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Clay Matthews' absence greatest reason for concern

Don’t go to sleep on the Ravens


Jason from Summerville, SC

I just finished reading about a game the Dolphins and Jets played in 1994. Marino faked a spike and Mark Ingram caught the winning touchdown pass. Are fake spikes allowed in today's NFL?

Yes, but fake-pass spikes are not.

Scott from Fitchburg, WI

As a Packers fan, it's embarrassing that our head coach had to ask fans to make noise in the second half of a division game. I expect more out of the Gold Package fans against the Vikings in November.

So you're saying the Gold Package fans don't have the same enthusiasm for the Packers that the Green Package fans have? Hey, that's pretty harsh.

James from Fort Worth, TX

Vic, help me with this. Some suggest you throw in a wrinkle to make future opponents have to prepare for it, others seem to think you save it and surprise them. What's the better approach?

Show a wrinkle to make future opponents prepare for it, then show them a new wrinkle when you play them. Wrinkles are a dime a dozen. A simple motion from formation before the snap of the ball can dramatically change the look of a play and how the coverage scheme needs to react to it.

Matt from Honey Brook, PA

Vic, can you read minds? I was about to ask for a one-on-one with Eddie Lacy. Thank you, what was the feeling you got from Eddie?

He's a love-life kind of guy. He listens to the question and gives you an honest answer. I loved how he spoke of the hesitation he had early in last Sunday's game. It's human to worry about getting a knock on the head when you're coming off a concussion. It's one of those human confrontations I enjoy. He was challenged and he responded.

Gerald from Cincinnati, OH

I read your blog almost every day. I often agree with you while other times I don't. Forgive me but I don't care about teams in London or Los Angeles, or the 1970s. What do you think is the biggest challenge for the Packers defense and Mr. Capers to worry about this coming Sunday?

The absence of Clay Matthews is likely the greatest reason for concern. We saw what happened in Cincinnati when Matthews left the game. He's this team's best defensive player. He's its playmaker. He's the player the other team's offense fears the most. It's a big loss, unless somebody steps up and replaces some of what the Packers have lost.

Billie Jo from Ward, AR

"Tis the wind, and nothing more." I loved the Poe reference. Was that a subtle warning to not underestimate the Ravens?

Yes, it was. I'm very familiar with that organization. They see themselves as unbeatable at home. They are scared by nothing and no one. They are aggressive to the point of disrespect, and they will come after Aaron Rodgers with abandon. Don't look down your nose at the AFC North. It owns the most recent Lombardi Trophy and it has a very good track record against the Packers.

Pat from Altoona, WI

Vic, love the 10 things to do to beat the Ravens. Don't eat the crab?

I spent a very long night in Baltimore many years ago. I think I am the only person in Memorial Stadium history to cover a game with my head in a bag.

Peter from Irvine, CA

"Sectional football games have the glory and the despair of war, and when a Texas team takes the field against a foreign state, it is an army with banners." John Steinbeck, "Travels with Charley." No wonder you like Steinbeck.

The homogenization of regions as a result of conference realignment is costing college football a lot of the sectionalism that made it special. It's a big loss, and I think there's more of it on the way.

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