1. #1
    Chance Harper
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    Packers among NFC best bets

    Taking a Chance: Packers among NFC best bets

    Will he or won't he? Only Brett Favre's agent knows for sure if the veteran QB will forego retirement and return to action. But with or without Favre, the Packers are a good bet.



    It’s a new day in the NFL. Or is it?

    Reports continue to mount that Brett Favre is itching to 'un-retire' and make his return to the league. It may not happen, and if it does, it may not be with the Green Bay Packers. But this is exactly the kind of situation that can really gum up the betting odds.

    We’ll take our chances anyway with these picks in the NFC. Green Bay looks pretty good with or without Favre, and the other top contenders are already set at quarterback.

    NFC East: Dallas Cowboys
    Full credit to the New York Giants for improving over the course of the 2007 season and winning the Super Bowl. If they do it again, I’ll eat a bug*.

    (*NOTE: Bug must be made entirely of Kobe beef.)

    The Cowboys are 4-7 favorites to win the division. They added controversial, yet talented, cornerback Adam Jones during the offseason, and they have Pro Bowl wide receiver Terry Glenn coming back after missing most of last year to injury.

    Put first-round draft pick and versatile RB Felix Jones from Arkansas in the same backfield as Marion Barber and the Cowboys should be even better than the team that led the NFC in efficiency last year while going 13-3 (9-7 against the spread).

    NFC North: Green Bay Packers
    Let’s leave Favre out of this for now. QB Aaron Rodgers is stepping into a fantastic situation. He’s going to lead a club that tied Dallas at 13-3 (12-3-1 ATS, best in the NFL). None of the other three teams in the division had a winning record, which is enough reason for the Packers to be favored again at 8-5. But like the Cowboys, Green Bay is a team on the rise. The Pack moved from 15th to fifth in the league last year in efficiency.

    There’s more where that came from. The same young offensive line that nearly drove Favre into retirement two years ago became the top pass protection unit in the NFL in 2007, allowing only 19 sacks (3.1 percent sack rate). Rodgers should feel more than comfortable in his first full year under center. And if Favre does come back, bonus for Packers supporters.

    NFC South: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    This is the most difficult division to pick. The Bucs are the second favorites at 7-5; oddsmakers have the New Orleans Saints ahead at 6-5.

    But it was more than just the Deuce McAllister injury that derailed the Saints last year. Their pass defense was the worst in the NFL last year in terms of efficiency; that’s not going to improve enough in one season to push New Orleans back to the top of the division.

    The Bucs, on the other hand, went 9-7 straight up and ATS despite injuries to RB Carnell ‘Cadillac’ Williams and OT Luke Petitgout. They return to a club that was solid in all aspects of the game last year and should be that much better after plucking Pro Bowl center Jeff Faine off the Saints’ roster.

    NFC West: Seattle Seahawks
    The Seahawks have won the NFC West each of the past four seasons with very little opposition. They’re even money to make it five in a row; the Arizona Cardinals are improving, but have too large a gap to close in 2008.

    Seattle was the only winning team in the division last year at 10-6 (9-7 ATS). And this was with former league MVP RB Shaun Alexander on his last legs.

    Julius Jones comes over from the Cowboys to shore up Seattle’s running game, and the offensive line that faltered after Steve Hutchinson went to Minnesota is on the road to recovery after adding Pro Bowl guard (and former Favre protector) Mike Wahle from the Panthers. They might not make it back to the Super Bowl, but the Seahawks should at least move up from ninth in the efficiency rankings, staving off the competition for another year.

  2. #2
    5 star bomb
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    good article

  3. #3
    ZBOIZ
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    Take the SAINTS TO WIN THE SOUTH!!!!

    There D is way improved from last year!
    with Will Smith, Grant,Sedrick Ellis, Hollis Thomas, McCray, Randal Gay, Tracy Porter, and Jonathon Vilma!

    This D will be good enough to hold opponents so we want have to win in a shoot out!

    Remember they have our offense rank number 3 in the NFL behind the Colts!!!

    All we need is defense and you talking about Superbowl

  4. #4
    Jetsfan
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    I'm not on the Wisconsin bandwagon. Despite being a bench understudy to Favre, Aaron Rogers isn't experienced and has durability issues. The defense will keep them in it, but the offense wont catapult them into another division win, Minnesotas will.

  5. #5
    slacker00
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetsfan View Post
    I'm not on the Wisconsin bandwagon. Despite being a bench understudy to Favre, Aaron Rogers isn't experienced and has durability issues. The defense will keep them in it, but the offense wont catapult them into another division win, Minnesotas will.
    I am a Packer fan, and I despise the Vikings and always have.

    But Minny versus GB really comes down to Tavaris/Adrian versus Aaron/Ryan. It's hard to pick GB when you break it down like that. Rodgers has too much to prove, whereas Jackson already has a couple years as a starter under his belt, albeit he's been knocked around and hasn't been a full time starter. Those starts still add up and build experience. I just have that sinking feeling that this year Tavaris will wake up and the Vikings will suddenly become a very tough out in the NFC.

    SBR Founder Join Date: 10/6/2005


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