2005 NFC North Preview ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>
|NFC NorthFirst VikingsSecond LionsThird BearsFourth – Packers
· Will Nate Burleson be able to handle the pressureof being the #1 receiver?
· Daunte Culpepper, who accounted for 5123 yardslast year, will improve on this because he wont be forced tolook in just one direction.
· Talk about the Vikings offense all you want,with the additions of Pat Williams to stop the run, and Fred Smootand Darren Sharper and Sam Cowart, this defense will draw a lotof attention.
· Mewelde Moore should be starting over MichaelBennett. 65 carries at 5.8 yards per last year.
Is there life after Randy Moss? The person whowill miss Randy Moss the most will be Mike Tice. Without Mosson his roster, the press will have no one to be deflected, andTice will be seen as the idiot that he really is walking the sidelines.Having said this, he does have the horses to get the job done.The Vikings will make it to the Championship Game after waltzingthrough the weak NFC north.
· Kevin Jones lead the league in rushing thesecond half of the season last year.
· Joey Harrington has improved in every area,every year .and hell still lose his job to Jeff Garcia by week4.
· The Lions have won only 16 games in the pastfour years.
The Lions’ defense, ranked 22nd, had 38 sacksand 23 takeways a year ago, expect more this season with the returnto health of linebacker Boss Bailey. Mariucci finally has hisfull compliment of offensive weapons. This team will be fun towatch, and will make the playoffs this year.
· Cedric Benson will bring back a solid runninggame that will in turn take pressure off Orton, Thomas Jones isntbad as a backup either.
· The signing of Muhsin Muhammad, and 2nd rounddraft choice Mark Bradley will also give Orton the tools he needsto succeed.
· The Bears stood pat with their defense, butguys like Urlacher, Brown and Ogunleye will be healthy again.
The Bears were ninth in points allowed and totaldefense in week 9 last year when the injuries started to hit.By season end they were 21st overall and 13th in points allowed.If this new offense works well together, they will no longer bethe worst unit in a 32 team league. The hardest thing for theBears to overcome are the improvements that the Lions and Vikingshave made, but, they will finish ahead of the Pack.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
· Say Goodbye to Brett Favre.
· Javon Walker and Donald Driver expect hugeyears from both of them.
· Primarily, due to offensive line issues, (goneare Wahle and Rivera) Ahman Green will struggle, not only gainingyards, but holding on to the ball. But he is in his contract year.
· Mighty Lambeau field? The Pack are just 9-7last two seasons at home.
Isnt it ironic on what will probably be BrettFavres last year, hell probably put up monster numbers, primarilybecause hell always be behind. The Packers will have their 3rdDefensive coordinator in 3 years Lets face it, you have to havethe players and the Green Bay defense just doesnt. When yourtop three defensive pick ups in the off-season are guys thatwere released by Arizona, Cleveland and Miami things cant begood. Favre is a class act. Hopefully he makes it through hisfinal season in one piece.