Oh yes, football season is here and there’s nothing better than spewing some prognostications on the super sexy, black and blue division of the NFC North. One of the great benefits of living in the Midwest is no one really gives a rat’s ass what we have to say. I could thoroughly believe with all my bones that Christian Ponder is going to throw numerous spirals on target paired with Adrian Peterson’s 3,000 rushing yards and The Minnesota “Bi-Queens” are going to steal the division title. (No chance!) If I lived on one of the coasts the natives of these oceanic villas would pigeon-hole me as a “Kansas Square” and dismiss my obvious ignorance. I am filled with great pride to represent the NFC North, blow mind nuggets from Iowa and find exotic dialogue for dirty match-ups like Minnesota vs. Cleveland. If my insights are as misguided as Sharpova hiring Jimmy Connors, firing him after one tournament, sweet…no flesh of my frame. I can simply hide behind my cornstalks, sulk in my soybeans and everyone would have expected nothing different. What a gig…what a gig…
Each and every week I will being providing some high grade polluted thoughts on what is going on in the land of…land of…land of something tangible? Ecologically speaking…you know were fertile! Now, it’s my job to dress the NFC North in Prada not overhauls, Fedoras not salty, weathered baseball caps and entertain you with poignant insights on the likes of the ever engaging personalities such as Leslie Frasier, Jay Cutler and anyone on Detroit not named Johnson, Stafford, Suh or may the “Schwartz” be with you. My launch begins with a preview of what’s to come for 2013/14. In addition, all season long I will be making my predictions for the week, like a man, against the spread! Each column will be finished with some random notes of ill-refute. There is nothing like a finishing dose of controversial non-sense to make you chuckle before departing my warped/bent reality tunnel. No time to waste…time to do my best Barry White, “Let’s get it on…”
“Yesterday is yesterday.” This is the new mantra of the 2013 Bears. Live in the moment with a focus on the future and not new head coach Marc Trestman’s bad haircut. Marc, Marc…you do not live in Montreal anymore. You are no longer allowed to let your mother cut your hair even if the French find it “magnifique!” You are back in the states find a Cost Cutter’s or something brother. And he is a brother, my favorite team since childhood has been the Bears. Insert jokes now just don’t touch Walter or Butkus. I promise to be as non-bias as possible throughout my coverage this year. At certain times I’m sure I’ll slip like a dry alcoholic but I also believe that my sarcastic flare will punish the Bears harder than any other team in the division. That’s what we self-deprecating Bears fans do! So, let’s start with Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall. Enough already…stop hogging the ball like school children and spread the wealth! Anyone remember Matt Forte’s first two years in the league? Where is he now? I do expect a reemergence with Trestman using him as a receiver out of the backfield more often. Something Mike Tice could not wrap his head around? Damn, I miss the days when Tice was the head coach of the Vikings.
The largest question looming for the 2013 “Chidawgdoo” Bears is the offense-obviously. Is Trestman a yogi for pouty quarterbacks? Can the line have two rookies on the right side of the line and keep Mr. Sourpuss upright? If so, will Jay get over his man crush on Mr. Marshall and make others successful and happy? Can they find a way to get rookie Michael Ford involved without damaging some egos? (See Devon Hester-Special Teams) Many questions my friends…many questions?
The defense will be what they know themselves to be-tenacious. My only concerns, here, rest with the new inside linebackers, an average nose tackle and will The Bears be able to stop the inside run? Barring injury (redundant!) everything else looks nails! The drafting of Bostic out of Florida looked pretty damn sharp in the pre-season. He and ex-Donkey DJ Williams will both see time at ILB while Lance Briggs will be the captain-rightfully so. The Bears have displayed strong special teams for years under the last guy (Where are you Lovie!?!) I do not expect anything different this year. Hester may still have some life in his step now that he is no longer allowed to run wrong routes and drop balls from Jay, Robbie Gould is the best PK in Bear’s history while the coverage guys are nearly always flawless. (Envious Detroit?) So here is what I see…
Offense- C Too many what if factors to award better.
Defense- A- The Nick Cannon to Mariah Carey (real talent rests with the men!)
Special Teams- B This outfit should win the Bears a game or two.
The Wise Guys line: Bears 9 wins this year
My prediction: Push, 9 wins, doubtful playoff appearance.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
Oh those darling little Packers. The Midwestern sweethearts, playing in a hockey hemisphere that has no hockey… A quaint town that is running out of street names because anyone who plays in Green Bay for longer than five years should have a street named after him, so say the locals. How nostalgic, awe…..
The Pack has won the division the last two seasons thanks to a guy who sells insurance and thinks he’s a pro wrestler. I do not see a three-peat. I’m not buying the Lacey addition as a resource to improve its beleaguered running game. The offensive line is worse than the Bears, losing Brian Beluga is a big screaming-ouch!! Kenny Rogers, gunslinger has been sacked more times than Lindsey Lohan on Ecstasy. This year will probably be no different. A defense that struggles to stop innovative offensive schemes despite a strong linebacker corps led by “Fabio” look-alikes, a highly suspect kicking game, a curse when ole man winter starts spitting his annual bad breath in November and an absolutely brutal schedule will dethrone the kings of their recent majestic heights. The “Cheezers” begin the year with SF, The Washington Great Buffalo Spirits and the Bengals. They will begin 0-3 thus climbing uphill for the entire season. Yes, they are fairly deep at the skilled positions however I do not see this as enough to save them.
Offense- C+ O-Line giving time for their skills to materialize-questionable.
Defense- B- If Shields or Jennings goes down, big issues.
Special Teams- C- Barely NFL Grade
Wise Guys Line: 9.5 wins
My Prediction: 9-7 Playoffs perhaps as a wild card…
The best thing about Christian Ponder is his wife. Yes, somehow/someway teams will keep Peterson out of the end zone despite the fact he will rush for 1,800 yards. One of the best prop bets on the board! If you take the beast “AP” to rush for in-between 17,500 to 2,006 yards the wise guys will pay you 3.2 to 1 on your wager. Take him to town boys and girls as this will be the only highlight of a wretched season for the “Bi-Queens”. The Vikes have a very solid front seven but the secondary will get lit up. Name me one guy back there that chases the likes of Vernon Davis, Brandon Marshall or Victor Cruz with proficiency? Yeah, exactly my point! Minnesota’s (the land of 10,000 ponds) special team specialists are more anonymous than their secondary. A high praise has come out of camp for the rookie kicker Walsh but who the hell as heard of the likes of Jeff Locke, Marcus Sherels or Cordarelle (corduroy) Patterson? Leslie (Am I really the head coach) Frasier will be on the hot seat after a less than stellar season with the game’s best running back. The ’Sotans of Sadness in the prime of their season travel to the Giants, face the Packers, @ The Cowboys, come home to lose to the Great Buffalo Spirits, lose back to back at home facing the Seahawks and then go to Lambeau to face the Pack again. Season sunk, Vikings ship starts making odd gurgling sounds…That large horn they trumpet sounds like a wet fart in that lousy dome of theirs. Please keep the ceiling from falling this year boys!
Offense- C- Only thing preventing a D is “AP”
Defense- B The front seven will stop the run.
Special Teams- D Who Again??
Wise Guys Line- 6.5 wins
My Prediction- 5-11
If the ego-maniacal “Power of the Schwartz” stays out of the way from ill-fitted temper tantrums, over aggressive play calling and looking in his rear view mirror with a high state of paranoia…The Detroit Lions will be winners of the division causing Kid Rock to go on a two week long bender with his buddy John Daly up until the kick-off of the Lion’s first playoff game since the Scott Mitchell era. Reggie Bush will not put up Pro Bowl numbers but he will help the ground game in addition to being a nice check down receiver when Charles Johnson is quadrupled covered. Nate Burleson and David Akers maybe new AARP members but they will find a way to put some points on the board. As the “KISS ZIONS” (Oh wait, that’s the new LA Arena Football Team) maybe thin at wide receiver, their tight-end depth is some of the best in the league. A rather unheralded line should do, the defensive line is flat out psychotic dangerous, a supposedly (?) improved secondary and a young but speedy linebacker corps is set to be one of the league’s rebound from mediocrity stories of the year. If not, someone is going to piss on the quartz and the “Power of the Schwartz” will be someone’s assistant coach next year. This is a sleeper team that could bite some teams in some serious you know what or implode and take a nap for yet another year. I believe in the latter over the former.
Offense- B+ As long as there is no Shaun Hill in the Lions future.
Defense- A- Only opposing speedy QBs/RBs will have a chance to do damage
Special Teams- D A glaring weak link unless Akers regains form
Wise Guys Line: 8.5 wins
My Prediction: 10-6 Division Champions
Random Notes- The ole’ Norris Division will be a dogfight. I am just one of many ***holes whom are probably far from the truth but it will be bloody entertaining, figuratively and literally…I am not a fan of Roger(corporate scumbag) Goodall so, we will have some fun with this in the future… a name to watch for is Lion’s rookie Michael Spurlock-blazing speed…I wish “The Power of da Schwartz” would have cut Akers and kept “kickaliscious”…Over/Under on Cutler on air smiles this season-4…Christian Ponder will punch some drunk in the face for hitting on his wife…Overheard from the nosebleed new additions on the Lambeau end zone, “I waited 30 years for this friggin’ seat?”…Peace Y’All…
Bengals over Chicago on the money line +140
Minnesota +6 -120 yet the Lions win the game
Take SF 49er’s in 1st half line -3 for -115…the rest I have not a clue?
William Segerstrom is an NFL writer for TPF and can be contacted at WSegerstrom@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com