Jeremy from Stony Plain, Alberta
Todd Haley just got fired. Is this an advantage or a disadvantage for the Packers this week?
I guess it’s possible change might create new energy in the Chiefs, but I don’t think that’s anything the Packers can’t handle. Frankly, I was surprised by Haley’s dismissal. He took them to the playoffs last season and he was fighting his way through having lost his quarterback this season. Obviously, this was the result of something internal. Romeo Crennel has head-coaching experience and I can’t help but think, given his and Scott Pioli’s New England roots, that Crennel might be coaching for the head job. If that’s a possibility, then the Packers can certainly expect the Chiefs to do a lot more than just go through the motions. The Packers just need to be ready to play. They will be.
Peter from Toledo, OH
Vic, you said this game was telling for the playoffs. Now that it's over, do tell.
Sunday’s performance made two statements, both of which bode well for the postseason: 1.) Against a team the Packers knew would run the ball, the Packers stopped the run. 2.) Against a team that invites the run, the Packers were able to run the ball. I’m not suggesting the Packers have suddenly become a run-the-ball/stop-the-run team, but weather conditions can force that kind of game onto the Packers in the playoffs, and I needed to know they could play it.
Zach from Washington, DC
Did Jennings’ injury make the case for resting players once home-field advantage is taken care of?
That’s the risk you accept if you go for the undefeated season. It’s a legitimate issue and a valid question: Go for it or play it safe?
Alex from Long Beach, CA
What's the record for most interceptions by a defense during the regular season?
The Chargers intercepted 49 passes in 1961.
Tim from Winthrop Harbor, IL
I was intrigued by your assessment of the importance in history of Starr's “Ice Bowl” sneak and the importance of that game. What game do you consider to be the most memorable and important? The Super Bowl III win by the AFL Jets over the NFL Colts which led to the merger?
It’s the Colts’ overtime win over the Giants in the 1958 NFL title game. It is generally regarded to be “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” It launched professional football into prominence and it married football and television. It was also the day Johnny Unitas taught us how to play the game.
Ryan from Minneapolis, MN
I understand the problem people have with quarterback hits and when the QB has become a runner, but what struck me about the hit Harrison put on McCoy was that, whether or not he was throwing or running, Harrison clearly went up top for the helmet. That would be a dirty hit on any player, even a running back.
That’s not correct. A “runner” is not protected from helmet-to-helmet hits. Remember Harrison’s knockout shot on Josh Cribbs last season? It wasn’t penalized or fined. “Runners” are fair game; they don’t enjoy the same protections that quarterbacks and “defenseless receivers” do. Ryan, this is a tough game for tough guys. Don’t be naïve enough to think that these are “nice” men. These guys play for keeps. They always have and they still do. James Harrison was asked after that game, in which he KOed Cribbs, what his thoughts were when he saw Cribbs out cold on the ground. Harrison said, “That’s the end of the wildcat.” This is not a game for the timid and the kindly.
Devin from Greensboro, NC
Vic, why is it that with a big lead the Packers decided to take the foot off the gas? I understand the whole injury thing, but that can happen at any time. I would like to see the Packers just destroy opponents. I believe they can score 60 a game. Why don’t they?
And that would accomplish what?
Scott from Greenwood, IN
In your opinion, is Aaron Rodgers having the best season of any quarterback ever?
In my opinion, he’s 11 touchdown passes away from tying Tom Brady for the best season of any quarterback ever.
Colin from Pukalani, HI
Hey, Vic, why do all the quarterbacks have those green dot stickers on the backs of their helmets?
The green dots indicate the players who are wearing the helmet communicator.
Ben from Chilton, WI
On Mason's blocked extra point, there was a defender that jumped over our line to block it. Can you define when a penalty would be called on the defender for something like that?
Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1, Leaping: “Clearly running forward and leaping in an obvious attempt to block a field goal or try-kick after touchdown and landing on players, unless the leaping player was originally lined up within one yard of the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped.”
Joshua from Appleton, WI
I’m confused as to why there wasn’t a pass-interference call on the defender that intercepted Rodgers in the end zone. He never turned to look for the ball and just threw his hands up while jumping right into Finley's chest.
Face-guarding, which is what you’re describing, is a myth. There is no rule that forbids face-guarding. I call it the “Ellis Hobbs play.” Hobbs, in my opinion, was called for face-guarding in the 2006 AFC title game. It was the defining call of the game. Hobbs later claimed the league admitted to him he should not have been called for pass-interference, but when that information got out, the league (I think it was Mike Pereira) justified the call by saying there was contact on the play.
Mitch from Rolla, MO
With the communicators in the QB helmet, can the coach tell him which receivers are open during a play?
Coach-to-quarterback communication is ended with 15 seconds remaining on the play clock. That’s when the helmet communicator is turned off by the technician in the press box. I wonder what Vince Lombardi would think if he all of a sudden came to life and read this answer.
Kylon from Ipan Talofofo, Guam
You just had to mention the electric football game, didn't you? Now I'm going to have all those embarrassing flashbacks of how I would “forget” it at my grandmother's house so my parents couldn't see me not play with it.
It was absolutely the dumbest game ever invented, and every kid had one. I think if you locked a kid in his room today, took away his Madden and gave him one of those electric football games to play with, by the end of the day you’d have to peel him off the wall. Electric football is to Madden what the invention of the wheel is to NASCAR.
Chad from La Crosse, WI
Up by 24, we're 12-0 and Rodgers gets hit three of the last four plays. Am I the only one screaming “run the ball?”
We’re not allowed to yell in the press box.
David from Camanche, IA
What type of team do you think poses a bigger threat to our Packers? Would you say a shutdown defense like San Francisco or Baltimore, or a lights out offense such as New Orleans or New England?
Jonathan from Roxboro, NC
How do you think the Packers will plan for the Chiefs this week, given the recent coaching change? Do you think it has the possibility to become a trap game?
No, I don’t. I think the Packers will prepare in the same systematic fashion for which they prepare for every game, and the results have been pretty good. My expectation for this game is for the defense to go into shutdown mode. I think the defense is ready to kick it into high gear.
Megan from Portland, OR
So Brees, Brady, Rodgers and Manning are all on pace to surpass Marino’s single-season passing record. I can't help but feel there is an injustice being done to Marino, as he was able to set this record in only 14 games in an era when the pass was not as prevalent as it is today. Thoughts?
First of all, you’re wrong about Marino playing in the 14-game era; he played all of his career in the 16-game era, but that doesn’t mean he had the same advantages then that today’s quarterbacks enjoy. The evolution of the game has always favored offense; it has always changed in ways to create more offense. A major portion of Jim Brown’s career was spent in 12-game seasons; should we dismiss his greatness because his stats aren’t as good? Terry Bradshaw spent the majority of his career in an era that was dominated by defense, when offensive linemen couldn’t use their hands to block, holding was 15 yards, defensive backs could bump and run all the way down the field, defensive linemen could legally slap offensive linemen in the head and quarterbacks could be hit on theirs. Get a clip of Super Bowl X and watch what happens to Bradshaw’s head as he releases the game-winning touchdown pass to Lynn Swann. There was no flag, no fine. Marino canceled out all of the quarterbacks that went before him that didn’t have the benefit of playing in the post-1978-rules-changes era, as Marino did. That’s why stats and records are meaningless. The game changes, which means the players of today are not playing the same game as the men whose records they’re breaking. It’s also the reason you can’t compare eras.
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