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October 6, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Kevin Seifert

Kevin Seifert
  (2:02 PM)

Hi everyone. Sorry I'm a bit late. Just catching up on a wild 36 hours here on the NFC North blog. Ok, let's get to it.

Mitchell (ND)

How good can green bay be with their offensive line?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:03 PM)

At this rate, they'll be a .500 team if they can't get this thing straightened out. Man, it was ugly last night.

scott (mn)

I thought when petterson was striped of the ball his foward progress was stoped and the ball should have come back to the vikings ... what do u think?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:03 PM)

I suppose that's technically true, but usually there has to be a much longer period of time before officials blow the whistle there.

ryan (dowagiac, mi)

do you think swatrz will have an answer for the teams second half woes? i have watched all 4 games and have yet to see the lions show up in the second half.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:05 PM)

You really have to question whether they're getting out-adjusted at halftime. It's a tough thing. Their initial game plans are working. So the tendency is to keep doing what they're doing in the second half. But the need to find a counter to what other teams are adjusting to. Sunday, for example, they didn't recover after the Bears switched back to a cover-2 defense. They needed to be able to run the ball against that look and they couldn't.

Matt (Chicago)

Hey Kev, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7... A-Rod, throw the dang ball! He didn't have outstanding line play, but he didn't help himself much either. Too high of expectations for this kis. How is Jay-Rod going now? Can we get a tally?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:07 PM)

That last question was about the Lions not playing well in the second half here. Looks like we're having some more technical difficulties.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:07 PM)

That last question was about the Lions not playing well in the second half here. Looks like we're having some more technical difficulties.

Darren Sharper (New Orleans)

Did the Vikings act prematurely in not resigning me? Surely Johnson is no where near the level I am playing at. As we saw last night, I think the safety position is about the biggest weakness on this Viking team with Jermichael Finley getting past the safties a few times.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:08 PM)

Good question. I think the mistake the Vikings made, if they made one, was not allowing Sharper to take risks and free-lance the way he had in Green Bay and the way he is now in New Orleans. He makes big plays by guessing and jumping routes. There really isn't room to do that in the Tampa-2 defense, because safeties have to protect half of the field.

Eric (Chicago)

Kevin, care to change one of your wild card picks from Green Bay to someone else? They won't make the playoffs, guaranteed! Also, how is it that GB is STILL ahead of the Bears in the power rankings? Makes no sense as the Bears are the lowest 3-1 team in the rankings with a couple of 2-2 or 2-1 teams ahead of them! BRUTAL!

August (Madison)

How much of GB's offensive line problems would be remedied by keeping Colledge/Spitz at LG/C and having TJ Lang directly back up Clifton? Colledge is clearly better at LG than LT.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:10 PM)

I'll say this: It's pretty clear that Colledge should only be an emergency left tackle. I also don't like the idea of disrupting multiple positions when one player gets hurt.

Doug Pretty (Waterloo, IA)

Afternoon Kevin. Apparently Jared Allen is a bus driver, because he took the Packers O-line to school! Seriously though, where does GB start in fixing that line?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:12 PM)

Funny stuff Doug. The issue is not only personnel, but also scheme. I can't see how it makes sense to let some of these guys go 1-on-1 with big-time pass rushers. They need to figure out a way to get these guys more help, either through tight end or running back chips. To a lesser degree, they also need help from Rodgers. He looks like his timing has been thrown off by all of this pressure. He's holding on to the ball too long and getting antsy in the pocket.

Alex (Bored in Law School)

How can the Vikings prevent a Favre fall after a hot start like last year?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:13 PM)

They'll need to make sure they're balanced up and down their roster. If he starts to falter, they have to be able to rely on the running game.

anthony (san antonio)

buyer beware of falling into the brett favre bandwagon-he played well for the jets at the beginning also, then he turned into marc bulger in the 2nd half of the seaon.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:13 PM)

Very true. Week 12 has been the turning point for him in each of the past four seasons.

Pat (Moorhead, Mn)

Hey Kevin I loved the article this morning about Rogers and how we should not be compared to Farve last night because his line gave him no chance whats so ever. I am a huge Vikings fan but just appreciated the open mindedness. One of my questions though is someone to confirm with me that the packers made the right call in challenging the fumble on the 1 yard line. By taking the safety it kept them within two possessions. Which is better then given the Vikings the ball on the 1 and letting them go up by 3 possessions. I got in an argument about it with a guy last night.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:15 PM)

Thanks Pat. I don't know if that's the way McCarthy intended it to go, but I was fine with it. The high likelihood was that the Vikings were going to end up with more than two points out of that possession -- either a field goal or a touchdown. It's true that the Packers then had to give possession back to the Vikings, but I didn't think it was a terrible turn of events by any stretch.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:15 PM)

Thanks Pat. I don't know if that's the way McCarthy intended it to go, but I was fine with it. The high likelihood was that the Vikings were going to end up with more than two points out of that possession -- either a field goal or a touchdown. It's true that the Packers then had to give possession back to the Vikings, but I didn't think it was a terrible turn of events by any stretch.

Randy Gerbschmidt (Chippewa Falls, WI)

Have you spoken to my brother Carl lately. He wandered off after the game last night, and I am getting worried about him. He might have had too much to drink last night.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:16 PM)

Something tells me Carl will surface by, say, early November.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:16 PM)

Something tells me Carl will surface by, say, early November.

Eric (Chicago)

Kevin, you never answered the Green Bay wild card question.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:17 PM)

Part of technical difficulties I think I've figure out. ... It's early to rule out the Packers. I would say through four games the Bears have played better, but the Packers have time to work things out. But it's going to take some soul searching and a willingness to shake things up mid-season.

JT (Nashville)

Where would you rank the Lions offense? middle of the pack? top third maybe?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:18 PM)

I think they have a lot of firepower. I'm not a huge fan of their offensive line, but from a skill position perspective, they're definitely in the top half of the NFL.

Shaggy (Boulder, CO)

Jared Allen to Minnesota for a first rounder. Most underrated trade in the last 10 years?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:19 PM)

Don't forget the third-round pick. But I'd say he's been worth it. He's got 20.5 sacks in his first 20 games with the Vikings.

Nate (austin)

I'm tired of hearing people say that Brett Favre will falter in the second half of the season...First, his arm is healthy. Second, Chilly has him on a pitch count,. And third, he will be playing in a dome this year. What do you think?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:20 PM)

I don't think the pitch count applies to the regular season, first of all. And I think the indoors/outdoors thing has only been part of his troubles at the end of the past four seasons. I would say it's something to closely monitor.

Terry (western WI)

How does a professional football team get itself into the Right Tackle situation that the Packers are in right now and how do they get themselves out of it now?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:21 PM)

To me, there's no excuse. Tauscher was injured in December and the Packers had plenty of time to come up with a replacement plan. It's clear that a competition between Allen Barbre and Breno Giacomini was not the solution. And to not have a better backup plan for Chad Clifton, who is 33 and had four surgeries in the offseason, is also up for criticism. As for getting themselves out of it, there's not much they can do other than adjust the scheme to protect some of the personnel weaknesses.

Josh (Atlanta)

If you are the Vikings how do you choose between Jaymar Johnson and Darius Reynaud? Both look to be great in the return game and I would love to see one of them in some 4 Wr packages as they can both scoot.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:22 PM)

I like Reyanaud over Johnson. More of a big-play guy.

Jason (Chicago)

Hi Kevin, the Bears running game showed a bit of life on Sunday, do think it will improve the rest of the season, I personally think the "bye week" will help them workout on it more?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:23 PM)

I think the Bears would like to see some more consistency but 61- and 37-yard runs can make up for a lot. It would be really, really surprising if a team with a quarterback like Jay Cutler doesn't eventually get some favorable looks for running the ball.

Tony (Orlando)

Kevin - As a longtime Lions fan (really), I remember when they would win games because of stellar special teams and lose games because of other ineptitudes. How long before Stan Kwan is gone (Schwartz's Steinbrennar comment notwithstanding)?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:25 PM)

Yeah, that was interesting. I was actually a bit surprised that Kwan was held over from the previous staff. Nothing personally against him, but I don't know that he was established enough to be considered a locked-in employee. I didn't leave that game thinking the Lions lost because of their special teams, but obviously Schwartz is locked in on that.

bj (the nati)

why have the packers completely changed the way they come after the quarterback? they pressured jay culter like crazy, and since then haven't even tried to rush the passer. why dial it down so much?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:26 PM)

I have no idea, and a couple players were wondering about that, too -- Charles Woodson among them. It looked like they were focused in on stopping Adrian Peterson, which they did, but even in obvious passing downs they weren't blitzing much. No explanation.

Rich (Delaware)

Minnesota clearly looked like the better team last night, but only won by 7 and had to come up with 2 on-side kicks...I have never been a fan of Chilly....this game should have been over much sooner.....your thoughts?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:28 PM)

I felt like it was the Vikings' best game under Childress until the middle of the fourth quarter. You're right, they let the Packers get down the field far too quickly and made a game that wasn't close from a physical sense get close on the scoreboard. I really can only question one play: The long third-down pass to Berrian. A run there would have taken more time off the clock.

C09 (D.C)

I am trying really hard to get your opinion on Devin Hester's potential in the Bears offense, using different names, wording it differently, etc. Here goes one more time :)

Kevin Seifert
  (2:29 PM)

Patience, patience. I'm of the opinion that there isn't going to be a so-called No. 1 receiver in the Bears' offense. That doesn't appear to be the way Cutler operates. He'll throw it to anyone, as long as they're open and he trusts them. And in terms of relationships on the field, it looks like he's locked in with Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox at this point.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:29 PM)

Patience, patience. I'm of the opinion that there isn't going to be a so-called No. 1 receiver in the Bears' offense. That doesn't appear to be the way Cutler operates. He'll throw it to anyone, as long as they're open and he trusts them. And in terms of relationships on the field, it looks like he's locked in with Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox at this point.

Dylan (Urbana)

Is there any other free agent OT for GB other than Tauscher?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:30 PM)

I think Jon Runyan is out there still, right? But that wouldn't be a Ted Thompson move.

Alec (Richmond VA)

Does Adrian Peterson need to enroll in the Tiki Barber School of Football Protection this offseason? He seems to have all the strength in the world; it's gotta come down to mechanics, right?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:31 PM)

Absolutely. I do think he causes some of that on his own because he's so hard to tackle. That gives defenders longer to poke and prod. But he's got to find a way to lock that ball against his chest, or he's got to let himself get tackled in those situations. One or the other.

Matt (Chicago)

Jay-Rod -- It's obvious that Cutler is the better quarterback right now, right? Please don't give me the canned GB offensive line woes. Chicago's offensive line has been subpar all year.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:32 PM)

I suppose if you look at it strictly based on this week, sure. I think the big problem with Rodgers right now, if there is one, is that this constant pressure seems to have gotten in his head and fiddled with his time clock. He doesn't look like he knows when he needs to throw the ball from the pocket.

Oziel (Houston)

Who would you start after the bye, Hillenmeyer or Roach in the middle?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:33 PM)

After what I saw Sunday, Hillenmeyer. Roach could play a role, but he didn't look that comfortable dropping into the deep middle of the coverage. That's part of why the Lions had so many receivers running wide open down the seam.

Nick (Iowa City, IA)

About your Darren Sharper remarks, Sharper seemed to still be ball hawking enough in Minnesota. It seemed he always had a number of picks, or at least in his first few years at Minnesota

Kevin Seifert
  (2:34 PM)

That was under the previous defensive scheme with Ted Cottrell. Sharper's interception totals dropped when the Vikings changes to a Tampa-2 scheme under Childress/Tomlin in 2006.

Anthony (Chicago)

Kevin, I've heard some people knock on Forte on Sunday that having 2 runs equal 98 yards saying he got majority of his yardage on just those 2 runs, however, I look at it and say I would rather have 2 runs where he gets hit twice rather than 9 runs for 10 yards and getting 9 different times. Thoughts?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:35 PM)

Right. That's the big difference between 10 6-yard runs and one 60-yard run. They cover the same ground. It would be nice to have more consistency, but at least in this game they got the end-result production.

Josh (L.A.)

How does GB make the decision to hand over the keys to the franchise to Rodgers and do nothing to keep him protected? The o-line was disgraceful, the d was passive. Is this a TT personnel evaluation issue or a coaching/schematic issue? Or worse, both?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:36 PM)

I'd put most of it on the personnel side. I suppose this is all hindsight, but it doesn't appear that entering the season with Allen Barbre and Chad Clifton as their tackles was a good decision.

John (Texas)

Do you think Sidney Rice has the potential to be a true number 1 receiver?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:37 PM)

I don't know if he has the deep speed to qualify there, but he's creating a great role for himself as a possession receiver who is big enough to break tackles in the open field.

Nathan (San Diego)

Right now, who's the best team in the NFC?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:38 PM)

It's a race between Minnesota, New Orleans and the Giants. I'll take New Orleans just to rile people up.

tomwit nj [via mobile]

I hate the NFC North and would rather pluck out my eyes than read any thing you wrote. That being said,have a nice day.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:40 PM)

I have that effect on people. Have a nice day yourself.

SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)

I've been really impressed with Percy Harvin. Minnesota has something special right there and do the Bears it seems with Johnny Knox. That said, what's happening with Jennings in GB. The guy has been a ghost all year.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:41 PM)

I don't know if he's been a ghost, but he's getting the attention he deserves to get as a big-time receiver. He's not always going to get the chance to just run by people.

rob (albany)

YOUR SUCH A HOMER. saying forte needs more consitincy when all peterson does is 3,3,4,2,1,1,2,3,67,2,1,2,35,2,3. same thing!!

Kevin Seifert
  (2:43 PM)

Simmer. I said it would be nice to have more consistency but that I have no problem with a 121-yard day no matter how it plays out.

Josh (L.A.)

Does this mean that GB will finally give up on the zone blocking which does not seem to work so well and go back to power blocking which seemed to work much better for them when used?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:44 PM)

I think that's more of a factor in the run game than the pass. Either way, it would be very difficult to make that change during the season. I'm talking about taking a different approach to how many people they keep in to block on pass plays.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Can't argue against you picking the Saints at all. The Vikes are very good but they've showed more kinks against decent teams than the Giants and Saints. You just cannot allow such open space in the middle of the field on defense.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:45 PM)

Thanks J.B. I think some of us are waiting for the inevitable crack in the Saints defense, but to this point we haven't seen it.

John (Wyoming)

At the quarter mark of the year what has been the most surprising thing you've taken out of the NFC North.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:47 PM)

Good one. I'd have to say I'm surprised at how bad the Packers offensive line has been. I know we've already talked about it extensively, but after the way Rodgers sailed through the preseason with no sacks, I guess I didn't see this coming. Just another lesson, I guess, about ignoring the preseason.

Nick (Chicago)

I know you said in your post last night that the vikings were clearly the class of the NFC North...but are they really that much better than the Bears? The stats don't lie. They had two common opponents, the combined record of all of their opponents so far is 6-10 for both teams.Minnesota 4-0 PF 118 PA 80 38 DiffChicago 3-1 PF 105 PA 78 27 DiffThey seem closer than you might think.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:50 PM)

That's a fair argument. And I think that victory over Pittsburgh is going to keep looking better and better for the Bears. Too bad we have to wait until Thanksgiving weekend to see this matchup on the field!

tj houshmandzadeh (seattle)

Boy did i make the wrong decision....

Kevin Seifert
  (2:51 PM)

You didn't know Favre would have been the quarterback. But based on the way Sidney Rice has played, and the fact that your decision prompted the drafting of Percy Harvin, maybe it wasn't such a bad thing for the Vikings.

Craig G. (Fairfield, California)

Hey Kevin, who is the best tight end in the division in your opinion?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:53 PM)

This is a discussion we'll be having all year long. This week, at least, it was Jermichael Finley.

SteveFitz (Cicero, IL)

I gotta hand it to Marinelli. I was skeptical about what kind of job he can do to the same D line that did nothing last year. He's a magic worker with defensive line. Even Mark Anderson has been showing glimpses of his rookie year. Very very nice to see. That said, your thought on O-Gun. He has 4 and a half sacks and is in the final year of his contract. I also believe he's 32. If he finishes with 15 or more sacks will it be hard for the Bears to let him walk?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:56 PM)

Yeah, Brad Biggs of the Sun-Times looked at the contract options that Ogunleye is creating for himself. I think there's a long way to go, but the bottom line is that people will always pay for pass rushing, no matter how old you are.

Doug Pretty (Waterloo, IA)

Just want to wish one of the main commenters in the blog postings, BlutosPackers, a speedy recovery from a car accident this weekend. His truck was struck by a semi, and while he's banged up he's still blogging away from the hospital. Good thoughts and chocolates coming your way man, even if you are a Packer fan ;)

Kevin Seifert
  (2:57 PM)

Consider it done. Get better Blutos!

Chris (Milwaukee)

What are you going to be for Halloween?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:57 PM)

A biased blogger.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:57 PM)

A biased blogger.

Ron Burgundy (San Diago)

Kevin, you seem to be under attack a bit today. I'd recommend that you wield a trident when chatting.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:58 PM)

Yes, this thing has escalated in a hurry.

Tom (Chicago, IL)

How about those 2 onside kicks by Crosby? They were unsucessful but they were the 2 best I think I've ever seen. Shocking that the Packers didn't even get a hand on either ball.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:59 PM)

Yeah, they got the bounce they needed. But Sidney Rice is 6-4 with some ups. Someone needed to hit him before he got in the air.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:59 PM)

OK everyone, thanks so much for chatting today. Chat with you next week!