This question’s for Spoff. When Wes used the phrase, “I’ve been covering the Packers long enough to know … ,” how old did that make you feel?
Old enough that it honestly didn’t bother me that much.
Dean from Leavenworth, IN
Time to turn the page. Through two weeks the Packers have the top offense in the league, but I’m still not convinced. Is the Packers’ offense this good or are the Vikings’ and Lions’ defenses that bad? Will Sunday’s opponent be a fair litmus test to answer the question?
It’ll be a better gauge, and the start of more stern tests I believe. It’s a small sample size through two weeks, but I think Green Bay’s next four opponents could all be better than their first two.
Scott from New Orleans, LA
The Packers didn’t draft for the present and were going to take a step back. The Saints drafted for the present and were legitimate Super Bowl contenders. After two weeks, I don’t think either of those statements was accurate. These two teams are evenly matched across the board, Hall of Fame QBs, dynamic RBs, and the list goes on. This game should be close and exciting to watch. How to you think these two teams match up?
Much like you say, but I take nothing away from the Saints. I think they’ve been the best team in the NFC the previous three seasons, even though they don’t have a Super Bowl appearance to show for it. They chalked up a huge division win over Brady in Week 1. Anybody can lose on the road in prime time – they’re the toughest games to win on any schedule, fans or no fans, and especially without a top-flight offensive weapon. It’s a task the Packers could face this week. Whether we see these two offenses at their best will depend on the injuries to Davante Adams and Thomas.
Joel from Fox Crossing, WI
If Davante Adams is unavailable could we see Aaron Jones at wideout?
The whole game? No. On a segment of snaps in certain packages? Absolutely.
Pete from Chippewa Falls, WI
Brees, perhaps more than most QBs because of his height and age and lack of mobility, does not do well when getting pressure up the middle. He threw an awful pick on Monday night against the Raiders at the end of the first half when the Raiders got pressure from the middle. Most of the Packers’ pressure comes from the edge rush. Do you think the Packers switch things up a bit to bring pressure from the middle to disrupt Brees?
Inside pressure is the hardest to generate but is usually the most disruptive, because the QB can’t step up. That’s what makes a guy like Kenny Clark so valuable. On third downs, Pettine usually has both Preston Smith, Za’Darius Smith and Rashan Gary on the field, with one of them rushing inside, most often Za’Darius. Inside pressure is an emphasis any game but no one can just snap the fingers and make it happen.
What aspect of the Monday night Raider game will the Packers be most interested in exploiting?
The Raiders had 30 rushing yards at halftime and finished with 116. That can’t be ignored. Also, the Saints had no answer for Darren Waller – 12 catches on 16 targets for 103 yards and a TD. The Packers don’t appear to have a tight end who presents the matchup issues Waller does, but there’s no doubt in my mind that performance got LaFleur thinking.
I understand the coaches’ fascination with being able to score last in the first half and first in the second half, but please, please, PLEASE give Aaron Rodgers the ball if you win the toss. Maybe you won’t need to score twice to get back in the game and the D can be pumped up by playing with a lead.
You’re focused on the psyche of the Packers, and that’s fine. But the psyche of the opponent when a team can double up like the Packers did Sunday takes a huge hit, bigger than any gained by an opening TD in my mind.
Curren from Edmonton, Alberta
Hey Mike/Wes, further to Wes saying that he’s confident the Packers “will find a way” to keep their guys in what is looking like a very tough offseason – I am not so sure. The team doesn’t appear to have that much cap to play with and in my opinion they will only be able to keep one or two of the following: Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, David Bakhtiari, Kevin King and Corey Linsley. I know these are questions for the offseason and to enjoy this season in the here in now, but sheesh that’s looking hard.
No question, and I don’t think Wes was talking about keeping all the guys you listed. I certainly don’t expect that. You can’t pay everybody. Nobody can. But I believe Bakhtiari and Jones are the priorities, and when those get done, you see what you can do about any of the others. I think that’s the way the Packers are approaching it.