Here are my Week 10 power rankings:
1. Eagles – Ran out of fireworks.
2. Patriots – Still the class of the AFC.
3. Steelers – Tomlin is in control.
4. Rams – Offense to match their defense.
5. Saints – Will be tested in Buffalo.
6. Cowboys – Beginning to look powerful.
7. Panthers – They just keep winning.
8. Seahawks – How's life? They can't kick.
9. Chiefs – Time to do something.
10. Vikings – Headed for a fall.
11. Lions – Best team in the NFC North?
12. Bills – Can prove themselves against Saints.
13. Jaguars – Arrow pointing straight up.
14. Falcons – Season on the line vs. Cowboys.
15. Titans – Showing some grit.
16. Redskins – At a crossroads.
17. Raiders – Don't quit on them just yet.
18. Jets – Better than expected.
19. Chargers – Facing must win in Jacksonville.
20. Dolphins – Not a good 4-4.
21. Texans – Turn out the lights.
22. Packers – Playoff run could be over.
23. Bears – Setting a trap for their rival.
24. Ravens – Needed rest.
25. Cardinals – Worst 4-4 team in the league.
26. Broncos – Blow it up.
27. Bengals – More embarrassing behavior.
28. Colts – Future is cloudy.
29. Bucs – Could be in free fall.
30. Giants – A very sad season.
31. Browns – Now what?
32. 49ers – Once upon a time, they were the best.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, what do you think of Mitchell Trubisky's improvement at QB? What are the biggest challenges he provides for Green Bay?
He's not the challenge. The Packers' challenge is to stop the Bears' running game. It's No. 4 in the league, which is an understatement as to its effectiveness when you consider the Bears are No. 31 in passing. Opponents are focused on stopping the run, yet, the Bears are still able to put up big rushing numbers. That tells me the Bears are able to impose their will.
Sam from Jacksonville, FL
Can you give me one good reason why the Jaguars lost the 1999 AFC Championship?
They stopped running the ball. Fred was gashing the Titans. Why did they stop?
Nathan from New York, NY
Vic, I can only speak for myself, but I don't think Packers fans necessarily disagree with you about drafting a quarterback in the early rounds before Aaron Rodgers retires. We just feel it's not something that has to be done when Rodgers is still 34.
If you pass on the right guy when you don't need him, can you guarantee he'll be available when the need is immediate? The Jaguars passed on Aaron Rodgers because they didn't think they needed a quarterback. What followed were a lot of dry years at the position when the available quarterbacks were highlighted by Tim Tebow and Jimmy Clausen. I think it's time to begin thinking about the future. Of all the decisions Ted Thompson made as general manager of the Packers, his decision to draft a quarterback before he needed one is, by far, his best, and he was harshly criticized by fans for it. Haven't the fans learned their lesson?
Patrick from Ashland, WI
Glad to find your site, finally! If you listened to Mike McCarthy's press conference after the Lions game, he said something like, "Take a look at the lopsided statistics." What did he mean by that?
I wasn't at the press conference -- I think I had fallen asleep on the couch -- but the lopsided stats tell me the Packers were overmatched. I've read a lot of comments by fans that the Packers had a lot of first-round picks on defense in Monday night's game, but what we forget is for the past several years, every time the Packers made a pick, the Lions had preceded that pick by selecting a higher-rated player. It's the genius of the inverse-order draft. Success comes at a cost.
Ryan from Neenah, WI
If, as you say, the Packers are simply overmatched on defense, what is the best way for the coaching staff to put the players in a position to be more successful? My opinion is our defensive backfield struggles with zone concepts. I wonder if they would fair better in more man to man coverage? I realize a pass rush would help; maybe Biegel can provide a spark?
The two touchdown passes were against man coverage. The honey hole (what's with the turkey hole stuff, Gruden?) throws were against zone. The long screen pass was against an all-out blitz. I don't think concepts were the problem. I think it's time to play it straight, challenge the defense to win its one-on-ones, and find out who can't. Then you'll know how to fix the problem.
Joseph from Dillon, MT
Glad to read your material again; thank you. If you were coach, how would you prepare for the Bears?
I'd run the ball. The running game fixes everything. If you can't run the ball, then you know what needs to be fixed.
Bill from Sheboygan, WI
Who's to blame for the Packers' fall?
Matt from Christchurch, New Zealand
How does winsome cope with defeat?
With dignity and aplomb. Whining and crying worsen the effects of losing. I'm reminded of an interview I did with Joe Greene a long time ago. He was struggling with the frustration football often forces on us. Joe said he decided happiness wasn't a constant. When you have it, enjoy it. When you don't have, be patient and wait for it to return. I think Packers fans need to be patient.
Johan from Pembroke, ON
If Vic is head coach, what does he do to try and improve the Packers' current chances of having the December friend visit Lambeau Field this season?
There is no Vic the head coach. There's only Vic the retired reporter, and he is confident Mike McCarthy will find a way to make December meaningful. Vic the reporter has never covered a coach who is better than McCarthy at preparing a team to play.
Dustin from Seymour, WI
Can one man really tilt the field that much?
Tom Brady has for 16 years.
Richard from Clearwater, MN
I have to say, I appreciate the '90s the most, as my love with the Packers started in '93, when the balance between great running backs and passers still had some equilibrium. What decade of football would you say has brought you the greatest joy?
The games meant the most to me in the '70s because they were more than a game then. Is that joy? I'm not sure.
Bob from Wauwatosa, WI
Hi Vic, what is your take on Martellus Bennett being released by the Packers on Wednesday?
He had become a distraction.
Tim from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, when are you going to release a book? You could probably write about the migratory patterns of birds and I'd still buy it.
I spend a lot of time every day observing birds in the marsh behind my house. They especially interest me during the cocktail hour. There are little white ones, big white ones and gigantic gray ones that have a beard.