Evan from Los Angeles, CA
Vic, it’s Monday morning after a loss. Who has your inbox fired today? My guess is either Mike McCarthy, Eddie Lacy or Dom Capers, just for old time’s sake.
Coach Capers didn’t get fired today. Everybody else did, including me.
Matthew from New York, NY
Vic, I noticed the headline of Friday’s “Ask Vic” was, “Lions game will tell us where Packers defense is.” Do you think it told us more about where the offense is, the supposed strength of this team?
Aaron Rodgers provided an accurate assessment of where the offense is through three games: “We’ve had two marginal performances and one average performance.” That’s where the offense is, and that’s neither good enough nor likely where the offense will be for long. The offense is not the strength of this team as it stands right now, but that’ll change because this offense is too talented to play as it did yesterday. It’s not if, it’s when, and it’s the when that has me concerned because the Packers are facing a big game in Chicago on Sunday.
Patrick from Warner Robins, GA
Vic, I know we’re playing very good defenses early in the season, however, it seemed to me the Packers offense had opportunities to run but failed to do so against Detroit yesterday. Are the offensive linemen getting whipped at the point of attack?
I would have to do a full tape study to be able to answer your question, and I still wouldn’t be qualified to give you an answer because I wouldn’t know the assignments. I saw some cases of guys getting whipped, but I also saw some cutback lanes that weren’t hit. Eddie Lacy isn’t in a groove right now, and every good back I’ve ever covered has gone through times when he had trouble finding the hole or the running lane. Sometimes you just have to hit it and hope, instead of looking and waiting. What I think I saw yesterday were some examples of missed assignments. The safety play is one example. DeAndre Levy came late and unblocked, and it’s difficult to imagine a player of Levy’s impact being allowed to run free. I also noticed Richard Rodgers bumping into a Packers lineman on that play, which suggests to me something was amiss.
Paul from De Pere, WI
Do we need more speed at WR, and more team speed overall?
Speed isn’t an issue. The Jets are a faster defense than the Lions’. At the speed positions on defense, I thought the Packers closed on the ball impressively yesterday. Don’t look too deep for answers.
Robin from Kilmarnock, Scotland
Vic, I’m concerned. I know your inbox will be full of this today but I didn’t really see any spark yesterday. The Lions were beatable and we didn’t take advantage. Does it concern you we didn’t do much with the opportunities we had on offense?
I don’t think a lack of energy was the problem in Detroit. What concerns me right now is what’s immediately ahead, which is to say a game of critical NFC North importance. Yeah, it’s early in the season, but you don’t want to dig a hole that’ll put you in chase mode the rest of the year.
Mike from West Bend, WI
I’m not a fan of the no-huddle. It’s too helter skelter and lacks flow and rhythm. Rodgers’ accuracy isn’t what we’ve come to expect, either.
The no-huddle is the “Little Girl With The Curl.” When it’s good, it’s unbeatable. When it’s bad, you lose time of possession by 16 minutes. Ouch! So, I guess the smart thing is to run the no-huddle when it’s good but don’t run it when it’s bad, but how do you know when it’s going to be good or bad? The Packers have made a commitment to it. It’s how they want to play. It’s the personality they want their offense to have. I don’t believe in plan and quit. I believe in plan and execute.
Grant from New Liskeard, ON
This team seems to have the talent, yet, Coach McCarthy seems perplexed as to why the team is struggling to get going. Is it a lack of hunger?
It’s not a lack of hunger, and Coach McCarthy isn’t perplexed as to why the team is struggling. Read the stories I did from yesterday’s game here and here. Coach McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers stood in front of the media after the game and told you exactly what the problem is: The Lions invited the run and the Packers couldn’t run it. What do you think my buddy Mel Tucker is going to do next week at Soldier Field? Do you think he’s going to play some “Cover Two” and dare the Packers to run the ball? He absolutely will. The Packers know it and they know they have to fix their running game or suffer the same consequences. There was nothing genius about the Lions’ defensive game plan. They saw the Packers struggling to run the ball, so they made the Packers run the ball. My inbox is full of fans that want to pass, pass, pass. The pass is always the solution. Why? It’s because watching quarterbacks such as Rodgers and Brett Favre for the last 22 years has made throwing the football look easy. Wanna throw it? Then run it.
Chris from Upland, CA
Vic, my positive take on yesterday’s game: Packers defense looked stellar.
If before kickoff I had said to you the Packers would hold Calvin Johnson to 82 yards receiving, Reggie Bush to 61 yards rushing and Matt Stafford to no touchdown passes and a 61.6 passer rating, and would intercept Stafford twice, would you have been confident in a Packers victory?
Joey from Slinger, WI
First time I’ve seen the defense outplay our offense like that in a while. Anyways, I never questioned Mike McCarthy’s play calling until the run on our one. How does he not stun people and call the play-action? Everyone knew we were running it. Or is it me being upset because it didn’t work?
It’s you being upset it didn’t work. Do you remember last year’s game in Detroit? Matt Flynn was sacked for a safety while attempting to pass out of his own end zone. The next day, my inbox was full of fans saying the Packers should’ve run the ball. It doesn’t matter what play you run if you don’t execute it; you have to block for it. Levy was unblocked. Besides, the Packers weathered the safety storm. They got out of the first half down five points. The outcome of the game was decided in the second half.
Lasse from Svendborg, Denmark
A lot of people are blaming Mike McCarthy for not attacking Detroit’s supposedly weak secondary. I don’t think that’s fair. To me it looked like the Packers receivers had a hard time getting open. I guess it’s hard to give credit to players you haven’t heard about. What did you see?
I saw receivers struggling to get open. I saw some guys come open quickly early in the second half when the Packers turned to the short-passing game, but I didn’t see guys come open for chunk plays. Jordy Nelson came open late on the pass to the sideline, but the problem with coming open late was that Rodgers was getting pressure early. Sound familiar? That was the Giants’ formula for beating the Packers in the 2011 playoffs: Rush four and drop seven. The Packers have got to get that eighth defender up in the box.
Brett from Green Bay, WI
Vic, did you get to see any of that crazy game in Seattle or the Sunday night game? What did you think?
I didn’t see the Broncos-Seahawks game. I was stunned when I found out the Broncos didn’t win. I watched the Steelers-Panthers game, until I couldn’t bear to watch any more penalties being called. Vic to league office: Please stop calling penalties; you are ruining the game.
Will from Seattle, WA
I don’t like being lied to, Vic, and I’ve been lied to about the caliber of this team. Three weeks in and nothing is different than the previous two seasons. What gives?
Nobody lied to you, Will. Come on, that’s too wimpy. You want a guarantee that it’s going to be better than it was – I’m not sure what was so bad about the previous two seasons – but there are no guarantees except one: You will lose. I guarantee every team in this league will lose.
Lewis from Seattle, WA
So the Yahoo main page has a picture of Rodgers on it and calls him the “Week 3 runaway loser.” Do those people have any pride left at all? It really didn’t look like it. Is Cobb even playing? Will the Packers find some more weapons? Will Rodgers get his accuracy back?
Will you please calm down? Lewis, if that kind of headline bothers you, then don’t read media that presents game coverage in that manner. That headline is meant to attract the casual fan. If you’re a hardcore fan, which I suspect you are, go to where you know coverage of the game will be measured, respectful and accountable. Know where to get your news. Avoid coverage that attempts to inflame you. It’s the easy way to get readers.
Eric from Chandler, AZ
Man, who would have thought? Through Week 3 and we’re happy with the defense’s play and scratching our head over the offense’s play. The bright side is it’s only Week 3 and Aaron Rodgers is the QB. I say if they can get through this brutal schedule up to the bye week at .500 or better, they’ll be in good shape. Lots of games in cold Green Bay after the bye to make a run at another division title. Cold weather helps the run game, right?
This isn’t about the weather, it’s about weathering the storm of a stiff opening schedule. If before the schedule was announced, but knowing who the Packers opponents would be, you had asked me what the Packers’ three toughest games of the season would be, I would’ve said at Seattle, at Detroit and at Chicago. I really mean that. As it turned out, they’re three of the first four games on the Packers’ schedule. The league has always liked to build little challenges into teams’ schedules. It makes for drama, good theater, as Pete Rozelle liked to call it. Coaches don’t like drama, but the league loves it.
Zack from Boca Raton, FL
Did you catch the Pittsburgh game, Vic? Ike Taylor is struck by his own player and appears to shatter every bone in his forearm. We likely just witnessed the last down of football he’ll ever play. They get him upright, Tomlin walks over, Ike leans his head toward him and Tomlin kissed his head. Nothing I have ever seen or will see can quite embody the fraternity of football like that moment.
It’s a great game, especially when it hurts. That’s when it feels the best.
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