"Ask Vic" is published on M-W-F through the regular season.
Here are my all-important Week 2 power rankings:
1. Bucs -- We'll see.
2. Chiefs -- Crunch-time offense.
3. Rams -- As advertised.
4. Seahawks -- They start fast.
5. Browns -- They'll rebound.
6. Dolphins -- Still iffy at quarterback.
7. Cardinals -- They're ready for prime time.
8. Steelers -- Started five rookies and won.
9. 49ers -- Lance will be "The Man."
10. Chargers -- New power in the AFC.
11. Saints -- Could they possibly be that good?
12. Bills -- Stinkeroo!
13. Raiders -- Signature win.
14. Ravens -- Defense melts down.
15. Bengals -- Team on the rise.
16. Broncos -- They bear watching.
17. Eagles -- What am I supposed to like? How about Jalen Hurts?
18. Colts -- Uphill battle this year.
19. Packers -- Nothing beautiful here.
20. Titans -- Sacked six times.
21. Giants -- Barkley ineffective.
22. Cowboys -- Hearbreaking loss.
23. Panthers -- One small step.
24. Washington -- Already troubled at QB.
25. Patriots -- Patience required.
26. Vikings -- Best effort of a bad division.
27. Lions -- Showed some grit.
28. Bears -- Yuk!
29. Falcons -- They could really stink this year.
30. Jets -- Growing pains.
31. Texans -- Tyrod Taylor gets it done.
32. Jaguars -- This isn't the Big 10, coach.
Justin from Downingtown, PA
So, Za'Darius Smith has posted he wants a jewelry piece of the captain's badge after not being voted team captain. After the Rodgers summer, I'm wondering about your thoughts on LaFleur's insistence on having a player-led locker room.
Coach LaFleur needs to take control of his team. The coach can't turn the team over to the team until it first belongs to him.
Greg from Chelsea, MA
Aaron Rodgers just revealed he hasn't worn a (protective) cup during games since the eighth grade. If you're a defensive coordinator, how do you turn this information into a competitive advantage?
Adjust your players' target lower? Ouch!
Adam from Denver, CO
Did you enjoy watching any of the Week 1 games?
There were a lot of good games. This was a better Week 1 than in past years.
Jeff from Oshkosh, WI
I have never been a fan of the 3-4 defense. How do teams stop the run up the middle when the offensive line pits 1,500-plus pounds of road graders against 900 pounds of block eaters? Do you need a nose guard that stabilizes the interior? Everyone raves about Kenny Clark, but it seems to me the Packers haven’t been effective against the run since the Gilbert Brown/B.J. Raji days.
Clark appeared to be on skates on Sunday. Was that by design or was Clark getting pushed around? I'm not sure yet how Joe Barry intends to use his defensive linemen, so I'll refrain from analysis until I see a few games and get a better feel for the scheme. In a true two-gapping, 3-4 scheme, the down linemen are assigned the responsibility of holding the point of attack, thus making the offense's size advantage an obstacle by using it to clog the running lanes and allow the linebackers to run to the ball. I'm a fan of that scheme, but you've got to have plugs up front and hell-for-leather linebackers in the back. I didn't see either on Sunday.
Bruce from San Antonio, TX
Do you believe Rodgers’ attitude has affected the other players and the team in general?
Yes. That's why I said this is the year we find out what kind of coach Matt LaFleur is. He's facing the daunting challenge of having to fix the mess and ongoing distraction his quarterback created. All of LaFleur's leadership qualities will be at the test.
Chad from Kansas City, MO
Sorry to harp on this, but you said something years ago and it remains true. You said Packers fans would clap in training camp for complete passes against ghost defenders, and the Steelers fans would have a line of traffic wanting to watch the Oklahoma drill.
It was a remark intended to define the difference between the two fan bases and the style of football each team plays. I was trying to explain what I meant by a franchise's DNA.
Ron from Beaufort, SC
Rodgers needs to be traded and traded now. His attitude and lack of intensity drives this team. He is the leader and his leadership skills are very lacking. I would prefer to trade him and get something in the form of draft picks, suffer through a season of not winning and putting all of this behind us. It's obvious from my observations of body language and words that he is not all in.
If the Packers nose dive to start the season, your position will gain in popularity.
Dave from Jacksonville, FL
Hey, Vic, I can attest: The only thing hot here in Jacksonville this past Sunday were those crab legs Jameis was passing out after the game.
Humidity wasn't a problem. Humility was.
Dan from South Bend, IN
The Packers fan poll question is, "Will the Packers beat the Lions?" What are your thoughts?
My expectation is the Packers will win big against the Lions. The Packers will be challenged by their coach and by the egg they laid in Jacksonville. That's exactly what the Packers need.
Brian from Sugar Land, TX
One hopes Aaron Rodgers doesn't go out like Y.A. Tittle, whose famous photo on his knees was snapped in September the year after his '63 MVP, after having led the Giants to the NFL championship game three straight years.
The cracked egg picture? Rodgers has too much hair for that to happen.
Dan from Waupun, WI
McCarthy said we need to run the ball more. LaFleur said we need to run the ball more. Why can't the coach get the point across to the QB?
I have a feeling this issue could define this season. At what point, if any, will LaFleur take control of the offense?
John from Brookfield, WI
What I mean to ask is how can a viewer who's watching on TV identify arm strength?
You watch for the type of throws the quarterback is attempting. A quarterback with a weak arm doesn't attempt to throw deep outs from the far hash. He doesn't attempt sideline honey hole throws that challenge the speed of the safety to beat the ball to the sideline. Didn't Brady make that mistake in the NFC title game? I'm not sure, but I seem to recall he was intercepted or nearly intercepted on that kind of throw. Brady doesn't have the arm he did when he was in his prime, but he has a strategical command that dovetails perfectly with the ease with which the position can be played in today's game, and he's the greatest crunch-time player in the history of the game. How do you beat him? You beat him as Buffalo did last season, you rush him. He can't move and he doesn't have the arm strength to flick the ball 20 yards downfield from an off-balance position, but getting pressure on him is a tall order because nobody is better at throwing receivers open and getting rid of the ball quickly.
David from Rochester, NY
I've seen you write before that you made "Ask Vic" an LLC so if anyone sued you they'd get a web domain and an old laptop. Which got me wondering, why would someone sue you? The only thing I could think of is libel. However, you have been a professional for years, and I would assume you know how to avoid writing something libelous. Have you ever been sued for libel?
Years ago, I got some kind of notice from Al Davis I was being sued, along with the other Steelers reporters who covered a particular game against the Raiders. It was a Holy Wars game, but I can't remember which one. Nothing came of it.
Alex from Milwaukee, WI
I understand it was bad. I thought the defense played tough. Making a team use 15 plays twice to score in the first half, they played tough. Offense never got started. It is one game and it was bad, but the sky is not falling.
The defense was garbage. It couldn't stop the run or the pass and that's a bad combination. The safeties should be embarrassed. They were slow to come up against the run and didn't stay back against the deep pass. Where were they all day?