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Cory's Corner: Welcome back NFL

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Cory's Corner: Welcome back NFL

We’re on the doorstep of another NFL season. This campaign seems a lot like last year — just replace Tom Brady for Ezekiel Elliott.

Both people have been in commissioner Roger Goodell’s crosshairs and are arguably the most important player on the Patriots and Cowboys. Both teams are also the most polarizing in all of the NFL, which is why a punishment decision has meant so much.

Speaking of punishment, the Patriots will punish the AFC this year. Tom Brady may be 40, but he’s coming off a year in which he had a ridiculous touchdown-interception ratio of 28-2. With beefed-up weapons at his side, Brady will continue to flourish because his offensive line continues to be reliable.

The Patriots shouldn’t have a problem going 6-0 as they barnstorm through the simple AFC East. And it’s not crazy to think that going 14-2 is out of the question for this group because they won 14 games last year and that included Brady being absent for four games.

While the AFC is basically the Patriots and everyone else, the NFC is a lot trickier. Will Dak Prescott be able to carry a team when Elliott is gone? Can the Packers’ defense hold up their end of the bargain on a team with an offense that will challenge for the NFL’s best. Can Russell Wilson move the chains on a team that is depleted at receiver and on the offensive line?

And then there will be the NFC upstarts. Jameis Winston was blessed with a plethora of weapons in Tampa and now that T.J. Ward signed with the Buccaneers, why can’t they win the NFC South?

And let’s not forget the most valuable offensive player in the NFL that isn’t a quarterback — David Johnson. He is so strong, so fast and so versatile that the Cards have a chance in the desert. Yes, Carson Palmer seems to be older than fire, but with the NFC’s best secondary, Arizona can suffocate a lot of teams in a pass-happy league.

Now for my Super Bowl pick. As you may have guessed, the Patriots are my pick in the AFC only because the Steelers, Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos don’t measure up. And the simple reason is because Bill Belichick makes sure that egos are checked at the door as he resets the game plan to attack the opponents’ weaknesses.

In the NFC, I like the Seahawks. It’s because of how indestructible the defense has become. Doing anything against this unit is going to be tough. Getting yardage on first and second down is very critical against this team. Because if you’re staring at too many third-and-7s, good luck. The front four is good enough to pressure without a blitz and the secondary is good enough to play superb press man. Offensively, though, Wilson is the key. He will need to have a career year in order for Seattle to score 27 points a game, which is more than enough for this defense.

So the Patriots and Seahawks — best offense against the best defense. Should be a good one. 

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (32) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

The TKstinator's picture

(The NFL is back. Feels like Christmas!)

Good points. But EVERYTHING relies on health, for every team.

One of the biggest fallacies is "injuries are no excuse". That is such a load of garbage. I understand why coaches and players have to say it in the media, but we know better.

Every team is a few key injuries away from being a very different team. If you don't believe me, try this little game I made up: on any given week, you have the authority to bench any four players from your opponent's squad. If you care WHICH four, then you are agreeing that injuries (and by that I mean injuries severe enough to keep the player out of the game) can make a great deal of difference.

So GB has Seattle in week one. Which four Seahawks would you put on the bench?

Nick Perry's picture

They'd all be defensive players and for that very reason the Seahawks won't be the NFC Champs this year like so many "Experts" seem to have already done.

croatpackfan's picture

I agree...

dobber's picture

Seattle still has to deal with their OL. They're not good.

Without a real running game, Wilson's going to take a lot of hits. It hurt them a year ago, and it's going to keep them from winning the NFC this year.

Jonathan Spader's picture

If the Packers beat Seattle in week 1 which team is your favorite to win the NFC or does that not sway your decision because of how early the game is?

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

All of our players might offensive guys. Maybe Perry.

As for Seattle, I'd certainly pick Wilson.

RCPackerFan's picture

I am just so happy to finally get to week 1. With the first game 2 days away, let see what the best sport has to offer us for the next 6 months has in store for us.

Like TK said, injuries change everything for teams. At the end of the season the team that has the best QB, and has a good-great defense and is the healthiest should be the last team standing.

All I know is I can't wait to see what our new look offense will look like. With the additions of Bennett and Kendricks we now have 2 legit TE's. With Montgomery as our top RB, he bring so much versatility that it will create so many mismatches for defenses.
Also I think our defense will be much, much better. With Randall and Rollins back to health, add in House and King our CB room looks a lot better then it did at the end of last year.
I think we will see a huge difference with Clark and Lowry. I can't wait to see how they use Josh Jones. Also bringing in Brooks was a great move.

Lets hope for a healthy year. I am ready for it to begin!

GBPDAN1's picture

I'm glad the opener is at home. Seattle's D with their crowd noise behind it in Seattle will be a tough challenge for any offence. I hope Bulaga can play. If he is unable to , I see having to give Murphy help which would eliminate that extra player (RB or TE) from being another weapon that Seattle would have to account for.

An other worry I have is Unlike Seattle, who played their complete starting offense a lot in the preseason (and lost their LT as a result), the Packers complete offense played very little together. I believe live game action in the preseason helps get the team ready for the regular season opener, even if the team has the best QB in the game. I understand why holding Rodgers out was important from a injury stand point, but the consequence could be starting slow against a good D. Chemistry with the new TEs is important.

It's unfortunate that Rodgers didn't play more in the 3rd preseason game. But the reason why was due to my first concern, no quality depth behind our OTs.

That all being said, Pack wins a close one at home. I have a good feeling about our D keeping Seattle's O in check. Go Pack

Since '61's picture

In 2008 the Detroit Lions played their starters during the preseason and they went 4 - 0. It helped them so much that they went 0-16 during the regular season. Just another iota of proof that preseason performances mean nothing.
Thanks, Since '61

GBPDAN1's picture

Hi Since '61. I always enjoy your posts. Thank you for pointing out that i didn't convey my thoughts properly. What I ment was I believe some live game action in the preseason helps get the offense ready for the regular season opener. Not the regular season in general. I have since added 'opener' to my statement.

I always refer to the Lions going 4-0 preseason and 0-16 in the regular season when making a point about how preseason games are not that important when it comes to victories. By the way, I was always curious as 'Since 61' was when you were born as a Packers fan or when you became a Packers fan?

Since '61's picture

GBPDAN1 - Thanks for asking, I enjoy your posts as well.

1961 was the year I began my Packer fanhood after watching Lombardi's Packers obliterate the NY Giants 37-0 in the NFL Championship game. 1962 was actually my first full season as a Packer fan. As a born and raised New Yorker I chose to become a Packer fan.

If I had been born in 1961 I would be younger than I am but then I probably would not remember or appreciate those great Lombardi teams.
Without the Lombardi years combined with growing up in New York City, I'm not sure that I would have become or remained a Packers fan throughout the 70s and 80s. Those were difficult years to be a long distance fan in a city with two local teams.

However, I hung onto those 60s Packer teams as friends and relatives remained Giants and Jets fans or joined the Cowboy, Steeler and 49er bandwagons. Fortunately I held out until the Wolf, Holmgren, Favre era with no regrets in doing so. 2017 will be my 56th season as a Packer fan.
Thanks, Since '61

GBPDAN1's picture

Must have been awesome watching the Lombardi Packers though out the 60s. I was born in 1959 in Milwaukee. My dad had season tickets for the Milwaukee Country Stadium home games. I was too young to remember most of it, but I do remember my dad buying my brothers and I Packers helmets and we would play football in the backyard. Moved to the UP when I was 9. Started watching the Packers during the 70s. Yep, you're right, the 70s and 80s were rough years. Moved to California right when Favre appeared. Been here ever since. So, since I've moved to California, the Packers have had 2 HOF QBs. I'm not going to move anytime soon.....lol

Steve Cheez's picture

<p>&#39;61 is also when my Dad moved to Green Bay and became a season-ticket holder.&nbsp; Pretty good timing on his part, I&#39;d say...</p>

flackcatcher's picture

Cory, have you seen Seattle's offensive line. Unstable is the kindness word I can use to describe it. Overall the NFC is far tougher the AFC. You understate just how bad the AFC east. Can't put it better than TK and Bearmeat did up thread. Pick four to take out, then tell me how Seattle wins. Cool kids pick, UGH.

flackcatcher's picture

Sorry Nick. (never comment when your still half asleep UGH!)

PatrickGB's picture

Right now I think that Atlanta is still the better team over the Seahawks. And maybe even the cowboys are better. In any case the NFC is no cakewalk and this year we have drawn the toughest foes on our schedule. A true test of our mettle and grit. The big push begins.

RCPackerFan's picture

It will be interesting to see how Atlanta plays this year. Teams that lose the Super Bowl usually have a let down season the year after. Just look at the Panthers from a year ago. Atlanta's Division is a lot harder now as well. Tampa and Carolina are going to be hard teams to beat.

dobber's picture

Dallas has a great OL, but with that defense and that secondary, it's going to have to lead the league in points per possession for them to be a SB caliber team. They're going to get lit up a few times this year, and I'm not sure Dak is as good as people make him out to be...

Since &#039;61's picture

Dobber - Dak had one of the lowest if not the lowest QB rating in the league last season on 3rd and long. Until Elliot returns from his suspension I don't think that Dallas will do much offensively.
Plus their defense lost a few people to free agency. The NY Giants have the best defense in that division and an excellent passing offense. They have OL and RB problems but I think they will beat out Dallas for the NFC East.
Thanks, Since '61

Jonathan Spader's picture

My thoughts exactly since 61'. Dallas also lost 2 pieces of their OLine. Witten, Bryant, and McFadden don't keep DCs up at night. Stopping OBJ, Marshall, Shepard, and Engram might.

dschwalm's picture

Dac worries me, though. I am convinced he will be better than last year.

croatpackfan's picture

Well, I remember 2015 WCG in Minnesota. Both teams had hard D and weak O. It finished 10 to 9 for Seahawks. Why? Because they had a little better O (better for QB value!).

I do not believe that Packers will score less than 15 points at Lambeau. And Seattle will be happy to score 10. So, I do not see Seahawks win over Packers on Sunday.

Also. expect Packers D to be better how season will advance. Unit will gel and young players (King, Josh, Odom, Gilbert - he will be activated!) will add a lot of experience. Do not surprise if you'll see Janis and Davis taking offensive snaps and make a problem to Seahawks secondary with their speed.

I believe, Packers are on to go this year. I feel good things will happen.

Also, I will go contra Cory and say that SB will be Raiders vs Packers...

RCPackerFan's picture

I like the Raiders pick. I would have liked to have seen how they would have done last playoffs had Carr not gotten hurt and would have been able to play.

The TKstinator's picture

Injuries rear their ugly head yet again!
(And in a non-Wisconsin locale!)

Handsback's picture

Let's look at the first game. It has a lot of ramifications as to which team has home field advantage. With Lacy as Green Bay's RB, I don't see him making a lot of headway against Seattle. The difference in this first game will be Monty. Seattle will have that strong defense ready to shut down any thoughts of running against them. Maybe those TEs of Green Bay will move Chancellor away from the box, if so then Seattle has to stop the run with theat very talented front 7. The difference between Lacy and Monty is patience and explosion. Lacy is a very great battering ram. In the 4th qtr if you still have the luxury of running the ball he will bust out some runs. Monty is going to be patient and wait for holes to open up in that defense. The Packer's have a very good oline that will open up the holes just not right away. Monty will wait for those creases and fire through them.

The point of my post is that the first game will show the NFL which team's strength, Green Bay's offense or Seattle's defense will make it's mark on the season. To me, those are the two best teams in the NFC. Now the AFC is being conceded to NE. I'm of the opinion that Pittsburg with all of their weapons will make a lot of noise and win the conference. So Green Bay and Pittsburg will have another reunion and it will be a great game.

Jonathan Spader's picture

Handsback are you aware that Lacy plays for Seattle not Green Bay? FEAST MODE!

Handsback's picture

Of course, just explaining the difference between attacking the Seahawks from last year to this year.

dschwalm's picture

Just wait. Atlanta will win the NFC in a runaway. They have few, if any weaknesses.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Lucas Patrick and Montravius Adams practiced Monday, though Adams was limited to individual drills. Every one else practiced except for Bulaga. While that is a bummer, and it is not clear yet whether he'll be able to play against Seattle, overall this is good news and much better than expected. Brice, Dix, Perry and CM3 all practiced.

Thegreatreynoldo's picture

Lucas Patrick and Montravius Adams practiced Monday, though Adams was limited to individual drills. Every one else practiced except for Bulaga. While that is a bummer, and it is not clear yet whether he'll be able to play against Seattle, overall this is good news and much better than expected. Brice, Dix, Perry and CM3 all practiced.

Since &#039;61's picture

Since the Packers cannot control who wins the AFC I will focus my post on the NFC.
As I posted above I believe that the NY Giants will win the NFC East with their strong defense and excellent passing attack. Their weaknesses are their OL and ground game.

NFC South is a tough call. Atlanta, Carolina and Tampa can all contend for that division. Tampa is solid on both sides of the ball. Matt Ryan is not likely to repeat his MVP performance from last season and the team may suffer a hangover from their SB defeat. Difficult to assess which way Carolina will go but they can be a factor in the South.

NFC West is between Seattle and Arizona again. AZ may have the best defense in the conference. If they stay healthy they can win the division over Seattle. Can Palmer still be effective at QB?

The Packers will win the NFC North. The questions are; will they earn home field advantage for the playoffs and how well will their defense play. If they can play at home in the playoffs and the defense is improved they will represent the NFC in the SB and they will defeat the AFC representative. Health, Defense and home field are the 3 keys for the Packers this season. Go Pack Go!
Thanks, Since '61

Lphill's picture

I don't get all the Love for Seattle , who do they have on offense besides Wilson ? exactly , the Packers should score on them no problem , actually I think the Packers win by at least 2 scores and build some nice momentum from the game , I don't think Rodgers fears any defense .

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