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If I only had a brain

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

Jordan from Syosset, NY:
Please, just give an answer to all who are wondering, including me, who are we rooting for this Sunday? Jacksonville and Pittsburgh?

Vic: Yes, Jacksonville and Pittsburgh. Forget about all of the other variables. Focus on the two important games: Houston at Jacksonville and Baltimore at Pittsburgh.

Peter from Norcross, GA:
Will the Steelers' record count twice for the Ravens in the strength of victory formula if both the Ravens and Jaguars end up at 10-6?

Vic: Yes, it would count twice and that's what would kill the Jaguars in the strength of victory tie-breaker. That's why a Pittsburgh win over Baltimore is a must, unless you believe Miami will win in Baltimore on Jan. 2.

Dwight from Jacksonville:
Thanks for your hard work in keeping our football hunger nourished. I'd like to know what you think of the league's new emphasis on defensive holding and pass-interference penalties? I think the tilt toward more offense is ultimately destroying the tenacity and integrity of the game. The defensive backs are not allowed to play defense any more. Do you assume the league will lighten up on this rule next season after witnessing these awful high scores and touchdown passes this year?

Vic: Only if Peyton Manning wins the Super Bowl.

Ted from Jacksonville:
Do you think NFL officials are going to be overly "trigger happy" to call penalties on the Jags defense in the remaining games because of Darius' hit?

Vic: That's a valid concern.

Drew from Daytona Beach, FL:
Can the Jaguars end up playing the Patriots in the wild-card round?

Vic: They sure can. Here's how it would happen: If San Diego wins in Indianapolis this Sunday and if New England loses at the Jets, San Diego would go to number two and New England would fall to number three in the playoff order. If that order stayed the same after the final week of the regular season, and if the Jaguars made the playoffs as the number six seed, the Jaguars would go to New England in the first round of the playoffs.

Jeff from Jacksonville:
The Jags defense is soft in the middle of the secondary. What should they do to remedy this?

Vic: Soft in the middle? This is kind of a bad week to be calling the Jaguars secondary soft in the middle.

John from Jacksonville:
About a week ago you talked about how the coaches of football's earlier era would dress. I have an idea and a suggestion. If the NFL will allow today's players to wear the old uniforms in honor of their former players, how about also requiring the current coaches to also honor the old coaches by dressing for that game like former coaches, with a suit, white shirt, business shoes and a business hat if the weather is cold?

Vic: I like that. And helmets wouldn't have facemasks.

Eric from Jacksonville Beach, FL:
You mentioned in Tuesday's "Ask Vic" that the Jags will most likely not make the playoffs if they tie with the Ravens. ESPN has it differently. Can you explain why you differ with ESPN?

Vic: OK, let's do this one more time. First of all, forget about "if the season ended today," because the season doesn't end today. Also, forget about all of the wacky scenarios and crazy variables. No, I'm not clairvoyant, but I don't think you have to have a crystal ball to know that some things are just not likely to happen. In my opinion, here's what it comes down to: The Jaguars must win their final two games and the Steelers must beat the Ravens. You could say the Jaguars have to win their final two games and the Ravens have to lose once more, but do you want to put the Jaguars' fate in the Dolphins' hands on Jan. 2 in Baltimore? That's why I'm saying it's up to the Steelers. The Jaguars need the Steelers to beat the Ravens. If the Ravens beat the Steelers for a second time this season, the Ravens would get all of the Steelers' 26 wins figured into their strength of victory tie-breaker and that would eliminate the Jaguars in a tie-breaker with the Ravens. There are lots of other scenarios and variables, but they're too many to discuss. In my opinion, we should keep one eye on the field this Sunday at Alltel Stadium, and one eye on the scoreboard for updates of the Baltimore at Pittsburgh game.

Vincent from Jacksonville:
Well, since you are a little man I'm sure you have your opinions and was probably the one who got his (butt) wiped in high school. Well, I love and want to see pro football return to that level of brutality, the way Donovin took his head off. I thought it was lovely. That's the way football should be played. Men on the field and ladies in the press box.

Vic: I'm sorry, on what team did you say you played?

Wilbur from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
In 1946, the old man that ran the hardware store back home in Silver Lake, Indiana, went to camp with the Detroit team. The veterans broke bones and knocked out eyes. He came back home.

Vic: The fine for knocking out eyes is much larger these days.

William from Jacksonville:
Haven't we evolved beyond the "making a statement" routine? Darius knows better than to throw a clothesline. As for the fans that like this stuff, the Jaguars don't need to make any more "statements." They did that by going toe to toe with the Steelers and by taking the same style up to Green Bay in a true cold-weather game?

Vic: Thank you for having a brain.

Lane from Lake Mary, FL:
Last year, you thought the home loss to Tennessee was the turning point of the season, as the Jags dedicated themselves to being more physical after that game. What game do you think provided a turning point or defined the season this year?

Vic: The Steelers game.

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