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Clay Matthews made Saturday night's game a win

Scott Tolzien looks like the real deal


Mark from Iowa City, IA

Vic, what was the biggest question answered in Saturday night's game?

Clay Matthews was able to use his hands, both of them, to ward off blockers. I saw him do it. At that point, Saturday's game was a win.

Patrick from New York, NY

Once again, Rodgers doesn't start and the Packers lose. Will Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy ever address the issue at backup quarterback? Do they even care about winning games? I feel like someone has been slipping crazy pills into my daily cheese wedge.

I think you're right. Someone has been slipping crazy pills into your daily cheese wedge, or maybe it's the cheese that's the problem.

Justin from Newark, DE

Vic, my wife's friend's cousin is Justin Perillo. I was just wondering how he was doing. I haven't heard much about him.

Tell your wife to tell her friend who's Perillo's cousin that Perillo catches the ball, and that's a good thing.

Brian from Stantonsburg, NC

Vic, the loss Saturday night was disappointing and I'm sure the players never like to walk away with a loss. How about the coaches during the preseason? Is it all about player evaluation at this time of year?


Brad from Gallatin, TN

Bostick has a holding penalty to nullify a big run by Harris. Coach McCarthy leaves him in the game, calls his number and Bostick responds with a 24-yard gain. I would love playing for that kind of coach.

I don't know who called Bostick's number, but Bostick passed the focus test.

Scott from Norton Shores, MI

"The PGA is an afterthought. The U.S. Open and British Open are the golf season." -- Vic 6/11/14. Total afterthought. What a boring tournament; you could tell nobody wanted it down the stretch and that it meant nothing to Rory to win it. Maybe next year they'll just take it off the schedule completely.

It was a compelling final round and I was thoroughly enjoying the action, until the final two holes, especially the final hole. That's when they started playing as though they wanted to finish before the bar in the grill room closed. That's how you finish a major, with the leader hitting balls over the heads of his closest pursuers with the tournament on the line? I wish Phil Mickelson had sunk that chip for eagle on 18. I understand why Mickelson and Ricky Fowler were critical of the way the tournament was allowed to finish. I doubt the U.S. Open and British Open would've permitted such a careless, reckless, undistinguished finish. Pressure defines a major. Make him wait to hit. Let the knot in his stomach tighten as darkness falls. Force him to make the call between finishing in darkness and risking defeat, or calling it quits and finishing the next morning. Let him sleep on it. Test his nerves. Instead, the PGA rushed them through the final two holes as though the issue had already been decided. Could you see that happening at the Masters?

Courtney from Butte, MT

Couldn't watch the game because I had a date with my wife. Read the news and seems our defense played well. What's your perspective on Peppers' debut?

That wasn't his debut. That was a preseason game. Julius Peppers' debut is set for Sept. 4 in Seattle.

Michael from Wauwatosa, WI

Vic, I need to pick your brain to settle a family feud. After the game, my ex called and said our daughter and son-in-law had different opinions on the preseason affecting the end of the season. My son-in-law and ex say that if two teams are tied for the division lead or there is a tie for a wild-card spot, preseason stats are used to break the tie. My daughter and I say the preseason has nothing to do with playoff matches. Which is the right side of the fence?

Your ex loses again. Preseason games should never count toward anything, and they don't.

Jerry from Wilmington, NC

Vic, how does Tolzien look? Is he the real deal or what?

He has a little-girl-with-the-curl quality to him. The fumble was the perfect example of that. The ball inexplicably flies out of his hand, and then he makes one of the most impressive physical plays of the game by recovering it. I think Scott Tolzien is the real deal. He just needs more reps, more grooming and more time, and he's playing for the right coach because there is nothing Mike McCarthy likes to do more than develop a young quarterback.

Nate from Daufuskie Island, SC

I just have to vent. The NFL Network coverage was awful. The announcers from Tennessee did no homework whatsoever on the Packers. The graphics on the bottom of the screen overlapped, making it impossible to read. The same six headlines scrolled the entire game. Live plays were missed while showing taped plays and comments from the sideline announcers. I watched the game on Sunday morning taped, and they cut to their central set and showed the final score of the game in the middle of the tape. And they want to charge us to stream this product live. I would not put my brand on this if I were in the NFL front office.

These types of preseason TV complaints have been going on for years. Fans are accustomed to the sensational work the networks do with their regular-season coverage of the NFL, and the preseason telecasts just don't measure up to the regular-season standard. Everything about the preseason is a cut beneath the regular-season product, and it's becoming a big problem because fans aren't willing to accept something less than the regular-season product to which they're accustomed. That's why I'm in favor of reducing the number of preseason games. You're dissatisfied and that's not good for business.

Brett from Brisbane, Australia

Vic, did the rain make the game a complete waste of time? Will it count against the players who didn't play well?

I didn't think the rain was an obstacle. The footing was fine and the rain was just a good, old-fashioned, evening southern downpour. I always looked forward to them when I lived in Jacksonville because the rain would cool off the roof and make the upstairs bedrooms much more comfortable at night. The Packers are an outdoors team that needs to be able to play in all kinds of weather conditions. Other than for a couple of fumbled punts or kicks, I didn't see any problems dealing with the rain. Hey, this team plays in Miami in October, which is hurricane season. The Packers could find themselves playing in much worse conditions on that day. Coach McCarthy needs to know who can play in the rain.

Ruthann from Chippewa Falls, WI

Do you think the Packers will keep three quarterbacks? I think they really should?

After what happened last season, I will forever more answer this question with a yes.

Jacob from Ogden, UT

Who impressed you the most? I love watching Starks continuing to make big plays.

I saw James Starks turn a corner in his career last summer. The guy I saw Saturday night is a star complementary back. I liked what I saw in Rajion Neal, too, and I think DuJuan Harris can be this team's kickoff returner. The Packers' performance on Saturday reinforced my opinion of their roster.

Ray from Hoffman Estates, IL

Vic, the success of the Packers defense greatly depends on our ability to rush the passer. The Packers obtained Julius Peppers for that reason. You have barely mentioned Peppers so far, which leads me to believe he's not having a great training camp. Can you tell us what he's shown and if there should be concern that his skill level has diminished?

You don't evaluate players of his esteem and years in the league on how he performs in training camp. Peppers is beyond having to prove himself in training camp. His test will come in the regular season. He's using training camp and the preseason to prepare himself to be the impact player we expect him to be when the games count. Then, we evaluate.

Christopher from Hudson, WI

Vic, now that you saw one week of experimenting with the PAT kick, what do you think of its effect on the game?

My initial opinion was to get rid of the play. Now, I think the idea of moving it back to the 15-yard line might have merit. Let's revisit this issue in a few weeks.

Rick from Franklin, IN

So how many overreactions from the game are in your inbox today?

I got blind-sided this morning. I got my coffee, sat down at 6 a.m. to a wonderfully quiet office place and fully expected a pleasant start to the morning, but when I opened my inbox, there was yelling and cursing and great anger. One guy even insulted my father. A preseason game? Are you kidding? A meaningless preseason game? OK, let's turn it up a notch.

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