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Fear of run causes defenses to react

A commission to determine what is a catch?


Harry from Houston, TX

Though there's still a decent chance the Packers can be the No. 2 seed if they win out, there's also a strong chance they'll be the No. 3 and would face the Vikings in the first round of the playoffs. How difficult is it to beat the same team three times in a row?

It's difficult, but I've seen it done. I was covering the Steelers in 1994 when they beat the Browns three times. I'm inclined to believe the Packers and Vikings will play for the division title when the two teams meet on Jan. 3. That makes me inclined to believe the Packers are looking at No. 3 or No. 5, which inclines me to believe the Packers will either host the Vikings in the wild-card round of the playoffs, or play at the NFC East champion. I'd rather play at home in the wild-card round than go on the road, especially if the Giants beat the Panthers.

James from Dubuque, IA

We often talk about the run game opening the passing game. How often do you see a team pass so effectively it opens the run game? Are the Patriots such a team?

The pass should open the run as the run opens the pass, but the pass has never seemed to have the same effect on the run the run has had on the pass. I don't know why that is, it just is, in my opinion. The Patriots are No. 1 in passing, but No. 27 in rushing. I guarantee Bill Belichick would run the ball if he felt he could; he did it against the Colts. Look at last season's Super Bowl. The Patriots passed it 50 times, but they rushed for negligible yardage. Why would they choose to throw against one of the best pass defenses in the game. There's a fear defenses have of getting the ball run down their throat that causes them to react quickly and with emphasis as soon as they get gashed with the run, but they don't seem to react as quickly to getting beat by the pass. I attribute it to fear of run.

Richard from Madison, WI

What's this obsession with identity? It's the Green Bay Packers, 13-time world champions, the only team in all of professional sports owned by citizens. They play in Lambeau Field. The league's championship trophy is named after their most famous coach. Anything else about their identity is either superfluous or anticlimactic.

His truth goes marching on.

Steven from North Charleston, SC

Will you get to interview Charles Woodson this week?

We requested to interview him per tomorrow's conference call. I think Charles would be offended if we didn't request him.

Kevin from Elko, MN

What do you think of NFL Commissioner Goodell's commission to improve the rule of what is or isn't a catch?

I can't stop laughing.

Brian from Fond du lac, WI

"We stole outdoor Christmas lights. It was a tradition in my hometown. We didn't talk good, so we had to be good with our hands, if yinz know what I mean." I hear chromium does that to people. Hey, at least you didn't start your river on fire, right?

No, we missed out on that one.

Dan from South Range, WI

I just read an article about Vito Stellino. I assume you know him. Any stories?

His arm caught fire in a Kansas City restaurant.

Tom from Vista, CA

Vic, who were your favorite players that missed curfew?

I got on the bus one day to go to the game. I was sitting across from Coach Cowher. He looked at me, smiled and asked where I went last night. I told him I spent the evening at a local club. Now I was smiling at him. I think he was reading my mind when he asked, "How many of them were there?" I said, "I had a better chance of calling a team meeting than you did."

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