"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F through the football season.
Robert from Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Minshew got it done in crunch time. I don't really have any question to ask, I'm just really happy the Jaguars got that win.
I am, too. He impressed me. He's an accurate passer who has a knack for finding the open receiver and completing high-percentage throws. He has a Drew Brees arm and plays to the over and under throws, as Brees does.
Mike from Bridgeport, CT
At the quarter pole, we suddenly have a four-way tie in the AFC South. Considering the Jaguars situation 10 minutes into their season, you can sign me up for that. I'll embrace Minshew mania until the gas runs out.
Happiness is not a constant. When you have it, enjoy it. When you don't have it, be patient and wait for it to return.
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
What do you make of Kirk Cousins this season?
What's happened to his arm? It looks old and tired. I got the sense yesterday that if the NFC North is a three-team race, the Vikings aren't one of those teams.
John from Kirkland, WA
What and who are your top surprises after one-quarter of the season?
The Texans are falling apart. DeShaun Watson isn't who I thought he was.
Sarah from Louisville, KY
Vic, what did you make of LaFleur’s response to not running on any of the fourth-quarter, goal-line attempts? “That’s a good question” sounded to me like a pretty clear, if subvert, calling out of Rodgers' play-call choices in the moment. Am I reading too much into it?
I don't think you're reading too much into it. As I've written, coaches don't call plays, they call a game plan, and I have a hard time believing Matt LaFleur's game plan was to throw the ball 53 times and four times from the one-yard line. I believe a quarterback who's been given the right to change plays at the line of scrimmage must be respectful of the game plan. I get the sense this is an issue that won't go away and we're headed for a confrontation.
Mike from McFarland, WI
This is going to be bigger than Watergate.
Ukrainegate or audiblegate?
Bruce from Washburn, WI
Your thoughts on Jimmy Graham?
His best football is behind him.
Patrick from Ashland, WI
I share your feelings on college football but I have a small sample size as I usually only watch some Big Ten games. It seems the flow of the college game is better than the NFL game because there are fewer flags. Am I way off or is there a reason for fewer penalties?
I don't get the sense there are fewer penalties in college football, certainly not fewer pass interference penalties. They call every little thing. Your "flow of the game" reference caused me to chuckle. The flow of the college game is one team hammers the other one. In the six Big Ten games this past weekend, the combined score was 261-84. It was 107-7 in the two prime-time games; 76-0 at halftime. Flow? You can't have flow with that kind of domination. College football is hammer time. It's a terrible example of athletic competition and the TV ratings are proof of it. The people who attend college football games must have some kind of states rights thing going on. Why else would all of those people dressed in red travel across the prairie to see Nebraska get hammered by Ohio State? Why choose to be sad?
Aaron from White Hall, AR
Vic, what would prevent a team such as Miami to "rent out" a player to a playoff contender. For example, they trade player A for a second-round pick to a team that thinks they need him, then come offseason that team trades player A back to Miami for a fourth-round pick?
The commissioner wouldn't permit it. Bowie Kuhn and Charles O. Finely got involved in something along those lines a long time ago.
Ken from Stafford, VA
"I judge a man by the shape of his nose and the shine of his shoes." Has the condition of his lawn fallen out of favor?
There are no lawns where I live, only a cover of rotted vegetation from which the love bugs emerge and retreat twice a year. I use my lawnmower as a chopping machine. After Dorian passed, I raked the blow-down into piles and ran the lawnmower over them.
Nate from Plymouth, MN
I was thinking the other day, with all this talk about the Steelers trading picks and the Bears missing on Trubisky, the Dolphins have amassed a lot of premium picks over the next couple of years, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. What if all their picks are busts?
Then they stay where they are in the draft and keep picking from the top. What if they hit on their picks? They might go on a long playoff run. I think the Dolphins are poised to become the new power in the AFC East. I love what they're doing.
Gerald from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, truth be told, Rashean Mathis made more game-changing plays. I don’t get the Jalen Ramsey hype. He’s a legend in his own mind and in the minds of national media. Where was he Week 1 against KC? The Jaguars should take what the Ravens offered. Ramsey’s best days, including 2017, are behind him.
Mathis is one of the most underrated players I ever covered. Packers fans might remember Mathis for making the game-clinching interception in the end zone against Brett Favre in the Jaguars' 2004 upset win at Lambeau Field. Ramsey? Two ones or he remains a Jaguar.
Jared from Sugar City, ID
Vic, I feel stopping the run (and being able to run) are what keeps a team playing into January. With the talent the Packers have on the line, at outside linebacker and in the secondary, what keeps them from being able to stop the run?
They're called run fits and they assign a gap to every player in the run defense scheme. Those gaps weren't being secured. Why? I can't help but recall one of Coach Noll's memorable responses to that question: "Because he was being blocked." Pass rushers have to also be run stuffers or they'll stop getting the chance to rush the passer.
Craig from Cedarburg, WI
We watched the Vikings and Eagles gash the Green Bay defense with the run. It seems Blake Martinez is constantly crashing down on the line, creating huge cutback lanes. Is he doing his job or is he out of position?
Watching the Eagles game, I got the sense Martinez was the only Packers linebacker manning his gap.
Sam from Nashville, TN
On to the Cowboys. As you always say, September football is the new preseason. Does the baloney stop in Dallas? I think this is when we learn the identity of this year's team.
This is a big game, for reasons beyond a win or a loss. If the Packers get gashed by Zeke Elliott, then what was new disappears and the Packers revert to old ways.
Bill from Sheboygan, WI
Why can't the Packers run the ball?
It requires a commitment and 53 passes suggest a commitment hasn't been made. That's No. 1. No. 2, this hard-count stuff has to stop. It got to the point of ridiculousness in the Eagles game. TV's microphone picked up everything and I began hearing what sounded like yodeling. I couldn't help but laugh. Hey, if you wanna run the ball, it's hand on the ground, hut-hut and go. You don't want your linemen being forced to hold their stance for 20 seconds.
Tom from Menominee, WI
The answer is easy, Vic. Add one more player on offense and defense. Twenty-four players on the field will definitely slow the game down. Also, the roster size can be increased. Isn't this what the NFL wants and needs?
The NFL doesn't want more players, the NFLPA wants more players. Here's my solution to making the game safer: All defenders within five yards of the line of scrimmage at the snap of the ball. It will effectively eliminate the safety position, which is the position of danger. Moving everyone up to the line of scrimmage will encourage more deep passes, which means defenders running with the receivers instead of toward them. Also, defenses will be forced to commit more defensive backs to the coverage scheme and that'll invite the run.
Phil from Las Vegas, NV
Vic, maybe I'm an older man stuck in my ways but I hope the Packers keep the lights on when a touchdown is scored from now on. Let the game cause excitement, not flickering lights.
Flickering lights? I used the term "will-o-the-wisp" in Friday's column. Nobody asked about it so maybe everybody is familiar with its meaning. It was one of Coach Noll's favorite references for teams that start fast and then fade. I was not familiar with it the first time I heard him speak it. "Will-o-the-wisp is an atmospheric ghost light seen by travelers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes. It resembles a flickering lamp and is said to recede if approached, drawing travelers from the safe paths." Are we being drawn from safe paths? September is behind us. Soon, our true path will be known.