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Who's your candidate for coach of the year?

Marry the stats with what your eyes tell you


Brian from Moncks Corner, SC

Vic, as we are approaching the halfway point in the season, do you start giving meaning to team stats? Which stats (other than record, of course) do you keep an eye on to get a feel for what this team really is? As a numbers guy, this has always been fun for me, but was interested in your opinion on which you believe are more telling than others.

The rankings become valid at this point in the season – the sample is large enough – but what good are rankings that are partly based on what you did six weeks ago? I think it's more important to get a feel for how a team has played over the last few weeks. That's where it is now. The Giants, for example, were last in the league in rushing in 2011 when they won the Super Bowl, but that wasn't a last-in-the-league running team I saw in the postseason. Did the Dolphins look like a team with two running backs each averaging more than five yards a carry? Did the Packers look like a team at the bottom of the time-of-possession rankings? We each have to decide what stats are legitimate indicators of a team's worth. That's why it's important to marry what the stats say with what your eyes tell you.

Mike from Rochester, NY

Vic, frequently you answer tough questions while thinking of your Green Bay Packers paycheck. Please don't again. Question: Do you believe the offensive line is performing as the "best line I have seen in McCarthy era" level? Whether the Miami defensive line is good or not, they should win the battle based on your quote. Not the first time they have lost the battle. Comment?

No, that's OK.

Daniel from Chicago, IL

Many of the NFL teams' websites have the same common format, but has a different layout with far more coverage than other teams' websites. Why is different?

We're classy?

Christian from Copenhagen, Denmark

Vic, I know early awards aren't useful in any way other than it's fun, (but) based on the first six weeks of the season, who would you pick for coach of the year honors? As silly as it may sound, is Jason Garrett really currently in the lead for this award?

What's silly about it? Yeah, he is. I'm stunned by what the Cowboys have done so far this year, especially after having seen them get clobbered by the 49ers in the season opener. I figured Garrett might not make it past October. His resilience is sensational. I thought that was a sinking ship, but he has it back on top of the water and I think that makes him a strong candidate for coach of the year.

Mike from Iowa City, IA

The most exciting part of following the Packers is seeing young players ascend. How good can Davante Adams be?

He reminds me of Keenan McCardell, but with a little more run-after-the-catch ability. McCardell was a sensational possession receiver, and Adams has possession receiver skills. He might have some Anquan Boldin in him, too.

Scott from Lincoln City, OR

Vic, at my son's last football game, a teammate leaped up attempting to make an interception and came down on his head. With only 55 seconds left in the game and the score lopsided, the officials called the game. As I was driving home, I pulled over for two emergency vehicles heading to the field. My son is only a sophomore. That could have been him. That could be him if he continues to play. It's not easy being a parent.

It's not easy being a football parent, and it's not easy handing your son or daughter the keys to the car, either.

Kevin from Aurora, IL

I've never really understood the rationale of why the defense is more worn out during a hot game, or when the time of possession is lopsided against the defense's favor, as compared to the offense. Why is it felt this is accurate?

Some believe it requires more energy to play defense. You can't ever take a play off because you don't know where the ball is going.

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