"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F through the football season.
Here are my all-important Week 4 power rankings:
1. Chiefs -- Mahomes is amazing.
2. Seahawks -- Making big plays.
3. Packers -- Surgical.
4. Bills -- They're for real.
5. Titans -- Finding ways to win.
6. Ravens -- Worst fake crowd noise in the league.
7. Rams -- Rallied from a big deficit.
8. Bucs -- Hitting their stride.
9. 49ers -- Need a bigger airplane.
10. Cardinals -- Clock struck midnight.
11. Patriots -- Belichick-like winning.
12. Steelers -- Tester in Tennessee.
13. Bears -- Is Foles the answer?
14. Colts -- Big one in Chicago.
15. Browns -- Scoring points.
16. Raiders -- Don't bet against them.
17. Cowboys -- Recovery game vs. Browns.
18. Saints -- Daunting test in Detroit.
19. Panthers -- They have a nice feel to them.
20. Dolphins -- Turning the corner.
21. Lions -- There's hope.
22. Jaguars -- Beware Burrow.
23. Chargers -- If they had caught the lateral ...
24. Texans -- Heartless.
25. Broncos -- Too much to overcome.
26. Vikings -- Time to burn the boats.
27. Falcons -- Blink if you're alive.
28. Giants -- Hard times have arrived.
29. Washington -- The Ravens will be angry.
30. Bengals -- Best 0-2-1 team in the league.
31. Eagles -- Santa Claus is booing.
32. Jets -- Showdown with the Broncos. Yuk!
Wes from Green Bay, WI
Had he played, how do you think Josiah Deguara would have impacted the game against the Saints? I genuinely am curious, not attempting to chortle.
He would've caught a couple of tight end delay passes and Rodgers would've giggled.
Robert from Plymouth, WI
What do you make of the Falcons? What should the franchise do? It is like they are seeing ghosts out there. Is it something that can be coached out? Or does the franchise need a hard reset?
I think it's becoming obvious the Falcons are headed for change, and it could reach beyond the head coach.
Mikey from Tallahassee, FL
The matchup between the Texans and Vikings features two winless teams, but I can't get beyond the importance of that game. Who gets their first win and can either team dig themselves out of an 0-4 hole?
I think the Texans will win and Mike Zimmer could be fired.
Nate from Plymouth, MN
As a Packers fan, I'm happy for the win, but I also thought the officiating was pretty putrid. Jamal Williams was not brought down by a horse collar tackle, the pass interference on Taysom Hill was less than a yard downfield, the pass to Tyler Ervin that drew a pass interference was not catchable, Marcedes Lewis pushed off, the original spot of the ball on Aaron Jones' fourth-down run was ridiculous, and I thought the second pass interference on Janoris Jenkins in the end zone was a bit iffy. Lots of bad calls are going the Packers' way and I thought more people would be talking about it after the game. What did you think of the officiating and why do you think the Saints always seem to be getting screwed by pass interference calls?
Because they whine too much?
Dave from Jacksonville, FL
After watching three weeks of the NFL season, the game really has the feel of college football. I don’t think there is a dominant defense in the league. The Steelers are good but have played three really bad offenses. How do you see it so far?
You win with scheme early, you win with players late. It's early.
Chad from Madison, WI
Nick Foles has accomplished more than several quarterbacks in the NFL, but if he has the ability to be “The Man,” why has he spent his career with five different teams?
You could ask the same of Kurt Warner. In the salary cap era, football is a game of replacement. As circumstances change, players come and go.
Pat from Seneca, SC
What is the most important position in a defense built for shootouts?
Chad from Kansas City, MO
How do you make a team play better defense? I know it's players, not plays, but who on this defense is a scrub? How is it they cannot seem to stop the run?
You play better defense by being stronger at the point of attack. Za'Darius Smith is embarrassingly soft at the point of attack.
Phil from Marietta, GA
I get the implied insult and humor in Cris Collingsworth's comment about the Packers defense being made for shootouts, but maybe he isn't as clever as you give him credit for and meant their strength on defense is rushing the passer and relying on a pretty darn good secondary to limit big plays. In a shootout, GB's shaky run defense isn't nearly as big an issue. Thoughts?
A shootout implies giving up a lot of points. Who builds a defense to give up a lot of points?
Sean from Chaska, MN
Against the Falcons, the best strategy seems to be to let them get a huge lead and count on them blowing it.
I don't think that's going to happen. I think the Packers are going to win big.
Jared from Rigby, ID
Vic, regarding the Packers game, what did we just watch? Two great teams, two teams flailing, two injured teams adjusting?
I think we saw one team with a quarterback in his last gasp and another team with a quarterback who has yet to begin gasping.
Eric from Hudson, WI
Why can’t this team punch it in with their 250-pound, second-round pick?
Powerful legs are only meaningful if they have quick feet attached to them. We haven't had a chance to see what kind of feet Dillon has. In time, we will, but until then we have to wait. It was the only question I had about him. Big backs are only successful if they have light feet.
Mike from North Hudson, WI
Vic, I know I'm opening up myself to be schooled on this question. With the current injuries at inside linebacker, how about signing Clay Matthew at the veteran's minimum to play at an inside linebacker position? Be kind in your response, my friend.
Fans commonly turn to older players with whom they are familiar to fill a void, but that's not how a team younger and better. Why spend all of that money on scouting if you're going to go backwards? Inside linebacker is a grunt position. Find a tough guy on somebody's practice squad, a player you liked and considered drafting.
Jake from Knoxville, TN
All but five teams this past week scored at least 20 points. All but four winning teams scored at least 30, and no team scored 40. Is this parity?
It's the "preseason," which is what September football has become. Offense is throwing the playbook at defense and it's overwhelming. The Saints never caught on to that play-action bootleg tight end delay pass the Packers used on Sunday. Late in the season, it'll only work once. Don't try to identify trends in September. It all changes in November; that's when the good teams begin to play true to an identity and according to the strength of their personnel. Right now, it's show them what they haven't seen.
Tyler from Spring Hill, FL
Another rebuild? How do you even sell that to the long-suffering fans of Jacksonville?
Losing football isn't suffering. Watching a football game is joyful, regardless of the outcome. The Steelers didn't win a postseason game until their 40th season, but through the losing years I'd get up early on Sunday mornings and start working my dad. "Looks like the weather's gonna be pretty good today," I'd say. "Layne should play well." Then I'd wait for a reaction. If I didn't get one, I'd ask, "Hey, dad, who do you think will win?" That would usually do it. "Come on, get your coat," he'd say, and then he'd grab a handful of Marsh Wheelings and off we'd go. We didn't go to see a win. We went to see a football game. Jacksonville needs some of that. Just go to see a football game. One day winning will happen.