Well, NFL season kick off is less than 63 hours less away (no I don't count the Raiders at Patriots) and I've been looking ahead at 2005. The NFC North has tons of potential. Most experts pick Minnesota to win the division with the trendy picking being the Detroit Lions again. I don't know about Detroit or Green Bay but it is obvious to me that Minnesota is easily the divisional pick and it's all because of the quarterback.Looking at the NFC North, there are many questions and so many factors we could consider. But for me, it's easy: The quarterback is king in the NFC North. Daunte continues to improve, Brett Favre is a silouette riding into the sunset, and Chicago and Detroit are looking for one. Yes, quarterback is king and the true king will determine who will run the land.
Let's look at the quarterback situation and this will clear up quickly:
- Leading the pack by far is Minnesota. Not only has Daunte Culpepper improved over the years but if a disaster occured, the Vikings has a great backup in returning quarterback Brad Johnson. Culpepper is king in this department but he has competition.
- Green Bay has something to say when it come to quarterback. Brett Favre will undoubtedly be going into history as a great quarterback but the best of Brett can be seen on highlight films and DVDs sold at most retail outlets. Rumor is that this is the last year we'll see the green number 4 on Lambeau Field. Brett Favre is certainly riding into the sunset but he's not gone yet. Anyone who wonders if Brett can take his offense to the postseason need only look at the Green Bay receivers who earned Super Bowl rings with Brett Favre. Super Bowl Brett helped Antonio Freeman, Andre Rison, and Mark Chmura earn rings. All these players were good but without Brett, do you seriously think any of these players could win it all? Green Bay's ball-catching threats were good but not Super Bowl great.
- The most promising quarterback in Detroit was backup Jeff Garcia. When he was injured in the preason (he is lost for 6 to 8 weeks), I saw the Lions' hopes for postseason play disappear. I honestly thought the Lions could do some damage in the NFC but it wasn't behind starting quarterback Joey Harrington. With Garcia joining Detroit, I saw a man who could use the many weapons in Honolulu blue. I have seen potential in Joey but do not seen him taking them far.
- The biggest quarterback debacle is in Chicago. Things are so bad in Chicago that one of last year's starters, Chad Hutchinson is gone (cut August 30th) and the Bears' depth chart lists Kyle Orton, Jeff Blake, and Kurt Kittner. Looks like the Bears will be the cellar-dwellers in 2005.
That's my NFC North preview. It's short & sweet with two kings and two pretenders to the throne. There's a lot we could talk about but for me, it's simple: Quarterback is king in the NFC North.