George from Scranton, PA

If Casey Hayward and Morgan Burnett had played, do the Packers beat the 49ers?

OK, I’ll bite: Yes.

Jeremy from Sobieski, WI

How do you feel about defensive players flopping or faking an injury to slow down an offense? Some call it strategy but I think it’s weak. To your knowledge, how long has this been going on?

It was going on way back in the ’80s, when defenses used it against Sam Wyche’s muddle huddle. I don’t like cheating and any form of it usually bothers me, but for some reason this one doesn’t. I think it’s because I don’t like the idea of an offense going no huddle to prevent the defense from substituting. It’s not that I consider that to be inherently wrong, it’s just that it seems kind of cheap and not very manly, which is exactly how I feel about offenses rushing to the line of scrimmage to get the ball snapped before a play can be challenged in review. So, if the offense wants to play that way, which is clearly a violation of the spirit of the rules, I see no reason why the defense shouldn’t do the same.

Mike from Stevens Point, WI

Vic, Clay Matthews is now the undisputed leader of this defense and I liked the words and actions he brought into game one. It’s all about bringing a new attitude to what most around the league considered a soft defense. Hit hard and often.

He’s not a dirty player. He’s never been a dirty player. It was the first time in the three years I’ve covered this team that I’ve seen him hit late. Compared to what I witnessed in the ’70s, Matthews was early.

Lane from Ocoee, FL

Vic, what’s your opinion of Chip Kelly and his offense at Philly? Do you think NFL defenses will catch up and slow it down or do you think he might be able to bring something new to the table that will take years to catch up to?

I need to see more of it because I wasn’t impressed by it last night but I feel very strongly that this is where the game is headed. I didn’t like its dink-and-dunk personality. If and when Kelly can stir in more power and explosion, I’ll become a fan of it.

George from Milwaukee, WI

Why no screen pass to Lacy instead of punching him into the big SF line?

The Packers used the screen pass at absolutely the right time and caught the 49ers off guard for a 31-yard gain that set up the Packers’ first touchdown. Rule of thumb is you don’t screen against good linebackers, and the 49ers have four of them and they are outstanding.

Bob from Orange City, IA

Is it just me or has Clay Matthews gotten into Jim Harbaugh’s head?

You don’t want in that head.

Peter from Richland, WA

Vic, I’m not sure I like the leaguewide trend towards encouraging a 12th-man mentality amongst the fans. I saw a comment from a fan about being crazy loud at the Washington game. Loud, OK, but what’s with the coliseum-like atmosphere?

It’s not loud that bothers me, it’s the wild and crazy mentality that concerns me. I don’t like fans getting so wild and crazy about “having to protect this house” that they target fans of the visiting team for abuse. That’s dangerous and disorderly conduct. I also don’t like the idea of fans getting so wild and crazy that they endanger themselves. A young man fell to his death at Candlestick Park on Sunday. I don’t know what contributed to his fall, but this sort of tragedy is happening too often at sporting events. Be loud on Sunday, folks, but be safe, too, please.

 

Have a question for VIC?