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Tornado story continues to swirl

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

Christian from Jacksonville:
How about that defense? It seems to be playing quite well. With what seems to be half of the defensive starters out, what has kept the defense playing so strong? Quality backup personnel? I feel quite fortunate to still be in the wild-card chase, with the decimation that has occurred to the defense. Win or lose, I'm happy that the team is playing hard and guys who wouldn't otherwise be playing are getting a chance to shine.

Vic: That's the one question I really struggle to answer. How do the Jaguars keep doing it on defense, despite the injuries? I don't know the answer. I'm a big believer in players, not plays, but you're not going to make me believe all of these guys are top talents. You're not going to make me believe that if you put these backup players on other teams they're going to be just as effective. Clint Ingram looked very ordinary through training camp. He didn't show any reason to believe he was a good pick, but now he's in the starting lineup and giving the Jaguars some of the best outside linebacker play they've had since Kevin Hardy was in his prime. Rob Meier was a seventh-round pick. Even when the current staff first got here and critiqued the talent available to them, they had trouble deciding whether Meier was a tackle or an end. Now, he's playing at a level that would make him the number one defensive tackle on half the teams in the league. How do they do it? Jack Del Rio has a great scheme and Mike Smith is a great teacher of it. I'm starting to think Smith might be the league's assistant coach of the year, if there was such an award.

Charlie from Hornell, NY:
If a player is placed on IR but is able to make it back for the playoffs, is he eligible to be put back on the active roster?

Vic: No.

John from Dallas, TX:
You stood a better chance with Byron. We are not tight, we are ready. No need to talk; that will be done on Sunday. Colts 27, Jaguars 17.

Vic: We? I didn't know you were on the team.

Scott from Jacksonville:
If the punter punts it to the two-yard line and a punting team member touches it but doesn't totally stop the ball and it rolls into the end zone, is it a touchback or at the two-yard line?

Vic: It's a touchback. The ball remains live until it's controlled by the defense or rolls to a stop. Had the ball been touched at the two and then controlled at the one, it would be spotted at the two because after it's controlled by the punting team the spot reverts back to the place of first touching.

Jeff from Conway, AR:
The local legend is that after the tornado passed, Matt's dad went to Matt's room where he found Matt still in bed with no roof or walls around him.

Vic: So, not only was the roof gone but so were the walls? You know, I think you people are either putting me on or that tornado sucked the brains out of your heads.

Andrew from St. Augustine, FL:
You said your broadcast looked amazing and that it was in HD. I also have the network in HD, except via satellite opposed to your cable. It only appeared that the game itself was in HD for me and that the pregame, postgame, commercials, etc. were in standard definition. Was your broadcast this way also? I think it's a great channel and love the game replays minus commercials, punts, etc., but the Thursday night broadcast seemed to lack behind ESPN's Monday night games, as far as its visual clarity.

Vic: Once I got the rabbit ears positioned just right, the picture came in real strong. Andrew, I'm the wrong guy to talk about all of this technical stuff. Things stop working in my house and I call in repair men who tell me, "All you had to do was turn this knob." Then they hand me a bill and I'm ashamed to look at them because I know they're laughing at me. I do know, however, what a clear picture looks like, and I'm tellin' you, the picture on my TV resonated with a focus so sharp that I wouldn't have cared if Bryant Gumbel had stopped describing the game and started singing. I'm really looking forward to tonight's Browns-Steelers game. The weather forecast for Pittsburgh is for frigid temperatures, high winds and snow. The wind chill could drop below zero. This is going to be something to see: football in the cold and snow on a mud field. Beautiful!

Thomas from Jacksonville:
If the Jets get in and the Jags don't, we fans can't complain about the schedule. We have to consider ourselves blessed and the Jets cursed. It's do-or-die right now, but it can't be playoff-level do-or-die unless it's against playoff-level teams. Last year the Jags rode the cake schedule and it cost them in Foxboro. If the Jags get in, they will have done so after facing the perennial class of the AFC and will be battle-tested and dangerous. Do you agree?

Vic: Yes.

Ryan from Versailles, OH:
I'm a Jags fan and was wondering what would happen in the division and the playoff picture if the Jags won against the Colts this weekend?

Vic: The Colts would have a two-game lead with three games to play. The Colts will play against Cincinnati the following Sunday, so, the Jags might even stay alive in the division title chase another week, but the Colts would likely clinch the division title the following week at Houston. The Jaguars are focused on the wild-card picture. They are tied with four other teams: Bengals, Broncos, Chiefs and Jets. The Bengals host the Raiders, the Broncos play at San Diego, the Chiefs host the Ravens and the Jets host the Bills. All of the 7-5 teams aren't likely to lose, so, a win by the Jaguars over the Colts would likely keep the Jaguars in a tie. Most importantly, it would improve the Jaguars' AFC record to 5-4. Conference record could be the tie-breaker employed.

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