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  • 07/12/2010, 01:14PM ET

Minny or GB - Who wins NFC North

Rudedog: Believe The Hype (370-317-81) vs Argos. (184-101-29)
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This whole TD is assuming Favre is coming back, which seems like a pretty safe assumption.

For some reason unknown to me, Minnesota seems to be getting no respect this year. They had the NFC title game in their hands numerous times and might have run away with it if not for their turnovers. They were one huge Favre gaffe from winning the whole thing.

But now for whatever reason, Green Bay has a huge bandwagon laid out for them with people piling in. Oh how quickly we forget about a year ago.

A year ago, people talked about Green Bay being Super Bowl contenders. Talked about them as having the upper hand in the NFC North. Instead, Minnesota was running away with it before their mini collapse.

And apparently the cycle is on repeat because people are talking about the Super Bowl contending Packers and their finally healthy offensive line.

The Vikings defense was one of the best and they got better. They resigned Ray Edwards, drafted Everson Griffen, have a healthy EJ Henderson, a great back-up in Brinkley, Lito Sheppard and Chris Cook to the secondary.

[b[Find me a weakness on this entire team. Please[/b]

They'll repeat as division champs this year


The Packers gain another year under the new 3-4 D with Don Capers. Last year was a transitional year for the D, so another year can only help.

Last year, the Packers had 3 of their top 4 CB on the IR. All three will be returning.

The Pack lost only 1 starter, who only played in 9 games.

The Packers finished great, going 7-1 to end the regular season after a terrible start. This was a different team to finish the year. So dispute a terrible start where the Vikings beat the Pack twice, the Pack only finished a game back of the Vikings.

The Pack O-line improved last year and is better this year. They only gave up 13 sacks in the 2nd half. Clifton & Tauscher are back who missed a combined 12 games last year, & they added 1st round pick Bulaga to the line.


Vikings weakness:
Turnovers
(Favre's INT & AP's Fumbles)
Green Bay was great in the turnovers, being a +24 last year (+9 better than 2nd place), while the Vikings were only +6.


Pass D. They had the 19th ranked pass D (no one good after Winfield at the CB position).
Green Bay had the #2 D, that was #1 against the rush, & #5 against the Pass, beating the Vikings all three stats.


Favre's INT & AP's Fumbles

Favre's INTs? Really? The 7 he threw last year? Now, I don't expect him to go out and throw 33 TDs and 7 picks, but I certainly don't expect a New York Jets season either. He isn't the gun slinging, risk taking, crazy QB he was in the past. He realizes he can take what teams give him and still win games.

Plus, he hasn't had an offense as high powered as this one. Rice is a deep ball threat, Berrian is a nice possession receiver, Harvin is a great slot receiver, Shiancoe a great red zone option, and AP arguably the best RB in the league.

They had the 19th ranked pass D

Which is why, with their first pick, they took a CB. And they went out and signed Lito Sheppard. And last year, Winfield was hurt for an extended period of time, as well as the safeties. You talk about the injuries GB had in the secondary when Minny had lots of injuries too. And they fixed the problems they might have anyway.

Minnesota is returning everyone from last year. They literally lost no one of importance from the team. And they went to the NFC title game. So how can they be worse this year?


Favre's INT days are behind him? How many times have we heard that? His lowest before this year was 13. You don't just change a guy like Favre, hence the NFC Championship game INT. Having great receivers doesn't change anything, in Green Bay he almost always had a great receiving core.


The didn't fix their pass D. Their first pick was in the 2nd round, and was the 6th CB taken. Don't think he is gonna improve their pass D.

Sheppard didn't even start all the time with the Jets, and didn't play a lot of downs. He could barely quack the Jets starting lineup. Green Bay had more injuries, but still ranked #5 against the pass.


What about the aging O-line on the Vikings? The 3 core guys on the line are all over 30 years old. They allowed Favre to be sacked 34 times, and AP struggled.

AP can't be considered one of the best, as for the 3rd straight year his Y/PA dropped down to 4.4! Way down from his rookie season of 5.6, and 2 years ago of 4.8! AP's Y/PA ranked 24th in football, Packers RB Ryan Grant had a better Y/PA!


Green Bay is still improving, being the youngest team in football last year.


How many times have we heard that?

Outside of the one INT in the NFC title game, which was big, what crucial INT did he throw? He had 2 games last year where he had more than 1 INT: Arizona and New Orleans. On the flip side, he had 11 games with 2 or more TDs. He had 7 games with a QB rating of 110+.

Having great receivers doesn't change anything

Wow. That's an awful statement. Unless your Peyton Manning, great receivers make a huge different. Favre had no one in New York and had to force the issue. In Minnesota, he has 3 superb WRs and a great TE. It's no coincidence that he had his best season last year.

The didn't fix their pass D.

Really? Again? The draft this year was full of great CBs and they went out and got a former Pro Bowler in Sheppard. They also didn't have Winfield for half the games. Teams averaged 225 yards per game when he was out. He's a big part of their defense. Even when he came back, he wasn't healthy. He has gotten back to full health this offseason and the pass D will be better

Honestly, I'm done talking about Adrian. If you are calling him out saying he's getting worse after 3 years, then your nitpicking


You honestly believe that Favre is gonna have another year as good as he did last? Odd are, a 41 year old man wont have back-to-back career years.

You have even said this year teams are gonna be trying to stop Favre this year, and not AP. So Favre this year will be facing tougher defences.

Favre in 2005 had several great receivers (Driver, Walker, Lee, Bubba), yet he led the league with 29 picks. In 1999, Favre threw 23 picks, when he had two receivers have over 1000 yards, and four over 500.

The Vikings didn't solve their pass D. The 6th CB in the draft isn't gonna make a difference, and probably wont start.

Yes Lito made a Pro Bowl, in 2006! We are in 2010! He barely played last year because he wasn't good enough, and they cut him! Lito too isn't going to improve the 19th ranked pass D.

The Vikings also lost their 3rd down RB. This is a massive lost, because he played EVERY 3rd down, and AP can't pass block like Chester Taylor.

You say you don't get why people think the Packers will improve, but last year they were the youngest team in football, while the Vikings were the 9th oldest.

Guys like TE, Finley who emeraged late in the season will get a full season.

July 12, 2010  01:17 PM ET

I agree...both teams are close to identical from last year, but everybody seems to assume the Packers have improved, while the Vikings have become worse, which confuses me.

July 12, 2010  01:25 PM ET
QUOTE(#1):

I agree...both teams are close to identical from last year, but everybody seems to assume the Packers have improved, while the Vikings have become worse, which confuses me.

Yeah I don't get it. The Minnesota defense got better. The only significant thing they lost was their back-up RB in Chester Taylor. A big loss? Somewhat. A replaceable loss? Absolutely.

July 12, 2010  01:58 PM ET

Minnesota's O-Line has been in a steady decline the last two years. They aren't getting any younger.

It really is a 50-50 pick IMO. The Packers are younger and should only improve where the Vikings are young in areas but are looking to maintain where they are. I am a Packer fan so my opinion is always going to be skewed but how many times have we seen a young team take a tough loss in the playoffs and turn it into motivations the following year and reach that next level. Green Bay is on that verge. If they make that jump they will win the division, if they don't it will turn out like last year.

July 12, 2010  01:59 PM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Yeah I don't get it. The Minnesota defense got better. The only significant thing they lost was their back-up RB in Chester Taylor. A big loss? Somewhat. A replaceable loss? Absolutely.

He was replaced in the draft by Gerhart out of Stanford. He is a truck. I feel bad for any defense that is going to have to take the hits from him and AP when they get past the line into the open field. We already know that AP likes contact, now defenses will have to face both!

July 12, 2010  02:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Minnesota's O-Line has been in a steady decline the last two years. They aren't getting any younger. It really is a 50-50 pick IMO. The Packers are younger and should only improve where the Vikings are young in areas but are looking to maintain where they are. I am a Packer fan so my opinion is always going to be skewed but how many times have we seen a young team take a tough loss in the playoffs and turn it into motivations the following year and reach that next level. Green Bay is on that verge. If they make that jump they will win the division, if they don't it will turn out like last year.

And Minnesota didn't just take a tougher loss in the playoffs? At a closer level?

July 12, 2010  02:01 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

And Minnesota didn't just take a tougher loss in the playoffs? At a closer level?

By closer, I mean closer to the Super Bowl

July 12, 2010  02:06 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

And Minnesota didn't just take a tougher loss in the playoffs? At a closer level?

I don't view Minnesota as a young team looking to make that next step. I view them as a team who has reached their plateau and their window of opportunity is now or never.

Losing in the Playoffs at any point outside the Super Bowl leaves a bad taste in the teams mouth. I just feel that Green Bay who is younger has more room to improve on their season where the Vikings don't. Now of course the Vikings have already proven to be a championship level team.

Green Bay's team has more of a future IMO where the Vikings' future is now. I wouldn't call either team a favorite to win. It will be very competitive and probably go down to the last couple of weeks barring injury [as it always is in the NFL]....or Chicago could come of nowhere and win the division [this too happens a lot in this league.].

July 12, 2010  02:13 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

I don't view Minnesota as a young team looking to make that next step. I view them as a team who has reached their plateau and their window of opportunity is now or never. Losing in the Playoffs at any point outside the Super Bowl leaves a bad taste in the teams mouth. I just feel that Green Bay who is younger has more room to improve on their season where the Vikings don't. Now of course the Vikings have already proven to be a championship level team. Green Bay's team has more of a future IMO where the Vikings' future is now. I wouldn't call either team a favorite to win. It will be very competitive and probably go down to the last couple of weeks barring injury [as it always is in the NFL]....or Chicago could come of nowhere and win the division [this too happens a lot in this league.].

I can see that. But if Minnesota gets a young QB that is dependable, they are set for years

AP - 25 yrs old
Berrian - 29
Percy - 22
Sidney Rice - 23
Phil Loadholt - 24
Jared Allen - 28
Ray Edwards - 25
Kevin Williams - 29
Chad Greenway - 27
E.J. Henderson - 29
Cedric Griffin - 27

So how are they old again?

July 12, 2010  02:21 PM ET

I just had so much to say, and couldn't fit it all in.

July 12, 2010  02:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

I can see that. But if Minnesota gets a young QB that is dependable, they are set for yearsAP - 25 yrs oldBerrian - 29Percy - 22Sidney Rice - 23Phil Loadholt - 24Jared Allen - 28Ray Edwards - 25Kevin Williams - 29Chad Greenway - 27E.J. Henderson - 29Cedric Griffin - 27So how are they old again?

The Pack was the youngest team in football last year, meaning they are most likely gonna improve. You improve with age.

July 12, 2010  02:23 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

He was replaced in the draft by Gerhart out of Stanford. He is a truck. I feel bad for any defense that is going to have to take the hits from him and AP when they get past the line into the open field. We already know that AP likes contact, now defenses will have to face both!

That is okay, D's love facing AP because he fumbles so much.

AP had a terrible year last year too. He only averaged 4.4 yards a carry, and went over 100 yards in only 3 games!

July 12, 2010  02:24 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

I can see that. But if Minnesota gets a young QB that is dependable, they are set for yearsAP - 25 yrs oldBerrian - 29Percy - 22Sidney Rice - 23Phil Loadholt - 24Jared Allen - 28Ray Edwards - 25Kevin Williams - 29Chad Greenway - 27E.J. Henderson - 29Cedric Griffin - 27So how are they old again?

29 is getting old in the NFL...

July 12, 2010  02:28 PM ET
QUOTE(#11):

That is okay, D's love facing AP because he fumbles so much.AP had a terrible year last year too. He only averaged 4.4 yards a carry, and went over 100 yards in only 3 games!

AP seems to be declining, getting worse with each season. Like most RB, his prime is early in his career and seeing how he has taken some many carries and loves contact, it wont surprise me if AP has another terrible season, especially if they stick to a passing O.

July 12, 2010  02:29 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

The Pack was the youngest team in football last year, meaning they are most likely gonna improve. You improve with age.

I agree Argos because the Packers are like a fine whine.

July 12, 2010  02:33 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

I can see that. But if Minnesota gets a young QB that is dependable, they are set for yearsAP - 25 yrs oldBerrian - 29Percy - 22Sidney Rice - 23Phil Loadholt - 24Jared Allen - 28Ray Edwards - 25Kevin Williams - 29Chad Greenway - 27E.J. Henderson - 29Cedric Griffin - 27So how are they old again?

I don't know all those names but I don't see too many of those guys being offensive linemen. That is the area I feel they are declining in. I admit they have some young players but they will lose half their Williams wall and that O-line isn't getting any younger. Their YPC has declined each of the last two years.

July 12, 2010  02:35 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

I can see that. But if Minnesota gets a young QB that is dependable, they are set for yearsAP - 25 yrs oldBerrian - 29Percy - 22Sidney Rice - 23Phil Loadholt - 24Jared Allen - 28Ray Edwards - 25Kevin Williams - 29Chad Greenway - 27E.J. Henderson - 29Cedric Griffin - 27So how are they old again?

Also getting a young dependable QB isn't as easy as you make it sound. Teams can go a lifetime without seeing one.

July 12, 2010  02:36 PM ET

Bears.

July 12, 2010  02:43 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

I don't know all those names but I don't see too many of those guys being offensive linemen. That is the area I feel they are declining in. I admit they have some young players but they will lose half their Williams wall and that O-line isn't getting any younger. Their YPC has declined each of the last two years.

I think a lot of that is contributed to more passing. The offense last year was an all-around better one. And early on last year, AP was doing fine before they became more of a passing offense.

AP isn't declining. He's getting less touches. Last year, he got 49 less touches. Assuming he continued his average of 4.9 yards a carry, he would have had 1623 yards last year. He's far from declining, just taking a back seat per say to Favre.

July 12, 2010  02:43 PM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Also getting a young dependable QB isn't as easy as you make it sound. Teams can go a lifetime without seeing one.

I agree. I don't mean for it to sound easy. And they could have drafted Clausen or McCoy this draft and I don't know why they didn't. If either one of them pan out, they are set for years and years to come.

 
July 12, 2010  02:48 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

I think a lot of that is contributed to more passing. The offense last year was an all-around better one. And early on last year, AP was doing fine before they became more of a passing offense.AP isn't declining. He's getting less touches. Last year, he got 49 less touches. Assuming he continued his average of 4.9 yards a carry, he would have had 1623 yards last year. He's far from declining, just taking a back seat per say to Favre.

I don't feel it is AP declining. He has a fumbling problem but that can be corrected [Barber]. The guy still worries the hell out of me. I feel it is the offensive line that isn't as dominate as it was 3 or 4 years ago. This is only natural as those guys are probably on the downside of their prime [not so old they aren't still one of the best units and I would trade them out with Packers O-line in a heart beat].

I think the Vikings and Packers are teams in two different phases of development. Whether the Packers can make the improvements to get to the level the Vikings are in now is what will determine the division.

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