Week 17 is done, and the playoffs are upon us! I’m always excited because that usually means stress-free football for me. Nothing quite like watching games and not being stressed out. Though, to be honest, this season didn’t stress me so much.
But let’s recap the NFC North and how they got to where they are now. Because outside of the Detroit Lions, it was all pretty interesting.
The NFC North has pretty much shaped up the way we thought it would preseason, though I’m not sure that people thought the Green Bay Packers would be as impressive as they were.
Instead of breaking down where teams stand as we enter the last two games of the season, this week I’m going to focus on the rookies in the division. They’ve done a good job, and deserve to get a little shine. So let’s help them get their shine on!
Many things have changed since I last wrote about the NFC North. Namely, the Detroit Lions are now in the market for a new GM and head coach. The Chicago Bears have come crashing back down to Earth, the Minnesota Vikings seem to remember who they are, and the Green Bay Packers… remain the Green Bay Packers.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I like to be a little creative when it comes to my articles. It’s fun that way. So, for this article, I asked one fan from each team in the division to describe their season so far in three words. A little bit challenging, but it can also be fun!
Going into halftime, Green Bay was enjoying a 20-3 lead and in under 90 seconds, a fourth-quarter field goal gave the Eagles the opportunity for back-to-back touchdowns, and most the team was nowhere to be seen.
Luckily, the Packers have quarterback Aaron Rodgers. He’s having one of his best seasons in years, almost solidifying his slam-dunk MVP/HOF placement. It’s reminiscent of 2014, which was the last time Green Bay led the NFL in scoring and Rodgers had another award-worthy season.
Now that my life is somewhat less complex, let’s talk some football, shall we?
The NFC North has been a division that has surprised me. At the beginning of the season, if you had told me that the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers would start off the season tied for first, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. But (H)alas, they did. (See what I did there?)
The Bears were what really surprised me at first, but it seems like they’re starting their descent back to Earth. After starting their season 3-0, they’ve gone 2-4. Now, losing running back Tarik Cohen certainly doesn’t help, along with uncertainty at the quarterback position, but their offense just isn’t getting it done. Sunday’s loss to the Titans pretty much showed us that.
We are halfway through a season we weren’t even sure we were going to get. It seems almost impossible, but the NFL has kept on track during the pandemic and for some teams, things are going quite well. Others…not so much.
I reached out to our fan forum to check in with them to see how they felt their favorite teams were doing 8 weeks into the 2020 season.
Matt Cullen is a new member of our fan forum. He is a long-suffering New York Jets fan, and at the halfway mark, is ready for a change.
I apologize for not getting this out last week, but you’re getting it now, so I hope this makes up for it.
You all will remember that I do my power rankings a little differently. This go ’round, I’m going to rank the biggest surprises in the NFC North after the first 5 games. And there are quite a few surprises…
Well, the division was 3-1 this past weekend, with the only loss being the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings look to get their first win this week, and the rest of the division looks to keep up with their winning ways. Here we go around the division to see how they’ll fare in week 4.
Let’s start with the 0-3 Minnesota Vikings. After a scare with the Coronavirus this week after having playing Tennesee, the Vikings will travel down to Houston to take on the 0-3 Houston Texans.
It seems both teams are getting used to their offseason moves. The Vikings getting used to playing without wide receiver Stefon Diggs, and the Texans without WR DeAndre Hopkins. And so far, neither team is better for it.
I’m going to have to take the Texans in this game for 2 reasons. Quarterback play (Sorry, I just have never really trusted Kirk Cousins) and the Houston defense.
The minute we saw the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints on the schedule, we knew we were in for a true primetime game. The first real test for the Packers brought the meeting of two legendary quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.
Both headed for the Hall of Fame, they have faced equal scrutiny over the past few seasons with fans wondering “where has THE Rodgers been?” and “is it time for Brees to hang up the cleats?” Adding to the nervous excitement of the game was the fact that both teams would be without their stars, as wide receivers Michael Thomas and Davante Adams were sidelined.
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.