Richard from Truckee, WI
What’s your lede following the game?
The Packers overcame the heat and a young team on the rise, and now it’s on to Minnesota for a showdown with the Vikings.
Mike from Algoma, WI
Looks like the Jaguars are for real. All in all, a solid start for the Packers. Who would have thought the game would be won by a gassed defense?
If there was a criticism of the defense last season, it was that it didn’t always get it done at crunch time. Yesterday, it did, and it did it with grit at a point in the game when it was running on fumes.
Ray from Walker, MN
Vic guaranteed victory if we do the three things of run the ball, stop the run and win third down. The Packers won all three of those statistical categories and won the game. Great call, Vic.
It was the Packers’ precision passing game, however, that controlled the tempo of the game in the third quarter. In the pregame radio show, I said it would be how the Packers responded in the third quarter that would determine the team’s fate. I had seen a lot of visiting teams wilt at halftime during my 16 years in Jacksonville. The Packers not only didn’t wilt, they surged, and it was the passing game that led the surge. That game was all about tempo. The Packers won with a measly 60 plays.
Dylan from Forty Fort, PA
I missed the game to go to a concert and had a great time! What should I know about the game?
Well, Bob, you should know the Packers overcame a daunting challenge from the schedule-maker. That was a set up. The schedule-maker giggled when he penciled that one in. Mike McCarthy prepared his team for that game with a run-the-ball, stop-the-run mentality throughout the preseason. He knew the opener would be all about endurance and toughness, and he delivered that message throughout the preseason. McCarthy never ceases to amaze me with the thoroughness of his and his coaching staff’s preparation of the team. He knows what the issues are, and he addresses them.
Ben from Syracuse, NY
I’m sure you have lots of questions about the Jags game, but tell us something about Coach Del Rio, the man that goes for two while down by one with under a minute left.
Jack has always been a “gambler,” but what he did yesterday is rapidly becoming the thing to do. Today’s NFL is a bolder place, and it was Bill Belichick who began the trend. He was the first coach to go for it regularly on fourth down from places on the field teams previously would almost always punt. Look at Coach Del Rio’s decision this way: His team has to make at least one more scoring play to win the game. OK, here it is: Make that play.
Ricky from St. Charles, MO
Vic, I wrote in after the San Francisco game and I asked you if you thought the fourth down trend would continue in the regular season, and on the first drive within clear field goal range Mike McCarthy goes for it on fourth down. I loved how aggressive that was.
How about Gus Bradley? Go, go, go! Everybody’s going for it out there!
Randy from Medicine Hat, Canada
Do you think that if the two-point conversion was available in the era of the “Ice Bowl,” and the Packers trailed by one, Lombardi would have looked at Starr and said, “Go for two and let’s get the hell out of here”?
No. That kind of boldness was perceived as foolishness back then. Football was a much more buttoned-down game, especially in the NFL. The AFL fed off that conservatism. It gained popularity with a more wide-open style of play and forward thinking.
Bret from Mililani, HI
Vic, how was your NFL Sunday Ticket experience watching at home? There was a lot of exciting games to enjoy. Which games did you enjoy most on opening day?
During commercials in the Packers game, I’d flip to the Vikings and Bears games. I liked the variety, but it got to be kind of much. By the end of the day, I was feeling a little burned out on football, and it was only Week 1.
Shilo from Fallbrook, CA
Did you miss it on Sunday, Vic?
I missed the press box. I missed my friends. I missed turning to Mike, just before the kicker began his run up to the ball on the opening kickoff, and saying, “Well, Mike, the baloney stops now,” but I wouldn’t have said baloney. At about noon I got a craving for red beans and rice, which was always the press lounge food in Jacksonville when I was there. Oh, well.
Eric from Tomball, TX
Since Vic has stepped back a bit, can he do an “Ask Vic” for Jacksonville again? What a young, up-and-coming team; I think they arrive this year. What does Vic tell their fans after a tough loss? What a great, gritty win for the Packers.
A team at the top held off a team on the rise. That was the gap in yesterday’s outcome. What if Chris Ivory had played? I think the Jaguars missed him greatly. He’s a hard, pounding runner. I don’t think the Jaguars would’ve run out of shotgun formation nearly as much as they did, had Ivory played in the game. Draw running is finesse football; you’re really not running the ball. I would tell Jaguars fans to be patient. The gap is closing.
Kabir from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Vic, you were right. The crowd actually cheered when a cloud blocked the sun for a short while. There was no place to hide. Picturing you at home with Flip and Flop and a cold adult beverage, in air-conditioned comfort. Missed you at the pep rally, too. Be well!
TV showed a panorama of the east side of the stadium just before the second half kickoff. The stands were empty. It was a look with which I had become familiar during my 16 years in the west side press box. I thought to myself, “Well, they’re either looking out the back of the stadium to regain their eyesight, or the burn units are full.” TV showed a temperature gauge at field level. It read 112 degrees!
Zach from Crystal Lake, IL
Vic, it seemed the offense was underprepared in this game. Rodgers and Nelson had timing issues. The offensive line was caught off balance by many of the looks from the defense, causing Aaron to often extend plays and reduce his ability to read and make accurate throws. Mike, Aaron and the whole offense had multiple communication issues. There are teams around the league with new players and new coordinators that ran their operation much more smoothly. It seems the emphasis on pursuit and finish may have taken away from the preparation of the offense. I know it is Week 1, but much improvement is needed if we are going to contend with the Vikings next week. Look forward to your thoughts.
You know what Lombardi said: “Gentlemen, we will chase perfection, and we will chase it relentlessly, knowing all the while we can never attain it. But along the way, we shall catch FULL CONSISTENCY.”
Zahir from London, UK
It would be interesting to see how tough guys like you would hold up in Dubai in July, when temperatures regularly reach 130 degrees plus.
Piece of cake. I had the AC set on 80 yesterday, and I was as cool as the little glass in my right hand. It’s a tough game for tough guys.
Nick from Seattle, WA
Vic, Rodgers’ mobility in the pocket was beautiful to watch yesterday. What are your takeaways from the game?
He’s the difference. He tilts the field. Of all the quarterbacks I’ve covered, he has the greatest overall command and control of the game.
Thomas from Park Falls, WI
I feel Lacy should be getting 18-25 touches every game, no matter what. Not a fan of a 50/50 share; it should be 80/20 Lacy all year and he should be involved in check downs all the time.
I disagree. I think the Packers strategized the game beautifully. I said in the pregame radio show Eddie Lacy should be capped at 15 carries. I don’t think you appreciate the severity of the conditions in which yesterday’s game was played. Lacy is a big man, and he’s a guy who’s had asthma issues. Jerome Bettis is an asthma sufferer and he really struggled in the Jacksonville heat and humidity. Winning is good enough. The worst thing you can do to an opponent is beat them. They don’t award the Lombardi Trophy for perfection. It’s the reward for winning.
Ben from Chicago, IL
All I saw of the game were the highlights. Anything noteworthy I missed?
You missed a stirring 9-11 pregame tribute. That was the freedom of expression Jacksonville, a Navy town, chose to exercise.
Ryan from Las Vegas, NV
Vic, for some reason, I have not written in since your helicopter ride and I hope you’re doing well. I can’t emphasize enough how much I enjoy your column and your direct impact on my love of football for 18 years. I went to Jacksonville to watch this one in person; wish you were there. What do you expect from the Jaguars this season?
They can be a playoff contender in a division of young quarterbacks.
HAVE A QUESTION?