Thursday, August 28, 2008

2008 NFL Preview - NFC North

1. Green Bay Packers (13-3 in 2007)
Ok, so what everybody wants to know is will the Favre-less Packers be able to hold off the Vikings. I've been called a homer before but my true and honest opinion is yes. But the playingfield has certainly been evened dramatically.
Although replacing Favre with Aaron Rodgers causes the Packers to take a slight step back, if the young quarterback stays healthy he can complete a high percentage of his passes, and coolly handle the immense pressure he’ll be under from the very beginning of the season to the very end. He's really impressed me with how he's handled everything throughout the offseason and at this point I'm not so worried about his performance as I am his health. With Rodgers bringing those three factors to the table, a strong Packers squad that epitomizes the word “team” repeats as division champions. Favre alone didn't make this team 13-3 last season. The receiving corps is great, they have Grant and Jackson at RB and a quite above average D. I think they can edge the Vikes again. Schedules not too hard and they can beat up on divisional foes Chicago and Detroit.

Key Additions: LB Brandon Chillar, WR Jordy Nelson, QB Brian Brohm, TE Jermichael Finley

Key Losses: QB Brett Favre, TE Bubba Franks, DT Corey Williams

Prediction: 10-6 win tiebreaker over MN

2. Minnesota Vikings (8-8 in 2007)
Much like the Packers' season hinging on Rodgers, the Vikings season really hangs on Jackson. We all know what AP and Taylor can do, but if the Vikings are going to be relevant they have to be balanced. Jackson has made strides in my opinion. People just don't understand how bad he was last year. He had 12 picks, only 9 TDs while completing just 58% of passes when most everyone had the box stacked with 8 or 9 guys! He's better but I feel like he's just not quite there, and the injury bug worries me. Well, it actually excites me because I hate the Vikings but TJack is already running into knee problems and that's a red flag in my book.

Obviously the D is gunna be great and that will keep them in a lot of games. Had this team gotten Favre like so many Vikings fan's shasterbated about, I believe they would be a lock for the playoffs and compete for home-field advantage with the Cowboys. But, to this point they're short a QB and a WR to be great. Lucky for them they have an amazing D and Adrian Peterson to win games for them.

Key Additions: DE Jared Allen, S Madieu Williams, WR Bernard Berrian

Key Losses: FB Tony Richardson, S Dwight Smith

Prediction: 10-6 wildcard bid.

3. Detroit Lions (7-9 in 2008)
Jon Kitna ain’t getting any younger — he’ll be turning 36 in September — but the erratic veteran quarterback is still able to take complete advantage of the deadly receiving tandem of Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson. Rookie running back Kevin Smith makes an immediate impact and, along with Tatum Bell, to help balance the offensive attack. The Defense isn't very good however and that will stop this team from coming close to Minnesota or Green Bay.

Don't get me wrong, this team will be bad. They just won't be as bad as the Bears!

Key Additions: S Dwight Smith, CB Leigh Bodden, CB Brian Kelly, OT Gosder Cherilus

Key Losses: DT Shaun Rogers, RB Kevin Jones, LB Boss Bailey, DE Kalimba Edwards

Prediction: 6-10

4. Chicago Bears (7-9 in 2007)
The losses of Berrian and Muhammad prove to be a setback for the passing game, and both Orton and Grossman fail to solidify his status as the starting quarterback. The defense is forced to completely carry the team, and although it performs better than it did last season, a one-dimensional Bears squad is too inept to climb out of the cellar.

I mean for real, I consider the Bears to possibly be the least talented at the "talent" positions in the entire NFL. Think about it. At QB they have Grossman and Orton. At RB they have Forte, Peterson, and Kevin Jones. At WR they have Devin Hester & Brandon Lloyd(YAY!), Rashied Davis, Mike Hass, and Brandon Rideu. This team is BAD! Orton throws for 200 yds. +/- 5 times this year. Lemme know with a comment.

Key Additions: WR Marty Booker, WR Brandon Lloyd

Key Losses: WR Bernard Berrian, WR Mushin Muhammad, QB Brian Griese, RB Cedric Benson

Predictions: 5-11

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