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Here's how you make it into the playoffs

It’s OK to be upset; that’s what makes the fan base what it is


Mike from Kenosha, WI

I thought our defense had turned a corner, but obviously not.

I felt the same way. I was wrong.

Jeff from Sioux City, IA

Vic, been reading your articles for about a year now and I've become really interested in your unique style of confidence in your reporting. The question I've got for you is one that I feel has been begging to be answered for a while. What exactly is the reason for the Packers' annual injury catastrophe? There has got to be some definite reason the Packers, far more than any other team, are annually hit with the injury bug. What is it, Vic?

Here's what I don't think it is: Bad exercises, not enough liquids, bad diet, not enough sleep, wrong schemes, bad medical treatment, misaligned hips, too many practices, not enough practices, practices that are too long, practices that are too short, bad luck, the weather or the turf. Here's what I think it is: It's football; you WILL get hurt. I'm not trying to avoid the question or be sarcastic. Injuries are a big part of football, and the best players have always been the ones that have been best at avoiding injuries. You have to find those guys, and identifying them is very difficult.

Matt from Honey Brook, PA

Vic, I know you are sorting through roughly 12,000 doom-and-gloom emails. I am truly amazed in Mike McCarthy and his staff. I think a lesser man would have imploded under such adversity.

I'm OK with people being upset. That's what makes my job so good. I cover a team with a huge fan base of people who are passionate about the team I cover and, as a result, the stories I write. I like that. My inbox today is overwhelmingly represented by two kinds of emails. One proclaims the author's allegiance to the team and the belief that the team's fortunes will reverse. The other demands that everybody be fired. I'm looking for something between the two. This team has a problem and that must be acknowledged. On the other hand, firing everybody isn't going to fix the problem. Time and commitment solve the problem, just as time and commitment solved the problem that was the Packers' running game. We've got seven games remaining in this season. We have a long way to go, folks. I'm in to the end, and I have no doubt you are, too.

Jeff from Post Falls, ID

Vic, the Packers secondary needs to perform at a higher level. How does the coaching staff get these men to step up and play better?

I'd like to say a better pass rush would help, but the Packers sacked Nick Foles three times and are currently eighth in the league in sacks per pass play. I'd like to say winning on first down and creating obvious passing situations would help, but this team was high in the run-defense rankings for much of this season and the pass-defense needle barely moved. Casey Hayward's season-long hamstring injury has crippled the secondary. He's their interceptor and he has no interceptions; the secondary only has two. Sunday, Hayward reinjured his hamstring. You're looking for answers and I don't have any. I'm sorry.

Ryan from Lancaster, CA

Vic, I have a message for my fellow fans that fear our season is in doubt. We are tied with Chicago and a game behind Detroit with seven to play, including one against each of them. We still control our own destiny. Have faith, hang in there and just watch.

You're right, Ryan. That's the good news. The Packers control their own fate. Win all the remaining division games and finish no worse than in a tie. That's how you win the division title; that's how you make it into the playoffs and host a game in round one. Win! Just do that. There's no backing into the playoffs. Even if you could, what good would it do? The Lions have to go to Pittsburgh this week. The Steelers started playing a little defense yesterday. Maybe the Packers can get some help. I wouldn't be offended by that. Go to Detroit no more than one down, and then win. That's the formula for now.

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