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All right, whose hot dog was that?

The Lions are finding ways to win


Eric from Keene, NH

I have a serious football question for you. There has been much discussion about the spilling of ketchup at yesterday's game. Was the culprit a hotdog, a brat or a basket of onion rings? Is ketchup an appropriate condiment for hot dogs, brats, or Packers uniforms? What is your take on Condimentgate?

I heard it was from a hot dog. I'm still queasy.

Joe from Dubuque, IA

Wonder what Skip Bayless is saying today about Rodgers?

He's probably ripping him for that overthrow of Richard Rodgers in the end zone. Terrible! That's what separates a 154.5 quarterback from a 158.3 quarterback.

Al from Kenosha, WI

The Packers victory at Miami last week was one of those team-character wins. Detroit got one yesterday with big plays by the offense and defense late in the game. Is it time to put a big circle around that December 28 game?

I circled it when the schedule came out. The Lions are finding ways to win. They used to find ways to lose. Jim Caldwell is beginning to put his stamp on that team. I knew he would.

Justin from Rockford, IL

Vic, it seems every game there is one or two times when a skill position player fumbles and an offensive lineman gets the recovery. I'm loving the hustle from the big guys to follow the play. I see so many other teams' linemen just stop when the ball carrier is 10 yards downfield. Is that an emphasis in practice or are our players just outhustling everyone?

First of all, it's an offensive lineman's job to be on the lookout for fumbles, but it's a special emphasis with the Packers. As the story goes, the Packers lost a game to the Rams in Mike McCarthy's first year as the team's coach, when the Packers were down by three points in the final minute of the game, inside the Rams' 10-yard line and Brett Favre was stripped of the ball. Daryn Colledge failed to recover the fumble. As a result, McCarthy made a recovery drill part of the Packers' practice regimen.

Tony from Saint Paul, MN

Vic, what I like about the NASCAR package is that it's a package that uses specific players and not a scheme. It's a players, not plays package that singles out four specific players – Matthews, Peppers, Neal and Perry – when it is used. This is why I think Dom Capers deserves credit for it. He uses four OLBs as defensive linemen. It's a gutsy call that can only work with the right players.

It's amazing how smart Coach Capers got during the offseason.

Dale from Kettering, OH

On the Nick Perry front, it seems like a bull rush disconcerts a lot of QBs. Do you think it's the novelty of seeing his lineman coming in reverse, the change in the shape of the pocket, or what that messes with them?

Usually, a bull rush is coming right at the quarterback, which often makes it difficult to step up in the pocket. A speed rush looping from the outside is much easier to sidestep.

Nick from State College, PA

What do you think will be the key to stopping the Saints?

Slowing down Drew Brees has always been the key to beating the Saints. He's the 17th-rated passer in the league right now, which explains the Saints' 2-4 record. If he gets hot, so will the Saints.

David from Athens, AL

Best restaurant for early dinner/late lunch in New Orleans?

I like the shrimp at the oyster bar in the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon St. Felix's Restaurant and Oyster Bar is also very good.

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