Opinion Corner: The NFL is certainly filled with parity.The Minnesota Vikings’ 21-14 win over Arizona on Sunday didn’t feel like two 4-2 teams. Not often, but occasionally, I think back to the Minnesota Vikings in 1998 and how they would probably roll over this year’s team, though this year’s Vikings do have a better defense.
By: Chris Aarhus, Sun Sports Writer, The Jamestown Sun
The Minnesota Vikings’ 21-14 win over Arizona on Sunday didn’t feel like two 4-2 teams. Not often, but occasionally, I think back to the Minnesota Vikings in 1998 and how they would probably roll over this year’s team, though this year’s Vikings do have a better defense.
But the NFL is different now than it was 15 years ago. Growing up, it seemed like a quarterback had to have two or three years to develop before he could turn into anything. Look at Drew Brees.
Now days, guys like Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan, Christian Ponder, Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III are having, at the very least, individual success right away. Ponder to a lesser extent, but he is quarterbacking a winning team and he is the reason why the Vikings beat the 49ers.
I think back to the days when Cincinnati drafted Akili Smith or Detroit drafted Joey Harrington or Houston took David Carr, or how about San Diego taking Ryan Leaf? What went wrong? It seems like the percentage is much better these days.
It appears better passing quarterbacks are the key to the NFL’s popularity. Everyone loves to see their QB take a five-step drop and fire a bomb toward the end zone from 60 yards away. It’s just the way things are now, much like lining up and pounding the ball up the middle was 50 years ago.
To change it, it’s going to take a revolution. For a second, it looked like it was coming with the popularity of the “Wildcat,” a single-wing formation. But that died down, and I don’t see it being a way to win consistently. Who knows what’s next?
Seattle (4-3) at Detroit (2-4): The Lions are simply not a good team. I continue to say it: Something is wrong with Matthew Stafford. This is a guy who threw for more than 5,000 yards and 41 TDs last year. Seahawks 24, Lions 13
Jacksonville (1-5) at Green Bay (4-3): The Packers are back on track. The NFC North is going to be fun to watch the second half of the season. Packers 34, Jaguars 17
Carolina (1-5) at Chicago (5-1): This could be a trap game for Chicago if it’s not careful. Still, Cam Newton just isn’t closing the deal right now. Bears 20, Panthers 17
Atlanta (6-0) at Philadelphia (3-3): Michael Vick against his former team. Atlanta’s hot, but they’re due to lose here. Eagles 34, Falcons 31
New England (4-3) at St. Louis (3-4): The Rams are playing good defense. The Patriots have an explosive offense. Regardless, it should be close. Patriots 27, Rams 24
Indianapolis (3-3) at Tennessee (3-4): Andrew Luck’s team is back to .500. Tennessee found a way to win again, amazingly. It will continue. Titans 23, Colts 20
San Diego (3-3) at Cleveland (1-6): When will the Chargers give up on the Norv Turner experiment? Chargers 34, Browns 20
Washington (3-4) at Pittsburgh (3-3): Pittsburgh’s defense is not what it once was, but it’s still a lot better than Washington’s. Steelers 27, Redskins 24
Miami (3-3) at N.Y. Jets (3-4): Overachievers vs. Underachievers. It’s in New York, so I suppose. Jets 17, Dolphins 13
Oakland (2-4) at Kansas City (1-5): A combined 3-9 record. The Chiefs made a switch at quarterback. Brady Quinn isn’t the answer, either. Raiders 20, Chiefs 10
N.Y. Giants (5-2) at Dallas (3-3): Dallas is hard to figure out, but the Cowboys seem to be a tough matchup for the Giants. Cowboys 34, Giants 31
New Orleans (2-4) at Denver (3-3): Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. This should be a good one. Saints 27, Broncos 24
San Francisco (5-2) at Arizona (4-3): Another tough opponent for the Cardinals. 49ers 17, Cardinals 6
Last week: 9-3
Sun sports writer Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by email at email@example.com