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This is the muscle time of year

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

Donny from Pensacola, FL:
Rookie of the year? Offensive rookie of the year? Who cares? Let them make some postseason noise and a run at the trophy.

Vic: You da man. The rookie of the year thing is just not that big on my agenda. I think Jaguars fans are all hyped up about it because they perceive Maurice Jones-Drew is being ignored by the national media. Can we please stop this we-don't-get-no-respect thing? It's embarrassing. Just win, baby. Awards are meaningless. It's about titles.

Dave from St. Augustine, FL:
You predicted the Jags would dominate the Colts on both sides of the ball, based on statistical rankings. Was there anything else that led you to believe that? The team's demeanor, the coaches' and players' attitudes throughout the week? Did you see something the average fan couldn't last week?

Vic: I use my eyes. That's all. When I see a team losing the battle of the hitting, I know they will inevitably lose games. The Colts have lost the battle of the hitting in every game I've seen them play. They lack muscle and football is a muscle game. The reason fans may not have seen this coming is because they can't stop looking at Peyton Manning. That's all they see; the Colts passing game. Manning is no longer the issue. He's been the constant in Indianapolis for a long time. We all know what he can do and he's still doing it, but the Colts have not won titles that way. Why? Because they lack muscle on defense. I watched the Colts-Titans game from the previous week and I was stunned at what I saw up front. The Titans dominated the line of scrimmage. There's something else going on here, too, and I've hesitated to say it because I know it'll create a firestorm of protest from the Manning lovers, but I'll say it now: I think he's lost something off his fastball.

David from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL:
When do the Jaguars arrive at the stadium on gameday? I noticed one team's buses passed us in the parking lot at 9:30 a.m., and the other team's buses did not come through until about 10:15? Was the latter the Jags?

Vic: The home team does not ride buses to the stadium from its hotel. The players drive their cars because, after the game, they're going home.

Bill from Jacksonville:
Will the Cowboys use G-3 funding for their new stadium?

Vic: Yes; that was decided several months ago.

Viktor from Sydney, Australia:
The 2005 Steelers were better than their 7-5 record indicated when they had their backs against the wall. They were basically the same outfit that went 15-1 in 2004 and only lost to the eventual champions in the postseason. Contrary to popular belief, theirs was no Cinderella story and has little relevance to this year's playoff-perimeter teams.

Vic: I think Bill Belichick would agree with you, and you would both seem to have the same personality. Who needs excitement, huh?

Derek from Fleming Island, FL:
What is "T three-power" and "T eight-power?" Obviously they are running plays, but what exactly?

Vic: It was a way for me to use a couple of very simple-minded plays from my youth to express how basic the plays were on which Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew broke loose on the first two plays of Sunday's game. "T" refers to the formation. "Three" and "eight" refers to the holes; odd to the left and even to the right. The center is "one" and "zero," then you move left and right. "Power" refers to the blocking assignments, which means that in a "T" formation the left halfback and fullback would lead the right halfback through the "three" hole, and the right halfback and fullback would lead the left halfback through the "eight" hole, which means around end. It doesn't get any more basic than that. Of course, that's not what the Jaguars ran, but I couldn't help liken it to those two plays because of the plays' basic natures.

Rob from Deltona, FL:
Who do you think the top five head coaches are in the NFL?

Vic: Ask me after the season. Before the playoffs isn't the time to ask. After the postseason is the time for answering your question.

Steve from Ocala, FL:
With the great run-defense the Jaguars possess, I feel we can stop Vince Young and their running game. What else does Tennessee have that they can throw at us offensively?

Vic: Young's legs are the Titans' number one weapon. Stop him from running and you'll win, provided you don't commit turnovers or allow touchdowns on special teams.

James from Sierra Vista, AZ:
The Colts started 9-0, which means they were finding ways to win earlier in the season. What changed? How did Peyton Manning bail out his horrible defense then?

Vic: Everything changes late in the year. Teams get better. Teams get tougher. The way the game is played also changes, from offense to defense. Teams start to play it closer to the vest. They settle in on run the ball and stop the run. Late in the season, football becomes more of a muscle game. That's why the Colts have traditionally had trouble winning in the playoffs and, for a lot of teams such as the Jaguars, the playoffs have already started.

Matt from Charlotte, NC:
If the Jags win-out and the Colts lose two of their last three, what determines the tie-breaker to win the division?

Vic: I'm not going to spend too much time on this because there are too many variables. What I can tell you very simply is this: Any chance the Jaguars have of winning the division depends on the Colts losing to the Texans. It's that simple. If the Colts don't clinch this weekend, they'll clinch with a win over the Texans because that would give them a better division record than the Jaguars and, therefore, the Colts would win a tie-breaker. If the Jaguars win their final three and the Colts lose two of theirs and one of them is to Houston, then you get into common opponents and a whole bunch of other stuff that I'm not going to worry about until after this Sunday. Next week, we'll get into it, if it's still applicable.

Steven from Jacksonville:
Would you vote Jones-Drew for rookie of the year over Vince Young if the season ended today?

Vic: Yes, I would. It's not that I deny Young's impact on the Titans, but I would have trouble voting for a guy who is currently the next-to-worst-rated passer in the league.

Corey from Austin, TX:
So what's it gonna be, Vic? The Beavis and Butt-head boxers for the Titans, Pats or Chiefs?

Vic: I don't know. They're still in the laundry from last Sunday.

Alton from Melbourne, FL:
I would like to know the won/loss record of the Beavis and Butt-head boxers, and maybe you should think about not washing them and wear them for every Jags game starting this Sunday and the Jags just might end up in Miami. I think you should give this idea some serious thought.

Vic: Alton, some things are more important than winning. They've never lost but I don't like to wear them on the road because I'm afraid someone might see them in a security check; you know, they start going through my bag and one of the players or coaches sees them and now I'll never live it down.

Ron from Jacksonville:
With the amount of value the Jags have been getting out of their draft and not having to pay big for their offensive guys, would it be reasonable to say that Jacksonville's run could last much longer than most teams in the salary cap era?

Vic: If we're at the start of a run, and I think we are, then given the state of the Jaguars' roster and salary cap, it's a run that should last several years. That's not, however, what I consider to be most important. All teams will have an unforeseen circumstance break their run; an injury at quarterback, for example. What's most important, in my opinion, is that the team is able to recover quickly and start another run. That's what the truly good franchises do. It requires an always-strong roster and an always-healthy salary cap to do that, and I think the Jaguars will be in a position to recover quickly should their run become interrupted. I think the Jaguars are committed to long-term roster strength and salary cap health. That's the best news of all.

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