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  1. #1
    erik5032's Avatar
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    NFC Outlook...

    [size=12pt] Input would be appreciated, I am turning this in as the NFC preview for my schools newspaper... so any input would be appreciated [/size]

    Every season the time comes to separate the men from the boys. Only six teams have a chance to make it into the NFC playoffs and contend for the only game that matters, the Super Bowl.

    It’s only the start of the season, but it is never to early to start predicting who will make it to the playoffs. Here are six teams to keep track of this season.

    Minnesota Vikings.

    Its been over 30 years since the purple people eaters were the most feared line in the NFL. Defensive linemen Alan Page, Gary Larson, Jim Marshall and Carl Eller were four linemen that struck fear into opposing offenses in the late ‘60s to mid ‘70s. Well, the second coming of the purple people eaters have come.

    With the offseason pick up of defensive end Jared Allen from the Kansas City Chiefs, the Vikings solidified there defensive line. Defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams and defensive end Ray Edwards will join Allen. The front four will most likely be one of the best defensive lines in the NFL.

    Another offseason free agent pickup for the Vikings was wide receiver Bernard Berrian. Since Randy Moss left in 2005 the Vikings have been looking to find that big play receiver. They believe Berrian can be that explosive receiver and allow running back Adrian Peterson to run a muck on opposing defenses.

    If quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and the defense can stay healthy throughout the season then the Vikings should make it deep into the playoffs.

    The Green Bay Packers.

    The biggest story in the NFL this past offseason has been the waffling of legendary-gunslinger Brett Favre. The man known for his rocket arm and childish love for the game became a sore in most fans’ eyes over the summer. The will he, won’t he play debate has been going on for the past two or three seasons and I for one thought it might finally be over. Alas, it wasn’t over and Favre is back in green, well green and white that is.

    The Green Bay Packers looked as if they may be able to take another run for Super Bowl XLIII this season. That is until Favre was traded to the New York Jets for a conditional fourth round draft pick. Not since Steve Young took the reigns from Joe Montana has a team that lost a franchise quarterback returned to super-bowl contention with the successor. Unless Aaron Rodgers is the second coming of Young, Packer fans will most likely be in for years of suffering until they find the second coming of Favre.

    Green Bay did not dabble in free agency over the summer, but did make some key draft picks to help their quarterback position. The additions of rookie quarterbacks Brian Brohm from Louisville and Matt Flynn from LSU were brought in to fight for back-up quarterback. With Rodgers history of injury, Brohm or Flynn may be starting sooner then anyone anticipated.

    The Packers defense will allow the them to stay in contention for the NFC North, but without a formidable passing game they just will not be able to make a run for the super-bowl, but may be able to make a wild card run.

    The Carolina Panthers

    The Panthers have shown to be a team that is on the rise and ready to win. Veteran quarterback Jake Delhomme was injured last year after just three games. If he can stay healthy the Panthers should be able to contend in the playoffs. Wide receiver Steve Smith will miss the first two weeks because of a preseason scuffle with teammate Ken Lucas. With Smith out, the receiving core of the Panthers will be in question for first two weeks, but they should do ok without him.

    The Panthers drafted running back Jonathan Stewart from Oregon to replace running back DeShaun Foster. Because of Fosters fumbling problem, the Panthers had a hard time keeping momentum on their side. If Stewart has a good year, the Panthers should do great.

    The big issue for the Panthers defense is the health of defensive end Julius Peppers. The Panthers totaled only 23 sacks last year which was the lowest in their 13-year history. Peppers looked really good in the offseason. If the defense stays healthy and works together, this team is a playoff contender.

    The Dallas Cowboys

    The Cowboys finished with a 13-3 record last season. They were the NFC favorites to make the super bowl, but they lost to the New York Giants in the first round of the playoffs.

    With the additions of defensive back Adam Jones and Zach Thomas the Cowboys looks to add to there already stout defense. The 3-4 defense is still a new system under Wade Phillips and it should improve this season.

    Tony Romo was the top-rated passer in the NFC and is still improving. This will be his third year as a starter and has yet to win a post season game. As long as Jessica Simpson doesn’t come to every game, Tony Romo should still be the top-rated passer this coming season.

    One of the main things that the Cowboys will need to improve to make it to the super bowl is there running game. Running back Marion Barber will need to be effective as a starter so the pressure does not fall on Romo. Running back Felix Jones should do great as a back up to Barber. All in all the Cowboys look like a very solid team.

    New York Giants

    Even though the Giants did win Super Bowl XLII, I do not think they have done enough in the offseason to be serious contenders again. They will probably make the wild card, but I doubt they will go much further then that.

    With the loss of Michael Strahan to retirement and Osi Umenyiora to a season-ending knee injury the Giants defense is not going to be as dominant as it was last season. Because of the loss of Strahan and Umenyiora the pass rush will most likely diminish. I doubt the backups will be able to duplicate last season’s 53 sacks.

    With the loss of tight end Jeremy Shockey the offense may struggle, even though when Shockey was injured the Giants seemed to click and quarterback Eli Manning was more relaxed then when he was on the field.

    If Manning can take the next step and become an elite quarterback this team could become more then just a wild card candidate. Manning did show what he can do in the playoffs and super bowl, but throughout the actual season last year he was more of a liability to the team.

    Seattle Seahawks

    The Seahawks are an easy choice for playoff contention in a division that contains the San Francisco 49ers, Saint Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals. They have finished first place in their division for the past four years running.

    This is Coach Mike Holmgren’s last year as the head coach for the Seattle Seahawks and the team may give an extra push just for him. Defensive Backfield Coach Jim Mora has already been selected to succeed Holmgren in 2009.

    You have heard the expression, “Offense sells tickets, defense wins games?” this statement could not be more true then it is this season. Any team that has a dominant defense has the opportunity to make a run for the playoffs.

    The Seahawks don’t have a good defense. They blew a 14-0 lead in their playoff game against the Green Bay Packers in January. Unless they can come together as a defensive team they will not go far. They are a shoe-in for the playoffs only because they play in such a weak division. I do not see them making it further then the first round.








  2. #2
    PurplePeopleEaters's Avatar
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    Re: NFC Outlook... Erik5032 style.

    Looks pretty good other than the fact that the Panthers are horrible.

  3. #3
    josdin00's Avatar
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    Re: NFC Outlook... Erik5032 style.

    I pm'd you my suggestions.

  4. #4
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    Re: NFC Outlook...

    The Panthers are gonna be better than you think, PPE.

    erik, how could you talk about the Panthers without mentioning my boy, DeAngelo Williams, the other half of the RB tandem that will make Carolina one of the strongest rushing teams in the league this season (besides Minnesota, of course).

    You should also cover your arse by at least suggesting a couple of darkhorse candidates should one of your six "locks" falter.
    Maybe the Saints or Niners?
    I'd say Skins too but they have looked so bad lately that I'm guessing that they will regress this season.
    BANNED OR DEAD...I'LL TAKE EITHER ONE

  5. #5
    Mr Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: NFC Outlook...

    Ok, here it goes, I made some quick edits, I added a few things, but tried my best to keep your opinion intact(which IMO is flawed about seattle, I think all 3 of the teams in their division have a shot at knocking them off this season,) I think it reads a little smoother now, and any grammatical and spelling errors should be gone:

    [size=12pt]Mr. Anderson version:[/size]

    Every season the time comes to separate the men from the boys. Only six teams have a chance to make it into the NFC playoff pool to contend for the game that really matters, the Super Bowl.

    It’s only the start of the season, but it is never too early to start predicting who will make a playoff run. Here are six NFC teams to keep track of this season.

    The Minnesota Vikings.

    It has been over 30 years since the Purple People Eaters were the most feared defensive line in the NFL. Alan Page, Gary Larsen, Jim Marshall, and Carl Eller were the names of four men that struck fear into the heart opposing offenses across the NFL from the late 1960s to the mid ‘70s. In 2008, the second coming of the Purple People Eaters has arrived.

    With the off-season pick up of free agent defensive end Jared Allen, the Vikings added an outside pressure threat to line anchored by Pro Bowl defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams. Allen will be complimented on the opposite side of the line by Ray Edwards. This front four is expected to be the NFL’s best defensive line in 2008.

    Another off-season signing for the Vikings was wide receiver Bernard Berrian. Since the departure of Randy Moss the Vikings have been looking to find fill the void Moss left behind. They believe Berrian can be that dynamic receiver and open up the running game, allowing Pro Bowl MVP running back Adrian Peterson to run amuck on opposing defenses.

    Barring injuries to quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and major players on defense the Vikings are poised to make a deep playoff run.

    The Green Bay Packers.

    The biggest story in the NFL this past off-season was the waffling of legendary-gunslinger Brett Favre. The man known for his rocket arm and childish love for the game became a sore in most fans’ eyes over the summer. The “will-he-won’t-he-play?” debate has been going on for the past two or three seasons and I for one thought it might finally be over. Alas, it wasn’t over and Favre is back in green, well green and white that is.

    The Green Bay Packers looked as if they may be able to make another run for Super Bowl glory this season. That wass until Favre was traded to the New York Jets for a conditional fourth round draft pick. Not since Steve Young took the reigns from Joe Montana has a team that lost a franchise quarterback returned to Super Bowl contention with his successor. Unless Aaron Rodgers is the second coming of Young, Packer fans will most likely be in for years of suffering until they find the second coming of Favre.

    Green Bay did not dabble in free agency over the off-season, but they did make some key draft picks to bolster their quarterback position. The additions of rookie quarterbacks Brian Brohm from Louisville and Matt Flynn from LSU were brought in to fight for back-up quarterback. With Rodgers history of injury, Brohm or Flynn may be starting sooner then anyone anticipated.

    The Packers defense will allow them to stay in contention for the NFC North, but without a formidable passing game they just will not be able to make a run for the super-bowl, but should make a run at a wild card spot.

    The Carolina Panthers

    The Panthers have shown that they are a team on the rise and ready to win. In 2007, veteran quarterback Jake Delhomme was injured just three games into the season. If he can remain healthy the Panthers should be able to contend in the playoffs. Wide receiver Steve Smith will miss the first two weeks because of a preseason scuffle with teammate Ken Lucas, in which Smith broke Lucas’ nose with a punch. With Smith out, the receiving corps of the Panthers will be questionable for first two weeks, but they should manage without him.

    In the first round of April’s draft, the Panthers drafted running back Jonathan Stewart from Oregon to replace running back DeShaun Foster. Foster was released in the off-season, due in part to his problem holding onto the ball last season. His fumbling problem caused the Panthers to lose the ball on valuable drives. Steward will be backed by fellow first round pick DeAngelo Willams. Having a strong running game is a major key to success in the NFL. With Williams coming into his third season, and Stewart’s ability the Panthers backfield will be one of the best in the NFL.

    The biggest issue for the Panthers defense is the health of defensive end Julius Peppers. The Panthers totaled only 23 sacks last year which ranked 31st in the NFL and was the lowest in the team’s 13-year history. Peppers looked great in the off-season. If the defense remains healthy and works together, this team is a playoff contender.

    The Dallas Cowboys

    The Cowboys finished with a 13-3 record last season. They were the NFC favorites to make the Super Bowl, but they lost to the New York Giants in the first round of the playoffs.

    With the additions of defensive back Adam Jones and Zach Thomas the Cowboys looks to add to there already stout defense.

    Tony Romo was the top-rated passer in the NFC and is still improving. This will be his third year as a starter and has yet to win a post season game. So long as Jessica Simpson doesn’t become a distraction again this season, Tony Romo should still be the top-rated passer in the NFC.

    One area that the Cowboys need to improve to make it to the Super Bowl is the running game. Running back Marion Barber will need to be effective as a starter so the pressure does not fall on Romo. Speedy rookie Felix Jones should be a great change of pace to the power running style Barber. Like 2007 going into the season the Cowboys appear to be the favorite to win the NFC.

    The New York Giants

    Although the Giants won Super Bowl XLII, I do not believe they have done enough in the off season to be serious contenders again. They will probably make the wild card, but I doubt they will go much further then that.

    With the retirement of Michael Strahan and the loss of Osi Umenyiora to a season-ending knee injury the Giants defense is not going to be as strong as it was last season. The loss of these two defensive ends cripples their dominant pass rush, which was the anchor of their defensive success. Boston college standout defensive end-turned NFL linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka will return to his college position to fill one of the holes left by Strahan and Umenyiora. Kiwanuka and Justin Tuck are very solid players, but will certainly not be able to replicate the pressure brought by last years starters.

    With the trade of tight end Jeremy Shockey to the Saints the offense may slow down a bit. Shockey is one of few tight ends in the NFL who have the ability to stretch the field, requiring more than just a linebacker to cover. However, when Shockey was injured in week 17, missing the entire post-season, the Giants offense seemed to click and quarterback Eli Manning was more relaxed, and efficient than when Shockey he was on the field.

    If Manning can continue to be the elite quarterback he looked like during the Giants’ late season and playoff run this team could become more than just a wild card candidate.

    The Seattle Seahawks

    The Seahawks are an easy choice for playoff contention in a division that contains the San Francisco 49ers, Saint Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals. They have finished first place in their division for the past four years.

    2008 is Coach Mike Holmgren’s last season as the head coach for the Seattle Seahawks and the team may give an extra push just for him. Defensive Backfield Coach, and former Falcons head coach Jim Mora has already been selected named Holmgren’s successor for 2009.

    The expression, “Offense sells tickets, defense wins championships” could not be more true than it is this season. Any team that has a dominant defense has the opportunity to make a run for the playoffs.

    The Seahawks don’t have a great defense. They blew a 14-0 lead in their playoff game against the Green Bay Packers in January. Unless they can come together as a defense they will not go far. They are a shoo-in for the playoffs because of the weak division in which they play; however, I do not see them escaping the first round.

  6. #6
    josdin00's Avatar
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    Re: NFC Outlook...

    "Mr" wrote:
    Ok, here it goes, I made some quick edits, I added a few things, but tried my best to keep your opinion intact(which IMO is flawed about seattle, I think all 3 of the teams in their division have a shot at knocking them off this season,) I think it reads a little smoother now, and any grammatical and spelling errors should be gone:

    [size=12pt]Mr. Anderson version:[/size]

    Every season the time comes to separate the men from the boys. Only six teams have a chance to make it into the NFC playoff pool to contend for the game that really matters, the Super Bowl.

    It’s only the start of the season, but it is never too early to start predicting who will make a playoff run. Here are six NFC teams to keep track of this season.

    The Minnesota Vikings.

    It has been over 30 years since the Purple People Eaters were the most feared defensive line in the NFL. Alan Page, Gary Larsen, Jim Marshall, and Carl Eller were the names of four men that struck fear into the heart opposing offenses across the NFL from the late 1960s to the mid ‘70s. In 2008, the second coming of the Purple People Eaters have arrived.

    With the off-season pick up of free agent defensive end Jared Allen, the Vikings added an outside pressure threat to line anchored by Pro Bowl defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams. Allen will be complimented on the opposite side of the line by Ray Edwards. This front four is expected to be the NFL’s best defensive line in 2008.

    Another off-season signing for the Vikings was wide receiver Bernard Berrian. Since the departure of Randy Moss the Vikings have been looking to find fill the void Moss left behind. They believe Berrian can be that dynamic receiver and open up the running game, allowing Pro Bowl MVP running back Adrian Peterson to run amuck on opposing defenses.

    Barring injuries to quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and major players on defense the Vikings are poised to make a deep playoff run.

    The Green Bay Packers.

    The biggest story in the NFL this past off-season was the waffling of legendary-gunslinger Brett Favre. The man known for his rocket arm and childish love for the game became a sore in most fans’ eyes over the summer. The “will-he-won’t-he-play?” debate has been going on for the past two or three seasons and I for one thought it might finally be over. Alas, it wasn’t over and Favre is back in green, well green and white that is.

    The Green Bay Packers looked as if they may be able to make another run for Super Bowl glory this season. That wass until Favre was traded to the New York Jets for a conditional fourth round draft pick. Not since Steve Young took the reigns from Joe Montana has a team that lost a franchise quarterback returned to Super Bowl contention with his successor. Unless Aaron Rodgers is the second coming of Young, Packer fans will most likely be in for years of suffering until they find the second coming of Favre.

    Green Bay did not dabble in free agency over the off-season, but they did make some key draft picks to bolster their quarterback position. The additions of rookie quarterbacks Brian Brohm from Louisville and Matt Flynn from LSU were brought in to fight for back-up quarterback. With Rodgers history of injury, Brohm or Flynn may be starting sooner then anyone anticipated.

    The Packers defense will allow them to stay in contention for the NFC North, but without a formidable passing game they just will not be able to make a run for the super-bowl, but should make a run at a wild card spot.

    The Carolina Panthers

    The Panthers have shown that they are a team on the rise and ready to win. In 2007, veteran quarterback Jake Delhomme was injured just three games into the season. If he can remain healthy the Panthers should be able to contend in the playoffs. Wide receiver Steve Smith will miss the first two weeks because of a preseason scuffle with teammate Ken Lucas, in which Smith broke Lucas’ nose with a punch. With Smith out, the receiving corps of the Panthers will be questionable for first two weeks, but they should manage without him.

    In the first round of April’s draft, the Panthers drafted running back Jonathan Stewart from Oregon to replace running back DeShaun Foster. Foster was released in the off-season, due in part to his problem holding onto the ball last season. His fumbling problem caused the Panthers to lose the ball on valuable drives. Steward will be backed by fellow first round pick DeAngelo Willams. Having a strong running game is a major key to success in the NFL. With Williams coming into his third season, and Stewart’s ability the Panthers backfield will be one of the best in the NFL.

    The biggest issue for the Panthers defense is the health of defensive end Julius Peppers. The Panthers totaled only 23 sacks last year which ranked 31st in the NFL and was the lowest in the team’s 13-year history. Peppers looked great in the off-season. If the defense remains healthy and works together, this team is a playoff contender.

    The Dallas Cowboys

    The Cowboys finished with a 13-3 record last season. They were the NFC favorites to make the Super Bowl, but they lost to the New York Giants in the first round of the playoffs.

    With the additions of defensive back Adam Jones and Zach Thomas the Cowboys looks to add to there already stout defense.

    Tony Romo was the top-rated passer in the NFC and is still improving. This will be his third year as a starter and has yet to win a post season game. So long as Jessica Simpson doesn’t become a distraction again this season, Tony Romo should still be the top-rated passer in the NFC.

    One area that the Cowboys need to improve to make it to the Super Bowl is the running game. Running back Marion Barber will need to be effective as a starter so the pressure does not fall on Romo. Speedy rookie Felix Jones should be a great change of pace to the power running style Barber. Like 2007 going into the season the Cowboys appear to be the favorite to win the NFC.

    The New York Giants

    Although the Giants won Super Bowl XLII, I do not believe they have done enough in the off season to be serious contenders again. They will probably make the wild card, but I doubt they will go much further then that.

    With the retirement of Michael Strahan and the loss of Osi Umenyiora to a season-ending knee injury the Giants defense is not going to be as strong as it was last season. The loss of these two defensive ends cripples their dominant pass rush, which was the anchor of their defensive success. Boston college standout defensive end-turned NFL linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka will return to his college position to fill one of the holes left by Strahan and Umenyiora. Kiwanuka and Justin Tuck are very solid players, but will certainly not be able to replicate the pressure brought by last years starters.

    With the trade of tight end Jeremy Shockey to the Saints the offense may slow down a bit. Shockey is one of few tight ends in the NFL who have the ability to stretch the field, requiring more than just a linebacker to cover. However, when Shockey was injured in week 17, missing the entire post-season, the Giants offense seemed to click and quarterback Eli Manning was more relaxed, and efficient than when Shockey he was on the field.

    If Manning can continue to be the elite quarterback he looked like during the Giants’ late season and playoff run this team could become more than just a wild card candidate.

    The Seattle Seahawks

    The Seahawks are an easy choice for playoff contention in a division that contains the San Francisco 49ers, Saint Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals. They have finished first place in their division for the past four years.

    2008 is Coach Mike Holmgren’s last season as the head coach for the Seattle Seahawks and the team may give an extra push just for him. Defensive Backfield Coach, and former Falcons head coach Jim Mora has already been selected named Holmgren’s successor for 2009.

    The expression, “Offense sells tickets, defense wins championships” could not be more true than it is this season. Any team that has a dominant defense has the opportunity to make a run for the playoffs.

    The Seahawks don’t have a great defense. They blew a 14-0 lead in their playoff game against the Green Bay Packers in January. Unless they can come together as a defense they will not go far. They are a shoo-in for the playoffs because of the weak division in which they play; however, I do not see them escaping the first round.
    Okay - minor pet peeve of mine.

    You wrote: "the second coming of the Purple People Eaters have arrived. "

    The subject in this sentence is "the second coming". You'd write "the second coming has arrived", not "the second coming have arrived".

    If the subject in this sentence was "the purple people eaters", then 'have' would be correct, but that is not the case in this instance.


  7. #7
    erik5032's Avatar
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    Re: NFC Outlook...

    Hey thanks guys and gals lol... Haven't written anything in like four months... man is it hard to get back into writing fluently.

  8. #8
    midgensa's Avatar
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    Re: NFC Outlook...

    Well the Seahawks defense breaks sometimes, but it was a top 10 defense in the league last season. That is definitely a good defense. Maybe not great ... but definitely good.
    I personally do not think Carolina is a threat this season, but I do think Delhomme has a little left and think they may be better than most pundits think. But I definitely would rank them no higher than 8th or 9th in the NFC.
    But that is that. Turning in a homer article picking the Vikings at the top is quite nice!

  9. #9
    Mr Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: NFC Outlook...

    "josdin00" wrote:
    "Mr" wrote:
    Ok, here it goes, I made some quick edits, I added a few things, but tried my best to keep your opinion intact(which IMO is flawed about seattle, I think all 3 of the teams in their division have a shot at knocking them off this season,) I think it reads a little smoother now, and any grammatical and spelling errors should be gone:

    [size=12pt]Mr. Anderson version:[/size]

    Every season the time comes to separate the men from the boys. Only six teams have a chance to make it into the NFC playoff pool to contend for the game that really matters, the Super Bowl.

    It’s only the start of the season, but it is never too early to start predicting who will make a playoff run. Here are six NFC teams to keep track of this season.

    The Minnesota Vikings.

    It has been over 30 years since the Purple People Eaters were the most feared defensive line in the NFL. Alan Page, Gary Larsen, Jim Marshall, and Carl Eller were the names of four men that struck fear into the heart opposing offenses across the NFL from the late 1960s to the mid ‘70s. In 2008, the second coming of the Purple People Eaters have arrived.

    With the off-season pick up of free agent defensive end Jared Allen, the Vikings added an outside pressure threat to line anchored by Pro Bowl defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams. Allen will be complimented on the opposite side of the line by Ray Edwards. This front four is expected to be the NFL’s best defensive line in 2008.

    Another off-season signing for the Vikings was wide receiver Bernard Berrian. Since the departure of Randy Moss the Vikings have been looking to find fill the void Moss left behind. They believe Berrian can be that dynamic receiver and open up the running game, allowing Pro Bowl MVP running back Adrian Peterson to run amuck on opposing defenses.

    Barring injuries to quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and major players on defense the Vikings are poised to make a deep playoff run.

    The Green Bay Packers.

    The biggest story in the NFL this past off-season was the waffling of legendary-gunslinger Brett Favre. The man known for his rocket arm and childish love for the game became a sore in most fans’ eyes over the summer. The “will-he-won’t-he-play?” debate has been going on for the past two or three seasons and I for one thought it might finally be over. Alas, it wasn’t over and Favre is back in green, well green and white that is.

    The Green Bay Packers looked as if they may be able to make another run for Super Bowl glory this season. That wass until Favre was traded to the New York Jets for a conditional fourth round draft pick. Not since Steve Young took the reigns from Joe Montana has a team that lost a franchise quarterback returned to Super Bowl contention with his successor. Unless Aaron Rodgers is the second coming of Young, Packer fans will most likely be in for years of suffering until they find the second coming of Favre.

    Green Bay did not dabble in free agency over the off-season, but they did make some key draft picks to bolster their quarterback position. The additions of rookie quarterbacks Brian Brohm from Louisville and Matt Flynn from LSU were brought in to fight for back-up quarterback. With Rodgers history of injury, Brohm or Flynn may be starting sooner then anyone anticipated.

    The Packers defense will allow them to stay in contention for the NFC North, but without a formidable passing game they just will not be able to make a run for the super-bowl, but should make a run at a wild card spot.

    The Carolina Panthers

    The Panthers have shown that they are a team on the rise and ready to win. In 2007, veteran quarterback Jake Delhomme was injured just three games into the season. If he can remain healthy the Panthers should be able to contend in the playoffs. Wide receiver Steve Smith will miss the first two weeks because of a preseason scuffle with teammate Ken Lucas, in which Smith broke Lucas’ nose with a punch. With Smith out, the receiving corps of the Panthers will be questionable for first two weeks, but they should manage without him.

    In the first round of April’s draft, the Panthers drafted running back Jonathan Stewart from Oregon to replace running back DeShaun Foster. Foster was released in the off-season, due in part to his problem holding onto the ball last season. His fumbling problem caused the Panthers to lose the ball on valuable drives. Steward will be backed by fellow first round pick DeAngelo Willams. Having a strong running game is a major key to success in the NFL. With Williams coming into his third season, and Stewart’s ability the Panthers backfield will be one of the best in the NFL.

    The biggest issue for the Panthers defense is the health of defensive end Julius Peppers. The Panthers totaled only 23 sacks last year which ranked 31st in the NFL and was the lowest in the team’s 13-year history. Peppers looked great in the off-season. If the defense remains healthy and works together, this team is a playoff contender.

    The Dallas Cowboys

    The Cowboys finished with a 13-3 record last season. They were the NFC favorites to make the Super Bowl, but they lost to the New York Giants in the first round of the playoffs.

    With the additions of defensive back Adam Jones and Zach Thomas the Cowboys looks to add to there already stout defense.

    Tony Romo was the top-rated passer in the NFC and is still improving. This will be his third year as a starter and has yet to win a post season game. So long as Jessica Simpson doesn’t become a distraction again this season, Tony Romo should still be the top-rated passer in the NFC.

    One area that the Cowboys need to improve to make it to the Super Bowl is the running game. Running back Marion Barber will need to be effective as a starter so the pressure does not fall on Romo. Speedy rookie Felix Jones should be a great change of pace to the power running style Barber. Like 2007 going into the season the Cowboys appear to be the favorite to win the NFC.

    The New York Giants

    Although the Giants won Super Bowl XLII, I do not believe they have done enough in the off season to be serious contenders again. They will probably make the wild card, but I doubt they will go much further then that.

    With the retirement of Michael Strahan and the loss of Osi Umenyiora to a season-ending knee injury the Giants defense is not going to be as strong as it was last season. The loss of these two defensive ends cripples their dominant pass rush, which was the anchor of their defensive success. Boston college standout defensive end-turned NFL linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka will return to his college position to fill one of the holes left by Strahan and Umenyiora. Kiwanuka and Justin Tuck are very solid players, but will certainly not be able to replicate the pressure brought by last years starters.

    With the trade of tight end Jeremy Shockey to the Saints the offense may slow down a bit. Shockey is one of few tight ends in the NFL who have the ability to stretch the field, requiring more than just a linebacker to cover. However, when Shockey was injured in week 17, missing the entire post-season, the Giants offense seemed to click and quarterback Eli Manning was more relaxed, and efficient than when Shockey he was on the field.

    If Manning can continue to be the elite quarterback he looked like during the Giants’ late season and playoff run this team could become more than just a wild card candidate.

    The Seattle Seahawks

    The Seahawks are an easy choice for playoff contention in a division that contains the San Francisco 49ers, Saint Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals. They have finished first place in their division for the past four years.

    2008 is Coach Mike Holmgren’s last season as the head coach for the Seattle Seahawks and the team may give an extra push just for him. Defensive Backfield Coach, and former Falcons head coach Jim Mora has already been selected named Holmgren’s successor for 2009.

    The expression, “Offense sells tickets, defense wins championships” could not be more true than it is this season. Any team that has a dominant defense has the opportunity to make a run for the playoffs.

    The Seahawks don’t have a great defense. They blew a 14-0 lead in their playoff game against the Green Bay Packers in January. Unless they can come together as a defense they will not go far. They are a shoo-in for the playoffs because of the weak division in which they play; however, I do not see them escaping the first round.
    Okay - minor pet peeve of mine.

    You wrote: "the second coming of the Purple People Eaters have arrived. "

    The subject in this sentence is "the second coming". You'd write "the second coming has arrived", not "the second coming have arrived".

    If the subject in this sentence was "the purple people eaters", then 'have' would be correct, but that is not the case in this instance.

    Thanks Jos.

    That is a pet peeve of mine as well. I was just editing this remember, and at that part changed around a few words. One of which being "come" to "arrived," and didn't change the have before it.

  10. #10
    V4L's Avatar
    V4L
    V4L is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: NFC Outlook...

    Looks good. But you used there a lot instead of their. Otherwise I didn't see much for errors

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