"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F through the football season.
Here are my all-important Week 6 power rankings:
1. Packers -- Schedule stiffens
2. Seahawks -- Crunch-time team.
3. Titans -- Powerful!
4. Chiefs -- Defense reverted to old ways.
5. Ravens -- Rolling along.
6. Bills -- Chiefs on a short week.
7. Rams -- Big one against 49ers.
8. Steelers -- Rookie emerges.
9. Browns -- At peak performance.
10. Raiders -- Carr outplayed Mahomes.
11. Saints -- They know how to win.
12. Colts -- Should win in Cincy.
13. Bucs -- Critical test vs. Packers.
14. Panthers -- Mike Davis is my kind of back.
15. Cardinals -- 2-2 heading into Dallas.
16. Patriots -- Unsettled.
17. Bears -- Finding ways to win.
18. Eagles -- Wentz coming to life.
19. Dolphins -- Why isn't Fitzpatrick "The Man?"
20. 49ers -- Arrow drooping.
21. Vikings -- Still have a pulse.
22. Cowboys -- It's up to Dalton now.
23. Lions -- Rested for Jaguars.
24. Chargers -- Herbert gives them a bright future.
25. Broncos -- I expected better.
26. Texans -- At Titans just another game now.
27. Bengals -- No match for Ravens.
28. Jaguars -- When does the first shoe drop?
29. Giants -- They don't need the first overall pick.
30. Washington -- Have they quit on Haskins?
31. Falcons -- They should tank for Trevor.
32. Jets -- Winless, hopeless, clueless.
Joe from Milwaukee, WI
What’s an episode of the 1960's "The Twilight Zone" you found memorable? It, quite possibly, is the best of fictional story telling on the tube
I like the pig faces episode.
Jeff from Alexandria, VA
Why are the Packers trying out kickers at such a frenetic pace when their current kicker is doing just fine and they just signed him to a contract extension? They must know something we do not. I have many thoughts as to what that might be, but what are yours?
My first thought is in this Covid season all teams need to maintain an updated data base on kickers.
Jonathan from Southern Pines, NC
What are you seeing from the old man, Vic? Big Ben has a 70 percent completion percentage, 10 TD, 1 interception. To me he seems more like Tom Brady now: quick, short passes, safe, smart decision-making, as opposed to the air it out, gunslinging Ben he used to be. What do you say?
Age invites caution.
Pat from Seneca, SC
I am not quite old enough to have watched Gale Sayers. Given his shortened career, what are your thoughts about his selection to the Hall of Fame?
The Pro Football Hall of Fame was only a decade old when Sayers' career ended. Forget about the stats. Baseball was still the national pasttime and the Hall of Fame needed star-power names to attract visitors. Sayers was the most electric running back and kick returner of his day. He was selected to the Hall of Fame because he was famous.
Max from Toledo, OH
Some teams were having a hard time putting fans in the stands. When Covid is under control, will fans go back to stadiums?
Will this season have created a habit for not going to the game? That's a big concern around the league, even for teams with season ticket waiting lists.
Jim from Minneapolis, MN
Vic, how are the Steelers so good at identifying talent at the wide receiver position? It seems like they always find players that contribute in a meaningful manner.
Plaxico Burress, Antwaan Randel El, Emmanuel Sanders and Mike Wallace were allowed to leave in free agency. The Steelers traded Santonio Holmes to the Jets and Martavis Bryant to the Raiders. I won't include the Antonio Brown trade in this narrative because it involved special circumstances. As my friend Ed Bouchette of "The Athletic" notes, Hines Ward and Brown are the only Steelers wide receivers to have gotten second contracts in the 21st century. The Steelers get it: dime a dozen.
Bill from Sheboygan, WI
What are your thoughts on Le'Veon Bell being cut?
Franchising Bell a second time was one of the Steelers' worst personnel decisions in the 21st century. They were saved by Bell's refusal to sign a rich contract that would've crippled the Steelers’ salary cap and delayed its repair. It was the football equivalent of "Dumb and Dumber."
Paul from Cumming, GA
In the modern league, is it better for teams to hire an offense-minded head coach and ensure stability on that side of the ball?
The problem with hiring an offense-minded head coach is he can become more of an offensive coordinator than a head coach. The problem with hiring a head coach who isn't offense-minded is the offensive coordinator can become the most important coach on the team. I think it's most important to hire a coach with a stable and dynamic personality who is a leader of men and a person to whom his subordinates are loyal and accountable. A head coach doesn't have to be the face of the franchise, but he must be its heartbeat.
Charley from Big Piney, WY
Where were you when Bill Mazeroski hit his walk-off homer 60 years ago yesterday?
The nuns let us out early to go home and watch the final innings of the game. I ran home and turned on our black and white Admiral TV to see Hal Smith hit what I thought would be a game-winning, three-run homer, but the Yankees rallied in the top of the ninth to tie the game. Maz was the lead-off hitter in the bottom of the ninth. I wasn't expecting what happened. "And there's a long fly ball to deep left. This may do it. Back to the wall goes Berra, and it's over the fence, home run, the Pirates win." With one swing of the bat, the best summer of my life was over. Sixty years later, as I'm recalling the first great moment of my life, I'm looking up at a framed aerial photo of Forbes Field. Left field bears Maz's autograph, right in front of the spot where the ball cleared the wall. It's a sobering thought to think Whitey Ford just passed away. The Yankees would've probably won the '60 Series if Stengel had opened the Series with him. No Maz homer, no framed photo, no autograph, no great memory. That's how fragile it all is.