Ray from Clark, NJ
Vic, you said Fisher likes to fake punts from his 40-yard line, but the Packers coaches don’t need you to tell them because they have all the info and will be prepared for it. So why do you think they were not ready? Thanks to you, I was.
It was easy to see by the way the Packers reacted they weren’t surprised by the fake punt. I had been looking for it the whole game, and the Rams had actually set the fake-punt play up on previous punts with abrupt shifting that was counter to what they did on the fake punt. I also said knowing isn’t the same is doing. The other team prepares, too. The other team gets a pep talk, too. You know what I mean? The Rams made it work. They executed the play better than the Packers executed their defense for it. You know it’s coming, but it’s still an unscouted look and that means you have to be able to think and react on the fly.
Kurt from Lodi, WI
Vic, can you explain the postgame press conference? Does every reporter get to ask a question? Is there an order to the questions? Who ends the conference?
Packers press conferences have a time limit or question limit that’s determined by reasonability, which means a reasonable chance for reporters to ask the questions they need to ask. There’s no question-asking rotation. If you have a question, ask it, but be respectable of other reporters’ need to ask a question. I think the Packers media acts very respectfully of everyone. To that end, there are standard bearers within the media, which is to say members of the media that cover the team day in and day out, and they’re the Helen Thomas of the Packers media, so they get a little more of the stage, so to speak. It’s a good process. I’ve been living according to it for 44 years and it’s never failed to work.
Bill from Carlinville, IL
Why was the interception that appeared to be trapped on the ground by the Rams not challenged by Green Bay?
All turnovers are reviewed. The call was reviewed and it was upheld. I was stunned, but I don’t know what a catch is so I just sit and wait until the eye in the sky tells me. Here’s what I think: To call that a catch and Calvin Johnson’s “catch” not a catch is another example of why the rulebook needs to be rewritten.
Christian from Copenhagen, Denmark
So much for the running back position becoming devalued. With all the talented backs we have met the last couple of weeks, Gurley was certainly the most impressive to watch.
Figuratively speaking, nothing beats young legs, especially when they’re attached to a body like that. Gurley reminds me of a young Steven Jackson.
David from Yateley, UK
I was going to ask this last week but it felt like it might be a jinx. No such worries now, however, so I was wondering if maintaining a streak (such as no interceptions at home) becomes a burden on a player? If so, how would you reduce that burden?
Yes, I believe it becomes a burden because it becomes a distraction. There’s no way to diminish the burden other than reminding your quarterback the goal is to win the game, not avoid interceptions. I am a firm believer in just win, baby, because when you make it your only thought, you eliminate distractions. That’s why I don’t like stats; they’re a distraction. Leave them for the fans and the fantasy players and the media to discuss and analyze. A football team should have only one goal: Win the game.
J.J. from Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Was the Rams’ front seven just that good, or did we just have an off running game? Also, reading between the lines it seems McCarthy hinted at missing Adams.
Yes, the Rams’ front is that good. Where were you last week? It was the theme of nearly every story. The Rams stopped the run. They did not, however, rush the passer much. Aaron Rodgers said he had great protection. Davante Adams? Rodgers said the Packers miss him because he’s the boundary receiver the Packers lost when Jordy Nelson injured his knee.
Eric from Msida, Malta
Have you ever seen a defense stop the pass so effectively it forces a team to try and play catch up by running the ball? I have to give credit to Gurley, but I didn’t mind watching him get the ball when we were up by two scores.
That’s Jeff Fisher football. Go to No. 10 in my “10 things editorial” from last Thursday: “10. Score early – The Rams aren’t built for shootouts.” I felt as though I was watching Fisher’s Titans play. Todd Gurley is a young Eddie George. Is Nick Foles a young Steve McNair? The answer to that question will determine to what degree the Rams follow the Titans’ path.
Trevor from Uijeongbu, South Korea
I’m already seeing the media talk about how the Rams may have created a blueprint for beating the Packers. We won the game and the turnovers we had were very uncharacteristic on offense. Last time we heard about blueprints like this was the 2011 season when it was drop seven or eight into coverage and generate pressure with three or four. Do you buy these blueprint conversations?
You only have to go back to last season: at Detroit and at Buffalo. This rush four, drop seven thing is nothing new. It pops up every time a team uses it successfully. The 49ers played six in the box against the Packers. They jammed the passing lanes and dared the Packers to run, and the Rams did it, too. OK, it worked, but not because of the scheme, but because of the players executing the scheme. You have to have studs up front to do what the Rams did on Sunday. How do you beat it? You run the ball and force them to commit another defender or two to the box. You have to win the physical battles.
Nate from Pueblo, CO
Looks to me like Rodgers has to throw a perfect pass every time in order to get a completion. Why are our wide receivers having trouble creating separation from the defensive backs more consistently?
The passing lanes were jammed with defenders yesterday. Run the ball.
Josh from Pullman, WA
You know what the best part of the game was? We finished!
I don’t think the Packers were playing prevent when the Rams connected on that 68-yard completion that nearly went the distance. Would you have traded that 68-yard play for a seven-minute drive, such as the one Kansas City executed late in the game? Schemes are overrated. We use them as excuses.
Ryan from Chilliwack, Canada
Vic, how good has Clay Matthews been this year?
I think he’s the leader for defensive player of the year. He made the game-changing play in the season opener, and it’s his move to inside linebacker that’s gaining recognition for having changed the Packers defense. The way Dom Capers is using Matthews reminds me of the way Dick LeBeau used Troy Polamalu. It takes a special athlete and player to be successful in that role.
Phil from Madison, WI
At the end of the first half, the Packers failed to convert a third down with about 35 seconds left. The stadium scoreboard showed one timeout remaining for each team, but the clock was allowed to run out. Why, with a dynamic punt returner, did the Rams not use their timeout and force us to punt? A good return could have put them in field goal range or better.
I think both coaches wanted to get to the locker room and live to fight another day, so to speak. I think coaches often get too wild with last-second type strategy. It introduces the potential for injury. I was expecting Mike McCarthy to call time out with two seconds left and try a Hail Mary. I was glad he didn’t. Restraint is a virtue. By the way, congratulations, Phil, your question has been selected as the “Cenex Question of the Day,” which means you’ve won two tickets to the Thanksgiving Day game at Lambeau Field between the Packers and the Bears. Each day this week, “Ask Vic” will be selecting a “Cenex Question of the Day” winner, who will receive two tickets to the Thanksgiving Day game.
Joey from Pottsville, PA
The Packers are playing at an amazing level right now. What is the biggest objective coming up with the Chargers coming into Lambeau?
The objective this week is to put everything you have into preparing for one game. Rest will come next week.
Gar from Virginia Beach, VA
Vic, what are we going to worry about this week?
I saw some concern etched on Aaron Rodgers’ face in his postgame press conference. I wasn’t concerned until I saw his concern.
Aric from Oshkosh, WI
Where is this obsession with identity coming from? From you, of course. We come here to read your thoughts on the Packers and you have introduced us to the concept of team identity. We know where we want the Packers to go, and when we ask about identity, it’s our way of asking if we’re headed there. We worry a lot.
What have I repeatedly said? Identity is for December. Teams are defined in December. Yes, the Packers are headed in the right direction, but this isn’t the time to christen a team or proclaim its identity. Nothing begins until December. All of this is practice for December.
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