Wednesday, September 13, 2006

This dude, Ian Dembsky, over at has this to say about the NFC North:

"I’m convinced that the Vikings will win the NFC North. It comes down to two simple things: The running game, led by Chester Taylor and Steve Hutchinson, and the smart, efficient quarterback play of Brad Johnson. The Vikings’ defeat of the Redskins was a perfect example of what I expected to happen. They pounded the ball with the run, used the short passing game to help get first downs, and occasionally took advantage of the big-play ability of Troy Williamson (though it’d be nice if he could hang on to a few more of those passes). On defense, the Vikings were able to consistently get pressure from their defensive linemen, which will go a long way toward controlling the defensive side of the field. The Bears seem like the consensus pick for the division title, but I don’t believe Rex Grossman will handle the Minnesota defense the way Brad Johnson can: Taking advantage of everything given to him, while giving nothing away."

It's easy to follow the logic behind his argument, but I think he's missing a few things. Maybe, like most of those guys at FO, he maybe hasn't paid much attention to the Bears. In their little "Audibles at the Line" thing they didn't even mention that Bears/Packers game. I just don't think that Ian here realizes how good the Bears defense can be. Yes, his reasoning that Johnson's mistake-free play could win out against an inexperienced risk-taker like Grossman would make sense assuming that the Vikings and Bears defenses were roughly comparable. But they're not. The Vikings defense is good enough to keep people from scoring now and then and to get their offense back on the field; the Bears defense has proven itself capable of completely shutting down other teams and even single-handedly winning several games in a season.

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