"Ask Vic" will publish on Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the football season.
Jonathan from Sun Prairie, WI
It seems for the Packers faithful our December friend will not be coming around this year. There are some rumblings about this year being evidence of Aaron Rodgers' decline. Are we witnessing just a tough season marred by injury and limited by a raw supporting cast? Or are we witnessing a great quarterback beginning to decline?
You're asking the $64,000 question. It's a question much of the offseason will be spent analyzing. At this point, all we can do is gather facts. Since Rodgers' collarbone injury last season, the Packers are 7-13-1. Brett Hundley started nine of those games and was 3-6. Rodgers has started 12 and is 4-7-1. That's not a small sample and it begs the question: Is Rodgers the same quarterback who began the 2017 season 4-1? Those who think he is the same quarterback will tell you the Packers are in a state of roster repair, and that's the reason for the team's 4-6-1 record in 2018. I think that's a logical opinion, but the Hundley-Rodgers comparison nags at me. So, is it Rodgers or is it the roster repair or is it a little of each? I suspect that's a question we'll be debating through the offseason. I don't have an answer for you now. What's the rush, right?
Tim from Reno, NV
Vic, I kept hoping you’d turn out to be wrong about the 2018 Packers. Seems you were right. Do you think they’ll be back next year? The year after?
They drafted well, they made necessary personnel changes and will make more, and they are developing young talent and positioning themselves to add more. With a blockbuster offseason, the Packers can be a playoff contender next season.
Scott from Hamlin, NY
Twenty-second in the league in run percentage but eighth in rush yards per game. What do you make of that?
I like the running game and I thought the Packers were at their best when defenses were getting that eighth man in the box to stop Eddie Lacy. A little more balance between run and pass would be good, but Rodgers must be the star of the team or the Packers wasted their money. I think everybody is looking for a way to lay the blame on Mike McCarthy. Packers fans are not willing to accept their team is under-manned. Their pride won't let them swallow that fact, so they look for stats that'll allow them to blame one man, instead of 53 men. What did last night's game tell you? Did you see the talent gap between the Packers and the Vikings? It's time for everyone to swallow hard and accept reality.
Brad from Jacksonville, FL
Vic, do you think Marrone is starting to lose the locker room? I feel like the Fournette fight and ejection during an overturned TD, then subsequently scoring no points, is a microcosm of the season.
The Jaguars have lost discipline, and that might be a product of last season's run to the AFC title game. I think they got full of themselves. They fashioned themselves to be bullies and I think they liked it and bought into it. That defense did a whole lot of celebrating and talking, and then Jalen Ramsey took it to a higher level with his comments about opposing quarterbacks. His remarks about Josh Allen, which were completely unnecessary, surely didn't help the Jaguars in Buffalo yesterday. I think Doug Marrone lost an element of control over his team, and he must get it back to be an effective leader. The worst thing you can do to an opponent is beat them. The Jaguars need to cut the tough-guy crap and focus on winning.
Joe from Los Angeles, CA
Vic, what would you attribute the reason the Packers suffer so many injuries every season? Is it the training, coaching, nutrition, offseason programs or just plain bad luck?
Bill Parcells said you are what your record says you are. I say you are what you draft. Draft tough guys.
Nathan from New York, NY
A lot of Rodgers' sacks have happened when the defense's outside pass-rusher rushes to the inside and their inside pass-rusher rushes to the outside. How do you stop this scheme and why haven't the Packers been able to stop it?
What you're describing is a pass-rush technique known as a twist. It's age-old and its intent is to cause pass-blocking confusion. The remedy is also age-old: The offensive linemen involved must adjust their assignments on the fly. It's not cutting edge strategy. Just do it.
Pat from Seneca, SC
College football scores have become indistinguishable from college basketball scores. The NFL is heading in the same direction. I am sad.
This past weekend, Oklahoma beat West Virginia 59-56 and Texas A&M beat LSU 74-72, and other games involving top 25 teams saw one-team totals of 52, 56 and 62 points. The greatest rivalry in the history of the world was a 62-39 turd. I don't think the NFL is headed in that direction because the NFL won't allow it to happen. The powers that control college football have lost control of their game. It's a bad product. Its games are uncompetitive, as evidenced by this past weekend's results. Thanksgiving weekend is rivalry weekend. It's supposed to be the premier weekend of the season. This year, the games were terrible. I've been a college football fan all of my life, but I've lost a lot of energy for college football in recent years, especially this year.
Jerry from Savannah, GA
Vic, just a few seasons ago people were calling for Coach McCarthy to take back play-calling duties. Now they say the plays he calls are no good. How do head coaches keep their sanity?
They get fired and paid a lot of money by their former employer to work for another team and defeat their former employer. There was nothing wrong with the play-calling last night. The Packers mixed run and pass in the first half. I saw some cutesy plays that probably came from the back of the playbook and were installed especially for this game. The go-for-it nuts got their wish, it failed and it was the turning point in the game. I don't know what more the coaching staff could've done to win that game. The Packers lost because the longer the game wore on, the more decisively the Vikings pushed their talent advantage. The Vikings outgained the Packers 416-254, out-passed the Packers 325-172, sacked Rodgers four times and held a nearly 10-minute time of possession advantage. The game wasn't as close as its final score.
Vince from Boston, MA
Vic, if you can't see Mike McCarthy is horrible at time management (calling timeouts for the Vikings at the end of the first half), then it's time for me to become new and start reading someone who doesn't constantly defend old coaches and can't call it like it is. Maybe you should become new.
Craig from Cedarburg, WI
Wisconsin ends its regular season with an embarrassing Gopher thud. Can you provide some perspective on how bad the Badgers' season was compared to preseason projections?
I watched the game. I didn't think Wisconsin played hard. Somewhere along the line, they lost their edge.
Dustin from Seymour, WI
What can Packers fans be thankful for today, and going forward?
Packers fans can be thankful an inevitable year of repair is nearly over. Every team goes through this. I tried to prepare fans during the offseason for what I thought would happen, because I knew they wouldn't take it well and I didn't want to see them hurt and point fingers and then suffer the inevitable regret of having acted childishly. I'm hoping we can back off the angst in what remains of this season. The verdict is in. Let's accept the 2018 Packers' fate with dignity. I think we'll all be thankful if that happens.