We admit this might not be the best or most thorough NFL preview you will ever read (did you know: football starts tonight. WOOOOOOOOOO!) But it is probably the only one you will read that includes the picture of the author with T.C. Bear. That picture was taken last night at Buffalo Wild Wings in Columbia Heights, where a few of us watched pal Kraig Applecherry host the Twins' pre-game show live. T.C. even served us our wings. Not sure why, but he sure did. Anyway, on with the preview! Part I -- the NFC. (Predicted records in parentheses).
Vikings: Offensive line will be the biggest question mark. Overall, though, there's as much reason for optimism as in any season this decade. Jared Allen's skullet is worth one win by itself. (12-4).
Packers: Will be improved with a new defensive alignment. Aaron Rodgers looked great in the preseason, but depth and cheese fatigue will be factors. (10-6).
Bears: Jay Cutler's pouty lips and an overrated defense = disappointment in Chicago. (8-8).
Lions: Making strides, but rookie QBs don't usually succeed early. (4-12).
Eagles: Putting it all together for a big run. If Westbrook stays healthy, look out. (13-3).
Giants: Enough talent, but can still be inconsistent. (10-6)
Cowboys: Emmitt is right. These guys are a mess. (7-9)
Redskins: They seem to be the same team every year. And that's not a compliment. (6-10)
Seahawks: A lot of signs point to a bounceback year in a weak division. (10-6)
Cardinals: Something tells us Kurt Warner will break down. (8-8)
49ers: Mike Singletary will have a hard time keeping his pants on. (6-10)
Rams: Still not sure what the plan is in St. Louis. (4-12)
Saints: They finished on the bottom of the NFL's best division last year at 8-8. This year they'll be on top. (11-5)
Falcons: Time for a small regression (9-7).
Panthers: Time for a major regression (7-9).
Bucs: No-name skill position players will catch up to Tampa Bay (6-10).
NFC title game: Vikings 30, Packers 27, OT (it just can't end any other way).