Neil from Cheddar, UK
Can the Vikings be the first to host and play in a Super Bowl?
Yes, they have the defense to do it. I won't root against them, but I don't like the idea of a team having homefield advantage for the Super Bowl. I covered Super Bowl XIV. It wasn't homefield but it certainly was a hometown advantage.
Brad from Jacksonville, FL
I was 10 and sitting even with the north end zone goal post when Morten Andersen missed that kick for the Jaguars' miracle run. The feeling in that stadium that day was when I fell in love with football. I have been an avid fan since then. On an odd day, Jacksonville allowed 42 points to Pittsburgh but still managed a win. You win how you win, but after all the years of being terrible, this feels like something special growing.
Revel in it. Chortle until your brains fall out. After all of the years of epoch losing you've had to endure, you deserve to celebrate, and I think you should take advantage of every second of celebration available to you this week before the next game. By the way, I was standing on the field just to the side of the left upright when Andersen missed.
Jim from Morrison, CO
Looks like Case Keenum is "The Man," Vic. How does it feel to be wrong?
Really? Because he completed a desperation pass that won the game? If the defender had wrapped his arms around the receiver and held him inbounds, the clock would've expired. Prior to that pass, Keenum had thrown for no touchdowns, one interception and a 71 passer rating. He is not "The Man," and the Vikings face the same dangerous decision on him the Jaguars are facing on Blake Bortles. Winning in the postseason could be costly for both franchises. The issue is: Will the Vikings pay Keenum as they would "The Man?" That's a tough one because you're talking about a longterm commitment. In my opinion, if the Vikings do that, they'll open the door for the other three teams in the NFC North.
Bill from Sheboygan, WI
What are your thoughts on the Saints-Vikings game?
My first thought is how painful it has to be for Saints fans. How could a great athlete completely whiff on the tackle as the defender did? When it hurts this bad -- Packers fans certainly know the feeling -- I'm not sure football is worth the emotional investment. The poor people in New Orleans don't deserve this heartache.
Simon from New York, NY
What are your favorite/least favorite personality traits in a person, football player, coach? Have those preferences changed since retirement?
Genuineness/insincerity, aggressiveness/softness, dignity/disloyalty. I'm more sure than ever before of what I like and don't like in people. The bottom line is I like virtue, as defined by the roles in which we're cast.
David from San Francisco, CA
We've seen the Jaguars improve with the free-agent signings of Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye and Barry Church. As they continue their search to pay "The Man," how can this team remain competitive in future seasons and maintain financial stability?
The quarterback position will define the Jaguars' future. I don't think Blake Bortles is the future. The Jaguars are the result of a unique situation. That team isn't just about high picks and free-agent signings, it's about the uncapped year in 2010 and stripping the team for sale, which left the Jaguars so horribly beneath the cap floor the league had to give them an exemption from the cap minimum and allow them to recover in stages. I thought it was unfair and the Jaguars should've lost draft picks for noncompliance, but nobody complained because the Jaguars were horribly uncompetitive and irrelevant. As a result, the Jaguars were able to take an ultra-aggressive posture in free agency. They were so flush with cap room they didn't have to worry about their free-agent misses, and they had plenty of them. They still have room to spend. It's almost as though they were reborn as an expansion franchise. They are not a realistic model.
Jerry from Savannah, GA
"We must kick the extra point to finalize the game." Succinct and to the point. Steratore is a classic.
I love him. "There's no flag on the play." He didn't explain why there was no flag or for what there was no flag, there's just no flag. Deal with it.
Jonathan from Saint Joseph (folks, please include the state)
Has Tony Romo turned into a typical fan? In the Titans/Pats game he said the Titans need to run the ball to surprise the Pats on a third-and-three. Then, when they throw it to convert a first down, he says “no one knows the Titans run the ball more on third-and-short except Bellichick, and he stacked the box."
He talks too much and he was at his worst on Saturday. I watched Saturday's games with friends, which is kind of a first for me. I prefer to watch in silence and study the game as it unfolds. I guess I was being new, and I liked it. It helped me ignore "Chatty Cathy." Be that as it may, I couldn't help but hear him exclaim pleadingly following one Titans play, "What are they doing?" He's a fan! He talks incessantly, even as the play is unfolding: "That motion caused the linebacker to move with the man in motion, which means it's man coverage, yada, yada," or "they're unbalanced to the left so he needs to change the play to run to the right." It's just too much. He's missing the drama in his obsession for being the great scheme explainer. The Titans were slowly but surely being outclassed by the Patriots. Say that! That was the story.
Jake from Knoxville, TN
What did you think of Foles?
He did what the Eagles needed him to do, and that'll work as long as the Eagles don't need him to do more. The day they need him to be a star, it's over. That's when you need "The Man."
Edward from Canton, SD
Are you more happy for the Jags or sad for the Steelers
Happy for the Jags. The Steelers didn't need to lose to the Patriots one more time. It was over for the Steelers the night they lost Ryan Shazier. Cris Collinsworth more or less explained that the following week in his analysis of why the Ravens were running roughshod on the Steelers defense. It's another example of why I think Collinsworth is the best. Inside linebacker is a critical position in the Steelers' 3-4 defense. Shazier is a star. James Farrior and Levon Kirkland were stars. The Steelers lost Lawrence Timmons in free agency, then Shazier to injury and his replacement to injury almost immediately. That defense was toast. I'm happy for the Jaguars and I was happy to see Shazier in good spirits on Sunday. The best feeling I'll get from this season will be from seeing that man walk again.
Tim from Durham, NC
The announcers spent the last few minutes criticizing the Steelers' decision-making and didn't feel like mentioning teams that give up 45 points don't usually win games. Where does the Pittsburgh defense go from here?
Baltimore ran the ball at will against the Steelers, and the Browns moved up and down the field on a defense that was resting only Cameron Heyward. The Steelers have to replace Shazier. It begins with that.
Oscar from Milwaukee, WI
Vic, congrats to the Jaguars on making the AFC title game, however, I am not completely sold on the Jags' defense. I saw a lot of missed tackles and a lot of unguarded receivers. Despite that, the defense is still highly ranked. How do I reconcile this discrepancy between rankings and my eye test?
The Steelers offense is exceptional. Ben Roethlisberger was indefatigable. He threw for 469 yards and five touchdowns, and that doesn't include an open-field lateral pass to Le'Veon Bell for a touchdown. Antonio Brown is better on one good leg than most receivers are on two. Bell is the king of multi-tasking. I think James Conner was a big loss. I think he was developing into their short-yardage pounder. The Jags defense kind of ate the pizza after the touchdown return. It really fell in love with itself, and it better fall out of love real fast because just ahead is the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady.
Greg from Danbury, CT
Bortles performed very well. Well enough to take down Brady and Co.?
Bortles can't beat Brady. Fournette has to do it. Everything Bortles did against the Steelers was the result of the Steelers' fear of Fournette. I routinely saw eight guys in the box with a ninth guy inching up. Bortles could throw short over the middle because the inside linebackers didn't dare leave the line of scrimmage. For the Jaguars to win in New England, they must run the ball and rush the passer. Bill Belichick knows what he must prevent. So did Mike Tomlin, but he couldn't do it.
Tim from Sun Prairie, WI
Vic, any word on the expected strength of the 2018 draft class yet?
It's getting stronger with each underclassman declaring eligibility. There were several last week. College football is suffering from these defections. I remember when Woody Hayes said a team loses one game for every sophomore in its starting lineup. Back then, freshmen weren't elgible. That changed in 1973 and now players are going pro after just two seasons in college football. Larry Fitzgerald and LeSean McCoy never got to their junior years, and they weren't redshirts. The ACC proposed interesting new redshirt rules last week, and I'm in favor of them. I'm in favor of anything that'll help college football retain its talent. Maybe college football needs to go back to freshmen being ineligible.
Clint from Boom Bay, WI
I was feeling we needed to bring in some AFC North blood to the defensive coordinator position, and I'm very excited about Pettine. Do you think he can bring the same edge to our defense Zimmer has to Minnesota?
It's a good thought. The Packers need some AFC North blood. They need that kind of nastiness. Mike Zimmer has brought the AFC North to the NFC North and that style of play is going to intensify. Mike Pettine will be looking for AFC North-type players in the draft.
David from Madison, WI
What do you think of the Big 10 scheduling games on Fridays?
It indicates to me a decline in high school football popularity within the conference's footprint, which saddens me.
Sean from Arlington Heights, IL
I have a lot of respect for what Mike Tomlin has accomplished as a coach, but kicking the onside kick with two timeouts and the two-minute warning left was a bad decision. Not using the timeouts before the two-minute warning was inexcusable.
He tried the onside kick because he had no confidence in his defense. He knew his defense couldn't stop the Jaguars. The Jaguars offensive line is bigger and stronger than the Steelers' defensive front, and Fournette is the new Earl Campbell. The only chance the Steelers had of winning the game was sending it into overtime, winning the coin toss and scoring a touchdown on their first possession. Do you remember what I wrote about the previous meeting between the two teams? Forget about the five interceptions and the long run at garbage time. It was the Jaguars' ability to run the ball off their own goal line and move the ball out to midfield at crunch time that resonated with me. That's the kind of physical dominance we saw again yesterday.
Andrew from Minneapolis, MN
Any plan to set up some merchandise for sale to pay the bandwidth bills? "Ask Vic" T-Shirts, hats and things?
I have no plans to monetize this site. My sole purpose for creating this site is to have a place to write the truth as I perceive it to be. If you don't like it, don't read it, but those who like it and read it will never have to pay for it.
Adam from Wausau, WI
I know you don't know what Twitter and Facebook are, but I know you're a big free speech guy. What are your thoughts on the recent revelation Twitter (a private company that lets you say whatever is on your mind whenever you want) is limiting certain kinds of speech they don't agree with? Just for the record, I love when you interject politics into your forum.
It's Twitter's site and it has the right to express itself as it wishes. If you don't like it, start your own site. What I'm against is any change in the first law of the mass media, that public figures are subject to public scrutiny. I recently listened to a lecture from a learned person on the Civil War media. I was most intrigued to know Sherman wanted to execute a New York Herald reporter for writing something Sherman didn't want written. The reporter's life was saved by his publisher, Horace Greeley, following a negotiation in which Sherman agreed not to execute the reporter provided reporters would henceforth include their names in their accounts. I guess that's how the byline was born. Imagine a nation that would execute a man for telling the truth. We truly are blessed by our freedom of speech laws, and they must never be compromised.
Blaine from Bagley, WI
Two games remain. Who are your picks for the Super Bowl?
New England and Philadelphia. Brady is nearly unbeatable, and the homefield will give the Eagles an advantage, especially in the cold against a dome team.
Robert from Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Vic, it was just like you said; the Jaguars ran the ball and rushed the passer. Seems retirement has made you sharper than ever.
It was obvious. Fans ignore the obvious because they like to tickle themselves.
Tim from Lancaster, PA
Can Brady hit the same throws as Roethlisberger at this age?
Absolutely! He's not as mobile in the pocket as he was, but his arm is still strong and accurate. He and Roethlisberger throw the deep ball as well as any quarterbacks I've ever seen.
Jon from Bloomfield, NJ
They called Telvin Smith for taunting after the play. It was clearly during the play and, to me, that's an important distinction.
I completely agree.