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Expect a hard-fought, fourth-quarter game

Winning the last three would take care of business



James from Chicago, IL

Are you afraid of Seattle? I understand they are playing really well, but should we be afraid of anyone anywhere? McCarthy once said, "We'll play anyone anywhere, anytime." I like that mentality.

You understand, of course, we don't have to play in the game. I think we can be realistic about this without showing fear. The Seahawks are the reigning Super Bowl champions. They're good. I have a feeling they'd prefer not to play at Lambeau Field as much as Packers fans would prefer that the Packers not have to play in Seattle. I think that's sensible. In fact, I would not be offended if the Seahawks lost in the playoffs and the Packers didn't have to play them at all.

Tom from Plymouth, MN

After their victory on Thursday, all the Cardinals need to do is beat Seattle and they win their division, giving the Seahawks fifth seed at best. Who do you want to win next week?

As long as the Packers win the No. 1 seed, I don't think it matters much who wins the NFC West. If the Seahawks win it and are seeded No. 2, they couldn't play in Lambeau Field until the NFC title game. If the Cardinals win the West and the Seahawks are No. 5, the Packers might have to host the Seahawks in Week 2 of the playoffs. Which do you prefer, early or late? The important thing is to just win the last three. That would guarantee the Packers wouldn't have to play in Seattle.

Saul from Stockton, CA

I'm a huge Packers fan since the early '90s. What are the Packers' chances to land as the No. 1 seed this season?

If they win their remaining three games, I think the Packers will be No. 1. I see Seattle as No. 2.

Nathan from Denver, CO

I think this game could be similar to the Dolphins game: on the road, against an uncommon, underrated opponent with a good defense, and the offense will have to make a big play at crunch time. What's your prediction?

I completely agree. The team that wins the fourth quarter will win the game.

Jeff from Hickory, NC

Vic, my father always used to say the product on the field is a direct reflection of how organized management is. San Francisco comes to mind when using this statement. Your thoughts?

The 49ers have a sensational front office. They've drafted as well as anybody. As I've already written, a lot of dominant teams have had pullback seasons in the middle of their runs. The Steelers of the '70s had one. The Packers of the '60s had a brief lull in the middle of their run. I think that stuff about the Browns and 49ers discussing a trade for Coach Harbaugh hurt the 49ers this year. A coach's esteem is critical to his command of his players.

Ted from Amherst, NY

Vic, you're not a native, so apparently you don't understand how deep the wounds of the Packers having a bad half go. I may live in Buffalo now, but I grew up in Wisconsin and I can still remember the feeling of helplessness when I was 12 years old as I watched my Packers suffer a complete collapse for a half in a game, a home game at Lambeau Field. They looked fine dominating the first half, but then after halftime the offense did nothing. The other team, I think it was the Cowboys, completely dominated the second half. Sure the Packers lucked out with one lucky score at the end of the game (and went on to win their second consecutive AFL-NFL championship game), but my point is the Packers have been suffering these meltdowns for a long time and it better stop.

I have so much to learn.

Dave from Glenview, IL

You got it wrong, it's "I don't know, Margo."

I know; it was a joke. I thought we needed to lighten up a little bit. Oh, well.

Brian from Fond du Lac, WI

"Study the league. Follow the full football cycle, from the Senior Bowl to the combine, owners meetings, free agency, draft and beyond." I do all of that already but I'm still a way bigger Packers fan than I am a fan of the game. First, there were the Packers, but they were bored; they needed someone to beat. That's when the other teams began existing in the realm of relativity. The Packers required someone to beat.

Our greatness is great.

Max from Sherwood Park, AB

I am happy about the Packers' defensive woes in the second half of Monday's game. I feel it will refocus them and they will have a shutdown performance on Sunday because of it. Better to have a letdown when you're up 24 points rather than in a 0-0 game, right?

The second half of Monday's game could become the turning point in the season. It might be the most important half of football in the history of the world.

Rich from Pueblo, CO

The other day you mentioned the offense has to count on the defense. What exactly do you mean?

I mean, don't count on this being a 42-41 game. The Bills defense is good. That's the strength of their team; offense is their weakness. I think it's time for the defense to carry the day.

Taylor from San Diego, CA

I think using artificial noise should be banned. If your fans aren't loud enough, you should not be granted a crutch to make up for it.

I think NFL stadiums are too loud and too busy with artificial noise and, as a result, they've turned 80,000 wonderfully human people willing to brave the elements to watch a football game into a TV studio audience reacting to applause signs. The spontaneity is gone. I want the fans back.

Jeff from Sun Prairie, WI

Vic, I had a dream last night where I was writing you the greatest question of all time but before I could write it I woke up and didn't remember the question. What do you think this means?

You're unfulfilled.

Nate from Minneapolis, MN

Vic, how would a defense perfectly cover/disrupt a screen pass? Is it up to the linebackers to recognize it?

You don't screen against teams with good linebackers and teams that don't rush. You want to get as many defenders as possible rushing up the field.

John from Olympia, WA

Which Kyle Orton will we see this week? The one the Packers beat with Denver in 2011, or the one that ended the Packers' year-long winning streak with KC in 2011?

Nobody knows. That's what makes this so much fun.

Nick from Maynard, IA

Vic, you've made a lot mentions about our offensive line needing to play well for the Packers to win on Sunday. Which defensive player do you feel will need to stand out?

I'm looking for Julius Peppers to have a big game. He'll be up against a rookie tackle that's likely never seen the kind of pass-rush moves Peppers' possesses.

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