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Schedule tailor-made for Packers second-half run

Bye-week Sunday thoughts from a man on the couch


Linda from Royse City, TX

What is the update on Rodgers' condition?

I would expect the first update to be provided on Wednesday at Mike McCarthy's press conference.

Koigi from Lynchburg, VA

Bill Belichick does it again.

It never ceases to amaze me how Belichick keeps the Patriots on top, despite changing his cast of players on a yearly basis. He's the poster child for "it's a game of replacement." Of course, one member of that cast hasn't changed: Tom Brady. He's the constant. He's the guy that makes it all happen, but Belichick must get credit for his ability to change the players around Brady without a decline in performance.

Marcus from Healdton, OK

The Steelers have scored almost 100 points in two games. I liked it more when they barely scored 50 points in two games and held their opponent to less than 20 a game. How do you feel about that, Vic?

Old-time "Steeler football" is dead. Twelve touchdown passes in two games? That's the new NFL.

Dwayne from Freeport, Bahamas

Vic, I can't help but envy the way Big Ben and Tom Brady are playing. I know we have a great QB in Aaron Rodgers, but I would like to see him get back to putting up those kinds of numbers. What will it take to get Rodgers back to putting up Madden numbers?

I thought it was going to happen in New Orleans, but the red-zone failures and Rodgers' hamstring injury canceled that expectation. It could've happened in the blowout wins over the Vikings and the Panthers, but it didn't happen because they were blowout wins. The numbers mean nothing to me. Just win the game.

Dan from Murrieta, CA

Great smash-mouth game with Steelers and Ravens. Must've warmed the cockles of your heart.

When I saw Terrell Suggs commit that horribly cheap, low-from-behind-tackle on LeGarrette Blount, I cried.

Dale from Madison, WI

I remember being told the Patriots, Steelers and Saints were finished, and that the Broncos and Seahawks could not be beaten. Where is my consistency? I need it to help me sleep at night.

Ebb and flow, ebb and flow. We try to anoint on a weekly basis, but the next week's games cancel whatever proclamations we made the previous week. Just watch, baby.

Derek from Los Angeles, CA

Vic, our schedule sets up nicely over the next five weeks. It seems like the perfect springboard to set up a playoff run, should we capitalize. If we can't get it done, I'm not sure we deserve to keep the division title streak alive.

The Packers couldn't ask for a better second-half schedule than the one they have. Four of the next five games are at home, December includes a go-south-and-get-warm game all players love when the weather turns icy up north, and the season concludes with a showdown game on Packers soil. September is a distant memory. The football season begins now.

Mike from Gallitzin, PA

This Steelers/Ravens game is a thing of beauty.

It's about time they conduct themselves as true Steelers and Ravens. There's no excuse for their behavior in Week 2.

Bob from Joint Base Lewis McChord, WA

Vic, is there a quarterback playing today as physically tough as Ben Roethlisberger? And I thought Aaron Rodgers got knocked around. Who was the toughest quarterback that played the game, in your opinion?

Billy Kilmer.

Mark from Stewartville, MN

Vic, what has happened to the Chargers? They looked so tough earlier in the season.

I'm not sure what's happened to them; it's probably ebb and flow. How about what's happened to the Dolphins? That's a powerful team that can go a long way in the postseason if it gets the kind of play at quarterback it got yesterday.

Brent from Columbus AFB, MS

You tried to tell us at the time. Maybe now we'll all view our win in Miami as the quality win it was.

I think it was the Packers' best win in the first half of the season.

Dan from Golden Valley, MN

Vic, those losses on Sunday by San Francisco and Dallas could be big for the Packers in chasing a wild-card berth, assuming a division title might not be in the cards. A little early for scoreboard watching, but I think it's a logjam in the NFC for playoff berths this year. If the Packers are going to drop two games to go 11-5 and get in, they had better beat the Patriots and Bills. I think the Chicago and Philadelphia games are must wins, actually. Thanks, Vic.

The shocker of the season to date is that I don't think both the Seahawks and 49ers will make it into the postseason. I think it'll be one or the other, not both.

Patrick from Latham, NY

How did you enjoy your bye-week Sunday?

I enjoyed being a sit-on-the-couch TV fan; it's relaxing. I can certainly understand why the NFL is as popular as it is. It provides easy-watching drama, and the TV presentation is sensational.

Kody from Ankeny, IA

Vic, just saw Gronk catch a touchdown on a slant in the same formation we tried with Peppers. Must be plays, not players, right?

I wonder if he can play linebacker.

Michael from Madison, WI

Can you talk about the differences in how the Broncos and Patriots are each trying to win one last Super Bowl with an aging quarterback?

They've both shaped their salary caps as you would expect of a team trying to win one more title, but the Broncos have been a little more aggressive in taking money from their future caps. The Patriots won't have to cut and gut, but the bottom line is that when any team has to move out of an era that was built on a quarterback as dominant as Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, it's going to take a step back.

Brandon from Rolla, MO

Emmanuel Sanders hurt his ribs making a tackle on a linebacker. Perfect example of what you were talking about?

Yeah, weak ribs.

Ryan from Brooklyn, NY

What are the coin-toss procedures that would allow a team to take advantage of wind direction?

If you win the toss and judge the wind to be the most important factor in your decision, then elect to defend a goal that will put the wind at your back. Just never "kick to the clock."

Graham from Lake Cowichan, BC

Vic, imagine a quarterback with the ability to throw with both arms. That could add a new dimension rolling out of the pocket.

George Mira had some of that in him. He was a magician as a college quarterback. I wonder what some of the great athletic quarterbacks of yesteryear would've accomplished in their careers had they enjoyed the benefit of the creativity that exists in today's game. Mira is one of those players. The pro game was a little too stiff to suit his talents. Had he played today, a pro team would've shaped an offense to fit what he did best.

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