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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Hannah Jenkins
Hannah Jenkins
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Hi! My name is Hannah Jenkins, and I am one of the copy editors here at the North Wind. I am a sophomore at NMU, and I love all things writing and editing-related. I am proud to be a part of this great...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Opinion — Its okay to outgrow your college friends
Opinion — It's okay to outgrow your college friends
Megan PoeApril 12, 2024

Book it: NFL Picks

The preseason is to NFL fans what a strip club is to bachelors, nothing more than a tease (for most, anyway).After seemingly the longest of dry periods, real football is finally back, and with it my first look at the division races.

The Denver Broncos will win the AFC West again despite a new head coach and an old quarterback. Manning’s joints have gotten a little creakier, and he’ll stand behind what appears the leakiest line of his career, but so long as #18 stays upright the other three are playing for the Wild Card. The Chargers appear first in line behind the donkey’s, but immense pressure will fall on Rivers who has his own leaky offensive line plus a porous defense. The Chiefs are the best team without a quarterback in football, and the Raiders are a bad joke.

In the AFC South it’s better to be Lucky than good. It’s a cliché for a reason, but the NFL is a quarterback’s league, and Indianapolis has the only established veteran in the division. Mariota will prove to be worth the hype, J.J. Watt will continue to do his Reggie White impersonation down in Houston and the Jaguars will continue to masquerade as an NFL team.

The AFC North may be the toughest division to pick with three playoff teams a season ago. Baltimore’s remaking its passing game and just lost Perriman indefinitely, but if Trestman has proven anything over 10 years in four decades as a play caller, it’s that he’ll make the passing game function. Look for the North to be a two team race with Pittsburgh slogging through what appears to be a murderer’s row of a schedule. The Bengals will be exposed when Andy Dalton can’t compensate for a lackluster pass rush.

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With Tommy boy’s suspension overturned for the time being the AFC East again appears ruled by the hooded one. The media darlings down in Miami will make it interesting, especially with New England’s secondary being completely overhauled. Until the Jets or Bills find a quarterback they’ll be little more than also rans.

One of the best parts of the NFL season is the sheer unpredictability of it. With a 53-man roster and hard salary cap every team enters the regular season with serious questions somewhere. Even in the NFC West this is true. Seattle’s biggest flaw continues to look like its offensive line. Look for the Rams and Cardinals to make the race a bit tighter as the 49ers flounder post-Harbaugh.

I’ve been on the Falcons bandwagon so long that they made me an honorary driver. With Quinn bringing the Seattle system and Vic Beasely providing the pass rush oomph they’ll run away with the NFC South. Cam Newton will have to be Superman to survive, and after Benjamin was lost for the year he’ll again enter the season with little in the way of proven targets outside of Greg Olsen. Look for the Saints to implode after their fire sale of an offseason.

As far as the NFC East, you heard it here first, but Jason Garrett will be on the firing line after the Dallas Cowboys come back to Earth after winning the division in 2014. An unproven backfield and leaky defense will bring out Jerry-face prior to January. Snagging the wins that big D leaves on the table will be Philly, so long as Bradford stays off the training table for the first time in 3 seasons. New York will be irrelevant with a sad sack defense, but Eli will continue to be a low-end fantasy starter as he throws 300+ yards trying to keep the Giants in games. You’ve been warned: he’s good for at least one 3+ pick game a season. Washington is the train wreck no one can look away from; Jay Gruden wouldn’t be a coach if his last name was Smith.

Then there’s the NFC North. Could Jordy Nelson’s injury combined with a paper-thin defensive line be enough for the rest of the division to catch up to Green Bay? Doubtful. The Bears wasted a draft pick on Kevin White and still have Jay Cutler moping on the sideline. While John Fox and Adam Gase should provide a semblance of competence, there is a ton of work to be done. Detroit will take a big step back defensively in lieu of the mass tackle exodus, while Jim Caldwell looks better-suited as an extra for “The Walking Dead” than as an NFL Head Coach. Minnesota could surprise, the defense is littered with pedigree, and Bridgewater will prove to be the best quarterback from the 2014 class by a country mile, but the North is still Mr. Rodger’s neighborhood.

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