John from Flanders, NJ
Vic, Aaron Rodgers hints the team gets more aggressive when they fall behind, and when down by two or three scores I guess that’s a must, but why wait? Why not open it up some early?
The Packers were down by 22 in Carolina, and then the offense got hot. They were down by 20 in Detroit, and then the offense got hot. They were down by 17 last night, and then got hot. So, is it a case of the Packers offense becoming aggressive, or the opponents’ defense becoming protective? It was apparent from the beginning Mike McCarthy and Mike Zimmer had each decided last night’s game would be a battle of running games. In the final analysis, neither team’s running game was successful; a fake-punt run for 41 yards and a jet sweep for 26 don’t count, in my book. Last night’s game became a battle of turnovers, and the Vikings forced the big one, which resulted in the game-winning touchdown. Why didn’t you mention that play? Weren’t the Packers being aggressive when Everson Griffen forced that fumble and Captain Munnerlyn returned it 55 yards for the game-winning touchdown? Being aggressive doesn’t always mean completions and big gains. Sometimes it means interceptions and fumbles. My biggest disappointment last night was the Packers’ inability to run the ball. I liked the game plan, especially the way it fit with the way the Packers are playing defense. It was the same game plan the Packers used to beat the Cowboys.
Ian from Ossian, IA
Vic, I told my friend I wanted Alabama to win it all because they play football the way it’s meant to be played. I’m glad we share the same viewpoint. Who will you be rooting for?
I’ll be rooting for Clemson because I have friends who are big Clemson fans. I’m not a fan of that bubble-screen/drop-back-and-run offense the Tigers run, but they have great athletes and great fans, and I’ll be cheering for them on Jan. 11 as I shield my eyes from the harmful effects of staring too long at their uniforms.
Chris from Cudahy, WI
Here's how I would make the NFL schedule: Inter-conference games the first four weeks, non-divisional intra-conference games the next six weeks, divisional games the final six weeks. Sound good?
I like it. Here’s a crazy idea for the playoffs: the two conferences play against each other. Same concept. The lower seed plays the higher seed, except it’s AFC No. 6 against NFC No. 3, for example, and vice versa. Why does it have to be the AFC vs. the NFC in the Super Bowl? This would all but eliminate the potential for teams playing against each other three times in a season. I think it would’ve been a travesty for the Vikings to come back here and play again this weekend. I’d like to see conference against conference in the playoffs.
Colin from Tripoi, WI
Vic, it finally hit me as I was trying to watch the Bears-Lions game. We are just one absolutely spoiled fan base and are terrible people. I couldn’t even finish the game because there was no reason to watch it. Except maybe for fantasy freaks or draft geeks jockeying for position, this game offered absolutely nothing. It felt like a three-and-a-half-hour funeral. I’m 42 and I remember the lean ’80s and early ’90s. But look at the amount of success since the Wolf-Holmgren era. What is wrong with us? Is there a cure besides a long run of losing? I’m afraid not.
You don’t want the cure. It’s more painful than the disease. The Jaguars were the most successful expansion franchise in history. They were in the AFC title game twice in their first five seasons, but that wasn’t good enough for their fans, who had been spoiled by the success of their college teams. The fans demanded Tom Coughlin be fired for not winning more games. He was. Then Jaguars fans got the cure. They’re still getting cured.
Brian from Wichita Falls, TX
Vic, as a lifelong Packers fan, this season has been disappointing. Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad to be playoff bound, but most would agree we expected a much better season. Is it lack of chemistry, frustration, or is it really just the injuries keeping us from being the team we have the potential to be?
It’s the result of an offense that’s ranked near the bottom of the league, and not one person saw it coming. When this season ends, there will be intense scrutiny as to why the offense has struggled as it has. That kind of review is a must, because the offseason is for fixing what’s wrong. I think the Packers have struggled at the wide receiver position since losing Jordy Nelson. They were in the process of developing Ty Montgomery as Nelson’s replacement, and then the Packers lost Montgomery. I hate to cast an untested rookie as a missing-link player, but the problems began when Montgomery was lost. I think the Packers reached the saturation point of their injury tolerance at wide receiver. Being depleted at the position allowed defenses to do things that exposed other weaknesses, and that’s when the problem worsened to a point of exasperation. The opponents’ game plans are their evaluation of what’s wrong with the Packers offense. I saw nine in the box early in last night’s game. What does that say?
Joseph from Fort Collins, CO
Given the years Green Bay’s defense has struggled and now that their playoff season is in shambles, is Dom Capers’ future better somewhere else? What do you think about Capers?
He’s the finest defensive coordinator I have ever covered, and I include among those coordinators Bud Carson, Woody Widenhofer, Tony Dungy, Rod Rust, Dick Jauron and Mike Smith. You’re certainly entitled to your opinion, Joseph, but neither you nor anybody who shares your opinion will receive even a shred of support in this column, and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind your opinion is baseless. For starters, this is a bad time to complain about the Packers defense. It’s playing at a very high level. It allowed only 13 points last night, and continues to move its rankings upward. You should win a game in which your defense allowed only 13 points and 242 total net yards.
Dan from Aspers, PA
There are too many late games. Even playoff games are now late. I’ll record them and faithfully watch them later, but because of my job I can’t watch these late games live, and that has made this season a little less enjoyable.
I agree. I’ve spent a season of Mondays with sleep deprivation. Will it change? No. TV and the casual fan are in control.
Barry from Montgomery, AL
Vic, I think we are set up for success. Beat Washington and then Carolina; then we face Seattle at home. I guess I’m an optimist, but since football is entertainment, why not have some fun.
The Packers can’t face Carolina and Seattle. It would have to be Arizona and then Seattle or Carolina, or Carolina and then Minnesota or Arizona.
Tom from Trumbull, CT
Vic, do you know why it was Sitton at left tackle rather than Tretter? I thought Tretter was a tackle in college and Sitton hasn’t played tackle in eight years.
I think Josh Sitton would have to be considered the Packers’ best run blocker. The game plan was to run the ball.
Kirsten from Madison, WI
Does Coach Vic ever take the delay-of-game penalty instead of burning a time out?
If you take the 5-yard penalty, I think the next decision is to kick the field goal. Fourth-and-goal from the 18 is just too far out. It might’ve turned out to be the right thing to do. The timeout was worth nearly a minute of time on the clock. Aaron Rodgers had to make a snap decision. He said he didn’t want to move the ball any farther back, which makes complete sense. Whatever you do, you have to make it work. You can’t decide your way to victory.
Bruce from Washburn, WI
How much of an economic loss will the Green Bay area suffer because of the loss to the Vikings?
It’s significant. Mark Murphy wrote about it in his Saturday column.
Bryan from Valencia, CA
Our whole season is summarized in one play: fourth down, James Jones open in the end zone, a lot of space between him and the sideline, defender to his inside. Instead of putting it between Jones and the sideline where he easily catches it for a touchdown, “The Man” throws it inside for an interception. “The Man” is not playing like “The Man” we know. Why?
The play had broken down. The original thrust was unsuccessful; the routes failed to achieve separation. At that point, it was all backyard stuff. I don’t know what the guidelines are in the Packers’ offensive design for adjustments when the play needs to be extended. Whatever it was, Rodgers and Jones were not on the same page. Rodgers’ pass would indicate he was expecting Jones to work back toward the inside. Jones’ adjustment would suggest the opposite. That’s the problem with this late-game desperation stuff. It’s will of the wisp stuff. It’s not according to design. The Packers need to execute the design, instead of creating on the fly.
Mark from Ann Arbor, MI
The Cowboys were a Super Bowl hopeful, but “The Man” got hurt and now they have a premium pick at No. 4. Is it worth losing a year of “The Man’s” prime for the chance at a franchise-changing player?
As it’s happening, the answer is no. After it’s happened and you’ve drafted, say, Andrew Luck, the answer is yes. Everyone is trying to win, but the players that help you win are at the top of the draft. It’s convoluted logic, and the illogic is built on the competitive spirit inside all of us that refuses to accept losing, even when it’s good for us to lose.
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