NFL Football Preview 2000: NFC Central
Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit
by Mike Morrison
1. Tampa Bay—They missed the Super Bowl last year by just five points, but this could be the year for the Pewter Pirates. The defense is still the best and Keyshawn Johnson should put them over the top. They could become the first team to play in a Super Bowl on their home field.
2. Minnesota—The season hinges around gigantic quarterback Daunte Culpepper. He was brilliant in the preseason but has to prove he can read NFL defenses consistently. He can't ask for better receivers than Cris Carter and Randy Moss to get him through his learning period.
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3. Green Bay—Even if Brett Favre and Dorsey Levens are healthy all year, the defense just isn't good enough for the Pack to go far in the playoffs.
4. Chicago—Teams that underestimate the Bears this year will be in for a rude awakening. The offense is one of the best in the league, but unless the porous defense shows improvement, it better be.
5. Detroit—No team in the NFC Central is bad. But someone has to finish last, right? James Stewart is no Barry but he'll crack the 1,000 yard barrier and has a knack for getting in the endzone.