Hello, my fellow quarantined friends! I hope this finds you well, or well-ish!
Because it’s Draft week, I was going to go around to the various teams that I cover for OTFB to find out who wants who, what needs were, etc. However, because I’m in grad school, and finishing up the semester, and working at home, and helping my kids with virtual school, oh yeah, and potty training a new puppy, that didn’t quite happen!
But – I was able to talk to Minnesota Vikings fan, John (@MikeZimmersEars), and Detroit Lions fan, Kevin (@4Lawson4) a couple of weeks ago to get their thoughts on what they think their respective team will do, and what they think their team’s biggest need is.
As you are well aware, it’s Christmas time. One of my favorite times of the year. Hopefully, your Christmas (or insert whatever holiday you celebrate around this time of year) isn’t too stressful for you, and you’ve got a chance to rest and reflect on what’s past and what’s to come.
Another hallmark of this time of year is the Christmas carols and songs. My all-time favorite Christmas song is Sleigh Ride. (side note: I didn’t realize that there were actual words to the song until I was like 10. Tweet me, we’ll talk about it!) It’s also time for me to write my article about the NFC North, and I figured that I’d incorporate Christmas into it.
But not your typical Christmas List for Santa type of article. NOPE….I’m going to look at what carol reflects what team in the NFC North. Now, of course, there are only 4 teams and a bazillion carols. So, if you think I could have done better, by all means, let me know.
It’s the official beginning of the holidays, Thanksgiving week! It’s also the beginning of a fantastic week of football, and it all kicks off with Monday Night Football featuring the Los Angeles Rams and the Baltimore Ravens. Let’s take a look at everything coming up this week.
Tonight, the Rams (6-4) take on the red hot (purple hot?) Ravens (8-2) at home in LA. Now, at the beginning of the season, this would have been touted as one of the best games of the season, but the Rams have struggled more than we thought they would this year, and the Ravens…well they have been killing it.
Matthew Stafford had started 136 consecutive regular-season games entering today, the 6th-longest streak for a QB in NFL history. The last Lions’ QB to start a game other than Stafford was Shaun Hill, in Week 17 of the 2010 season, when he beat the Vikings 20-13.
I know. You can’t win them all. But this past Sunday, the NFC North laid an egg. All 4 teams went on the road, and all 4 teams lost their games. Sometimes it’s hard to win on the road in the NFL.
But should we start to sound the alarm? And by alarm, I mean, should we start panicking that the team is heading for disaster and this season is totally shot? Well, lets head around the division and see what we find.
I’ll get this started by saying this: I may be covering the NFC East and all of the NFC North, but it’s still #OnePride all day long over here. And I’ll be even more honest, it’s sometimes really hard when I have to play nice and write good stuff about the NFC North rivals. After Monday night, it got even harder.
It’s been almost 24 hours since the infamous Monday Night Game that I’m writing this, and it’ll be almost 36 hours by the time you read this since the latest travesty in the saga between the Lions and the referees. So, I’ve had time to cool off.
Week 5 brought a bye week to one team, a couple of challenges to two others, and a nice, easy trip overseas for the last team. The Vikings and the Packers passed their tests with flying colors. The Bears, on the other hand, stumbled. The Lions enjoyed the early bye and took some time to get healthy.
Let’s take a closer look at each team and how they faired week 5.
Detroit Lions: They had a bye, and that couldn’t come at a better time. Though early, some of their major players were a little banged up. Rookie tight end TJ Hockenson was in concussion protocol, quarterback Matthew Stafford has a hip/back injury that he’s been dealing with. There were also a couple of lingering hamstring issues for some of the players as well.
We’ll get to see how recovered they are from the bye as they take on the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football. This ones gonna be great! How will Stafford handle Green Bay’s improved defense?