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I want the stop and then the ball

Who's the greatest crunch-time QB ever?


Nic from La Porte, IN

Which situation do you prefer, getting the ball first and scoring, or starting on defense and stopping?

I think it depends on how your team is built. If you're a high-scoring offensive team, you want the ball. If you're built on defense, you want the stop. I favor the defensive mentality, so I would prefer a three-and-out stop and get the ball in good field position, which I would consider a win without having even scored.

Andrew from Madison, WI

Vic, I got a look at the nominees for the Hall of Fame and I can definitely understand why you've said we need to keep people out more than we need to let them in. There are some good football players on that list, but not many I would consider dominating. I won't ask you to name names, but do you see six on that list you think are really worthy? I saw most of them play, and I can't count up to six from that list.

There are a lot of names on that list I consider to be worthy of Hall of Fame induction, and I don't want to pick my six without giving hard study to all of those names, but here are two names I think should be HOF locks: Brett Favre and Ty Law. We know about Favre and his impact on the Packers franchise. Law's numbers are amazing for a cornerback: 53 interceptions, seven returned for touchdowns. Think about his defining postseason moments: three interceptions of Peyton Manning in the 2003 AFC title game and a pick-six interception in the Patriots' Super Bowl XXXVI win. Law is the best play-the-ball-in-the-air cornerback I have ever seen.

Justin from Titonka, IA

Who is the greatest crunch-time quarterback of all time?

Joe Montana.

Dave from Lake Zurich, IL

Vic, in 1952 Night Train Lane had 14 interceptions. Paul Krause had 12 one year. The last year a player (Everson Walls) had more than 10 was 1981. Overall, are there fewer interceptions nowadays? If so, why? Back in the day, weren't there some famous QBs who threw lots of picks?

Quarterbacks throw fewer interceptions in today's game because the rules favor the quarterback. For starters, his offensive linemen can use their hands to block. Ask Jerry Kramer if he would've liked to have used his hands to block. Also, there's no bump-and-run beyond five yards of the line of scrimmage, which means quarterbacks don't have to take seven- and nine-step drops to buy time and wait for their receivers to come open. All of a sudden, that 10-yard out route becomes a pretty long throw. This is the check-down era. Look at Tom Brady's passes in last winter's Super Bowl. It was mostly dink and dunk stuff; anything to avoid throwing an interception. Today's quarterbacks don't wing it as the old guys did. The old guys had to do it that way. It was a deep-drop, deep-throw passing game. By the way, Ty Law had 10 interceptions in 2005, another reason he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Chris from Upland, CA

Vic, which Packers player will need to set the edge for Sunday night's thriller?

Mike Daniels will do it. I thought he did it in Seattle last January.

Jack from Indianapolis, IN

Does Steve McNair deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?

I saw him play twice a year, every year for a long time, and I always thought he was an underrated quarterback and it made me bristle when people derided him with that "Dare McNair" stuff. If most of his career would've been the equal of the second half of his career, I'd say he belongs in the Hall of Fame, but his body of work isn't large enough for me to put him in the class of all-time elite quarterbacks.

Michael from Box Elder, SD

Vic, I was watching NFL Network's Super Bowl classics. The game was Miami vs. Washington. I noticed the wide receivers lined up in a three point stance. Was there a rule to that and when did that disappear?

If it was Super Bowl VII, which I suspect it is, then it was largely due to the era of bump-and-run coverage. It was felt a three-point stance helped wide receivers defeat the jam and help them achieve some separation coming off the ball. Motion began to take the place of three-point stances, as it was felt motion helped receivers avoid the jam. By the late '70s, and with the rules changes of 1978, three-point stances were pretty much outdated. Here's a video of John Gilliam in a three-point stance in Super Bowl IX. How would you have liked to have played wide receiver in those days? There was no flag.*View footage*

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