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What will it take to keep Packers' window open?

Formula for winning in Cincinnati


Andrew from New York, NY

Vic, what is your outlook for our defense against the Bengals? RG3 was obviously rusty and not as mobile as last season, so the defense kept him relatively contained for a lot of the game. The 49ers, however, picked the defense apart.

I think the game will be a tug-of-war between the offenses to impose their will. The Packers will try to go up-tempo and force the Bengals into a style they don't want to play. The Bengals will try to sustain long drives with a mix of run and short pass, winning time of possession and keeping Aaron Rodgers off the field. The Packers defense's priority, in my opinion, will be to get off the field on third down. We'll see.

Joe from Douglassville, PA

Michael Vick's health is a major concern over 16 games, given the high-tempo offense Chip Kelly has implemented. That said, do you agree with having Nick Foles play a small percentage of snaps per game to reduce Vick's risk of injury?

You better have extra people ready to play if you're going to squeeze a game-and-a-half into every game. At some point, bodies wear out, and you don't want that happening in December. This should've been a no-brainer. I just don't get the whole idea of running a lot of plays and wearing your players out. The other guys only have to do it when they play you; your players have to do it every week. I'm not on board with what Kelly's trying to do.

David from Valdosta, GA

Vic, just an fyi: I host the radio show for the "Coach's Show" for our Division II football team (2012 national champions) and asked him about scripted plays and if, when it leads to an easy score, does he run it again until they can show they can stop hit. His answer was a resounding yes.

I'm familiar with the Valdosta State football program from my days in Jacksonville. I'm very respectful of what they've done there.

Adam from Madison, WI

Are the Bengals proof of what patience with a coach can do? They were good, bad and now back to good under Marvin Lewis. Once they got a QB again, they were back.

Firing good coaches make no sense. All you do is waste a lot of money on paying guys off to go somewhere else and use the information they acquired against you. They know your players and your philosophies. It's a big mistake to overreact to losing. Marvin Lewis has been a good coach for a long time. Mike Brown is finally getting what he deserves for having expressed the patience and confidence in his coach that a good owner should.

Jerry from Wilmington, NC

Hey, Vic, it seems to me fans confuse college football with the NFL when it comes to style points and margin of victory. There are no polls to impress voters; just win by one, avoid injuries and make the playoffs, right?

When has it ever been any other way?

Aaron from Ashland, WI

The NFL has said the Meriweather hit on Starks was called correctly, yet, it was clear he dropped his head and initiated contact well outside the tackle box. Are we at a point where the league itself doesn't even fully understand the rules they create?

I thought…

Brady from Duluth, MN

Vic, you said all teams' windows close eventually. Do you really think the Packers' window will close, or will we be able to find another quarterback to keep it open?

I'm not clairvoyant. I can tell you that the Packers' window closed in 2008, but it was for only one year for a couple of reasons: 1.) They got off the tracks when they heard the train whistle. 2.) They drafted well. That's what it takes to recover. How quickly a team recovers will be determined by how quickly they run when they hear the train whistle, and how well they draft.

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