"Ask Vic" is published on M-W-F through the regular season.
Here are my all-important Week 4 power rankings:
1. Rams -- Stafford makes the difference.
2. Bills -- Beginning to roll.
3. Bucs -- Brady vs. Belichick.
4. Raiders -- Getting it done.
5. Ravens -- Didn't deserve to win.
6. Packers -- Team of drama.
7. Broncos -- Interesting.
8. Saints -- Schedule favorable for next few weeks.
9. Chargers -- They've arrived.
10. 49ers -- Left too much time on the clock.
11. Chiefs -- This is deteriorating.
12. Browns -- Road tests at Vikings and at Chargers.
13. Cowboys -- Looking like a contender.
14. Cardinals -- At the Rams this week.
15. Panthers -- Arrow pointing straight up.
16. Titans -- They mirror their coach.
17. Bengals -- Burrow is all the way back.
18. Seahawks -- Arrow pointing straight down.
19. Dolphins -- Good defense wasted.
20. Washington -- This could get ugly.
21. Patriots -- Belichick will have them ready to play.
22. Vikings -- Impressive comeback.
23. Eagles -- Now they get the Chiefs.
24. Colts -- Wentz experiment failing.
25. Texans -- They need to move Watson.
26. Steelers -- Long season ahead.
27. Lions -- One day their luck will change.
28. Bears -- Fields was terrible.
29. Falcons -- Washington, Jets, bye.
30. Giants -- Boooo!
31. Jaguars -- Moving up!
32. Jets -- They earned it.
Ben from El Paso, TX
What are your top five trash talk lines for taunting the dog?
When Adams got El Kabonged, I got in Etta Mae's face and yelled, "He hit him like a dog." She growled at me. She's so sensitive.
Evan from Harbor Springs, MI
Everyone is saying the Steelers’ season is over. They have certainly played poorly but just two weeks ago they pulled the biggest upset of the week in Buffalo. I don’t see the playoffs in the cards for them this season, but I’ll be surprised if they no-show in Green Bay this weekend.
The Steelers are at their lowest point in the Roethlisberger era. Their offensive line couldn't block a toilet seat. Big Ben barely gets two seconds to throw before he's hit. He can't move and he's playing behind an offensive line that makes him move, and that's a bad combination. He shouldn't have come back. Dan Marino's last game was a 62-7 playoff loss. Roethlisberger had no reason to be ashamed for losing to the Browns in last season's playoffs. The Steelers play a murderous schedule and I get the sense they're headed for a top 10 pick, and it's likely they'll spend it on a quarterback. This is what rebuilding looks like. Nobody wants it, but every team eventually faces it, even the Patriots. The Steelers won't mail it in this week, but it should be a lopsided win for the Packers.
Pete from Los Angeles, CA
Vic, how on earth are Adam Shefter and Robert Kraft investors in a gambling app? How does ESPN allow it, how does the NFL allow it? The conflicts involved are insane and cannot possibly be worth the risk to those institutions, can they?
It's a money grab. Does anybody care?
Dan from Varna, Bulgaria
Vic, I have been Jaguars fan for a long time but recently the way that organization is run is driving me away from football in general. I feel that since Khan purchased the team it's been mistake after mistake on all levels, with the most recent one being pairing a rookie QB with a rookie NFL head coach. Do you see a way the fan base for this organization can experience better days?
Bradshaw was sacked for a safety in his first pro game and spent his rookie season alternating with Terry Hanratty. Elway was benched at halftime in his first pro game; I know because I covered it. The Cowboys were 1-15 in Aikman's rookie season. The 49ers were 2-14 in Montana's rookie season. Lawrence, Wilson, Fields and Jones are all struggling in their rookie seasons. Why would you expect the Jaguars to turn it around within the first three weeks of a rebuilding year?
Jensen from Houston, TX
I appreciate your silent watching approach and your pride in the unemotional press boxes. When you were watching the Packers-49ers silently, did you feel any excitement about the possible 37-second drive to win?
My interest was heightened.
Steve from Rosemount, MN
Vic, what did you see out of the Packers' young line on Sunday night?
Gutekunst gets it.
Eric from Hudson, WI
Your takes on "jockocracy" are funny. You clearly aren’t biased at all. I would 100 percent of the time rather see a player let their guard down a bit and just have a conversation with someone instead of having to reply to some mundane question from a reporter they most likely have no interest in talking to. I have never once in my life seen a reporter ask a coach or player a question that meant anything to me. Their play on the field tells me all the stories and answers all the questions I need to know. I enjoy watching Rodgers on McAfee’s show. I’ve watched Rodgers' postgame presser maybe twice in my life. Reporters questions after games are repetitive and gag worthy. Just write your little stories.
David from San Francisco, CA
Vic, with all due respect, if you don’t understand the widespread mistrust in media and institutions, you should not be commenting on it. Your lack of awareness in the quality of life of younger generations suggestions you’re completely detached from modern American reality.
Ron from Bellaire, MI
In the Lions game, the play prior to the winning field goal, should a delay of game been called?
David from San Francisco, CA
I mean, the Chiefs had the ball last twice and lost, so I disagree with your commenter.
Zibi from Krakow, Poland
Your inbox must be full of Green Bay cheering, but I have a different question for you. Are these LA teams for real?
Yes, and one of them for many years to come.
Jeremy from Sioux Falls, SD
Why are football fans so obsessed with the word if? If we hadn't kicked a field goal, if they had thrown a flag, if the Packers had drafted Watt. Any time I hear the word if, what follows is a state of the world that does not exist. Why are we so obsessed with thinking about alternative outcomes? Why can't we accept what already is?
We're bored? Here's an if to ponder: What if the 49ers had run two more plays before scoring and there wasn't enough time left on the clock for the Packers to rally? Rodgers would be getting killed in this column this week for those three consecutive incomplete passes at a time when the Packers needed to kill the clock. Instead, he's being praised for his heroics. In this case, playing the if game gives us an understanding of how fragile and fickle perspective can be.
Dustin from Chicago, IL
The Bucs are maximizing their chances at Super Bowls now. How do they avoid the train?
You do the best you can until it becomes obvious it's time to blow it up. The Patriots blew it up last year. The Steelers are doing it this year and they'll have a lot of cap room next year. It happens to all teams and it'll happen to the Packers. Recovery time is determined by the new quarterback. If you hit on him, good times are just around the corner. If you miss on him, bad times will continue.
Chase from Verona, WI
In recent memory, what is the worst addition to the rule book? I would say roughing the passer changes, which have made the game infuriating to watch when they're called.
Assisting the runner. It's cheap and dangerous.
Bill from Newnan, GA
The Steelers made a mistake bringing Ben back, so why not make the switch at QB? Is it not that simple?
His next injury will be his last and, given the state of their offensive line, injury is inevitable. At that point, I would expect the Steelers to to put him on IR and turn to Rudolph and Haskins. The mistake, in my opinion, is subjecting Roethlisberger to the criticism he's getting right now, which includes the demand he be benched. He's an easy target for the click-bait fan sites who can use his name and renown for bait. Stories about bad offensive lines don't get clicks. Stories about benching a great quarterback do.