Join jaguars.com Senior Editor Vic Ketchman as he tackles the fans' tough questions.
Kinzie from Asheville, NC:
We saw what happened when the Jags went to the West Coast to play Seattle. Knowing the long trip west is a real setback, is the team making any extra preparations that you know of to combat it?
Vic: They're going out a day earlier than usual, as they did for the Seattle game. What more can they do? Charter a rocket? Hire a hypnotist? It's just one of those tough scheduling things you have to overcome. Philadelphia and Cincinnati have already lost in Oakland. You know it's going to be a challenge so you prepare yourself mentally. I guess it's all about circadian rhythm.
William from Jacksonville:
Did you see anything that could explain how the Bills defense was able to stop the Jags' run? Was it just a function of theirs beat ours, or did they just load the box to sell out on stopping the run?
Vic: The performance of middle linebacker Paul Posluszny was the main reason for the Bills' success. Posluszny turned in a dominant performance. He was a tackling machine and he also stripped David Garrard of the ball at a critical point in the game. The Bills used a lot of eight and nine-man fronts and challenged the Jaguars to win with their passing game. Ultimately, that's what happened, but the scheme was successful for most of the game and it's likely the Jaguars will see more of it.
Steven from Afghanistan:
The Jaguars are 6-4 despite having a net-points total of minus 36. Can you tell us if there have been any teams to have that kind of point spread and still have a winning record?
Vic: Dallas did it last season with 362 points scored and 365 points allowed.
Ray from Apopka, FL:
Please explain to me the purpose, from a strategic standpoint, of the squib kick. I have played the game and followed it all my life and for the life of me I can't understand the reasoning.
Vic: You do it to keep it out of a particular player's hands or to run more time off the clock. The last kickoff in the Bills game, however, was not intended to be a squib kick. Josh Scobee just mis-hit the ball.
Chris from Conway, AR:
Fantasy football may last, but I can't imagine an ex-player (from pee-wee to pro) remembering his stats vs. this team or that team in a given year. You remember the plays: that block against the 300-pound guy in junior high, the fumble recovery that saved the game, your linemen carrying you to the next play (Byron), or even the cold rain as you lay in the mud after getting creamed by a crack-back block. That's the point. That's what you miss.
Vic: You've explained it beautifully. How about the satisfaction that accompanies exhaustion, or the moment in film review when you see yourself and think, "I did that?"
Jordan from San Antonio, TX:
Why can't the Jags get love from anyone? I watched Sportscenter for over an hour to see two plays from the Jags-Bills game. What's up with that? Even when the analysts talk about the playoff race, they never talk about the Jags. It's like they're choosing to just ignore whatever the Jags do. Oh, my bad, twice a day they comment that the Jags are lurking or some nonsense like that. I mean, seriously, how can the Jags get less positive attention than the Browns and Lions game?
Vic: Please, everybody, do yourself a favor and not play the we-don't-get-no-respect card, OK? The Jags got plenty of respect last season when the national media picked them to go to the Super Bowl, and then the team finished 5-11. Respect and attention come from winning big games against quality opponents. The Jaguars will have their chance to do that in December. For now, let's just enjoy the ride and keep the wheels turning.
John from Orlando, FL:
The Jaguars may have attendance problems but at least we're not Oakland. They are also the worst-run organization in the league. We have an improving team and a committed front office that isn't crazy. Things could be worse and I hope more fans can realize that. One discouraging fact is the Jaguars' announced attendance has tended to hover around the 45,000-49,000 mark all season. Hopefully, that will change as the season moves forward.
Vic: The average tickets-distributed count for a Jaguars home game this year is 46,185. You're right, that's not as bad as Oakland, which has an average tickets-distributed figure of 45,228. You're also right to hope the Jaguars attendance figure will change as the season moves forward.
Steve from Jacksonville:
I think the weather kept some away on Sunday. My 10-year-old daughter and I were in the local bagel shop at about eight a.m. on Sunday in our Jag gear and everyone kept asking, "What about the weather?"
Vic: I'm glad you weren't discouraged because it would've been a shame to miss a great game because it was 74 and cloudy.
Alan from Jacksonville:
What are your thoughts on the Titans' four-game winning streak?
Vic: All they had to do was apologize to the "Towel."
Aaron from Kenly, NC:
OK, win two of the next three games and we will have a chance, is what you said. Well, put a check in that box, but now what do we do because I think we are now in the toughest part of our schedule?
Vic: Win the three home games and win one on the road. That would get the Jaguars to 10 wins and that would put them in the playoffs, in my opinion.
Evan from Allentown, PA:
How good of a shot do you think the Jaguars have of making the playoffs? They seem like they have a schedule in which they are capable of doing it.
Vic: I think they have a better than even chance of making it.
Gary from Powder Springs, GA:
You have mentioned in the past that Notre Dame has tough academic requirements for football players (all players must take Calculus) and when they remove that requirement that would assist them in recruitment but, Georgia Tech has the same requirements of all undergrads, including the football team, and they are still able field good teams. Explain?
Vic: I love your coach, your quarterback and the way your team plays, so please don't take offense to this, but Notre Dame aspires to a much higher standard and expectation than Georgia Tech does.
Robert from Chicago, IL:
I read it over and over. It is your philosophy and I believed it was NFL gospel: Run the ball and stop the run. Is this true for today's NFL any more, though? I am starting to have my doubts. Can you restore my faith that the game has not changed that much?
Vic: You apparently haven't been reading "Ask Vic" or reading it with much comprehension the past few years, because I have written several times that the game is no longer about run the ball, stop the run. Today's game is more about pass the ball and stop the pass. None of the top four rushing teams are over .500, but 11 of the top 12 passing teams are over .500. The game has changed and it's the result of the rules being manipulated to favor the pass and force teams to score more points. The ability to run the ball, especially in short-yardage, is still important, but not to the degree that it was. Stopping the run, however, remains at a high order of importance, for the obvious reason that if you can't do that, you can't even force your opponent to pass.
Nick from Jacksonville:
I thought I might correct Steve. Players aren't taking physical risks for fans' entertainment. They're taking risks for financial reward, and while I agree that the game itself is about courage, the players, by and large, are about building financial security for numero uno.
Vic: It's professional football, it's about the money. There's no questioning that, but you make it sound so sterile. Believe me, Eric Wood wasn't thinking about the money when he heard his leg break on Sunday. Nick, I go to work every day for the money, but I have no expectation of injury. Ask yourself this: If somebody offered you a lot of money to allow them to give you a compound fracture of your leg, would you take it? It takes some courage, doesn't it?
Billy from La Mirada, CA:
I have to admit it's rather amusing watching you feign interest in the Jaguars' success. You always tell people not to be excited, not to be interested, not to be enthusiastic about this year (or seemingly any year) because the Jaguars are doomed to failure, and your dry, salty, meager attempt at a rah-rah now that you've been proven wrong is hilarious. Your passion for football clearly dissipated long ago, and your lifeless, robotic responses validate the notion that you've mailed it in for your career.
Russ from Atlanta, GA:
Several times at the game the referees announced offensive linemen as "eligible receivers," yet, I didn't see anything particularly different on those plays. What is the strategy that teams are trying to execute by doing that?
Vic: It's not strategy. It's merely officiating procedure to make the defense aware of an eligible receiver that is wearing a number that would otherwise make him ineligible to catch a pass. In most cases of what you're describing, an extra tackle has replaced a tight end or receiver for a short-yardage down.
David from Jacksonville:
I just wanted to say the only other sports blog I read, "Shutdown Corner" on Yahoo, posted a link to "Ask Vic" about Mike Walker. It's really cool that your blog is treated like a reference.
Vic: Imagine, all of this just to host a golf tournament every August. Is this a great scam or what?