Friday, September 09, 2005

NFC North: Vikings

1. Minnesota Vikings - Duante Culpepper will emerge as the next Steve McNair in terms of leadership and toughness. He'll win the MVP this year. The road to Super Bowl XL will run through the Metrodome come playoff time. The Vikings have finally gotten it right, in terms, of balancing their offense and defense. WR Nate Burleson is not Randy Moss, but he's an up and comer. Like the 2001 Seattle Mariners without Alex Rodriguez, the Vikings will actually play as a team without Moss. Fourteen wins is possible. Minnesota, along with K.C., made some of the best acquisitions on defense this off-season. Fred Smoot, Darren Sharper, Napolean Harris and Pat Williams will greatly improve the defense. If! If only they had a solid running back or a corp of good RB's.

2. Detroit Lions (Wildcard) - Detroit is putting a lot of money on one side of the ball with three drafted WR's in a row. QB Joey Harrington will greatly improve with the weapons around him. QB Jeff Garcia would have been great to have on the bench until he injured his ankle last week. They just need a couple of their talented young players to blossom. I'm betting on LB Teddy Lehman, RB Kevin Jones and WR Roy Williams. The Lions will snatch the last playoff spot.

3. Green Bay Packers - This will be QB Brett Favre's last season. Not because his skills have eroded, but the team around him is in decline. Favre would never don another team's uniform. The defense will give up a lot of points to even the Chicago's of the NFL and not be able to catch up with a time consuming running game. Coach Mike Sherman, though, will weather the frozen tundra for another year until first-round draft pick QB Aaron Rodgers shows himself to be another Jeff Tedford washout like Kyle Boller and Akili Smith.

4. Chicago Bears - This isn't a bad team. In the end the loss of QB Rex Grossman will be helped with the pleasant surprise of rookie Purdue QB Kyle Orton. The Bears will not be an easy team to beat and will pull of few upsets, maybe versus Cincy or the Vikes.

2004 LFR Genius Prediction: "I see a combustible situation arising between coach Mike Tice and Randy Moss."

2004 LFR Dumb Prediction: "This is the team that will suddenly defy logic and be a potential NFC powerhouse only to suck next...Ten wins and a home wildcard playoff game.

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