Vikings


The Lions’ Chase For Immortality 3

So every Thanksgiving, the Detroit Lions manage to make their way on the television sets of so many people at home with their families but this year, watching them is just going to be awful.

The Lions coming into this week are 0-11 with an average margin of defeat at 13.9 points per game. 4 out of their 5 losses at home have come by 18 points or more (lone close game was vs. Washington by 8 points). On the other hand, 4 out of their 6 losses and more specifically their last 4 road games have been decided by single digits.

They get blown out by an average of 20 points at home (5 games) while its only 8.8 on the road. Maybe it’s the pressure of being consistently being barraged by the home crowd and even the late acquisition of Daunte Culpepper didn’t help where they built a 17-0 lead IN THE FIRST QUARTER only to get outscored 38-3 the rest of the game.

This is where really awful teams need luck. It is really hard to go 16 games without winning one. The Miami Dolphins (1-15) proved that last year with an overtime thriller against the Ravens. The final 5 games for Lions are against the Titans, Vikings, @ Colts, Saints and @ Packers who are a combined 34-21 with Packers being the only team under .500 at 5-6.

I don’t think there’s anyway Titans lose tomorrow night after the beating they took against the Jets. The Colts who are still fighting to secure a playoff spot will not take the Lions easily and will look to dismantle them early. The Saints offense has looked explosive at times this year and they can easily outscore any team to win a game. That just leaves it to the two divisional games with Minnesota and at Green Bay. The Vikings is a home game where the Lions have done awful so I wouldn’t expect that to change this late in the season so I’ll mark that at a loss.

That puts them at 0-15 going into the final week of the season in Green Bay. This could be a vital game for the Packers as they are in a fight for the playoff lives with a 3-team race in the division. You know the Lions play tough on the road, Lambeau just doesn’t have the mystique and intimidation factor that it once did for the Cheeseheads and no player, on any team wants to go 0-16. I am just afraid with the up and down season that Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are having that they are going to slip up week 17 against a winless team and end up missing the playoffs by a week.

It is very hard to go 0-16 and even though no one deserves to go an entire season without winning a single game, I wouldn’t mind seeing it this year… although I’m quite afraid that the Packers just might ruin that for me.

So here’s the breakdown that I have for the Lions’ final five games:

Tennessee – Loss (14-31)
Minnesota – Loss (17-21)
at Indianapolis – Loss (14-28)
New Orleans – Loss (14-35)
at Green Bay – Win (21-20)


NFL Predictions… What Are Yours?

I’ll post my NFL predictions for this season now and talk about a couple of things I think will crucial this upcoming season. A couple of things to look out for will be the age of the New England Patriots’ defense. No one expects them to run the table again in the regular season but people might be in for a surprise if their age finally catches up to them and they end up losing 4 or 5 games. Also, who knows how injured Tom Brady really is and how effective he’ll be in the early parts of the season?

In the NFC, Aaron Rodgers has been handed a wonderful team but a great receiving group and all he has to do is not try to be Brett Favre. If he can stick to the short passes and allow the receivers to do their work with YAC as they did last year along with the new found running game in Ryan Grant – the Packers could really repeat as one of the top two seeds in the conference. New York Giants on the other hand have lost two considerablely talented players on defense and will that blow be big enough to keep them out of the playoffs? I doubt it because their offense has matured well enough and Eli should be able to carry a team to a couple of wins just by himself this year.

In the playoffs, you can never count out Brett Favre and certainly he’s not done with the way he played last year. Cold weather will be not be an issue and just might be something to provide Jets’ fans with something to hope for. However, let’s all be realistic. The Jets went 4-12 last year and just making the playoffs this year will be a dramatic improvement so I doubt they advance much further even though I do have them winning a game in the post-season.

Is this the year that Tony Romo finally breaks through and stops choking in the clutch? I think so. Packers losing Favre drops their main threat to be #1 once again in the conference and they had all the opportunities in the world to beat the Giants last year in the Divisional Round and if Romo can control the ball, they would have at least been a game away from going to the Super Bowl. No reason to expect the same progress this year, if not a little bit more poise and potentially a couple more wins in the post-season.

Does a Manning win a Super Bowl this year as well? Well that would make it three years in a row with Peyton and his Colts beating the Bears in 2007 although the loss of Jeff Saturday in the early parts of the season can slow down their progress but probably not enough to keep them from winning the division yet again en route to the Super Bowl XLIII victory on February 1, 2009.

Predictions are after the break. (more…)


Green Bay Wins, Brett Favre Loses

I decided against posting on this issue until it was completely resolved and last night, just that happened.

After taking a beating in the press for not welcoming back Brett Favre as their starting quarterback, the Green Bay Packers accomplished what they originally set out to do – trade him to a team as far away as possible that they could only see him in the Super Bowl. They also secured the fact that he would basically not be traded to the Minnesota Vikings by having the Jets give the Packers three 1st round draft picks if they do decide to ship him in that direction. There is no doubt that he still has some talent left in him and Packers made that clear when they were ready to bring him back early this off season but when he kept going back and forth, the Packers decided to pursue to future in Aaron Rodgers.

I can’t blame the Packers for what they did because they had lived through the past few years not knowing whether Brett was coming back or not and for the first time when they had a definitive answer this early in the off-season, they needed to make plans for a Post-Favre Green Bay. It is understandable why the media is just in love with Favre who can’t seem to do anything wrong in their eye. He has never come out and said anything against them, he has always had a good relationship and it always helps that he has been more successful than not in his career.

He goes to a New York Jets team that was 4-12 last year and certainly raises their hopes of becoming a playoff team. The Jets vastly improved their offensive line which was their biggest weakness and for Favre who was sacked 15 times all of last season (Pennington + Clemens were sacked a total of 53 times). Favre’s deep ball should open up the running game for the Jets who are still vying for the second spot in the division as you can realistically expect the New England Patriots to win the division again. (more…)