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”→
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.
Raise your hand if you remember the “I’m retired now I’m not” phase of former Packers, Jets and Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. Did anyone else get the feeling that when he finally hung it up, that it wasn’t really going to be the last time? I know I did. But he finally settled into starring in Wrangler commercials and those copper wire commercials, fishing and whatever else it is retired NFL players do.
Then yesterday afternoon, an Instagram post changed all of that. Since Favre deleted it the post, I’ll have to stick with this tweet.
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’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.
The 2018 season was presumed to be a lock with the Green Bay Packers on top of the NFC North and the Chicago Bears in last place, according to most sports affiliates. But no one expected the opposite. Granted the Packers fell into third place in the division, finishing with a 6-9-1 record. However, no one expected the Bears to win the division with a 12-4 record led by a wicked defense and the Coach of the Year in Matt Nagy.
The Bears are fighting to keep that division title but their rivals are nipping at their heels, or so it seems on paper. Running backs, corners, safeties, defensive players and wide receivers are the focus of each team. Here is what the NFC North teams have done so far in free agency to fix some holes:
Let’s be honest, it wasn’t a pretty win… but it was my favorite kind of win. It was a win that could have easily gotten away from Seattle. But it didn’t, and now the Seahawks are one win away from clinching a playoff berth. In a year where they weren’t expected to win more than four or five games, they are the team no one wants to face.
Lisa Johnson and I argue about this all the time on the OTFB podcast. Defense or offense, which is more important? But it’s not just a shtick we do for the show. She truly believes offense wins games, I say, quite adamantly, the defense is most important.
What last night’s Monday Night Football game against the Minnesota Vikings showed was that what truly wins games is a balance. What makes the Seahawks so dangerous right now is that balance, and it’s alive and well in Seattle.
A career-long run for running back Dalvin Cook and a franchise record 10 sacks for the defense, it was a long, long day. Not too much went right for the Lions today. The offensive line was terrible and none of the wide receivers could get separation. Well, WR Marvin Jones, Jr. was able to get some, but not much.
The Lions couldn’t score a touchdown, and a costly miscue between quarterback Matthew Stafford, and rookie RB Kerryon Johnson helped the Minnesota Vikings defense come in and just feast.
They held the Lions to 209 total yards, WR Kenny Golladay only had 46 yards on 3 catches. And the run game just wasn’t able to get going at all. It was one of the uglier games in recent Lions history.