Cutler & Urlacher will have to deal with an improved NFC North
Chicago Bears fans are wondering if the 2011 season can be better than in 2010. For many, that is asking for a miracle. They were one game away from the Super Bowl, but did that suggest that the team had little room for improvement?
Winning the NFC North Division was a goal that Lovie Smith always instilled on his team, but losing to your biggest rival in the Conference championship game has so much more significance.
While the defense has looked good in camp against a woeful offensive line, the rest of the division has improved.
Having the Super Bowl champs in your division makes the obstacles even bigger to face.
With the NFC North getting better since last year, the Chicago Bears have to realize that they will have to improve on their very glooming deficiencies from last season. We will see if the Bears run to the NFC Championship game was a one year wonder or they really have the talent to make a run again in the playoffs.
The Quarterbacks for each team in the NFC North have a chance to have great seasons. The question is, who will be at the top of the mountain?
Even with all the publicity from 2010, it shouldn't distract Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers has become a superstar and deserves that label. He is cerebral in the pocket and doesn’t mind checking down for minimal yards.
Many quarterbacks don’t understand that if a QB passes for four yards three times in a row and earn a first down, a team can march up the field for points regularly.
Having multiple weapons including a healthy hybrid Tight End in Jermichael Finley will only help improve the potent Packers offense. Knowing that the Packers offense will improve has to have Bears fans a little nervouse.
Aaron Rodgers against a Cover-2 is like Mike Tyson vs and aging Larry Holmes.
Hopefully this isn't Jay Cutler highlights in 2011
Jay Cutler…so many experts and fans have totally differing opinions on him. Being in the Martz offense for the second year has definitely helped him make quicker decisions.
He has so much raw talent that sometimes he should hold back a bit so the big gamble doesn’t end up putting the defense in tough situations.
The lack of a consistent offensive line has not helped matters at all. There are still questions as to whether it will be any better than last season. Acquiring Roy Williams was a step in the right direction, but Williams has to show that he can still be that tall possession receiver.
In Dallas and Detroit, it seemed he played his best when his team was totally out of the game. Mike Martz was in Detroit when Williams was there, so hopefully he knows something that other teams didn’t know when Chicago picked him up.
Hopefully Ndamukong Suh won’t give Cutler a beating he can’t get up from.
Will Matt stay healthy so Calvin Johnson can become a superstar?
Matthew Stafford has all the tools to be a top 15 quarterback in the league. He is in even better shape than last year. Being in shape does not always mean improvement from a quarterback’s standpoint. We have all seen the prototypical large and physical quarterbacks falter because of the lack of a mental edge.
Stafford has built a reputation on being injury prone and when teams with pass rushes like the Packers, the Bears and the Vikings you want to QB to have his head on a swivel. Luckily enough, Matt has a big target in Calvin Johnson who he has thrown to almost exclusively at times.
That is where a young guy behind center can get into trouble. Tight End Brandon Pettigrew can be a security blanket for Stafford as well because the running game has been stricken with injuries. Jahvid Best recently had a concussion in a preseason game.
This is the year where we find out if the rebuilding of the Lions will hurt the Bears’ chances at the division.
Will McNabb be lightning and AP be thunder?
He should be a good fit there the West Coast offense and will adapt to the playbook quickly. Losing a big target in Sydney Rice will definitely be a factor though for defenses facing the Vikings. Unlike when Brett Favre was in Minnesota with players like Bernard Berrian, Vinsanthe Shiancoe, and Sydney Rice to throw to, defenses will surely have eight and nine in the box waiting to stuff Adrian Peterson.
Being in a dome is going to help McNabb and maybe he’ll tend to use his feet even more, which could keep defenses guessing.
The Bears and Vikings will play each other very close as long as the defense doesn’t give up too many edge rushing yards from AP.