers offense that it didn’t effectively establish the run, which subsequently limited their passing attack? I thought we learned that after the 2011 season.

Nineteen combined rushing attempts for Eddie Lacy and James Starks aren’t enough, and I expect that to change in the weeks ahead. Packers fans don’t want to acknowledge the Vikings’ quality, and that’s a mistake. The Vikings have a powerful defense.

Brett from Green Bay, WI

What did you think of the new stadium?

It looked magnificent on TV. I thought back to old Metropolitan Stadium, which I consider to be the worst stadium in which I’ve covered an NFL game. The Metrodome was a big step up, but it fell from state-of-the-art status quickly. This new one won’t. Minneapolis finally did it right and the Vikings and the Vikings-Packers rivalry each has a bright future.

Keith from Madison, WI

Vic, I want to be happy today. What were some of the bright spots you noticed last night?

The Packers’ defensive front was dominant.

Tim from Marion, IA

Are the Packers being out-Packered? It seems like after two games the opposing teams are executing the plays I expected to see the Packers using.

All teams are essentially playing out of the same playbook. The team that executes those plays the best wins. Packers fans are accustomed to a lofty standard of offensive performance. Everyone will have to be patient as the team works its way back to that standard.

Corey from Mooresville, NC

I know it has only been two weeks, but this offense reminds me of last year’s, when there was a real lack of consistency. Is this just working out some bugs in the beginning of the season?

The Packers need to find a home run hitter in their passing game. They need more explosive plays.

Tom from Phoenix, AZ

I imagine your inbox is an onslaught of misery, anger and bewilderment. What percentage believes the season is over after the loss last night? How many believe the Packers were outplayed? I’m guessing few. I think it’s obvious these Vikings are a much more talented and better-coached team than they’ve been in recent years and they have a great attitude about them. What I was sorry to see last night was a great running back carried off the field in what could be his final NFL game. It would be a shame for him to go out that way, especially in the inaugural game of the stadium he helped the city earn.

As Adrian Peterson was helped from the field and to the locker room, the kind of drama that makes the NFL the TV game it is, I thought to myself this could be a Pyrrhic victory for the Vikings.

Dayna from Jackson, NJ

That was terrible, just terrible. What can we do to right the ship?

It’s not so terrible, Dayna; it just seems that way. The Packers are 1-1 and about to begin a four-game home stand I believe will leave the team 5-1.

Sam from Evansville, IN

Is it just me or does it seem like the Packers don’t give Eddie enough chances in a game? I almost feel like they give up on him too quickly.

The Packers need more plays. They ran 60 in Jacksonville, which was OK on a hot day, but only 64 last night. My guess is Coach McCarthy would like to up the play count and will work toward that end this week. As the total play count increases, so will Eddie Lacy’s rushing attempts.

Jim from Fairview Heights, IL

I propose that anyone who gripes about the Packers going for it on that fourth down instead of trying a field goal be banned.

If the game had been played at Lambeau Field, the crowd would’ve been chanting, “Go, go!” If you don’t get the first down, the fans ask, “Why didn’t they kick?” It’s not about the decision, it’s about the result. The Vikings went for it on fourth down and converted; the Packers went for it on fourth down and were stopped. Reverse the results of those two plays and the Packers are 2-0 today. It can be that simple.

Matthew from Glendale, AZ

What is wrong with Aaron Rodgers? I read that this is his 14th game in a row with a passer rating under 100. That’s very unlike him.

I’m not qualified to look at the tape and come to a decision on what’s wrong. Maybe someone among the army of ex-player analysts on TV will do that. All I can do is offer my opinion, and it goes like this: In many cases, I think the coverage is so tight Aaron Rodgers is being forced to throw the ball where only his receiver can catch it, for the purpose of avoiding an interception. I think those are the throws we perceive as lacking accuracy. The Packers need a receiver to take the top off the defense, so to speak. They need someone to tilt the field. Jordy Nelson was that player. He’s in his ACL comeback year. We need to be patient.

Max from Victor, ID

Guys, I know you work for packers.com, so answering questions like this is not up your alley. What is happening with Aaron Rodgers? He doesn’t look the same?

That’s not up my alley, Max. I’m just a marketing copywriter.

Ben from Las Vegas, NV

It’s only two weeks in but it sure looks like Lacy will not be that guy we hoped he’d rebound to be. How do we fix this running game?

The same way he fixed the passing game: Create balance. Eddie Lacy’s arrival opened the field for the Packers passing game by forcing defenses to get that eighth defender up to the line of scrimmage and give Aaron Rodgers a mouth-watering single-high safety look. Now, Lacy needs the Packers’ passing game to move that eighth defender away from the line of scrimmage. Balance is the key. The pass opens the run and the run opens the pass. I think Lacy is running with power and determination. He just needs more carries and fewer defenders to beat.

Garrett from New Berlin, WI

Were you sitting back, relaxing and watching the game, or worried about what your inbox would inevitably look like this morning?

Afraid of my inbox? Really? Please, inbox, don’t hurt me.

Tom from Collegeville, MN

Not much to be optimistic about after that one, Vic.

How about four consecutive home games? How about four sacks and having allowed the Vikings only 284 yards of offense? How about completely stopping the run? I think this team has a chance to become the equal of the 2014 team, and I think everyone knows how I feel about the ’14 team. The passing attack is the issue. The Packers need more explosive plays in the passing game. If they find them, look out.

Mariano from Buena Park, CA

After watching the Seahawks and Rams play for no TDs, can we say defense is still alive and well in the NFL?

You can still win with defense, but you’re kayaking against the tide if that’s your plan. Seven of the 15 games played in Week 2 saw the winning team score 30 or more points. Today’s game is built on offense.

Heather from Bear Creek, NC

Vic, I’m watching the Rams beat the Seahawks while waiting on our game tonight. Where do you think all these Rams fans came from? St. Louis faithful? Holdovers from the LA glory days?

They came from the 13 million residents in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. With an NFL-caliber stadium, LA is too big to fail.

Edmar from Brazil

You guys are fun and all, but I miss Vic.

I don’t miss him. I’m with him all of the time and I’m not impressed. He could be the laziest, most boring person I know.

Matt from East Troy, WI

Does the new kickoff rule devalue the kickoff return specialist? And where does the talent transition to in the future?

In a player safety movement, the NFL moved the kickoff up five yards to decrease the number of kickoffs returned. Then, it moved the touchback up five yards, which is causing teams to pooch kick, which is likely to increase the number of kickoffs returned. Sometimes you just have to sit back and laugh.

Samuel from Madison, WI

Why is everyone so concerned with predictions? How many yards will Eddie Lacy gain, etc., blah blah blah? Why can’t we just let the game play out?

It’s because football is all we have.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Vic, with you now only doing the day-after-the-game column, it makes it a little more difficult to catch up with you. So, really, how are you doing? All your parts working OK? Do you miss the day in, day out grind at all? The on-site game day experience? Do you check up on the guys and read the “Insider” daily?

I’m doing well. Some parts work better than others, but the main parts can still reach in regulation. I don’t miss the grind. I read “Insider Inbox” every day and I still read the questions that come into the inbox, even on the days when I’m not writing the column. Yes, I miss game day. I miss the press box, my friends and the atmosphere that had defined my life for 44 years, but I’m settling into my new routine. Yesterday was an especially good day. I watched the first team I covered play at one o’clock, and then I watched the second team I covered play at 4:25, and then I finished the day with the Packers-Vikings. The Steelers-Bengals game was a good, hard-hitting contest, though I was disappointed the two teams didn’t resume hostilities. The Jaguars got hammered; I worry about them. The Packers lost to a rival, and I know it stings, but the Packers are going to be a good team this season. Life is good.


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