"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F during the football season.
Tyler from Milwaukee, WI
Playing at San Francisco was way cooler when they were on the hillside at Candlestick. In your opinion, what gives a stadium a mystical essence?
Big games give a stadium its personality. What's Lambeau Field without the "Ice Bowl?" Three Rivers Stadium without the "Immaculate Reception?" Candlestick had no personality during the John Brodie years. It wasn't until "The Catch" Candlestick became a mystical place.
Jason from Green Bay, WI
"Panthers -- Arrow pointing down." Can Kyle Allen be "The Man?"
The answer to that question is the same for Allen, Minshew, Rudolph and any young quarterback whose draft-level entrance to the league didn't immediately make him "The Man." Kyler Murray, for example, immediately became "The Man" when he was selected with the first overall pick. Allen, Minshew and Rudolph have to play their way into the role, and that's going to take time. All three of those young quarterbacks have had high and low moments. I like what I see in Allen, but he and Rudolph each threw four interceptions in their most recent games, and that won't work. I'm not sure Minshew would've been benched in favor of Foles had Minshew not thrown two interceptions in the loss to the Texans. Interceptions are the bane of a young quarterback's existence. They're almost a rite of passage. Even Peyton Manning threw them in his rookie season. When the interceptions stop, growth begins.
Craig from Cedarburg, WI
You stated Kirk Cousins is “The Man." He is playing incredible football in the last few weeks, but the knock on him (fair or unfair) continues to be his clutch play. Did the second half against Denver erase that for you?
Cousins has played at an elite level in recent games. Without him, the Vikings wouldn't be a playoff contender. This is crunch time. This is when quarterbacks define themselves. One game won't do it. What he does the rest of the season is how Cousins will be judged. That goes for all quarterbacks, including Rodgers.
Jason from Austin, TX
Vic, I'd love to hear what your assessment is on Oakland? They were the butt of a lot of jokes last season, but they drafted well and their arrow is pointing straight up again. Are they an example of why teams shouldn't overpay and should trade superstars when they can?
The Raiders are an example of what will eventually happen if you draft at the top of the order for a sustained period of time.
William from Savannah, GA
Vic, are the Patriots playing possum on offense with their play-calling to try and save it for the postseason?
Brady's old. He's lost his pocket mobility. He began sacking himself last season and now it's happening more often, and that's inviting the rush. Defenses aren't afraid to go after him. Gronk is gone and that's a big dent in the Patriots' passing game. Can the Patriots win it all on the strength of their defense? Well, the Ravens sure didn't have a problem scoring points on that defense. The Patriots play the Cowboys, Texans and Chiefs over the next three weeks. Those games might give us a better look at what's ahead.
John from Minnesota
Vic, it's sad to watch Philip Rivers' collapse across the finish line of his career rather than break the tape with confidence. Whose end-of-career decline was the toughest for you to watch?
Johnny Unitas. I covered his final game. Black high tops and lightning bolts made for a very sad look.
Allen from Birmingham, AL
I agree with you about the college football playoff rankings system. Do you think it might benefit if the top 32 college schedules were assigned by an independent entity? The NFL scheduler does very well with drama and balance.
So now we're going to rank which teams are deserving of assigned schedules? College football needs across-the-board standardization and in every way. Some conferences play eight conference games, others play nine. That's nuts! It's also nuts Alabama continues to be a playoffs contender despite having lost Tua. Without him, Alabama is a bad defense that nearly lost to Tennessee. I honestly believe if college football went to eight playoff teams, the SEC would find a way to get four teams in. I think it's time the Big 10 and the PAC 12 begin talking about having their own "national" championship. They have the TV sets. Alabama vs. Clemson sure isn't delivering the ratings.
Jim from Maple Grove, MN
Vic, what do you make of Jimmy Garoppolo? Is he any kind of special?
What quarterbacks in the NFL have been special this season? Brady? Goff? Brees and Roethlisberger have been injured. Rivers is throwing interceptions. Ryan has been better than his team's record but not special. Stafford's out and his return is unknown. Dalton has been benched. Mayfield has been a major disappointment. Manning and Mariota were benched, Luck quit, Foles and Mahomes got, Flacco's gone for the year, Trubisky and Winston are on the way out, Newton's done, Wentz and Josh Allen have been average. Watson, Prescott, Cousins, Carr, Brissett and Garoppolo are having good years, but I don't think they qualify as being special. Rodgers, Jackson and Wilson are the only quarterbacks I consider to be playing at a truly special level. Rodgers vs. Garoppolo is a mismatch in the Packers' favor. In my mind, the focus is on the Packers defense. OK, guys, show us who you are.
Gavin from St. Paul, MN
Vic, can you explain the injury report and why teams are required to disclose the health of players throughout the week?
It's transparency with the intent to avoid accusations of impropriety as it might relate to the point spread.
Michael from Jacksonville, FL
Have you been watching the impeachment inquiries? Any thoughts?
It's the testimonies of people intent on telling the truth, being questioned by politicians attempting to shape the questions so the answers might serve their specific needs.
Randy from Medicine Hat, AB
Do you remember where you were when President Kennedy was assassinated?
I think everyone remembers where they were on that terrible afternoon in American history. I was sitting in Sister Rose Gertrude's seventh grade class.
Cassidy from Carlsbad, CA
What is the appropriate response to the Myles Garrett situation?
The league has acted correctly. The most important response, however, will be authored by the Steelers. Will they retaliate or will they reject Garrett's stain on the game by performing honorably and professionally in the rematch?
Mike from Bridgeport, CT
Myles Jack looked like he was destined to be a star his rookie season. Since moving inside, I've lost that feeling. Should he be playing middle linebacker? Is he the weak link on a declining defense?
Is the knee beginning to cost him speed and suddenness?
Ethan from Ontario, Canada
Are their any matchups you particularly like for Sunday? I like Aaron Jones on the Niners' linebackers.
The matchups that interest me are Richard Sherman vs. Davante Adams and the 49ers' pass rushers vs. the Packers tackles.