Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Dreadful NFC North

this division plays an easy schedule

Green Bay Packers are in position to win the dreadful NFC North by default. Stable at a handful of key positions, they are relying on miraculous rookie contributions in other areas. Changing to a 3-4 alignment could delay progress for the soft-cheese defense. QB Rodgers showed promise and chemistry with his WRs. However, he played poorly in 4th quarters. The running game was lame; they're relying on injury-prone RB Grant again. The line is in upheaval and will take time to jell - and there's no guarantee they will. With terrible run defense, the Packers decided to start over with a 3-4 alignment. It is a better fit for their personnel up front. The line won't make many plays but could free up Kampman (now an OLB) and the other LBs to make some tackles. They have a talented secondary that spends too much time supporting the run. Special teams are poor except for punt return. The Packers have the team with the least drama in this dreadful division.

Minnesota Vikings are breaking bad. Begging after Favre could seriously derail a team that’s been steadily building. RB Peterson, the NFL's leading rusher in 2008, is a great player. The Vikes need to spare Peterson from another 363-carry season behind an O-line in transition. The passing game is poor; WR Berrian has great talent but disappears ... he averages over 20 yards per catch but only caught 48. The D is just as lopsided as the offense, ranking #1 versus the run and #18 in passing. The Vikings are a bit better against the pass than the numbers indicate; they faced 530 attempts last year and produced 45 sacks. However, with that many chances, they need more than 12 INTs. Except for K Longwell, the Vikings have poor special teams. The Vikings will be making a detour around the playoffs.

Chicago Bears are pinning all their hopes on a brash, gunslingin’ QB. Sound familiar? He will play with a patchy O-line and a barren WR corps. RB Forte, a rookie sensation, is going to be asked to do it all alone. Expect a lot of INTs when Cutler forces the ball to WR Hester, the least-polished #1 receiver in the league. The defense is aging but could bounce back, especially against a division with melancholy offensive lines. Still stout against the run, they were diced up by the pass, ranking 30th. Special teams are very good. The Bears finally have a QB, but it’ll be a long year.

Detroit Lions have a harder schedule than the rest of the division because they don't get to play against themselves. Their new head coach was so bad in St. Louis that he was fired four games into 2008. The line, like the rest of the division, is in transition, although in Detroit's case it looks like poo transitioning to diarrhea. The new coaches will address a defense ranked dead last two years in a row, and nearly gave up the most points in NFL history last year. The line is old and weak; Detroit is relying on gambling CB Buchanon to help a secondary that only intercepted one pass in 2008. LB is suddenly a strength with the acquisition of Larry Foote and Julian Peterson. Special teams are strong with K Hanson’s leg. This team will have an opportunity to win a game.


Miwacar said...

Wice you are so full of it. I have seen 3 "experts" pick NFC North teams to make the Superbowl. Both Don Banks and Peter King from SI feel it will be either the Bears or Packers. Not saying that I agree, but to rate the division as "dreadful" is silly. You are silly. FYI, at least one of those guys also picked the Skins to finish last in the East.

Andrew Wice said...

You must be joking. Peter King, Dr. Z, all those nitwits haven't been right since the invention of dust. That they would pick a team from the NFC North proves their senility and sentimentality, as well as providing a Kiss of Death for your season.

Remember, Dr. Z picked the Vikes to win the Superbowl last year. Refute my argument with one of your own -- don't bring in tenured, flabby hacks as your evidence.

I still consider the NFC North to be dreadful. In 2008 they only won 13 of 40 outside their division. Their win percentage was the lowest of any division in the league. The best team (Vikes) gave themselves a voluntary left-handed colonoscopy by humiliating themselves for Favre. Your sworn enemy, I might add.

However, the dreadful NFC North is no longer the worst division in football. The AFC West is godawful, and the NFC West is pusillanimous.

Big Blue Monkey 2: The Quickening said...

Peter King was clearly high when he projected the Drunken Savages to finish to games lower than last year, despite improving the defense, improving the offense, and playing games outside of their division with St. Louis, Detroit and Kansas City.

I don't agree with Wice 100% (who does?), but I have to say that he's dead on the sheer wrongness and stupidity of Peter King. I'm holding onto the Preview Issue, and we will see how well he does with his predictions.

Miwacar said...

of those 40 losses outside the division, how many were the Lions? 12 thats how many. In the conference (NFC) the Vikes were 8-4 (w/ a few very close losses), the Bears were 7-5 and the Packers were 5-7. Not stellar, but certainly not dreadful. Remove the historically terrible Lions from last year and the division is alright, even with the Packers underacheiving. I would have to say that all the teams in the division are better this year, so again, "dreadful" is just wrong.

I agree to not listen to those "experts" hence the quotes in the original comment, however the mere fact that numerous people who get paid to follow the NFL think there are at least 2 teams in the division who could win the wide-open NFC, supports the fact that they are not a dreadful division. Especially, when you consider that the Vikings are possibly the best team of the group, and they didn't even get mentioned.

Andrew Wice said...

This division has been historically bad in recent years. And your disingenuous use of statistics amuses me.

The Lions account for TEN out-of-division losses. Which means the Vikes, Pack and Bears record outside the division is 13-30.

And that's dreadful.