Pick the fastest way into the playoffs

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

Nick from Las Vegas, NV:
So who do Jags fans root for on Thursday night, Chiefs or Broncos? If the Chiefs lose it helps the Jags in the current win-loss record, but wouldn't the Broncos losing create a better situation for the Jags overall? Everyone was assuming that four teams were fighting for one wild card spot. A Broncos loss would suddenly open up two spots to be played for.

Vic: All you need is one spot; one way into the playoffs. You can't hold two spots. In my opinion, you're looking for the quickest way to lock up a playoff berth, and that would be best served by a Chiefs loss. What you'd like is to go to Kansas City on the final weekend of the season with a playoff berth clinched.

Chris from Jacksonville:
With an excellent defensive performance at home on Monday night, where does Jacksonville rank statistically and where can common folk go to figure that out?

Vic: The Jaguars defense is third overall; sixth against the run and fifth against the pass. I usually tuck that information into my advance stories during the week. I'm sure you could also find it on nfl.com.

John from Jacksonville:
I thank you this Thanksgiving week for making me a better fan and respecting fellow fans at the games. It happened during the Houston game. After the fifth dropped ball, I expressed myself with the wrong kind of language. The gentleman one row down and three seats over asked me to improve my language. From reading your articles and your comments on "Ask Vic," I tapped the other fan and apologized and told him I was sorry for being a jerk. He pays the same amount per seat as I do. I know now what you have said about wanting a better fan.

Vic: That's a great story. It's a kind of holidays story. I'm proud of you.

Mike from Jacksonville:
There's never been and never will be a true national champion in college football. It's always been that way. The NCAA has never awarded the championship. It's always been your peers from the AP and computers, so enjoy the college game for what it is: a bunch of hard-nosed kids playing for their school (not for themselves). I bet Florida State and Notre Dame never have to worry about their team like Jacksonville might have to think about down the road.

Vic: Oh, I get it. They don't do it right because they never have. Yeah, that's a good reason. What an NCAA apologist. They don't take part in the whole sham so, therefore, it's not their fault. Blame it on the media, right? Ah, yes, always blame it on the media; never on the hypocrite academicians. You know what I like about pro football? It's about the money and nobody denies it. The NFL doesn't recruit players camouflaged as students. They don't exploit their players, they pay them. You're right, no university, to my knowledge, has ever moved because its football team wasn't drawing well, but give it time. I will tell you, however, that a lot of colleges and universities have dropped football.

Andy from Orlando, FL:
Just wanted to say I've been a season ticket holder for two years and Monday night I was able to take my father to his first-ever professional football game. We braved the "brutally cold" night and stayed warm by yelling our heads off for the Jags. The aliens were no match for us. We stayed until we counted the final seconds off the scoreboard. It's been a lifelong dream of mine to go to a football game with my father that I finally realized on Monday night. It was a great game and a great experience that can't even be compared to any of the games we watched together on the couch in the living room, 40-degree wind chill or not.

Vic: Good for you. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Wes from Brambleton VA:
I don't understand the weather issue. I grew up in Jacksonville and it is not Miami weather-wise. Mike Tirico was talking like it never drops to 40 in Jacksonville. That's just not the case. The fans should be able to occasionally deal with less than ideal conditions. Why have Jacksonvillians gotten so soft?

Vic: I couldn't agree more. We get lots of cold weather here. I've detected that Jacksonvillians like to act as though it never goes below 90 degrees in Jacksonville. There's some kind of reverse machismo that goes with that, but it's not true. It gets darn cold in Jacksonville.

Jeff from Melbourne, FL:
Turkey or ham?

Vic: Turkey. My wife always makes both. I tell her not to make the ham, but she always does, then I spend the next week eating it because nobody else wants it. I tell her the pilgrims didn't chop the head off a pig, but she keeps making ham.

Scott from Boise, ID:
The logic is simple for why FSU lost to Notre Dame: FSU's loss was to a better team.

Vic: That's beautiful. That's the kind of convoluted logic I would expect of that system. You know, you're probably not kidding. I love it; the quality of a team's defeats. That's classic stuff. We're the better team because we lost to them. Oh, please, stop, I'm dying with laughter.

Gary from Orange Park, FL:
How about we all meet at Vic's house for a keg party Friday while the women are shopping? That would be fun.

Vic: It sounds as though we need another golf tournament. By the way, the big "Ask Vic" road trip is set for Miami weekend.

Scott from Ormond Beach, FL:
I stayed at the game until it finished. Luckily enough the aliens didn't get me. What do you think about David's play, where he got out of the "grass" and ran for the first down? I think he could be showing us who the QB of the future is.

Vic: That's pure strength. The running ability came second. First, Garrard showed he could stand in the pocket, take a licking and keep on ticking. The strength to absorb the contact impresses me more than the run.

Doug from Warren, AR:
Would you have ever known about Jay-Z's retirement and un-retirement without the MNF coverage?

Vic: I had no idea who he was. I didn't know if he was a singer, a dancer, a juggler or had just written a book entitled, "If I Had Keyed My Ex-Wife's Car, This Is How I Would've Done It." For me, it's easy stuff. They start talking to Jay-Z, and I go get a hot dog. I don't complain about it because I understand why TV is doing it. They're doing it for ratings. They're doing it to attract the casual football fan to their telecast because it's their ability to attract the casual fan that will drive the ratings.

Nick from Wakefield, RI:
And the reason Peyton Manning had a bad game was because of the 3-4 defense Dallas used. If I recall correctly, San Diego and Pittsburgh also used 3-4 defenses and both beat Indy.

Vic: Yeah, Manning has had his troubles against 3-4 teams. Maybe he has a blind spot for that extra linebacker.

Scott from Carbon Cliff, IL:
I know the number of tickets sold is more important than the number of people who show up and stay, but do you think this lack of support and faithfulness by Jag fans could inevitably lead to a moving of the franchise? I love the Jags and I'm worried they may not stand the test of time.

Vic: Sellouts will secure the future of the franchise, and staying to the end of the game is not a condition of purchase. If you wanna leave, leave. Going to a football game isn't supposed to be an endurance test. You don't get a badge for supporting the team by cheering and staying to the end. You do those things spontaneously because they are the natural expression of your passion for the game and your team. That's why Lambeau Field was packed with fans who sat through 13-below-zero temperatures to watch the Packers win the "Ice Bowl." Several fans lost fingertips, toes and ear lobes to frostbite, but nobody left that game. Why? Because their heart wouldn't allow them to leave. The people who are abducted by aliens at the Jaguars games don't deserve to be scolded. They don't owe it to the team to stay. They don't owe anything other than the money required to purchase the ticket. When people feel the need to stay, they will. I think of something a favorite player of mine said years ago at his Hall of Fame induction: "If you weren't (at the game) on Sunday afternoon, you were in the wrong place." When that applies to the Jaguars and their fans, the future of professional football in Jacksonville will be secure.

Jeremy from Green Bay, WI:
I'm looking toward the draft next year and I think H.B. Blades of Pitt would make a great selection to add to this defense. Just wondering if you had any opinions or assessments of him.

Vic: He's a hard-working, hard-nosed player, but I also think he's considerably overrated.

Terri from Jacksonville:
Why is it that if Matt Jones had the ball and bobbled it into the Texans defenders two times that Garrard had four interceptions?

Vic: I think you know the answer. They were passes and they finished in the other team's hands. Your point, however, is well-taken. That's why I say that interceptions, in many cases, are overrated. It's third and nine and the quarterback is intercepted 25 yards downfield. The only thing lost is about 15 yards of yardage that would've been gained on a punt, yet, that interception is going to impact the quarterback's passer rating as though it was hit by a brick. How about all of the "Hail Mary" interceptions at the end of the first half or late in the game? The quarterback's passer rating gets trashed by those types of interceptions but they were of no consequence. All great quarterbacks have thrown a lot of interceptions. That's the risk you run when you throw the ball and you can't become a great quarterback without throwing the ball and throwing it down the field, not just into the flat. Look at the quarterbacks who threw pick-sixes last Sunday: Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger immediately come to mind. Two of them, Rivers and Roethlisberger, won their games. Roethlisberger turned in possibly the greatest fourth-quarter passing performance I have ever seen: 229 yards and touchdown drives of 87, 79 and 70 yards. None of that happens if you stop throwing the ball after the pick six. I don't consider passer rating to be a credible stat. I'm not going to judge a quarterback on passer rating, I'm going to judge him on what my eyes see. I have my own passer rating. I call it the "fear factor rating." What quarterbacks do you fear if you're trying to protect a lead in the fourth quarter? My eyes tell me who to fear, not the passer ratings.

Adam from Sandown, NH:
Who do you think has the best throwing motion and mechanics in the game and who has the worst?

Vic: Peyton Manning is the king of mechanics. Tom Brady, Carson Palmer and Roethlisberger all have nice high, smooth deliveries. David Garrard has a classic passing motion. David Carr and Rivers are low and Michael Vick is wristy, but the worst of the bunch belongs to Vince Young. It's indescribably bad.

David from Oviedo, FL:
Tomorrow's Denver-Kansas City game on the NFL Network will be the first live NFL game not shown on regular TV. Do you have any predictions on the future of football on TV?

Vic: The NFL has pumped a lot of money into NFL Network. I mean a whole lot of money. The league needs to put pressure on cable companies to buy NFL Network and this is the best way to do it. As I always say, it's about the money.

Kevin from Toronto, Ontario:
Do you think that block on Donovin Darius was a clean block or should there have been a penalty on the play?

Vic: It was unnecessary and away from the play which, in my opinion, makes it a cheap shot, but I'll accept whatever the league decides.

Jose from Kissimmee, FL:
You said you qualify Garrard's win on MNF as his biggest. So what is Leftwich's big moment in the sun you keep ranting about?

Vic: I think Byron Leftwich's signature win is the one in Indianapolis in 2004.

Mar from Shoals, IN:
What do you think is limiting Marcedes Lewis' catches? Is it play-calling or is he tightly covered?

Vic: Maybe it's George Wrighster. I don't think the Jaguars realized what a star receiver he would become when they drafted Lewis. Wrighster had four catches for 54 yards against the Giants and he's currently just two catches behind Reggie Williams for the team lead. Wrighster is turning into a go-to guy.

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