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It's a measuring stick for now, not later

Remember Patriots-Giants in 2007?


Andrew from Edgewood, IA

Vic, I'm not superstitious, but the SI cover of Jordy has me worried. I've seen time and again how teams and individuals who are performing at a high level end up faltering the week after their story is published. It happened in 2011 with SI's cover of "The Perfect Pack," and it happened back in 2010 with my beloved Northern Iowa Panthers after they upset Kansas in the NCAA basketball tournament. I'm worried.

Packers fans love to worry. If there's nothing about which to worry, they'll invent something. I haven't seen this in my other stops. I believe worry to be a trademark of the Packers fan base, or at least of my inbox: winsome worriers.

Mike from Philadelphia, PA

Vic, how pumped are you for Sunday?


I like covering big games. This is exciting.**

Anthony from Rockford, IL

Vic, I understood how you told fans to not use the Seahawk game as a measuring stick, mainly due to it being the first game of the season, and early regular-season football has turned into a preseason of sorts, however, I do not understand how this Patriots game, this late in the year, shouldn't be used as a measuring stick for where this team is at. Yes, the NFL is a week-to-week league, but right now these teams are regarded as two of the best in the league. Can you help me achieve perspective?

If you want to use it as a measuring stick of where the Packers are now, go ahead. I'm cautioning against using it as a measuring stick for what's ahead. Remember that 2007 game between the Patriots and Giants?

Ben from Hudson, WI

Do you think Linsley's performance has been underrated or do people see how well he's playing? Would you compare his situation to Bakhtiari's last season?

It's almost identical to what David Bakhtiari did in 2013. An injury to Bryan Bulaga pushed Bakhtiari into the starting lineup as a rookie, fourth-round pick and he proceeded to play as you would expect a franchise left tackle to play. Corey Linsley was pushed into the starting lineup by an injury to JC Tretter and Linsley has played as a rookie, fifth-round pick as you would expect a veteran starting center to play. Do fans fully appreciate the quality of those draft picks and the coaching those players received?

Joe from Bloomington, IN

Rather than whining about the NFC South, how about the AFC North? Have you ever seen such a tight race, Vic?

I don't think I have. The AFC North is the league's poster child for parity. Maybe that division should have its own playoffs.

Bill from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Do you think Beckham makes the catch without the super sticky gloves?

I don't know what he had on his hands, but I'll tell you this: I don't have big hands, and I feel like I could palm O.J.'s head when I put on a pair of those gloves players wear today.

Justin from Sherwood, AR

My concern with settling in for a shootout is that the last time we tried that we found out we didn't have enough under the hood to keep pace with New Orleans. I believe ball control means good game and shootout means New England beats us by three touchdowns.

I don't agree. You've got what many believe to be the best quarterback in the game and you're afraid to get into a shootout, on your home field? My inbox is a very timid place this week. Chortling isn't a problem this week.

Josh from Green Lake, WI

Whatever team wins this coming Sunday, who do you think gets more out of it in the long run? The team that wins or the team that loses?

I think the Giants got more out of it in 2007.

Susan from Saratoga, CA

Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News stated today: "Fans want to believe players fall in love with them as much as they fall in love with players." He goes on to say, in his experience, how often this happens: Never. Do you agree with this or are the Packers different?

Players can't be expected to have a personal relationship with each fan, and fans are deluding themselves if they believe they can have a personal relationship with a player. Let's put this in its proper perspective: Each is removed from the other, but they unite on game day for the same cause, to win the game. The feeling each achieves from that bond is love. The fans love to cheer and the players love to be cheered. I think Packers fans understand and appreciate that bond, and I'm certain the players do, too.

Mark from Stewartville, MN

Vic, what's more important for the Packers defense against the Patriots, stopping the run or pressuring Tom Brady?

You have to stop the run to force the pass, but without getting all technical about it, I think getting pressure on Brady will be the bigger issue in this game because I don't expect the Patriots to run roughshod on the Packers.

Boon from Los Angeles, CA

Vic, perhaps you need to gain perspective. You're new to Green Bay Packer nation, yet, you somehow hold the keys to the Packers community kingdom. Congratulations! But please don't say it's illogical to suggest the game this weekend may not be a shootout. It's a mistake to make this a Rodgers vs. Brady game. Talk about needing to gain perspective. Ha! Patriots are weaker at run defense than they are at pass defense. And you think it's illogical for both coaches to consider running the football to control time of possession? Drink your coffee!

Is it really that big of a deal or are you just bored?

Cory from Flint, MI

Vic, would you consider the Patriots to be a finesse team or a power team?

I've always thought of the Patriots as the perfect combination of scheme and execution. I consider that to be their identity.

John from San Francisco, CA

The Patriots have dominated the Packers in two of the last three meetings. We're afraid. I'm not afraid to say it.

Worry and fear. Sounds like a fun week.

Koigi from Lynchburg, VA

Vic, was that second added to the clock after further review or does being the editor come with that kind of power?

I didn't say anything. Somebody just did it.

Nathan from Naperville, IL

Let's say the Packers beat the Pats by 30. Would that prove the Packers as a team that probably will win the Super Bowl?

They might cancel the game and just award the trophy. The best thing about this game is the even-tempered and measured perspective fans have achieved for it. Win or lose, next Monday's "Ask Vic" will be special.

Brad from Green Bay, WI

"It's been my experience that championship teams win the close ones. They play their best football at crunch time. In a blowout, there is no crunch time." My exact reasoning as to why Florida State is being severely underestimated.

College football continues to be a mess. The more they try to fix it, the more they break it. When is someone going to realize that blowouts are a bad product? Instead, college football continues to encourage blowouts by rewarding them. Florida State has week in and week out played the most exciting games. Florida State is good for college football. Why penalize them for being good for college football? With all due respect to Melvin Gordon, it's not good for a sport when a guy runs through his opponent as though he's running against air, and a week later the record he set is broken by another guy. There is a terrible lack of competitiveness in college football. Cupcake week? Are you kidding me? It's the middle of November and the schedule is full of games you would expect to be played on the first weekend of the season? Who will save college football?

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