Tag Archive | NFC North

Go For Two: NFC North Quarter Season Recap

nfc_north_packers_number_1_by_gatorvenomWe are now a quarter of the way through the season. So how is the NFC North holding up? Are we meeting expectations? Or are we a disappointment?

Detroit Lions:

Record 0-4

Loss: Chargers, Vikings, Broncos, Seahawks

This is such a hard post to write. The Lions have seemingly fallen back into old habits. They seem to have that cloud back that no matter what they do, they just seem to lose the football game.

I watched the game against the Hawks last night. What really stood out to me was the mentality. Going into the 4th quarter the score was 13 to 7. You would have thought by the way the Lions walked off the field, hung their heads, the score was 56-0. Yet, they were only down by one touchdown. I kept yelling at the screen for them to stay in the game! This is why they play football! You just don’t know what is going to happen!

Needless to say, it did. There was a RW fumble for Lions recovery – although the Lions didn’t capitalize on it, it speaks volumes to how fast a game can change and to not give up. Then late in the fourth quarter, the Lions did what the Lions do best, suddenly start playing football. This seems to be a theme for them. They get down, then have flashes of, maybe not brilliance, but some good football. With 6:23 left to play, Stafford marches the Lions down the field. All the Lions fans want is the ball to be in the hands of their best play makers, namely, Johnson or Tate. They finally do just that! Lions fans rejoice – no stupid decisions! No under thrown passes! Yet … they find a way. Calvin Johnson has the ball punched out at the one yard, maybe half-yard line. Collective, utter, stunned silence from Lions fans around the world. They johnson fumblemanaged to screw up once again.

The thing is, the Lions have a lot to be proud of. They went into the Seahawks stadium and nearly beat them. They finished the game at 13-10.

Clearly, the Lions need to stop beating themselves. They also need to make their tackles – especially against a mobile quarterback. They had to have known RW would be running all day with ML out. Unacceptable.

Lions, yes, you are 0-4, but your season is not over yet. I really do think, with the right attitude, you guys could do well.

Just don’t give up, like you did in this game. Good teams know you play the whole 60 minutes (cough-cough, GB 2015 NFC Championship game) – you guys need to learn this, and fast.

As for the missed call, here are my thoughts on it. There are tons of times that calls are made no where near the ball, but they still count. Rules are rules. As soon as refs start deciding that they don’t want a whole game decided on a rule, as was the case here, then why even bother having rules? Yes, Seattle was the only one near the ball, it probably would have gone out on its own. However, rules are to be enforced by the refs, not to be turned into judgement calls.

Here’s an example, remember when the Lions coach Jim Swartz in 2012 threw a challenge flag? The rules had just changed – all scoring drives are automatically reviewed. However, the new rule was that you could not throw a challenge flag because of the review. If you did, you got an unsportsmanlike penalty.

It cost the Lions a touchdown.

Here is the link to the play. It will make you sick.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000099114/Justin-Forsett-81-yard-touchdown-run

Again, that’s a rule. It is enforced. It changed the outcome of the game despite the fact it was a ridiculous addition to the rule. It’s why later, when Mike McCarthy did it, good old boy Jordy Nelson tried to sneakily walk over and pick it up so the Pack wouldn’t get called. You can see Mike and Jordy share a grin – like two school boys trying to get away with something behind their teacher’s back. I can’t remember if we got away with it or not. I just kind of liked Jordy more at that moment.

Anywho, all this, whether articulate or not, is to say whether you believe inthe rule or not (I guess I’m getting at there are some dumb ones), a rule is a rule is a rule.

Chicago Bears:

Why are his lips always puckered?

Record 1-3

Win: Raiders

Loss: Packers, Cardinals, Seahawks

John Fox’s team is exactly where everyone thought they would be. Well, I did think they would be lower in the standings than the Lions, but that’s more of an issue with the Lions and not Chicago.

Jay Cutler has displayed in the first 4 games that he is still Jay Cutler.

Ugh.

Brandon Marshall is gone, doing actually quite well with the Jets. Good for him. On an aside, I loved the article that was out earlier in the week about how he likes to go antique shopping. It couldn’t have been more charming.

However, back to Chicago, so what does losing Brandon to the Jets mean for the Bears? Well, a lot. Especially since Alshon Jeffery has not played since week one due to a hamstring injury. The receiving core is decimated. With Cutler as the quarterback, poor Forte has a huge workload.

The Bears realizing the dire position they are in started a fire sale on September 28th. They traded Jared Allen to the Panthers and Jon Bostick to the Patriots. In return, the Bears got a conditional 6th round and a 6th round draft for the trades.

Now the rumor mill says with Allen gone Willie Young is asking for a trade. Now, it seems like players are just trying to get off of a sinking ship.

The schedule this year does not get any easier, so the Bears might want to just chalk this year up to one large training camp for next year and try and make improvements where they can.

Minnesota Vikings:

Record 2-2

Win: Lions, Chargers

Loss: Niners, Broncos

I have to admit, I don’t know much about this team. I watched one of their games, and for the life of me, I can’t remember which one right now. I think the Niners. Yes, that was the one. I just remember thinking why didn’t they give the ball more to Adrian Peterson. Well, apparently, they have and that has helped. I do remember thinking the Vikes should have played better. I kind of thought the Vikings would be better this year. They have room to improve, and even though they didn’t start out as fast as I thought they would, I still think they are going to be tough to beat down the stretch.

They need to improve though, as it will be hard to keep up with the Pack, considering they are already two games ahead with the next to games at Lambeau.

Speaking of the Pack …

Green Bay Packers:

Richard RodgersRecord 4-0

Win: Bears, Seahawks, Chiefs, Niners

The Packers could not get off to a better start. Not only are they 4-0, which is always the most important number, but the wins are mentally important.

The Pack has now beat one of their main rivals in regards to Seattle, and even their Achilles heel in the Niners.

Green Bay lost in week one last year to the Hawks, and, more critically, in the NFC Championship game in spectacular fashion. The Pack lost to the Niners on these occasions …

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The defense against the Niners looked much improved. Even I,  who am completely against Dom Capers, had to give credit where credit is due.

Now, that was against the Niners, and they are bad this year, but … still. The Niners always seem to find a way to exploit our weakness — but not this time. I’ll take the “w” on the defensive side of the ball.

Success has come this quarter of the season despite losing our deep threat in Jordy Nelson. This has caused more short, quick passes. Unfortunately, we have the injury big again this year. Cobb is clearly diminished. It’s not that he’s not doing very good, but you can tell he’s not 100%. The same goes for Eddie Lacy.

Our 3rd receiver was supposed to be Davante Adams, but he has been out with an ankle injury, and let’s be honest, even when he was in the game his performance was lacking.

Now, other teams can focus their coverage on James Jones and Cobbs.

On an aside, thank God for JJ. Remember when he was one of the dropsey twins with Jermichael Finley? Well, perhaps being carted around the league and left for dead caused him to be more focused. He is doing, as Mike McCarthy would say, one heckuva job. Thank you JJ.

What we need is for Cobb to heal up, but I don’t know how anyone can do that while the season is taking place. We also need Ty Montgomery and Richard Rodgers to step up. It’s a lot to ask, but you have the best quarterback in the league — if you are going to be successful with anyone, it’s going to be him.

Ty Montgomery has done very well on returns and RR had a touchdown in the last game. These are promising developments for the rest of the season.

Finally, to recap the first quarter of the season, why not a screenshot of the conference standings thus far …

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 12.04.34 PM

Until next time … Go Pack Go!

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NFC North 2015 Preview – Detroit Lions

This week is my NFC North preview of the Detroit Lions.

I’m not sure what to think of the Lions.

Lots of teams build off of what they did the season before. However, when I think of the Lions, I really just feel like they missed their opportunity.

I really hope I’m not jinxing the Packers with that statement.

Here is how their last season turned out.

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They went 11-5 finishing in second place in the NFC North division and earned themselves a 6th seed in the NFC playoff picture. They ended up losing to Dallas.

I missed this man of many expressions

The coaching staff is the same, at least for the big 3. This will be Jim Caldwell‘s second year as head coach. The offensive coordinator remains Joe Lombardi (last year was his first year as an offensive coordinator, previously a QB’s coach for the Saints) and the defensive coordinator remains Teryl Austin (previously a secondary coach for the Ravens from 2011-2013).

Matt Stafford is back again. Eh.

Weapons on offense at wide receiver are still Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. As for a third receiver, there really isn’t much of a choice. There is Fuller and then there is Jeremy Ross, whom I hate because he screwed up so many kick returns for the Packers, then goes to the Lions and does a bang up job. Screw you Jeremy Ross, screw you.

Really, the next best weapon for the Lions is at their tight end position. Pettigrew is someone on paper that you want to love, but having had him on my fantasy team I can tell you he is not what he is all cracked up to be. Fan favorite Fauria could emerge as a threat as well. Last season he was severely limited with an ankle injury. The other possibility is Eric Ebron.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/0ap2000000248117/Fauria-5-yard-touchdown-catch

As for running back, thank God the Lions finally released Reggie Bush. Why give him the ball? He made matters worse every time he handled the ball last year. It looks like this year Riddick and Bell will again be sharing the carries.

The biggest offseason change is a tremendous one. Ndamukong Suh is no longer a Lion. I do not see how you let him go. It’s insane. He, like many others, has found his way to the Dolphins. I know Suh’s contract was huge, he got 60 million guaranteed and 114 million 6-year contract, but still … how do you let him go? In his place they now have Ngata from the Baltimore Ravens. That is so not the same thing, let’s all be honest. The biggest play makers for this team are Suh and Johnson.

Suh will be sorely missed.

Also gone is Fairley. Here is a great article about both their departures from ESPN.

Here is the Lions current project depth chart:

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 12.54.42 PM

I’m not sure what my prediction for the Lions upcoming season will be. I always worry about the Lions. A few plays here, a few plays there and things could have been very different in the playoff picture last year. I still maintain that if Green Bay could have finished the game again Seattle, we would have won the Super Bowl. However, I didn’t see the Lions advancing past the Seahawks or the Patriots.

Here is the Lions schedule for next year:

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 12.53.27 PMLet’s see how they do this year with the coaching staff perhaps more together as a unit and some of the Lions old habits of dirty play out the door with Suh. Perhaps 2015 will be the year for the Lions to shine.

As always, Go Pack Go.

 

 

NFC North 2015 Preview – Minnesota Vikings

This week in my NFC North preview of the Minnesota Vikings.

I’m weary of this team for the 2015 NFL season.

Last season, they were on the cusp of being a great time. The season record was 7-9, but they had some close games that could have gone the other way. When you see the Vikings on your schedule, you don’t get to automatically put it in the win category.

 

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2014 Vikings record

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last season had some new beginnings for the Vikings. It was the first under head coach Mike Zimmer. In fact, it was coach Zimmer’s fist season ever as a head coach. There obviously is a big learning curve heading into a head coaching position, so the 2015 season might be the time Zimmer starts to shine. Prior to that he was the defensive coach for the Bengals from 2008-2013.

Last season was also rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s first season. He did fairly well, especially with all the quarterback reshuffling over there. Remember Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, and Bridgewater were all fighting for the starting position. Ponder lost out to a fight between Cassel and Bridgewater with Bridgewater ultimately becoming the man in Minnesota.

 

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Teddy Bridgewater 2014 stats

 

Now, with Bridgewater as the clear starting quarterback going into the 2015 season, he will get all of training camp and all first team reps. It should be interesting to see how he progresses. His back up is veteran Shaun Hill.

Adrian Peterson is the biggest game changer for the Minnesota Vikings for the 2015 season. He only played one game for the Vikes in 2014 due to child abuse charges that were ultimately reduced to a misdemeanor for beating his 4-year-old with a switch. Peterson sparked public outcry and a national debate on how America views child abuse, and how cultural history plays a role.

The Vikings 7-9 record was due in part to losing the workhorse of the team. The team was centered around Adrian Peterson and the loss of him as their running back was detrimental. They did not make great adjustments. Peterson is one of only several running backs in history to break the 2000 yard mark in a single season. Of course the team is built around him.

There was a bunch of rumors in the offseason that Peterson would go to Houston or the Cowboys because Peterson didn’t want to play for Minnesota anymore. However, those rumors, while they may have been true, did not pan out. AP now has a 3 year contract with the Vikings and may finish his career there.

Greg Jennings was let go from the Vikings, which is interesting to me because as a Green Bay fan, it’s always interesting to see how wide receivers flourish under Mike McCarthy and seemingly do terrible once in another organization (think James Jones). It looks like the Vikings will be staying with Cordarrelle Patterson, Charles Johnson, and Jarius Wright.

Other Vikings departures

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So who did the Vikings pick up in the draft?

First round they picked up Trae Waynes, a corner back. Second round was Eric Kendricks, an inside linebacker. Third round they picked up Hunter, a defensive end, and Clemmings, and outside tackle.

Okay.

I get the corner back. The Vikings have some serious enemy wide receivers to contend with in regards to Calvin Johnson of the Lions and Nelson of the Packers. Not a bad move.

As for defense, the Vikings picked up someone that will inevitably be mentioned twice a year when the Packers play the Vikings. Casey Matthews, brother of Green Bay Packers star linebacker, Clay Matthews III, was a free agent and thus picked up. His previous team was the Eagles. I’m not sure his stats are so impressive.

Here is the current 2015 Minnesota Vikings roster as of today.

We shall see how the rest plays out.

As for coaching, I already mentioned Zimmer. The defensive coordinator is George Edwards. The offensive coordinator is Norv Turner.

On a side note, coaching on the Vikings seems to be a family affair. Zimmer’s son, Adam, is the linebackers coach. Scott Turner, son of Norv Turner, is the quarterbacks coach. Hmmm.

Here is the 2015 Minnesota Vikings schedule

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Good luck to the Green Bay Packers against these Minnesota Vikings. It’s definitely not going to be easy to win against them this year.

 

Go For Two: My thoughts on the Green Bay Packers 2015 schedule

Yay! The 2015 NFL schedule came out!

A few days ago the NFL 2015 schedule came out. Yay! I love any and all information about the NFL. Well, save for the unending information that is coming out of the Philadelphia Eagles headquarters. Chip Kelly is really going bat-shit crazy with his new role as the Eagles personnel manager. He now has on his QB roster: Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow, and Mark Sanchez. Although, Tim’s contract is for zero guaranteed.

Now there is talk that he is going to make a three-way trade to get Mariota.

On to the good stuff …

Here is the schedule for the Green Bay Packers.

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The first thing that jumps out to me is that we don’t have the NFL opening kickoff game. Phew. That has really stung us the last few years. There is a lot of talk about how the Packers have started the past few seasons with a 1-2 start, however that doesn’t take into account our opening games.

2014 Seattle Seahawks (NFL Opening kickoff game). GB lost in spectacular fashion in the NFC Championship game to the Seattle Seahawks. Started season 1-2.

2013 San Francisco 49ers (lost the year before to SF in the divisional round). Started 1-2.

2012 San Francisco 49ers. Started season 1-2.

2011 New Orleans Saints (NFL Opening kickoff game) Lost to the Giants this year in the divisional round. The Giants went on to win the Super Bowl. We went 15-1 this year.

So as you can see, we started the last 3 years with a 1-2 season, but we played the Super Bowl champions and the 49ers that have been our Achilles Heel the past few years.

We needed a first game break, and we got it this year. Although, we do see Seattle the second week. I don’t know that we are going to beat them this year either, however, in our favor is home field advantage. I do think the NFC Championship game would have turned out differently if we had had home field advantage last year.

Complaints: I think the NFL is over Green Bay. I do not think it is fair to have 4 back to back divisional games, especially in the middle of the season. If someone gets hurt there is no cushion. I think that is ridiculous. I also don’t love the fact that there are two Thursday games, although, we do play on Thanksgiving, as do the Lions, and the Lions also have back to back Thursday games, so at least there is some divisional fairness there.

 

Image courtesty of SFGGothamClub First thoughts on teams. Ugh. I really don’t want to have to play Seattle again, but our nemesis, the 49ers, are going to have an absolutely shit year. What idiots those losers are. To fire their coach (I don’t care what the press releases say, that was a firing), demolish their defense, and as for their offense … jeez. They have no running back. I’m not quite certain who their receivers are this year. I will say this, the Santa Clara Niners have unveiled that all the 2016 Super Bowl activities will be held in downtown San Francisco, in Herman Plaza and on Market street leading up to the Ferry Building. It is called Fan Village. Fuck you guys. We all know Santa Clara is awful. Niners – you want to move your team to Santa Clara? Then deal with the repercussions and get out of my (well, old) city. Don’t bogart the city you left. Try and entertain people in your strip malls in Santa Clara. Yeah, I’m hating, so what?

Thoughts on the division: Look, I don’t know what to say about the Bears. Jay Cutler seems to have lost the confidence of not only his locker room, but the entire NFL. The Bears just lost Brandon Marshall, which is a big deal for Cutler as he was basically the one who wanted Marshall brought over from Denver. Speaking of Denver, John Fox is now the coach of the Bears. That makes me nervous. I can’t think for the life of me why Denver let go of Fox to get … Kubiak? Overall, over 13 years, John Fox has 119 wins and 89 losses. His last 4 years with Denver he has a win record of 46 wins and 18 losses. That’s a .719 percentage. Gary Kubiak over 8 years has 61 wins and 64 loses. That’s a .488 percentage. Why on Earth would you make that trade? I think you always have to ask yourself, who are you going to get better if you let the current person go? If the answer is no one, then you stay with who you have.

Detroit is interesting this year as they have lost Suh. The Vikings are on the brink. They are teetering just at being a winning team. When I look at the GBP schedule, I do not think of the Vikings as an easy win.

The NFL Draft is coming up soon, I’m pretty excited. I still want to draft a defensive coordinator, but, from what I understand, that’s not what the draft is about. Darn it! I am looking to get a tight-end, even though Rodgers likes Rodgers. I would like more of a blocking tight-end. Mostly, on defense, we need to replace A.J. Hawk and we need a shutdown corner. That is what I would be looking for in the draft. Based on our schedule, with the Hawks, Niners, and Vikings, we need to draft someone who can stop a Quarterback from moving outside of the pocket, more specifically, making long runs like Kaepernick has done to us in years past and what Russell Wilson did to us in the NFC Championship game. You remember the play, the broken play where Ha Ha Clinton Dix was left standing there like an idiot and our outside linebacker #53 Nick Perry left his man.

Until next time!

 

 

Go For Two: NFL Week 16 Games To Watch – Packers addition

Look. I’m not gonna lie to you. Losing last week sucked. It sucked so bad. We lost in every phase of the game. We lost spectacularly. A safety on the last drive of the game was the cherry on top.

It was a team loss. Aaron Rodgers made some pretty awful throws. Aaron was lucky he came out of that one with only 2 interceptions, there could have been at least 2 more on top of that. Receivers, I’m looking at you Davante Adams, didn’t even turn around for some of the passes. Jordy Nelson dropped one, which, that will happen, but it stings because it was such a big play. Just lay off Jordy you all. Special teams allowed a return for a TD and a blocked kick. Oh, and then there is my favorite defensive coordinator, Dom Capers. I want everyone who keeps trying to say the defense held the Bills to field goals to STFU. Oh, yay! The Bills didn’t get a touchdown. Yeah, well, you allowed four, FOUR field goals. There is nothing awesome-o about allowing four field goals. I’m not entirely sure who to blame for the safety. All I know is I’m sitting there like, put the whole game behind you, guys. It’s okay. We just need one touchdown — we can do this. Remember Miami. And …. plop, the ball is on the ground, in the end zone. Safety.

Wow.

There is a scenario where we do not make the playoffs. You gotta be kidding me.

That’s why, this week, the NFL Week 16 Games To Watch is a Packers addition. I know, I know — pretty selfish of me, but these are selfish times, thanks to our biting loss to Kyle Orton and my second least favorite defensive coordinator, Jim Schwartz. I hated seeing Jim Schwartz on the sidelines as the Bills defensive coordinator. It is entirely possible to just hate looking at someone’s face.

Philadelphia at Washington (Saturday 4:30PM EST): As a Packers fan, we need the Eagles to lose to Washington. That’s not necessarily off the table. The last time these two teams met, Washington only lost by 3. Kirk Cousins. He made 30 out of 48 passes and gained a total of 427 yards. My Michigan State alumni had three touchdowns and one interception. As we all know, Cousins tanked after that, but all I am saying, is it is in the realm of possibilities. So make it happen.

Lions at Bears (Sunday 1:00PM EST): Okay. We all saw MNF (more or less … okay, less. I only watched two plays and baby Cutlet got sacked two times in a row). This is a bit of a stretch; Bears need to win. However, if the Bears couldn’t turn it on for MNF after all the news came out about the internal team backstabbing, then I don’t know that they can. The Lions are the number 2 seed. They are going to turn it on. I’m hoping they get really big heads, think they have the game locked up, and a miracle happens. Maybe they all get a little chilly at the Bears stadium. Maybe Angelina Jolie visits Detroit and gives the team chickenpox? Look, I don’t want anyone seriously ill or anything, but maybe a catering company can cause the team to have food poisoning? Honestly, I’m desperate. I don’t see the football Gods sending a “W” on the wings of a dove down to Soldier Field. But I wish they would.

Colts at Cowboys (Sunday 4:25PM EST): Colts need to win. I don’t want our chances of going into the playoffs based on some random tie-breaking rule. Cowboys and Pack did not play a head to head game. The next rule is best record in conference. It may actually come down to best record in common games, the 3rd tie-breaking rule for the wild card. That is so sketchy, I don’t like it. Good luck, Luck. I root for the caveman on Sunday.

Seahawks at Cardinals (Sunday 8:30PM EST): This would be the game of the week for everyone watching football week 16. In particular, for the Packers, we need the Seahawks to lose. Anyone that is in playoff contention needs to lose. It will help with home-field advantage as well. Seahawks can taste home-field advantage. Everyone in the NFC playoff race does not want Seattle to get home field. It’s in everyone’s best interest if Seattle loses this game.

Of note, if the Cardinals win this game, it very well may happen that the Cards go to the Super Bowl at home. I’m not sure this happens with the 3rd string quarterback Lindley. The good news is, Stanton may be back in time for the playoffs. Which, at the beginning of the season, who would have thought having Drew Stanton as your quarterback in the Super Bowl would be a good thing?

Side note, yes. The Packers need to beat Tampa Bay on Sunday. I sure-as-shit hope that happens, cause if it didn’t …

~Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Diego. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

Go For Two: Green Bay versus Seattle at 5:30 PM PST Thursday September 4th

Green Bay versus Seattle. The first game of the season. The most important for Green Bay.

Everyone will be watching.

What do you need to know?

First off, you need to know what time is the game on so you can have all of your requisite snacks ready. The Seattle versus Green Bay game is on NBC starting at 5:30 PM PST.

The last time these two teams met it changed the course of the 2012 season. At the time NFL referees were on a lockout in a labor dispute with the NFL. After the infamous Fail Mary, the two sides came to an agreement.

Pete Carroll was obnoxious in that game sealing my absolute dislike for him. That on top of his shading dealings at USC, the man is a sketchy at best.

 

Things to know about the Green Bay Packers:

The Green Bay Packers last won the Super Bowl in 2011. Many of the same people are on the team. Over the years since, GB has been plagued by devastating injuries, a horrible defensive coordinator, a horrible defense, and an Achilles Heel of an opponent in San Francisco. We made poor decisions in the 2013 off and preseason when it came to our backup QB situation, which was unfortunately immediately highlighted that very year with multiple Qb’s at the helm while Aaron Rodgers was healing from a broken collarbone.

We went 8-7-1 last season, which, considering the direness of our situation, was pretty spectacular. We still somehow made it into the playoffs (in large part to the utter self-destruction of the Lions and the mediocrity of the Bears), only to have to play, yes, you guessed it, stupid San Francisco.

Here’s what we did to fix the situation.

We used our first draft pick on Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at safety. Okay. I like it.

We acquired some help from the Chicago Bears by getting Julius Peppers. That supposed to help free up Clay Matthews. Although, Peppers is fitted for a 4-3 defense, not a 3-4. That will be something to keep an eye on. Peppers is marketing as a chance for him to showcase his many skills that he hasn’t had a chance to show off. We shall see.

Chicago Bears gave Jay Cutler a huge contract. Yes, I’m counting this in the win category. I was relieved when the Bears took out McCown and put Jay Cutler back in last season when Cutler became healthy again. It’s one of the reasons we went to the playoffs and won our division. Can Jay Cutler be dangerous? Sure. Is he always? No. I’d much rather take my chances playing against Weeping Willow.

GB lost wide receiver James Jones. Who will emerge as the number three in our three wide receiver set?

Questions.

We need better special teams. It’d be nice to not start backed-up against our own end zone. It’d be nice to have a return guy. A confident, non-dropsey kind of player.

Our center is a rookie. Yikes. His name is Corey Linsley and he was a fifth round pick. He did not play in any of the preseason games.

Also, apparently, to replace Raji is Letroy Guion. I have no comment. Well, one. Shit. Good luck Dom Capers. Hope your genius starts kicking in now. I mean, in a 3-4 defense, you sort of need a good nose tackle.

 

Things to know about Seattle:

 

It’s very, very hard to repeat. Very, very few teams have been able to do it. The reason? Loss of teammates to other teams, cockiness, loss of coaching staff, and injuries.  In fact, the 8 Super Bowl winners prior to this Seattle team have not only failed to repeat, but failed to win a playoff game.

Russell Wilson is a great quarterback. This will be his third year in the league. He has a 101.2 passer rating, 7th overall last season. People don’t think he is an elite quarterback, but ask what the Bengals would do to have Russell Wilson, or the Jaguars, or the Dolphins …. the list goes on.

During the off season, Seattle did what they had to do and gave big contracts to two star defensive players, Thomas and Sherman. Sherman was an absolute necessity. Not only for his talent, but if that man didn’t get his pay day, I think there would have been HUGE locker room problems.

Percy Harvin made his presence known in the Super Bowl. He will be a huge target this season for Wilson, something that was not an option for the regular season as Harvin was hurt. He is listed as their number one receiver.

The loss of Golden Tate to Detroit takes away one of Wilson’s receivers. It will be interesting to see who steps up to the plate.  So far, Baldwin is listed as the number two receiver.

The nose tackle, Brandon Mebane will be dealing with rookie center Linsley. Yikes. No one wants a repeat of the Super Bowl’s missed snap for the Broncos.

All I have to say now is I can’t wait for game time!

**

This blog is made possible thanks to a GoDaddy coupon. Get your own blog for just $1.49 with GoDaddy coupon 149scott. Click the link to see more. It is also made possible thanks to a moosejaw coupon.

Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at Amazon.com, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at madelinefresco.com. Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at Amazon.com

 

 

NFL Preview: NFC North

Last season was interesting for the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers was hurt in week 9. Oh joy for the Lions and the Bears! Still, no benefit to the Vikings, they are just shit.

The 2013 Lions were 7-5, having just beat the Packers in week 13. Their future looked bright. I mean, seriously. Rodgers is out, and with 4 games left, and one against the Vikings, they had the NFC North in the bag, right?

Wrong.

The Lions lost all four of their last games.

What will 2014 bring?

Let’s start with my favorite team.

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