"Ask Vic" will publish on Monday and Thursday through the offseason.
Armed with little more than the knowledge of how last season ended, instinct, intuition and the willingness to guess and be wrong, here are this year's preseason predictions.
1. Bills -- The defense is stout and Allen is ready.
2. Patriots -- Belichick will keep them competitive, but not much more.
3. Dolphins -- I don't see significant improvement.
4. Jets -- Unsettled.
1. Ravens -- It won't be a cake walk.
2. Browns -- They finally might have the right coach.
3. Steelers -- They'll be a contender and Big Ben could make them more.
4. Bengals -- The Burrow era begins.
1. Texans -- Under-achievers but talent difficult to ignore.
2. Colts -- Rivers just what they need.
3. Titans -- Tannehill fooled them.
4. Jaguars -- Minshew might be their best player.
1. Raiders -- Surprise team in the AFC.
2. Broncos -- They have "The Man" and Fangio knows defense.
3. Chiefs -- Still celebrating.
4. Chargers -- Transition time at quarterback.
1. Cowboys -- McCarthy makes them a winner.
2. Eagles -- Roster in decline.
3. Giants -- Baby steps.
4. Washington -- At least they did one thing right.
1. Vikings -- Best of a weak division.
2. Packers -- Playoff contenders.
3. Bears -- Nagy coaching for his job.
4. Lions -- Get out the broom.
1. Bucs -- Made all the right moves.
2. Saints -- Arrow pointing down.
3. Panthers -- Bold coach brings fresh attitude.
4. Falcons -- What's to like?
1. Seahawks -- Wilson in his prime.
2. 49ers -- Super Bowl hangover.
3. Cardinals -- Not up to the hype.
4. Rams -- McVay preparing for his next job.
Nate from Neenah, WY
What can the NFL do differently than in the past with regards to promoting equality?
The league is doing it. I'm proud of the NFL for supporting its players by defending their right to free speech and expression, and for the NFL's campaign against social injustice.
Ken from Arlington, VA
Just want to give you a shout-out; column brings a lot of pleasure and chortles. I think laughter is really good for the soul and I tend to be too much on the serious side. You have a real gift for addressing serious things in a very entertaining way. Call me stupid but I don't get what the "AA" reference means.
I hung out at Nick's Pool Hall when I was a teen. It was a popular place for young men in my community, which included two high schools. My high school was Class AA (the highest ranking in those days); the other high school was Class A. One day, I was in a somewhat heated debate with kids from the other high school. "If you played our schedule, you wouldn't win a game," I said. A gaggle of senior men were getting a kick out of the discourse. One of them called to me. "Ketchman," he said, "in the mill, all the shovels are AA." I said, "Yes, sir." I knew exactly what he meant. It was a life lesson.
Tony from Casper, WY
"Vic, if somebody breaks into your home to rob you, do you feel it’s your right to defend yourself or should you just let them steal whatever they want and leave you with the mess? I have insurance." They're coming for you, Vic. Not for your collection of "Terrible Towels." That was the question, (expletive deleted).
Who are they?
Darren from Avon, IN
Hey, man, stopped by out of curiosity after your radical politics pushed me away. I see not much has changed, and I say this honestly: Don't let your family or yourself get raped, killed or plundered because you give an intruder benefit of the doubt. Love is the answer, but you protect those you love with lead.
Jack from Middleton, WI
What happens if a team doesn't submit its roster reduction to 53 players at the required time?
If it's an innocent mistake, such as something clerical or procedural, the league would likely fine the team a nominal amount of money. If the league felt the issue was strategic, it would likely take a draft pick. If the team completely lost its mind and refused to cut, the league would begin voiding contracts in reverse chronological order, and then hit the team with a crippling penalty.
Don from Torrington, CT
What will those of us brave enough to watch on the 13th likely see?
I think we're going to see bad football, but I also think we're going to be very thankful and appreciative for any kind of football to watch.
Justin from Zephyrhills, FL
Whether we agree with your political opinions or not, I just wanted to thank you for braving what I can only assume is a storm from your inbox. I disagree more often than not, however, your consistency and the way you frequently handle aggressive comments/questions with tact doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated. If you were to have your first child about to be born into this crazy world in these times, what lesson would you find most important to teach from this?
Nothing has changed: You teach the difference between right and wrong.
Roger from Sun City West, AZ
I'm curious. If Pittsburgh is such a wonderful place, why didn't you move there when you left Green Bay?
As Thomas Wolfe wrote, "You can't go home again." Plus, even though Pennsylvania's tax structure makes it a good place to retire, it's a bad place to die. They take a big hunk right off the top. I'm saving that hunk for my family. That's how I protect the ones I love.
Eric from Tenvik, Norway
No question, just wanted to say thanks for shutting down the comments section. I couldn’t help myself and opened it, and regretted it, every time. I chose to leave the U.S. in 2003 when my daughter was two years old and there was discussion about whether or not metal detectors should be installed at the grade school she would have attended. I knew then the U.S. was too violent for me and there was no way I was gonna raise my kids there. I’ve been in Norway ever since, where the police have their weapons locked in the trunk of their cars and need permission to bring them out. When my mother has passed, I’ll never return to the U.S. I wish peace and health to you and those you care about, because there is no short-term fix for the hate that pervades the U.S.
I get it, but this is my home, this is my country and I love it. I'll live with whatever it decides and according to its laws, but I will also live according to my principles. I will not be compromised by the hate that's dividing us.
Chad from Kansas City, MO
Football is about to start. How will it end?
My instincts tell me it will end in some kind of altered and rushed format. If the NFL pulls off a season with a true Super Bowl-like finish, it will further separate itself from every other sports league on earth.
Jason from Austin, TX
Vic, throughout the years, I've seen you recommend different non-fiction books, but I don't recall you recommending a fictional book. What was the last fiction book you read, and do you have any recommendations for that style?
I love fiction. "Red Badge of Courage" is one of my all-time favorites and I believe it's a must read for boys. I recently concluded "Water for Elephants" and "Where the Crawdads Sing." I recommend both.
Adam from Wausau, WI
What if he doesn’t go to prison, Vic? What if the truth is the ultimate defense? He will be defending his reputation the rest of his life for how the media defamed him. This is looking more and more like Covington 2.0. I’ve lost a little respect for you.
I'll cry all night.
Tim from Fruita, CO
Here's my drawn line. I've studied martial arts for years and hold the highest rank possible. I've trained federal law enforcement and been trained by them. The best trained and most honorable never go looking for a fight. When you show up to a conflict situation armed to the teeth and wearing military fatigues, you are not acting in self-defense, you're looking for a fight. The real question is, who trained him to be like that?