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Offline walleye  
#1 Posted : Friday, September 5, 2008 10:20:07 AM(UTC)
walleye

Rank: 5th Round Draft Pick

Joined: 8/7/2008(UTC)


It wasnt much of a race in the North a year ago, not after the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings started 1-3 and the Green Bay Packers opened 10-1. The Packers clinched the title with three games left, then coasted home with a 13-3 record.

Eventually, the Packers won by five games over the Vikings. In 2006, the Bears finished 13-3 for that same five-game bulge over the second-place finisher, Green Bay.

But just as the Bears came back to the pack in their disappointing 7-9 season, the consensus of opinion among six executives in personnel for National Football League teams contacted by the Journal Sentinel is that the Packers stay at the top wont last long.

Of the four personnel men willing to pick a winner in the NFC North, three chose Minnesota and one took Green Bay.

Im going to go Minnesota, an AFC scout said. Favre covered up a lot of things.

Favre, selected as the most valuable player in the division by scouts late last season, now plays for the New York Jets.

I see Minnesota this year, a scout for an NFC team said, because of the new quarterback (in Green Bay). I think Green Bay still will be a solid team and be very, very good next year. I think it will be a very close race.

Favres successor, Aaron Rodgers, will be subject to ups and downs as a first-year starter, another NFC scout said.

Hes got to step up, the personnel man said. The guy (Favre) thats not there makes everybody better. Its hard to say about Green Bay coming off last year because they had such a good year. How are they going to be with a new quarterback?

The one executive who forecast Green Bay as the repeat champion did it mainly because of Rodgers.

It will be hard to unseat the Packers because I think the quarterback is going to play well, the AFC scout said. I really do believe that. Hes got a lot of weapons around him. Theyve got a good running game. Theyve got a good defense. And theyve got some guys outside who can catch it.

That personnel man predicted that Green Bay would win with a record of 11-5.

One of the scouts picking Minnesota had the Vikings finishing between 10-6 and 12-4 with the Packers second at about 10-6.

Another scout, who picked the Vikings first at 10-6, said the inter-conference matchup this season against the AFC South would lower records in the NFC North. In 2007, the AFC South went 42-22, the best record among the eight divisions, whereas the NFC North finished a surprising third at 35-29.

Houston went 8-8 last year and finished last in that division, one personnel man said. Green Bay could theoretically have a good, solid year if they get the play theyre hoping from Rodgers. Or if they have that inconsistency they could go 9-7, they could go 7-9.

An executive from an NFC North team had it Minnesota 11-5, Green Bay 8-8, Chicago 7-9 and Detroit 6-10.

The tops for Minnesota probably is 11-5 but McKinnie could affect that, said one scout, referring to the four-game suspension for Vikings tackle Bryant McKinnie. I guess Green Bay will be about a .500 team.

The Vikings havent won the division since 2000, when the four teams played in the old NFC Central. That seven-year drought has been equaled just once in Vikings history (1981, 1983-88) since the divisional structure was born in 1967.

Ive seen Minnesota live and on tape, one scout said. I think theyve got a chance to make some noise, I really do. Theyve done a hell of a job putting that thing together. Im kind of excited about Tarvaris Jackson. Looked to me like hes getting better.

In the decade, Green Bay has won four titles, Chicago has won three, Minnesota has won one and Detroit hasnt won any. The Lions havent taken the division since 1993, a drought of 14 years that was exceeded only once before (1967-81) in their history.

Bad offensive line, bad secondary, bad quarterbacks, one scout said. Detroit always finds a way.

As the oldest team in the division, the Lions hope to reverse a recent trend. The NFC Norths most senior team has gone 2-14, 3-13, 5-11, 10-6, 5-11, 3-13 and 7-9 in the last seven years.

The Lions enter the season with 16 players who werent on their 53-man roster or injured-reserve list in 2007, compared with 15 for Minnesota and 12 each for Chicago and Green Bay.

Of the 35 players drafted by division teams, seven were cut, one was placed in a military-reserve category and one went on IR. The total of 212 players on active rosters includes five original rookie free agents.

That list includes Chicago quarterback Caleb Hanie of Colorado State, Green Bay running back Kregg Lumpkin of Georgia and three Vikings, including tackle Drew Radovich of Southern California, linebacker Erin Henderson of Maryland and safety Husain Abdullah of Washington State.

LINEUP CHANGES
Here is a list of the starting lineup changes for teams other than Green Bay, which made only two.

CHICAGO (8): WR Brandon Lloyd for Muhsin Muhammad, WR Devin Hester for Bernard Berrian, LT John St. Clair for Fred Miller, LG Josh Beekman for Ruben Brown, QB Kyle Orton for Rex Grossman, RB Matt Forte for Cedric Benson, DE Alex Brown for Mark Anderson and SS Kevin Payne for Brandon McGowan.

DETROIT (6): RB Kevin Smith for Kevin Jones, FB Jerome Felton for Jon Bradley, NT Chuck Darby for Shaun Rogers, SLB Alex Lewis for Boss Bailey, LC Brian Kelly for Fernando Bryant and SS Dwight Smith for Kenoy Kennedy.

MINNESOTA (4): WR Bernard Berrian for Troy Williamson, FB Thomas Tapeh for Tony Richardson, DE Jared Allen for Kenechi Udeze and FS Madieu Williams for Dwight Smith.

Really!!! are these guys :xcensoredx: for real?
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Offline josdin00  
#2 Posted : Friday, September 5, 2008 12:14:55 PM(UTC)
josdin00

Rank: Fresh Cheesehead

Joined: 8/19/2008(UTC)


Yes, they are for real. Favre made everyone around him look better, and the Packers won't have that this year. From what I saw in the preseason, the pack's o-line looks shakey, and Rodgers doesn't have the experience to deal with that, at least not right away. The Vikings made vast improvements in personel this offseason, and the two teams are now at a point where the only differentiating point between the two teams' skill levels is at the QB position. People outside the NFCN don't know what to expect from Rodgers and Jackson. During the preseason, Rodgers looked inconsistant, and Jackson looked good (when healthy). I think that pushes the Vikings a little bit ahead of the Packers in most outsiders' eyes. It's going to be a close race. Anyone who thinks otherwise stopped paying attention last December.
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Offline walleye  
#3 Posted : Friday, September 5, 2008 12:20:26 PM(UTC)
walleye

Rank: 5th Round Draft Pick

Joined: 8/7/2008(UTC)


Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Yes, they are for real. Favre made everyone around him look better, and the Packers won't have that this year. From what I saw in the preseason, the pack's o-line looks shakey, and Rodgers doesn't have the experience to deal with that, at least not right away. The Vikings made vast improvements in personel this offseason, and the two teams are now at a point where the only differentiating point between the two teams' skill levels is at the QB position. People outside the NFCN don't know what to expect from Rodgers and Jackson. During the preseason, Rodgers looked inconsistant, and Jackson looked good (when healthy). I think that pushes the Vikings a little bit ahead of the Packers in most outsiders' eyes. It's going to be a close race. Anyone who thinks otherwise stopped paying attention last December.


I strongly disagree with the Favre made everyone look better. Favre looked SHAKEY himself in both chicago games last year. In my eyes its a TEAM EFFORT!!!!! not one guy!
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Offline digsthepack  
#4 Posted : Friday, September 5, 2008 12:48:38 PM(UTC)
digsthepack

Rank: 4th Round Draft Pick

Joined: 8/11/2008(UTC)

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Aaaaand....what do the Queenies do best when a modicum of pressure or expectation is placed upon them??

Why, they CHOKE with the precision of a Swiss watch.

What a friggin' curse the fickle pundits have placed upon that band of misfits!!
State Motto: "Wisconsin, our serial murderers eat their kill!"
Offline josdin00  
#5 Posted : Friday, September 5, 2008 1:08:43 PM(UTC)
josdin00

Rank: Fresh Cheesehead

Joined: 8/19/2008(UTC)


Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Yes, they are for real. Favre made everyone around him look better, and the Packers won't have that this year. From what I saw in the preseason, the pack's o-line looks shakey, and Rodgers doesn't have the experience to deal with that, at least not right away. The Vikings made vast improvements in personel this offseason, and the two teams are now at a point where the only differentiating point between the two teams' skill levels is at the QB position. People outside the NFCN don't know what to expect from Rodgers and Jackson. During the preseason, Rodgers looked inconsistant, and Jackson looked good (when healthy). I think that pushes the Vikings a little bit ahead of the Packers in most outsiders' eyes. It's going to be a close race. Anyone who thinks otherwise stopped paying attention last December.


I strongly disagree with the Favre made everyone look better. Favre looked SHAKEY himself in both chicago games last year. In my eyes its a TEAM EFFORT!!!!! not one guy!


It's a rare day when you can say a QB didn't look shakey in a loss. QBs can have a bad day. However, you guys won 13 last year. Are you telling me that in those 13 games, Favre had no effect on the players around him? That sounds like wishful hindsight to me.
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Offline walleye  
#6 Posted : Friday, September 5, 2008 1:13:32 PM(UTC)
walleye

Rank: 5th Round Draft Pick

Joined: 8/7/2008(UTC)


No thats not what im saying. what im saying is it takes a team effort.
It was the hole team making it work. Im not taking anything away from Favre.
its getting old comparing Favre to Rodgers. we all will have to wait till the game and see what Rodgers has.
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Offline zombieslayer  
#7 Posted : Friday, September 5, 2008 1:18:23 PM(UTC)
zombieslayer

Rank: Most Valuable Player

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I think a lot of us with Green and Gold lenses like to minimize just how much Favre did last year. Sure it's a team effort, but scouts do this for a living. It's no coincidence that they picked Brett Favre as NFC North MVP. They make predictions like the rest of us, but the difference between us and them is they have more access than we do. Of course not implying they can't be wrong.

I do think the Vikes will give us a good run. Even without my Green and Gold aside though, I still think we have a more complete team than MN. Do not underestimate Ryan Grant. When our OL comes together, he's going to do a lot of damage to opposing Ds. Our D is solid. No weak spots. On top of that, I'll say something bold right here - our QB is the best in the division and by the end of the year, you'll see I'm right.

But I'm not counting out the Vikes. They're going to give us a good divisional fight. They got some sick playmakers, including the #1 guy in the NFL in sacks and the #2 RB in the NFL. We have better coaching and a more complete team.
My man Donald Driver
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(thanks to Pack93z for the pic)

2010 will be seen as the beginning of the new Packers dynasty. Ted Thompson Mike McCarthy Aaron Rodgers
Offline digsthepack  
#8 Posted : Friday, September 5, 2008 1:24:09 PM(UTC)
digsthepack

Rank: 4th Round Draft Pick

Joined: 8/11/2008(UTC)

Applause Received: 7

The Queens are strong....there is no denying that. I believe the Packers, while not possessing as many "playmakers", have much more depth at every position but DL. This gives us a better ability to navigate a full season where injuries are invariably going to strike.

The bottom line is that Tavaris is going to make or break this team and season. IF he can muster some sort of consistency in the passing game we will be in a fight to the finish. If not, and teams load up to stop AP and their entire offense, it could be a long season for them as expectations are shattered like a bottle of cheap wine slippng through some drunkards hand to the awaiting pavement.
State Motto: "Wisconsin, our serial murderers eat their kill!"
Offline warhawk  
#9 Posted : Friday, September 5, 2008 1:39:08 PM(UTC)
warhawk

Rank: 3rd Round Draft Pick

Joined: 8/7/2008(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Yes, they are for real. Favre made everyone around him look better, and the Packers won't have that this year. From what I saw in the preseason, the pack's o-line looks shakey, and Rodgers doesn't have the experience to deal with that, at least not right away. The Vikings made vast improvements in personel this offseason, and the two teams are now at a point where the only differentiating point between the two teams' skill levels is at the QB position. People outside the NFCN don't know what to expect from Rodgers and Jackson. During the preseason, Rodgers looked inconsistant, and Jackson looked good (when healthy). I think that pushes the Vikings a little bit ahead of the Packers in most outsiders' eyes. It's going to be a close race. Anyone who thinks otherwise stopped paying attention last December.


Last December? I guess I don't get it. The Vikings beat three teams with a losing record and lost the final two games like they always do.

Secondly, let's clear up this theory that Brett Favre makes everybody around him better.

Either he did a very poor job of elevating all the players around him in '05 when we went 4-12 or the TEAM got a hell of a lot better between then and last year.

I am going to say they put many better players around Brett that allowed him a higher degree of success at what he does and that's what Arod,s inherited.

The other thing very few want to give any consideration to is the fact we have a TON of second, third, and fourth year starters that will equate to a higher level of play overall as well because they are getting BETTER. That's what young talent does.

This isn't a team of eight and nine year veterans that really doesn't have much hope of improving a whole lot. That's when other teams can pass you by.

So I really don't buy into the theory that other teams are improving and we are not.
"The train is leaving the station."
Offline Rios39  
#10 Posted : Friday, September 5, 2008 1:40:34 PM(UTC)
Rios39

Rank: 5th Round Draft Pick

Joined: 8/9/2008(UTC)

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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Yes, they are for real. Favre made everyone around him look better, and the Packers won't have that this year. From what I saw in the preseason, the pack's o-line looks shakey, and Rodgers doesn't have the experience to deal with that, at least not right away. The Vikings made vast improvements in personel this offseason, and the two teams are now at a point where the only differentiating point between the two teams' skill levels is at the QB position. People outside the NFCN don't know what to expect from Rodgers and Jackson. During the preseason, Rodgers looked inconsistant, and Jackson looked good (when healthy). I think that pushes the Vikings a little bit ahead of the Packers in most outsiders' eyes. It's going to be a close race. Anyone who thinks otherwise stopped paying attention last December.


I strongly disagree with the Favre made everyone look better. Favre looked SHAKEY himself in both chicago games last year. In my eyes its a TEAM EFFORT!!!!! not one guy!


It's a rare day when you can say a QB didn't look shakey in a loss. QBs can have a bad day. However, you guys won 13 last year. Are you telling me that in those 13 games, Favre had no effect on the players around him? That sounds like wishful hindsight to me.


Last year Favre relied on playing a short passing game where he could take advantage of having the best WR's in the game. It worked. It's when he tried to do everything in one shot and slue away from the game plan that the team got into troubles.

But you keep telling yourself that. Whatever makes you sleep at night bro.
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Offline josdin00  
#11 Posted : Friday, September 5, 2008 1:41:39 PM(UTC)
josdin00

Rank: Fresh Cheesehead

Joined: 8/19/2008(UTC)


Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
I think a lot of us with Green and Gold lenses like to minimize just how much Favre did last year. Sure it's a team effort, but scouts do this for a living. It's no coincidence that they picked Brett Favre as NFC North MVP. They make predictions like the rest of us, but the difference between us and them is they have more access than we do. Of course not implying they can't be wrong.

I do think the Vikes will give us a good run. Even without my Green and Gold aside though, I still think we have a more complete team than MN. Do not underestimate Ryan Grant. When our OL comes together, he's going to do a lot of damage to opposing Ds. Our D is solid. No weak spots. On top of that, I'll say something bold right here - our QB is the best in the division and by the end of the year, you'll see I'm right.

But I'm not counting out the Vikes. They're going to give us a good divisional fight. They got some sick playmakers, including the #1 guy in the NFL in sacks and the #2 RB in the NFL. We have better coaching and a more complete team.


I'm going to respectfully disagree with your QB statement, but then again, you proabably expected that. The Pack do have a very complete team, but not any more so than the Vikings.

Pack 'holes':
-Ryan Grant held out most of the preseason. Frequently, when that happens, the player is more suceptable to injuries when they come back, due to lack of conditioning. We've already seen evidence of that with his hamstring injury. I don't know if this will affect him or not during the regular season, but it is a concern.
-The offensive line is falling apart, and needs more patches than that moth-eaten old quilt in your grandma's attic. This hurts both Rodgers and Grant.
-Rodgers has the reputation around the league of being somewhat injury prone. The Packers 2 backups are both rookies.

Vikes 'holes':
-Tarvaris Jackson needs to learn to :xcensoredx: slide!
-With Mckinnie suspended for the first 4 games, the left side of our OL will have some struggles early in the season
-Defensive depth. Injuries hurt us this preseason. Our starters are mostly ok, but the talent level behind them is a little thin in spots.
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Offline josdin00  
#12 Posted : Friday, September 5, 2008 1:43:52 PM(UTC)
josdin00

Rank: Fresh Cheesehead

Joined: 8/19/2008(UTC)


Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post
Yes, they are for real. Favre made everyone around him look better, and the Packers won't have that this year. From what I saw in the preseason, the pack's o-line looks shakey, and Rodgers doesn't have the experience to deal with that, at least not right away. The Vikings made vast improvements in personel this offseason, and the two teams are now at a point where the only differentiating point between the two teams' skill levels is at the QB position. People outside the NFCN don't know what to expect from Rodgers and Jackson. During the preseason, Rodgers looked inconsistant, and Jackson looked good (when healthy). I think that pushes the Vikings a little bit ahead of the Packers in most outsiders' eyes. It's going to be a close race. Anyone who thinks otherwise stopped paying attention last December.


Last December? I guess I don't get it. The Vikings beat three teams with a losing record and lost the final two games like they always do.

...


Let me rephrase that sentence to clarify -

Anyone who thinks otherwise stopped paying attention at the end of last season.
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Offline TengoJuego  
#13 Posted : Friday, September 5, 2008 1:44:25 PM(UTC)
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You take away Jared Allen from the acquisitions in the off season, and its basically the same team. I don't know when one defensive player made a team a contender.

But w/e that just makes popping the bubble so much better, than the gum splatters and gets stuck on their face, and their stuck trying to peel it off all season.
Offline zombieslayer  
#14 Posted : Friday, September 5, 2008 2:00:10 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: " Go to Quoted Post


I'm going to respectfully disagree with your QB statement, but then again, you proabably expected that. The Pack do have a very complete team, but not any more so than the Vikings.

Pack 'holes':
-Ryan Grant held out most of the preseason. Frequently, when that happens, the player is more suceptable to injuries when they come back, due to lack of conditioning. We've already seen evidence of that with his hamstring injury. I don't know if this will affect him or not during the regular season, but it is a concern.
-The offensive line is falling apart, and needs more patches than that moth-eaten old quilt in your grandma's attic. This hurts both Rodgers and Grant.
-Rodgers has the reputation around the league of being somewhat injury prone. The Packers 2 backups are both rookies.

Vikes 'holes':
-Tarvaris Jackson needs to learn to :xcensoredx: slide!
-With Mckinnie suspended for the first 4 games, the left side of our OL will have some struggles early in the season
-Defensive depth. Injuries hurt us this preseason. Our starters are mostly ok, but the talent level behind them is a little thin in spots.


Good points. Yes, history is not on our side when a RB holds out and barely plays preseason. Yes, our OL is spotty. Our OTs are da bomb, but with Wells injured, I'm not too happy about the other 3 spots. This could cause some serious problems for our running game.

I do think that Packer fans like to gloss over the fact that Brett Favre would take hits and get right back up. Nothing against Rodgers, but you can't expect Rodgers to do the same. Brett Favre made a lot of Packer fans take the QB spot for granted. Look at the other 31 teams. How many teams had a QB who started the past 32 games without injury? That's only 2 years. How many teams had their QB start all 16 games last year?

Beyond Rodgers, we're in trouble. If he goes down this season, we're not going very far. I really like Rodgers, but with our OL, I do worry about his health.

As for your holes, I haven't watched enough of the Vikes to reply, but I do know from the other site that you know football, so I'll take your word for it.

I will however stand up for what I said about Rodgers. If his health holds up, he's going to be considered the best QB in the NFC North. His health though is depending on our OL.
My man Donald Driver
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2010 will be seen as the beginning of the new Packers dynasty. Ted Thompson Mike McCarthy Aaron Rodgers
Offline Packnic  
#15 Posted : Friday, September 5, 2008 2:47:34 PM(UTC)
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Favre did cover up a lot of things. He also exposed several things at times too. And warhawk brings up a great point as well, where was this "cover" in 05. So Favre can cover up for good players but not bad players... that makes sense.


We won the division by 5 games last year. 5 games. 5 games. 5 games.

adding Jared Allen doesnt make the Vikings 6 games better than the Packers. Jared Allen is a good player and the Vikings are a good team. But hes not a Reggie White player. Hes an Aaron Kampman kind of player. Hard worker and very solid player but not a game changer.
Clifton handled his ass last year like child's play.

bottom line is that the Vikings were just as excited about last season as they are this year. and thats the truth... Last year was the year, everything was gonna be different and they were finally gonna do it. then they lost the division by 5 games. 5. 5 games. 5.


I hope to God they do come into this season thinking they are the best. Over look us. Keep asking who Aaron Rodgers is. Keep talking trash. Keep raising your expectations. Keep pumping your offseason like you do every year and we will take the rings as usual.

But truthfully, they have thought they were the best many many times before.... and thats the way it goes when you have never known what its like to REALLY be the best. you just gotta guess every year.
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