"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F through the football season.
Richard from Clearwater, MN
The Packers' rankings defensively are not flashy, but they are making the splash plays when needed most of the time. Do rankings matter?
Rankings don't matter but it has been my experience a team's record is usually (not always) reflected by its rankings on offense and defense. I'm not big on stats but I give credence to the rankings on offense and defense because they involve the largest of samples, which is to say every snap of the ball. The Packers' record is much better than their rankings. By season's end, I think we'll see one reflect the other.
Kyle from Phoenix, AZ
I'm a little surprised by the Packers’ defensive numbers. My eyes tell me it's a much better defense than last year. Have my eyes deceived me?
My eyes tell me the same and I think we're going to see the defense's rankings improve. Why? Because the Packers rush and cover and that's a very strong combination. Run defense requires far less skill. It's all about toughness.
Steve from Wisconsin
Rashan Gary gets a penalty for brushing the quarterback's helmet. After teams score, they head-butt each other. I don't get it.
It's not about Gary's head slap, it's about Earl Thomas' knockout blow to Mason Rudolph. The NFL is trying to change the culture. It's trying to discipline players to avoid going to the head. I think it's a failed attempt and the NFL is wasting its time. Wanna get rid of the head shot? Get rid of the facemask. Fixed! The NFL won't even consider it because it would decrease the game's popularity, and the fans don't want it to happen because it would dull their enjoyment of the game. If we were all truly dedicated to player safety, especially to eliminating helmet-to-helmet contact, the facemask would come off, or at the least it would be limited to a much-reduced size and protection.
Keith from Columbia, SC
Who can challenge the Patriots in the AFC? I noticed 10 of your top 15 are NFC teams. It seems they have an easy road to a first-round bye.
There are a lot of good teams in the making in the AFC. The Bills and Colts are two teams that intrigue me. I think the AFC is in a state of change. Change is good because change is usually young.
Connor from Greenville, SC
What do you think of the Packers' draft class thus far?
It's early. I don't want to rush to judgement, but I would usually expect more impact from a class with two first-round picks.
Anthony from Rockford, IL
When you speak to the culture of the NFL, you speak to the inherent violence in us that has been built on evolution. Do you want a timid person or someone who can flip the switch when it pertains to an aggressive tribe coming over the hill to pillage your lands? You’re right. The culture can’t be changed. It’s within us.
I have hope for the young people but, as it stands right now, the NFL can't even get its players to stop committing hands-to-the-face penalties. Vic to players: The face is the front of the head. It's the thing that can eat and watch TV at the same time. Don't touch it! Seriously, shouldn't this be an easy fix? Yet, it happens over and over, and have you ever seen a hands-to-the-face penalty that wasn't supported by replay? It's a game-changing penalty. Teams lose games because of it. These players aren't stupid, so why can't they stop shoving their hands into each other's faces? It must be the warlike culture that exists in us.
Joe from Pittsburgh, PA
The NBA receives 10 percent of its profit from China. What percent does the NFL receive from outside the USA?
This is what I can tell you: In 1993, I covered a preseason game between the Steelers and 49ers in Barcelona. An NFL executive told me the impetus of the game was the league did $43 million in jersey sales in Europe the previous year and it thought it could double that amount in the near future, and the Steelers and 49ers were hot jersey sales. That was 26 years ago and I have to believe the NFL has doubled its jersey sales in Europe several times over. Europe may not be a great American football market, but it has a great appetite for American fashion. That's why the NFL will put a team in London.
Ben from Alameda, CA
The Packers have a lot of tall, lanky receivers. Can that body type be an effective slot receiver? Do you have to have a Wes Welker/Randall Cobb body type to be effective?
Slot receivers play in traffic. They're punt returners in the passing game. You're looking for a guy who can fearlessly run through the catch and weave his way through tacklers. You're also looking for a tough guy who can take a hit. The body type that belongs to that type of player more closely resembles a running back than it does a jump-high boundary receiver. Hines Ward is my idea of the perfect slot receiver. He's the toughest wide receiver who ever played the game. He turned the hunter into the hunted.
Sean from Brighton, MI
After five weeks into the regular season, is it safe to say the Browns gave up way too much for OBJ?
I was stunned they traded a first-round pick for him. I thought John Dorsey had the same dime-a-dozen opinion of wide receivers I have. I still believe that was an owner's trade.
Tyler from Fargo, ND
While on the Jaguars official website I noticed a “Minshew Mania Mini Pack” promotion. Basically, you can get tickets to the Saints and Jets games for around $100 and receive a bandana and mustache so you can look like Minshew. Why is it so hard to get people to attend Jaguars games? Are gimmicks the only way to entice people? I really thought this Minshew promotion was a joke put on by some third-party website at first.
That's funny. You know, we can't all be as great as the Packers. I guess we have to be patient. These were the attendances at Packers home games in 1951: Chicago, 24,666; Pittsburgh, 8,324 (the Steelers didn't travel well back then); Philadelphia, 18,489; Los Angeles, 21,393; Detroit, 18,800; New York, 14,297. Why didn't the Packers give out free cheese?
Jim from Maple Grove, MN
Does Mitchell Trubisky win that game?
I doubt it, but that's not my interest in Trubisky right now. When I saw the play on which he was injured, in which his arm was outstretched when he contacted the ground, I said to myself, "Labrum, he's done." He's said to have a slight tear of the labrum. Playing through that injury -- it's what ended Tony Boselli's career -- will be painful. I think it'll cause him to scramble far less often. I don't think this season is going to end well for Trubisky or the Bears.
Will from Stoughton, WI
I recently saw Gale Sayers was drafted by Kansas City of the AFL, but decided he’d rather play in Chicago after also being drafted by the Bears. Do you think he could have had a longer career in the AFL/AFC?
Would Joe Namath have had a longer career had he signed with the Cardinals instead of the Jets? I've detected a smugness among Packers fans for the NFL's superiority over the AFL. They're obviously ignoring the fact the AFL/AFC won 11 of the first 15 Super Bowls played.
Nicholas from Superior, WI
At one point during the broadcast on Sunday, I heard Aaron Rodgers had completed passes to eight different receivers. This is the type of thing I remember hearing about Rodgers quite a bit a few years ago. How much and what does the number of different receivers with receptions in a game indicate about the offense?
It indicates receivers are a dime a dozen.
Paul from Bluffton, IN
Vic, are you still working as a golf caddy?
My caddy days are over. I had surgery on my left shoulder two years ago, and then had to have it done again a few months later when one of the screws came loose. I had the right shoulder done in Green Bay. A caddy without shoulders is like a flute with no holes. If I had to choose a career other than being a sports writer, I would've liked to have been a caddy.
Scott from St. Charles, IL
I think it's fair to say the production at WR/TE below Adams is not what we had hoped. With Adams facing perhaps a lingering injury, should the Packers consider trading for a veteran (not named Antonio Brown)? Or do I have the fever again?
Fever in the mornin', a fever all through the night.
Adam from Madison, WI
Seems like there have been some huge rushing totals this year? Another unintentional result of the move toward passing with too many defensive backs on the field?
Nickel is certainly not a run defense but I think big rushing totals are more about the mania for rushing the passer. Nobody drafts run-stuffers anymore; everybody is looking for pass-rushers. J.J. Watt is the classic example of today's defensive linemen. They play the run on the way to the quarterback, and that's why running backs are exploding through holes untouched.
Pete from Green Bay, WI
Are you ready for the Mike McCarthy to Pittsburgh train? Seems like it’s right up your alley.
If Mike Tomlin wants to go home, I hope he gets the chance. He's a Virginia guy and I have to believe the Redskins would be his dream job. I guarantee, the Steelers would be McCarthy's dream job. Hometown guys are good for the game. I think the fans are more supportive of them. Be that as it may, I still hear a horn in the distance.
Darren from Alice Springs, Australia
If you had your choice of a fourth NFL team to cover, who would it be and why?
It just doesn't work that way in my profession. You don't cover a team because you're fond of it, you become fond of a team because you cover it.
Fred from Denver, CO
Is Gardner Minshew the long-term answer at QB for Jacksonville? What would it take for GM Vic to ship Foles away?
I'm in awe of Minshew's command of the game. I think he could be the next Drew Brees. This is an extraordinary story. The sixth round? He doesn't have a great arm -- he was high and late on a honey hole throw from the far hash against the Panthers -- but he makes up for it by consistently finding the open receiver. He makes completing passes look easy, and that's a trait usually reserved for great passers. If the Jaguars can find a team interested in trading for Foles, it's doable. Traded, Foles would be $18.75 million dead on the Jags' cap, but that would actually turn into a nearly $4 million savings from his projected $22 million cap hit in 2020. The difficult part would be finding a team willing to trade for the $20 million guaranteed to Foles over the next two years. It means the Jaguars would have to find a team looking for a starter.