"Ask Vic" will publish on M-W-F during the football season.
Josh from Fargo, ND
Vic, I haven't seen your offensive and defensive rankings lately. I'm sure the Packers are nowhere near where their record indicates they should be, but they are No. 2 in red zone offense, No. 5 in red zone defense and No. 2 in turnover ratio. So, while total offense and total defense are telling, I think red zone offense/defense and turnover ratio are more indicative of where a team ranks. Thoughts?
Those rankings are obviously more indicative of the Packers' record, because their total yardage rankings (21-17-17 on offense and 23-24-22 on defense) are indicative of a team out of playoff contention. This is a unique situation. Don't gain a lot of yards and give up a lot of yards isn't normally a formula for winning. Whatever it takes.
Jim from Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Is the reason you don't watch pregame shows due to you being a reporter? You report on what you see. All the rest is speculation and rhetoric with nothing to report.
I don't watch them because they don't inform and entertain me. In my opinion, they're just flash and dash. They're overkill. They put on coats and ties and makeup to gloss over the games by providing insight I could acquire in any sports bar. Why didn't they tell us what a problem Antonio Brown had become for Mike Tomlin? They glossed over it but they never detailed the depth of the problem. Are they going to give us something deep on Spygate 2? Showing the video is good but I'd like some expert opinion on the subject. How about an analysis on the Rams' collapse, not just opinion but information on Todd Gurley's and Jared Goff's decline and the hurdles the Rams are facing with their salary cap and the two first-round picks they lost in the trade for Jalen Ramsey? This is why these shows need genuine reporters, not former players and coaches giving us fanspeak. When the networks provide "60 Minutes"-type pregame shows, that dig deep into football reporting, I'll watch. Until then, they can't tell me anything I don't already know. And by the way, Bradshaw is all wrong on his comment that Tomlin is nothing more than a cheerleader. It's plain to see he's actively involved in calling the defense. On a 15-yard run by the Bills on Monday night, TV put the camera on Tomlin and I could read his lips: "That's my fault," he said into his headset.
Carrie from San Jose, CA
Vic, I am completely flummoxed by the folks defending the Patriots under the guise of they didn't need to cheat. Nixon was going to beat McGovern without breaking into the DNC headquarters, but here we are.
Cheaters cheat, liars lie. The scorpion and the frog, right? The Patriots video is so expertly shot it should be entitled "How to Spy on a Football Team." I think the league knows it and it's taking its time to rule on it because this is a very sensitive issue. Repeat offenders are usually punished more severely than they were for their first offense. And by the way, for those who believe a team doesn't need hand signals because it has helmet communicators, what do they use when the headsets go down, as they have routinely in New England?
Derek from Eau Claire, WI
I have friends trying to tell me a bye in the playoffs is actually a detriment. They are wrong, right?
A bye is one fewer game you have to win and an injury your quarterback won't suffer.
Dave from Chippewa Falls, WI
Did you have a rivalry when you were growing up?
The town on the other side of the river was our rival and the games between the two high schools meant everything to me. Our history is highlighted by Cookie Gilchrist; theirs by Willie Thrower. In my senior year, the rivalry had become so intense the basketball game that would decide the section championship had to be moved to the daylight hours. It was a very small world but nothing felt bigger.
Sean from Brighton, MI
The Packers and Vikings have had the two easiest schedules in the NFC, with the Packers strength of schedule coming in at .432 and .444 for the Vikings. Is this a misleading statistic in a league like the NFL, where the talent gap is so small?
Strength of schedule is for real. The Steelers faced the Patriots, Seahawks, 49ers and Ravens in four of the first five weeks of the season. The Steelers' 1-4 start should be easily understood. Sometimes it happens that way. Coach Noll said, "We don't always like the cards we're dealt, but we never complain about them." And sometimes you get a soft schedule and the calls go your way and you don't suffer major injuries. This has been a fortuitous season for the Packers. Now, they need to finish. This is it; the future is now.
Aiden from Jacksonville, FL
The wolves won against Tom Coughlin and I think we were right. You think time passed Coughlin by or are we all wrong?
Tom is as he's always been. What did Shad Khan think he was hiring? As a manager of personnel, Tom always had a tendency to be impulsive. Bryce Paup was an impulsive acquisition. Tom wanted an upgrade at any cost but Paup wasn't an upgrade and the cost was exorbitant. Signing Carnell Lake, Gary Walker and Kyle Brady in a break-the-bank spending spree killed whatever life remained in the Jaguars' salary cap. Drafting R.J. Soward is a classic example of impulsive reaction. Tom had fallen in love with Az Hakim and he wanted one of those kinds of players. Soward, of course, was a huge bust and there were major alerts Tom ignored. In an interview I did with Tom a long time ago, he said, "The draft is all about need." Tom is an incurable now person and I think that's an acceptable personality trait for a coach, but not for a director of personnel, especially in the salary cap era. Khan should've hired Tom to be the coach and given him a GM who would help manage Tom's passion and drive. He needed someone to tell him no.
Bill from Hawthorn Woods, IL
How will Father Time write the legacy of Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville?
Tom will be remembered as a great football coach whose rigidness was self-destructive. That's how I'll remember him. I repeat, Tom Coughlin is a great football coach.
Chuck from Cleveland, OH
A couple of years ago, when you were asked if you thought Rodgers would lead the Packers to another Super Bowl win, you answered with a resounding yes. Are you still confident it will happen again someday?
Was it a couple of years ago or a little farther back? Either way, that day is now. I think each opportunity has to be approached as the last chance. Yes, I think it can happen this season, but probably not without the defense taking its game to the higher level we all expected when this season began.
Kabir from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
So your pal Tom Coughlin has been sacked. What does this say about the Jaguars organization?
It says the future of the Jaguars is, again, in the hands of its owner. He's got to hire the right people. It always begins there. The fans tend to see the owner as the fix-it man. In my mind, if he has to fire the people he believed would fix the problem, then he's the guy who caused the problem.
Mikey from Tallahassee, FL
Clean sweep or give Marrone and Caldwell a chance to right the ship?
I would expect a new GM to want to hire his people.