"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F through the football season.
Here are my all-important Week 14 power rankings:
1. Chiefs -- Mahomes making MVP pitch.
2. Saints -- Gaining momentum.
3. Steelers -- Tired and depleted.
4. Packers -- On cruise control.
5. Rams -- Leading the West.
6. Bills -- Can make statement vs. Steelers.
7. Colts -- Haven't played their best football, yet.
8. Titans -- What was that?
9. Seahawks -- Slumping.
10. Browns -- Big one vs. Ravens.
11. Ravens -- Must-win game.
12. Bucs -- Vikings will test their resolve.
13. Dolphins -- Party comes to an end vs. Chiefs.
14. Patriots -- Too late.
15. Vikings -- Run the ball.
16. Washington -- They're for real.
17. Giants -- Getting hot at the right time.
18. Raiders -- Lucky win.
19. Cardinals -- Getting cold at the wrong time.
20. 49ers -- They're done.
21. Texans -- Dog of the year.
22. Panthers -- Rhule in control.
23. Chargers -- Playing for coach's job.
24. Broncos -- Bottom feeder.
25. Eagles -- Wentz benched.
26. Bengals -- They try hard.
27. Falcons -- Rebuild on the way.
28. Lions -- Stafford in farewell games?
29. Jaguars -- Just lose, baby.
30. Bears -- Moving up.
31. Cowboys -- What's the future hold?
32. Jets -- Cover zero?
Nick from Owego, NY
Is there a better story to root for than Alex Smith winning the Super Bowl?
It would be a wonderful way to conclude a Covid season and though it would qualify as a million-to-one shot, I could make a case for it. Washington has good corners, an attacking defensive front and a running game that's gaining momentum. Smith is a veteran quarterback who knows how to win and his coach, Ron Rivera, is also a feel-good story. This is a team you don't want to face in the playoffs. All of the arrows are pointing up and low expectations would give them a freewheeling spirit that would make them dangerous against a top seed.
Bruce from New Canaan, CT
Vic, I was a bit surprised you didn't comment Monday on Green Bay's two pass attempts from the one foot line on third and fourth down.
It's a leaguewide problem and coaches are reacting much too slowly to it. A specialist is required. Get a runner under center and push.
Jamie from Thunder Bay, Ontario
Do the Steelers need a James Starks?
They need Maurkice Pouncey, James Conner and some time off. The Steelers are a tired and depleted team, and three games in 12 days is only going to worsen their problem.
Jeff from Miami, FL
Do you think the Packers will continue with their current run/pass balance in the playoffs or would you prefer they run more to try to control time of possession?
The Packers offense is playing at the highest level. It can't be improved. It needs the playoffs to begin today.
Jared from Rigby, ID
Vic, do you know what the Bears saw in Trubisky to draft him instead of Mahomes?
It's not what they saw, it's what they didn't see. They didn't see a one-year wonder who was living off big plays and lacked the kind of command and understanding of pass offense you would expect of a second overall pick of the draft.
Bob from Marietta, GA
"If Pederson can't rebuild him, he'll have to trade him to the Bears." Thank you for that! Five minutes later and I'm still laughing.
Seriously, what are the Bears going to do at quarterback? There's no franchise in the NFL whose arrow is pointing more straight down than the Bears' arrow.
Jalen from Jacksonville, FL
Kyle Trask is moving in right behind Trevor Lawrence? I'm a Jags fan and we gotta get this next QB pick right. Are you really leaning Trask over Justin Fields?
I don't believe Fields is worthy of the second pick of the draft. I don't see a second-pick-of-the-draft passer.
Dale from Lodi, WI
I’ve been taught to use shorter, simpler words if I can when writing. I have average intelligence at best and find myself pausing often while reading your blog to look up a word I’ve never read before. Is it a strategy of yours to use complex words?
No! I'm a sports writer, which means I am a person of limited intelligence. I use words I know and fit the personality of what I'm writing.
Wes from San Antonio, TX
Vic, in regards to college players opting out in the middle of the regular season, as opposed to bowl games in recent years, do you think this is simply due to the pandemic and the unusual nature of this season? Or do you think this is a trend that will continue when we're back to normal seasons after the pandemic?
When the bowl opt-outs began, I immediately thought to myself, "This will spread to teams playing meaningless games at midseason." College football needs to blow itself up.
Rich from Manitou Springs, FL
Can't wait until Wednesday to see where Seattle lands. I guess they'll still be ahead of the Packers, even with one of the league's worst defenses.
I would worry more about the Packers' prospects in the postseason than where the Packers fall in my all-important power rankings.
Dave from Chippewa Falls, WI
I don't know about some of these hotshot college QB prospects. Wilson, Jones, Fields drop back, are given plenty of time in the pocket, stare at one receiver and, if he's not open, take off. Nice arms, strong runners. I know the pro game is more and more like that, but are they really difference-makers in the pros if they can't move in the pocket and find secondary options?
What you're describing is known as a half-field read. College football offensive coordinators like them because it simplifies the game and helps young quarterbacks achieve success early in their career. It won't work in the NFL. A quarterback must be able to see the whole field. Why do great college quarterbacks fail in the NFL? They don't see the whole field.
Zach from Green Bay, WI
Vic, why must one have an LLC to exercise their first amendment rights?
So Rudy Giuliani doesn't sue you.
Pat from Seneca, SC
Any thoughts on the increasing impact of Darnell Savage and Rashan Gary?
Chatty says Gary is coming on.
Joe from Bloomington, IN
Is a dominant four-man front the most powerful force on defense?
If you can win up front with four, you can drop seven into coverage, and that's how you beat great quarterbacks.
Kevin from Cary, NC
What do you make of the Browns' success this year?
Anybody who thinks this is an upset doesn't understand the NFL. The Browns are finally playing up to the expectations of their years-long draft position. They've got a lot of high-round picks coming into the prime years of their career. It's an upset teams such as the Packers and Steelers are where they are given their years-long draft position.