"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F through the football season.
Greg from Danbury, CT
Green Bay holds on for another win, despite Denver holding a nine-minute TOP advantage. Not having watched the game, here's what I got from the stats: Running game stuck in neutral, passing game in first gear, defense in second gear when it needs to be. What did your eyes tell you?
Big plays were the difference. The Packers are making plays that win games.
Scott from Alaska
Do you think there is a large enough sample size to conclude play-calling wasn't the problem?
If you're talking about last season, play-calling wasn't the problem. The defense was in the first stage of rebuilding and the offense was struggling with a new receiving corps. Last year was about roster change.
Bob from The Netherlands
Are the Packers for real or do they look good because of bad quarterbacks they faced?
The Packers are for real, and I have no doubt their play will improve as the year goes on. In my mind, the issue now is real simple: Keep Aaron Rodgers healthy.
Lori from Brookfield, WI
Vic, are Aaron Rodgers and the offense struggling because they feel devalued and have the perception the defense will win games for them?
I don't know what that means. The high picks and big-money free agents are on the defensive side of the ball. Other than for Rodgers, the talent on the offensive side of the ball isn't that strong. That's the perception and the reality.
Bob from Australia
Vic, other than revisiting the somewhat worn-out gripe about the weakness of the division in which the Patriots play, what can we read into the entire NFC North being unbeaten against all outsiders so far?
All of those outsiders have losing records. I wouldn't attach too much meaning to anything at this point. The Packers' arrow is pointing up. I'm sure of that. I'll stop there.
Brent from Dubuque, IA
Vic, with the current player safety rules, how does a coach teach his players to make a tackle?
I'm not sure today's players are coachable. If they were coachable, we wouldn't have a penalty on nearly every down, right? I saw a Ravens player, Judon, get flagged for hands to the face at a critical point in the game. When they showed the replay, I thought to myself, "He shouldn't be called for hands to the face, he should be penalized 30 yards for attempted strangulation." The penalties are bewildering me, but it's not the officials' fault; the violations are being committed. By the way, John Harbaugh turned in possibly the worst job of bench coaching I have ever witnessed. Does being aggressive mean having to be stupid? I love pro football, but I didn't love yesterday's games.
Rey from Milwaukee, WI
“Omaha” or “Nationwide is on your side?"
Peyton Manning is a carnival barker, and the State Farm commercials are punishing. I hope the two agents shoot each other.
Aiden from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, can you educate us on the differences between the NFL and the AFL? Obviously, the NFL prevailed and the AFL merged.
The NFL ran the ball, the AFL threw the ball. The NFL was defense and low scoring, the AFL was wide-open offense and high scoring. The NFL did not prevail. The AFL forced a merger of the two leagues. The AFL won, and it's never been more obvious than it is today because what you watched on Sunday was AFL-style football.
Chris from Winston-Salem, NC
Is Antonio Brown a cautionary tale? In my experience, when you cater to individuals and don’t hold folks accountable, behavior only gets worse. Why do college and professional organizations not seem to understand this?
Vic to NFL: Please, help him. He was a great receiver who gave us years of entertainment. I fear this is not going to end well.
Connor from Greenville, SC
Is there anything on the slot receiver tree?
The draft was the time to get a receiver. Kansas City has a rookie named Hardman, Baltimore a rookie named Brown, Pittsburgh a rookie named Johnson. You might remember me writing I was surprised the Packers didn't dip into the receiver pool when the run began on receivers in last spring's draft. Hey, you can't draft everybody, right?
Kevin from Solon Spring, WI
I’m listening to the postgame shows. Why can’t Packers fans enjoy an 11-point win?
Packers fans like to celebrate offense and complain about defense. This is new to them.
Sean from Brighton, MI
What are your thoughts on Wisconsin’s blowout win over Michigan?
Michigan was as woeful as Wisconsin was powerful. Wisconsin is headed for two showdowns with Ohio State. Michigan is headed for change.
John from Green Bay, WI
Vic, help me understand the Trevor Davis trade. Trevor looked unstoppable in the preseason and caught several long passes where he used his speed to just run right by defenders. Are they that high on Shepherd they could let him go?
The Raiders have the worst case of wide receiver fever since Matt Millen was the personnel boss for the Lions. Davis is just a guy. The Packers got a draft pick they can use to maneuver within the draft, or spend on the next Trevor Davis. Dime a dozen.
Justin from Canton, NC
Vic, I love your line, "What's the rush?" Everyone wants to anoint some of these newer guys already and I'm sitting over here saying until I see them win outside in December, I'm not buying on anyone. One good game and fans want to fire or line up and worship. What's the rush? I want to see you win in the cold, on the road, down by five with two minutes left and a strong wind in your face before I sing praises.
Fans are quick to celebrate because they're bored. They need a constant entertainment fix. They need celebrities.
Nathan from New York
Vic, why don't the Ravens share the history of the old Browns?
Art Modell respectfully and wisely left the Browns' name and history in Cleveland, where it belonged. Baltimore didn't want the Browns, it wanted the Colts' name and history back, so Modell gave Baltimore fans the identity of the Colts and their history by arranging to have Johnny Unitas stand on the sideline during Ravens games. There he was, the god of all Baltimore football gods, standing on the Ravens sideline for all to see. It was the stamp of approval the franchise needed. It effectively made the Ravens the reincarnation of the Unitas Colts. It was as though Berry and Ameche and Marchetti and all of the old Colts were standing on the sideline next to Unitas. It was genius.
Pat from Cumming, GA
Did you watch any of Georgia vs. Notre Dame on Saturday evening? I found it to be a tight, enjoyable game. Many fans seem to disagree. Is a close game of college football no longer a good game?
College football fans are a different sort. They like blowouts because the winner can chortle and the loser can demand the coach be fired. There's no in between for college football fans. I watched the game and I enjoyed it. At one point Saturday afternoon, I sent this text to my friend: "The three games I'm watching have a combined score of 80-6." The game that saved the weekend for me was the UCF-Pitt game. It was sensational; 35-34 with the game-winning play a fourth-and-goal beauty that included a direct snap to the running back, a lateral to the wide receiver and a pass to the quarterback. It is one of the hardest-hitting, fiercely contested and dramatic football games I've ever seen. It lasted nearly four hours, included a ridiculous roughing-the-passer penalty in which the offender never touched the quarterback, and ended with my appreciation for the entertainment it provided me. Maybe my expectations are too great. Maybe I need to heed my own advice.
Kyle from Phoenix, AZ
Aaron Donald is the best player you’ve seen since who?
Donald is the best defensive football player I have ever seen. Not even Lawrence Taylor dominated as Donald does. Last night's performance was amazing.
Kirk from Grafton, WI
I came across this interview quote from FOX sports. It's in reference to the retirement of Gronk and Luck. Bradshaw said: “Our coaches all tell us, you have to plan your life after football, you’ve got to get on with your life’s work." I just smiled to myself and said thanks, Vic, because of you I have a bit more context than most who will read this.
Maybe I need to get on with my life's work.