Ask Vic: Talking Jaguars, Pro Bowl, and Vikings

We've got mail:

Question: I believe the reason why the Jaguars beat the Steelers is not because the Steelers played sloppy. It is because the Jaguars dominated in the trenches and just were the better team. When people say the Steelers are falling off, that takes all of the credit away from the Jaguars' commanding performance. The Steelers made a good effort to come back, but in the end the Jaguars were way more physical and just were the better team. The Jaguars don't get the media publicity as other teams. The Jaguars don't have a single player going to the Pro Bowl! But the Jaguars ARE the most dangerous team in the AFC playoff picture. -- Robert S.

I agree that the Jaguars are the most dangerous team in the AFC playoffs. I agree that they should have had at least one Pro Bowl selection, Fred Taylor and were probably deserving of more.

But I don't think the points I made in my column about the Steelers' slump should be interpreted as any sort of slight of Jacksonville.

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The Jaguars deserved that victory and were the better team, but the Steelers were, in fact, sloppy. And the point I was making was that the Steelers have not performed at the level of a team that has the league's strongest defense, its top rusher, and a Pro Bowl quarterback.

Question: I am a lifelong Tampa Bay fan living in Wisconsin. I have not seen a live Tampa Bay game on network TV all year. Do you feel that this lack of national TV exposure is the reason that the Bucs got slighted in Pro Bowl voting? If so, do you feel that the fan vote is a fair way to reward the most deserving players? -- Gregg, La Crosse, WI

It's reasonable to assume that media exposure, or lack thereof, can influence Pro Bowl selections. Was it the main reason that not a single Buccaneer was chosen? I'm sure it was a factor, although I'm not certain it was the only one or even the most important.

I have no problem with fans being a part of the voting process. And that's what you need to keep in mind -- they are only a part of the process, along with players and coaches. Giving the vote to three equal parties is what keeps it fair.

If it were only up to players or only up to coaches or only up to fans, I don't think the results would more accurately represent the best at each position. Players not only can have their own agendas, but they often don't take a broad view of their own conference or league because they tend to only focus on specific opposition (offensive players watch videotape of defensive players and vice-versa) rather than making comparisons at all spots. In fact, when filling out their ballots, they usually rely on the opinions of teammates for positions on their side of the ball. Coaches also tend to have a narrow perspective, but they can consult their NFL-wide scouting database.

Granted, even with the three-party system there are still going to be debates, but that's the beauty of it all. It's yet another reason for fans to argue the merits of their favorite team or players. And by keeping the fans involved, Buccaneer followers have as much chance to make themselves heard as those who support other teams. I guess they just need to yell a little louder.

Question: Hey, buddy, did you even watch the Minnesota-Chicago game Monday night? Only two of those turnovers by Tarvaris Jackson were his fault. And he would have had a passing touchdown if Robert Ferguson wasn't the slowest man on earth. Try a little harder next time. -- JV

I not only watched the game live, but I also saw it a second time on the DVR. I still say that Jackson played poorly. I still say that he made some bad decisions and did not always put himself in the best position to deliver the ball, which helped lead to some of those interceptions and other poor throws.

I'm also aware that Jackson has limited experience, and a game like that is part of the development process. But he cannot continue to play that way, or the Vikings' promising run to the playoffs -- or ability to make it past the wild-card round -- could be severely compromised.

Question:Here's a question that needs to be answered: Why is it that everybody is talking about how great Brett Favre is when he took himself out of the Cowboys game? He was injured like I'm a multi-millionaire. He was afraid, with the beating he had already taken, that it was only going to get worse. I have not heard anything mentioned about the tingling fingers or the so-called separated shoulder since his press conference after the game. I think Favre is nothing more than a player who does well when things are going his way. -- Ralph K.

I only have three words for you: Are you kidding?

Have a question for Vic on anything NFL related? Don't just sit there -- send it to AskVic@nfl.com, and the best questions will be answered throughout the season right here on NFL.com!

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