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Garrard can throw deep

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

Nonni from Reykjavik, Iceland:
Why on earth did the Jaguars go for two with 1:56 left? Why not go up by five so if they score a touchdown you win with a field goal?

Vic: Conventional thinking says go for two because, if you convert, you force your opponent to convert the PAT kick to win the game. You're going too far out with what you're suggesting. It's unlikely the other team would move down the field that quickly. In the situation the Jaguars faced, it was likely going to be a one-possession game. By the way, if the Jags had gone up by five and the Packers would've moved quickly down the field and scored a touchdown, I guarantee they would've gone for two points.

Dan from Jacksonville:
I heard that David Garrard takes a private jet to the away games and doesn't fly with the rest of the team. Is this true?

Vic: In all of the years I've done "Ask Vic," this may be the most ridiculous question I have ever received, but it does serve to illustrate the level of scrutiny quarterbacks must endure.

Vinny from Chicago, IL:
Why don't you tell these pudgy little kids to shut up? I can't stand the way football is now with the glitz and Hollywood crap. I want to see men run and hit each other. I want to see the poetic chaos of a physical battle between 22 of the best athletes in the world. Save the fireworks for the fourth of July and the dancing for your sweetheart on Saturday night. All these overweight, weenie guys that sit and play video games all day can't appreciate the real beauty of football.

Vic: Here we go.

Dale from Hampton, VA:
I just watched the Richmond vs. Northern Iowa game and that is why college football needs a playoff system.

Vic: You're absolutely right and Richmond is the team that drives home the point. If that division had the same postseason system major college football has, Richmond would've never had a chance to play in the title game, which it now will against Montana. Richmond would've never had the chance to upset Appalachian State or Northern Iowa. Everyone would've agreed that Appalachian State, the three-time defending champion, should've been in the title game and Richmond would've been denied opportunity to win a title and all of us would've been denied the opportunity to witness Richmond's stunning upset of App State and the Spiders' thrilling comeback win at Northern Iowa. When will the NCAA give us a legitimate major college national champion?

Michael from Jacksonville:
I watched "The Greatest Game Ever Played" and saw footage of the Mayflower trucks leaving in March of 1984. My dad lived in Baltimore until the day he died. He and I used to always go to the games together and watch. The only time I ever saw him cry was that morning when he read the paper. In the previous 31 years that I knew him, I never once saw him shed a tear. Two years later he died of a "weak heart," the doctors called it. Every time I think about it, I think it really began with that event. He was just never the same after they left. I think a little piece of him died when his beloved Colts left.

Vic: They didn't leave, they were stolen.

David from Jacksonville:
Just got finished watching "The Greatest Game." I was struck by how much of the game is the same today. Almost all the plays they ran, we still see in today's game. I also noticed the difference, like the Colts kicker, who because of injury ended up playing linebacker for most of the game. Can you imagine Scobee playing linebacker in today's game? I can understand why no defense wanted to face Johnny Unitas. He was an incredible ball-handler and very accurate passer. Raymond Berry was just sensational. He was a technician. Watching the show was a treat. So many great moments but my favorite had to be when the cheerleaders got their placards mixed up and marched around saying, "GO CLOTS." This show should be required viewing for all football fans.

Vic: We didn't take ourselves as seriously back then. We had the ability to laugh at ourselves and shrug off defeat without vitriol.

J.T. from Jacksonville:
There is a report on one of the major sports media websites that Gregg Williams is going to be let go at the end of the season. If this is true, don't you think it may be a little premature?

Vic: He only has a one-year contract. Everybody knew that. How about this? We interrupt this broadcast to announce that a coach whose contract expires at the end of the season may not be back with the team next year. Now there's a bulletin.

Clayton from St. Augustine, FL:
Ben Roethlisberger did it again. Trailing 9-6, Roethlisberger drives his team 92 yards and then hits Santonio Holmes for the game-winning score. What makes him so good?

Vic: Some guys get sharp at crunch time; some guys get tense and tentative. Ben Roethlisberger is obviously one of those quarterbacks whose concentration peaks at crunch time. He plays his best football when it matters the most and I love that in a quarterback, but he also needs to start playing better in the other three-and-a-half quarters of the game because you can't count on scoring on the final possession to win every week. He's wasting a great defense by not scoring more points.

Michael from Jacksonville:
In the winning touchdown in the Steelers-Ravens game, the referee overturned the call that the catch was short. He then stated that the receiver had two feet in the end zone and established possession, but he mentioned nothing about the ball breaking the plane. What is the rule? Did the ref blow that call?

Vic: Here's a second update to the answer I provided earlier in the day. The "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette" reported on Monday that the league office announced that Director of Officiating Mike Pereira supports referee Walt Coleman's touchdown ruling. In its report, the Post-Gazette also said: "By rule, (Santonio Holmes') feet did not have to be down, however, when the ball crossed the goal line – he had to be in possession of the ball when it broke the plane of the goal line and then, to complete the play, his feet had to touch the ground." Coleman's ruling is that Holmes was in control of the ball as the ball broke the plane of the goal. Holmes, of course, had to complete the catch, which he did.

Eric from Jacksonville:
I thoroughly enjoyed ESPN's broadcast of "The Greatest Game Ever Played" and the reminiscent commentary of the participants. After watching the exciting game, however, it was clear that players now are bigger, stronger and faster than everyone back then. What do you think?

Vic: There's no question; today's players are bigger, stronger, faster and, as a result of their physical superiority, more physically dominant. But do they catch better than Raymond Berry? Do they pass better than Johnny Unitas? Do they have more all-around skill than Lenny Moore or Frank Gifford? Are they more instinctive than Sam Huff? Are the mammoth linemen of today nimbler than Rosie Grier? The answer to each question is no. Put those men in today's game and they wouldn't be selling insurance in the offseason, they'd be lifting weights and developing their bodies to their maximum tolerances. They could play today, I assure you, and, in my opinion, Unitas would be an even better quarterback in today's game than he was in the era in which he played.

James from Jacksonville:
It's unbelievable what a quarterback can accomplish when he actually has some time in the pocket to read the coverage and make a throw. Garrard needed that performance Sunday, not only for himself, but to give some confidence to fans that began believing he was another bad personnel move.

Vic: I completely agree with everything you've said.

Cedrick from Jacksonville:
You said yourself that Northcutt gave the Jags a deep threat they hadn't had all season, and yesterday Garrard was able to spread the ball around to a lot of receivers with Porter and Jones gone. Against the good cornerback tandem of Harris and Woodson, would you say yesterday's passing attack was the result of a better receiving corps on the field, or Garrard simply having a great game because the pocket was held against a lackluster Packers defensive line?

Vic: The deep passes to and for Northcutt are proof that Garrard can throw the deep ball. His sideline fade to Northcutt was a thing of beauty. Yesterday's game was a dramatic example of what has been missing in the Jaguars' passing game all season: the deep ball. Northcutt may not have the best hands, but he can still run and he knows how to get open. He probably should've gotten more playing time this season. Once Garrard found him, he stuck with him. Every quarterback wants a play-maker. That's what Northcutt was against the Packers. He was the play-maker this team lacked all season.

Chad from Jacksonville:
I watched "The Greatest Game Ever Played" telecast this weekend. What an ugly, sloppy, poorly played game with a ton of fumbles. Greatest game? I think it's another example of the skewed views of old farts who always think the good old days are always better. I think you old-timers just like the good old days because it reminds you of your youth and today's game reminds you of your place in the world.

Vic: Go back to your video game. You have no feel for real football.

Patrick from Jacksonville:
What's your opinion of the Colts-Jags game on Thursday? Can we possibly steal a win?

Vic: Why not? The Lions were competitive against the Colts.

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