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Packers are getting it done at crunch time

Chargers had a great game plan, scheme


Skyler from Cedar Rapids, IA

Vic, Rivers played great, kept his offense on the field for nearly 40 minutes, set many franchise records, and still his team was unable to pull out the win. Was this a good thing for the Packers?

What we saw yesterday is one of the best game plans and execution of a game plan we will ever see. Mike McCoy and his staff deserve a major attaboy for the scheme they put together, especially on a short week. So what does it say about the Packers that they were able to win against a great scheme and on something less than their best day offensively? This team is finding ways to win. It's making big plays at crunch time. That's the mark of a championship team. Those blowouts at midseason last year were illusory, and they did nothing to harden that team for the postseason. It's about crunch time, and this team has a backs-to-the-wall, get-it-done, crunch-time feel to it. I'm liking this team more every week.

Bill from Branford, CT

Vic, the Packers offense does not seem to be as good as in the past few years. Do you think it could have anything to do with Coach McCarthy no longer calling the plays?

Congratulations, you are the first person to play the play-calling card this season. To answer your question, I don't believe the Packers' performance on offense is a play-calling issue. If, however, you had asked me if I think the Packers should've run the ball more, I would've answered, yes, I do.

Blaine from Bagley, WI

Our defense was tired from losing time of possession, but all I saw was a defense that got it done at crunch time. The last four plays and goal line stand were incredible to watch. I'm impressed this team keeps finding ways to win. If all three phases start to click in the second half of the season, watch out.

The Chargers held the ball for 89 plays. I don't know if I've ever seen a team snap the ball that many times, and I can't imagine I've ever seen a quarterback throw 65 passes. The Packers defense had to be running on fumes, yet, its best four plays of the game were its last four plays of the game. That's my kind of defense.

John from Ashburn, VA

I'm a big Michigan fan. Saturday night, I dutifully fielded calls and texts from Michigan State friends and family (including my own father), then moved on. Thanks, Vic.

You won. Doesn't it feel great?

Jordan from Birmingham, AL

Vic, I'm dying to know, what are these things you're giving away?

I asked the person who purchased them for "Ask Vic Day." She didn't know what they are, either. She said call it a thingy. I've decided to call it "the thing." It's a green and gold strap. On one side, it says Packers. On the other side, it says "Ask Vic Day." There's a key ring at one end of the strap. At the other end is a unique combination bottle opener and clasp. I can't think of one thing I own I would connect to that clasp, but it's a great clasp. It possesses high-quality tension, and it's very sturdy. As I see it, "the thing" has absolutely no useful function, but it's the kind of thing you put somewhere and every time you move, it goes with you. You never use it, but it's always there for you when you don't need it. That's rare dependability.

Bobby from Green Bay, WI

Vic, your answer to Nik from South Carolina about the cold literally made me laugh out loud at my desk. Did you wake up early enough on Sunday to have to scrape your car windows?

Vic doesn't scrape. He just sits and waits for the car to warm up.

Joshua from Canton, GA

I saw a video. Dean Blandino was discussing technology in reference to officiating. He highlighted new technology that could be coming in the next 5-10 years. What kind of game are we going to be watching in 5-10 years?

The same game with the same frustrating calls. Technology can't fix this game unless the system for using it is fixed. There is no way to satisfy the fans and achieve the fairness and consistency of officiating the NFL is pursuing. It can't be done. This system is fatally flawed. For example, in yesterday's game, a Keenan Allen catch inside the two-minute warning was subject to booth review. Had the catch occurred outside the two-minute warning, it would not have been subject to booth review, and I'm absolutely certain Mike McCarthy would not have challenged it. That's the kind of selective unfairness that's built into the system. I've known Dean Blandino for a long time. He worked his way up through the ranks and, in my opinion, he's the best director of officiating the league has ever had. He's also overseeing the most difficult system for officiating the game has ever employed. Replay review has to be blown up. It needs to be re-created, and Blandino is the right guy to do it.

Joe from Marion, IA

Coach Vic, what do you tell your team and especially your punter after that devastating loss to Michigan State?

"We win as a team, and we lose as a team. This will make us stronger." Defeat provides a great opportunity to win, especially that kind of defeat. On that play, Coach Harbaugh will build the foundation of Michigan football's future.

Zibi from Krakow, Poland

Vic, is there a form of Darwin Award or Golden Raspberry Award that exists in the NFL for the kind of trick play the Colts delivered on Sunday? We definitely have this year's winner.

I laughed.

Jim from Wind Lake, WI

What is your favorite college football uniform? I go old school. Give me Notre Dame and Penn State.


David from Vienna, Austria

After Tate's touchdown, even Mike Pereira doesn't know what a catch is anymore. He says it needs more clarification. What do you say?

Isn't he the guy that caused this whole mess? If he doesn't know, then how are any of us supposed to know?

Mike from La Crosse, WI

Vic, are referees ever interviewed after games in which they make questionable calls, or do their statements always go through the NFL?

The pool reporter system still exists. The media may request an explanation of a call, and a designated pool reporter interviews the referee, who explains the call that was made. I was a designated pool reporter one season a long time ago. One of my best media friends became famous for being the pool reporter on the Mike Renfro call explanation. Back then, of course, the league didn't provide the kind of commentary on calls we've come to expect these days.

Susan from Greenfield, WI

Vic, my mother is 87 years old and pumps her own gas in January in Wisconsin, pantywaist.

I nearly died, Susan!

Doom from Champaign, IL

Has there ever been a game that embodied bend but don't break more fully? Statistics truly are for losers.

You have to be able to win in many ways, because your opponents will scheme to make you do the opposite of what has been successful for you. If you won doing this, they'll make you do that, so you have to be able to do this and that. The Packers had been winning with rush. Yesterday, the Chargers made the Packers cover. I think it's fair to say the yardage the Packers defense surrendered is largely a result of the Packers offense not sustaining drives, which tilted time of possession. Dom Capers will speak today about the need to get off the field on third down, but to have allowed only 20 points in 38 minutes is pretty impressive. The Packers defense has responded to all of its challenges so far this season.

Mitch from Sheboygan Falls, WI

Vic, I would imagine there's a lot of negativity in your inbox today, considering the less than spectacular performance against San Diego. However, we're 6-0 for only the second time since Vince Lombardi left Green Bay. Let's celebrate and enjoy the fact the Packers are an outstanding football team. Plus, we get an extra week to enjoy being unbeaten, not to mention we can finally rest up and return as a much healthier and complete team. Perspective is the name of the game. I'll save my worries for December.

You nailed it.

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