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Packers find out reaching can be risky

Style points make you feel good; winning makes you feel best


John from Logan, UT

Vic, I love your column. Can you please explain the James Jones touchback call? It looked like the ball crossed the goal line out of bounds.

This hypothetical example appeared in the 7-8-13 edition of "Ask Vic." I think it covers it. "Your running back is reaching the ball out for the pylon in the front corner of the end zone. He touches the pylon with the ball and touchdown is ruled. Replay, however, detects that the ball was moving out of the running back's hand just before the ball touched the pylon. All of a sudden, a touchdown has become a touchback. It's a very harsh rule, and that's why it's very important not to violate it. I think the reaching thing is dangerous and is overdone."

Hilmi from Ankara, Turkey

We won and all is OK. You were right all along, however, would a lesser win have worked the same?

Style points can give you a better feeling, but they're often contradicted by the following week's result. Just win, baby.

Matt from Chicago, IL

Do you think the offense became more effective with less formulaic play calling? It seemed like there was greater variation between when run and pass plays were called than we saw last week.

I'm not real good with formulaics. The Packers threw 42 passes and ran the ball 24 times on Sunday. The previous week, they were 37-19. They seem to be similar formulaics.

John from Chicago, IL

Colin Kaepernick said in the postgame interview that he didn't think it was anything the Seahawks did that resulted in the loss. Seriously, no credit for an outstanding performance? I understand wanting to place the blame on one's own mistake, but to not acknowledge the other team as factoring into losing seems slightly arrogant.

"Didn't think it was anything" they did is code for they didn't surprise us with any plays or schemes we hadn't seen and for which we weren't prepared. It's a way of saying they didn't trick us, they beat us. Kaepernick was acknowledging that the Seahawks outplayed the 49ers. OK, on three, let's all hate Kaepernick. Ready? One, two, three, hate. Seriously, he was outplayed by the Seahawks defense. He knows it.

Steve from Three Lakes, WI

Fun game yesterday to watch, excited about our defense, but I'm a little reserved in getting too excited about our offense. Great entertainment, we know they are good, but the blueprint is out there in slowing down our offense. Why would the Redskins not follow it?

You stop the Packers offense by rushing four and dropping seven. There aren't a lot of teams that can get pressure with four. A little more cover two might've slowed the Packers down, but it would've probably just resulted in a slower death. How do you choose to die? Steve, the Packers have the No. 1 offense in the league right now. Allow yourself to enjoy it.

Eric from Mequon, WI

Man, I wish the NFL would adopt college football's review policy. The Wisconsin game this week is the only time I've felt the refs cost a team a football game. Am I dreaming or will the NFL ever see the light and make this common-sense decision?

I prefer the college system to the NFL system, but I think the fear is that a man who's not even on the field will become the most important person in the game, and that games will get too long. As for Wisconsin, I acknowledge that the officials made a terrible error, but what was the Wisconsin quarterback trying to do, fake the officials out? I couldn't tell whether his knee touched the ground or not. When the quarterback put the ball on the ground, I thought to myself, "Jump on it, it's a fumble." All he had to do was kneel and give the referee the ball.

Mark from Sheboygan Falls, WI

Vic, love the column. I'm looking forward to this week's game since we don't see the Bengals very often. What are the best NFC-AFC rivalries you've seen over the years?

That's a great question. There aren't many because they just don't play often enough for a sense of rivalry to develop. Redskins-Ravens and Giants-Jets have geography going for them. Cowboys-Steelers is fueled by two fantastic Super Bowls against each other and the Cowboys' incessant whining. Niners-Raiders should be good but it's never blossomed. Patriots-Giants is probably the best right now.

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