The Electric Commentary

Thursday, August 31, 2006

NFC North

The NFC in general is quite odd this year because the East plays the South, and the West plays the North. The East and South are very talented, whereas the South and West have exactly 2 solid teams between them. The consequence of this schedule is that some very worthy team in the East or South will probably miss the playoffs, and some loser team in the North or West will probably sneak in.

That team will not be my beloved Green Bay Packers, a young, rebuilding franchise who hired a coach that no one else wanted (or could even name), with no depth and little talent.

They also wasted a ton of cap space on overrated and highly overpaid Heisman winner Charles Woodson, who is everything that Ahmad Carrol except that he costs about $10,000,000 more. This debacle will haunt them for years. While rookie WR Greg Jennings has shown flashes the Pack lacks anything at RB, and several members of the O-Line are completely overmatched.

It's difficult to see how this team has improved from last year. Perhaps Jennings and A.J. Hawk will provide immediate dividends, and surely the punting will be better, but otherwise this is very much the team that played so terribly last year. I am very pessimistic again.

An easy schedule may get them to 6 wins, but no more than that. GB will be staring up at Detroit.

Detroit has an improving defense, and while their offense is still largely a disaster they did improve at QB with Jon Kitna. I don't have much to say about Detroit. They'll probably have their best season of the Millen era, but so what?

Minnesota will surprise people even though they have lost many important skill-position players. The O-line is significantly better, the defense really started to come around last year, and since Latrell Sprewell choked that girl on Milwaukee's Best the other day (what's with Spree and choking?) people are forgetting about the love boat scandal.

As for the Bears, they did a great job last year considering that, once again, they fielded the NFL's worst QB (actually, Alex Smith was worse). That defense does not need much offense to be successful, and with either Rex Grossman or Brian Griese the Bears look to be a Super Bowl contender. Throw in a laughably easy schedule (due mainly to the fact that they don't have to play the Bears) and they look like juggernauts. They could be as good as 14-2.

Is there any possibility that they faulter? Maybe. Their RB situation is confused, and third-and-longs are the enemies of the Bears. Mushin Muhammad is now in serious decline, and I heard today that Mark Bradley is banged up again, though I'm not aware of the severity.

But the odds are that the Bears will run away with this thing with the Pack running just as speedily in the opposite direction.

I hope the Buck are as good as I think they will be, because this is going to be rough. And with so much turnover in Wisconsin Football. Ugh.

So:
Bears - 12-4 - 14-2
Vikings 9-7
Lions 7-9 - 8-8
Packers - 4-12 - 6-10

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