Toughest division as far as physical, black and blue bruising, grind 'em up and spit 'em out tough? Yeah, no contest. No other division is close. IMO.
Toughest division as far as quality teams and potential winning records? I'd say so. Any one of our top 3 teams could win just about any other division. I don't think any other division could make that statement. Again, IMO, and not based on actual win/loss records as of now. Just my opinion on how I see the teams are playing.
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I think Minn is playing very similar to SF, but the difference is, i think the lack of experience by ponder will catch up to them, (but i think he has a lot more talent, imo; give him another year, and i wouldn't be surprised, with added depth at wr, they will have closer to a 50/50 offensive svheme next year, and i think ponder's ypa or whatever it is, will rise making them a possiy amazing team next year, but merely "in the hunt until the pack and bears, among others put a beat on 'em for a few game stretches when it counts....)
The Pack is coming back offensively, but even worse defensively; if they miss the playoffs, i'd be surprised.
The Bears seem to be "this far away" from figuring it out on O, but when they do, or are just in the upper 15, they should have a deep playoff run. The lions will crush any qb without an arrogant amount of self-confidence, but they just don't seem lik qb and star wr are in the same book, let alone play, at times. Front 7 is amazing, but stafford is no Rodgers, Manning or Brady, hence hia inability to make up for them having no real running game. Front 7 is beastly on D tho, but all around, a very undisciplined bunch. If Rivera or Schottenheimer were availble to fill in the HC vacancy if it happens, i could def see a major "not-backing into the playoffs because Cutler was hurt playoff appearance. I see it:
Bears or Packers
The leser of those two
Vikes (could def make it in, but they're kinda like the 2001 bears with a tougher division)
Lions, could catch fire, but i just aint buying it, with a hotheaded in public HC, and every other aforementioned death sentence with players on other teams playing better ball, and a lot fewer penalties/turnovers
Preseason I'd probably have said NFCN or NFCE. In the beginning of the season I'd have said NFCW but at this given point I'd say NFCN we got 3 teams that right now are playoff candidates.
My top 3 is following:
I'd say Yes especially IF Detroit can get it together. I don't think they will because of the lack of discipline and other issues. I think their best bet to fire Schwartz at the end of the year.
So far it looks that way but the NFCW is close behind. Still a tough question to answer until we get into the second half of the season. For the Bears the real test comes much later when our divisional games start to stack up.
I'm getting to that age where a lifetime warranty just doesn't mean as much to me anymore as an afternoon nap. Honey Badger Don't Care. Honey Badger Don't Give a Shit.