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Matchup pits strength on strength

Maybe fate has a plan for the Packers


Steven from North Charleston, SC

Is it fair to say some teams just don't match up well based on the team's personnel and capabilities?

Absolutely. It's all about matchups. This Sunday's game is a strength-on-strength matchup. I like those kinds of matchups. They're more manageable and predictable than strength-on-weakness matchups.

Jeremy from Spearfish, SD

The Packers usually do good on screen passes. How come they barely do them?

The Packers are throwing more screen passes than any team I've covered. Packers fans are screen crazy and we are in the midst of screen mania. I always liked the screen pass. It's an effective way of applying the brakes to the pass rush, but I am screened out. I'd rather the Packers take some shots downfield. I don't think you can build a passing game on screen passes.

Ryan from Little Suamico, WI

Vic, if teams are loading up against the run with eight or nine guys in the box and playing man coverage on our receivers, wouldn't it make sense to spread four receivers out with a running back in the backfield? The most they could have in the box is seven.

If you're trying to run the ball and still achieve balance with the pass, nine on seven is optimum. Your formation creates seven on seven, which leaves an unblocked hat. Man coverage is an invitation to throw the ball. When the Packers begin beating man coverage, they'll have the opportunity to create some matchup problems in the running game.

Paul from Fairfax, VA

In watching our receivers the past several games, it seems they are running their routes directly into the other team's defensive backs, like the other team has magnets on them. Don't the receivers have options on the routes so they take what the defense gives them? I understand having problems getting open, but it really seems that if they just changed their cuts there is open space.

Against zone coverage, you run to the open spaces and sit down, so to speak. Against man coverage, which the Packers have been facing, you run at the defender for the purpose of running him off. Once you get him running full speed with you, you make your cut. He can't break on the ball if he's running away from it. What you're seeing is acceptable technique and strategy for defeating man coverage. Here's what I think is acceptable technique and strategy for being a fan: Leave the strategy to the coaches; they know more than we do.

Ray from Joliet, IL

I'm putting together a Packer Gamewell Fire Alarm Box and would like to know if you would send me four Packers helmet stickers and four clear-backing Packer 10x3 decals Green Bay Packers. Description: measures 12" x 3". Made in U.S.A.

If you asked me for helmet stickers to put on an atom bomb, I would have a better chance of understanding what you wanted to do. The answer, however, would still be no.

Dan from Houston, TX

Every game counts. We take them one at a time; no more stats stuff. Are the playoffs where the NFL plays football at its purest?

It's the end game. It's the ultimate. It's the dividing line between football and basketball season. It's where winter begins. I hate winter.

Joe from Manitowoc, WI

If the Packers would have beaten the Vikings, they would have faced a red-hot Seattle team. They would have faced them at home, but do you think it's better for the Packers playoff situation that they lost that game?

If the Packers had beaten the Vikings, they would've faced the Vikings again this weekend. I regret the Packers not winning a fifth consecutive division title, and I regret the potential for the Packers not hosting a playoff game, but I don't like that three-times stuff, and I acknowledge fate often has a better idea. It's been a while since I've covered a game in Washington. I'm OK with this.

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