For more chuckles and grins, now let’s see what the "experts" are saying in 2007.
1) Paul Zimmerman (aka Dr. Z) at Sports Illustrated has the order of finish in the NFC North this way: Bears 11-5, Packers 6-10, Vikings 6-10 and Lions 4-12.
East coast-based Dr. Z seldom has anything nice to say about
2) The Sporting News’ NFL Preview magazine has a much clearer view of the future: Bears 9-7, Packers 8-8, Vikings 6-10, Lions 6-10. This makes some sense. The Bears drift backward a bit, and the Packers improve their personnel but finish at .500 again because of their difficult schedule. The point is, the Packers may be closing the gap on
Now that’s some seriously good sports writing!
3) Returning to the dark side, here’s what Seth Doria of sports-central.org says:
4) Don Banks at cnnsi.com believes: “The Packers faced bleak prospects entering last season and wound up overachieving, so you can't rule them out of wild-card competition this year.”
Given some of the gloomy predictions we’ve seen, I guess that not being “ruled out” is a positive thing. Thanks, Mr. Banks!
5) Even Schein sees the light. Remember Adam Schein’s 3-13 prediction for 2006? Well, in 2007 he predicts
“The Packers play incredibly hard for Coach Mike McCarthy.
6) Over on msnbc.com, football contributor Bill Williamson wrote one of those “burning questions” columns, which included his answer to the question of whether
“No. Overall, the Packers are not an improved team and there is just isn’t enough offensive firepower to go on a big roll. The defense isn’t strong enough to carry
Sorry, but it’s time to douse this guy’s “burning issues” because over at NFL.com, Steve Silverman wrote: “The Packers will be better than you think if ...
The young defense that improved so much last season continues to get better. Kampman leads a bunch of hustlers on the defensive line while the linebackers have game-changing potential thanks to the instinctive Hawk.”
And Associated Press Sports writer Chris Jenkins also says our defense will be the key to success:
“Yes, Brett Favre is back for his 17th NFL season. But if the Green Bay Packers are to improve on last year's 8-8 record and make a surprise return to the playoffs, it will likely be because Favre and the offense have taken a back seat to an underrated, deep defense.”
And in the same story, author Jenkins got Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy to address the issue of the team’s perceived offensive weakness:
"I'm very comfortable with the ability of our offense to play whatever way we need to play to score points,'' McCarthy said.
Strangely, that almost makes sense.
As I reflect on the dozens of predictions I’ve read for the 2007 NFL season, the lesson I come away with is:
THE MOST TALENTED, INTELLIGENT FOOTBALL WRITERS AND BROADCASTERS TEND TO BE THOSE WHO SAY NICE THINGS ABOUT THE GREEN BAY PACKERS.
It’s really that simple.