Forecast: It's not often a playoff team returns almost every starter, but the Panthers lost only one (Ken Lucas). This is a veteran team with solid talent all around and exceptional talents in several key spots. All signs point to another 10+ win season and a dangerous playoff contender, but there is more pratfall potential with Carolina than perhaps any other playoff-caliber team. Special teams, poor depth at quarterback, wide receiver, offensive line, and defensive tackle, overly conservative coaching, and a tangible sense of desperate urgency to win for Coach Fox and beloved owner Jerry Richardson, who is in poor health. There is a great deal of pressure, and the schedule makers did them no favors. Their first three games (PHI, @ATL, @DAL) and final four games (@NE, MIN, @NYG, NO) are all difficult, and this is a team that has been vulnerable to befuddling gaffes in what should be easy wins. I trust in their running game, their offensive line, and in their defensive talent. The Panthers won't repeat in the NFC South, but Carolina finishes 10-6 and sneaks into the playoffs thanks to early wins over Philadelphia and Atlanta.
With Minnesota Vikings players scheduled to report to training camp in less than a week, Brett Favre remains anguished about whether he should come out of retirement and join the team. That decision, according to sources, has become more difficult in recent days because of the efforts of Vikings players including Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen and Steve Hutchinson, all of whom have now begun calling and texting Favre in an attempt to convince him to become Minnesota's starting quarterback. "If it weren't for the involvement of the Vikings players directly telling Brett they want him on their team, I think he might have already decided against playing again,'' a source said.
So like, I wasn't sure if they would be my bffs? Then like, they all texted me 'n stuff and now I am like OMG I am so sure. They love me! D'oh. Wanna bet the "anonymous source" is Bus Cook or some family member?