"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F during the football season.
Curt from Portland, OR
Does Aaron Rodgers still tilt the field? I’m having my doubts.
Yesterday was a classic example of it. The gap between Rodgers and Haskins was so great the Packers didn't have to do much more than get a quick lead and keep Washington at arm's length the rest of the game. Expectations can kill fans' enjoyment. My inbox is a place of great disappointment for Packers fans today, yet, Steelers fans couldn't be happier. Rodgers got up 14-0 and helped the Packers score an easy win over Washington and their rookie quarterback. Meanwhile, Duck Hodges threw for a mere 152 yards and had to drive his offense 66 yards in 13 plays to clinch the win over the Cardinals and rookie quarterback Kyler Murray. Packers fans are discouraged; Steelers fans are thrilled. Why the difference? It's all about expectations. If your expectation is for anything more than a win, you're probably going to be disappointed. Is that what you want?
Rich from Apple Valley, MN
Last year, Aaron Rodgers was upset after a 22-0 win over the Bills. I believe he said the offense was terrible. Now all he cares about is winning. Why was his attitude so negative last year? What changed?
His expectations changed.
Curt from York, PA
Now the baloney really does stop!
September football is the preseason. October is for wearing pink. November is when the season begins. December is when we find out who the tough guys are.
Lane from Orlando, FL
I find it appalling New England fans booed the team off the field heading into halftime. They should’ve given them a standing ovation for an unprecedented 20-year dominance. I guess fans are gonna be fans.
They thought they were above losing. Nobody is above losing.
Ben from Hilo, HI
What's your lede following Green Bay and Washington?
The Packers scored the second of consecutive wins over a bottom-feeding opponent, and now they ready for three games that will go a long way toward determining their fate this season. Next up: The Bears.
Mike from Fort Wayne, IN
A win is a win, but should there be concern in Titletown with the way the Packers are winning?
We've been through this for most of the season. Their rankings are bad, their record is good. Which do you trust? In my opinion, Rodgers' performance will answer the question.
Joe from Bloomington, IN
You were looking like a genius at the half. What happened?
The Wisconsin vs. Ohio State game? I said take the points. I won.
Roger from Houston, TX
Watching Clemson and Virginia, I have never been more convinced of the importance of size.
The dominant teams get the big guys.
Gordon from Jacksonville, FL
Could a new defensive coordinator come into Jacksonville and implement the 3-4 with the existing personnel? Or would it require wholesale changes?
I imagine some of their defensive linemen could be re-purposed to become two-gappers -- they certainly haven't been successful in a gap-control scheme -- but Ngakoue would have to be moved to outside linebacker and that might favor his skill set. Ngakoue is headed for free agency, so the matter might not even become an issue. As it stands right now, the Jaguars don't have near enough linebackers to flip the switch on a 3-4.
Taylor from Hull, IA
Do you think some of the Steelers' success this year is related to no longer having two divas pulling everyone's attention each week?
I think getting rid of the Brown and Bell distractions has allowed Mike Tomlin to be the coach he wants to be, and that's probably translated into an ease in the clubhouse that's allowed everybody to be the teammate they want to be. Good chemistry won't make a team a winner, but bad chemistry can make it a loser.
Richard from St. Augustine, FL
No matter what happens with Foles trade-wise, would you draft a QB in 2020? What round?
If there's a quarterback the Jaguars love available where they're picking, the Jaguars should pick him, in any round.
Vincent from Seattle, WA
Do you think it is time to revise the playoff seeding? Why would a division winner that is 7-9 get homefield advantage over a five or six seed that is at least 11-5?
The owners have steadfastly favored a system that rewards division champions with a home game. Why? Because there's more involved than the game of football; you're forgetting the business of football. Home teams keep the revenue from parking and concessions, and the home city reaps huge financial rewards for hosting a postseason game. A system that rewards division winners guarantees postseason revenue will be spread throughout the league, instead of being concentrated within a few dominant divisions. Be a fan, but think as an owner.
Jon from Anaheim, CA
Vic, I just learned of Bob Carroll. He sounds like quite the character. Do you have any anecdotes you can share with us?
I can share my thoughts on Bob, who I consider to be the No. 1 authority on the history of professional football. I was the sports editor of a newspaper in Western Pa. in the late '70's when Bob, who lived in a neighboring town, asked me if I would be interested in a weekly column on pro football history. He said he and a few others were forming an organization of pro football researchers and he wanted to promote the effort. I was all for it and Bob penned a beautiful column in my newspaper for the next few years, until his work with the researchers required his full-time dedication. Bob wrote several books on pro football history and all of them are wonderful. His organization, Professional Football Researchers Association, does great work and has given us the "Hall of Very Good." Bob is gone but his work lives on. The NFL, the founders of which did a terrible job in documenting and preserving their history, owes him a debt it can never repay. In my case, Bob is one of the great people in the fraternity of football that has provided me with the memories that make me rich.
Jon from Wright City, MO
Seattle looked mortal last night. The Rams defense was dominant. Goff looked more than adequate. I truly think the NFC could be won by any of the six teams that end up in the playoffs. There is nothing like December football.
December is when the real teams come out to play. All of a sudden, I'm enjoying football again.
Kirsten from Madison, WI
Winning ugly may get you to the postseason, but as a fan I'd really just like to see a good game. This season is somewhere between a snoozefest and a slog. Do you think fans should be content to just shut up and take the win?
No, you may complain and take the win, but I'll caution all of you for whom winning isn't good enough: One day, it will be.
Lee from Iowa
What do you think the Jaguars will do this offseason? They are terrible.
It looks like a blow it up. The biggest problem is their cap commitment to Foles. It's difficult to move forward when the past is holding you back.
Dave from Savage, MN
Do you think we'd have all the rule changes and the current replay system if we had more of the old-time football guys running the league? I know they liked their money, too, but I used to think the NFL was the one league that cared about the competition and the game. I don't think that way any more.
It all changed when the owners picked Paul Tagliabue over Jim Finks.