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Young Vikings can define their season

Eagles creating controversy about last Sunday's game


J.D. from Evansville, IN

Vic, which direction is the Vikings' arrow pointed? They have a young team with a new quarterback I'm anxious to see. Before Chicago's bounce-back win last week, this team had 20 sacks in a four-game span. Is their pass rush against our (very good) offensive line going to be the key matchup to watch this week?

A young, rebuilding team behind a rookie quarterback and under a new coach is in the process of determining the direction of its arrow. In my opinion, it's pointing up for the Vikings, and a win over the Packers would send that arrow due north. That's the concern Packers fans should have for this game. This is an opportunity for a young team to define its season and make a statement for the future. Also, Mike Zimmer is a master strategist when it comes to rushing the passer. That's another concern.

Dustin from Lake Odessa, MI

With all of this snow blanketing the Midwest and Northeast, what was the coldest/snowiest contest you ever covered?

If you're talking a combination of cold and snow, it's probably last year's Steelers game at Lambeau Field. If you're talking strictly snow, it would be the 1976 Steelers-Bengals game in Cincinnati. If it's just cold, it might be last year's playoff game against the 49ers.

Brett from Green Bay, WI

Vic, some of the Eagles defensive players were complaining Rodgers was having too much fun during the game. It bothers me that this is even an issue to them. What are your thoughts on this?

Whatever it takes. If that's what the Eagles need to do to recover from Sunday's loss, then go ahead and do it.

Brendan from New York, NY

On Monday, you wrote the cold is the Packers' ally. Usually, we think of pass-oriented offensive teams as built for warmer weather. Could you explain what makes the Packers so well-suited to the cold?

They throw the ball as well in the cold as they do in warm weather. Maybe it's because they practice in it and they've played so many games in those kinds of conditions.

Van from Collingwood, Ontario

For the past few years, Coach McCarthy has typically elected to defer when the Packers win the toss. This season, he has been electing to receive to start the game, and the offense has been playing lights out in the first quarter. What is responsible for the change in philosophy?

Based on something Aaron Rodgers said in last Sunday's postgame press conference, I got the feeling Rodgers is the defer guy and Coach McCarthy is the receive guy. Rodgers didn't elaborate, but that's what I got out of it. I don't see the difference. Just make sure you get one of the two kickoffs. Never kick to the clock.

Nathan from Orange, CA

Vic, is it just me, or does the entire team seem to be enthusiastically congratulating players on both sides of the ball whenever they make a big play? I feel like I am seeing a lot of smiles on the field and on the sidelines. I don't know if I have ever seen a team with morale so high before.

A combined margin of victory of 108-34 in the last two games will cause a team to smile a lot. Just win, baby.

Thomas from Kernersville, NC

Can the Packers put up 50-plus points for a third straight week?

I don't like that attitude. I don't like it at all. Can the Packers win this week? That's the only question that needs to be answered.

Joe from Eau Claire, WI

I realized in this last game why Green Bay runs those sweeps with a pounder like Lacy and why teams stack the box on Green Bay. Defenses fear Lacy in space. Teams are just downright scared of their defensive backs trying to tackle Lacy in the open field. I think that's why we are seeing single-high safety looks.

We didn't see them in 2012, did we?

Zachary from Arlington, TX

Vic, I was born in Wisconsin but I was raised in Texas, so I've always been a Packers fan. Next month, I'll be in Wisconsin once again and my dad refuses to get us Packers tickets because he says he's afraid of the cold. I don't think he's being reasonable. Is the cold up there that bad?

You don't wanna get caught wearing your short pants, if you know what I mean. I'll tell you something else you don't wanna get caught doing when the really cold stuff blows in here: buying gas.

Jamie from Danville, KY

Brandon Graham stated Rodgers was laughing at the Eagles during the blowout victory and stated he would "love to see him in the playoffs." To me, that raises two questions: Would you like to see the Packers play the Eagles in the playoffs, and who is Brandon Graham?

Graham is a defensive player for the Eagles and, yes, I'd like to see the Packers play the Eagles in the playoffs. I love confrontation.

Matthew from Harringay, UK

It's great to see Aaron Rodgers enjoying himself on the field. It's a refreshing break from the new seriousness we see everywhere. Are there any players you remember particularly enjoying the game?

Hines Ward smiled every time he knocked out Ed Reed, and Ward even smiled when he got hit hard. I like that kind of attitude.

Steve from Bullhead City, AZ

"Aaron Rodgers laughed us out of Lambeau." – Eagles. If you don't want to be laughed at, then win.

My inbox is loaded with this subject today. Everybody loves confrontation, even when it's about something as silly as this.

Bryant from Miami, FL

Vic, if there is one thing we need to worry about against the Vikings, what is it?

Any given Sunday.

Tghn from Bettendorf, IA

Vic, it amazes me how people need to worry. I am enjoying this phenomenal run. This season, the Rodgers era, the whole last 25 years, has been unmatched by any other NFL team. How do we get through to the younger generation what they are experiencing here?

Losing makes us appreciate winning. Eventually, we're all exposed to losing. If football is your only exposure to it, you are truly blessed. I hope all of our young people are truly blessed.

Marcus from Breaux Bridge, LA

In your opinion, what percentages of Aaron's success is attributed to how well he reads defenses and adjusts, vs. his athletic abilities?

He has the total game; he has no weakness. Yes, I am amazed at how quickly and accurately he processes information, but the thing about Rodgers that most amazes me is the calm with which he plays the game. Imagine what it must be like to stand in the pocket and have defenders running at you. Imagine the violent sounds filling your ears. What do those sounds do to you? Are you peeking at the rush coming at you? Rodgers isn't. Rodgers' eyes are fixed downfield and the sounds he's hearing aren't scaring him, they're alerting him; there's a difference. I don't think we fully appreciate the courage with which great quarterbacks play the game.

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