Let’s take a whirl around the NFL:
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, what does Green Bay need to do to help Brett Hundley be successful?
I thought the Packers did as much on Sunday. The bottom line is it’s nearly impossible to play around your quarterback and win in today’s game. Twelve of 25 for 87 yards and an interception won’t get it done. For the Packers to stay alive in the playoff race, they need to get more production out of the quarterback position. They can’t play scared at sports’ most important position. He’s “The Man,” whether you have him or not. The Packers ran the ball well. Their defense forced a couple of turnovers early that set the tone. Special teams made a major contribution. What we found out on Sunday is how the other half has been living through all the years Packers fans have enjoyed watching Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre tilt the field in Green Bay’s favor. Sunday, it tilted the other way.
Barb from Salem, OR
Coach McCarthy was quick to take the blame for the performance in the second half. What I saw was an entire team that failed to put together a solid performance. Were his words meant for his young QB?
His are the words of a leader.
Jeff from Asheville, NC
I think I speak for all Packers fans when I say I’m ready for the bye week. How did you spend the bye week during your career?
By going to work every day.
Eric from Colorado Springs, CO
So, who is the lead horse in the race of blame? McCarthy and the conservative play calling, Brett Hundley and his execution, the referees and penalties, or the announcers not being pro-Packer enough? I've got to know who is to blame for my sadness this week before I can move on to Monday?
Anthony Barr is to blame. I also think we're to blame. My inbox last week had a weird tone to it. It was almost as though fans were looking forward to a change at quarterback, as if the new guy would be better. I sensed it in the crowd on Sunday. There was excitement in the air. I think Packers fans set themselves up for disappointment. Hey, Drew Brees was the other quarterback. Let’s get real.
Betty from Flagstaff, AZ
Vic, I would like your opinion on the top three things a successful football team needs to develop and sustain to become a Super Bowl champion.
Coach, quarterback and a system for acquiring and developing/utilizing talent.
Kris from Stockbridge, WI
As help isn't on the way, what positive things did you see in the Packers on Sunday to give reason for hope this season?
They played with a sense of urgency. I felt as though they elevated their game.
Colin from Plymouth, UK
Aaron Jones looked like the present and future at running back. Has he done enough to secure the starting running back position from here on out?
I was asked a similar question about Ty Montgomery last season. There is no such thing as from here on out. Jones has done enough to be the starter in the immediate future. I think he’s a good-looking back.
Trace from Edisto Island, SC
What is your grade for Hundley?
He wasn’t good enough. I think he was more focused on not committing turnovers than he was on making plays. I think that’s to be expected of a quarterback making his first start, especially a quarterback replacing the best quarterback in the game. I think Brett Hundley needs to let it rip in the next game. Play to win, not to avoid losing. He has the talent to make plays. I think you’ll see a different player in the next game. I think more will be demanded of him. It has to be that way.
Tim from Jacksonville, FL
The Steelers recently did a fashion show. Describe for us what a fashion show would look like if done by the Steelers of the ’70s.
Frenchy Fuqua would be dressed as a French count, replete with a swashbuckling hat, cape, cane and high-heel shoes. The top of the cane and each of the high heels would be made of glass and filled with water, and a goldfish would be swimming in each. I’m not kidding. He wore that outfit. Frenchy is one of the most colorful players I’ve ever covered. I remember interviewing him in his training camp dorm room, where he smoked cigarettes from a long-stemmed, jewel-studded cigarette holder.
Jon from Bloomfield, NJ
Vic, did you see the Bears won with Mitchell Trubisky throwing seven passes? Remember any good games from before the chuck rule when the winning QB threw seven passes?
I covered the Steelers in 1976 when they won nine consecutive games following the infamous Turkey Jones hit that sidelined Terry Bradshaw and left the Steelers to play with a rookie quarterback named Mike Kruczek. Kruczek needed to do little more than hand off to Franco Harris and Rockey Bleier, as the “Steel Curtain” turned in the greatest defensive performance I have ever seen. In the final nine games of the season, the Steelers scored five shutouts and allowed a total of 28 points. Those days are over. You can’t sustain winning with a handoff machine in today’s game.
Mike from North Hudson, WI
Vic, how do you see the Packers season playing out?
If Mike McCarthy wasn’t the coach, I’d have reason for grave concern. Coach McCarthy will find a way to keep the Packers in the hunt.
Jesse from Anaconda, MT
What does Coach McCarthy mean when he says he didn’t let Hundley get comfortable in the pocket?
It means he tried to play the game for him. He was overly protective of his young quarterback. It won’t work. He has to let him play. Players, not plays.
Gary from Murrieta, CA
Vic, Colin Kaepernick had a contract with the 49ers and walked away. Doesn't that weaken his case with the NFL?
He opted for free agency because the new coach and general manager made it clear Kaepernick did not fit in their plans. John Lynch was quoted as saying as much.
Scott from Hamlin, NY
To me, surgery for the collarbone on the throwing shoulder sounds like no chance to come back for the playoffs. What have your years of journalism taught you about these injuries?
I’ve always sought the advice of the medical profession and training people. Former Jaguars trainer Mike Ryan, whose information I've always relied, recently described in his blog Aaron Rodgers’ surgery and prospects for recovery. I think you’ll enjoy the read: http://www.mikeryansportsmedicine.com/closer-look-at-aaron-rodgers-clavicle-fracture/