Saturday, November 20, 2010

Midseason NFL Report Part 2: The NFC North Strikes Back

In this latest installment of the Midseason NFL Report, we're gonna look at the NFC North. I covered the NFC East on Monday, and the rest of the NFC Report will come this weekend. Look for the AFC Report on Monday Night. Ohhhh...the NFC North, there are a lot of questions coming out of this, jam that we've got there. Let us take a deeper look into this unpredictable division.

NFC North

Current Record: 7-3
Final Record: 9-7

This Bears team has flown under the radar out of the NFC North, and at 7-3 they could quietly be a contender to come out of the NFC. However, their durability will definitely be tested in these next couple weeks, with Philly upcoming next week, then New England, Minnesota, the J-E-T-S, before finishing the season off with a trip to Lambeau in a game that will decide the NFC North division crown. If we based this wacky season on statistics, the Bears are a miracle to be where they are now. 27th in Passing Yds, 20th in Rushing. Their defense is one of the best in the league at stopping the run, and outside the top 10 in passing yds allowed. Definitely a wild card, this Bears team controls their own destiny, if not Green Bay is lurking...Speaking of which...

Current Record: 6-3
Final Record: 12-4

How bout facing this team right now? The Packers have won 3 in a row (none of which were nailbiters either). They own a +78 in points, the best in the NFC. Aaron Rodgers has made this offense click, without Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley, as well as an unhealthy Donald Driver. Clay Matthews in his sophomore season has evolved into arguably the best linebacker in the NFL, and has kept this defense solid despite releasing Al Harris for an unproven rookie. Only stat that scares me, is their road record. A mediocre 2-2, they have a very hard schedule on the road. 4 of their final 7 games are on the road with trips to: Atlanta and Mr. 18-1 at home Matt Ryan, New England and the mosquito-like Patriots. I call them that because for the last decade they've been like mosquitoes, they just won't go away. Annoying, spray them with draft picks and random talent, and they just turn it around into a success. Before I rant too much, the Patriots on Sunday Night will prove whether the Packers can hang outside of the weak NFC. Despite their hard schedule, I say Aaron Rodgers gets this team to a 6-1 second half and easily winning the division over the Bears.

Current Record: 3-6
Final Record: 6-10

Only 7 more episodes/weeks of the Brett Favre saga until the series finale, and they cannot come fast enough. See what happens when you hype a football team nowadays? The media blows it so out of proportion, that the players cannot block it out and therefore their performance falters. I.E. the Minnesota Vikings and Brett Favre coming off a career year in which he was once again one mistake away from reaching a Super Bowl. Other team with their kind of hype was my Dallas Cowboys and their homecoming Super Bowl, and we're seeing how these teams handle the spotlight. Favre better handle the reins and end his career right, because we're seeing front and center that you might not see a difference between 30 and 31, but 40 and 41 is a whole different ballgame. This Favre looks hopeless, with 10 TD's and 16 INT's, Favre might not have a choice but to retire. Peterson has been trying his best to carry his team with 908 yards and 7 TD's. Say what you want about the offense, but this defense has shown up week to week. Top 10 in both passing and rushing yds allowed, this defense is just waiting for the offense to pick things up. I forecast a 3-4 end to the season, as their division is pretty gnarly this year. Favre can go out quietly at the end of the year, and this year will be forgiveable when compared to his illustrious career. Although, it would have probably been better for him to go out Clint Eastwood style last year, gunslinging till the end.

Current Record: 2-7
Final Record: 3-13

I feel so bad for this Lions team. This year of rebuilding was screwed from the get go, as 4 of their first 6 games were on the road. Their passing game is nothing to mess with, as Calvin Johnson is proving that he is among the best in the game with 9 TD's. This season, home field advantage has been big for teams such as Detroit and Seattle, and the schedule favors the Lions there. With a 3 game home stand against Chicago, New England, and Green Bay, I'm not sure if home field is gonna matter against those teams. Stafford got hurt again, this team needs a power back to set up Jahvid Best, and with a very hard closing schedule against good teams, I see this team winning 1 mayyyybe 2 games at most.