Brayden from Rolesville, NC

What do the Packers have to do better to win on Sunday?

The defensive front just needs to keep doing what it’s been doing. If they keep bottling up the run game and hitting the quarterback, it’s only a matter of time before the turnovers come. If the secondary can contain the big plays, I really like the potential of this year’s defense. The Packers’ offense just needs to get some first downs. The more plays Green Bay has, the more chances it has to establish the run and get the offense in rhythm.

Travis from Lawrence, KS

Dating back to last year's loss at Denver, Eddie's carries are as follows: 11, 5, 22, 17, 5, 24, 11, 12, 13, 12, 12, 12, 14, 12. You can guess the games he had 20 touches were both wins, Dallas and at Minnesota. My question is, how can anyone expect the passing game to open up when we don't run the ball? Eddie Lacy should get more than 12 carries a game, I don't care who the quarterback is. Your thoughts?

Running backs coach Ben Sirmans made a good point when he met with the media on Thursday night, saying the opportunities the running backs receive are a reflection of the offensive flow. More first downs mean more chances to run the football. The Packers want to get more from Eddie Lacy and James Starks, but it’s going to be up to the backs to make the most of those opportunities to move the ball early. I loved the way the Packers pounded the ball in the preseason. I still think that phase of the offense will be much improved this season.

Tom from Wauwatosa, WI

A little behind this week; just watched Aaron Rodgers' interview on packers.com. If I was an athlete I would have loved to play alongside a guy like that. What leadership and poise. Clearly not a pleasant task but he almost seemed to be enjoying himself there. Little wonder he can keep his eyes downfield when men much bigger, stronger, and faster than any reporter are trying to obliterate him!

That’s part of being a leader and a professional. You have to stay true to yourself and your team regardless of what the outside voices are saying. At the end of the day, those are the only opinions that matter. Rodgers said he’ll play better, but understands that his actions on the field – not words in the locker room – are going to be what truly matter. That’s just maturity and understanding what needs to be done. If I’m a Packers fan, I don’t know what else you’d want to hear from your starting quarterback.

Paul from Milwaukee, WI

Insiders, I've heard all the gripes and complaints this week about Aaron Rodgers and listened to all the positives as well. What I haven't heard is what a great play Cobb made to steal the ball away after Adams fumbled. If Minnesota gets that fumble, we may have been really squashed. Any good comments about Cobb’s play this week?

That was a really heads-up play by Cobb, who stripped the ball from Senedejo to allow the Packers to maintain possession. It obviously didn’t make many headlines, but that was a critical play early in the game. Green Bay had to punt shortly thereafter, but Minnesota would’ve taken over in the red zone if it wasn’t for Cobb’s wherewithal.

Steve Janesville, WI

Why is it so surprising that Aaron seems rusty when he barely played in the preseason? Jordy and Aaron had no playing time together.

When Nelson missed most of training camp in 2013 with a knee injury, Rodgers and Nelson didn’t take the field together the entire preseason. The Packers finished third in total offense and Nelson went onto catch 85 passes for 1,314 yards and eight touchdowns in what should have been his first Pro Bowl season. But sure, they didn’t get enough playing time together in the preseason.  

Isaac from Nashville, TN

When Rodgers was out during 2013, and every single game was a struggle, I slowly learned to stop thinking in terms of Super Bowls and playoffs, and instead think about whether or not we'd win that week. It was kinda fun. I recommend it.

I’d actually argue taking the exact opposite approach. I personally believe too many readers are focusing on the Vikings game too much. As I said earlier this week, it’s better to expand your focus to examine the success of a season. You are right – 2013 was a grind, but the way the Packers were able to consistently run the ball allowed Matt Flynn to manage the game in most cases late in the season.

Ben from De Pere, WI

How do the Packers beat the containment rush? The only scenario I can think of off the top of my head is to get some completions with Rodgers standing in the pocket. If the defense has adapted their blitzes, shouldn't a good offense take advantage of the new opportunity being presented?

Good question and probably one above my pay grade. That might be where the timing of routes comes in. If you’re able to string together some quick passes and designed rollouts, that could help force defenses out of that look.

Gene from Los Angeles, CA

Hey guys, as I recall the Pack seemed to start in terrible field position in most of Sunday’s game. That has to have an impact on play-calling.

Somewhat. If you’re backed up inside your own 10-yard line, it definitely condenses your playbook. In general, the closer a team is to its end zone, the more first downs you have to make to change the field position and get into scoring territory. It just makes your offense have to work that much harder.

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Insiders, inside LB was perceived to be a weakness going into this season and it's quickly become a strength. The rotation of Martinez, Ryan, and Thomas continues to improve each week. At what point did you see this coming or are you as surprised as I am?

For me, it wasn’t until Week 1. Honestly I didn’t know what to make of the inside linebacker situation after the Packers cut Sam Barrington, but their plans have made a lot of sense based on the rotation in the first two weeks of the season. You have three young linebackers who are hungry and play fast to the ball. I’ve been really impressed by the speed and finish of all three. It should help the trio stay healthy with each having his own niche in the defense.

Jeff from Seminole, FL

Can all players wear gloves? I only notice the receivers wearing them. It seems like they could help running backs hold onto the ball better?

To the best of my knowledge, anyone can wear gloves on the field. I’ve seen quarterbacks, punters and even some running backs wear them. It’s personal preference.

Bryon from Sheboygan, WI

Insiders, I think the most important thing to do this weekend is mix up our personnel packages. Agree or disagree?

OK.

Matt from Verona, WI

Is Pennel suspended for 4 GAMES or 4 WEEKS?

4 GAMES.

Joe from Asbury, IA

Hey guys, no offense to Joe Callahan but I cannot envision the Packers beating a "contender," let alone blowing them out, with their third string QB. How do the Patriots do it? Is their coaching really that much better than everyone else?

The Pats got on the board early and their defense forced more turnovers (three) than points allowed (zero). That’ll do it. You tip your cap to Belichick constructing a manageable game plan for Jacoby Brissett, but the defense set the tone for that victory.

Paul from Cumming, GA

How does Belichick do it?

All you need is a little faith, trust and pixie dust.

Sean from Baltimore, MD

Osweiler just completed a pass to a receiver who wasn't open by two steps. He was actually blanketed, but the ball was placed perfectly on the out cut. Why can so many QBs in this league make those throws, but the great Aaron Rodgers cannot?

Osweiler finished with 196 passing yards on 41 attempts with an interception and 60.6 passer rating in a 27-0 loss to New England. I’m sure the throw was spectacular, but you might want to revisit your comparisons in the future.

Thanos from Tucson, AZ

It seems like this team has become predictable and is trying gimmicks and has taken it to the point of extending the play as one of those. McCarthy seems to not understand that sometimes it's better to have young players make occasional mistakes, than to have veterans become predictable.

Aren’t the Packers like one of the youngest teams in the NFL?

Jeff from Farmington, NM

Guys, could you let us know how many times in the Favre/Rodgers era the Packers were .500 or worse in the first four games of the season and still made the playoffs?

Seven times (Rodgers 4, Favre 3)

Grant from New Liskeard, Canada

Hey guys! Great job BTW. What do you think helmets will look like in 10 years? Sam’s concussion got me thinking whether or not a new technology exists or will exist that will lessen the issue.

The NFL and Riddell have taken a lot of steps toward improving helmet technology over the years. A lot of players in the Packers locker room have switched to the Speedflex helmet, including many on the offensive line last year and most of this year’s rookie class. I have no clue what helmets will look like in 10 years, but they’re certainly evolving.

Paul from Green Bay, WI

Watching the game (the other night). I thought wow, those are ugly jerseys, and then I realized it was color rush Thursday. At least it wasn’t the ketchup and mustard game we had last year.

I kinda dug them. It seems this year’s color rush jerseys have been more traditional than the past few years. I like that. While it would’ve been interesting to have all-gold Packers jerseys, I think the all-white look will be cool when the Packers face the Bears next month.

Willie from Hayward, WI

Only one more Insider Inbox column and we can put that season-ending loss to Minnesota behind us. Fans seem to forget that the NFC North title was lost at Lambeau Field last year with losses to Detroit, Chicago and Minnesota. Isn't it time to turn the page and focus on what the team can do something about and not dwell on the past?

I think so, but hardly anybody asked about the Lions this week. Every question I saw about Detroit I tried to answer, which I think was two in three columns. Thank goodness it’s almost game day. This was a brutal week.  

Brandon from Byron, IL

So I was listening to the fantasy people and they said Diggs on the Vikings was the best receiver in the NFC. Do you think Jordy Nelson can take that spot back?

I think that’s a fun segment to buy time until the next commercial break.

Dave from Comer, GA

What can the coaches do to help Wes increase his offensive production?

Nothing. I’m a lost cause.


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