1. Pass-Rush-Needy Bears Require More Out of Pricey DEs Lamarr Houston, Jared Allen

    The Chicago Bears likely envisioned much more than 23 combined tackles and zero sacks through five weeks when general manager Phil Emery agreed to fork over $30...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 4,261 reads 24 comments

  2. With or Without Calvin Johnson, Lions Offense Needs to Snap out of Its Funk

    In this bizarro world just five weeks into the 2014 season, the Detroit Lions find themselves ranked second in the NFL in scoring defense and a lowly 27th in scoring offense...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 2,141 reads 16 comments

  3. Critical Turnovers Still Haunting Jay Cutler and the Volatile Chicago Bears

    Turnovers during the most critical times have become a losing habit Jay Cutler and the volatile Chicago Bears can't seem to kick...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 12,918 reads 143 comments

  4. Vikings' Blowout Loss Exposes Problems That Extend Beyond Christian Ponder

    While Christian Ponder rewrote the definition for poor quarterback play, the problems faced by the Minnesota Vikings during Thursday night's blowout loss in Green Bay ran deeper than just missing rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 17,864 reads 107 comments

  5. Can Aaron Rodgers and the Packers Unlock the Mike Zimmer Defense vs. Vikings?

    Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has a sizzling passer rating of 117.9 over 12 career games against the Minnesota Vikings , his opponent for Thursday night's Week 5 showdown...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 11,008 reads 49 comments

  6. How the Lions Became an Elite Defense and Why the Dominance Will Continue

    Look up almost any meaningful defensive statistic and you'll find the Detroit Lions at or near the top of the rankings after four games this season. While numbers often lie, these don't...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 15,631 reads 55 comments

  7. How Norv Turner and the Vikings Helped Teddy Bridgewater Explode in First Start

    Not enough credit is being assigned to Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner for the breakout performance provided by rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons ...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 7,836 reads 25 comments

  8. Jay Cutler Mistakes, Soft Defense Doom Chicago Bears Again

    A couple of poor plays from quarterback Jay Cutler and a defense incapable of getting off the field could pretty much sum up the Chicago Bears ' 38-17 loss to the Green Bay Packers Sunday at Soldier Field...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 13,053 reads 158 comments

  9. Can Bears, Packers Turn Around Struggling Run Games During Division Showdown?

    Two of the NFL 's most prolific offenses from a year ago have been stuck in neutral to start 2014, and the struggles both have had running the football are at least partly to blame...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 5,522 reads 14 comments

  10. Best to Temper Early Expectations for Teddy Bridgewater as Vikings Starter

    This wasn't part of the Minnesota Vikings ' plan for rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater 's first ever start. Down a once-in-a-generation talent at running back. Without the safety valve of an athletic, pass-catching tight end...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 8,888 reads 23 comments

  11. Missed Throws and Missed Receivers Highlight Aaron Rodgers' Early Struggles

    After years of Aaron Rodgers making the most difficult position in sports look so easy, it can be jarring to the optics when the Green Bay Packers quarterback goes through a taxing period like he has to start the 2014 season...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 8,627 reads 27 comments

  12. Chicago Bears' Opportunistic Defense Making Up for Injuries, Shortcomings

    The product hasn't always been aesthetically pleasing, but the opportunistic nature of the Chicago Bears defense has been good enough to help overcome a growing number of injuries ...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 4,831 reads 12 comments

  13. Teddy Bridgewater's Vikings Debut Provides Encouraging Signs for Future

    Despite being thrust into one of the most inhospitable environments in the NFL , Minnesota Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater handled himself just fine—showing ...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 6,741 reads 7 comments

  14. Dominant Lions Defense Sends Message to Packers, NFC North

    Bullied by Aaron Rodgers for so many years and during so many losses, the Detroit Lions defense turned the tables and became the oppressor Sunday afternoon during a suffocating 19-7 win over the Green Bay Packers ...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 17,350 reads 169 comments

  15. Lions CB Darius Slay Key vs. Packers' Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson

    The Detroit Lions must know that finally winning the NFC North will likely require beating a healthy Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers . Week 3 of the young 2014 season provides that opportunity...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 4,482 reads 28 comments

  16. Forging a New Identity for the Minnesota Vikings Sans Adrian Peterson

    Adrian Peterson has been the unassailable face of the Minnesota Vikings during the vast majority of his eight-year NFL career...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 6,700 reads 11 comments

  17. The Reasons Behind Eddie Lacy's Slow Start for the Packers in 2014

    Back in late August, Green Bay Packers running backs coach Sam Gash expressed his belief that Eddie Lacy —the NFL 's Offensive Rookie of the Year last season—could lead the league in rushing yards in 2014...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 32,303 reads 55 comments

  18. Charles Tillman Injury Puts Spotlight on Kyle Fuller to Save Bears Secondary

    A season ago, the loss of cornerback Charles Tillman to a torn right triceps played a major role in the Chicago Bears ' historic slide on defense...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 19,919 reads 36 comments

  19. Chicago Bears May Have Found Defensive Spark to Contend with NFC Heavyweights

    The Chicago Bears pulled off one of the more improbable wins of the young 2014 season, coming back from 17 points down in the first half to beat the San Francisco 49ers on the road for the first time since 1985...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 38,234 reads 108 comments

  20. Despite Matt Cassel's Horrific Showing It's Still Not Time for Teddy Bridgewater

    If those in attendance at TCF Bank Stadium on Sunday had their way, the Minnesota Vikings would be pulling quarterback Matt Cassel and starting rookie Teddy Bridgewater immediately...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 7,910 reads 62 comments

  21. Previewing NFC North Matchups for NFL Week 2 Action

    Just as everyone expected, the NFC North standings after one week in 2014 are an inverse of the final standings in 2013...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 255 reads 0 comments

  22. Packers Defense Must Resolve Issues Against the Run Before Showdown with Jets

    The Green Bay Packers ' floundering run defense has some serious issues to resolve before welcoming the New York Jets —and the NFL 's No. 1 rushing offense—to Lambeau Field in Week 2...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 3,829 reads 22 comments

  23. Why the Vikings Should Be Excited About Anthony Barr's Season Debut

    While the Minnesota Vikings ' rookie quarterback sat on the bench Sunday in St. Louis, the team's other first-round pick—linebacker Anthony Barr—was busy putting together what can only be considered an illuminating NFL debut...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 17,933 reads 27 comments

  24. Safe, Smart Matthew Stafford Is a Winning Recipe for the Detroit Lions

    The growth of quarterback Matthew Stafford represented the fundamental divergence between the Detroit Lions ' Week 16 loss to the New York Giants in 2013 and the team's season-opening win over the same Giants club Monday night...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 17,946 reads 78 comments

  25. Same-Old Jay Cutler Won't Cut It for the 2014 Chicago Bears

    Rewind to the night of Sept. 14, 2012. Moments after helping the Green Bay Packers trounce the Chicago Bears during a prime-time contest at Lambeau Field, veteran cornerback ...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about almost 2 years ago 12,671 reads 85 comments