July 30, 2021

Pro Football

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Nothing like a 21-point swing

4 min read
Nothing like a 21-point swing

What is the best season record for a coach in his rookie season in the NFL?

In the Super Bowl era, these are the best regular-season records by rookie head coaches: George Seifert, 1989 49ers (14-2, won Super Bowl); Don McCaffery, 1970 Colts (11-2-1, won Super Bowl); Red Miller, 1977 Broncos (12-2, lost Super Bowl); Jim Caldwell, 2009 Colts (14-2, lost Super Bowl); John Madden 1969 Raiders (12-1-1, lost AFL title game); Jim Harbaugh, 2011 49ers (13-3, lost NFC title game); Chuck Knox, 1973 Rams (12-2, lost in first round of NFC playoffs); Steve Mariucci, 1997 49ers (13-3, lost in NFC title game).

Adam from Toronto, Ontario

It sure looks like the NFC North will now be a two-pony race. I see Week 16 as the deciding game on who the Kings of the North will be. Thoughts gents?

Way too early to write off the Lions or Bears, but they’ve both lost a home division game now, and those are the difference in the race. They will get their opportunities to make up for them, though.

Hi Mike, would this be an appropriate time to remind us (without chortling) of how you told us during the preseason that it would take a bit of time for Rodgers to settle into Coach LaFleur’s offense? He looked to be running on all cylinders Sunday!

I don’t think anything I said was some earth-shattering prediction. I was just being a realist.

George from North Mankato, MN

There were a lot of positive things for the Packers in today’s game. The offense showed what it is capable of doing, the defense provided big plays when needed and JK Scott had another great day kicking the ball. What do you think needs to be cleaned up first going into the game with the Chiefs?

Aside from the defensive issues already mentioned, the Packers need to get more from their return game. Field position is even more critical on the road, and the Packers are playing four of their next five away from Lambeau. Starting three possessions after kickoffs at the 22-yard line or worse, with no penalties, isn’t close to good enough.

They say it’s a game of inches, not yards. On an 80-yard field the Raiders may have bested the Packers again. It’s what you do down by the goal line that matters. See the difference between this game and the tilt vs. the Eagles. Plus, it helps to have the quarterback who, if you give him an inch, will take a (quarter) mile. Is there anything that needs to be said other than “Wow”?

Even without the wow, your summary is a good one.

Frank from Lake Sherwood, MO

I don’t recall hearing a single lineman’s name all broadcast (though I have kids and may have missed a mention). It wasn’t even until the postgame presser that I remembered those studs have names. There’s five big compliments in this comment and I assume all of our O-linemen are comfortable with the lack of name drops on air.

Rodgers called it the “best pocket” he’s had all season. That says a ton. Rodgers has been good at avoiding pressure when it does come, but still, after the five sacks at Chicago in Week 1, seven sacks in the last six games. That’s just outstanding however it’s accomplished.

Thorben from Bochum, Germany

Great win today. On to the next one. Are you more disappointed that we won’t see a Mahomes vs. Rodgers matchup (and maybe never will), or more lucky that our next opponent is not at full strength on Sunday considering the Packers are dealing with their share of injuries to key players as well?

You make no apologies in this league. It’s unfortunate for football as a whole not to get Rodgers vs. Mahomes, and I’m glad for his sake the injury isn’t serious. I hope they meet again before the next scheduled one in 2023. But as far as Week 8 of 2019 goes, the Packers caught a break and have to take advantage.

Leandro from Lexington, KY

Is it just a genuine pleasure to write about performances like that?

I really had fun writing my postgame editorial, if I’m allowed to say so.

Just keep winning…just keep winning…


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