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No playoff talk until 10 wins

Packers are 7-3 and hold head-to-head tiebreaker


Bill from Olathe, KS

Incompetent at home against a very bad Lions team and very solid on the road against a very good Vikings team. What is the real Packers team?

The real Packers team is 7-3, not 1-1. Two of its three losses were on the road to very good teams. The loss to the Lions was to a team now on a two-game winning streak. We spend too much time trying to create order. Just watch. The results will create order.

James from Panama City, FL

Capers' defense was the best I've seen since he has been here. Why couldn't this defense apply pressure on the quarterback in the three games they lost?

Because they were being blocked. The other teams have good players, too. You're seeking FULL CONSISTENCY. It's a rare commodity. The Patriots and Panthers have achieved it so far. The Bengals lost FULL CONSISTENCY against the Texans. The Bills will try to end FULL CONSISTENCY for the Patriots tonight.

Douglas from Binghamton, NY

Vic, do you believe referees get a sense one team is being penalized more than another and, as a result, start to look a little closer at the other team?

That certainly wasn't the case on Sunday when the Vikings were buried under an avalanche of penalties in the Packers' half-ending touchdown drive. Officials are evaluated for every penalty they call. They're not going to risk their job security to even the score, so to speak. I remember seeing an official pick up a flag for a pass interference penalty on a touchdown play that would've obviously resulted in the offense declining the penalty. I wondered why the official made such a big deal about picking up the flag. I asked somebody who would know that kind of stuff and he told me by picking up the flag, the official wouldn't be evaluated on his call. That's how sensitive these guys are to getting the call right. They are held accountable for every call they make.

Jeremiah from South Bend, IN

Can you explain the tiebreaker situation? Do we currently have the tiebreaker with the Vikings?

The Packers currently own the head-to-head tiebreaker; it's the No. 1 division title tiebreaker. If the Vikings were to win in Green Bay on Jan. 3 and the two teams finished in a tie for the division title, the next tiebreaker is best won-lost-tied percentage in division games, and the loss to Detroit could hurt the Packers.

Chris from Sun Prairie, WI

Vic, being a big Notre Dame fan, I'm pleased by their recent success. Care to share your favorite memory of the Irish growing up?

It's a tie between the 1964 Pitt-Notre Dame game and Tom Clements' pass off his own goal line to clinch the 1973 national title by beating Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. It's one of the greatest plays in college football history.

Shannon from Rockford, IL

I think McCarthy and Rodgers give a great 1-2 press conference punch and do a great job of educating the press and fans about the game. What are your thoughts about how they answer questions?

I'm not looking for a performance; I'm seeking a look into each man's genuine thoughts and emotions for what had just transpired. After covering those two press conferences for five seasons, I think I can read each man. Coach McCarthy has an edge to him and, when he shows it, I know I'm getting the real thing. I like that. I like to see how coaches react to softball questions. I've always believed you catch more bees with honey than you do with vinegar. I tossed Coach McCarthy a softball question yesterday. He could've just said "Yeah, you're right." Instead, he went opposite on me about not even talking to his team about division leads and tiebreakers until his team has double-digit wins. Immediately, I knew I got the truth. That's what I'm seeking for my readers.

Matt from Bloomington, IN

Vic, let me guess. Janis playing was the answer to all of the offensive problems, right?

No, it was a combination of Ditka's sweater, Coach McCarthy's beard, the squirrel and James Jones' hoodie. We've gone from gagging to giggling.

Alan from Green Bay, WI

Vic, with the dual roles of some defensive linemen, could the Packers' alignment be considered 3½ -3½ instead of 3-4 or 4-3?

Think function, not formation. They're both part of the scheme, but function is what happens after the ball is snapped; formation is the pre-snap disguise. Eventually, the disguise will wear out and a new one will be required; execution never gets old.

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