How’s the preseason going for the good ol’ Black and Blue division? Not too shabby actually. As we reach the halfway point to preseason games, let’s see how the teams are looking.
The Lions started to show some signs of life, the Bears kicker competition is getting real, the Vikings head coach mixed up his tobacco and his sunflower seeds, and the Packers sort of have some of the same questions as the Lions do. I’ll get into that more in a few! Continue reading “The NFC North round up, preseason week 2”→
After the Chicago Bears lost their first preseason game of 2019 to the Carolina Panthers, it was clear who worked for that roster spot. After a few practices, skirmishes and then some, it’s safe to say that for the most part, the depth chart has been set, but with a few surprises.
My dad used to always ask me if the Atlanta Braves had won when I was a teenager. Finally, I figured out who they were, and followed them. As I got older, I started paying attention more to sports. First baseball, then onto football.
Being born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Michigan Football was a way of life. Ohio State is the enemy, and that’s just how it was. My love for college football grew and eventually expanded to the NFL.
I enjoyed watching the Denver Broncos win the Super Bowl in ’98 and ’99. When I came back from college, I moved to downtown Detroit, right across from what would eventually be the Detroit Lions new home. I loved football, so I was all about the Detroit Lions.
Upon hiring General Manager Ryan Pace, the Chicago Bears were expected to be overhauled in a rebuild of epic proportions.
It was no surprise that the Bears would develop a young and hungry group of players under the leadership of a competitive and a just as hungry coach in Matt Nagy.
A lengthy endeavor that was supposed to take four years turned out to be a competitive playoff team.
But to the surprise of analysts and fans, the 2018 season was better than expected. With a 12-4 record and the hostile takeover of the NFC North throne, one can only hope the reign of terror once infused from the Monsters of the Midway has returned.
Not since the missed kick-doink heard round the world has there been such emphasis on a kicker. It’s not like this was the first time a kicker has missed a field goal in a crucial game. Ask any Buffalo Bills fan. The Lombardi Trophy was in their grasp ready to be hoisted and it rested on the leg of Scott Norwood. With just eight seconds on the clock, Norwood kicks it and it has the distance, going towards the center, only to veer right missing the post altogether. Absolute heartbreak.
Kickers that were known to be clutch in games came from the likes of Billy Cundiff, Morten Andersen, Chandler Catanzaro, Gary Anderson, Adam Vinatieri, and Robbie Gould. Granted they had their share of missed kicks, costing them crucial games. But the one that hurt the Bears came from the Voldemort of Chicago, Cody Parkey. After having an incredible season, winning the NFC North that has eluded them since 2010, the Wild Card game was left on the leg of Parkey. Nothing can erase the facial expressions of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky or defensive end Akiem Hicks after that missed kick. Yes, Parkey hung his head in disbelief but “playing with the wind” on a crucial kick is bound to fail you.
The Bears won the NFC North last season with a 12-4 record. Without any picks in the first two rounds, the Bears had to take the best player available while filling team needs. With that being said, the Bears chose a running back to replace Jordan Howard, whom they traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. Montgomery fits what Nagy wants to do with a three-down back. Fans did not expect the Bears to pick a wide receiver with their next pick but Ridley was still on the board, and with these two new additions they give quarterback Mitchell Trubisky more firepower.
It started as a dream. In 1892 two sports collided, soccer and rugby. On November 6, 1869, two prolific colleges, Rutgers and Princeton played what was advertised to be the first college football game. But it wasn’t until rugby player Walter Camp from Yale decided to change the rules to gradually turn the game of rugby into the game we now call American Football.
For the benefit of readers who will argue that their team should have been chosen to start the 100-year celebration, let’s put it in perspective. There is no question as to the birth of the game of football. In 1903 Pro Football was popularized in Ohio when the Massillon Tigers hired four Pittsburgh pros to play in the season-ending game against Akron. As teams started to implement rules of the game, like touchdowns and the forward pass, the game moved. In 1919, Earl (Curly) Lambeau and George Calhoun organized the Green Bay Packers. The Packers went 10-1 that season.
It’s been a pretty eventful offseason for the NFC North teams. Free agency has brought some good players into the mix, as my fellow reporter Wanda Wiedman has mentioned. New coaches and coordinators have been hired, and the teams are looking to solidify themselves with a successful draft.