Point/Counterpoint: Who will win the NFC North?

first_imgEric Schmoldt says:Bad news for the state of Michigan — your chances of a Wolverine championship are now slim and none. On the bright side, however, you can now turn your focus to the Detroit Lions run at the NFC Central.The Lions’ defense forced three turnovers Sunday while its offense didn’t even have to flex its muscles in a 17-3 victory over the Packers.Let’s put it this way — when Marcus Pollard is your leading receiver while you have Roy Williams, Mike Williams, and Charles Rogers on your team, and you can still pull off a victory over rival Green Bay, things are looking up.Many think that Joey Harrington will hold the Lions out of the top spot, but I don’t care if you’re a high school quarterback, you are going to win games with that receiving corps.I realize that Joey Heisman has been a lame duck, but seriously, his fourth and fifth options are better than some teams’ second.Not to mention Harrington has Kevin Jones to hand off to. Jones, in his sophomore season, will put up much higher numbers than the 87 yards that he had on Sunday.Let’s be honest, the Bears don’t stand a chance. Orton is not the immediate answer and hell hasn’t frozen over.The Packers, without Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera, were already in trouble. Now they have lost their top receiver and they just have to focus on beating Chicago.Minnesota seems to be the favorite choice, but their performance against Tampa Bay doesn’t lend much support.All Culpepper did without Randy Moss was put up five turnovers, as the Vikings’ offense couldn’t find the end zone.While Culpepper continues to complete as many passes to Randy Moss and I as he does to Williamson, and defensive backs continue to be his favorite target, the Vikings’ ship will continue to sink.Steve Mariucci will finally get his division title with the Lions.Tom Ziemer says:Oh, there’s nothing like the massive overreacting that occurs after every opening weekend of an NFL season. Willie Parker is a sure bet for MVP. San Francisco is just crafty enough to be a playoff team. The Detroit Lions will win the NFC North division title. Please. Anyone who believes this foolish garble must have spent the last year in an opium hut with Ricky Williams.The Minnesota Vikings are the best team in the NFC North. Yes, Detroit looked impressive in dismantling Green Bay, the franchise that has had a stranglehold on the division for the last three seasons. But, look past the Lions’ talented trio of receivers and budding star tailback. This is a Detroit team that, led by quarterback Joey Harrington, simply finds ways to lose games. They have proven that over the last four years, compiling a paltry 16-49 record.And, yes, Minnesota looked pitiful in losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But, if and when Mike Tice wakes up and realizes that in order to win football games it is required to run the ball more than 15 times, the Vikings will hit their stride offensively. Dante Culpepper is the best quarterback in the league not named “Peyton Manning” regardless of his five-turnover performance against the Bucs. Culpepper has bounced back from similar games before and will again. In Culpepper, Michael Bennett and the Vikings’ speedy stable of wideouts, Minnesota possesses one of the most dangerous offenses in the league, even without Randy Moss.An improved defense combined with the team’s quick-strike offense (once it wakes from the dead) will hand Minnesota the division title at the end of the season. So go on believing in the Lions. They’ll win it around the same time Ron Mexico learns how to play quarterback.last_img

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