'Round the North We Go

Before I get to the other teams in the division, a note.  Jay Cutler’s Chicago Bears #6 is currently top selling jersey in the National Football League and the Bears are second overall.  Now let’s take a look at the rest of the division in the aftermath of the first preseason game.

Detroit Lions
It seems to be all about the starting quarterback in Detroit, where first overall pick Matthew Stafford and Daunte Culpepper are competing.  Ernie Sims is quoted in the Free Press:

“It’s a
toss-up between No. 9 and 11. Daunte Culpepper is a good veteran. But
you saw what I saw when No. 9 came out there and made some very
impressive throws.”

If the Lions don’t start Stafford Week One, they are simply lost as an organization.  The kid is going to make mistakes and often look like he doesn’t belong.  But you’re dealing with an organization that will consider four wins a massive success.

And, as always, the Lions’ broadcasters can sure put things in perspective:

“You know, Brandy, I got to admit, you look at these games and you
try to take something out of them,” Miller said. “And I think forever,
Lions fans are going to be a little bit more careful after a 4-0
preseason last year and then the year that everybody had to endure.”

“Not to mention their announcer. Me!” Brandstatter said. “I learned my lesson.”

Green Bay Packers
Am I the only one totally shocked by the fact that Matt Flynn has completely outplayed Brian Brohm for the backup quarterback job?  There was a time, when Brohm was at Louisville, that some believed he’d be the top pick in the draft. (And some of you were downright angry the Bears did not select him in the second round.)

New name to know: Jermichael Finley.  The second-year tight end is set to usurp Donald Lee in the starting lineup and the Bears have found themselves ultra-susceptible to tight ends for the past few seasons.  The last thing we need is for the Packers to find another weapon in their deep, pretty damn terrific passing game.

Good news!  The Pack are shuffling the deck with their offensive line.  Outside of left tackle Chad Clifton, nobody knows where they’ll be lining up against us on the 13th.  What this means is we’ll get a good read on Marinelli’s “rush men” right at the start of the season.

Minnesota Vikings   
Great post by Mark Craig about the shear boredom that is the NFL preseason.  I hate it.  Every single snap. And so does he.

Apparently, Jay Glazer is still convinced that Brett Favre is going to join the Vikings this summer.  And, according to him, so are the Minnesota Vikings:

“…I’m absolutely convinced. Why?
For starters, because everyone else on the Vikings seems to be
convinced of the same thing. I mean damn near everybody! During my two
days in Mankato, nearly everyone I talked to within the team talked
about Favre joining not as an ‘if’ but rather a ‘when.'”

I’m quite surprised that this story isn’t gathering more attention from those clowns at ESPN, who normally salivate at the very mentions of Favre.

Good story about John Sullivan, the man replacing the great Matt Birk at center.  Apparently Sullivan was so nervous about making his Vikings’ debut, he vomited a lot.  Nice to know this who playing professional football thing still means something to some of these guys.



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  • First! Farve is like an asspimple that just won't go away no matter how hard you squeeze

  • I think Hanie is another year or two from being a viable performer in the league. And I think he could also turn into a terrific, career backup for Cutler.

    As for Green Bay, I think they're being drastically underrated. That team was good last year and should have beaten us twice. They lost some very funky, almost fluky games. I think there's going to be three teams in the North between 9 and 12 wins. We can say it's only opening day but that first game will mean a lot come the end of the season.

  • The Green Bay offensive line looked exceptional protecting Rodgers this weekend. If they can give that guy all day to throw to thosw WRs up there, it could be scary how many points they could put up.

    Also, Don Capers has shown the ability to turn an entire defense around in only the 1st season. Not a bad showing by shutting out thier opponent in "game" 1.

  • Ahhhh yes, the NFL's "don't call them exhibition games" Pre-season. You think it's bad now? Show of hands, how many of us remember when it ran SIX, (count'em) SIX GAMES!!!! Yikes! As I recall, the Bears ALWAYS played the "ARMED FORCES GAME vs. the Cardinals. That was a holdover event from the Big red's day's as Chicago's south-side team.I believe the Bears annually faced the Packers in Milwaukee every pre-season as well. I think we all agree 4 is STILL too many. Not to mention the highway robbery of forcing season ticket-holders to pay full freight for pre-season games. I say cut it to 2 and let's go already. I, for one, am NOT in favor of expanding the regular season to 18 games, but I realize that's the only way the owners will relinquish 2 of those "glorified scrimmages". If/when they go to 2 + 18, they are going to HAVE to expand the rosters to allow for the increased injury attrition.

  • Hmmm...You say the Packer O-Line is unsettled? Tsk, tsk, tsk. Isn't that just AWFUL.

  • I have long said that while I think Cutler will be terrific, his performance is not as important as everyone thinks. If we hold teams to under 21 points a week, we're going to win a lot of football games.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    I think thats the real worry. The defensive backfield has a ton to show yet...if they dont hold up we'll be flattened.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    In regards to Sully - I loved him at ND. I was kind of hoping the Bears would pick him up, since Kreutz is aging. When he was working with Quinn, it reminded me of the Saturday/Manning matchup; Sully was talented enough to do whatever was asked of him and smart enough to direct the line quickly and efficiently. He's going to have a long, impressive pro career.

  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    I have to disagree on Stafford. I think he should play this year but not until midseason. Daunte has lost at least a full bill and has been moving real well. He gives them the best chance to win a game early, and I think that game is week 2 VS Minny, and I think they really need to win a game early. Also that offensive line is brutal so I'd hate to see Stafford get ruined ala David Carr and several others.

    While I admit the packers lost a lot of bizarre games last year, the year before they won a bunch of games like that too. So I think it was a situation very much like the 2001-2002 Chicago Bears. Flukes and bounces evened out. The truth is somewhere in the middle.
    To me I see them as a 8-8 kind of team. Dangerous, but not enough defense or running game to be consistant. I also am not sold McCarthy.

  • In reply to alott96:

    on the pack:

    I am located in WI, as you are. Have you noticed the feeling among the fanbase? They feel more confident now than they have in the last decade. I'd love to burst their bubble early. McCarthy does have to prove himself in the next few years though, or the fans will slowly call for his ousting.

  • In reply to alott96:

    You know Jeff, the more I think about it the more I like

  • In reply to alott96:


  • In reply to JeffHughes:

    Watching the Giants & Carolina game and the first team Giants offense looks very good. It will be interesting to see how the Bears handle them in the first quarter next week. Their pass rush looked good too so it will be a good test for the Offensive line.

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