Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books, and as always, there were some surprise outcomes. We'll try not to overreact too much to the first week of games, but in some cases it's kind of hard not to.ObituariesNone.Hierarchy16) Lions (0-1): Detroit lost by 31 at home to a 5-11 team with a rookie quarterback, and looked ugly in all three phases. Who could have predicted that things would go so badly with a Bill Belichick disciple? Oh wait... Also, I'm embarrassed by how much Patricia's pencil gimmick bothers me. I mean, I'm not one to root for someone to lose their job, but I really need this guy fired quickly because I can't have the NFL celebrating how "old school" he is because he uses a friggin' pencil.Last week: 1315) Cardinals (0-1): Oh hey look, nothing has changed with old friend Sleevie Wonder. Just put in Josh Rosen and give him a season to learn on the job.Last week: 1414) Giants (0-1): Are the Giants better than they were a year ago? Saquon Barkley has a chance to be … [Read more...] about NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 2 edition
In case you're unfamiliar with our Hierarchy/Obituary series, it's our version of the thousands of power rankings that are out there, with a few differences. To begin, we only cover the NFC, because really, as it pertains to the Eagles, who cares about the AFC? But also, I don't know the AFC anywhere near as well as the NFC, so my already questionable opinions of the teams I do know are all the more worthless in an entire additional conference that I don't get to see much of. We also just stop including teams that no longer have a reasonable chance of contending for the playoffs. When they are all but eliminated, we write their obituary and stop including them in the hierarchy. Got it? Good. For Week 1, because of the shortened week with the Eagles playing on a Thursday, we won't have as in-depth of a hierarchy as usual, but since my OCD won't allow me not to write one of these and have it on the record just prior to the start of the season, we'll do a shortened version. Obituaries … [Read more...] about NFC Hierarchy/Obituary: Week 1 edition
Dave Birkett Detroit Free Press Published 10:00 p.m. UTC Sep 5, 2018 It’s mailbag time! Every Wednesday online and Sunday in the paper, Dave Birkett will answer your Lions questions. Send them via Twitter at @davebirkett or by email at [email protected] Q. Do you think the Lions could hastily fall back into the basement of the NFC North? Ultra-competitive division now - @crossnoe7 A. That’s certainly a possibility, and I know a lot of fans are worried that might happen after the Khalil Mack trade and given the Lions’ choppy preseason. But if I had to predict a division finish, I’d put the Lions third right now, ahead of the Bears and behind the Packers and Vikings. I believe the Lions will have one of the NFL’s better offenses this year, assuming the line holds up, and that should be enough to keep them in most games. I do have my concerns about the defense, and I wonder what toll a slow start could take on Matt Patricia’s rebuilding … [Read more...] about Detroit Lions mailbag: Is last-place finish in NFC North possible?
Carlos Monarrez Detroit Free Press Published 11:00 p.m. UTC Sep 3, 2018 Free Press sports writer Carlos Monarrez predicts records for the other teams in the NFC North heading into the 2018 season: Chicago Bears (7-9) Why they're better than the Detroit Lions: They got rid of coach John Fox after three terrible seasons, including a 5-11 finish last year. The Bears hired Matt Nagy, 40, an offensive-minded rookie coach who is expected to get the most out of second-year quarterback Mitch Trubisky. As the offensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs last year, Nagy ignited Alex Smith’s deep-passing game and used plenty of run-pass-option plays — a strength of the Bears last season that should only get better under new offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, an RPO expert from Oregon. Why they're not: This is a very young team that has only three players in their 30s. It’s going to be hard for players to lean on veteran leadership during a coaching … [Read more...] about How Detroit Lions stack up in NFC North: Record predictions
With Vikings training camp opening next weekend, General Manager Rick Spielman said he and his staff have done what they set out to do following the team’s loss to Philadelphia in January’s NFC Championship Game. That loss, with the Super Bowl being held at U.S. Bank Stadium two weeks later, was easily the most difficult this Vikings front office and coaching staff has dealt with. But Spielman said he believes that loss will bring about an even better team this year. “Every year, we assess where we’re at after the end of the season, and we get together with the coaches, the personnel, the scouting department and we come up and try to address areas of need for our football team from the personnel side and how we need to improve,” Spielman said. “I know the coaches do their end of it, what they’re going to tweak from an offense, defense and special teams standpoint.” Yes, the Vikings’ 38-7 loss was surprising in how decisive it was, … [Read more...] about Vikings look for positives from loss to Eagles in NFC Championship Game