"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F through the football season.
Packers are forging a new identity
You know what the old identity was: Score 30, give up 29. That's changed. Through the first three games of this season, the Packers have scored an average of 19 points per game and allowed a mere 12 points a game. The Packers are now a team that beats you with defense.
I expect that trend to continue tomorrow night against the Eagles. Philadelphia is struggling on the offensive side of the ball, where it's also nursing injuries.
A win over the Eagles will set the stage for a big Week-5 game in Dallas. Get ready for the TV hype for that one.
Did the Steelers trade away a top 10 pick?
Pittsburgh is 0-3 and its prospects for the remainder of the season are not promising, which begs the question: In trading for Minkah Fitzpatrick, did the Steelers trade away what will amount to a top 10 pick?
It's possible, but let's not forget Fitzpatrick was the No. 11 overall pick in the 2018 draft, and the cap advantages he brings to the Steelers are really strong. By the way, in his first game with the Steelers, he intercepted a pass and forced a fumble.
Steelers fans' concern is in trading away what might amount to a top 10 pick, the Steelers might have traded away a chance to draft their quarterback of the future. Relax, fans of my hometown team, a scout told me the quarterback crop in next spring's draft, as it stands right now, is weak and unlikely to yield a franchise-type quarterback where the Steelers would've been drafting. At the moment, there appears to be a gap between Tua and the next group of passers, all of whom might qualify as reaches in the first round.
My analysis of the Steelers' quarterback situation goes like this: Mason Rudolph is auditioning for the long-term job. If his performance this season is less than convincing, Ben Roethlisberger is likely to return for one more season, after which he will be an easy dead money burden to shoulder. At that point, the Steelers will have to decide on their future at quarterback.
Go ahead, get excited, Jags fans
You sure haven't been given much to cheer in recent years, so I'm not going to throw water on your Minshew mustache party. Who knows? Maybe Gardner Minshew is the real deal.
He grossly out-played Marcus Mariota, a No. 2 overall pick. That has to say something about Minshew. The Titans have a good defense and Minshew whipped them.
After watching several young quarterbacks last weekend
⦁ Shame on the Bears for drafting Mitchell Trubisky over Patrick Mahomes. How could they miss on a talent as extreme and obvious as Mahomes? Imagine the Bears with Mahomes.
⦁ Lamar Jackson is a sensational athlete. He's at his best when he's running. Vic to teams on the Ravens' schedule: Make him be a passer.
⦁ Kyler Murray throws a tight spiral. His passes are crisp and accurate. He moves with grace and purpose. Here's the problem: I don't see anything special about his game. To me, he looks like a bubble screen college quarterback. He was dramatically out-played by the Panthers' Kyle Allen. I look forward to seeing more of Murray. Maybe the offense is holding him back.
⦁ Baker Mayfield does special things. He needs to do ordinary things more often.
Here are the Week 4 "Ask Vic" all-important power rankings:
1. Patriots -- Showdown in Buffalo.
2. Chiefs -- Defense not fixed.
3. Rams -- Goff looks ordinary.
4. Packers -- Defense is their calling card.
5. Cowboys -- Tester in New Orleans.
6. Saints -- Can Bridgewater beat the Cowboys?
7. Bills -- Not ready for this.
8. Colts -- Reich leader for coach of the year.
9. Bears -- Defense in control.
10. Vikings -- Much on the line in Chicago.
11. Ravens -- Harbaugh should be embarrassed.
12. 49ers -- Weak kind of 3-0.
13. Lions -- Building momentum.
14. Texans -- Show me something big.
15. Seahawks -- Got their nose bloodied.
16. Eagles -- Nothing special about Philly.
17. Chargers -- Do they really have to go all the way to Miami?
18. Browns -- Not worthy of the hype.
19. Giants -- Barkley is a big loss.
20. Panthers -- Newton wasn't missed.
21. Cardinals -- They should be in the Big 12.
22. Falcons -- They're in big trouble.
23. Bucs -- Found a way to lose.
24. Jaguars -- Ramsey getting the last laugh?
25. Titans -- One position ruining their season.
26. Raiders -- They still stink.
27. Washington -- Play the kid.
28. Bengals -- Calm down, coach.
29. Broncos -- Much worse than their record.
30. Steelers -- The hunted is now the hunter.
31. Jets -- Was it worth it, Le'Veon?
32. Dolphins -- Is Tua worth tanking?