"Ask Vic" is published on M-W-F through the regular season.
Here are my all-important Week 12 power rankings:
1. Cardinals -- They won without Murray.
2. Bucs -- Late season is Brady time.
3. Ravens -- They have grit.
4. Rams -- It's showtime.
5. Packers -- Injuries mounting.
6. Chiefs -- Defense leads the way.
7. Titans -- Next they'll lose to the '76 Bucs.
8. Cowboys -- Prescott not looking good.
9. Patriots -- Belichick at the controls.
10. Chargers -- Poised to pounce.
11. Colts -- New power team in AFC.
12. Bills -- Fading.
13. Vikings -- We'll know this week.
14. 49ers -- Are they making their move?
15. Bengals -- At the top of their game.
16. Eagles -- Hurts is "The Man."
17. Saints -- Must beat Bills.
18. Raiders -- Going, going ...
19. Steelers -- Rebuild bigger than most thought.
20. Browns -- Massive under-achieving.
21. Seahawks -- Not salvageable.
22. Broncos -- Nothing good to say.
23. Washington -- Rivera doing a good job.
24. Dolphins -- Headed nowhere.
25. Bears -- Are we supposed to cry for them?
26. Panthers -- Now what?
27. Falcons -- The final days.
28. Giants -- Not making gains.
29. Texans -- Good for them.
30. Jets -- Stink continues.
31. Jaguars -- Blow it up again.
32. Lions -- They're gonna beat the Bears.
John from Sheboygan, WI
Vic, you have been professionally watching and analyzing football at a high level for many years. What do you think is going on with Mason Crosby?
Our bodies change as we age. We might be the same weight we were 10 or 20 years ago, but the clothes we wore back then don't fit the same now. We're not as strong or as flexible in the same ways. The same is true of football players. Look at pictures of them from when they were rookies. What it means is they have to find new ways of doing the same thing. Crosby has lost his groove. The leg swing that's worked for him for a long time isn't working now, and he needs to find a new groove, a new way to swing that leg or approach the ball (whatever the technical issue is) to get the ball between the goal posts. He will. The question is: Will he be with the Packers when that happens?
Steve from Ellenton, FL
Vic, I was under the impression the best way to establish early-game dominance is ball control, run and RPO. What I saw was empty backfield with 12 winging the ball halfway to St. Paul. Your thoughts on (LaFleur's) establish the run mantra not making it to the field?
The Packers are easily persuaded to abandon the run. Matt LaFleur wants to run, but most of all he wants to win and he knows letting Rodgers do it his way gives the Packers the best chance of winning. It's an uphill fight LaFleur is going to lose.
Jack from Jacksonville, FL
Sitting in the stands Sunday, it's clear Lawrence does not have a stellar supporting cast. It's equally clear he does not exactly elevate the level of play around him. Your thoughts?
I don't want to come to judgement on Lawrence this quickly. My greatest concern for the Jaguars would be the lack of stability with which Lawrence is surrounded. Urban Meyer does not engender it. He was immediately discussed as a candidate for the Florida job. It's a distraction. The Jaguars need another blow it up. When is this going to end?
Dan from Embarrass, WI
In what ways would an injured toe affect a QB's ability to throw?
A toe injury ended Jack Lambert's career, so I would caution Packers fans from taking Rodgers' toe injury lightly. He said it hurts. That's not good.
Rob from Superior, WI
How much Packers money is tied up on the sidelines?
I get it. Yes, the Packers have many injured players, but the whining and crying in my inbox is over the top. The Cardinals are playing without Kyler Murray. The Seahawks' season was ruined by an injury to Russell Wilson. Where are the Titans going without Derrick Henry? The Ravens played without Lamar Jackson. The Steelers played on Sunday without T.J. Watt, Joe Haden and Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Stephon Tuitt and Tyson Alualu are big long-term losses. Injuries are a source of frustration for all fans.
Chris from Killeen, TX
Will the Vikings own the NFC North after Rodgers is gone?
The team that finds the division's dominant quarterback of the future will own the NFC North when Rodgers is gone. Right now, I don't see that quarterback.
Dave from Savage, MN
I read two articles referring to different aspects of the Vikings game as an emotional roller-coaster for the Packers. One player even used that phrase. Nobody in the articles seemed to understand there is an advantage to the players controlling their emotions, and they have it within their control to do that. I think it’s called emotional intelligence and don’t you think a team that has it has a big advantage?
Blame the coaches. They whip these guys into a frenzy. They start working on their heads and playing to their insecurities in training camp. I saw something in Sunday's postgame show called "Locker Room Access." The scenes were right out of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." All of the language was intended to engage and incite. It's emotionally abusive for an adult to prey on a young man's machismo as coaches do, and it's especially true of special teams coaches. They take desperate players of marginal talent, guys who lie awake at night worrying about being cut, and then emotionally charge them to the point they can barely turn themselves off when the play is finished. You might say, "That's football," and that would've been true not too long ago, but not in the current NFL. This NFL penalizes taunting and fines players for lack of control.
Jim from Maple Grove, MN
Vic, do you think the Vikings are getting hot at the right time and could they win their next five? What are the chances the game at Lambeau is for the division title?
It's possible, but it's not my expectation. The Vikings have a pick-your-poison combination that will put a lot of pressure on defenses down the stretch, but they've got a tough game in San Francisco this week. I wouldn't look past that game.
Steven from Doctors Inlet, FL
I wish Kevin from Jacksonville had the same Jaguars memories I have. Getting ready for the game, I came across my flawless copy of "Jaguars Inside Report, 1996 Season In Review." Morten Anderson, then to Buffalo, Denver and ultimately losing the AFC championship to the Patriots. The game on Sunday was the same old same old and it's getting old, but the stadium is still the only place for me and my children to be. It's our town and our team. I wish I could post a picture of the cover. The Jaguars weren't always a joke.
It seems like just yesterday I was putting that thing together. I still have a copy. It really is a beautiful souvenir of the best season in Jaguars history.
Russ from Boulder Junction, WI
Vic, do liberals like you feel guilty when your divisive media pushes people to murder our children, as happened tonight in Waukesha?
I received this email on Sunday night, shortly after the tragic event that occurred in Waukesha, Wisc. I bring this email to everyone's attention to serve as an example of what's tearing this country apart. I'm not deserving of this insult, and neither is anyone who is offended by it. I publish it with the hope all of you will read it and weep for what it represents, which is to say the division of our country. I invited this by addressing political issues? No way. I was getting these types of emails long before I began posting them. You didn't see them, but I did and I didn't like them, so I decided to give you a snapshot of my inbox. Here it is. Is this what you want? I want this column to be a source of responsible and respectful exchange. I hoped by addressing these issues we could achieve that goal, but it's clearly not possible. Going forward, I won't publish any questions or comments that are politically motivated. Please, don't send them to me.