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My time of year, I will not be dragged down

Mike McCarthy all business in Monday press conference


Joshua from Cable, WI

Vic, what, if anything, do we know about the Lions at this point?

They're an enigma. They have too much talent to be 1-7. That's what has me concerned.

Stephen from Quinnesec, MI

If it's players, not plays, it appears we have been grossly outmatched the last couple of weeks in just about all areas. Your thoughts?

The Packers appear to have lost their mojo, which is another way of saying they've lost their self-confidence, which is another way of saying they're not themselves. I don't know why it's happened, but I've seen it happen to a lot of good teams I've covered. All of a sudden, their minds and their feet aren't in sync. There's hesitation in their game. I see it in Eddie Lacy. They need to find their divine spark. December is a good month for finding divine spark.

Ben from Madison, WI

Vic, do you think we have been so accustomed to winning that over time some Packers fans truly believe getting upset after losing has a positive effect on the next game?


Gabriel from Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Vic, I'm over Denver and Carolina. Now we have to think about the future. The remainder of the Packers' schedule is daunting, so if we go to the playoffs we have to be hot. Give me a hot team in December over a 5,000-yard quarterback anytime.

The only yards that count in December are the yards gained in December, and they are the longest and most important yards of the season.

Kevin from Wausau, WI

Vic, I'm one of the people that saddened you last year. I took the loss to Seattle very hard. It ruined that day and the rest of the week for me. What a waste of time. Sunday, I observed the game. I cheered when the Packers did well, and I accepted when they didn't. You made me realize there's not a thing I can do about it. So why not just sit back and enjoy the game? I turned the game off and went about the rest of my day with no regrets about being a sore loser, as I've done in the past. The Panthers are a good team and there's no shame in losing to that caliber of team. Thanks for the advice, Vic.

Happiness is not a constant. When you have it, enjoy it. When you don't have it, be patient and wait for it to return. It will.

Terry from McHenry, IL

I've been screaming for screen passes for a while, especially when we can't protect our quarterback. Sunday seemed to add credence to use of the screen. I know you've been critical of this, but I think it helped.

Whatever it takes. Maybe the screen pass will be this season's Clay Matthews move to inside linebacker.

Mike from Yorktown, VA

Vic, the fourth-down play was a good call. Should Bulaga have cut his man to help create a passing lane on that play?

Bryan Bulaga took a deep set on that play – I was concerned at the snap of the ball he was too far off the line of scrimmage. He did his job. He gave Aaron Rodgers a firm edge and a passing lane. One of the dangers of cutting a defender is you're vulnerable to getting called for a chop block if the blocker next to you in any way engages the defender. As I look at that play, it appears Rodgers came off Randall Cobb too quickly. Rodgers looked to his left, where Davante Adams was running a slant against Josh Norman. Adams was open briefly, but by the time Rodgers got to Adams, Norman was poised to break on the ball. As I saw the play, it was a case of too soon for Cobb and too late for Adams. It happens.

Don from Superior, WI

How long have you been covering the Packers? However long it has been still isn't long enough to tell me I can't be angry with a team that is playing the worst football in the NFL. I have been watching the Packers since I was five years old. I have been waiting for season tickets for 30 years; bought stock, even named my kids after Packers greats. In the 45 years I have watched the Packers, I have never seen back-to-back embarrassing performances like that. Draft and development is not working. Since we have proven to the rest of the NFL we can't beat good teams, what do you feel about trading some of our players to other teams for higher draft picks next year? I know you won't answer this question because you never answer any of my questions.

Players, not plays, and picks, not players. I love picks. I'll take all I can get so I can use them to draft and develop talent.

Taylor from Amarillo, TX

Vic, your "happiness to sadness ratio" is fantastic stuff; classic Vic. Props to you, sir.

I have a great happiness to sadness ratio, if you like bad happiness to sadness ratios.

Chad from Lewiston, MN

Vic, Coach McCarthy talks about needing to find a rhythm on offense. Why not try the hurry up offense instead of letting the play clock almost hit zero half the time?

They did that on Sunday and it worked beautifully. The Packers ran 72 plays. The Packers went no-huddle on their second drive of the game, which resulted in a touchdown with a minute to play in the first quarter. The problem with hurry up offense is it adds plays to the game for your defense. When you play racehorse offense, you stress your defense, and I'm not sure that's a complete-game strategy that favors the Packers right now. Mike McCarthy talked about that last week.

Ivan from Boulder, CO

Vic, it seems like the last three years one team always seems to have our number. San Francisco, then Seattle, and now potentially Carolina. This is what irritates Packer fans. We can't seem to get past that one team that holds us back from achieving ultimate success (Super Bowl). Thoughts?

That's the first time Carolina has beaten Green Bay since 2008. I'll tell you what: Make it Green Bay at Carolina for the NFC title, and I'll get on the plane right now.

Braden from Milwaukee, WI

Vic, with the first half of the season already in the book, things are heating up for a drama-filled ending. I know we can't overlook any opponent, but looking at our last eight games, which are you looking most forward to at this point and why?

I am seriously excited for this Sunday's game against the Lions. It can't get here soon enough because the sooner the Packers have another chance to win a football game, the better. The daily angst is wearing on me; I look forward to happier times. Also, I think Sunday's game could be extremely entertaining. The Lions haven't won on Wisconsin soil since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny Kaye, and the Packers haven't won a game in nearly a month – Coach McCarthy expressed some wear on that subject yesterday – and I think we're going to see two desperate football teams at Lambeau Field this Sunday. Most of all, I want to see the Packers head to Minnesota the following week playing something closer to their best football. I want to cover a showdown game in Minnesota, and a win over the Lions would clear the air of Denver and Carolina and shine the spotlight directly on where it belongs, the NFC North title. We are rapidly approaching my time of year, and I am ready to enjoy the best season of my life. That's my mindset and I refuse to be dragged down by the Debbie Downers.

Robbie from Green Bay, WI

Fire everyone isn't the solution. It's just a nonsensical reaction to frustration. Vic, this is your comment. And I agree with it 50 percent. We do need to evaluate every coach on this staff. How long their tenure and what they have produced. Our defense has been a complete joke since the Super Bowl of 2010. Complete joke. Remember the Hail Mary by Eli? I can name many more ridiculous defensive breakdowns over the last five years. How many third-and-longs have they given up? It has not gotten any better. In fact, worse. So you tell me where a change is needed. Or a fire under some one's (butt). I am not sugar-coating anything; just calling it like I see it. We are wasting the best years of Aaron Rodgers' career. When is somebody going to realize this and do something about it?

They're working on it, Robbie. That's all they can do. You can't demand winning. It doesn't work that way. All you can do is get on the bus and hope it takes you to your destination. It's a leap of faith. It's that way for the fans of every team in sports. I have no doubt you're on the bus. Sit back and enjoy the scenery. You'll be glad you did.

Philip from Waco, TX

Vic, I didn't get a chance to see the game. How did Jake Ryan look out there? Is there potential with him?

I loved the way he chased down Jonathan Stewart on the goal line. That's the kind of play on which a young player can build. Having said that, Mike McCarthy was just so-so on Ryan's play, during Coach McCarthy's press conference on Monday, which I felt was Coach McCarthy at his all-time best. I loved that press conference because it was ask a question, get a straight answer. The coach was all business on Monday, and his demeanor fit the mood of the day. I wish every press conference was just like that one.

Nicholas from Louisville, KY

Did the Packers line up with two fullbacks and a running back in the backfield and pass? Love the column; change nothing.

If you love scheme football, the first half on Sunday was your kind of game. Wow! Two fullbacks, two tight ends, shifting, motion, Randall Cobb out of the backfield, Eddie Lacy lined up at wide receiver; I had trouble keeping up with all of it. The second half was boring. Same old stuff.

Kyle from Kilauea, HI

Win or lose, Vic, I enjoy watching football on Sunday, but it's kind of odd when I notice my diminishing interest in the product on the field. I'm only 26 but feel like I don't know the rules anymore.

It's gotten too technical. Baseball has done a great job of keeping its sports simple: ball or strike, safe or out. By the way, I love Gene Steratore. He and his crew did another great job on Sunday, and what I love the most about Steratore's work is when he comes out from under the hood, I know I'm going to get an explanation I can understand.

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