staff predictions

Forecast of Green Bay's game against Lions, season

Jeff Royle, Publisher
Packers 2005 record (regular season): 11-5
Comment: This should be one of the league's best offenses. If Favre and company are hungry, the Pack should out-score most opponents.

NFC North Division winner: Packers
Comment: This team should be stronger on offense and the defense after another training camp together should improve.

Will Packers make playoffs? Yes
Comment: Anything can happen in the playoffs. Winning the division should give the Packers a bye week or at least a home playoff game vs. a wild card.

Sunday's game: Packers 35, Lions 17
Comment: This team needs to come out of the gates fast and hungry. Doubt regarding the team looms large and a 3-0 start is a must before heading to Carolina in week 4.

Jay Royle, Publisher
Packers 2005 record (regular season): 9-7
Comment: Outside of their divisional foes, the Packers face a very stern test on the road against Carolina, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Baltimore then Pittsburgh at home. These teams boast the best defenses in the league.

NFC North Division Winner: Green Bay Packers
Comment: It may be at 9-7, but they've won three straight so they have to be the favorite. Nobody else deserves to be there until they take it away from the Pack.

Will Packers make the playoffs? Yes
Comment: As division winners and they will win one playoff game at home.

Sunday's Game: Packers 38 Lions 31

Todd Korth, Managing Editor
Packers 2005 record (regular season): 8-8
Comment: The Packers are rebuilding this season with more rookies on the roster than ever before. Expect inconsistency, even with Brett Favre at quarterback.

NFC North Division Winner: Chicago Bears
Comment: No one in Titletown is going to like me for this pick, but the Bears have the best defense in the division. Kyle Orton will hold the fort until Rex Grossman returns. The Bears will awake out of hibernation this season.

Will Packers make the playoffs? No
Comment: Green Bay's string of three straight division titles will be snapped, but next they will contend for the division title in 2006.

Sunday's game: Lions 28, Packers 17
Comment: The Lions have too much offense for Green Bay's new defense. Kevin Jones had a big game last year against Green Bay. This year, the Lions have four excellent receivers to complement Jones. Detroit also has the edge over Green Bay on special teams with Eddie Drummond leading the way.

Harry Sydney, Correspondent
Packers 2005 record (regular season): 8-8
Comment: The Packers will struggle all season for the same reasons: NO PASS RUSH. The defense doesn't have the people to run the Bates Defense. And the offense will struggle without a consistent running game.

NFC North Division Winner: Minnesota Vikings
Comment: The Vikings will when the division because they are the all around better team. The Packers will not see the playoffs this year. Sunday's game: Packers 24, Lions 21

Doug Ritchay, Correspondent
Packers 2005 record (regular season): 8-8
Comment: Brett Favre is the only thing keeping this team from having a losing season.

NFC North Division winner: Minnesota
Comment: The moves in the off-season which shored up the defense, and getting rid of Randy Moss make this team different and much better.

Will Packers make playoffs? No
Comment: Where isn't there a weakness on defense? That's the reason the Packers miss the playoffs, and, yes, it's that simple.

Sunday's game: Lions 31, Packers 24
Comment: Let's see, who do you like here? Charles Rogers (he is healthy), Mike Williams and Roy Williams vs. Al Harris, Ahmad Carroll and Joey Thomas. And don't forget Kevin Jones vs. the Packers' run defense. Too much offense for the Lions and not enough defense for the Packers.

John Lombardi, Correspondent
Packers 2005 record (regular season): 10-6
Comment: Brett Favre and the offense is enough to make the Packers competitive in every game. The defense will have to overachieve to get this team to the level where it can think about advancing deep into the playoffs.

NFC North Division winner: Packers
Comment: The Vikings are the consensus pick. Until they show me that they have the mental toughness to finish the season off strong, I cannot see it.

Will Packers make playoffs? Yes
Comment: I think they will have to win the division to do it though. If the defense improves and the rookies and young players contribute, they have a chance to go far.

Sunday's game: Packers 24, Lions 17
Comment: All the pundits think the Lions will be improved. Until Joey Harrington shows me otherwise, I cannot think the Lions are better than the Packers, no matter how many weapons they give him.

Laura Veras Marran, Correspondent
Packers 2005 record (regular season): 9-7
Comment: Huge questions left unanswered on defense and the offensive line put Green Bay on a rocky road, but a relatively easy schedule, plus the Favre Factor will keep the Pack above .500.

NFC North Division winner: Minnesota
Comment: Loss of Moss is a classic example of addition by subtraction.

Will Packers make playoffs? Yes
Comment: Green Bay will sneak in as a wild card unless the Vikings -- even without their biggest distraction -- stage another collapse. Unfortunately the Packers' defensive newcomers would have to produce beyond my wildest expectations to avoid a replay of last season's early and embarrassing exit.

Sunday's game: Packers 27, Lions 24
Comment: The Packers may not be the best team in the division, but they remain a rung above the Lions. Although Detroit's weapon-packed offense will provide a tough test for Green Bay, QB Joey Harrington still hasn't proven that he can lead a winning team. As for the intangibles, Favre will again display his trademark courage in the face of adversity.

Matt Tevsh, Correspondent
Packers 2005 record: 7-9
Comment: This is a year of transition for the Packers - they have built their roster with young players and the defense has not improved enough to be a playoff contender.

NFC North Division winner: Minnesota
Comment: The Vikings will be a better "team" without Randy Moss and have improved just enough on defense to rise to the top of the NFC North.

Sunday's game: Lions 31, Packers 24
Comment: The Lions multiple offensive weapons will give the Packers' new defense some trouble in Week 1.

W. Keith Roerdink, Correspondent
Packers 2005 record (regular season): 9-7
Comment: I said 11-5 before the preseason, but some shaky D and two new guards have changed my mind.

NFC North Winner: Green Bay
Comment: Minnesota will find a way to give this away. And as long as No. 4 is on the field, anything is within reach.

Will Packers make the playoffs? Yes
Comment: It will be tough and they may need some help in the final week, but Green Bay should squeak in as a wild card. But based on what they've shown so far, just getting there may be an accomplishment. A lot depends on how the offensive and defensive lines, along with the secondary end up gelling.

Sunday's Game: Green Bay 31, Detroit 27
Comment: Detroit will give them a scare and Kevin Jones will find his yards, but look for a Joey Harrington miscue to be the difference.

Tom Andrews, Correspondent
Packers 2005 record (regular season): 9-7
Comment: Brett Favre is still good enough to be personally responsible for at least 4 wins. The rest of the team should find a way to win the other 5.

NFC North Division winner: Minnesota
Comment: With Randy the Cancer out of the picture and all of their new defensive help, this will probably be Minnesota's turn to win the division.

Will Packers make playoffs? Yes
Comment: Assuming the defense will jell a bit in the second half of the season and there are no major injuries to offensive stars like Favre, Javon Walker, or Ahman Green, I look for the Packers to eek into the playoffs as a Wild Card. Unfortunately, I don't see them getting past the first playoff game.

Sunday's game: Lions 13, Packers 10
Comment: Even in their better years, the Packers always seemed to have trouble in Detroit. Look for Kevin Jones to have a big day running against Green Bay's piecemeal defense.

Mark A. Wallenfang, Photographer
Packers 2005 record (regular season): 10-6
Comment: The Pack will gel mid to late season as usual and win where it counts to win the division. The Vikings will start strong but will flounder at the halfway point of the season and will show they miss Randy Moss by their dismal record. The Bears are already out of the picture and the Lions still can't seem to find way to win on the road and will be 4-4 at home. Packers will go 10-6 and still win the division.

NFC North Division winner: Comment: The Packers will lock up the division on Christmas Day as a gift to Packer fans everywhere.

Will Packers make playoffs? Yes
Comment: The Packers will host one game at Lambeau since they will win the division, but they will probably end up on the road in Atlanta or at the Giants. If they play Atlanta where they will have a tough time moving to a Championship game, but anyone else I think the Packers will win out to be in the Championship game. (By the way, the Packers nemesis the Eagles, they won't even make the playoffs this year.)

Sunday's game: Packers 31, Lions 20
Comment: This will be an awakening for the offense line as the Lion's defense is much improved, but with the aftermath of Katrina affecting Brett Favre, he plays best with emotion and will throw 3 TD's to three different receivers and Ahman Green rushing for another.

Steve Lawrence, Correspondent
2005 record: 8-8 Comment: The preseason means nothing, but at least you'd like to see a glimmer of hope somewhere. The running game stinks and, unless Jim Bates can walk on water, the defense won't improve enough.

NFC North winner: Minnesota The Vikings added too much talent on defense while the Packers lose too much talent on offense. The Packers' bread and butter has been the run game, but the loss of Marco Rivera and Mike Wahle coupled with the Vikings' addition of Pat Williams and the emergence of Kevin Williams have turned a Packers strength into a sore spot.

Will Packers make the playoffs? No
Comment: The NFC is terrible, so if the Packers are better than expected, they could make a push to at least the conference title game. Sadly, though, the Packers have done nothing to make you think that's possible.

Sunday's game Lions 30, Packers 27
Comment: The strength of the Lions is running back Kevin Jones and their three young receivers. The weakness of the Packers is at defensive tackle and cornerback. That doesn't bode well.

Bob Fox, Correspondent
2005 record: 10-6 Comment: The offense will be fine, even with the changing of the guards. The season's overall success depends on the defense. Special teams have to improve.

NFC North winner: Green Bay The Packers are good enough to win their 4th straight divisional title. Vikings still haven't walked the walk. The Bears and Lions are still struggling at QB position.

Will Packers make the playoffs? Yes
Comment: The team will go as far as their defense takes them. Also, Brett Favre and the offense can't turn the ball over. The NFC is watered down except for the Eagles, so the Packers will have an opportunity to make some noise.

Sunday's game Packers 27, Lions 17
Comment: The Lions have lots of young offensive weapons, but QB Joey Harrington still is struggling. The Packers really shut down Harrington in 2004 as he was only 17-45 for 148 yards in two games. Rookie G Will Whitticker has a big test in his matchup against DT Shaun Rogers.

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