Who Am I?

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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

NFL 2011 SEASON PREVIEW NFC NORTH




NFC NORTH PROJECTED ORDER OF FINISH

1.      Packers
2.      Vikings
3.      Bears
4.      Lions



GREEN BAY: EXCERCISING DEMONS OF THE PAST

Charles Woodson was right after their win over the Bears in the NFC Championship:





The Packers had 16 players on injured reserve last season.



I know Kevin Arnold’s dad. Craziness…

I think it invoked this reaction from Vince Lombardi:



Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has emerged from the Brett Favre’s shadow and established himself as the face of the franchise. The Packers had to only win four playoff games to return the Vince Lombardi trophy to Green Bay, WI but they had to win their final two regular season games just to make the playoffs.

I think there are some comparisons to another Packers legend… but not Brett Favre.

I am willing to compare him with Bart Starr.

Even though Bart Starr won his Super Bowls towards the end of his career, Starr only lost one playoff game as the starting quarterback of the Packers, a 4-point loss to the Eagles in the 1960 NFL Championship Game. In addition to winning the first two Super Bowls, Starr was a part of the Packers NFL Championship Teams in 1961, 1962, and 1965.



What made Starr clutch was his performance on the game winning drive in the 1967 NFL Championship Game, also commonly referred to as the “Ice Bowl.”

Rodgers in the playoffs completed 68.2% (90 of 132) of his passes, threw for 1,094 yards and 9 touchdowns vs. 2 interceptions. He compiled a quarterback rating of 109.8. Including the last two games of the regular season, Rodgers completed 68.0% of his passes, threw for 1,727 yards, and 14 touchdowns vs. 3 interceptions. His quarterback rating goes up to 112.6. Rodgers was consistent when the Packers needed him to be.

Through and through this is a talented team, specifically on defense.







The Packers became the first Super Bowl Champion to score touchdowns off interceptions in three consecutive playoff games.



Linebacker Clay Matthews came up big in key moments, especially in last season’s Super Bowl forcing a fumble on the first play of the fourth quarter with the Packers’ led at 4. It provided the spark to…



Get wide receiver Greg Jennings fitted for a Super Bowl ring.

I do support that the Packers could repeat in 2011 because this team is very deep. This team is healthy. They have a good core group.

However, a word of caution… it is tough to repeat.


MINNESOTA: OLD QBs BATHE IN WATERS OF LAKE MINETONKA



The video of the Metrodome roof collapsing pretty much describes the Vikings 2010 season.



The events force the Vikings to play their first home game outside in over 30 years...

Hmmm… Maybe the Vikings should explore playing outside more.



OK… just to make sure… Favre is retired.

The Vikings hired Leslie Frazier as their new head coach and traded for quarterback Donovan McNabb. McNabb, younger than Favre, is a much better upgrade at the position. McNabb, after playing in Philadelphia since being drafted as a first-round selection in 1999, spent a season in Washington that had some promise in the beginning but fizzled away as the season ended. McNabb was benched in the final three games of the season. Now he is in Minnesota, making what could be a last run at winning a title.

Even though some writers are picking the Vikings to finish last, I think this team could be in the mix of the NFC Playoff Picture. They still have Jared Allen at defensive end and running back Adrian Peterson. Compared to last season, McNabb is arriving to a team with talent unlike when he arrived in Washington last season.

CHICAGO: CALLING OUT CUTLER

Jay Cutler was able to take the Bears to the NFC Championship Game. He wasn’t on the field in the second half due to a foot injury.

Some have called Cutler’s toughness into question.

You know, something… Cutler is the best quarterback that the Bears have had in a long time. You’d have to go back to the days of Sid Luckman in order to find a decent Bears quarterback.

The Bears are going to have a difficult time competing in the NFC North in part due to the Packers are the defending champion, the Vikings made an improvement at the quarterback position, and the Lions might be able to post single digits in the loss column.


DETROIT: CONTINUING THE LONG CLIMB TO RESPECTABILITY

Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh made a statement branding a nickname for the Lions Defense.

Before coming up with a nickname, accomplish something first.

I place the Lions in fourth place for 2011 because of the amount of talent that the rest of the division has. I do not think that this is the same Lions team that people are going to walk over.

For instance, I see the Lions on the Cowboys schedule. I used to circle that as a W for Dallas…

But after watching the Lions first teamers take care of the Patriots first teamers… I am not so sure that will be a win.

It might be 2012 when the Lions finally make their first playoff appearance since 1999. This season, will be a 7-9 finish, but they will be building towards something.

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