Hey folks, Ryan Wood here. Coming to you live from ... the Detroit airport. Ready to take some of your questions during my layover returning to Green Bay. Let's get to them.
A lot to get here today, all very valid. No, there aren't many positives to take away from yesterday. Even the real, tangible silver linings -- Geronimo Allison is pretty good, it seems -- can be negated by the fact Jordy Nelson was better. (Sorry.) As for your question, there is only one explanation for why Daron Payne was not penalized for roughing Aaron Rodgers: referee Craig Wrolstad didn't see it. Wrolstad said as much to Rodgers on the field in a conversation picked up when his mic was left on during a timeout. He simply missed the call. Doesn't make you feel any better, I'm sure.
The troubling sign is that the defense appears to be regressing, as it did last year. The Packers defense looked awfully good in their opener last season against Seattle, just as they looked pretty good in this year's opener against Chicago. They were unable to sustain it last year, and they haven't sustained it the past two weeks. So if you say this looks familiar, you're not wrong.
The biggest problem this team has is what everyone predicted: a lack of pass rush. That manifests itself in the Packers inability to force turnovers. They've gotten three in the first three games, and only one (Nick Perry's strip sack against Mitch Trubisky) was forced). The other two were interceptions for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. On the first, Kirk Courins threw a perfect pass to an open Laquon Treadwell, and it bounced through his hands. Yesterday, tight end Jordan Reed did not finish an out route to the sideline, and Clinton-Dix was there for an easy pick. Those are unforced mistakes from the offense. They're plays a defense must make, but a good defense finds a way to force offenses into making turnovers, not merely capitalizing on gift-wrapped mistakes.
That's overreaching a bit, at least on Cobb. He's been really good in the first two games; the Packers will stay with him. As for Kendricks, perhaps the time is coming for Robert Tonyan to get more snaps. Kendricks struggled with drops all camp. To be fair, he's been fine other than the one drop yesterday, but that was a killer. If anything, Kendricks is closer to losing playing time than Cobb.
All things considered, you could argue Dom Capers was never really the problem... the personnel was. That was my argument last season, and I've seen nothing to suggest that idea was wrong. A defense without pass rushers isn't going to be effective. But that's a conversation for another time perhaps.
No. If nothing else, tie goes to the veteran. I've seen a lot of fans upset with Davon House, and I get that he had a bad DPI yesterday, but he's not the issue in the secondary. The safety play is.
Pete Dougherty had a column answering that question last week. It starts with a second-round pick, and probably includes a mid-rounder. But that's only half the solution. The other part is being willing to commit the kind of money it would take to sign Earl Thomas to a long-term deal. That seems unlikely for a safety whose best football is behind him at age 29.
For that to happen, the Packers would have needed to actually start out giving their run game a chance. Which they didn't. Not sure if it was Mike McCarthy or Aaron Rodgers, but when your best running back returns from suspension and averages 7 yards per carry but only gets six carries, that's a problem. Washington played a lot of one-high safety with off coverage, daring the Packers to throw underneath. So that's probably why the game plan was what it was. But any game plan should incorporate your best players, and Aaron Jones is one of their best players.
Getting a lot of McCarthy/hot seat questions. It's Week 4, guys. September isn't the time for that conversation. He's not getting fired early in the season, or even in the middle. We don't know where 2018 is headed, and until we do, I'm not making any rushed evaluations on McCarthy's job security. Just breathe.
My guess is Josh Jones will be back this week. He was upgraded to questionable last week, and he practiced for the first time. That said, he's going to have to play a lot better than last season if he's going to be the answer.
Well, that sounds like a plan.
Tough to answer. Aaron Rodgers is playing on an injury he probably shouldn't be playing on, so that sounds like a quick healer to me. He's shown he can be effective on it. So long as he can, he'll be out there.
There's probably a lot of truth in that.
Not enough difference makers, for sure. And a major part of the game -- the edge pass rush -- is bare.
Right on, fightin' Cardinals. I don't see the Packers sitting Aaron Rodgers so long as he's effective, and he has been. The gap between him and DeShone Kizer is too great, and these are games the Packers need to win.
What reporters don't do -- or at least not me -- is frame ideas based on hindsight. You're questioning Mike McCarthy for being too conservative and too aggressive. That's impossible; it's got to be either one or the other. If the Packers fail to make a deep playoff run, there will plenty of blame to go around. Not having a plan work in Week 2 or Week 3 does not a hot seat make.
First, Clay Matthews did adjust. Look at the hit, and he wraps Alex Smith higher than Kirk Cousins and lets go immediately to roll off. Still got the flag anyway. This is something that's been considered clean, textbook tackling his entire career. Plus, it's difficult. As he explained it yesterday, you're going full bore to the quarterback from his front. You're going to land on him.
I think the call was a complete mockery of the game of football. That's my thought.
Well, neither of them tackled well. Furthermore, Kentrell Brice has put on film his struggles playing the football. If he can't change that, teams will continue to go deep on him.
Think it's more likely Brian Gutekunst is back than Mike McCarthy. Also think it's premature to discuss the season going south after one loss.
It's always a balance. I haven't gone back and watched the plays you're referencing, so hard to say. Always important to play the ball, but it's a lot easier said than done.