Most agree this is the toughest division in football. It has produced the NFC Champion 4 out of the last 7 seasons, and many think that with the expanded playoffs, the NFC West could end up with three teams in the postseason.
Going into the 2020 season, this is also one of the hardest divisions to predict. You have the growth of a second-year QB and massive offseason additions in Arizona. There are the questions surrounding a Super Bowl hangover, and a growing list of injuries in San Francisco.
The Los Angeles Rams dropped off in 2019 after their Super Bowl loss, but are looking to rebound strong. And then there is the Seattle Seahawks with their elite QB and break out wide receiver, but that defense was seriously questionable.
What can we expect from all of this? Let’s take a look.
**The views expressed here don’t necessarily reflect the views of everyone at OurTurf Football**
The Detroit Lions rarely lead the way in anything. And if they do, it’s usually something not good, like being the first team to go 0-16, or plenty of other odd little things that you can come up with.
But on Tuesday, August 25th, the Lions took the lead on speaking up about current events.
“I want you to document. The Detroit Lions will be for change. we won’t be silent….
We will play football and we will do everything we can to win football games but we will do everything we can to create change as well.” Duron Harmon as Lions players cancel practice.
The 2020 NFL offseason has been anything but typical. Training camps are underway with no fans in attendance and our glimpses of the teams have been sketchy at best.
But in looking around the AFC North, at the additions from the draft, the free agency moves and the returns from injury, it seems as if it’s just another normal off-season.
I have to say the team to beat is the Baltimore Ravens – regardless of what Steeler Fan wants to believe. And while Pittsburgh and the Cleveland Browns battle to be second fiddle, I think we all know the Cincinnati Bengals need a lot more help than #1 draft pick Joe Burrow as quarterback.
Let take a look at what each team has been up to so far this year.
Happy New Year! Not really. But the new NFL season is upon us. Or is it?
As of now, it’s still on. Let’s get down to my 2020 season preview of the NFC North before they change their minds!
Chicago Bears (8-8 record last season)
Earlier this offseason, the Bears decided to decline their quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s 5th-year option. They also traded for QB Nick Foles, which makes a quarterback competition inevitable at camp. Along with Foles, they added tight end Jimmy Graham and EDGE Robert Quinn. They also drafted TE Cole Kmet. The Bears defense is overall the same, with linebacker Khalil Mack leading the way.
I have to admit, this is hard. I’ve been writing these previews for almost 10 years and without question, this is had some serious challenges. No preseason games, very little information coming out of camp, and limited media coverage has made 2020…difficult. BUT! Onward we go with my 2020 AFC West preview.
There is little question that the AFC West is a strong division. The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl, defeating a very talented San Francisco 49’ers team. The Denver Broncos added fantastic talent and look to hone the skills of their young quarterback. The Las Vegas Raiders made the move to their new city and added a challenger to their QB room, and the Las Vegas Chargers got a new home, cut the face of their franchise, and are looking forward.
With the current NFL teams trying all sorts of schemes to gain an edge, we are seeing more and more versatile players on both sides of the ball. Throughout NFL history, players wore different hats. The newest member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020, Ed Sprinkle is no stranger to playing different positions.
For 12 seasons Ed “The Meanest Man in Pro Football” Sprinkle played for the Chicago Bears, from 1944 to 1955, and was signed by Papa Bear George Halas himself. In the beginning of his career, Sprinkle played both defense and offense. As a tight end he caught 32 passes for 451 yards and seven touchdowns, while alternating as an offensive guard during the life of his career.
In this edition of the OTFB Fan Forum, I decided to have everyone take a look at this odd offseason. The all-virtual, Zoom edition of an offseason.
Since free agents weren’t allowed into any facilities, it made signing them more difficult for teams. Rookies weren’t allowed anywhere near the rest of the team until training camp. It was a little weird. I was curious about how our forum members thought their team faired. Did they improve? Get worse by losing important pieces? Did they make any moves at all?
Or, seeing as the circumstances were, well… unusual, did they just hang on?