"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F through the football season.
Mark from Sheboygan, WI
Combined, the Patriots have played teams with a record of 7-23, including three winless teams. If the Packers win on Monday, they will have beaten five teams with winning records. You have them 1-2 in the rankings, but aside from the Patriots having a slightly better record, which would bode better for the future, 6-0 against little competition or 5-1 against winning competition? Also, shouldn't we recognize this is almost certainly the reason for the Packers' lower rankings?
Frankly, I think putting the Packers at No. 2 in my all-important power rankings reflects respect for the schedule the Packers have played and disregard for their unimpressive rankings.
Curt from York, PA
So how hot is Jason Garrett’s seat now?
Garrett is the only guy at MetLife who had a worse day than Chatty. This was, by far, Chatty's worst performance. Chatty began apologizing for the Cowboys as the Jets were about to score their first touchdown. "This is a tough schematic game for the Cowboys," Chatty said. Tough schematic game? The stinky Jets were No. 30 in rushing and No. 32 in passing. What could possibly have been tough for the Cowboys schematically? Flanked by his broadcast partner Jim "I love Texas" Nantz, the CBS No. 1 team blatantly led cheers for the Cowboys during their late-game rally. It was a truly embarrassing performance; they justified each of several consecutive penalties against the Jets that moved the Cowboys toward the goal line.
Mark from Eau Claire, WI
This Lions game could be huge. Do you think all four NFC North teams could finish with a winning record?
Oh, absolutely. The NFC North is the best division in football.
Andrew from Vancouver, Canada
How bad is a toe injury in football? I’m sure it's very painful and there is good reason to miss games for a toe, but it sounds a bit minor to an outsider.
If it's my toe injury, it's major. If it's your toe injury, it's minor. By the way, Jack Lambert's career was ended by a toe injury.
Justin from Canton, NC
How many of those first 11 AFL/AFC titles were from NFL teams that switched sides at the merger?
What does it matter? They were in the AFC when they won them. Bradshaw, Blount, Harris, Ham, Lambert, Swann, Stallworth, Webster, etc. were all drafted after the Steelers made the move, and Chuck Noll began his coaching career with the Chargers under Sid Gillman, who was the father of the AFL's wide-open game. There wasn't much of the old NFL left in the Steelers when they won four Super Bowls in six years.
Tom from Bismarck, ND
Well said, Vic, well said. A screw loose pretty much derailed your career as a caddy. Yet, noticeable screws loose in another part of your anatomy has not kept you from continuing your writing career. The choice was obvious.
Keith from Columbia, SC
Searching some of those crowd shots for a Chargers fan, through black and yellow jerseys and whirling "Terrible Towels" made me wonder where's Waldo?
The Chargers left a place that cared about them and went to a place that loves someone else. It was a big mistake.
Robert from The Netherlands
After Swaim got knocked out in the Jaguars game, they first showed the medical staff attending to him, followed by five slow-motion, close-up replays showing his unconscious body flop to the ground in horrifying detail. If the NFL wants to change the culture, maybe they should stop replaying these plays over and over.
The culture can't be changed; I'm convinced of it. I see no decrease in the number of these Tatum-like hits. Thomas Davis (Packers fans remember him) was flagged last night for a hit on a defensive receiver that was every bit as frightening on the replay as the Swaim hit. Late in the game, a Chargers defensive player came in late with a deliberate head-shot hit to a running back who was stuck in a pile of bodies. The officials missed it but I have no doubt it'll be fined. In my mind, it's the worst example of the Burfict-like culture that wants to injure the opponent. This was not a high-speed play. It was an after-the-fact hit that clearly targeted the runner's head. Suspension? That won't change the culture. It's a game played by violent men. It's a culture of violence and it can't be changed.
Gunars from Iowa
It seems you were more patient with Packers fans while working in Green Bay. As an outsider again, does the privilege, arrogance, smugness of the fans bother you?
I didn't like the smugness I sensed in the question mocking Jaguars fans and their failure to sell out Jaguars games. So, the answer to your question is, yes, it bothered me. Every franchise has its dark days.
Gary from Panama City, FL
Vic, I don't know why but in college football offensive holding is almost never called. I mean, the officials seem to be just waiting for pass interference, and make such calls ad nauseam. I'm so confused.
You got a heavy dose of each against Penn State in the Iowa game, especially after a touchdown was reversed despite a replay that should've confirmed the call. That was an atrocious display of officiating by that crew. At the least, that crew should be reprimanded by the Big Ten. I am greatly impressed by James Franklin's ability to avoid a meltdown and to keep his team focused on the task at hand.
Sean from Arlington Heights, IL
Vic, nearly two years ago you said of the Big Ten championship game, “Ohio State won that game on national letter of intent day.” I believe you were right and that statement still largely applies. That said, through six games, are you seeing any realistic reason for hope this year for Badgers fans?
By asking that question of a 6-0 team, you're confirming the weakness of their scheduling. Wisconsin is what Packers fans hate about the Patriots: Weak division, weak schedule. Every time I look at the schedule, it seems Wisconsin is playing another weak opponent and the game is at Wisconsin. Of course, all we have to do is wait a couple of weeks and we'll find out if Wisconsin is the real deal or just a weak schedule impostor. The great thing about only having one good team on your schedule is you only have to win one big game. The bad thing about it is you only get one chance to win a big game. Based on what I've seen so far, Wisconsin is a powerful team, but nobody in the Big Ten is the equal of Ohio State. If Wisconsin played a stronger schedule, it would get the respect it seeks and deserves.
Kevin from Whitehall, WI
Vic, I agree with you, the AFL is what led to the NFL we know today, however, to say the AFL won 11 of the first 15 Super Bowls is misleading. It would be more accurate to say nine of the first 15 Super Bowls were won by teams originally in the NFL. That said, does AFL vs. NFL thinking still exist like it did around the merger? If not, when and why did it change?
The war is over. It ended in the '70's when the AFC wiped its feet on the NFC and the old guard realized it needed to be new.
Alex from Orlando, FL
Vic, is Gardner Minshew exactly what the Jaguars needed to reinvigorate the fan base? By that I mean not only a diamond-in-the-rough quarterback, but someone with a seemingly wonderful personality who can take the city by storm and put butts in the seats for the next decade or more.
Tristan from Chicago, IL
How would you challenge Tom Brady? Who do you think can?
Blitz him on every down in every way you can. He really looks slow to me. I think he can still stand in the pocket and find the open receiver, but I question his ability to move. The Patriots have consecutive games upcoming against Cleveland and Baltimore. I think those games will tell us what we need to know about Brady and this year's Patriots.
Patrick from Indianapolis, IN
Vic, can you explain why you think the Packers may be about to go on a run and why you think Green Bay will be 11-2 heading into the final three weeks of the season? Their next six opponents are a combined 20-11-1. That doesnt look like a cream puff slate of opponents and the Packers look to be banged up.
I expect the Packers to beat the Lions, then the Packers have three in a row against teams from the weak AFC. That should be easy stuff for a team from the powerful NFC, right? The game that intrigues me is the one in San Francisco on Nov. 24. I don't think I afforded the 49ers the respect they deserve when I initially made my prediction for the Packers. I have new regard for the 49ers. Packers at 49ers has become a circle game on my schedule.