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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    NFC North manageable for Lions

    [size=18px]NFC North manageable for Lions[/size]

    By Joel Schout on July 17, 2006 12:28 AM
    realfootball365.com


    Today's NFL guarantees almost nothing, as parity pitched its tent long ago with no intention of leaving anytime soon. While becoming increasingly difficult each year to pinpoint wins and losses for any given team, the outlook for a Detroit Lions outfit this season allows for a sense of optimism when one takes a look at their division.

    Playing in the NFC North gives the Lions a fighting chance to cause a little disturbance within the division. The Minnesota Vikings , still reeling from a season that led to the dismissal of its head coach and quarterback, are wounded. Green Bay, who waited like a bride at the altar for Brett Favre, finally got their franchise quarterback to commit for at least another season. Chicago, with a history of success not sustained, is anxious to see if its team falls under the one-hit-wonder category, or whether the Bears are building towards something bigger.

    Each of these teams has question marks following them into their respective training camps. Assuming that the Lions fail to fall in line with those organizations, seeking answers would be rather foolish. But the suggestion that Rod Marinelli can make an immediate impact in a division so fragile would be a safe conclusion to reach. Further stated, this might possibly be the most win-able division in football, for the Lions themselves, or for the other three teams seeking the crown.

    Minnesota's hopes hinge on a quarterback who is as rusty as the Tin Man, and a running game that has struggled to garner up a lot of steam over the past three years. Injuries and inconsistent play have led to sketchy results from the backfield, but improvements were made when Chester Taylor signed on from Baltimore, and when fullback Tony Richardson was plucked from the Chiefs. If those two moves by themselves don't scream power football, nothing does.

    The Packers could be a nightmare this year, which makes one wonder why Favre chose to come back for another go 'round with this mess. With nobody to throw to, and a running duo than can't stay on the field, Favre's in for a long season which will probably be his last. Robert Ferguson and Donald Driver are adequate, but losing Javon Walker to the Broncos puts the spotlight on them, and their careers may be too advanced to handle that responsibility.

    Detroit's biggest hurdle for a chance at a division run is Chicago. The Bears are coming off a solid season where the offense did nothing, while the defense single-handedly put them into an NFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Panthers. When Rex Grossman came back to the team late in the year, he played rather well, and allowed people to justify Lovie Smith's decision to bench Kyle Orton so deep into the season. The offensive unit, however, fell flat on their faces in the Carolina game, while the defense let Steve Smith do whatever he wanted up and down the field.

    The jury's still out on Grossman, given that he's only played in a handful of games over the course of his career. Getting Michael Bradley back will be a key addition for an offense that lacked a legitimate threat in the speed department. The second-year wideout embarrassed the Lions in Detroit last season, catching five balls for 88 yards before suffering a season-ending injury late in the first half of a 19-13 Bears win.

    A stronger running game could emerge as well, with Cedric Benson looking to take over more carries from Thomas Jones, who annoyed coaches by skipping a voluntary minicamp earlier in the offseason. And since he did miss some practice time, there's a chance that Jones' carries will be cut significantly this year.

    The Detroit Lions have as good a chance as anyone to take home the NFC North division. Each of their combatants have chips on their proverbial shoulders, with something to prove to the rest of the football world. Whether or not Detroit has enough pieces to compete beyond a first-round playoff game is debatable, but getting to the postseason would be a step in the right direction for a team in desperate need of success.

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    NFC North manageable for Lions

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  2. #2
    Vikes_King's Avatar
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    Re: NFC North manageable for Lions

    7-9 at best =)

    (2 wins over packers =P)


    http://vikesking.blogspot.com/

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  3. #3
    Prophet Guest

    Re: NFC North manageable for Lions

    ...improvements were made when Chester Taylor signed on from Baltimore, and when fullback Tony Richardson was plucked from the Chiefs. If those two moves by themselves don't scream power football, nothing does...
    No mention of Birk & Hutch? The FB leading the blocking for LJ and the OG leading the way for the '05 rushing leader and all-pro Birk returning? I think I could have a few 100 yd games behind that line.

    ...Detroit's biggest hurdle for a chance at a division run is Chicago...
    Their biggest hurdle is themselves.

    The Lions do have reason to be optimistic for the first time since Barry walked. Millen will continue to poison the team, so I'm not putting any money down on them when the gambling bug bites.

  4. #4
    cc21 is offline Ring of Fame
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    Re: NFC North manageable for Lions

    hahahaha...... no it's not

  5. #5
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    Re: NFC North manageable for Lions

    Shouldn't this thread have been titled "Sportswriter Smoking Crack"? :lol:
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  6. #6
    Prophet Guest

    Re: NFC North manageable for Lions

    Probably. I did an image search on the author's last name and this is what he looks like:


  7. #7
    Skyliner is offline Rookie
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    Re: NFC North manageable for Lions

    If games are won in the trenches, then Lion are in for a disappointment. Rotoworld ranks their offensive line at 25 and our at 9. But we dont need rotoworld to know that.

    http://www.rotoworld.com/content/features/column.asp?sport=NFL
    &column=25&articleid=23451

  8. #8
    Perch56's Avatar
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    Re: NFC North manageable for Lions

    the only way the lions have a chance is if there defense steps up and kita could actually throw the ball and i dont see that happening

  9. #9
    BadlandsVikings's Avatar
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    Re: NFC North manageable for Lions

    "Prophet" wrote:
    Probably. I did an image search on the author's last name and this is what he looks like:

    Now we knowest why he doth not know what he speaketh of, football hasn't been invented where he dost cometh from.

  10. #10
    BloodyHorns82's Avatar
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    Re: NFC North manageable for Lions

    I'm kind of surprised that the Vikes aren't ranked higher than that. But then again, nobody ever shows the Vikings much love.

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