"Ask Vic" will publish on Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the football season.
Andrew from Fullerton, CA
If before Week 1 someone told you out of the Packers, Vikings, Eagles, 49ers, Seahawks and Falcons, none would be over .500 after five weeks, how would you have responded?
You can throw the Steelers in there, too. Yeah, that's a surprising list of mediocre teams, but it won't stay that way. It's all about getting hot late in the season. Who will those teams be? That's the No. 1 question going into every season.
Dan from Madison, WI
Packers just need a bye week?
The Packers need a win. They'll get it against San Francisco and all will be right with the world, for one week. That's today's game. Coach Noll was fond of saying "the next game is the most important game we'll play this season because it's the next game." He'd smile and we'd laugh. All these years later, I think he's right. This NFL is a next game league. You can't count on anything. The Bills get blown out by the Packers, and then beat a Titans team on a roll. Everything is Nutsville, until December. That's when the craziness goes away and everything begins to make sense. I caution fans against attaching to much meaning to what's happening right now. Avoid Nutsville; it's not a pleasant place.
Milan from New York
There is a disconnect between McCarthy as head coach, McCarthy the play caller and Rodgers the quarterback right now, it seems to me. Not surprising after all these years.
This is the fallout from Aaron Rodgers' criticism of the game plan. The howl has begun.
Matt from Winfield, IL
Amid what I’m guessing is now audible howling, I’m going to say the Packers should stay the course. They lost by eight after giving up 17 off turnovers and missing 13 points worth of kicks. It may not happen this year, but I see the pieces. What do you see?
I'm trying to avoid over-analyzing yesterday's game. It's problematic to analyze a game in which one team has taken a 24-point lead because that team tends to go soft. I could say the Packers defense didn't give up a lot of yardage, but that would ignore the short-field scores the Lions were allowed. What bothers me most about the Packers defense from yesterday is when the game was on the line, it allowed the Lions to go right down the field. Yeah, I can see pieces. There are moments of clarity and I have no doubt Mike McCarthy will put those pieces together by the time December arrives, but I also saw a team that lost the battle of the line of scrimmage, and that must not be ignored.
Phil from Woodmere, NY
Is Blake Bortles walking around in a Tom Brady mask all week and causing his coach to think 65 pass plays is a winning formula? When are the Jaguars going to play Jaguars football?
I can't believe that was the game plan. I have to believe the Jaguars were reacting to the Chiefs' big lead. I don't think Doug Marrone had his best day. It began with his decision to go for it on fourth-and-two instead of kicking a field goal that would've cut the Chiefs' lead to one score. It was too early in the game for that kind of panic move. Here's what I got out of the Jaguars' performance against the Chiefs: The Jaguars have real talent on defense and it plays hard and fast. I see no residual problems there. All of the problems are on offense. Right tackle is going to be targeted by every team the Jaguars face. As for Bortles, his wind up delivery is telegraphing every deep throw he makes. It's worse than Byron Leftwich's wind up because Bortles' is slow and lazy. Bortles is a checkdown, drag route and dump pass quarterback. When he gets outside that comfort zone, his passes sail and wobble; one literally tumbled end over end. The Jaguars need to limit his role to what he does best, and run the football and play to the strength of the defense.
Robert from Roscoe, IL
Vic, put this Packers loss into perspective.
I think it would be a mistake to attach too much meaning to yesterday's game. It was a regrettable performance highlighted by fumbles and missed kicks. I could say the Packers didn't appear to be ready to play, but that would apply to a lot of teams early in the season. A lot of teams appear not to be ready to play and I think it's because they wasted the preseason and training camp on avoiding injury.
Wallace from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, so what does Doug Marrone do now? Bortles is never going to be even close to a franchise QB.
Help is not on the way. You play with what you have and you find a way to make it work. Change is for the offseason and I would expect the Jaguars to address the quarterback position at that time. Maybe they should've done that this past offseason. They might've been fooled by winning.
Mike from North Hudson, WI
Where do you see the Packers going from here?
Coach McCarthy will figure it out, but it better happen sooner than later because the Packers are facing a daunting midseason schedule, at a time when the Bears' schedule is soft and could allow them to put some distance between themselves and the Packers.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, was Sunday National Missed Kick Day? Crosby had four plus an extra point. Prater had one. Bailey had two.
Chris Boswell also missed another PAT kick. It's an epidemic and it's a result of moving the PAT kick back to the 15. It's one of the most significant rule changes in NFL history. It's in the kickers' heads and you don't want to be in those heads right now.
Chad from Troy, MI
Vic, I like watching highlight videos from back in the '70’s and I’m wondering what the logic was behind the way quarterbacks dropped back. They always seem to take the snap, take a lot of little steps while keeping their shoulders square to the line of scrimmage and kind of power walk backwards? I don’t even know what I’m looking at. Can you explain it?
Quarterbacks backpedaled into the pocket because they had time to do it and it helped them see the whole field. Pass routes developed much more slowly prior to the 5-yard chuck rule; bump-and-run could be played until the ball was in the air. Quarterbacks took deep drops waiting for their receivers to come open. Defenses didn't blitz nearly as much because there was a fear of getting creased by the run. Also, there weren't a lot of smallish speed rushers; Fred Dean is one of the first I can remember. Defensive ends were big, bull-rush types that could play the run. All of this was the result of football being first and foremost a running game.
John from Sioux Falls, SD
Under the “what if” category, do you think if the NFL won, say, the first five or six Super Bowls, do you think the merger still would have happened? Did it take a couple of AFL wins to make the deal happen?
The merger was a done deal before the first Super Bowl was played. It just didn't begin until 1970. Red ink is what forced the merger. Most of the NFL teams were struggling to pay their bills. Half of the league wasn't competing to win a title, it was trying to stay alive. The Steelers drafted a guy in the first round of the 1966 draft solely because he would accept what they would pay him. On average, the AFL owners were much wealthier men than the NFL owners. The AFL owners were oil men and captains of industry. The NFL owners were, on average, football men who had little wealth aside from their teams. I love what Vince Lombardi did in the '60's, but the NFL product was severely diluted by the AFL's drain on the talent base and the NFL's ability to compete financially. I don't think Lombardi would've enjoyed with the Redskins in the '70's a fraction of the success he did with the Packers.
Scott from Chicago, IL
Vic, did you see West Virginia dropped all 11 men into coverage on Saturday? They still gave up third and 15 but I think we are getting closer to seeing a true 0-0-11 in the near future!
My vision is for the 0-0-11 to be used in a 2-minute situation. I think it's a no-brainer and I can't understand why it hasn't been tried. George Perles was fond of saying, "That's why MIT doesn't have a football team." Now they do. Maybe that's the problem.
Matt from Eau Claire, WI
Why was everyone in such a hurry to get Rodgers’ contract done?
We have been conditioned to believe the Packers can't win without Aaron Rodgers. We fear not having him. In my opinion, that fear has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Until the Packers develop a defense and a running game that can win without Rodgers at quarterback, the Packers may not be able to win with Rodgers at quarterback.
Chad from Kansas City, MO
"When was winning not enough?" That is what people that take their foot off their opponents' throat say. That is what 2014 Packers staff do. That is what losers do. When you step on any stage to perform, your goal should not be to win, but to dominate. You force your will on your opponents and embarrass them. They are paid athletes, they can handle it. That is what I teach my kids.
Your children are not paid athletes.
Gordo from Jacksonville, FL
I saw you answered a uniform question so I thought I'd ask what you think about the Jaguars' new unis.
I'm not crazy about the black pants, white shirt, First Holy Communion look, but the new togs are a distinct improvement over those rags the Jaguars had been wearing. The creator of that previous outrage should be locked up.
Mike from Somerset, WI
Vic, have we entered a new era of football? Do you see any parallels to the transition that occurred in the 1970's?
I see no parallels. The '70's included a criminal element, a belief supported by no less than a U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Today's game has a conscience. It's trying to be civilized. The biggest difference is the game of the '70's evolved into what it was; today's game has been legislated. Man is a naturally violent creature. His aggression must be regulated.
Steve from Rothschild, WI
I just watched the chop on Lynn Swann by George Atkinson, which led me into watching many highlights of the Steelers/Raiders games (wars). I enjoy a physical game but this was borderline criminal. Thanks for taking me down memory lane.
The NFL must be vigilant in making sure that never happens again. Recent Steelers-Bengals games have been frighteningly similar. What will next weekend's game bring?