1. 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 11 months ago 17,863 reads 27 comments

  2. 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 11 months ago 17,909 reads 78 comments

  3. 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 11 months ago 12,558 reads 85 comments

  4. Familiar Horrors Haunt Cutler, Bears in Discouraging Season-Opening Loss

    The horrors that haunted the Chicago Bears ' season-opening loss to the Buffalo Bills should feel all too familiar in the Windy City...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 11 months ago 33,805 reads 217 comments

  5. What Went Wrong for the Green Bay Packers Against Seattle in the Opener?

    A number of mental mistakes, personnel deficiencies and errors forced by the still hungry and confident defending champions led directly to the Seattle Seahawks ' 36-16 rout of the Green Bay Packers during Thursday night's season opener...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 11 months ago 12,432 reads 134 comments

  6. Packers' Blowout Opening Loss Proves Green Bay Remains Well Behind NFC Elite

    Any doubt about the sizable gap remaining between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks was all but eliminated during Thursday night's regular-season opener...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 11 months ago 29,526 reads 278 comments

  7. Quarterbacks Creating off Broken Plays Key for Both Packers, Seahawks in Opener

    Neither the Green Bay Packers nor the Seattle Seahawks will feel supremely confident in their ability to keep the pass rush off their quarterback during Thursday night's NFL regular-season opener...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 11 months ago 11,109 reads 125 comments

  8. No. 16 Best City to Be a Sports Fan: Minneapolis

    How much does where you live matter as a sports fan? The short answer is: It depends. If you're an Alabama football fan, there's no better place to live than Tuscaloosa. If you're a Red Sox fan, there's no worse place to live than New York City...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 11 months ago 9,053 reads 28 comments

  9. Biggest Preseason Takeaways from the NFC North

    The preseason is finally over, and less than a week from Friday, the Green Bay Packers will travel to Seattle for the NFL 's regular-season opener. Meaningful football is almost here...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 11 months ago 38,637 reads 273 comments

  10. Teddy Bridgewater Is Backup for Now, but Looks Ready to Play Sooner Than Later

    Minnesota Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will begin his NFL career as the backup to veteran Matt Cassel, but a preseason's worth of work has provided enough evidence to suggest Bridgewater is ready to play in the NFL right now...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 11 months ago 19,498 reads 49 comments

  11. Should the Minnesota Vikings Be Concerned with LT Matt Kalil?

    A few poor plays from Minnesota Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil this preseason has some sounding the alarms and others attempting to extinguish the fire of criticism. The reality of the situation likely falls somewhere in between the two sides...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 11 months ago 17,439 reads 28 comments

  12. Spotlight Shines on Packers' Trenches After Losing B.J. Raji, JC Tretter

    The offensive and defensive lines were already expected to be in the spotlight when the Green Bay Packers travel to Seattle for the club's highly anticipated regular-season opener...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 11 months ago 13,721 reads 8 comments

  13. Teddy Bridgewater, Anthony Barr Look Like Future Building Blocks for Vikings

    The Minnesota Vikings will roll back the film of Saturday night's 30-12 preseason win over the Kansas City Chiefs and likely feel very comfortable about the futures of first-round picks Teddy Bridgewater and Anthony Barr...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 11 months ago 35,517 reads 69 comments

  14. Limited Options Available for Packers After B.J. Raji's Season-Ending Injury

    The annual August tradition of the Green Bay Packers losing a key player to major injury has continued. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, starting nose tackle B...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 11 months ago 34,730 reads 121 comments

  15. Is it Already Time to Push the Panic Button on the Bears Defense?

    Panic over a preseason game should not exist inside the Chicago Bears ' locker room. Games played in August count for nothing, and typically mean little once the real games begin...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 11 months ago 28,777 reads 275 comments

  16. How the Lions' New Offense Will Add Creativity to Calvin Johnson's Game

    The Detroit Lions have rarely needed creativity to get the football to Calvin Johnson , a receiver with no historical or present-day peer matching his blend of physical gifts and ability...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 12 months ago 9,454 reads 17 comments

  17. Active, Disruptive Julius Peppers vs. Rams Exactly What Packers Defense Needs

    After a mostly invisible preseason debut in rain-drenched Tennessee, Julius Peppers rebounded against the St. Louis Rams Saturday to look more like the active, disruptive edge player the Green Bay Packers need this season...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 12 months ago 16,806 reads 19 comments

  18. Matt Cassel Still Good Bet to Beat Teddy Bridgewater in Vikings' QB Competition

    Despite late heroics from Teddy Bridgewater, Matt Cassel still took another big step toward winning the Minnesota Vikings ' quarterback competition Saturday night against the Arizona Cardinals in a 30-28 win...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 12 months ago 62,644 reads 159 comments

  19. Breaking Down a Sizzling Start to the Preseason for Bears QB Jay Cutler

    While caution must be exercised in extracting any level of certainty from the preseason, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been as sharp through two exhibition games as anyone in the Bears organization could have hoped...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 12 months ago 15,489 reads 60 comments

  20. Early Struggles vs. Jaguars Show Bears Defense Still Has Work to Do

    A week after harassing Nick Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles offense in the preseason opener, the rebuilt Chicago Bears defense showed Thursday night against the Jacksonville ...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 12 months ago 11,966 reads 63 comments

  21. Bears' New-Look Defensive Line Can Help Mask Other Deficiencies

    The Chicago Bears ' preseason opener showed a brief glimpse of how the team's new defensive line can help mask other issues on the defense, namely at linebacker and safety...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 12 months ago 12,166 reads 33 comments

  22. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Flashes Potential, Inexperience in Packers Preseason Debut

    The debut for Green Bay Packers rookie safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix featured a mix of easily correctable technique mistakes and a few encouraging flashes of physicality and athleticism...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 12 months ago 22,709 reads 27 comments

  23. Scott Tolzien States His Case as Backup QB as Packers Lose Preseason Opener

    The Green Bay Packers ' decision to sit Aaron Rodgers during Saturday night's preseason opener against the Tennessee Titans provided a chance for the club to take a long look at its backup quarterback competition...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 12 months ago 11,727 reads 24 comments

  24. Breaking Down Teddy Bridgewater's Vikings Preseason Debut

    The debut of Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater against the Oakland Raiders Friday night was a typical rookie blend of good and bad, with a few strong throws and some fits of trepidation and indecision...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 12 months ago 41,377 reads 66 comments

  25. Mike Zimmer Era Begins With Impressive Preseason Opener for Matt Cassel, Vikings

    The Minnesota Vikings kicked off the Mike Zimmer era with a bang Friday night, getting scoring drives from Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater and back-to-back three-and-outs ...

    Zach Kruse Written by Zach Kruse about 12 months ago 21,683 reads 48 comments