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Offensive line will make the difference

Get loud or you might not have another chance to do it


Robert from Fresno, OH

Vic, it was very kind of Aaron Rodgers to give Christmas gifts to his linemen, but I think he should have done it for the wide receivers, too, as we all know they are a big part of his success.

Or maybe they should all give him a gift for throwing the ball in places where they won't get clobbered by a defensive back. Rodgers is the best at that I have ever covered.

Kibe from Wasilla, AK

At what point when you have arguably the best quarterback in the league do the people in charge realize you have to have a great offensive line and get some serious talent?

The Packers have serious talent on their offensive line. This is one of the best fronts in football. I'm stunned that so many fans fail to appreciate what an outstanding offensive line the Packers have, and what a great job the personnel department has done in finding fixtures in the low rounds.

Nathan from Denver, CO

If you are the Packers, is your goal for Lacy to beat the Lions defense with the running game itself, or do you just try to force them to respect the run enough that Rodgers can beat them through the air?

If the Lions overload the passing lanes, then you need to run the ball and drag them out of that look. It's what the Packers needed to do in the Week 3 game, and if the Lions use that same six-man-front scheme this Sunday, the Packers will face the same challenge to run the ball and drag the Lions out of that scheme. We've seen what happens when the Packers have to throw against a loaded secondary.

Cory from Milton, ON

Vic, the Packers had no answer for Julio Jones. How do they stop Megatron?

The same way they stopped him in Week 3: Cover him.

Bob from Joint Base Lewis McChord, WA

Who is your offensive player to watch in this game? Mine's Randall Cobb. He said he didn't perform as well as he needed to last time against the Lions, so I look to him to really make a difference in this rematch.

Eddie Lacy is my offensive player to watch. I think he needs to have a big game for the Packers to win.

Bill from Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Seattle's stadium recently set a record for 136 decibels of crowd noise. My question is why does the NFL allow this because at that level it causes permanent hearing loss?

Huh? What did you say?

Dean from Bozeman, MT

Would it help the Broncos' cap space if Peyton Manning retired after this season?

It would worsen it.

Gary from Topeka, KS

With Detroit's center suspended for the game, and Clay Mathews moving inside, how significant is this match up in Dom Capers' planning?

The Lions are No. 27 in rushing. My sense is that using Matthews inside isn't especially necessary. My thinking is that he needs to spend more time on the outside rushing the passer against a high-powered pass offense that has allowed Matt Stafford to be sacked 43 times.

Jake from Franklin, WI

Vic, can you share the best Week 17 memory you have experienced?

You bet I can.

Charlie from Chicago, IL

Vic, if the Packers lose this weekend, is the season a failure, barring a deep run in the playoffs?

The postseason defines the entire season. Sunday's game will define the regular season. The goal is to win the division title. It'll take a win on Sunday for the Packers to achieve their regular-season goal.

Nadim from Queens, NY

Do you think Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers will beat Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions in Lambeau Field and win the NFC North Division?

Yes, I do.

Adam from Hillsboro, KS

Any dreams about this game? I got such a kick out of your premonition last year.

I don't have a premonition, other than my expectation for a trench-warfare kind of game. I think this is going to be decided up front. The team that wins will be the team whose offensive line plays the best.

Cody from Chicago, IL

Vic, I'm glad the Packers are asking the fans to get louder. I've been to many Packers games when I've been told to sit down from an old-timer behind me. This is a young man's game, and I will not apologize for cheering my team on.

Let it rip on Sunday, and get the old-timers on their feet, too. This is it. If the Packers don't win on Sunday, it's likely there won't be another game at Lambeau Field this season. It's time for Lambeau to get loud.

Jeff from Brooklyn, WI

Vic, the offensive line has come together since the last meeting with Detroit. Do you think they will fare better this time at protection and opening up lanes for Lacy to run the ball?

Yes, because they must. The Packers' offensive line is playing at the highest level in the four years I've covered this team. They're ready for this game. This is their moment. I think they'll rise to the occasion and, finally, be recognized for what they are.

David from Sparta, WI

Vic, you responded to a reader here that the Bills are only an Aaron Rodgers away from being a serious playoff contender. My question is how hard is it to find an Aaron Rodgers type of QB?

I think each decade produces about 10 quarterbacks capable of leading a team to a title. A team's hope of winning a Super Bowl rests with acquiring one of those quarterbacks.

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