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When the Dolphins ran, I knew the Packers would win

Coach Capers made a bold decision at crunch time


Matthew from Oshkosh, WI

Do we still want to fire Capers?

Coach Capers did something very bold in the stop that allowed the offense to rally for the win. Joe Philbin referred to the Packers playing "Cover Zero." Because of my location at that time I wasn't able to count bodies, but I noticed the Packers were bringing the house, which succeeded at rushing the passer and stopping the run. The risk, of course, is for allowing a big play in the passing game. It was a very bold decision. It could've backfired, but it didn't. I think the boldness of Coach Capers' decision helped win that game.

John from Spooner, WI

Why do the Packers linebackers and cornerbacks play so deep? We are constantly burned by the short passes.

You witnessed one of the most exciting and artistic games in Packers history and your recollection of it is the Packers linebackers and cornerbacks were playing too deep? I feel sorry for you, John.

Ryan from Schofield Barracks, HI

Vic, that last drive had it all. Does any other quarterback in today's game pull that off, given the elements and circumstances? It felt like our December friend made a guest appearance in October.

I can't think of another quarterback in the league that could've done what Aaron Rodgers did yesterday, because I can't think of another quarterback that can throw on the run and see the field as Rodgers does. He was being chased all over that field by Cameron Wake. Rodgers' conditioning to do what he did in the heat of the day and in the heat of the moment is remarkable.

Brett from Green Bay, WI

Vic, what was going through your mind when the Packers took the field for that last drive?

The moment the Dolphins ran the ball on third-and-9, I knew the Packers would win. You can't play that way in today's game, especially against an elite quarterback.

Robert from Madison, WI

Vic, the defense got a critical stop when it mattered most, something they might not have done at the end of the year last year. Do you think that helps their confidence, and should we now start seeing the improvement we've all hoped for?

I'm sure it helps their confidence, but confidence isn't why this is a better defense. It's a better defense because it has more talent and it's healthier than it was last year. Last year's defense didn't have Julius Peppers, Ha Ha and Casey Hayward. Coach Capers didn't dare play "Cover Zero" last year.

Joseph from Oshkosh, WI

The Packers-Dolphins game ranks as the No. 1 game all year for any team. It is the most entertained I have been. What do you think?

It's the best second half I've covered since the game in Chicago last year.

Ray from Bakersfield, CA

I'm sure glad we didn't have to watch Coach Philbin get carried off the field on his players' shoulders while he pumped his fist like he won the Super Bowl.

Joe would never do that or allow it. He's a true pro.

Randall from Sun Prairie, WI

What a great game! No matter that they stumbled on both sides of the ball, both units got it done in the end, in a nail-biter.

Stumbled on both sides of the ball? The offense gained 369 yards, 27 first downs, didn't commit a turnover and held the ball for 37:12. The defense held Lamar Miller and Knowshon Moreno to 63 yards rushing combined, executed a goal-line stand and intercepted two passes. I don't see the stumble. All I see is a beautifully played football game.

Ross from Ankeny, IA

Vic, just when it looked as if the Packers were going to wilt in the Miami heat, they pull together and collectively win a thrilling game. In your opinion, was this one of those road wins that helps galvanize a team?

These kinds of wins fire the steel but, most of all, this is a win that keeps the Packers tied with the Lions for first place in the NFC North. At 4-2, the Packers are nicely positioned and playing well as we head toward the bye week.

Brad from Atlanta, GA

Vic, I've read Rodgers has an amazingly detailed memory of every play in a game. I hadn't really witnessed this myself until Sunday. I was watching his postgame interview and he was answering a question about routes Jordy Nelson ran. You could see Rodgers was picturing every play in his mind as he was talking about them. I don't think everyone's brain works like that. How amazing to have a guy with an arm, a release, a work ethic, speed, pocket presence and that remarkable brain.

Byron Leftwich had that kind of photographic memory of every play. He could provide every detail of what happened. Byron didn't have the other stuff Rodgers has. It's still a game of talent. You can't just think your way to victory. You have to physically execute what you see and think.

Carrie from San Jose, CA

When McCarthy starts his postgame press conferences, he has 1-2 minutes of prepared remarks before he takes questions. Does he jot down notes for himself before going into the press room?

He makes mental notes of what he wants to say. The opening of the postgame press conference is an opportunity for a coach to put his spin on the game. It's a chance to direct reporters' questions to the coach's line of thinking.

Kevin from Westport, WA

Why hasn't the run game been consistent? Did the heat just get to the linemen?

The Dolphins have a powerful defensive front and their linebackers run to the ball with speed and aggressiveness. Cameron Wake plays with relentlessness. He reminds me of Mike McCreary and Tamba Hali, two other high-motor defenders. Wake had 1.5 sacks, a tackle for a loss and three quarterback hurries yesterday. Had he been playing against a less mobile quarterback, he might've had a career day. He's a sensational player and the Dolphins have a top defense. If they get more consistent play at quarterback, they could get hot late in the season.

Koigi from Lynchburg, VA

What did you take away from that crazy game?

Look out.

Rick from Appleton, WI

Vic, you called it. In the radio pregame discussion you picked the Packers to win and said it's because they have the better team with Rodgers there to tilt the field, and as long as Rodgers does that, the Packers will win.

It's stating the obvious. He tilts the field.

Jesse from Waukesha, WI

If that final drive didn't quiet the Rodgers critics, I don't know what else would.

Anybody critical of Rodgers is either going for shock-factor reaction and ratings, or doesn't have a clue.

Mike from Des Moines, IA

Vic, what was the other headline you were thinking of as of :06 left in the fourth quarter?

I have a story to tell that might interest you. At that point in the game, I'm in the postgame interview room writing what we call our bulletin story. So, I was watching the game on TV. Above the door was a game clock. I noticed the time on that clock was always ahead of the time left in the game on the TV. Being of limited intelligence, it took me a while to figure out that I was watching a game on delay, and that the clock above the door was the real-time clock. So, as TV showed the Packers breaking the huddle on what would be the game-winning play, the clock above the door began to move, and then it stopped at :03. I said to the other people in the room, "It's either a touchdown or an incomplete pass." I knew Rodgers wouldn't throw an interception. Then I listened for crowd noise and didn't hear much. "It's a touchdown," I said. Then I watched TV confirm it. It was a new experience for me. It was kind of cool.

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