Hey folks, welcome to today's live chat. Packers finally righted their ship yesterday with a win against their arch rival Bears, a game they absolutely had to win to be taken seriously the rest of the season. At 5-4, it will be interesting to see where their season goes from here. Let's get to your questions.
My goodness, Packers fans are relentless. Not sure how much we can glean from the big picture with what happened in Chicago. What yesterday showed was less about the Packers defense, and more about how much easier it is defending a rookie QB instead of Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford. As for Dom Capers' future, my answer hasn't changed since last week.
The original best-case scenario we reported, according to orthopedic experts, was 10 weeks. That would put Aaron Rodgers on track to return Week 16 against the Minnesota Vikings. At minimum, I think the Packers need to be 7-7 at that point, which is doable but unlikely. The best way to get there would be wins against Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Cleveland. Hard to see the Packers beating the Steelers or Panthers, both games coming on the road. Of the three winnable games, Baltimore will probably be toughest to beat. So this week could be big.
Because the play is protected within the rules of the game, so long as the offensive player doesn't grab the facemask.
Saw a quote somewhere that MIke McCarthy said after the game he wasn't planning to challenge the play, citing it's difficult to get good replays as the road team. If you haven't seen the play, it certainly appears the officials could have gotten the overturn wrong as well. Benny Cunningham's left toe appeared to drag across the sideline before he lost contact with the football, which would have ended the play. At the very least, it seemed inconclusive enough that the call on the field should stand. With that said, it was probably the most unfortunate outcome to a team's own replay I've ever seen, and it was ill-advised because it was clear Cunningham did not have a touchdown.
The Packers obviously get value from him being on the sidelines, but I'm not sure if he's the only injured player who travels.
It's going to come down to what the Packers can prove, namely whether Martellus Bennett concealed an injury before signing his contract. It seems to me that might be difficult to prove. I don't think him playing last night proves he concealed an injury. The only thing irrefutable at this point is he quit on his former team.
No, Justin McCray is a stop gap. In fact, I'd expect Jason Spriggs to start at right tackle this week when he returns from IR. Justin McCray is a guard, and he's played better at right tackle than anyone could have predicted. I know Pro Football Focus didn't give him a good grade yesterday, but I don't recall noticing him much short of the one sack he allowed. For an emergency solution, that's awfully good production. But he remains an emergency solution, and the Packers have a true tackle returning this week in Spriggs.
My wife says Ringo, because he doesn't get enough credit. And she knows more about the Beatles than me.
Maybe? But he'd probably be hard to find. The Captain of Fun lasted half a season. One thing that has struck me is that Martellus Bennett was the player who penned the statement asking fans to show unity in September ... and then that happened.
That totally depends, though, on whether Aaron Rodgers can return or not. With Rodgers, this will always be one of the best teams in the NFL, and they'll have a shot in the postseason whether they're 9-7 or 13-3. If there is zero chance Rodgers can return this season, then I see the long-term merit in getting the best draft pick possible, and using this offseason to rebuild the roster.
It was Mike McCarthy's play calling before Sunday, and it still isn't. The quarterback made plays. The same plays that were there to be made prior to Chicago. The difference was a young QB who showed improvement.
Youth league isn't professional sports. There's a long-term picture that doesn't exist at lower levels. If Aaron Rodgers can't return this season, the Packers won't win the Super Bowl in February but very well could next season. So I understand where the tankers are coming from.
The Packers need to draft a tight end with a premium pick (first three rounds) this spring, but they've needed to most of their recent history, and mostly haven't. Their last premium-round pick was a 2014 third rounder on Richard Rodgers. So I wouldn't expect them to do it.
I don't think you can say there's a "clear" talent difference between 2010 and 2017. That 2010 team was a sixth seed in the NFC and depleted with injuries. With Rodgers this season, the Packers were 4-1 with wins at Dallas and against Seattle. I didn't think they were going to lose for a long time. They were going to contend for the top overall seed. Not saying this team is more talented than the 2010 roster. The 2010 team was much better in the secondary and on the edge, but overall I don't see a clear talent difference between the two teams.
You could use the same logic for why John Fox shouldn't have challenged. As for Benny Cunningham, he said after the game he's coached not to extend the ball there, as are all RBs. But it's difficult for a guy with the football who wants to make a play and sees the pylon within reach not to go for it. That's where discipline is extremely difficult.
I think the key word is consistently. It's not that Brett Hundley can't throw deep, or that he can't have crisp timing with his release, or he can't make all his reads, or he can't stay composed in the pocket and sense the rush without staring at it. It's that he hasn't done it consistently, and that's what a starting quarterback needs to do. With that said, yesterday was a definite step in the right direction. Hundley is young, and it's too early to know what he can be as a quarterback.
I mostly agree. I think Davante Adams is an excellent No. 2. There are teams he would be a No. 1, especially with the right QB, but he's not an ideal No. 1. Adams probably isn't quite a top 10 receiver, but he's close. I wouldn't expect him to get elite-level money, but who knows with the NFL's constantly escalating cap.
I'm not sure they can get it fixed this season, but if there's any chance it comes from gaining some chemistry, especially with the field-goal battery. Keep in mind, the Packers are working on their third long snapper and a rookie holder, after years of the same snapper (Brett Goode) and holder (Tim Masthay) to complement Mason Crosby. Right now, the field-goal battery looks like they haven't been around each other much, because they haven't. The Packers won't be able to completely simulate the chemistry Goode, Masthay and Crosby had, but they should improve each week. As bad as the bobbled snap was at the end, there were other things they can build on, including a 50-yard make. As for the special teams in whole, the penalties have to come down.
Usually it's best to lock up those guys in the season, but that doesn't mean it always happens. Sometimes the Packers lock up their guys days before hitting the open market, like Randall Cobb and Bryan Bulaga in the spring of 2015. Usually, that means the price tag will be more expensive. There's still time this season to get a deal done. I would think Adams would a higher in-season priority than Burnett.
Integrity means doing what's best for the health and success of the franchise. Usually that means winning games, but not always. That's reality in professional sports. Now, if you were to ask me, I don't think the Packers are at a point yet where tanking is better for them than winning. Could they reach that point sometime before their finale in Detroit? Certainly.
Yes, especially with Ty Montgomery's injury as well.