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?
Alright, alright alright! (In my Matthew McConaughey voice)
Week 1 has come to a close and it’s time to hand out grades for the team’s performances! I’m a pretty easy grader, and I do grade on a curve. Mostly because a curve helped me out of some classes (Looking at you AP Chem.), so it’s only fair.
After coaching changes, key free agent signings, and some great defenses, it was time to get the show on the road. The oldest rival in the NFL came from the NFC North and it was only right that they kicked off the NFL’s 100th season.
Chicago Bears: C. Last years defense was back in full force. Linebacker Roquan Smith was letting his presence be known early on in the game. But in the end, the offense just stalled. In fact, the only offense that the Bears could muster was a 38-yard field goal from recently signed kicker Eddy Pineiro. Irony. Despite the struggles on offense, the defense was really the bright spot.
Do you want to know what I’m NOT a fan of? Power rankings. Like at all. Seriously, has there ever been anything more useless than power rankings? I think not.
They’re really just a ranking of who’s hot and who’s not. Or stocks– as in who’s draft stock is up, and who’s draft stock is down. Despite all of that, guess what I’m doing this week for the NFC North. You guessed it, power rankings. Why? Because MINE are fun, and I like to have fun. So please don’t take these too seriously at all!