Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

September 29, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Kevin Seifert

Kevin Seifert
  (2:00 PM)

Hi everyone. We're gearing up for the biggest week in the history of the NFC North. Or, at least close to it. We've got Detroit-Chicago on Sunday and Green Bay-Minnesota on Monday night. Lots to chat about. Let's get to it.

James (Minn)

kevin, has Favre silenced his critics with his performance on Sunday? I mean yes the TD throw was great but more IMPORTANTLY the mgmt of that last drive from the short throws to working the clock was why we brought him in. I mean does anyone in MN really think that Tjack or Sage would have been able to orchestrate that last drive like Favre did.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:01 PM)

Well, we critics will always find something! Seriously, I agree, that's why you sign Brett Favre. No way any of the quarterbacks the Vikings have trotted out the past couple years would have won that game. He won't do that every time, but if he does it once or twice, it could be the difference between a wild-card playoff berth and a division title.

Aaron (St Louis)

In your opinion, can rookie DeAndre Levy really unseat Ernie Sims starting position? I read in an article that Jim Schwartz had good things to say post Sunday's performance.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:02 PM)

I saw that, too. The Lions were thrilled to draft Levy, and remember that the people who drafted Ernie Sims -- Matt Millen and Rod Marinelli -- aren't with the team anymore. So I wouldn't rule it out, at all.

Ed (The ATL)

Most NFL teams have a heirarchy in terms of who is the number one, two, and three receiver. It seems like the Bears are different in the sense that between Hester, Bennett, and Knox; no one has stood out as the number one, two or three. Whats your take on the Bears receiving heirarchy?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:03 PM)

To me, the No. 1 receiver is the player that you absolutely count on to make a critical play to win a game. Hester has the most capacity to fill that role, and I actually think he's moving in that direction. I know Jay Cutler loves Earl Bennett, but I don't know that I see Bennett as a big-play guy.

Mitchell (ND)

Whats your prediction for monday night?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:05 PM)

Pain. ... I love quoting Mr. T when that question comes up. (See Rocky III if you don't know what I'm talking about.) As for an actual prediction, luckily I don't have to do that for the blog. So I get to sit back and watch!

Craig (Braintree, MA)

I didn't get to watch the game Minn/SF on Sunday. The experts are saying SF was more physical. Is that how you saw it? That bothers me if true and can the Vikings go far in the playoffs? I'm sure we'll learn quite a bit next Monday night.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:05 PM)

I wouldn't say more physical, but they definitely matched Minnesota pop for pop and stuck it to Adrian Peterson for the most part.

John (WI)

While debating with a friend and I noticed how much talent Brad Childress has brought in. Between Favre, Peterson, Hutchinson, Allen, and now Harvin, I think there is a strong possibility that he has brough in atleast three future Hall of Famers. Should this be factored in when judging Chilly.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:07 PM)

He gets credit for Favre and Greg Lewis. But I give Spielman, George Paton and Rob Brzezinski the credit for most personnel moves. Childress doesn't run the draft or head up free agency. That's the personnel department. But you're right. They have elite players at a lot of positions.

Josh (nashville)

Is it possible that Detroit isn't as bad as everyone thinks? Many teams will be losing to NO and Minny this year...

Kevin Seifert
  (2:08 PM)

That's the beauty of this league, especially in Septembe. Anything is possible right now. I think the Lions are better than last year. But a GREAT season would be 7-9, I would say.

Scott (Brewtown)

This weeks events should be called TUMS - The Upper Midwest Skirmishes. Plus, many of us (CHI, MIN, GB) will probably need antacid of sorts at some point during the events. I've eliminated Det from this because they are probably numbed to this affliction at this time.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:09 PM)

I don't know. Detroit fired up after winning and are expecting more. As for the TUMS, I would suggest a bland diet and plenty of liquids. I'm living on saltines and gatorade until next Tuesday.

Chris (Long Island, NY)

Do you expect Ray Edwards or Jarad Allen to have a better game against the pack, given the struggles of both RT and LT for their O-line?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:10 PM)

I don't like the matchups on either side if I'm the Packers. Allen Barbre is suceptible to a speed rush on the right side and last year Jared Allen had a good game against Chad Clifton in the Metrodome. Clifton might not play this week, but I wouldn't say Daryn Colledge has a great chance to fare better.

Joe (Utica, NY)

Afternoon Kevin. When you had found out the Lions won on Sunday, what was your first reaction? In upstate NY people couldn't believe it actually happened.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:11 PM)

Jealous that I wasn't there, actually. I can't count how many bad losses I've seen the Lions have at Ford Field. It would be nice to see them win in person soon.

Chris (Omaha)

Kevin, how can you hold this chat during the Twins/Tigers Game?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:11 PM)

Baseball. Ick.

Alex (Wichita)

Thanks Kevin when does Green Bay get rid of it's zone blocking scheme...

Kevin Seifert
  (2:12 PM)

I think Mike McCarthy is pretty committed to it. Sorry.

Chris (Los Angles)

Do you know if Miami inquired about Culpepper before picking up Thigpen?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:12 PM)

I do not. The Dolphins have already had one go around with Daunte, but that was under different coaching and ownership.

Colin (Milwaukee, WI)

Your stock watch put A-Rodg's legs trending down. I understand it relates to the o-line's ability to protect him, but shouldn't you have put the o-line on the downtrend? Rodgers got 38 yards (on 8 rushes w/ a few kneels), 1 TD, and a couple of 1st downs but if this was Mike Vick, praised would've been heaped on him.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:13 PM)

Fair point. I guess I don't want to pick too much on those guys. It really wasn't meant as a shot at Rodgers, just a shot at the situation. He shouldn't have to take off downfield just to soften the pass rush.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

Speaking of WRs emerging in the hierarchy, any inkling as to how its shaping up in Minnesota? Looks to me like Brett will just look for the open man and doesn't care about the name on the back of the jersey.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:14 PM)

Definitely true, but for whatever reason he seems very comfortable with Percy Harvin. Definite connection there.

Joey (Rutland Vt)

I have the nfc ranked 1.Giants2.Vikes3.saints4.bears 5.Packers. am I foolish to think 3 of the 5 best in nfc r in Nfc morth

Kevin Seifert
  (2:15 PM)

Well, when the season started I thought both the wild-cards would come from the NFC North. That puts three Black and Blue teams in the top 6. When it's all said and done, I think it could still happen.

Dan (Chicago)

Any chance the Packers pick up a free agent OT?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:16 PM)

You're referring to the guys they worked out yesterday? At this point, I think they're compiling a future list rather than planning to add right now. Stranger things have happened, though.

Dave (Durham)

Long live the CD!

Kevin Seifert
  (2:16 PM)

You mean the Cavalier Daily? Agreed.

Mike McCarthy (The Don Hutson Center)

Hey Alex, I think our zone blocking has been quite Paawwsitive!

Kevin Seifert
  (2:16 PM)

Solid.

Chris (Long Island, NY)

What do you think of the Viking LB situation? Were they mostly to blame for V Davis' success on sunday?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:17 PM)

Just a bad matchup. Of all the things E.J. Henderson does well, dropping into the deep middle is not one of them.

Will J (Portland, OR)

Kevin, who's running game has been the biggest surprise (lack-there-of)? Chicago or Green Bay?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:18 PM)

Chicago, definitely. The Packers always seem like the have to remind themselves to run. They're a downfield passing team when it comes down to it. The Bears have always been a run-first team under Lovie Smith, and while the Cutler factor changes things, I'm surprised they haven't gotten more production. To this point, I'm not sure that the offensive line overhaul has worked out as well as they'd hoped, at least in terms of the running game.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

While I was thrilled with the win, that lovely Minnesota S/T unit managed to upset me yet again. Can I expect more gut-wrenching moments out of them like the blocked field goal this season? At least no one committed an illegal block on Percy's Promenade.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:19 PM)

True. That's two special teams touchdowns allowed in three weeks. They're on pace to shatter last year's record, huh?

Chuck (Minneapolis)

Who do you think has the bigger advantage - Favre, in going against the Packers' D for all those years in practice, or the reverse? I would think Charles Woodson, Al Harris and friends picked up a few Favre hints through the years...

Kevin Seifert
  (2:19 PM)

Yeah, and remember this isn't the same defense Favre saw during his last two years in Green Bay. The 3-4 is a lot different, and the Vikings haven't handled blitzing that well this year.

MJ (Boston)

if Dre Bly can hold on to a pick 6, Favre is the goat...amazing turn of events

Kevin Seifert
  (2:20 PM)

Story of his career in some ways, right?

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

I think the whole Favre-Harvin thing might have something to do with the kid's legs being able to turn a five-yard out throw into a 65-yard TD. Big numbers for Brett with little effort.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:20 PM)

Interesting analysis.

me (here)

It seemed Stafford was looking more for B. Johnson than C. Johnson, and Ive heard that Megatron and the rookie arent quite on the same page. What's the deal here? Just throw it up to 81 and watch him go

Kevin Seifert
  (2:22 PM)

Don't agree. The worst thing Stafford can do is zero in on Calvin Johnson. If teams are doubling or tripling him, he has to use his other options or they'll never move the ball. There are some times when you have to get the ball to him, but let the flow of the game dictate that. There have been some plays when they looked out of synch, but that's pretty normal for a rookie quarterback.

Nick (Chicago)

Saw you mention in the blog post today...does Nick Roach supplant Hunter Hillenmeyer as starting MLB? I like his speed.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:23 PM)

A lot of people are pulling for that, especially when Tinoisamoa comes back. If he can handle the calls, then I'm on board.

James (Detroit)

Can you write another column wondering whether Stafford gives the Lions the best chance to win? It worked out great this last week. Thanks.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:24 PM)

Ha!!! I wondered when someone would mention that. That's why I'm an expert fence sitter. I think I wrote that it's "fair to question" if he gives them the best chance to win now. Didn't say one way or the other.

Peter (Chicago)

Kevin, given the success of Vernon Davis against the Vikings, do you see Jermichael Finley as poised for a breakout game?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:25 PM)

It hasn't seemed like Finley has been worked into the offense as much as we all thought he would be. But the opportunities will be there in the deep third.

brent (montana)

ARE THE NINERS 4 REAL? THANKS BUDDY

Kevin Seifert
  (2:25 PM)

They've definitely taken on the personality of Singletary, which means they have a lot of fight and toughness.

J.B. (Dunmore, PA)

James (Detroit): In Kevin's defense, we are talking about beating the Redskins here. Stafford is still 0-2 against NFL franchises.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:26 PM)

You said it. Not me.

Wootay (Computer)

Kevin I want a job like yours. How do I go about it?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:27 PM)

Be willing to write a lot of crazy stuff that will get people riled up. ... No, seriously (mostly), you need to figure a way to get yourself read by people who make the hires. These days, the best way to do that is to start your own blog and get it linked up around the interwebs.

Johan (Appleton)

There was a Desmond Bishop sighting in St. Louis this weekend. McCarthy said something that made it sound like Barnett was on a snap count, but I don't buy it. Your thoughts?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:29 PM)

No, I think that's true. Barnett said the same thing. If it's still happening in December, however, you'll know it's for other reasons.

Jacob (Omaha)

How "electric" are you expecting the dome to be on Monday night?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:30 PM)

Pretty high. But I wish this game were at Lambeau, and the second game were at the Dome. The Packers' full crowd deserves the first shot at this one.

Jon (Villanova, PA)

What do you make of the almost 40 year old Favre throwing a block 40 yards down the field on the best young linebacker in the game, Patrick Willis? Hard to argue with the fact that he's putting himself out there for his teammates.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:31 PM)

Actually, pretty stupid. If you watch it, the domino effect is that Percy Harvin got knocked off his feet and fell on top of the pile. Could have caused an injury to any number of guys. It's nice and fun to see Favre do that, but it seems unnecessary.

Mike McCarthy (Green Bay)

Who's bright idea was it to release Jason Hunter? Anybody? Don't be shy...I won't hurt you.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:32 PM)

It was a scheme thing. I doubt he would have been a great fit in a 3-4.

Loren (STP)

Kevin, whats your suggestion for a tuesday morning hangover cure? I have a work meeting first thing in the morning, and my boss is a packer fan.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:32 PM)

Get a good base.

Jim Swarthout (Provo)

Why didn't the Vikes trade Jackson or Rosenrosen to Miami?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:33 PM)

You're assuming the Dolphins were interested....

Nick (Chicago)

any idea what the "Have at it" topic is this week? How about something on the D-side of the ball, like best defensive line...or best LB depth...seems like we talk about Offense a lot.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:33 PM)

Was thinking the same thing about offense. It always seems like such a natural. I'll figure something out....

Chris (Long Island, NY)

How does GB's run defense compare to those Peterson has seen thus far? How strong was the statement the Minnesota run D made against the 49ers #2?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:35 PM)

The Packers did well against the Bears, who haven't run on anyone this year. But Cincinnati and St. Louis both got about 150 yards against them. The Packers even added an extra linebacker against the Rams, but I don't know that it helped much. To this point, the Packers are closer to the Browns' rushing defense than they are to the 49ers.

Josh (LA)

Kevin, what's the facebook address or an alternative way of asking my question? I realize you that you get a lot of posts during chat time, but did want to get your insight into the fact that Green Bay seems to be completely enamored with the deep pass. If it?s not a predictable running play, it?s Rodgers dropping deep and throwing the ball to a receiver running an ?involved? route. What happened to the quick patterns, i.e. slants, outs, screens? With the pass blocking issues and lack of a real running threat, why is GB so steadfast in their refusal to incorporate the offensive schemes that helped them go 13-3 as recently as ?07? What happened to the emphasis on YAC? Wouldn?t that type of offensive scheming open the deep play up even more and allow for better ball control. There have been too many 3-and-outs keeping our defense, specifically our few 300 pound D Linemen, on the field playing waaaaaay too many snaps.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:37 PM)

If you want to send a facebook message, my profile is Kevin Seifert Espn. ... Thanks for giving me the opportunity for a free plug!

Kevin Seifert
  (2:37 PM)

If you want to send a facebook message, my profile is Kevin Seifert Espn. ... Thanks for giving me the opportunity for a free plug!

Jon (Villanova, PA)

For all this talk about Favre targeting his tight ends, Visanthe Shiancoe has one touchdown catch and has been mostly invisible. Between him and Berrian not producing, who, other than AD, needs to step up on offense?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:38 PM)

As we talked about earlier, I think Favre is going to throw it to the guy who is open. So far, that's been Harvin and Chester Taylor more than anyone else. Both Shiancoe and Berrian had some drops Sunday.

Mike (Raleigh)

I'm curious what you think of the Skins still being ranked above the Lions in the power rankings. Especially since their only win was against the lowly Rams.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:39 PM)

Yeah, one of many surprising developments. I was also surprised to see the Bears four spots behind the Packers.

Robert (WI)

Shouldn't the focus on that Farve downfield block be that the rest of the lazy players on the field DIDN'T hurry up and go for a block to break him free? If Farve makes it down the field in time the receivers or backs should be up there too

Kevin Seifert
  (2:41 PM)

I guess that's one way of looking at it. But you look at how the play is drawn up. Everyone has a role and an assignment. Favre's was to make the throw. It's not as if he would have been derelict to just stay in the pocket after he threw. His job is also to keep himself on the field. I don't want to come down on him too hard for it, but it didn't do much for me. That's all.

Jeff (Detroit Sports Fan)

UPDATE! Tigers and Twins tied 1-1 headed to extra innings.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:41 PM)

Oh my gosh. I'm on the edge of my seat. NOT.

Lions fans (Detroit)

Now that people should not be able to make stupid Lions jokes anymore, can everyone start bashing the Rams now? They have lost 13 straight.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:42 PM)

Is that the figure? I didn't realize it had come to that. But yes, the Lions don't have to face those jokes anymore.

Joe (Detroit)

The Lions started 5 rookies on Sunday and won, with a 6th (Aaron Brown) also being used often. Things are definitely looking up in Detroit no?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:44 PM)

In terms of this draft class, yes. You can't get much more immediate impact than the Lions have. But it's important to give a draft class time to marinate, both for good and bad. We don't bash a draft class that doesn't immediately pan out, and we don't crown one that produces a group of instant starters. What if they're starting because of a relative lack of other options?

Pudge Facker (Cheezville)

Do you have a link to that article you posted several months ago detaililng how, in the last 4-5 years in general, Favre's play declines dramatically in the wanning month or 2 of the season?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:46 PM)

Here you go:http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth/post/_/id/1977/the-issue-of-favre-s-stamina

Imre (Missoula, MT)

Can we talk about something other than Favre. Come on, this is a joke!!! Why don't you call this the Favre Chat with Kevin Seifavre. Anywho, the Bears secondary has been fairly reliable so far huh? Other that the big play at the end of the Packers game, I feel like they've been pretty good especially with Bowman and Tillman healthy. Do you think they'll be less of a liability going forward?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:46 PM)

FavreFavreFavre.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:47 PM)

Ok, to actually answer your question: Most of us felt that health would be the main factor for the Bears secondary. If they're healthy, I like the combo of Tillman and Bowman. If they're healthy and starting, it gives the Bears some pretty decent depth with Vasher and Graham behind them.

Mike (San Diego)

Why is it that when I see your name I imagine some Kevin Greene/George Seifert hybrid that would probably be the greatest defensive player/coach ever?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:48 PM)

Just happenstance. I'm much smaller than Kevin Greene and much dumber than George Seifert.

Corey (D.C.)

I think one thing we can take away from the Lions beating the Skins is how inportant organizational stability, and buying into the coach's program is in order to be a "professional" NFL team. I dont want to take anything away from the Lions, but the Redskins are absolutely in flux right now, with no identity whatsoever. Kudos to Detriot for creating a solid base to build on.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:49 PM)

Amazing that someone would say that about the Lions, but in the post-Millen era you might be right. I don't want to overreact to one win, but for one week the Lions were definitely the more stable and organized franchise. Wow.

Tarvaris Jackson (Minnesota)

I'd look good in the wild cat. Agreed?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:50 PM)

Maybe so. And teams would have to respect the pass a lot more than if Percy Harvin were the wildcat QB. I'll pass it along to Vikings coaches. :)

Chris (Long Island, NY)

Who is the second best run team in the NFCN

Kevin Seifert
  (2:52 PM)

Statistically, it's the Packers. But the Lions are right behind them. I would be tempted to pick the Lions if Kevin Smith were healthy. At the end of the year, though, I think the Bears will have their run game turned around.

Pudge Facker (Cheezville)

What is your read on where the Packers Defense stands at this point. Are things stabilizing, or should Packers fans be worried they let the Rams put up 17 points?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:53 PM)

If they keep making big plays -- turnovers, sacks, etc. -- they can cover for some of the yards they're giving up on the ground. That's my first thought.

Mike (Raleigh)

I think your coverage has been mostly fair, even when I've been disappointed with the lack of coverage on Detroit. There has been some discussion on the message boards on how you choose to go to the games. Can you tell us whether or not you choose the games or assigned by ESPN?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:54 PM)

In all honesty, it happens both ways. I always make suggestions, but sometimes we tweak plans based on how other bloggers/columnists are being allocated and also travel considerations. So to answer your questions directly, I choose most of them.

Joey (rutland Vt)

Kevin when tavaris asked that q I think he was referring about going to Miami, whom I think Miami should use Pat white in that role /throwing out of wild cat

Kevin Seifert
  (2:55 PM)

Whoops. Maybe I should read more carefully.

Jeff (Detroit Sports Fan)

UPDATE! Twins just took a 3-1 lead. Headed to the bottom of the 10th. I blame Brett Favre.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:55 PM)

Good. Now I can breathe.

Chris (Bainbridge Island)

If each NFCN team were to draft tomorrow, what are each's biggest need?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:57 PM)

Interesting. Minnesota: RB (Chester Taylor is in the final year of his contract.) Green Bay: Offensive tackle. Chicago: Receiver. Detroit: Offensive line, specifically left tackle.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:57 PM)

One or two more, folks.

Liban (Djibouti ( Djibouti))

Do you think vikes chose Brett to fill up emty seats or to win more games?

Kevin Seifert
  (2:58 PM)

How about all of the above?

Josh McDaniels (Mile High)

Have some free time sitting back enjoying our 3-0 record and the league leading defense. Oh it is good times now my friends!!!

Kevin Seifert
  (2:59 PM)

Yeah, but you still have Kyle Orton at quarterback.

Kevin Seifert
  (2:59 PM)

Ok everyone, thanks so much. Chat with you next Tuesday!