**Disclaimer: This article was written prior to the Vikings/Cowboys game on Sunday Night Football**
In the 2012 NFL draft, the Washington Redskins chose Robert Griffin III with the second overall pick. “RG3” was a dual-threat QB out of Baylor and was pegged to be the team’s franchise leader for years to come. Then in the fourth round of the same draft, Washington made an interesting pick, taking Kirk Cousins, a quarterback out of Michigan State.
Cousins threw for over 9,000 yards with 66 touchdowns against 30 interceptions in his college career. Maybe the Redskins were just covering their bases in case RG3’s style didn’t work well in the NFL. The Cousins pick turned out to be a prudent one. In 2015 after RG3’s three injury-marred seasons, Jay Gruden made Cousins his starting quarterback. Up to that point Cousins was 2-7 in his limited starts. Once installed as the regular starter, Cousins put up solid passing numbers. He completed 67% of his throws amassing over 13,000 yards with 81 touchdowns against 36 interceptions. Despite his numbers, the Redskins managed just a 24-23-1 record and Cousins got the reputation for being unable to win the big games.
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.
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!
On Saturday all 32 teams finalized their 53-man roster, releasing and waiving players in a surprising frenzy. The big news, of course, was the blockbuster trade of Houston Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to the Seattle Seahawks.
The Texans were willing to pay roughly half of Clowney’s $15.9 million salary for 2019 despite the franchised tag they placed on him. I would call that a win for Clowney and he gets to be a part of a newly built Seahawks front defense that now consists of Clowney, linebacker K.J. Wright, DE Ziggy Ansah, defensive lineman L.J. Collier, and LB Bobby Wagner.
How’s the preseason going for the good ol’ Black and Blue division? Not too shabby actually. As we reach the halfway point to preseason games, let’s see how the teams are looking.
The Lions started to show some signs of life, the Bears kicker competition is getting real, the Vikings head coach mixed up his tobacco and his sunflower seeds, and the Packers sort of have some of the same questions as the Lions do. I’ll get into that more in a few! Continue reading “The NFC North round up, preseason week 2”→
Raise your hand if you remember the “I’m retired now I’m not” phase of former Packers, Jets and Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. Did anyone else get the feeling that when he finally hung it up, that it wasn’t really going to be the last time? I know I did. But he finally settled into starring in Wrangler commercials and those copper wire commercials, fishing and whatever else it is retired NFL players do.
Then yesterday afternoon, an Instagram post changed all of that. Since Favre deleted it the post, I’ll have to stick with this tweet.