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I'll take a wild card right now

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

Nick from Sacramento, CA:
What is your opinion on the west coast teams traveling east have a disadvantage thing?

Vic: It's real, especially for a one o'clock game in the east. Body clocks are difficult to adjust. I think it's difficult for eastern teams traveling to the west coast, too. On Saturday night, it's 11 o'clock in the east and your body clock says go to bed, but it's eight o'clock where you are and there's too much noise in the hotel at that hour and just plain too early to go to bed. If you do, you'll be up at four in the morning. I've been with coaches who've tried it different ways. Some teams went out late on Friday. Bill Cowher once took his team to San Diego so late on Saturday that they arrived just about at bed time. Every coach is trying to find a way to beat the body clock.

Tim from St Augustine, FL:
How close is Porter to 100 percent and if he is close why isn't he a bigger part of the game plan? He had no impact on Sunday's game at all.

Vic: I don't know the answers to your questions.

Mark from Pittsburgh, PA:
I don't have a question but I want to respond to the kind comments. I bleed black and gold. I was in Jacksonville for the game and had a great time. I sat around many Jag fans, was heckled but it was all in good fun. I'll be back next time.

Vic: Well, it won't be next year; not in the regular season. If the two teams play against each other in the regular season next year, and I think it's unlikely that will happen, it would be in Pittsburgh. The simple truth of the scheduling process is that there's no guarantee these teams will play against each other again until 2011, and that would be in Pittsburgh, too. According to the current scheduling process, the next guaranteed match between the Steelers and the Jaguars in Jacksonville isn't until 2014. That's if the league decides to continue the current scheduling format, which it will determine following the 2009 season.

Ben from Orlando, FL:
There's one thing I love about the Jaguars-Steelers rivalry more than anything else. When the Jags lose to the Titans, there's hate and anger from the fans; same with the Texans, and the even the Colts to an extent. When the Jags lose to the Steelers, though, there's disappointment but there's also respect and appreciation for the fact that it's always a good contest between two good football teams. Sure, I wish my favorite team had won Sunday night, but it's always a blast when the Jaguars play the Steelers, no matter what the outcome.

Vic: My inbox has been flooded this week with similar e-mails. Jaguars fans enjoyed this game. They like seeing the Jaguars and Steelers play. I've gotten some e-mails telling me about confrontations with Steelers fans, but at least 90 percent of the e-mails I've received on this subject have been positive in nature, as yours is. I think it's very uplifting.

Jonathon from Wichita, KS:
Should we be happy with a wild card berth?

Vic: Give it to me right now and I'll take it. Yeah, the goal was a division title, but I think that's a long shot now and the next-best thing is a wild card berth.

Steve from Greece, NY:
"You'd lose that player and possibly your team forever. These are professionals and they are not to be treated as amateurs. They know what's at stake: their job. That's the ultimate punishment lap." So what is your take on Mangini making Favre run a lap for botching a snap in practice?

Vic: That's playfulness, not punishment. It's a way of having fun with your team; raising morale by "spanking" a legendary player headed for the Hall of Fame. Favre does the lap, Mangini feigns anger and everybody shares in the hilarity. It brings a team closer together.

Mike from Jacksonville:
Well, you really let your true colors shine through in your last "Ask Vic." Gold and black, that's them. Did you wave your terrible towel while you were doing your blog? Saying how great the Steeler fans are, when I watched them getting thrown out of the game. Maybe you should go back to Pittsburgh.

Vic: I tried but it's so difficult to wave my towel and type at the same time. It just can't be done.

Ralph from Jacksonville:
I am pleased to announce that I feel much better since Sunday's loss to Pittsburgh. I finally stopped sobbing this morning and now my dog will come to me, the children don't look scared anymore and I think my wife is unpacking her suitcase to stay. Looking forward to this Sunday's matchup against Denver but I am a little worried about the outcome. How do you think we will match up?

Vic: I think the Jaguars match up well on one side of the ball and not so well on the other side. Special teams might decide this game. I'd be hopeful but, just to be on the safe side, you might want to hide your wife's suitcase.

Casey from Bismarck, ND:
I've been seeing a lot of previews for the movie about Ernie Davis and found he was going to play for the Browns at the same time Jim Brown was there. How great would a Davis-Brown backfield have been?

Vic: That was the idea. In those days, one back was a better blocker than the other but it wasn't a case of one guy blocked all the time and the other guy carried the ball all the time, as is the case in today's game. In the Jim Brown era, the fullback was the featured ball-carrier and the halfback was the better blocker. In a split-backs backfield, which is what they used in those days, Brown and Davis would've each gotten plenty of carries. I miss split backs.

Mark from Virginia Beach, VA:
Big Steelers fan here. I have to give it up to the Jags and your city. They are a class act with a class coach in a first-class city. I, too, miss seeing the Jags twice a year. I pray the team gets healthy for a solid playoff run. There is not a better opponent in the league than the Jags.

Vic: It wouldn't shock me if the two teams face each other in the playoffs. It could happen.

Dan from Jacksonville:
Since you wouldn't commit to my request for the live blog of the Palin rally, I had to call in sick to work and go. Boy, was I thrilled to see Del Rio standing proud, leading the pledge and voicing his support for the Republican ticket.

Vic: Yeah, I'm sorry I missed it.

Daniel from Washington, DC:
Do punters generally practice field goals and kickers practice punting?

Vic: No, and from what I understand, there was about as much chance of Mitch Berger making a field goal at the end of that game as there was that Wayne Weaver would wave a "Terrible Towel."

Jay from Savannah, GA:
What do you think of Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford and his prospects in the NFL? Does he have what it takes to be a star?

Vic: I like his size and his arm. He appears to have all the tools and can make all of the throws. Something, however, seems to be missing because he never makes me go wow! What is it that's missing? Is it that his skills are more suited for the pro game than for the college game? Or is he being constrained by offensive design? I don't know what it is but I would have to figure it out before I'd spend a high pick on him.

Josh from Westminster, MD:
What did you think of Mike Walker's performance on Sunday?

Vic: He took a big step forward. Unfortunately, it appears he's going to miss time with a new knee injury. That's been Mike's problem; his inability to avoid injury.

Jason from Vancouver, BC:
You are a glutton for punishment. You know every time you publish your power rankings, the crazies come out.

Vic: You don't think I do things on purpose, do you?

Richard from Jacksonville:
Why doesn't the defensive coordinator run more blitz packages on passing downs to take some of the pressure off our secondary?

Vic: He did that on Sunday night in the first half and the Jaguars got torched. He tried it in week one in Tennessee and it allowed the big play of the game for the Titans. Here's a question for you: Why can't you understand that you have to get home with the blitz to make it work? Blitz doesn't automatically mean sack. You have to have the people who can execute it.

Jesse from Vancouver, BC:
I will be flying into Denver on Friday night to attend my first-ever Jaguars game this weekend. Is there anything you recommend visiting or seeing while in Denver?

Vic: I'd take a drive into the Rockies. It's a beautiful time of year. Or you could drive to Indianapolis and see all the monuments.

Craig from Orlando, FL:
What was the difference between Maurice Williams' and Brad Meester's biceps injuries? Why did Williams go on injured reserve?

Vic: Meester sustained his on the second day of training camp. Williams was injured in the opening game of the season. They were more than a month apart so recovery time left Williams with very little season remaining before he could return to action. Meester is close to returning to action.

Jeff from Jacksonville:
The reason Jacksonville doesn't sell out its seats is because there are too many other fun things to do in north Florida instead of watch a below average football team. Pittsburgh is football or shovel snow; that's what they have to choose from. Don't blame Jacksonville fans for not going to the game. Blame the bad team and the other Jacksonville attractions.

Vic: The following is the weather forecast for the next three days in Pittsburgh.

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