"Ask Vic" is published on M-W-F through the regular season.
Here are my all-important Week 8 power rankings:
1. Cardinals -- Now we'll find out.
2. Bucs -- Complete team.
3. Rams -- Just keep winning.
4. Packers -- Good and lucky.
5. Cowboys -- McCarthy knows Vikings.
6. Titans -- AFC's best team.
7. Bills -- Time to pour it on.
8. Bengals -- AFC North's best team.
9. Ravens -- Just when they looked unbeatable ...
10. Raiders -- Developing story.
11. Saints -- Winning with defense.
12. Vikings -- Playing for a wild card.
13. Chargers -- Patriots will test them.
14. Chiefs -- Arrow pointing down.
15. 49ers -- Something is missing.
16. Browns -- Is Mayfield their future?
17. Steelers -- Big game in Cleveland.
18. Broncos -- Fading.
19. Colts -- Must-win game vs. Titans.
20. Patriots -- Offense explodes.
21. Seahawks -- Another narrow loss.
22. Eagles -- Outlook bleak.
23. Panthers -- Darnold reverting.
24. Washington -- Finding ways to lose.
25. Bears -- Blow it up just around the corner.
26. Giants -- Daniel Jones not improving.
27. Falcons -- Not too late to make a move.
28. Texans -- Another pounding coming up.
29. Jaguars -- Urban Meyer says no more excuses.
30. Dolphins -- Lost season.
31. Lions -- They'll get win No. 1 this week.
32. Jets -- Dreadful.
Justin from Waukeshau, WI
A.J. Dillon redemption week? If the Packers want to win, they'll need to pound the ball.
The Cardinals invite the run.
Joey from Watertown, WI
What’s gone wrong with the Panthers?
Two weeks ago, they dropped passes. This past Sunday, Sam Darnold played poorly. They need to run the ball. They need a healthy Christian McCaffrey.
Greg from Cuenca, Ecuador
In the offseason, you were optimistic about the Lions. This is not meant to be snarky. What did you see? Is it still there? Is their won-loss record not indicative of their progress?
I saw a good-looking offensive line and the new energy Dan Campbell would create. Then the line got hurt and lost key players. I think the Lions will win this week, but I don't see more than another win or two on their remaining schedule. They'll draft in the top five, and that's how a bad team gets good.
Nicholas from Owego, NY
Is Murray more dangerous with his arm or his feet?
Andrew from Placentia, CA
I'm curious to hear your thoughts on Rodgers' comments about his back hurting from the hotel room and that staying at a hotel before home games is antiquated. I'm also curious on your thoughts on LaFleur's response referring to "Coach Rodgers." Their bond seems strong; hopefully it doesn't stir drama the way the "complicated fella" comment did.
I think the "Coach Rodgers" comment was a shot, but I also think Rodgers likes it. As for the hotel thing, Sam Rutigliano let his Browns stay at home the night before home games. Sam was a rookie coach trying to raise morale and gain his players' favor. I can remember Coach Noll explaining how the idea of staying at a hotel the night before a home game was initially a way of getting players away from two o'clock feedings and making sure they got a good night's sleep. I don't think two o'clock feedings are the issue nowadays. I'm sensitive to Rodgers' complaint because I'm a bad back guy and my back doesn't like unfamiliar mattresses. Here's the problem: Because he's made an issue of it, doing it the Rutigliano way could create another controversy. At that point, you might as well put an "R" on the helmet. I think Rodgers would also like that.
Jeffery from Brooklyn, WI
If a team was wearing your two favorite colors, what would they be and name the team?
Blue and gold is my favorite color combination. I love Notre Dame's traditional uniforms, the Gary Beban UCLA uniforms, the Roger Staubach Navy uniforms, and I don't think there's a more attractive uniform in all of football than Pitt's home blue. If I was the commissioner of the ACC, I would mandate that any time Pitt and Clemson play against each other, Pitt must wear its home blue and Clemson must wear it's all orange. It's a beautiful visual, even better than the USC-UCLA red-blue look.
Jonathan from St. Joseph, MO
Given his response, do you think asking Tomlin about the USC job is a fair question? Loved his response.
It's never a fair question. Anything but a firm no is a yes. If I was a coach, I'd always answer with a firm no. If I pulled a Saban and took the job, I'd say I changed my mind. Mike Tomlin took it to the extreme. Good for him. I doubt he'll be bothered by that question again.
Phil from Marietta, GA
You've said something to the effect "your team isn't hurt until your quarterback is hurt," but Green Bay will be without four All-Pro/Pro-Bowl players on Thursday: Bakhtiari, Z. Smith, Alexander and Adams. Are the Packers therefore "hurt" and, more importantly, is it scheme or players that need to step up to cover for these absences? What would Coach Vic do?
The point is a team can overcome injuries and almost certainly will have to overcome them during the course of the season, but if a team loses its quarterback for a significant amount of time (Seattle?), it's over. What chance would you give the Packers on Thursday if Rodgers couldn't play? Get it? I'd run the ball.
Hennison from St. Paul, MN
At least the Packers have an excuse lined up for their assured Thursday loss.
It's not assured. Run the ball!
Paul from Brooklyn, IA
With Adams and Lazard looking unlikely to play, will this game show us what type of team the Packers really are come cold-weather, big-boy football time?
That's a little over the top.
Scott from St. Charles, IL
You called it. The Bears actually did mail it in. With a veteran QB on the bench, can you think of one good reason Justin Fields played an entire second half that started 35-3?
The Bears were so bad I thought the pirate ship was shooting at them. Maybe Andy Dalton said, "I'm not going out there."