"Ask Vic" will publish on Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the football season.
Here's the "Ask Vic" Week 9 power rankings:
1. Rams -- Not unbeatable.
2. Patriots -- They just win, baby.
3. Chiefs -- Two softies and then the Rams.
4. Saints -- Playing like a No. 1.
5. Panthers -- Powerful looking in win over Ravens.
6. Washington -- Watch out for the Falcons.
7. Chargers -- At the test in Seattle.
8. Vikings -- Lackluster first half of the season.
9. Ravens -- Will take control with win over Steelers.
10. Seahawks -- Beginning to hit stride.
11. Bears -- Should beat Bills.
12. Steelers -- Le'Veon who?
13. Bengals -- Nearly lost to Bucs.
14. Packers -- Earned respect against Rams.
15. Texans -- Can begin to pull away in AFC South.
16. Eagles -- Still alive.
17. Cowboys -- They better throw it to Cooper.
18. Falcons -- Need to get on a roll.
19. Titans -- Could be fading,
20. Jaguars -- Need to examine selves during bye week.
21. Lions -- Disappointing loss to Seahawks.
22. Broncos -- No longer relevant.
23. Dolphins -- Scheme team.
24. Jets -- Coach watch begins.
25. Bucs -- Firing Mike Smith fixed nothing.
26. Colts -- Arrow pointing slightly up.
27. Browns -- Soft and cheesy vs. Steelers.
28. Giants -- No words.
29. Bills -- Winter on the way.
30. Cardinals -- Moved up one whole spot!
31. 49ers -- Must-lose game vs. Raiders.
32. Raiders -- Should retain lead for top pick.
Eric from West Salem, WI
What do you make of the two trades the Packers made yesterday?
The Ha Ha trade was a self-fulfilling prophecy. His I-won't-be-here whimpering was a message to his coach and teammates he wasn't committed to playing for the Packers. He was in a contract year and he wasn't responding positively. His play was subpar the past two years and, truth be known, I never thought he was the equal of the expectations for him when he was drafted. He was the fans' pick, however, and that seemed to insulate him from criticism, until last season when his performance cratered. By trading Ha Ha, Mike McCarthy is sending a message to his team: Your commitment must be complete or you'll be gone. The Ty Montgomery trade was effectively a release. Events following his kickoff-return gaffe on Sunday demanded he be released. Trading him allowed the Packers to part ways with dignity. They won't be blamed for joining the crowd, including teammates who spoke anonymously of him, who kicked him when he was down. I have a feeling McCarthy's address to his team today will include more than presenting the game plan for this week's game.
Cliff from Washington, DC
Vic, there is a particular breed of wolf that should be very ashamed today. If you think Ty should have been traded/cut, fine. In fact, I think his production and our young talent at the position justifies moving on. But going after him in such a personal manner like too many fans did is disgusting. He is a human being. We are human beings. We must move away from using the cover of internet anonymity to go after people and their families.
The wolf you're describing doesn't howl, it whines. It has no shame. It believes its joy is more important than another person's dignity, and it reacts with anger and ridicule when it has been denied that to which it believes it is entitled. Why? Because it's a lonely wolf that never learned to treat others as it wishes to be treated. These wolves must be ignored.
Brian from Superior, WI
The Packers have had to get rid of several locker room problems recently. Any thoughts as to why?
That's a good question; I wish I had an answer. In my opinion, the anonymous sources Mike Silver quoted are also locker room problems. They also need to go.
Will from Salt Lake City, UT
Win or lose, football is entertainment and I will be entertained this Sunday night. New England did not look as good as I thought they would on Monday, so what are the keys to victory, as this could be the last time we see this great matchup?
The key to victory is simple: Aaron Rodgers must outplay Tom Brady. The team whose quarterback plays the best will win the game. I say that because I don't see a lot of difference between the two teams. I think the Packers' roster is the equal of the Patriots'. They're ordinary teams with extraordinary quarterbacks.
Greg from Glen Carbon, IL
I was simply in awe of Coach McCarthy during his Monday press conference. He used a fantastic mix of accommodation, sternness and humor to deftly navigate persistent questions about the return/fumble. I don't care one bit for those questions except they give coach yet another opportunity to showcase his incredible leadership. Wow!
He'll call himself out and he'll call his team out, but I've never seen him single out a player for ridicule. He's been called out, by none other than his quarterback, the player around whom McCarthy built his team, but I've never seen him call out his quarterback. Mike McCarthy is a leader of men. He's got a little bit of an internal issue right now, but I have no doubt he'll get it fixed, and in a seamless way. That's what a leader of men and a great football coach does.
Anthony from Milwaukee, WI
Would you ever use an anonymous source?
I've done it and I was never burned, and it's because I would never attribute information to an anonymous source I didn't trust with my byline. Good reporters don't play fast and loose with their news sources. They know who they can trust. Mike Silver is a good reporter. He went on record as saying sources told him the Jaguars were for sale, long before anyone else believed it to be true, and despite Wayne Weaver's denials, Silver was right, the Jaguars were for sale and they were, in fact, sold. Don't blame the media, blame the loose lips inside the Packers' locker room. Fingers pointed, and that's much worse than losing a game.
Daniel from Richmond, TX
Vic, the Packers still have to play away games at New England, Seattle, Minnesota and Chicago. In my opinion, they need to go 3-1 in these games to make the playoffs. Do you agree?
I don't agree. I think the Packers can go 2-2 in those games and still win the division, as long as those two wins are in Minnesota and Chicago.
Sean-Luc from Oceanside, CA
Did Aaron Rodgers set the tone that it's permissible to defy or distrust the coach after the Bills game, when he attributed the sloppy play to the game plan?
No, but I think he created license to criticize another member of the team by using his media platform to criticize his coach. Rodgers is the Packers' leader. He is the best player on that team. He's Teflon. A man in that position must be very careful not to abuse it. I sincerely hope the press conference following the Bills game doesn't become a defining moment for this Packers team.
Pat from Seneca, SC
You previously said you thought the Packers matched up well with the Patriots. Can you expand on that statement?
Rodgers vs. Brady is a good matchup. That's the game, in my opinion. McCarthy vs. Belichick? The last time the two teams played, in 2014, McCarthy outcoached Belichick.
Johan from Pembroke, ON
You mentioned on Monday Sean McVay made a mistake. Was his mistake just gaining a couple of yards on third down and then kicking a field goal and leaving Rodgers with over two minutes left, only needing a field goal to win?
Yep. He didn't play to win, he played not to lose, so to speak, and that usually doesn't work in today's game. His thoughts should've been on scoring a touchdown and going for two. Time was no issue. Running the ball and playing for a field goal was only taking time off the clock McVay likely would've needed, had the fumble on the kickoff not ensued. I think a young coach choked a little. If he doesn't learn from it, he'll lose doing the same thing in a bigger game down the road. The game has changed. You don't turn it over to your defense any more. You win with offense.
David from New York, NY
Vic, I know you've been opposed to cutting Montgomery because of his decision to take the ball out of the end zone on Sunday. Since then, it has come to light he did this against instruction from the coaches. I'm for letting people learn from their mistakes. I agree, cutting him makes the roster worse off. However, I'm concerned about the impact on the locker room. I've played football and I know if a player got off disobeying the coach, I'll think twice before listening to the coach again. Is cutting him necessary to keep order in the locker room?
I didn't say don't cut him. I said don't ridicule him; don't point the finger at him. If my coach points the finger at my teammate, I know he'll point it at me, and at that point I'm not playing for him any longer, I'm playing for me. Loyalty is a two-way street. If you want mine, I gotta have yours. Everything Ty Montgomery said about being a family is spot on.
Ryan from Bloomer, WI
Did Dorsey listen to the howl or was it time? I found it interesting the Browns have fired their last six head coaches after the second Steelers game of the season.
There's no way John Dorsey took that job wanting to keep Hue Jackson. He just needed to wait until the owner came to his senses. Dorsey needs to hire a coach who'll take charge with actions, not words. A couple of Browns were quoted last week as saying the Browns had "unfinished business" with the Steelers. I laughed, and then I looked up the results from games between the two teams in the last several years. The Browns have beaten the Steelers three times since Ben Roethlisberger was drafted in 2004. Yeah, I'd say that's unfinished business. Vic to Browns: Stop talking and start winning. Facta, non verba.