Back like we never left. It was great getting back to football, even if fans aren’t there in every stadium. It’s still football. Week 2 is in the rearview, and it looked better for some NFC North teams than it did for others.
Let’s take a look at Week 2 in the North. The winners, the losers, and the head-scratchers.
It’s finally Week 1. We all made it! I get to talk about actual games now!
Now it’s time to take a look at what Week 1 could potentially bring us. The 4 teams of the North play each other this week, so that makes things pretty easy for me to preview. Plus, it’s also fun when rivalries are renewed!
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
This has always an interesting match up especially of late. The Bears ended last season winning 3 of their last 5 games, including one against the Lions. Detroit, however, lost all 5 of their final games of the season.
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.
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?
(Editors note: A few times a year we have guest contributors add to our website. Please enjoy.)
There have been many debates over the years. Waffles or pancakes? Chocolate or peanut butter? Tastes great or less filling? Allow me to add one more related to the NFL draft: Best available or fill needs?
I decided to dig into which strategy works better by researching ten years of drafts from 2009 through 2019. I chose the best team in each NFL division based on the overall record from that same period. I first looked at statistics for each season for these eight teams.
Items such as points scored and allowed, offensive and defensive rankings in each season, sacks allowed and recorded, and depth issues formed the baseline for what I saw as team needs for each draft. Any player chosen that would help improve the team in any of these areas was seen as a need pick, not a best available. Here are the teams and my analysis:
The NFL schedules were released Thursday night, although we have known the opponents throughout the week. I was surprised to see Green Bay opening the season in Minnesota. I can’t remember a time the opener wasn’t a Chicago Bears/Green Bay Packers game. And I know I cannot be alone – this is actually the first time in Packers franchise history.
Due to the pandemic, what will games even look like this season? Will the number of fans be limited severely, with at least 6ft of space between seats? Or will we only be able to watch in our houses, and sports bars? How will the lack of crowd hype make a difference in a player’s game?
There was a feeling right at the start of the NFC Championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers. A feeling that the 49ers were completely dialed in. And they were. It was pretty much over right after it got going.
The 49ers scored on their second series of the game, and that was pretty much it, they never looked back. Running back Raheem Mostert was definitely the star of the game. He had over 200 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns, becoming the 1st player to score 4 touchdowns in a conference championship game.
The Green Bay Packers? Well, to put it nicely, they never really got going.
And yet, here we are. The 49ers are in the NFC Championship Game, with home field no less, and they get to face the Green Bay Packers. Again. Had you told me at the beginning of the year that the Packers were going to the NFC Championship game, I don’t think I would’ve gone 100% “Sure, Jan” but I still wasn’t 100% sold on them either.
However, both teams have proven me wrong and will face each other to earn a spot in the Super Bowl. So, what’s it going to take for each team to get there?