"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F during the football season.
Adam from Thailand
Can you refresh my memory regarding NLTBEs and LTBEs in regards to the salary cap? LTBE incentives count against the cap, but if they are not achieved, do they still have to be paid and capped? That's the part I need a refresher on.
If a player achieved an incentive standard in the previous season, that same incentive is regarded as likely to be earned in the new season and, therefore, the team must cap it for the new year. If the player doesn't achieve that incentive standard in the new season, the team receives a cap credit for the next season.
Leif from Frederic, WI
Is Duck’s goose cooked?
If it is, he'll still have some wonderful memories and stories to tell his children some day. In his 3-1 run, he has taken down a former fourth pick of the draft (Rivers) and the last two first overall picks (Mayfield and Murray), and lost to the seventh pick (Allen) of the 2018 draft. This week, Hodges will face Sam Darnold, the third pick of the 2018 draft. Hodges was signed as a tryout player from Samford.
Jeremy from Jacksonville, FL
As a lifelong Jaguars fan, I look forward to the day when I can complain our first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback isn't winning decisively enough in the midst of a double-digit-win season.
Have you forgotten 1999, when the Jaguars were 14-2 and fans complained the Jaguars weren't winning decisively enough? They wanted the Jaguars to blow teams out the way Florida and Florida State were. The fans were holding Tom Coughlin to a college football standard.
Joe from Wilmington, NC
Why would the Patriots need to film the Bengals? This is the Bengals we're talking about! The video that was released appears damning and, to me, is indicative of how deep their disregard for sportsmanship and the rules go.
I don't know what their intent was, but they broke a rule. Why would they video the sideline of a one-win team? Well, Zac Taylor is the rookie coach of an AFC foe; maybe the Patriots wanted to get his sideline into their library. In Monday's column, a reader said he believed the Patriots' story because the helmet communicator has made hand signals obsolete. That's not true. The importance of hand signals has been lessened, but they're not obsolete. Something as simple as a raised right arm from the defensive line coach could signal a specific stunt or twist. If a safety is wearing the helmet communicator, a simple gesture might be his way for communicating a corner blitz. Also, what about substitution packages and how they're executed by the sideline? One of the primary duties of the advance scout is to detect the communications chain of command on the sideline and onto the field. If this stuff wasn't important, there'd be no reason to have an advance scout at the game. The head coach can get all of the information he needs on how the team plays from the game tapes. What gives me pause is the video itself. It was expertly focused on all of the right places. It's as though the person shooting the video was instructed on what to do. Hmmm.
Robert from Chicago, IL
Vic, news about the Jaguars player grievances is kind of a shocker. I mean, we've heard the stories of Coughlin time, etc., but to have the NFLPA actively say players should essentially think twice about playing for the team is an incredibly bad look. What do you make of all this?
The owner needs to speak soon.
Eric from Eau Claire, WI
What was your most memorable Packers-Bears game you covered? The 2013 finale is one of my favorite games ever.
It's my only worthwhile memory from covering Packers-Bears games. I think it's the most overrated rivalry in professional sports. Packers-Vikings is the real thing.
Sean from Chesterfield, VA
The Packers have played two playoff-caliber teams in the past two months. They barely beat the Chiefs with a backup QB and were embarrassed by the 49ers. The 11-3 record is a mirage. The Packers will be exposed again on Monday night for what they really are and again in the first and only playoff game. The defense is soft and Rodgers is past his prime.
Duff from Longmont, CO
I was leaving the grocery store in Longmont yesterday and noticed a sticker on the back window of a car. It was an oblong football-looking thing with "EB" in it. Upon further inspection, the "EB" stood for Edisto Beach, SC. I didn't know you lived in a place so popular; it has its own car stickers.
I've noticed the same type of sticker for other sea islands. For example, "HH" is Hilton Head. I don't know what the origin of these types of stickers is but they seem to be popular in South Carolina. Technically, I don't live in the town of Edisto Beach, I live on Edisto Island, whose sticker is "ED." I'm not a car sticker person.
Nicholas from Superior, WI
Vic, is Week 16 as big of a game for the Packers now as you thought it would be all season long?
It's a big game but for reasons different from what I expected. I thought it would be for the NFC North title, but now it's more about seeding position.
Paul from Las Vegas, NV
If you were voting for coach of the year, who would you currently be voting for and why?
I would vote for John Harbaugh, given the accomplishments of his quarterback. Harbaugh might have created a new way for playing offense. It was a bold commitment.
Justin from Canton, NC
"It was a combination of beauty and drama acted out for grateful eyes to write." Thank you, that was beautiful.
I was just trying to capture the spirit of the thing.
Mark from St. Charles, IL
"The flakes sparkled as they fell softly into the violence below." I could listen to sports talk radio and watch sports analysis on TV for decades and not encounter prose as beautiful as this.
Yeah, I dug down pretty deep for that one.
Brett from Ohio
The big game is here! I want a bold pick, Vic. Packers at Vikings, who will win and why?
I have a feeling the Vikings will win, because they'll be playing in front of their own horn, and that'll set the stage for the really big game at Lambeau in the wild card round of the playoffs.
Zak from Madison, WI
I got goose bumps reading Dan Jenkins' 1976 piece in Sports Illustrated. That must have been a spectacular game to cover. I'd love to hear more stories like that.
"Then Bleier, who grew up in the snow country of Wisconsin, skied right behind Guard Sam Davis for seven yards. Bleier must have had snow-tire studs on his football shoes because he rushed for a game-high 97 yards and was the only player who didn't skid left when he wanted to turn right." Why did we stop writing that way? Why did we stop writing with joy and begin writing with disdain?
Dave from Savage, MN
After seeing and hearing the recording from the Patriots videographer, maybe I shouldn't have assumed the Patriots weren't brazen enough to do this one on purpose. What do you think?
When do we get to see the video from the "Orchids of Asia Day Spa?"
Here are the Week 16 "Ask Vic" all-important power rankings:
1. Ravens -- Unstoppable.
2. 49ers -- Must-win game vs. Rams.
3. Saints -- Titans won't be an easy out.
4. Seahawks -- Headed toward showdown with 49ers.
5. Chiefs -- Hot team in December.
6. Vikings -- Appear to be headed for No. 6.
7. Packers -- Playoff bye at stake.
8. Patriots -- It was the Bengals.
9. Bills -- New power in the AFC East?
10. Cowboys -- Finally!
11. Texans -- Impressive win over Titans.
12. Titans -- Run the ball!
13. Eagles -- Philadelphia will be on its worst behavior.
14. Bucs -- A legitimately good football team.
15. Steelers -- Playing without an offense.
16. Rams -- Sean McVay is not the next Sean McVay.
17. Bears -- The little lights are not twinkling.
18. Falcons -- The Mighty Quinn.
19. Colts -- Collapse.
20. Cardinals -- Murray takes down Mayfield.
21. Browns -- They stink.
22. Chargers -- No longer San Diego's problem.
23. Panthers -- A good bad team.
24. Jaguars -- Minshew is back, baby.
25. Broncos -- Can Fangio hold it together?
26. Raiders -- Please leave.
27. Jets -- Really not that bad.
28. Lions -- Sell it, Martha.
29. Dolphins -- Tank almost empty.
30. Washington -- Snyder is the problem.
31. Giants -- Big decision to make.
32. Bengals -- Must-lose game at Miami.