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  1. #1
    singersp's Avatar
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    Shakedown: NFC Preview


    [size=13pt]Shakedown > NFC Preview[/size]

    NFC

    East

    1.
    Dallas
    (12-4) – While the rest of the football world ogles over the T.O. saga, the defense is the real reason the Cowboys will have their best regular season in over a decade. This unit has the talent to rank in the top three by the end of the year and OLB DeMarcus Ware will emerge as a lethal pass rusher. The only question surrounding this team is how will the offensive line protect QB Drew Bledsoe? Owner Jerry Jones made a mistake not keeping OG Larry Allen. I don’t care if he’s on the wrong side of his career, Allen is still one of the best straight up run blockers in the game.

    2. N.Y. Giants (11-5) – All the pieces are in place for QB Eli Manning to take the next step in his development. In RB Tiki Barber, WR Plaxico Burress and TE Jeremy Shockey, Manning has reliable weapons that can put up points with the best offenses in the NFL. The Giants also have one of the better defenses in the league. While I’m still not crazy about the secondary, DEs Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora can mask any potential problems the coverage team may go through.

    3. Washington (9-7) – RB Clinton Portis’s injured shoulder could be a major problem to an offense that’s struggled during the pre-season. However, I seem to recall the Redskins posting a 5-6 record last season before reeling off five straight wins to make the playoffs. The problem the Redskins face is that they compete in the best division in the NFL. However, they have an aggressive defense that gives opposing teams fits, which will allow the Redskins to be the third team in the division to make the post-season.

    4. Philadelphia (8-8) – The departure of Terrell Owens makes things quieter at Eagles headquarters but no better. Though the Eagles addressed a need by trading for WR Donte’ Stallworth, there are some problems in the running game. RB Brian Westbrook can’t seem to stay healthy for a full 16-game schedule and backups Correll Buckhalter and Ryan Moats have yet to prove they’re big time starters. The defense also took a step back last year as the secondary gave up too many big plays. DE Jevon Kearse is not the sack artist he was with the Tennessee Titans and will continue to disappoint in that area.

    North

    1. Chicago (8-8) – The Bears will regress from their 11-5 season of a year ago but maintain a good enough team to win the weak North Division. While Panthers WR Steve Smith exposed the secondary in the playoffs last season, the front seven dominates opposing teams with relentless pressure. Even with the inconsistent Rex Grossman set to start the season at quarterback, Brian Griese is a good insurance should the former first-round pick stumble. It will be interesting to see how coach Lovie Smith handles the running back situation with Cedric Benson hurt and the disgruntled Thomas Jones back in the fold.

    2. Minnesota (7-9) – The Vikings have shipped WR Randy Moss and QB Daunte Culpepper away in the last two years and have nothing to show for it. They ranked 25th in total offense last year and recently released No. 1 wide out Koren Robinson. That means 2005 first-round pick Troy Williamson will assume the top role, but he needs to improve on an inconsistent rookie year. It seems every season the Vikings pour money and draft picks into a defensive unit that never gets better. The defense ranked 21st last season and fails to work as a cohesive unit.

    3. Detroit (6-10) – It amazing how this team continually picks in the top 10 of the draft yet never lands elite players. The fans won’t have QB Joey Harrington to kick around anymore as that role now falls to Jon Kitna. The former Bengals backup simply doesn’t possess the accuracy to fit into coordinator Mike Martz’s timing based offense. The Lions do have some playmakers on defense and the addition of WLB Ernie Sims will only enhance this unit. However, the inconsistent play of the offense will be too difficult to overcome.

    4. Green Bay (5-11) – QB Brett Favre is out of his mind if he thinks this is a talented football team. RB Ahman Green is past his prime and the offensive line has more leaks than an old garden hose. Favre, who will lead the league in interceptions again, will quickly realize that he should’ve retired last season. Depite the drafting of ultra-talented WLB A.J. Hawk, the secondary will give up big plays often, which should test the patience of first-year coach Mike McCarthy.

    South

    1.
    Carolina
    (13-3) – The Panthers solidified two problem areas this year and will be the team to beat in the NFC. The Seattle Seahawks exposed Carolina’s lack of depth at the WR position so Keyshawn Johnson was signed to keep double teams off Steve Smith. The Panthers’ run defense was less than stellar, but shored up the middle by securing the services of DT Maake Kemoeatu from Baltimore. Kris Jenkins also returns from injury, making this defensive line one of the best in the NFL.

    2. Tampa Bay (9-7) – QB Chris Simms really came of age last season and should continue to improve with RB Cadillac Williams and WR Joey Galloway and Michael Clayton in the fold. However, the reason for Tampa’s 11-5 playoff season last year was the team stayed relatively healthy. With the defense aging, I can see this unit remaining in tact throughout the year.

    3. Atlanta (8-8) – The Falcons didn’t trade backup Matt Schaub in the off-season because they simply don’t know if Michael Vick will ever emerge as an elite QB. Vick, whose accuracy isn’t where it needs to be, will be under a microscope this season and it will be interesting to see what coach Jim Mora decides should his high-priced pivot falter. The additions of DE John Abraham and DT Grady Jackson will bolster a defense that ranked 22nd in the league last year.

    4. New Orleans (6-10) – RB Reggie Bush and QB Drew Brees will improve the Saints, but not enough to overcome a terrible defense. This undisciplined unit missed a lot of tackles last year and FS Josh Bullocks is the only playmaker on a porous secondary. The Saints will be better this season, but expect them to remain cellar-dwellers in the tough NFC South.

    West

    1.
    Seattle
    (11-5) – The Seahawks won’t be the latest Super Bowl finalists to fade the following year. Losing OG Steve Hutchinson hurts, but the Seahawks still boast a top-notch offensive line and QB Matt Hasslebeck and RB Shaun Alexander will lead Seattle to another playoff season. Expect newly signed OLB Julian Peterson to return to his Pro Bowl level of 2002 and 2003. Peterson is almost two years removed from his ruptured Achilles injury and looks explosive in the pre-season.

    2. Arizona (8-8) – I’m not falling for all the hype that continues to follow this team, but the Cardinals will make an improvement from their five-win season of last year. RB Edggerin James adds to an already talented offense that includes WRs Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. This defense is built on speed, not size, and has shown a new-found aggression during the pre-season. Despite the improved talent, the Cardinals won’t make the leap to the playoffs this season. However, coach Dennis Green has this franchise in the right direction.

    3. St. Louis (7-9) – The Rams’ offense can’t disguise the problems on defense anymore. Steven Jackson will emerge as a top-10 RB, but the receiving corps is aging and the interior of the offensive line won’t be able to effectively protect QB Marc Bulger. The Rams also have major problems on defense where their line remains mediocre and the secondary will struggle despite the drafting of CB Tye Hill.


    4. San Francisco (3-13) – QB Alex Smith is heading for another long season in San Francisco. The No. 1 overall pick in 2005 has ability but can’t overcome the lack of playmakers on offense. Although top pick Vernon Davis will eventually emerge as a great TE in this league, he will get special attention from opposing teams this year. Head coach Mike Nolan will stick with his 3-4 defense, but it still won’t improve a unit that ranked dead last a year ago.

    Check out last week's predictions...


    posted @ Tuesday, August 29, 2006 5:39 PM by Tony Care


    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  2. #2
    MaxVike's Avatar
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    Re: Shakedown: NFC Preview

    I'll be bold enough to say it...if this year's Vikings team does not finish at least 9-7, they are a failure.
    Sorry, I'm not subscribing to that, "it takes time to gel" stuff; especially on defense.
    The Tampa 2 should be called the Minnesota 2, Dungy started it when he was in Minneapple.
    This defense has every bit as good, if not better personnel than the team that had the #1 ranked defense and finished in the top 5 three out of four years during one stretch.
    Defense...covered.
    Offense, don't turn the ball over.
    Sorry, that's how I look at it...of course; that assumes BJ stays healthy.

    Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent
    ----------------------------------------------
    As a matter of fact, I do know

  3. #3
    FuadFan's Avatar
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    Re: Shakedown: NFC Preview

    As much as I hate the Viking prediction the general disrespect of the NFC North pisses me off even more I heard everybody say last year that the no team would have a winning record during last year and two teams ended up with winning records. Heck I hope the Bears can win the wild card along with us taking the division so as to shut up these fools who make predictions like this one.
    Minnesota Vikings : Simply the best

  4. #4
    marcosMN is offline Star Spokesman
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    Re: Shakedown: NFC Preview

    Oof. That one hurts.

    Oh well. There's something to be said about being the underdog...
    -Sno

  5. #5
    UndisputedVike's Avatar
    UndisputedVike is offline Coordinator
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    Re: Shakedown: NFC Preview

    Well what do you know, they stated the obvious, as every other writer has, this clown is just going on what he knows. I think everyone has Culpepper and Moss man love. The duo wasn't getting us anywhere so what did you expect...McCombs sent Moss away right before he left and Culpepper whined his way out of Minnesota.

    I like where we are as a team now, I say screw all these writers and their predictions. I hope we shove these "Previews" down their throat.

  6. #6
    Json is offline GM
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    Re: Shakedown: NFC Preview

    That does hurt a little only because he makes valid points.


    It's a bit dis-heartning to know that year in and year out the D just coughs up yards after yards.
    I am praying the D comes out strong as hell all season, but my hopes are not that high.

  7. #7
    Prophet Guest

    Re: Shakedown: NFC Preview

    A very myopic analysis.
    I'm glad they didn't waste too much time putting together a string of thoughts and awe inspiring information.

  8. #8
    WisconsinSucks's Avatar
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    Re: Shakedown: NFC Preview

    http://www.creativesports.com/CREATiVESPORTS/WhoWeAre/tabid/116/Default.aspx

    Whoopty DOO, and let me emphasize the DOO.
    It's a bunch of clowns who think they know football.
    Check out their pictures at the link above.

    Do you really care what the goofball at the top of that page thinks?

  9. #9
    Vikes_King's Avatar
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    Re: Shakedown: NFC Preview

    honestly i dont give a damn what anyone thinks, they're nothing but jokes getting paid to predict something as unpredictable as the National Football League.

    the only thing i care about is the W's we'll be putting up =)


    http://vikesking.blogspot.com/

    "We’ll win our own Super Bowl, with our own players. Real Vikings. Something Brett Favre can never be."

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  10. #10
    ejmat is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Shakedown: NFC Preview

    I'll go ahead and say he is correct to a point.
    The bottom line is we have poured money and draft picks into defense over the last few seasons.
    What he fails to mention is how well they did the second half of the season last year.
    Therefore, this guy is nothing but a "black and white" writer that doesn't tell the entire story.
    He goes by stats which in the Vikings' case last year were two different seasons.
    Yes they looked terrible all around the first half of the season but as we know jelled and excelled the second half of the season.
    They upgraded on defense again therefore if the guy knew anything about what's really going on he would have mentioned it.

    He's nothing but an @$$ clown trying to make a buck writing about something he barely knows about.
    Take it with a grain.
    His prediction means crap.

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