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The game still belongs to pocket passers

Russell Wilson highest rated "New Age" quarterback


Bob from Titusville, FL

If the Cardinals win, they not only clinch home field for the playoffs, they would potentially have the Super Bowl at home as well. Has that ever happened before?

No team has ever played in a Super Bowl game on that team's home field, but it's twice happened that a team has played within its home market. The Rams played in the Rose Bowl against the Steelers in Super Bowl XIV, and the 49ers played at Stanford against the Dolphins in Super Bowl XIX.

K.J. from Minneapolis, MN

It seems like the key to the running game is to use it on early downs to make third-down yardage short, in addition to opening up the passing game. I think we definitely established the run in the Buffalo game, to the point I'm not entirely convinced 42 pass attempts were necessary.

That's an interesting observation, but I think it should be noted that 13 of those passes occurred in the fourth quarter, when the Packers were attempting to mount a comeback.

Al from Des Moines, IA

Vic, Ndamukong Suh hosted billionaire Warren Buffet at last week's Lions game. What high-rollin' buddy will you have at Lambeau for the final home game?

My attorney from South Carolina will be in attendance.

Reid from Bangkok, Thailand

Sometimes, a slice of humility and a long look in the mirror can be a good thing. Maybe it was time to stop hearing how good we were.

Our greatness was not great.

Phil from Marietta, GA

Vic, this bugs me and I'd like you to comment on it. I went to the game Sunday in Buffalo and whenever a play didn't work, the fans near me would say, "That was a terrible call." Can't people understand that sometimes a great call fails because the other team just executes better?

The worst play call I've ever witnessed helped win Super Bowl X. On fourth-and-four from the Cowboys' 39-yard line and with about a minute-and-a-half to play in the game, and leading 21-17, Chuck Noll ordered a running play into the middle of the Cowboys' line. It gained a yard and took only a few seconds off the clock, giving the Cowboys the ball back in excellent field position. Why did Noll call such a terrible play? Well, his punter had already had a punt blocked, and Terry Bradshaw had been knocked out of the game earlier, and Noll decided it was best to put the game into the hands of his defense. It preserved the win. It's the worst play call I've ever witnessed, but it worked.

Adam from Wausau, WI

Isn't it amazing that the most basic defense can beat such a complex offense.

Whatever the design is, it has to be executed. I have nothing against high design, as long as you have players that can execute it.

Brent from Columbus AFB, MS

You say accountability is what will get things back on track, but during his press conference, Rodgers went out of his way on several occasions to intimate the refs were letting the Bills' corners get away with too-physical play. Is Aaron making excuses and disowning his performance? Or is he, perhaps, working the officials for future matchups?

He was expressing the frustration that accompanies defeat. My inbox is full of people wanting to know the players hurt after a loss as much as the fans do. There's your proof.

Jason from Toronto, ON

Not to change the focus from the Bills game analysis, but have you noticed how the new-breed quarterbacks are really struggling this year? Seems like defenses have caught up to the scheme, and the players that have not developed an additional set of skills have regressed. Pocket passers still rule this league.

You're right. I still think it's where the game is headed, but "New Age" quarterbacks have to be more than runners that can pass. They have to be passing game technicians, and few of them are. As it stands right now, Russell Wilson is the highest rated of the "New Age" guys, 14th with a 93.6 passer rating. The top five passers in the league – Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees – are all pocket passers.

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