Sep 3, 2010

Upon Further Review: NFC North

Day 307

Still no Revis.

I cannot believe that we are less than ONE week away from Kick Off!

I am looking forward to the opening of the season with a rematch of last year's NFC Title game with the Minnesota Vikings visiting the SuperBowl Champion New Orleans Saints!

I am really giddy for this season to begin. And how fitting that one of those teams is from the great Norris Division and home to Old Man Favre. And it is even more fitting since Brett Favre is my favorite player of all-time and according to Kristy is the best looking QB in the league. I was a Packers fan before Brett came to the team. I was a fan of WR Sterling Sharpe but it was Brett that made me a fan. He was the first jersey I got and I have three separate Favre jerseys. I remember exactly where I was when he announced he was going to quit football so he could enter rehab (and won the Superbowl that year), I remember when he retired. Each time. I remember jumping for joy when I found out Brett was a Jet! And I cheered for him last year. My family and I are planning to visit Canton, Ohio for his Hall of Fame induction.


1) Minnesota Vikings

What I Like:
The Vikings were one turnover away from making the SuperBowl and the team is intact for another run for the title. Luckily for the Vikings Favre decided to come back. If Favre didn't come back, the Vikings would be a Wildcard team but with Brett they should go deep in the playoffs again. This is the Viking's division and until they are defeated they will be NFC North Champs.

What I Don't Like:
There are three things that concern me about the Vikings. Can Brett Favre play at the same high level as last year being another year older? Every time he gets hit I wonder if it is last. I am also concerned with the state of the receiving corp. It has been hit with injuries and the Vikings brought WR Javon Walker (he was Brett's guy in Green Bay) and they traded for WR Greg Carmillo from the Dolphins but will Brett have enough time to connect with these new receivers? I also worry about the pressure. They know they are good and should be in the SuperBowl but will the pressure be too much? Obviously, I think they will overcome those obstacles since I am picking them to take the NFC North.

2) Green Bay Packers

What I Like:
I think this is the year for QB Aaron Rodgers to really shine. He is a year removed from the Brett Favre Bowls and has the Packer Nation in his hands. The team is also intact from last year and they were an interception away from going further into the playoffs. They were good last year with injuries, they can really challenge for the NFC North title with a healthy bunch.

What I Don't Like:
Injuries and a poor offensive line almost killed QB Aaron Rodgers last season. I know the Packers worked on solidifying this line during the off season and training camp and hopefully the line will meld together and you know that they are praying that they all stay healthy. I am still not convinced that the line can really protect.

3) Chicago Bears

What I Like:
The Bears brought in some valuable free agents. DE Julius Peppers will have an immediate impact on the defense and RB Chester Taylor will push RB Matt Forte for the starting job hoping he will return to the performance of his rookie season. The Bears also brought in Mike Martz to help develop QB Jay Cutler who seems to be regressing instead of progressing. The Bears are a better team than they were last year.

What I Don't Like:
The Bears just don't have enough talent to keep up with the Packers and Vikings and QB Jay Cutler needs to mature. He has the talent but he has not proven himself as a leader.

4) Detroit Lions

What I Like:
The Lions are finally erasing a decade's worth of mistakes (RE: The McMillian Years) and are finally putting a team together that has some talent. I was impressed with rookie QB Matt Stafford's game against Cleveland where he won a game at the end with a dislocated shoulder. The Lions actually have a QB that can lead and could make the Pro Bowl. They also drafted speedster RB Jahvid Best and that may pay off sooner than later. There is a lot to like about the Lions this year but when you go 2-30 in the last two years things have to look better. They might not be the worst team in the NFC North division this year, they do have a chance of surpassing the Bears.

What I Don't Like:
They are still the Lions and they have some holes in the defense, especially in the secondary that will haunt them especially against NFC North opposing QBs. They will also have to shed the loser mentality of a decade of misery.

NEXT WEEK: Playoff predictions and I pick the winner of the Saints/Vikings game as the NFL season is finally here!

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