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Colts deserving of division title

Join senior editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions. There will be no "Ask Vic" column on Thursday or Friday.

Matt from Lakeland, FL:
Considering how well Mike Smith has done since becoming the defensive coordinator, especially this year with all of the injuries, do you think there will be any teams calling him for a head coaching position at season's end?

Vic: Mike Smith is beginning to draw attention as an assistant coach on the rise. Yes, he'll become somebody's head coaching candidate. What Mike's defense has done this year has rivaled some of the great defensive performances I've ever covered. The best of those, of course, was by the 1976 Steelers, possibly the greatest defense of all-time. It allowed just 28 points in the final nine games, which included five shutouts. The next two-greatest defenses I've covered would belong to the 1994 Blitzburgh bunch and this year's Jaguars, who are second in the league to New England in points allowed. The Patriots defense has allowed 177 points; the Jaguars are at 180. Then comes Baltimore at 185, Chicago at 194 and Pittsburgh at 225. This is a great Jaguars defense, despite the major losses to injury it has sustained.

David from Northridge, CA:
I saw some hack on nightline saying Carmelo's behavior was expected and normal for a sports team. Say it isn't so.

Vic: I watched the small-college football championships last weekend and I was sufficiently entertained by the quality of the play and especially satisfied by the players' and coaches' conduct. If spitting and fighting and general misconduct have truly become the norm for major league sports, then I'll start spending more time watching Mt. Union, Grand Valley State and Appalachian State.

Rich from Indianapolis, IN:
What are your feelings now on the strength of the teams in the division? How would you honestly list them from top to bottom and why?

Vic: The Colts are the division champion and deserve to have that distinction. I never questioned their claim to the title, what I question is whether or not they are the better team. I'd like to see the two teams play again.

Gary from Jacksonville:
If a running back who is running for the end zone dives for the end zone and drops the ball just as he crosses the line, it is still considered to be a touchdown. If a receiver catches the ball in the end zone with both feet down and control but gets slammed to the ground and loses the ball, it is an incomplete catch. It doesn't seem right. For running backs, all you have to do is have control just as you cross the line, but receivers must maintain control throughout.

Vic: You're missing the point. The running back has possession of the ball. The receiver has yet to establish possession. Your definition of a catch is not the NFL's definition.

Josh from Bowling Green, OH:
Do you see this irony? In last year's playoffs, we get sent home by the Patriots, and this year we have to beat the Patriots in order to have a chance to get in. I love this time of year.

Vic: In the NFL, what goes around, definitely comes around.

Sam from Jacksonville:
The correct answer is that the losses to the Texans are just as important as any other game. In your response you stated, "Don't tell me about October. You are defined by how you play in December and January." Well, I am going to tell you about October because that could prevent the Jaguars from playing in December and January.

Vic: All the Jaguars have to do is win and they're in. Why would you think you could win in New England in January if you can't beat the Patriots in Jacksonville in December? Teams define themselves in December and January. October is for storing nuts, but when you get to the playoffs, you only get one nut. What good did October do the Colts last January? The playoffs start now. Just win, baby.

Eric from Columbus, IN:
Have we ever beaten the Patriots?

Vic: The Jaguars beat the Patriots in the 1998 playoffs. That's the Jaguars' only win against the Patriots. The Jaguars are 0-3 against the Patriots in the regular season and 1-2 in the postseason.

Nathan from Golden, CO:
What more could you want? The Jaguars control their own destiny in December, playing two tough teams at home and on the road. It's December and the playoffs are just around the corner. I believe the loss to the Titans was a good thing for the Jaguars. It showed them teams will not give up and that they are vulnerable. These next two games will battle-harden them for the playoffs, if they win. This is why December is so great.

Vic: You have an interesting perspective.

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