September 17, 2021

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What are the toughest matchups vs. the Lions?

4 min read
What are the toughest matchups vs. the Lions?

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Hi Mike, I read on another media outlet that this was the 18th time that Aaron Rodgers has been named NFC offensive player of the week. How spoiled are we, that’s an outlandish number isn’t it?

Yeah, that’s pretty crazy. It’s his 13th year as a starter, and he’s missed a total of about one full season due to injuries. To average more than one per year over such a long period of time is impressive, to say the least.

Special teams, an issue with players or coaching? If its players, is it time to turn over a couple spots at the bottom of the roster or turn to starters? If coaching, what’s the end game because it’s hard to believe that ML will continue to tolerate this.

I’d be guessing if I were to tell you where more of the blame lies. But it doesn’t really matter. Things have to improve, and the current players and coaches have proven they can do better, so they should. The breakdowns have to stop.

This week’s referee is supposed to be Alex Kemp. Isn’t he known for calling a lot of penalties (see: Vikings at Packers, week 8)?

That sounds vaguely familiar. I would expect both teams to be on their guard if Kemp’s numbers have stayed high, though this year has been different with mixed crews on a weekly basis due to COVID, so it’s not like a normal year in terms of predicting or planning for that.

Hey Mike- thanks for taking the time to do this. How much of the offensive success do you think is due to LaFleur’s scheme and how much do you think is due to Rodgers’ adjustments at the line of scrimmage?

It’s plenty of both. The scheme gets guys open, and Rodgers goes through his progressions in rhythm. If he sees a bad look at the line, he’ll change it and it’s usually a good call. It’s been a productive partnership obviously. They trust one another and often know what each other is thinking.

Is this a new injury with Tyler Ervin or an old one continuing to dog him?

New things seem to keep popping up with Swerve on the injury list. He’s had a rough year in that regard. Seems likely we’ll see Tavon Austin’s GB debut on Sunday.

Mike, the only time I ever even consider pulling for the Vikings is either when they’re playing the Seahawks or this time of year when playoff positioning comes into play. So, Vikings or Bucs?

I’ll be writing about this in Path to the Playoffs, but it’s definitely better for the Packers if the Vikings lose. The only way the head-to-head loss to the Bucs will factor into the playoff seeding, assuming the Packers win the division (which they will with two more wins, or one win and a Vikings loss), is for the Bucs to win the South, and they’re three games back of New Orleans with four to play, same separation as in the North.

Hey Mike, how serious of considerations do you think OC N. Hackett is getting for HC? He’s certainly has had a successful year and shown the positive effect he can have on the atmosphere and energy of the team.

It’s really hard to say. Usually guys have to get on the interview circuit for a year or two before they end up landing that first head job. But I could definitely see more attention coming his way now.

Tough break for Billy Winn, considering all he’s been through to make it back. Is the assumption that the recent signing Anthony Rush will be active, any expectations for him?

Yeah, the acquisition of Rush turns out to be good timing given Winn’s injury. You hate to see that with Winn, like you said, someone who’s been through a whole lot to get back on the field and contribute. We’ll see what the next few weeks bring.

This is not at all criticism, I’ve really enjoyed watching the team this season. I’m curious on your thoughts that of the three games so far versus winning teams, that’s where two of the three losses have come from. We all know there are shortfalls on the team, how important will fixing those be to have success against the better teams in the league for the playoffs?

As I said in Inbox this morning, no team plays perfectly clean football, but the Packers have to start reducing the glaring mistakes — ones that appear highly preventable — now that we’re hitting the stretch run. The special teams returns, the fumbles, fourth-and-long breakdowns. That’s what they have to clean up. There are little errors in every game. Big errors are what get you beat against good teams in the playoffs.

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