31

October

Around the NFC North in Week 9

Around the NFC North

Around the NFC North in week 9

Week 9 brings us to the start of the 2012 season’s second half.  Quick trivia:  Which is the NFL’s only division with three teams over .500?  You’re correct if you guessed the NFC North.  Let’s dive into the matchups around the division this week.

Chicago Bears (6-1) at Tennessee Titans (3-5)

The Bears are rolling, the Titans are not.  About the only thing in Tennessee’s favor this week is that it’s a home game.

The Bears narrowly escaped with a home win over Carolina while Tennessee came up just short against the Indianapolis Colts in overtime.  As the saying goes, good teams find a way to win and Chicago keeps doing it week after week.  They find themselves alone in 1st place atop the NFC North.

Tennessee has had solid play from backup QB Matt Hasselbeck in place of injured Jake Locker.  Hasselbeck will start Sunday against the Bears.  Unfortunately, Hasselbeck is the only Titans player who has played well consistently and the team has not been able to string consecutive wins together.

Titans RB Chris Johnson has flashed some of his vintage self lately, but not enough to put the team on his back.  The Bears are giving up a stingy 77 yards/game rushing and Johnson will be the focal point of their defensive game plan.

The big focus for the Titans and Hasselbeck is taking care of the football.  Chicago has mustered 16 interceptions in 7 games this season and they lead the league in takeaways.  They are also a top-scoring defense so they are making those turnovers count.  Hasselbeck has thrown four interceptions compared to six touchdown passes.  His task will not be an easy one this Sunday.

For the Bears, the game plan is simple:  run to daylight.  Tennessee is surrendering 140 yards/game on the ground and the Bears happen to have a guy named Forte on their side.  I’m no fantasy football expert but I say: start Forte!  If Chicago builds a solid lead, you’ll see a good dose of Michael Bush as well.

While the rest of the North needs the Bears to slow down a tick, it likely doesn’t happen this week.

16

July

Is there ANY Scenario For Brett Favre to Be Back in Green Bay this Year?

With the 2011 season (hopefully) approaching, let us imagine a hypothetical situation that the Packers could find themselves in:

  1. Matt Flynn gets traded: Matt Flynn turned some heads last season when he made the quarterback transition look easy with Aaron Rodgers sidelined for the Patriots game. It would be foolish to think that other teams aren’t interested in him and former general manager Ron Wolf was fond of saying it was better to trade a player a year early than a year late (and current general manager Ted Thompson is a Wolf protégé).  It only takes one team to see Flynn as the next Matt Hasselbeck to make an offer that the Packers can’t refuse.  As a point of comparison Hasselbeck was essentially traded away for the 1st pick of the 2nd round; would the Packers take Flynn for a 2nd round draft pick? Definitely.
  2. The Packers then stick with Aaron Rodgers and Graham Harrell: The Packers always think of development first and they haven’t brought in a veteran backup quarterback since Rodgers became the starter.  They risked having no depth at quarterback in Matt Flynn’s rookie year and got away with it and might be inclined to do the same this year. With 10 new rookies and a slew of players coming off IR, roster slots are going to be very precious and the 3rd quarterback might be one spot that gets eliminated.  A lot of this will come down to Graham Harrell, but if his development is where Flynn’s was when he was a rookie, then past history proves that the Packers are willing to make that gamble.
  3. Midseason, Aaron Rodgers gets hurt: Heaven forbid, but Rodgers has already suffered 2 concussions and from a medical perspective, having a concussion increases the chance of having another.  Rodgers has also battled various injuries during his time with the Packers and mobile quarterbacks like Rodgers do have a higher risk of getting seriously hurt (see Michael Vick).  It’s not unconceivable that Rodgers could miss a game or two (or a season) due to his play style and injury history.

If this series of events were to unfold for the Packers next year, what should they do?

The Packers should call Brett Favre.

Now before someone brings out the tar and feathers, examine my logic: