It’s Just The NFC North

Darryl Rice
NBA Analyst

"I'm just here so I won't get fined."

The New Year is Here

Happy New Year to all my sports peeps out there. I hope last night was a good social distanced celebration. If it wasn’t, I’ll just be under the assumption that we will NEVER get rid of this damn virus. The best thing to do is either go live under a rock, or simply just count down the days until you get it. If we can count on ourselves getting it, we can definitely count on the trend of professional football players getting it as well. Let’s jump into the last article of the season as we break down the last division, the NFC North. If you get a chance, make sure you catch up on every article on the website. I’ve saved the best for last with the North so let’s jump into it.

Chicago Bears

Whenever I think of some of the most underperforming teams in the NFL, the Bears are one of those teams. The Bears are riddled with talent on both sides of the ball, unfortunately they are also a prime example of why the quarterback position is so important in this game. I’m preaching to the choir with this statement, I know. But to see the debacle happen in real-time is bliss. Yes, the Bears and Browns both could’ve had Mahomes, and we all know that wasn’t going to happen based on how the league recruits and drafts. As a matter of fact, can we honestly say John Fox would’ve known how to even coach Mahomes? If the tables were turned and Mitch went to Kansas City, I honestly think you get a better result than what he’s given us this far. Mitchell is good, he’s just not developed. Out goes John Fox, in comes Matt Nagy, and Mack. You’d think that’s all the help Mitch Trubisky would need, but it wasn’t. It’s two whole years later and we are still having discussion(s) on how legit this kid is. Mitchy gets benched, in comes Nick Foles who did just enough to give Mitchy his job back a few weeks later. Once Nagy went back to Mitch, I felt that was the beginning of the end. Mitch can’t stay in Chicago. There’s no trust, or development that will work for him. He needs to be in a place where he could learn and grow. I’d put him with Belichick in a heartbeat.

Detroit Lions

Whenever I continue to think of good underperforming teams, the Lions never let me down.

This is a team I’m thinking needs to get to the drawing board after the season quickly. This team needs a new identity and it may be time to start thinking about that to do with Stafford. The same problem the Chargers had with Phillip is essentially the same problem I see with the Lions.

I had a talk with a long time fan of the Lions. I asked him what he thought the issue was with the Lions. He was able to give me a detailed reason in literally 30 seconds. The reason is the general manager, Bob Quinn. I was honestly impressed how he was able to piece different scenarios with the decision making by Bob. Mr. Quinn is notorious for not creating a good roster. He strikes out bad in the second round. He asked me if I knew who Jahlani Tavai was. I told him no, and his response was, “exactly.” He told me this pick was based on his seemingly affection with Bill Belichick. Quinn lets Ebron walk, gets fleeced on the Gronk trade, and lastly chooses Hockenson over Fant! They both went to the same school and they still get it wrong. This is a scouting problem!

On the other hand, they do have good results like Swift and Galloday, but it’s a serious health problem with that organization as well. No one can stay healthy and since there’s really no depth, this team will continue to lose. Stafford is still owed a mountain of money, and the Ford family will never try anything new in my opinion. This team will be bad for a long time if better choices aren’t made. The Lions are irrelevant, this video below breaks it down even more!

Minnesota Vikings

This is deja vu I swear. I literally just wrote about the Lions debacle with ownership and management. Let’s do it again with Minnesota. The Vikings are a great team but only on one side of the ball. This is yet another disappointing team that had talent, let it slip away, and decided to give the farm to literally two players on the entire team instead of restructuring to keep set pieces. Zimmer should’ve worked with Diggs to keep him. Diggs is a better receiver than Adam Thielen. All the money goes to offense and now there’s no defense. The Vikings have a terrible defense and Zimmer called it. He mentions it after his beatdown from the Saints. He mentions he saw the defensive struggle the week prior.

This sounds like a coach who doesn’t have the answers. These are “it’s above my paygrade” answers here. Zimmer is a great coach, but he doesn’t have the pieces he needs to win. Money is tied up in the offense with Cook and Cousins eating real good. I give this team a good year from being a year away. They need time and a few set pieces on defense, they can literally do this with the young players they have now. Development is key here. Focus on the defense and everything else will work out.

Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers and Matt LeFleur are basically giving a middle finger to all of your feelings this year and I’m here for it. There’s a lot of moving parts here and that’s why it works. You’ve got two alpha males, but in a good way because they are both cerebral. Aaron and Matt are like the guys who shit-talk each other over a chess game. They both have this great way of passively motivating each other and it works. It took a year … but it works. Once Matt put the fire under Rodgers feet by drafting Jordan Love in the first round was the turning point in my opinion. We’re talking, Tee Higgins, D’Andre Swift, and even Clyde Edwards-Helaire all potentially making a huge difference with Green Bay, and they take Love. Now we’ve got R.E.L.A.X Rogers and he looks great. We all saw what Rodgers did in the snow. This video provides a great breakdown.

Can we talk about confidence? Aaron has his swag back and it’s on max level.

There’s another stud on the team who’s pretty good too, I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of this guy!

If you take a close look at this team you’d notice they almost look like their divisional rival the Minnesota Vikings. Both teams have a great coach, great offense, and mediocre at best defenses. The only difference is the quarterback! Kirk is good but we all know he’s no Aaron. Thielen is great, but we know Devante would run circles around him in route-running.

It all comes full circle here. As I stated in the beginning of this article, the quarterback position is key. Place Aaron on either of the three remaining teams in the division and you have yourself divisional champs.

Aaron Rodgers as a Bear? Or Viking? Or even a Lion! Any of those teams would make it to the post-season because that’s just how good he is. I’m making my first call of the New Year, Green Bay will make it to the NFC Championship.

Happy New Year everyone!

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