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It's time to come to balance

Expect the 49ers' best on Sunday


Carl from Onalaska, WI

I'm a recent gold package ticket holder living several hours from Green Bay. The weekday night games are challenging. It takes two days off work, a hotel stay, etc. Don't get me wrong, we love it. However, if my work situation didn't allow me time off, I'd have to sell the tickets. If the tickets are sold on the NFL ticket exchange, anyone can buy them.

I completely understand. I just wish there was some kind of ticket exchange for Packers fans only, because there are a lot of Packers fans out there who want tickets, and if there was a way of finding them and identifying them, it would be a way of keeping Lambeau Field green.

Derek from South Point, OH

Vic, I know the season is very young, but besides the Packers, which teams are your most surprising teams, both good and not so good?

I picked the Raiders as my surprise good team of the year, and I think they're on the way to making me look good. I'm stunned the Ravens are 0-3, but they'll be back. A win over the Steelers on Thursday could be the Ravens' launch point. The NFL is all about parity. It was Pete Rozelle's ultimate goal, and the foundation for parity he helped create is now the dominant feature of the league.

Jason from San Jose, CA

Vic, what impact during the game have you seen with McCarthy giving up his play-calling duties?

We're struggling to find issues to entertain us; that's how fast the Packers' start has been. Here's the biggest surprise of the season to date: Through the first three games of the season, I haven't gotten one complaint or criticism about the play-calling, other than for the stupid stuff about not trying to run up the score on the Chiefs in garbage time on Monday night.

Vinnie from Bregenz, Austria

The resurgence of James Jones and the demise of Greg Jennings are reminders of a question I've always had. Why haven't big-name, free-agent receivers offered themselves to play with Rodgers for less money?

Because it's professional football and it's about the money. In 44 years, I have never known a player to accept dramatically less money to play for a team – I'm not sure what the difference was for Randall Cobb, but I suspect it wasn't dramatic. I remember Leon Searcy being asked why he signed for a little more money to play for an expansion team. Searcy responded, "A little more money?" I like the concept of play for pay. There's something very American about it. It's competitive, aggressive and upwardly mobile. It's not about greed; it's about self-pride. I want a guy who's motivated by personal gain.

Robert from Madison, WI

Vic, I know you're a fan of college football, so I'm wondering if you've had time to watch any of Leonard Fournette down at LSU? I have never seen someone so physically dominant at the college level, and I'm wondering how he might compare to Bo Jackson or Earl Campbell?

I watched him against Syracuse. He's a powerful, straight-line runner. He reminds me of Ahman Green.

Wayne from Green Bay, WI

I'm no coach, but why would any team play man to man with a single-high safety, unless they have two shutdown corners? Rush four and flood passing lanes has been the best formula for slowing down Rodgers for a while now.

It's because defenses fear the run more than they do the pass. I said that back in 2012 and '13. Defensive coordinators live in fear of having the ball jammed down their throat all day. Eddie Lacy has been a game-changer for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense. He's opened the field. If you can't stop the run, you can't stop anything. Only a few teams can stop the run and get pressure with four. Most defenses have to pick their poison, and those defenses will usually pick the run poison.

Jim from Fairview Heights, IL

Can you stand one more observation about the fourth-quarter defense? I thought it was great the defense didn't give up the home run ball and made the Chiefs use 17 plays, a favorable fourth-down spot and six minutes off the clock to score seven points.

You get it! The Packers defense did just what it wanted to do: Trade yards for time.

Tori from Marathon, WI

What I liked most about Monday night's game was all the smiling. Just about every time the camera showed a player on the sideline, a smile was involved. Of course, winning makes it easier, but it's nice to see the Packers are having fun. Isn't football great?

There will come a day when we'll stop smiling. Our stomachs will be in a knot. That's when football is really great.

Justin from Titonka, IA

Have the Packers ever had this balanced of a team?

OK, that's enough. We're beginning to tickle ourselves. It's time to come to balance.

Erick from Tucson, AZ

There was this play on Monday when Rodgers went for a long pass on fourth-and-2, and I remember thinking he'd gone and lost his mind. Then, sure enough, a flag for 12 men on the field goes out. His ability to take in the entire field like that and make a play without missing a beat just blows my mind.

I had similar thoughts. Even after the penalty was assessed and the Packers were awarded a first down, I thought to myself that if I was Coach McCarthy, I'd say to Rodgers, "Gee, Aaron, that was great, but please don't do it again."

Eric from Elgin, IL

It seems like everyone wants a blowout victory these days, and I have no idea why. I love the thrill of a tie score late in the game, when one pass, one swing or one shot can mean the difference between the exuberance of victory or the agony of defeat. It's why I'll watch a game between two teams I have no rooting interest in. Give me the close game in the fourth quarter that produces the angst and excitement that makes me creep toward the edge of my seat. Vic, I love being a fan of the game.

You are a man of courage. You're not afraid to lose. You like the action. You'll risk maximum hurt for maximum gain. I like you and your kind.

Rob from Hamilton, Ontario

You stated Aaron Rodgers is in his prime and you think he might still be on the way up. Can you please elaborate? How can he get any better?

His physical skills are as sharp as they were in 2011, when I began covering this team. His command of the game is greater now. At the same time he's taking instructions from his sideline, he's "listening" to the instructions the defense is getting from its sideline. I've never known a quarterback to be able to do that. Terry Bradshaw called every play of Super Bowl XIV from the line of scrimmage, but Bradshaw couldn't do what Rodgers did on Monday night. It made me lower my eyes and wonder what I'm watching.

Randy from Portage, WI

Feeling sky high with great expectations for the Packers this year, amazed they are looking back at three great wins against worthy opponents, showing themselves superior in all phases of their game. Bring me back to Earth, Vic. What weaknesses are there in this team to be concerned about?

I don't see any right now, but they'll emerge. Weaknesses emerge for all teams because nobody is without them and your opponents will eventually expose them. At that point, you have to find a way to cover them. That process defines the growth of a team. The problem in 2011 was the Packers' weakness wasn't exploited until it was too late in the season to cover it.

Adam from New Haven, CT

Vic, excited to cover a game in a new stadium? What will this bring your grand total to?

It's right around 60. I'd have to go back through preseason schedules to get an accurate number: I've covered preseason games in places such as Knoxville, Montreal and Barcelona. I'll also cover a game for the first time in the new stadium in Arizona this year.

Keith from Nova Scotia

I always thought any close call for a first down was automatically measured. If this is true, why wasn't that fourth-down play of KC's measured because it sure looked like they were a good yard short.

I think John Parry goofed. It happens. Did you think Ty Montgomery's momentum carried him into the end zone? Oh, look, I can't stop my feet! I thought the final minutes of Monday night's game were sloppy.

Jesse from Bethlehem, PA

Kaepernick and the 49ers confuse me so far, Vic. They looked great in Week 1, but a little listless the past few weeks. What do you expect to see from them this weekend?

I expect to see the best they have to give. They had back-to-back bad days in Pittsburgh and Phoenix. They'll be at home on Sunday, and they'll be focused to even their record and stay in touch with the rest of the league.

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