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Common games can be an important tiebreaker

Reader wants more proof that score wasn’t run up


Steve from Fox Lake, WI

With Neal and Perry coming off the best games of their careers, I think we should cut Matthews. Too much cap space and too many injuries.

I'm going to assume you're joking – even though something tells me you're not – and to prove to you how ridiculous your suggestion is, here's what would happen to the Packers' salary cap if they did what you're suggesting: Clay Matthews' salary cap hit in 2014 would $16.4 million, all of it dead money. Hey, just out of curiosity, are you kidding or are you being serious?

Trevor from Atascadero, CA

Not that I don't think we will win, but if you're going to lose a game, it's best if it's to an AFC opponent, correct?

In some tiebreaking instances, yes, in others, no. For example, if it's to break a tie within the division, common games is one spot higher in the tiebreakers than games within the conference. To break a tie for a wild-card spot, games within the conference are a spot higher in the order than common games. You'd almost have to be clairvoyant to know which is more important, but I think conference games tend to be more important than common games because division games tend to break ties within the division before the tiebreakers get to common games and conference games.

Ben from Chippewa Falls, WI

Vic, I'm beginning to embrace the idea of an NFL franchise in London. Imagine if they were called the Redcoats; that would make them an instant rival for the Patriots. Great for marketing, U.S. vs. UK.

I don't know how the coats would feel about that.

Brandon from Houston, TX

Vic, if you were a GM, which Harbaugh brother do you hire?

I'd hire Jim. I like the edge.

Jeff from La Crosse, WI

Colin Kaepernick isn't having the season everyone thought he would. After the numbers he put up in Week 1, he has looked mediocre to me. Why isn't the future of the NFL doing too good this year?

Why so mean-spirited? Was he supposed to tank it against the Packers? I just don't get this.

Dennis from Lawrenceburg, IN

I don't understand the sentiment toward Los Angeles. That city has already told the NFL three times that it is not interested in the league. Lack of support for the Rams, then the Raiders, and most recently for the franchise that ended up as the Texans, should be a clear message: We don't care about professional football.

You lost me on the Texans thing. What am I missing? The Rams and Raiders left Los Angeles as a result of stadium issues. I've never considered Los Angeles to be an NFL hotbed, and I've covered a lot of games there, but it dumbfounds me that people don't understand why the NFL is desperate to put a team there. It's the nation's second-largest market. There are as many TV households in Los Angeles as there are people in Wisconsin. Can you not understand how having a team in Los Angeles would deepen the worth of the NFL's TV contracts? Can you not understand what would be gained in the way of sponsorship and merchandising money? Attendance is chump change compared to what the NFL would gain from having a presence in Los Angeles. It's an embarrassment to the league that it hasn't had a team there in nearly 20 years. How can that be possible? Are LA football fans going to be "bleed" team colors? No. Are they going to shape their lives according to the fortunes of the football team? No. The league, however, is going to benefit from merely having a presence in the second-largest media market in the United States. Complain all you want, but as soon as somebody turns a shovel of dirt for a new stadium, a team will move to Los Angeles, and eventually it'll be two.

Erik from West Bend, WI

What do practice squad players do on game days?

They like to watch.

Austen from Toronto, Ontario

Vic, I understand your point about the 42-0 and Noll holding Bradshaw to 79 yards and two touchdowns, however, as this game was pre-1978, wouldn't the Steelers still have been focused more on the run? To me, this would suggest that Franco Harris' numbers that game would better showcase whether or not Noll did call the dogs off.

I don't know how you tell a runner not to gain yards and still prepare your team for a football game, but since you've elected to pursue this issue – do you think I would've misrepresented the truth? – here are all the facts. Harris rushed 14 times for 55 yards. Rocky Bleier rushed 29 times for 118 yards and three touchdowns. What's that tell you that Bleier got twice as many carries as Harris? I know what it tells me. Also, here's Mike Kruczek's stat line from that game: six of seven for 84 yards. Kruczek, a rookie, played as much as Bradshaw. What's that tell you? I'll be interested to hear your response. Again, that's how a great team conducts itself in a game against an obviously inferior opponent.

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