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One-two punch at end of half was turning point

No whining and crying this week; it's time to give thanks


Adam from Virginia Beach, VA

Not only did Lacy bounce back, I thought the interior of the line really bounced back. Tretter is such an important player for this team. I saw a play in which T.J. Lang effectively took out two defenders. It was nice to see those guys playing well.

Eddie Lacy found the cutback lanes. Aaron Rodgers described it as "his cuts were on point." In my opinion, that's what was holding Lacy back. The Packers run a zone-blocking scheme. It's all about finding those slices of daylight and then exploding into them. Lacy did that on Sunday. I think he's naturally a downhill runner, so the zone scheme is something for which I believe he's had to acquire a taste. I think he's got his taste back. As for the offensive line, I had a long conversation in pregame with an old friend, Tony Boselli, who was at the game to do radio. He told me there was nothing wrong with the Packers line. He said they blocked fine in the Lions game. I think we use the offensive line as a target for our frustration, without really knowing what happened. I think they're treated unfairly and deserve more appreciation, especially for playing hurt.

Joel from Las Vegas, NV

Looks like barring a massive turn of events, Dec. 27 is going to be the battle for the bye? What are your thoughts on that game and its meaning?

My thoughts are I hope you're right, but I'm prepared for a massive turn of events because it's part of the natural ebb and flow of an NFL season. We spend too much time and effort on predicting. It creates disappointment. When you learn to watch without expecting, you'll see more and enjoy more.

Harry from Bryant, AR

Vic, the Packers defense played very well against the Vikings and Adrian Peterson. Do you think Coach Capers chose the right schemes or was it more like the Packers pinned their ears back and just went out and manhandled the men in front of them?

Coach Capers chose schemes that allowed his players to win their one-on-ones. He schemed personnel, not schemes, and the Packers won the matchups he created. I really hope you can appreciate that answer and trust its validity, because I don't want to continue doing this scheme/play-calling thing. I'm really worn out on it. It's a tired, old excuse for losing, and a misleading explanation for winning.

Bill from Staten Island, NY

Vic, were the lights on as you approached Austin Straubel last night?

We approached the airport from the northeast, which meant we flew over Lambeau Field and the neighborhood between Lambeau Field and the airport. It was a clear night and I could see the lights. They were on! I saw porch lights and lights on garages and all sorts of yard lights. Maybe that's how it is every night, but I can assure you that's how it was last night. It put a smile on my face.

Dustin from Oakdale, MN

Vic, true or false? This article becomes much more enjoyable for you when the Packers win.

Sure it does, but I wish we didn't have these wild swings according to winning or losing. Over the previous three weeks, the angst was unbearable. Everything about this team was wrong. Really? Aaron Rodgers? The lack of resilience greatly disappointed me. Today, instead of calling for a change in the play-caller, my inbox wants to talk about a squirrel. Maybe we need to evaluate ourselves and our scheme. We've got a long way to go, folks. This season is just starting.

Alex from Denver, CO

Were the lights on?

In more ways than one.

Fabian from Munich, Germany

Vic, interpreting the boxscore, the defensive effort seems just incredible, and in the passing game not every problem is solved just yet. Sadly, I could only watch the first quarter, so would you give me your thoughts? By the way, the effort of the packers.com staff is just as incredible, especially the whole coverage, and the mobile app is getting better every week.

In my opinion, defense was the star of the game. They bought the offense time to find itself, which it did on that 80-yard touchdown drive to end the half. I think that drive could be the turning point for the offense in this season. I thought the turning point in the game was provided by the defense following a short punt that allowed the Vikings to put the ball in play at the Packers 42 with 3:32 left in the half and trailing the Packers, 9-6. The Packers sacked Teddy Bridgewater twice and forced a punt that led to the Packers' touchdown drive. It was a 1-2 punch from which the Vikings never recovered.

Fabrizio from Fossano, Italy

Eddie Lacy is back in shape and the play-calling is suddenly working?

The run fixes everything.

Nathan from Tampa, FL

Vic, I know you are a players, not plays guy who loves predictability, but it seems to me part of the problem is the play calls are all too often too predictable and the defense knows exactly what is coming. Sometimes it looks like the corners are running our routes better than our receivers because they know exactly what route their guy is running before the snap.

Nathan, I'm sorry for picking you to send this message, but I'm not going to do it again, not this week, not following a big win with Thanksgiving three days away. No, sir, I am not going to provide a forum for whining and crying about play-calling and predictability. It stops right now. Anybody who wants to do it, please be advised: Your question will be deleted. This week, we're going to give thanks. We're going to give thanks for another season that appears to be leading toward the playoffs. We're going to appreciate our good fortune and the luxury of victory we have been afforded. Thanksgiving is not a time for entitlement; it's a time for humble thanks.

Michael from La Crosse, WI

Vic, forget everything the Packers did great on Sunday. None of it would've been possible without our good luck charms: The TCF Bank Stadium squirrel and James Jones' hoodie. They might've just saved our season. What will our good luck charms be this week?

No chortling, either.

Jerry from Wilmington, NC

How did you know, Vic, how did you know?

I kept getting the feeling, but I never got the ice cream headache, so I wasn't sure, until the question was posed in the pregame radio show: Who's going to win? That's when I knew. That's when I got the throb in the head. The Packers are going to win. Of course they are, they have Aaron Rodgers.

James from Tualatin, OR

I'm starting to see an identity. Do you?

Not yet. I see a team trying to find one. Grit might become that identity. We'll see.

Rebecca from Madison, WI

It was good to see Aaron smiling again during and after the game. I feel better now, like everything's going to be OK.

The body language of the coach and the quarterback is very important. They set the tone of the team and its fan base.

Scott from Crystal Lake, IL

So, what was the most encouraging words you had heard a month ago that were sticking with you?

Not a month ago, in a month. They were spoken by Mike McCarthy last week when he said he was going to make the offense his No. 1 priority. Fixed the newel post!

Nick from Seattle, WA

Vic, why is it so hard for teams, especially the Packers yesterday, to convert third-and-ones?

I have a theory on that; it's probably wrong, but what the heck? I blame it on the zone-blocking craze. We've got a league full of lines that wall up, and converting short yardage is about drive blocking. It's about firing out low, sinking your hips, getting under your man and moving the line of scrimmage. Zone blocking is about moving laterally.

Nick from Greenfield, WI

How do teams prepare for a short week?

Rest the body, prepare the mind.

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