"Ask Vic" will publish on Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the football season.
Here's the "Ask Vic" Week 5 power rankings:
1. Rams -- No. 1 offense.
2. Chiefs -- Are they for real?
3. Saints -- Beginning to look powerful.
4. Panthers -- Next win, Giants.
5. Titans -- Impressive win over Eagles.
6. Jaguars -- Will test red-hot Chiefs offense.
7. Bears -- Trubisky turning the corner.
8. Bengals -- Dalton joins elite QBs.
9. Ravens -- Flacco is back.
10. Redskins -- Will have their hands full in New Orleans.
11. Patriots -- Cancel that fall, for now.
12. Packers -- Why isn't winning good enough?
13. Eagles -- Rematch with Vikings.
14. Broncos -- Late collapse against Chiefs.
15. Vikings -- Arrow pointing down.
16. Dolphins -- As I suspected.
17. Seahawks -- Will they test Rams?
18. Cowboys -- Kind of ordinary.
19. Chargers -- Can make a move.
20. Falcons -- Season on the brink.
21. Steelers -- Ryan will pick them apart.
22. Browns -- Defense is now the issue.
23. Bucs -- It's Winston time.
24. Lions -- Can join NFC North race.
25. Texans -- State title at stake vs. Cowboys.
26. Colts -- Finding ways to lose.
27. Bills -- Worse than their record.
28. Jets -- Bowles watch begins.
29. 49ers -- Does it really matter?
30. Giants -- It's OK to bench Manning now.
31. Raiders -- Merciful win vs. Browns.
32. Cardinals -- Arians is in a better place.
Braden from Milwaukee, WI
Vic, football isn't for sensitive men. McCarthy can take the call-out from Rodgers but should he have to take it every year? Rodgers hasn't been playing his best ball this year and I'm not sure he should be calling out game plans when he's not hitting the open guy. Is it productive for Rodgers to call out his coaches?
Coach McCarthy probably rolled his eyes when he heard his quarterback's comment, then didn't give it another thought as he plunged into game-planning for the Lions. Yeah, McCarthy can take a punch. Here's the problem with Rodgers' comments: They can make the wolves howl, if you know what I mean.
David from Madison, WI
How would one notice the new and improved elements of the Coach McCarthy playbook?
I have no doubt Aaron Rodgers will be asked to give his opinion. We await Rodgers' response.
Chenc from Gent Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Vic, with a quarter of the season now in the books, what positives and negatives do the Jags, Steelers and Packers have as they head into the second quarter?
Nothing has changed for the Jags. Their defense is the positive and the offense's failure against the Titans is the negative. The Steelers' positive is the play of James Conner. Nearly everything else is a negative, including a secondary that couldn't cover a toilet seat. The Packers are a difficult team to analyze. They shut out the Bills, but they were steamrolled by the Redskins and collapsed late against the Vikings. Aaron Rodgers has been gritty on a bad knee, but he hasn't played at his standard high level. I think we need more information on the Packers before we form an opinion.
Jason from Loganville, WI
Vic, have you thought about listing an “Ask Vic Game of the Week” alongside your all-important power rankings?
No, but if I did, this week's game of the week would be the Jaguars at Kansas City.
T.J. from Tampa, FL
Parity to the extreme we have it now isn’t desirable for me. I miss the idea of dominant and even dynastic teams. How do you feel about it?
I prefer parity. Today's NFL is a year-to-year league. Arrows change direction quickly and I think that's a good thing. When I began covering the NFL, building a team was a three to five-year proposition. The "Steel Curtain" Steelers, for example, were 1-13, 5-9 and 6-8 before they made it into the playoffs in their fourth year under Chuck Noll. In today's game, Noll would've likely been fired after year three, if he made it that far. There is no tolerance for losing in today's game, and that's because of the parity roster limits, a seven-round draft and free agency have created. I don't like impatience, but parity is good for the game and for franchises that might otherwise be mired in decades of losing. In today's league, no franchise should be uncompetitive for more than a year or two.
Ben from Alameda, CA
After scoring a touchdown, Doug Marrone went for two with only 25 seconds left on the clock. What are your thoughts about the coaching decision and the subsequent comments he has made about it?
I think he hurt himself more than he hurt the Jets.
Wayne from Beavercreek, OH
I don't know what Aaron Rodgers said at his press conference regarding McCarthy, but I have this to say about it. One big difference between good leaders and bad leaders is good leaders welcome criticism. Do you think McCarthy is a good leader?
I absolutely believe Coach McCarthy is a leader of men. He's taken some hits from his quarterback through the years. Rodgers was critical of the play-calling late in the NFC title game in Seattle, at a time when his coach needed support. Remember the sideline tantrum in Cincinnati? Rodgers even jabbed at his coach for not understanding McCarthy's play call in the headset because of his Pittsburgh accent. Now, McCarthy's game-planning is being challenged. Not once, however, has McCarthy fired back. He's taken the high road every time, and that's what a leader does. He absorbs criticism to still the waters and keep everyone pulling in the same direction. I'd like to see our political leaders do the same.
Dan from Madison, WI
Who are the best people to watch football with?
I like to watch football with someone who isn't watching the game and has no interest in it. In other words, I don't like to talk about the game while I'm watching the game. I just like to watch. Too much talk annoys me; it distracts me. "Did he score points?" she said while watching a kickoff fall just short of the goal posts? "No," I said. They were the only words spoken during the game. I like that.
Jason from Austin, TX
Vic, what would you say is the bigger obstacle for a road team: being out of the typical weekend routine, being fatigued from traveling, or the crowd noise during the game.
I would say it's the whirling sound of the hotel elevator going up and down all night for the guys whose rooms share a wall with the elevators. You want the guys covering kicks staying in those rooms. Never, ever put your quarterback in an elevator room.
Steven from Montclair, NJ
Vic, you were right about the Bears and the Titans, apparently. Who is the next young team with an arrow pointing straight up?
It should be the Browns, given all of the high picks they've had over the last several years, but I'm going to go with the Texans. I think some lucky coach is going to step into a job with a team that has a roster on the verge of a breakthrough. A couple of more high picks and a free-agent signing could put the Texans over the top.
Jim from Maple Grove, MN
Vic, I read Monday's "Ask Vic" and I feel led to ask, is your joy for football and/or "Ask Vic" waning?
No, it's not. I don't like the new game, but I accept the inevitability of change and by the time December rolls around and my old friend comes knocking, football will own my heart as it has since I was a boy. Until then, I'll wait patiently for my December friend to arrive. "Ask Vic" only makes it better because I love writing about football.
Mike from McFarland, WI
When did you know football had overtaken baseball as the national pastime? When will we know if something else overtakes football?
I knew it on the weekend of Dec. 23-24, 1972. The Saturday playoff games were the "Immaculate Reception" and the Cowboys' fourth-quarter rally in San Francisco. Games were blacked out in the markets in which they were played back then and, when the Packers played in Washington the following day, there was an uproar among congressmen who couldn't see the game. Everywhere you went that weekend, people were talking about the playoff games. The NFL was literally bigger than Christmas. The following summer saw an act of Congress that required the NFL to televise games in home markets if the games were sold out. It was over for baseball. Football was king. That's the way it is and that's the way it will continue to be. Nothing else is even close to overtaking football. Football is America and America is football. The game is just going through a sensitive period of change that has fans grumbling. It'll pass. Maybe we should reflect on what it was like in 1982. It gets real old having to find things to do on Sundays in the fall.
Chris from Bozeman, MT
Used to enjoy your stuff. You are way too inconsistent with your thoughts and ideas. Like a kite in the wind, you are. A splash of smug arrogance, too. I'm out. Bye and OK.
Dave from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, any chance Coach Coughlin decides to trade a third-round pick for Le'Veon Bell? It now appears Leonard Fournette is in “Fragile Fred” territory with his hamstring. I’m convinced the Jaguars can win the Super Bowl with an adequate running game. You know, Coughlin does like to swing for the fences.
I previously wrote I wouldn't want anything to do with Bell, but I find your question intriguing as Bell would pertain to the Jags. First of all, the Jags have enough cap room to trade for Bell and fit him under their cap without restructuring any of their players to make room for Bell. That part is a no-brainer. Secondly, I think Bell could be a difference-maker for the Jaguars. He could give Blake Bortles a big-play option as a checkdown receiver. Additionally, Bell and Fournette would make for a classic lightning and thunder combination that would make each player better and fresher as the season wears on. Bell's agent would love knowing his client won't be over-exposed to injury as he heads into free agency, and that might help make Bell agreeable to a trade to the Jags that would almost certainly include a contingency that Bell report to the Jags and not walk out. The big negative for the Jags is they might be spending a third-round pick on a one-year rental, but a potential Super Bowl title is worth the risk and the Jags' third-round pick will likely be low and not expected to make much of an impact on a team deep in talent. Here's what could kill the deal: The Steelers would be trading Bell to a team with whom the Steelers could find themselves in competition for a wild-card berth. Or maybe the Steelers see the writing on the wall. I like the way you think. It's good hot-stove stuff.