Heading back to the States was always a big plan of mine after I spent three months across the pond five and a half years ago.
What I find quite funny about this now, and if some of you have read my stuff elsewhere, you will know I was on an NFL boycott due to a guy I was dating dumping me out of the blue.To explain, he was, and I think still is, a Green Bay Packers fan, and he was the one that got me into the Harbaugh Bowl, also known as the Brother Bowl.
Well, thanks to Seattle winning that glorious trophy, and for my friend deciding to do a weekend trip there, I caught the Hawks bug – hook, line, and sinker. And it just so happened we won the 2014 NFC Championship against the Packers… in your face dude!!
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?
The Packers face a tough schedule right off the bat. For the second week in a row, they’re facing a divisional opponent, and while we do love home-field advantage, the Vikings have shown us that doesn’t always help.
Going into Sunday’s game, both teams are 1-0, but while Green Bay was fighting a battle in Chicago, the Vikings had a much easier game in Atlanta. This is going to be another tough game for the Packers.
And while I always have all the confidence in my team, there are a few teams I still get nervous about facing. The Vikings are near the top of that list. If you’ve been reading my articles for a while, you know how much I hate tense and close games. So, yup! I’m already stressing Sunday.
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.
The NFL is kicking off their 100th season with a Packers-Bears game. One might think that the NFL would choose to have their Super Bowl Champs, the New England Patriots, to kick-off such an anniversary. Instead, one of the league’s most storied rivalries will mark the start of what promises to be a momentous celebration.
Green Bay narrowly holds the edge in this matchup at 97-95-6. For Green Bay Packers fans, this game is counting-down-the-hours-call-off-work-Friday level excitement. For Chicago Bears fans, it’s also a celebration of their 100th season.
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!
**Fair warning** From what I’m seeing on Twitter and the responses to a few of my Facebook posts on a few of my thoughts on players that I find would make great additions to the Packers’ roster, there may be unpopular opinions here!
But isn’t that what the internet loves? I know I do; I love debating why I like one player over another and am ALWAYS open to changing my mind. I don’t know everything about every player. So! Feel free to tweet me or comment on anything here and let’s start a dialogue!