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Only two disadvantages

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

Brandon from Malabar, FL:
If you were a neutral sportswriter, who would you favor in the Jaguars-Packers game and what's your spread?

Vic: If I was a neutral sportswriter? Whoa! Are you suggesting I misrepresent my opinions? Are you suggesting I am a homer? I hope you enjoy your final question to "Ask Vic." Here's my answer: The circumstances clearly favor Green Bay. The Packers are 31-0 in regular-season home games with Brett Favre at quarterback and the temperature below 34 degrees. That is a significant factoid. You don't ignore 31-0. A Jaguars victory would be an upset. I don't make point spreads. Goodbye!

Brian from Jacksonville:
Which team with a losing record has the talent to beat anyone in the NFL? I think it would have to be the Chiefs, right?

Vic: In other words, who's the best loser? Right now, I'd have to say Carolina and Cincinnati. They both got off to slow starts that put them deep into the loss column before they started playing their best football. Carolina may still make the playoffs. Cincinnati's future is extremely bright with Carson Palmer, Rudi Johnson and Chad Johnson. Kansas City has a sensational offense, but the Chiefs are so soft on defense that I have trouble watching them and not feeling embarrassment for them.

Alex from Vancouver, BC:
Do you think the Jaguars have a good future and what do you think they need to do to improve?

Vic: I think the Jaguars' future is very bright. I believe that mostly because the team's salary cap is in great shape and the team has ascended to the rank of playoff contender. The Jaguars need more players and we all know where they need them. Those needs are now few enough that one more offseason could do it. Next spring is going to be very important for this team.

Jon from Weatherford, OK:
I know there are a lot of advantages to covering almost 10,000 seats at Alltel, but do you see any disadvantages with it?

Vic: In my opinion, there are only two possible disadvantages. The first is obvious: The Jaguars are going to sacrifice a lot of revenue for those games in which they could sell more tickets than the new capacity will allow. The recent game against the Steelers is a perfect example. All of the seats that are going to be covered had paying customers in them on the night of Dec. 5. That's a loss of revenue that has to bring a tear to Wayne Weaver's eye, but he is willing to suffer that short-term loss for the long-term gain of creating a more favorable balance of supply and demand. I'm impressed by that kind of big-picture thinking. The other possible disadvantage involves perception. What will people think when they see seats covered? This team is going to get a more high-profile schedule next year and there will be a lot of national media coming into Alltel Stadium. What will they think when they see the covered seats? Will they write and report that the Jaguars have downsized Alltel Stadium to a more reasonable size and are now selling out? Or will they write that the Jaguars were forced to cover seats because Jacksonville isn't a good football town? The key, in my opinion, will be filling the seats that aren't covered. How can anyone find fault with the downsizing if it produces sellouts? The burden of proof is on Jaguars fans now. No more excuses. Alltel Stadium is at a very manageable size. In fact, 49,000 will be one of the smallest blackout numbers in the league.

Marc from Boston, MA:
Conspiracy theory: The Colts do not want to see the Jags in the playoffs, given the fits they gave them this year. Watch the Colts lay down this weekend against the Ravens, so the Ravens get the final wild card.

Vic: Think about what you're suggesting. You're saying the Colts will intentionally lose to the Ravens so they can face the Ravens in the first round of the playoffs. That's inviting? The number six defense in the league with the number seven pass-defense? I can't imagine a worse matchup for Peyton Manning than the Ravens. I agree the Jaguars seem to have a good plan for the Colts, but I can't imagine the Colts would rather face the Ravens, who also happen to have one of the league's top pass-rushers, Terrell Suggs. That Baltimore defense has a lot of playmakers.

Rajesh from Jacksonville:
Which team recorded the only win over the Packers when the temperature was below 34 degrees? How they did it? Do the Jags have the players to do the same?

Vic: Atlanta beat Green Bay, 27-7, in a 2002 playoff game at Lambeau Field. It is the Packers' only home loss with Brett Favre at quarterback and the temperature below 34 degrees. How did the Falcons do it? Well, Michael Vick turned in a sensational performance, and the Falcons defense intercepted Favre twice and held him to a 54.4 passer rating. Can the Jaguars do the same this Sunday? Honestly, I don't know. I do know this: The Packers aren't very good on defense.

Shaun from Melbourne, Australia:
Who was the running back who was chosen ahead of Fred Taylor in the 1998 draft and what happened to him?

Vic: Curtis Enis was selected by Chicago with the fifth pick of the 1998 draft; Fred Taylor was the ninth pick. Enis was having a very good rookie season until he suffered a torn ACL late in the year. He never really recovered from that injury, developed arthritis in his knee and was soon out of football. The Jaguars were close to making a trade with Chicago for the purpose of drafting Enis.

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