Can Belichick be sure of Colts win?

Join jaguars.com senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.

Skeeter from Green Cove Springs, FL:
I noticed that Brady spent a lot of time in the shotgun; 45 out of 70 total offensive plays, 20 times on first down, 15 times on second down and only 10 times on third down. In my opinion, this kept the Jags defense off balance and allowed Brady to survey the field better while affecting the Jags defense's ability to pressure the QB. By contrast, the Jaguars were in the shotgun 22 of 46 offensive plays; four times on first down, five times on second down and 13 times on third down. What's your take on this?

Vic: Skeeter, he's Tom Brady. You can put him in any formation you want. Players, Skeeter. Always players, not plays.

Dawson from Ottumwa, IA:
It's funny, Vic, how you trash Pennington and protect Garrard. But trash all you want, the Jets will be in the playoffs and the Garrard-led Jags will be at home. So what that the Jags beat them earlier? Remember, the Jags lost to that power in Houston twice. So it looks now like you are the one with the illogic.

Vic: The guy asked me what I thought of the Jets. I told him. Do you want me to lie? OK, the Jets are great.

Kevin from Hillsborough, NJ:
If the Bucs just spanked the Browns in Cleveland, then how can you have the Browns above the Bucs in your power rankings? Just thought you should know that those kinds of errors make the whole thing look flawed and that you don't know what you're doing.

Vic: You're right. Tampa Bay should be 29th and Cleveland should be 30th. Feel better now?

Jess from Highland, IL:
You have my apologies. Several months ago, you and I bantered back and forth while I accused you of spouting "the company line" and saying all the right things so that you didn't upset your employer, the Jaguars management. You have told us readers to read your editorials and other stories and not just the "Ask Vic" section of the website. I began reading all your stories as well as the "Ask Vic" section and it wasn't long before I realized that you are fair, have great insight to the game and its intricacies, and what you write is what you actually believe. I misjudged you. Again, you have my apologies.

Vic: I won't lie to you. I will tell you what I believe to be true. That's a pledge I'll carry into 2007.

Tim from Sacramento, CA:
With several games this weekend that have playoff implications, why on earth would the league choose the Bears-Packers game as their Sunday night game? It's a meaningless game.

Vic: It's Brett Favre's farewell, I hope.

Ted from Jacksonville:
Do you think Bill Belichick will be inclined to rest some of his starters this week against the Titans, thus increasing the chances of them beating the Patriots?

Vic: It's Belichick's track record to give his team a bye week whenever he can, and I understand why any coach would want to do that. His only concern is doing what's best for his team. He has to watch himself here, however, because he could move ahead of the Colts in the playoff seeding with a win over Tennessee and a Colts loss to Miami. I'm sure Belichick doesn't expect the Colts to lose, but can he be sure the Colts won't lose? If he tanks it in Tennessee and the Colts lose, he'd be ripped nationally. That third-seed position is big, especially for the Patriots, who I have to believe would love to get a shot at Mangini and the Jets.

Greg from Carlsbad, CA:
Do I recall correctly that at the end of last season Vince Manuwai had a disappointing season and that his future with the Jags was less than certain? Now I read that he just signed a long-term contract and is a strong reason the Jags have one of the best interior lines in the league. What can you tell us about his seemingly vast and rapid improvement?

Vic: Manuwai was challenged and he responded. This was his restricted free agent year. It was the most critical year of his professional football career to date. He grasped that fact and embraced the urgency that went with it. More than ever, success in professional football depends on individual commitment. Talent alone won't get it done. Inner drive is the ingredient that puts a player and a team over the top. Manuwai had that inner drive this season, right from the start of training camp. He is a physically dominant blocker.

Hank from Toms River, NJ:
Considering how well we ran the ball this year, what happens if Greg Jones makes a full recovery? Will there be a three-back rotation or will someone be cut or traded away?

Vic: Fans have always struggled with the notion of too many players at a position. Coaches, however, love it. They'll always find ways to use what they have. Having too much talent is never a problem. Problems occur when you don't have enough talent. They found a way to use Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, didn't they? They'll find a way to stir Greg Jones into the mix, too. First, however, Jones has to be given the time he needs to recover from an injury that usually requires two years of rehabilitation.

Bob from St. Augustine, FL:
There will be major QB questions after this season, but would any other QB have a different outcome?

Vic: Byron Leftwich was the starting quarterback in the first six games. He completed 59 percent of his passes for seven touchdowns, five interceptions and a 79.0 passer rating. David Garrard has been the starter in the last nine games and he's completed 60.5 percent of his passes for nine touchdowns, eight interceptions and an 80.8 passer rating. How could the statistical comparison be any closer? As I said when Garrard replaced Leftwich, they're the same guy. I didn't say that because I thought they have the same talents. I said that because even though their talents are very different, they produce the same results. In my opinion, that's a product of the receivers. They are the constant in this comparison.

Sam from Jacksonville:
In your article "Good Cheer?" you state, "there is no doubt in my mind that Garrard was attempting to throw a pass," and then later contradict with, "in fact, I thought Garrard was bringing his hand back toward his body." Well, was he attempting to throw it or was he bringing the ball back to his body?

Vic: They're the same thing, as defined by the tuck rule, to which I referred. When a quarterback is bringing the ball back to his body, he is to be considered in the act of attempting a pass. That's why I thought the wrong call was made. I have a call into the league, seeking clarification of Walt Anderson's call. It's the holidays week, so we have to be patient.

Jeff from Mayport, FL:
I know you hate talk of individual accolades at this time of year, but I found something interesting. Maurice Jones-Drew, is third in the league in total touchdowns by a non-quarterback.

Vic: You're right, I hate talk of individual accolades. I accepted a long time ago that individual awards are nothing more than popularity contests all sports leagues allow because they help market the product. I don't need to be sold on football, therefore, I ignore individual awards. If Tom Brady isn't on the Pro Bowl team, then the whole thing is a farce. Brady was asked last week for his reaction to not making the Pro Bowl, and he said the only Bowl that matters to him is the Super Bowl. That's what I'm talkin' about.

Stacey from St. Augustine, FL:
What are your predictions for teams and the winner in the Super Bowl?

Vic: I'm sticking with my original picks: Baltimore and New Orleans. I'm not ready to announce the winner, yet.

Keith from Jacksonville:
How much money will Quinn Gray get if he throws 38 touchdown passes against the Chiefs?

Vic: They're not using Quinn Gray this year. They're going to use another player. Ask me tomorrow and I'll tell you more.

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