March 1, 2021

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What makes the Falcons dangerous?

4 min read
What makes the Falcons dangerous?

Hi Mike, I recently saw a comment that Oren Burks has taken some snaps at outside linebacker. Is there any validity to that?

Yes, that’s where he was playing Sunday night after Gary went out. It appears the Packers are trying him at a new position on defense. He’s still a regular on special teams, and a darn good player in that phase.

I wrote in last week with the opinion that we’ll need our tight ends to make a leap in the passing game. And boy did they ever! Congrats to all three who were involved on Sunday, especially Robert Tonyan. You called it!

It was interesting the Raiders gashed the Saints with their star TE, Waller, and then the Packers were able to get a big collective impact from their unit in very different ways… a lot more horizontal stuff off the boots, and just a couple of downfield throws. 100-plus yards and two TDs is major production, whether it’s from one guy or a group at the same position.

Asked as a greedy fan: Why only two Packers Unscripted SDS a week? Is it too time consuming with the COVID protocols and all? As the not so greedy fan: Thanks to you, Wes and your Team for every edition you produce.

Without being able to just walk into the studio, sit down at the set, and turn on the cameras, it’s a more involved production, and our producer has additional responsibilities with all the different stuff going on this year. So two episodes per week is the best we can do right now.

Team to beat in the NFC? My pick is the Seahawks.

Russell Wilson is off to a phenomenal start. So is Aaron Rodgers. The Rams are a whisker away from 3-0. And there are multiple 2-1 teams that look darn good. The NFC race is going to be phenomenal.

What’s the biggest challenge of covering a game from watching on television Michael? I feel like sport writers don’t get enough credit for what they have to do in 20-20.

In addition to what I said earlier, you also don’t get to see what’s going on along the sideline, or who’s coming in and out of the huddle as far as personnel groups. From a press box view, you can look at what you want. On TV, you’re limited by where the camera is.

Mike, after Tonyan getting TDs in 2 straight, do you think he will be the go to TE moving forward?

There certainly appears to be something developing between him and Rodgers, but I still think it’s going to be about that group collectively. Josiah Deguara was in there right away Week 1. Jace Sternberger bounced back after the drops vs. Detroit. Lewis caught a TD pass. All those guys are going to play when they’re healthy.

Read a Sage Rosenfels article a few years ago about struggling teams pushing too hard to right the ship and making more mistakes. What do the Packers need to emphasize to keep Atlanta struggling?

The Packers just need to keep focusing on their own game. Stay sharp on offense, limit penalties and negative plays. That’s been a good formula, and they’re converting 50 percent on third down, up from 36 percent last year. That’s huge. Defensively, I already mentioned just hanging in there, being more sound with the tackling, and make a big play when it counts.

Well, 1st game is postponed due to COVID (Steelers-Titans); any idea how they plan to make up these games?

It sounds like they’re hoping to make up the Steelers-Titans game Monday or Tuesday. If it ends up being Tuesday, that puts both teams in a tough spot for the next game. But things are going to come up this season that will be unfair. I think the league has accepted that and the hope is to have as little disruption as possible at the possible expense of overall fairness.

My daughter goes to Wyoming and we saw Josh Allen play there. It was obvious he had all the tools to be a star. Could the Bills finally unseed the Patriots?

Buffalo is going to be in that race all year. The Bills were a wild-card team last year and are aiming for a division title. The Patriots are playing well with Newton. The two matchups between those teams this year should be entertaining battles.

If the Saints decided to double cover Lazard, do you think MVS would have been the star of Sunday night’s game?

Rodgers has been taking what the defense gives him. If you look at those bootleg plays (go to the latest Rock Report if you wish), there are multiple levels, multiple options for Rodgers to throw to. Deep, intermediate, short. The short guy, that TE coming across the formation, has been open right from the jump every time, so Rodgers just gets it to him. The downfield guys are covered, but it’s opening up other avenues.

I see 3 pro-bowlers in the Packers O-line.

Me, too, but with Elgton Jenkins being in his second year, the recognition may not come just yet. The voting process usually takes a bit to catch up.

All right folks, I’m going to call it a chat and sign off. Thanks again for the participation. Enjoy the rest of your week and we’ll talk again soon. Best, Mike

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