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Station wagon only

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

Luke from Jacksonville:
How many tickets are unsold for this week's game against the Colts?

Vic: As of Tuesday morning, about 10,500 non-premium seat tickets remain. Those are the tickets that must be sold to avoid a blackout.

Dave from Saint Marys, GA:
Vic, how are your golf clubs? Did they make it?

Vic: Some water leaked into the trunk of my car as Jeanne passed over Jacksonville. The head covers got wet, but they'll dry out. The grips got a little damp, too, but that shouldn't be a problem. I'm very fortunate. It could've been a lot worse.

John from Brooklyn, NY:
What is the Jaguars' rush-defense ranked? I think we are in the teens? Is that something to brag about?

Vic: The Jaguars are 15th in the league against the run; seventh in the league in yards allowed per carry. I don't think those figures are reason to brag, but I don't think they're reason to worry, either. If I have a concern about the Jaguars' run-defense, it's that Paul Spicer has been lost for the season. They missed him on Sunday. Other teams will see that and they will continue to run at the Jaguars' perimeter until they stop it. Edgerrin James poses a major test this Sunday. He is a perimeter runner and the Jaguars must stop him. It won't be just about stopping Peyton Manning.

Chris from St Augustine, FL:
We are starting to get a lot of comparisons to the 2000 Baltimore Ravens team that won the Super Bowl. Did the 2000 Ravens have a superstar defensive end or were they able to dominate without one?

Vic: Comparisons to the 2000 Ravens are ridiculous. The Jaguars have a nice defense, but it is not in a league with the 2000 Ravens. If you compare three-game stats to what the Ravens accomplished over a whole season, you're making a mistake and you may create unrealistic expectations for the Jaguars defense. That Ravens defense had unbelievable talent – Ray Lewis, Peter Boulware, Tony Siragusa, Sam Adams, Chris McAlister, Rod Woodson – and one of the best every-downs defensive ends in the game, Mike McCrary.

Clay from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
What can you say about the Chiefs? Are the Chiefs going downhill for awhile?

Vic: I don't know enough about the Chiefs' salary cap and overall roster to be able to predict their future, but I saw enough late last season to know they weren't going anywhere with that defense. You can't win in this league if you don't play defense. It's not just about stopping the other guy. Defense goes to the soul of a team. Teams with bad defenses go soft. They get soft on offense and special teams, too, and they tend to fail at crunch time. Bad defense becomes a malaise.

Patrick from Elida, OH:
Would it be too early in the season, with all these QBs that went down, to start looking for a great trade for David Garrard. I am kind of up and down on this because we never know if Byron Leftwich could go down. What do you think?

Vic: The Jaguars are in an AFC South title race and David Garrard is too valuable to this team to trade now.

Dan from Pine Island, FL:
You're one of my favorite reads every day. Regarding our offense, I haven't heard much talk about our offensive line. There was some expectation that a group that has been together for this long would be strong. How has their strength (or weakness) contributed to our running game?

Vic: It looked pretty good in the second half on Sunday. The Jaguars rushed for 102 yards in the second half. It was the catalyst to the team's offensive success. It all starts up front.

Evan from Los Angeles, CA:
If I'm not mistaken, last season Fred Taylor set career highs in rushing yards and attempts. He is a top-five back in the NFL. How do we manage to get him only four carries in the first half?

Vic: The Jaguars had nine passes and eight runs in the first half. That's not enough plays to break a sweat. They had three first downs the whole half. The Jaguars were doubled up in time of possession. I made more trips to the men's room than the Jaguars did into Tennessee territory. Touches? Don't you have to have the ball to "touch" it?

Pete from Jacksonville:
What is your opinion of the Colts passing 28 consecutive times in the first half against the Green Bay Packers? Ingenius or idiotic?

Vic: I think it was 22 times – the first 22 plays of the game – but that's still an amazing figure. I know what you're thinking: Vic, you're an old-fashioned run-the-ball guy, so you must be appalled by that kind of play-calling. Well, you're right, I don't like it, but it doesn't get to me as much as you might think it would. Here's why: The Colts have a complete and well-rounded offense. They are number one in passing and number seven in rushing. They pass it and they run it, too. They put Peyton Manning in the shotgun, and they move under center, too. They put Edgerrin James behind a fullback, and they line him up in single back, too. The Colts do it all; power formations, spread formations, conventional formations. They operate with common sense and with imagination. And here's what I like best about the Colts offense: They don't dink it and dunk it. They throw it down the field. There's nothing cheesy about the Colts offense. It's the real thing.

Roland from Jacksonville:
Have you noticed that winning teams generally have an identity of either really strong defense or really strong offense? Does it seem to you like you have to spend your dollars on one side to win? Mediocrity on both sides doesn't seem to work.

Vic: Teams definitely lean toward one side of the ball or the other, depending on their fundamental philosophy of operation. But, as far as spending money on one side of the ball, that's usually not a choice as much as it is a product of a team running out of salary cap room before it could fully address the other side. And I'll tell you this, your money is going to go a lot farther on the defensive side of the ball. Offensive players are very expensive.

Shaun from Melbourne, Australia:
Do you think Maurice Williams is heading down the same road Kenyatta Walker took last year, in regards to going from a consistent performer to someone who is a liability as far as excessive penalties are concerned?

Vic: No way. Mo Williams is quality for the long haul. When the Jaguars' offense came to life on Sunday, did you see where the ball went? On the right side.

Charlie from Jacksonville:
Another week of returning the car with no dents. This would be a good week for Byron to drive daddy's sports car, don't you think?

Vic: He deserves more drive time, but he stays in the station wagon.

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