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October 16, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Kevin Seifert

Kevin Seifert
  (1:00 PM)

Hi everyone. Thanks for arriving early.

Floyd (Cubeville)

There are as many teams in the NFC North with a record > .500 as there all in all the AFC. Thoughts on the strength of the NFC compared to the little brothers on the other side of the league?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:02 PM)

It just tells me how difficult it's going to be for two NFC North teams to make the playoffs, let alone three. Will really put a premium on the division title this year.

Ha1ry1 (Milwaukee, Wi)

Seeing that everyone seems to be making a big deal in Chicago about the Bears record and considering the won loss records of the teams that they have beat 8-13. Where do you actually think they are in terms of winning this division?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:03 PM)

Oh, they're very much in the thick of it. I don't care how good or bad the Cowboys are. Going into their place on a Monday night and smoking them is impressive. And then they smoked the Jags on short rest. Maybe the Cowboys and Jags aren't Super Bowl contenders, but the Bears are playing well.

Blake (MI)

With Jahvid Best season done and possibly career, what FA backs do you think the Lions could pursue in the offseason to fit the Best role? If Chris Johnson has another subpar season would the Titans drop him? Maybe a Felix Jones?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:05 PM)

I'm not sure if they've gotten to that point yet. But they're going to have a tight salary cap situation for the foreseeable future. I wouldn't expect them to, as a rule, be able to reach out and sign many veteran free agents anytime soon.

Jon (Colorado)

Should the Lions really be proud to have their "bad guy" swagger back? Isn't that what causes them to be the least disciplined team in the league, essentially becoming the new Bengals? It's just going to blow up in their faces again when someone gets ejected or a personal foul costs them a game.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:06 PM)

Yeah, I wonder if Nate Burleson was wise to use that term. They need to have the kind of swagger to be able to keep fighting in games until the end, but having swagger is not the same as being undisciplined and piling up pre- and post-whistle penalties.

Ryan (Dowagiac, MI)

It puzzles me that Ryan Broyles still is getting more playing time. The Lions passed on some pretty good cornerbacks to take him in the second round so that he could play the slot position which is the middle of the field and the underneath routes. That is exactly what the opposing defenses continue to give them. So my question is why don't the Lions try to quiet the critics and play this kid in the role that he supposedly excels at. Let him go make plays in the part of the field where his strengths can take advantage of what the defense gives them. Your thoughts Kevin?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:07 PM)

That definitely makes sense on paper. But I don't think the Lions would intentionally sit on a weapon that could help them. Their judgment must be that he isn't going to be an immediate help, at least not in the first half of the season. From the start, though, we all viewed that pick as a long-term decision.

Frank Risso (Toll Booth)

Dont get too excited. Packers are still in 3rd place in the division.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:08 PM)

Shhhhhhhhhhhh!

ryan (mn)

was the defense the vikings played sunday a fluke or more of a return to normal

Kevin Seifert
  (1:09 PM)

They have had trouble with quarterbacks who can break the pocket. RGIII and Andrew Luck both did that to them. Alex Smith, Matthew Stafford, Blaine Gabbert and Matt Hasselbeck did/could not.

Scooter, minny [via mobile]

Simpson said he was ready to play on sunday what happened?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:10 PM)

It sounds like Leslie Frazier didn't like the way he was practicing. Simpson wasn't happy about it, but you would imagine they'll be on the same page this week.

justin (ky)

Kevin, with Delmas back and the Lions playing angry with the team getting their swagger back I can see them going on a win streak that verry well may be better then last years what do you think

Kevin Seifert
  (1:11 PM)

I don't know. They've got two victories this year, and both needed fourth-quarter comebacks. That's not a recipe for long-term success. A lot to clean up there.

Rock (Chicago)

The whole Jahvid Best situation seems fishy. Waiting an entire year to clear someone from a concussion? One rumor out there was that the Lions are helping him finish a 3rd season so that he's eligible for the NFL pension. In a league where players are cut left and right without regards for their well-being this seems incredulous. The conspiracy theorists are tying this to the NFL concussion lawsuits. What are you hearing?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:12 PM)

I understand why there are conspiracy theories because a lot remains cloaked in the shadows. We don't know the medical details of where he was, where is and where he needs to go in order to be cleared. If anything, the concussion lawsuits are going will make it harder for the Lions to clear him, not encourage them to keep this going.

Grizzly Adams (Washington DC)

Kev! Thanks for hosting these chats. So what do the Packers need to do to carry their new-found momentum forward -- starting with this week at St. Louis? We can't always face unbeaten teams, on the road, in prime-time to find our mojo...

Kevin Seifert
  (1:13 PM)

If you're a Packers fan and want them to keep winning, start ripping them and questioning whether they're as good as everyone thought. Call in to radio shows, write your congressman or local analyst. It seems the Packers do their best work when the think everyone is counting them out. Aaron Rodgers is a master manipulator of the shoulder chip.

Chad Greenway (MSP)

Did you see me get tackled as RGIII flew by me on his 3rd down run?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:13 PM)

Heard about it. Win some, lose some.

Rock (Chicago)

Lions win over Eagles: Proves Lions are getting back on the right track or just a win over an equally questionable team?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:14 PM)

It proves they are in every game they play in as along as Stafford is the quarterback. But again, that's not a sustainable form of winning over time. They have a lot to clean up.

Dan (Detroit)

Do you think the Lions will get hammered again at Soldier Field or are you expecting a close game?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:15 PM)

A big part of that game last year was Stafford's broken finger, which absolutely played a role in his interceptions. The finger isn't broken anymore as far as I know.

Cody (USD (University of South Dakota))

The Packers offense is clearly still the best in the NFL. 6 passing TDs against the best the AFC had to offer? Please.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:16 PM)

Can't argue with the performance. Next step: Consistency.

jwlagina (Okemos)

How long before Reiff edges out one of the current starters on O-line?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:17 PM)

I think that's a big step to take. They used him a lot as an extra tight end, and he's good at that. But it's going to depend more on how Backus and Cherilus play. Reiff isn't getting on the field as a tackle unless one of them gets hurt or deserves to be benched.

gsr1197 (Michigan)

What are the chances that Green Bay ends up cutting Finley in the offseason, with his criticisms of Rodgers and his propensity to dropping the ball?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:18 PM)

I guess it's not completely out of the question, but if it happened it would be more for the latter than the former. For better or worse, I don't think many people in Green Bay take what he says seriously. His quotes draw more attention nationally, but if they haven't caused a problem yet within the Packers, they won't now.

david (paris)

hey kevin, are the packers in trouble at ILB?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:19 PM)

We would have thought that two years ago and last year, and they made it through. The pressure is now on A.J. Hawk to be an everydown player again -- base nickel, dime, etc.

KING Kevin (Fandom)

Packers were obviously smart not trading James Jones earlier this year. Now with Jennings though in his last year of the contract wouldn't it be smart to move on and get something now for him. They just had their best game offensively and it was without him.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:22 PM)

My guess is they won't trade Jennings for the same reason they didn't trade Jones: You never know when you're going to need that depth. Even in an established franchise, everyone is year-to-year.

gsr1197 (Michigan)

What is the deal with James Jones??? The guy drops the easy catches, but has made two unbelievable catches the past three weeks. Has he finally turned the corner to becoming a legitimate #2 receiver?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:22 PM)

I've been really impressed with him. You can accept some of the drops if they're also accompanied by some catches that usually aren't made.

Generic Eric (Anywhere in MN)

Ponder is the future! Ponder horrible! Ponder rules! Ponder is the worst! Ponder is the greatest!Ponder will just be another Culpepper, great sometimes and bad others. I don't want another Culpepper.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:24 PM)

I agree there has been some hysterical observations about him on both sides of the spectrum already this season. Here's what we can say: He's improved enough that the franchise can reasonably trust he'll be their quarterback for multiple years.

Jimmy (Chicago)

Wow was Delmas a difference maker. Completely different defense when he's on the field

Kevin Seifert
  (1:25 PM)

Agree. He has a way of getting other people to play frenetically. No coincidence they doubled their takeaway total with him in the game.

Glenn (East Troy, WI)

Are the Lions feeling the effects of not getting an impact player in the first two rounds of the draft?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:26 PM)

Their secondary has looked thin, especially at cornerback. They did draft Bill Bentley, but the Broyles pick in the second round will be subject to scrutiny for a while.

Jon (Chicago)

If Detroit finding their "bad boy" swagger means getting 16 penalties in a game, then this Bears fan is more than happy to let them be bad boys.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:26 PM)

Exactly.

kimberly (wi)

Good afternoon Kevin, My question is what is the injury status to Nick Perry and Sam sheilds?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:27 PM)

Neither of them have long-term injuries, it doesn't appear. Whether they play against the Rams, though, hasn't been determined.

Noah (St. Paul, MN)

Assuming the the Vikings are without a deep threat for much of the remaining season given Jerome Simpson's uncertain injury status, can Christian Ponder be effective with short to intermediate passing? It appeared that he regressed in accuracy vs. the Redskins. Schematically, what else could the Vikings do to keep defenses from crowding the box?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:27 PM)

Maybe more play-action. I'd have to check the numbers, but that is usually a traditional way for run-oriented teams to get favorable looks downfield.

Nolan (La Crosse, WI)

Kevin it's good to be back... Thought Casey Hayward had the most eye opening display in Sunday's game. Is about time the Packers move him into a starting role?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:28 PM)

It might happen anyway if Shields is going to miss any time.

Bryan (New York)

Do you think the Lions running game with Leshoure ever gets to the point this year of bringing the safeties in so the downfield passing game returns?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:29 PM)

Doubtful with any frequency. But as he runs the rust off, he should be able to take better advantage of the holes that are left when safeties are deep.

Jimmy (Chicago)

Do you think Stafford is hiding an injury? He couldn't have looked worse for the first 3 quarters sunday

Kevin Seifert
  (1:30 PM)

If he is, it magically disappeared in the fourth quarter.

Noah (St. Paul, MN)

Could you speak to the Vikings inability to find legitimate speed receivers? Is it that difficult from a scouting/coaching perspective to find and develop a true split end? I give them credit for signing Simpson, but we are seeing the risks inherent in pinning your hopes for filling a glaring need on one guy. When does Spielman get taken to task for this?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:31 PM)

It depends on how long it goes on. I don't disagree with his decision to prioritize LT and CB at the top of the draft. And let's remember he drafted Greg Childs, who everyone thought would be a starter early in the season before he suffered two devastating knee injuries. If they don't do anything about it in the next calendar year, then yes, Spielman should and will be held accountable.

Nolan (La Crosse, WI)

What did you see out of the Packers DL in the absence of Raji?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:33 PM)

Looked pretty good. Picket is a natural nose tackle, and Jerel Worthy is continuing to develop.

Toussaint (Columbus, IN)

Take the records away, who do you believe is the biggest threat to win the division? Who do you think will win the division?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:33 PM)

I started the year saying the Packers, and I'm not prepared to move off that yet.

Jeff (Nashville)

Any word on when House will be back for GB? He was looking great before he went down.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:33 PM)

He should be getting close. But until the Shields injury, their depth hasn't been an issue.

Joe (TX)

In a contract year, would Jennings be better to heal 100% or to try and go out so he can put up some numbers?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:34 PM)

Typically the advice is to heal to 100 percent. If you're less than 100 percent, and your numbers go down, it will work against you in free agency more than if you were highly productive in the games you did play.

Blake (Annandale, MN)

Is it just me or does it seem like AP just cant run away from people any more. I know hes made a unbelievable come back from his injury, but when asked, he never says anything about his speed not being there. The only thing he says is that his strength isnt there yet. To me it looks like hes strong as ever, just not as fast. What do you think?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:35 PM)

The bottom line is that he was fading as a true breakaway threat before the injury. It's a totally natural progression for a running back. He's more of a power than speed guy now, injury or not.

Donny (D)

Are you privy to say a percentage health-wise for Quarless, Zombo, and Sherrod?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:35 PM)

Not sure about percentages, but it sounds like Zombo is ready to begin practicing and perhaps Quarless as well. Sherrod might need more time.

Bert (St. Paul, MN)

Alex Green wasn't bad, even though the numbers weren't great, but do you think that Starks gets a few more touches this week?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:36 PM)

Starks will have to show something first. The snaps he got didn't tell me he deserved more in the next game.

Cap. Morgan (AZ)

Kevin, I am hoping for a emotional rebound by the vikes this weekend, do you see the defense coming out and hammering the cards struggling O-line?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:36 PM)

Being at home will help a lot, I'm sure. They were pretty good against Kolb last year at the Metrodome, if I recall.

Jeff (Mpls)

Do you think that eventually teams will do whatever necessary to shut down Percy? I find it remarkable that everyone knows he will be getting the ball and yet he still suceeds.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:37 PM)

It's really hard to deny someone the ball at the line of scrimmage. After that, it's all his open-field running ability. The best thing they can do is put some big hits on him to slow him down over time.

Nolan Schmidt (La Crosse, WI)

James Jones leads the NFL in TD receptions.... didn't this chat room call to trade him?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:39 PM)

Not I said the fly.

L. Delmas (Detroit)

How underrated am I?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:39 PM)

Everyone knows you're a good player when you're healthy. You need to stay healthy.

Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay)

Hey Kevin, I've noticed a lot of players using my 'belt dance', is there any way I can get that move copyrighted or something?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:40 PM)

I like how everyone is calling it the "Discount Double Check." I thought that was the name of the ad that he did "The Belt" in.

Paul (Denver)

Does the Lions Bears game come down to what player is utilized the best in the middle of the field? Marshall and Mega will definitely be bracketed in coverage.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:41 PM)

If that's the case, Marshall/Bears probably win. Johnson hurts people the most on the outside.

TK (Philly)

I can't figure Leshore out.... is he or isn't he a dynamic franchise running back???

Kevin Seifert
  (1:42 PM)

He's a power back. Not sure if he'll be a Pro Bowl guy, but he should be someone who can handle a big load and make positive yards.

Nick (Utah)

If Chicago wins against Detroit Monday night, what do you think the chances are that the Bears win the division?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:43 PM)

Would still have a long way to go. Already have a loss to the Packers. This division isn't going to be decided until mid-December at the earliest, I don't think.

Carl G. (West Baraboo)

1. As a huge-mongous Packer fan, I'm worried Ponder may actually be developing into a respectable QB. Should I be?2. With that said, Ponder's biggest hindrance is Musgrave, not lack of deep threat. Raiders, Browns, etc are getting downfield shots with as weak or more weak WR corps. Agree?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:44 PM)

I don't agree. I actually think Musgrave gets credit for Ponder's early success. He's a second-year starter who is being put in manageable positions he can handle. If they're still playing this way two years from now, I'll have a bigger problem.

Matt (Iowa)

Heard a report out of Chicago that Knox has played his last down of professional football. Truely sad no?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:45 PM)

Nothing has been confirmed. But seeing him in training camp was scary. Really think, not even walking smoothly. His injury was very, very serious.

Purple Haze (West Bend, Iowa)

This is indirectly a NFCN question - - given he coached in the division so long - - but what are your thoughts on the Holmgren firing?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:45 PM)

Totally expected. New owners always, eventually, bring in their own people. At least Holmgren isn't being told that he'll have a chance to earn the job.

Erik (Minneapolis)

With all the steps the NFL is taking to protect players, and players like Jared Allen making a case that his knees are as important to him as Brady's are to him (seems like a fair argument), do you think we will see a dramatic shift in how the game is played in the next decade that could really change the leagues value? What is the NFL without the blind side hits, dramatic collisions, etc?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:47 PM)

I don't see it becoming a substantively different game. Players will just be more willing to accept the risks that go into playing it.

Jimmy (Chicago)

No one will regret the Lion's drafting Reiff 2 years from now. Having said that, shouldn't we see more of this jumbo package? Two biggest runs came out of that set, and there were a couple play action opportunities that would've gone for big plays had stafford not missed the throws.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:47 PM)

It'll depend on matchups, but yeah, it worked well and a lot of teams are doing it.

Tom K (Santa Monica)

What do you think the main problem is with the Lions in the first three quarters of games? Are they lazy? Bad play calling? Trying to be too balanced with a sub-par run game? I love Stafford's number of comeback wins, but the Lions can't keep putting themselves in these situations. Even last year they were plagued by a slow-starting offense.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:48 PM)

They look like they haven't been able to take enough of what the defense is giving them, from an offensive perspective. Sunday, they got into a hurry-up mode and the Eagles responded with a defensive shift that actually made it easier to move the ball and score.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:49 PM)

OK folks, a few more here.

Jeff (Nashville)

Is it just me or did the run game look better without Benson? Green fits the passing game much better, I would think.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:49 PM)

Not sure I would go that far. Benson was looking pretty decent as an inside runner before his injury.

Paul (Denver)

Does Tice deserve some credit for Marshall's success in the middle of field after the GB debacle? Seems like he's done a good job helping him avoid the double team.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:50 PM)

A lot of that success is coming in the second half, after the Bears have gotten ahead, in part because of their defensive scoring. It's easier to find single coverage when you're ahead...

Jon (Chicago)

Kevin, if Chicago doubles Megatron with a safety all day (like GB did to Chicago with Marshall in week 2), who on Detroit's offense is going to make them pay?

Kevin Seifert
  (1:51 PM)

That's where they've fallen short all season. Someone needs to step up. The best-case scenario is Titus Young or the running game. To this point, not enough has happened with either.

Shane (Milwaukee)

Do you think that the turf at Reliant Stadium had anything to do with the Packers players getting hurt? Im mean 4 guy's!!!

Kevin Seifert
  (1:54 PM)

Mike McCarthy was asked about that and didn't exactly say no. There were a pretty high number of knee injuries. But we really have no evidence other than the circumstances.

Kevin Seifert
  (1:54 PM)

Ok everyone, thanks so much.