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Just relax and enjoy it

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

Darrell from Indianapolis, IN:
I really don't understand why people are so upset about the fact they can't see the games on NFL Network if they don't get that channel. Here in Indy, I usually get two one o'clock games and one 4 o'clock game each Sunday, meaning there are tons of games each week that I don't get to see. I imagine the situation is much the same in other markets. Why is it folks are getting so upset about these Thursday night NFL Network games? It seems that it is just one of several games that one doesn't get to see each week.

Vic: You're absolutely right. If the Ravens-Bengals game had been played at one o'clock on Sunday, Jacksonville would not have seen it because it was a FOX doubleheader weekend.

Johann from Jacksonville:
Have you heard of any chances NFL Network will broadcast in High Definition? If they are the future, they should start broadcasting as such, right?

Vic: Johann, if the definition had gotten any higher, Chad Johnson would've jumped out of the television and started dancing in my living room. The beads of water on the players' helmets made me thirsty.

John from Jacksonville:
And he killed a bear when he was only three.

Vic: Davy, Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier.

Seth Palansky, communications director, NFL Network:
You are right on the ratings front, as you mentioned in answering a fan question. Here's something that will help. NFL Network's telecast on Thanksgiving (Broncos-Chiefs) was the most viewed program on cable that day and had the highest ratings of any cable show, despite our distribution. It really is amazing. We even had the second and fifth-highest rated shows of the day with our post and pregame shows. Terrific start all-around for our network and it can only grow from here.

Vic: I trust NFL Network will make sure it remains an affordable product.

John from Fort Smith, AR:
Yes, Matt Jones really did sleep through a tornado as a child and his dad came into his room to find him sleeping in his bed with his roof torn off, but about the celebration stuff, I would much rather see no celebration than see dancing and chest-banging after a four-yard reception, which Reggie Williams continues to do. What about you?

Vic: I'm not a dancing kind of guy, either. Was the roof really torn off?

Jonathan from Jacksonville:
That is exactly what I have felt watching the two games on NFL network: They don't leave as much out and it provides for a fuller experience.

Vic: In my opinion, to be a viable pay-per-view outlet, you must make the viewer feel as though he is at the game. I felt some of that during the Ravens-Bengals game. I understand, of course, the two games the network has done so far have been intense games with division title implications, and that helped the telecasts. This Thursday's game, Cleveland at Pittsburgh, is a dog. Let's see how that works.

Jason from Jacksonville:
I have to disagree with you on the product delivered by NFL Network. Bryant Gumble as the play-by-play announcer is just awful. In the past two weeks, he has said the wrong score going to a break twice, once in each game.

Vic: The reviews I heard on Gumble from the Broncos-Chiefs game were all similar to yours, so, my expectations weren't high. As it turned out, I liked Gumble's presentation. Yeah, he made mistakes, such as "turn the ball over on downs" when, I think, the Bengals punted. His delivery, however, was very soothing. It was so nice not to hear yelling and rehearsed touchdown calls. It was as though Dick Cavett was doing the play-by-play and, you know, I kind of liked that.

Chris from Rochester, MN:
Garrard looked great, Brunellesque even; running all over the field but looking to pass. What's your assessment so far and do you think he's our future quarterback?

Vic: I think he's played very well and he might be the Jaguars' quarterback of the future.

Caleb from Tempe, AZ:
Sure, let's go ahead and feel good about this win, but let's not forget what this team is facing. They have an uphill battle awaiting them every day they head out to work. How do they accomplish their task?

Vic: Just do your job. That should be the mindset. Every player has a job to do. If he does his job, the team will win. Players shouldn't worry about the team. The coach gets paid to worry about the team. Players should worry only about what they have to do. This playoff race has a long way to go. When I look at the schedules the top five wild-card contenders are facing, I can make a case for a couple of 9-7 teams making the AFC playoffs. I don't think that's going to happen, but it could. Anything is possible.

Dave from Montreal, Quebec:
Can you explain the tie-breaking formula? We beat the Jets but I'm looking at's standings and the Jets seem to be ahead of us.

Vic: The number one tie-breaker is head-to-head. When you have a tie between teams that haven't all played against each other, however, you can't use the head-to-head tie-breaker. The next tie-breaker is conference record. The Jets are 5-4 and the Jaguars are 4-4. People ask me: Who would make the playoffs if the season ended today? I never answer the question because you can't use the tie-breaking criterion that will be used when the season ends. The Jets and Jaguars haven't played an equal number of conference games. Relax and enjoy the drama that will play out over the final four weeks of the season. This is the best football has to offer. The playoffs start now.

Loftur from Reykjavik, Iceland:
If I remember correctly, you said in the offseason that when the Jaguars had played the Eagles they would have played in every NFL city, but in your blog Sunday you said it was against the Dolphins they reached that mark. Which one is it?

Vic: When the Jaguars played in Philadelphia, they had played in every NFL city, if you include the preseason. This past Sunday, my "welcome" blog entry said the Jaguars will have played in every NFL city in the regular season with Sunday's game in Miami. That was a mistake. They still haven't played in San Francisco in the regular season.

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