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It's over before it's over

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

Chris from Jacksonville:
I watched Miami run all over New England. Is Miami potentially that good or is New England that old or is Tom Brady that important?

Vic: Door number three, Chris. All the warts are starting to show now. The defense is old and overrated and Randy Moss is turning back into his old, pouty, lazy self. Brady made it all work. The team concept thing was laughable. How could anybody be so stupid as to believe the Patriots won all those Super Bowls because they had a stronger dedication to team? They won because they had Brady.

Josh from Indianapolis, IN:
Looking forward to your Monday blog, smart (butt); and the next 10 days or three months. Your loyal reader.

Vic: The time on this e-mail is 6:57 p.m. on Sunday, which means it was sent right after the Colts scored the go-ahead touchdown. Should've waited, Josh?

Sheri from Kingsland, GA:
It appeared to me Peyton Manning's passes hung in the air too long. Do you think his knee problems caused that to happen?

Vic: Knee or age; he was clearly not the same quarterback.

Brian from Jacksonville:
The commentators Sunday kept referring to the Colts' "stretch play" as the catalyst almost to their offense. To my amateur eyeballs it looks similar to the Lombardi power sweep, just not as physical. Am I off base?

Vic: The difference is in the blocking schemes. In the Packer sweep of the Lombardi era, the guards pulled out ahead of the play. It's what Lombardi is describing in that famous film clip in which he says, "We want a seal here and a seal here and run the ball up the alley." In stretch blocking, the whole line slides to the right or left, in unison. It's also called "walling up." The back looks for an opening and, when he finds one, he hits it. The difference between the Packer sweep and stretch blocking is the difference between the game of yesteryear and the game of today. The running game of the Lombardi era was all about precision. It was about a specific lineman making a specific kind of block on a specific defender. That kind of precision has been transferred to the passing game in today's game. In the running game of today, the back runs to daylight, which, by the way, is a term Lombardi invented.

Willis from Jacksonville:
I thought the last line of the blog was clever. I even asked my girlfriend to read it. She already had. Ain't I lucky?

Vic: You have the perfect life. Please, don't tell me she caddies for you, too.

Colin from Tallahassee, FL:
I don't want to take away from a great game on Sunday, but I worry about our red zone efficiency. Your thoughts?

Vic: I worry about not having a receiver who can, in Jack Del Rio's words, make opponents pay for loading the box.

Clay from Jacksonville:
With all due respect to the man, who is William James and why was he singled up on Harrison at the end of the game?

Vic: William James is a former third-round pick of the New York Giants and he is an accomplished, veteran cornerback. Here's what happened: The Colts were in three wide. Marvin Harrison was split right, Anthony Gonzalez was split left, Reggie Wayne was in the slot right and Dallas Clark was tight right. The Jaguars were in "nickel." Remember, it was fourth and two so they didn't dare play "dime" because the Colts might run the ball. "Nickel" left the Jaguars in single coverage against all of the receivers, with Brian Williams playing centerfield. Williams favored Gonzalez' side of the field and Manning threw to Harrison on the other side. It was a very simple thing; no great design was necessary. It's what happens when you have the threat of run or pass, which always puts offense at an advantage. Manning went after the new defensive back in the game. Scott Starks, of course, was injured shortly before that play. Hey, you can't do it all on the chalkboard. Sometimes you just have to cover.

Mike from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
Two weeks, two coin tosses won, two deferrals and two long touchdown drives by the opponent. How about a new "Ask Vic" catch phrase, "Just receive, baby?"

Vic: One of my first thoughts at the league meetings in March when the coin-toss rule change was announced was that the coaches had just pushed through legislation that would effectively cause them more scrutiny and criticism. Why do it?

John from Saint Augustine, FL:
Writing. Good.

Vic: Paycheck. Better.

Alex from Los Angeles, CA:
Ever thought of running for president?

Vic: If I did and if I won, there'd be some Wall Street CEO types who would either give back the money they stole or they'd get a visit from a couple of guys from Pittsburgh wearing dark suits and driving a Delta 88. How's that for a campaign promise?

Nineb from Glendale, AZ:
I'm kind of confused when people say a game is a must win. I understand what it means, but isn't every game a must win? I'm pretty sure the coaches don't tell their players there are some games they don't have to win.

Vic: The Giants won the Super Bowl last season with a 10-6 record, so apparently six of their games weren't must wins. Coaches have to talk like coaches, but we don't.

Jonathan from Orange Park, FL:
Can the Jaguars run that single wing that Miami ran against the Patriots?

Vic: That was not the single wing. It was a just a simple version of the direct-snap offense Arkansas created it a couple of years ago when its quarterback couldn't throw a spiral. Coaches call it a "read zone" offense. Please don't confuse it with the single wing. The single wing was ballet. It may be the most sophisticated, precision offense in football history. It involved ball-handling that was artistic. The single wing was football ballet. Compared to the single wing, what Miami did was the bunny hop. Why did it work? Because it created indecision. It's not likely to work again because it's very easy to disarm, if you know it's coming and you can prepare for it.

Will from Orlando, FL:
The Browns are a classic example of why you don't trade the future for a win-now attitude. What will it take for them to get their situation fixed, if that's possible at this point in the season?

Vic: I don't think it's possible to fix this season. They have to play the Giants, Jaguars, Broncos, Bills, Colts, Titans, Eagles and Steelers. They took their shot and completely missed the mark. In my opinion, they need to take a look at everything. I didn't like the big-picture decisions they made when they made them. As I said when the schedule came out, their whole season was riding on a win in week two.

Mike from Savannah, GA:
You could save yourself from having to write huge paragraphs on the hardships of press box sportswriters by simply putting an exclamation point after the word "Good." Got it? Good. Bye.

Vic: It never ceases to amaze me how, almost weekly, some minute detail I never considered jumps out as a major issue. First of all, when the Colts faced fourth and two in their final drive, I wrote: "If he misses here, I'm gonna fly out of here." So I warned yinze all that I wasn't going to waste time patting you on the back or drying your tears, whatever the case might've been when the outcome was decided. If I had the money those Wall Street CEOs stole, I'd build my own press box elevator and I'd stay a little longer. That's not the case, however, and fighting to get on that elevator is the greatest anxiety of my life every week during the football season. So I'm gonna warn you right now: I don't agree with Yogi Berra. Sometimes I think it's over before it's over and the first chance I get to hop on that elevator, I'm gonna do it. If that doesn't work for you, find another blog, because I must go down and I must go down fast.

Cole from Melbourne, FL:
What skills does one need to be labeled a "change of pace" back?

Vic: One needs skills different than those of the back he's replacing. Fred Taylor is a cutback runner. Maurice Jones-Drew is more of a slasher. If your lead back is a pounder, such as Jerome Bettis, then a speed back such as Willie Parker would be a good change of pace. If your lead back is O.J. Simpson, a slasher in the strictest sense of the word, a pounder such as Jim Braxton is a good change of pace. If your lead back is Jim Brown, then you don't need another back because he can be anything you want.

Daniel from Montebello, CA:
I greatly respect you, but I agree that your last blog update was boring. A one-sentence analysis of the importance of the win would do everyone good.

Vic: No. Bye.

David from Jacksonville:
With what Houston has to look at on game films from last week, how do they prepare for us?

Vic: They try to find ways to get that eighth man, maybe even a ninth man, down in the box without tipping it. That might work for the first couple of series.

Steve from Lancaster, PA:
Any thoughts on the Ryder Cup? The Americans showed a lot of guts and determination to win when no one else thought they could. I think Boo Weekley has stolen the hearts of many.

Vic: The U.S. team played great golf. I don't think I've ever seen so many long and mid-length pressure putts drop. Their energy and resolve was fantastic. I think I saw one of them fist-pump a lay-up shot. So where's all that grit when they play against Tiger? Why do they become wimps when they're playing against him?

Adam from Gainesville, FL:
Do you even like the Jaguars? If you don't, do us all a favor and just quit already.

Vic: Oh, does the wittle baby want his wittle bottle?

Dane from Gainesville, FL:
Were you upset with the decision to let the clock run out before halftime?

Vic: No, because that's consistent with a run-the-ball game plan. High tempo doesn't go with that kind of game plan. A run-the-ball game plan is like a strategy for building a brick wall. I was surprised, however, by Tony Dungy's failure to call time out and force the Jaguars to punt.

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