Friday, September 10, 2010

NFC North

Minnesota Vikings
The bad news is obvious when it comes to the impending work stoppage coming in 2011...the good news is it will mean no Brett Favre saga next summer :)

gunslinger Brett Favre
Favre returns again to suit up for what will surely to gracious be his final season...that constitutes as just about the only good news on O...RB Adrian Peterson is an out-of-this-world talent, but his fumble-itis is crazy bad...especially with 2009 #2 RB Chester Taylor gone to the rival Bears...this means more emphasis on Peterson as the every-down back...the Vikes only have Albert Young and his 15 career carries to back up the awesome, but fumble-prone, Peterson...WR's Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, and Sidney Rice all need a return to health asap...we know that Rice (who is a stud-in-the-making WR) will miss at least 6 weeks...TE Visanthe Shiancoe will be a key for Favre in 2010, especially early on

The D has Ray Edwards (awesome), Pat Williams (awesome), Kevin Williams (awesome), and Jared Allen (awesome) on their Front 4...these guys sack QB's as good as any team, and shut down the oppositions run game as good as anyone

PREDICTION...10-6...2010 is the year that the Packers fans get their revenge on Favre and pass him in the standings...

Chicago Bears
QB Cutler with Coach Martz
Da Bears interest me this season...mainly to see the development of the offence with the pairing of QB Jay Cutler with new Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz...Cutler and Martz both were relevant in the League at one point in their careers...lately neither has been...throw Lovie Smith into that mix too as he could very well be on the hotseat in Chitown...

That being said I still think the key for Da Bears is a return to the rookie 2008 form for RB Matt Forte...all of his #'s took big dips in 2009...between Forte and new Bear RB Chester Taylor there must be production for Cutler to have a better chance to improve on his 26 INT's (yikes) from 2009...starting WR's Johnny Knox and Devin Hester, plus Devin Aromashodu off the bench, give the O speedy weapons who can be dangerous after the catch...Earl Bennett is out with injury currently, but should be back soon

The D adds Julius Peppers and he is sure to get more than the 6.5 sacks Adewale Ogunleye led the team with in 2009...it is not all good news on D though...rookie S Major Wright and veteran LB Lance Briggs are both out right now, but are both hoping to return soon (best case scenario is week 1 vs Detroit)

PREDICTION...this is a very under-the-radar team with Minny and Green Bay getting the pub in this Division...the early injuries don't help...8-8 with a 9-7 upside

Detroit Lions
QB Matthew Stafford...RB Javid Best...DT Ndamukong Suh...in the past 2 years the Lions have added talent like this to this roster...all 3 have me very excited...Suh especially...

6'5'' WR Calvin Johnson
That being said I still think the key to the O are 2 guys that are already there...RB Kevin Jones has a chance to form a nice 1-2 punch with Best...but it is WR Calvin Johnson that has the most talent here...it has been toooo easy to double-team Johnson because the Lions have no other threat on O...free agent signing WR Nate Burleson should help

On D the Lions were horrid in 2009...well actually horrid for some time now...Suh helps, but newcomers like DE Kyle Vanden Bosch, DT Corey Williams, CB Jonathan Wade (hurt currently), and CB Chris Houston will all start and have a chance to improve the unit immediately

Week 5 Detroit hosts the St Louis Rams in what should be #1 overall from 2009 QB Matt Stafford vs #1 overall from 2010 QB Sam Bradford...that could be a lot of fun

PREDICTION...this team has won 2 games total in the last 2 seasons...I will be generous and double that # this season...4-12

Green Bay Packers
The Pack won 11 games in 2009, and I think they have a chance to get even better in 2010...

O-Line must do a better job at keeping QB Rogers upright
QB Aaron Rogers put up video game #'s in 2009...he did however get sacked an amazingly bad 50 times...clearly that has to improve, and if it does that will allow Rogers to add to his already impressive #'s...I actually think he will be Offensive Player Of The Year, and if he can get GB to 12 wins he will get MVP consideration too...he has talent to throw to in WR's Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, plus up-and-coming TE Jermichael Finley...all that plus the running game appears to be in good hands with Ryan Grant

Would it surprise you to see that the Packers were the #2 D in the NFL last season...amazing vs the rush...amazing vs the pass...amazing 30 INT's (wow wow wow)...so really the strategy for 2010 is keep on keepin' on...the Pack do have several players banged up on D currently as we are set to open week one

PREDICTION...I like a repeat of the 11-5 2009...if it weren't for the early injuries I would surely have this team at 12 wins...when this team gets healthy we will be looking at a Super Bowl contender in my opinion

check out the other Division previews too... craig.ballard@hotmail.com