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32 Teams in 32 Days, Team #26: The Chicago Bears posted on 08/11/2008
The Chicago Bears have always been about the defense. They hit hard with furious anger and won’t stop playing until the whistle blows. The offense hasn’t been good in a long time. Not since the days of Walter Payton has this offense been about production. They can’t run the ball, they can’t pass the ball, they really can’t do anything with the ball. And then last year, the defense started to fall apart. How will the Bears be able to play this year without much production on either side of the ball?

The defense fell apart last year due to injuries. It was a defense that one year before was at the Superbowl. Last year, they just couldn’t get the job done. Not everything was bad, but they were not the same defense that took them to the NFC Championship. If the Bears can avoid the injury bug then this defense may be able to produce. They do have playmakers and those playmakers are a central figure to the impact this defense can make. Brian Urlacher will look to stuff the run at Middle Linebacker. Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher will look to defend the pass at cornerback and Mark Anderson will look to rush the passer. The playmakers need to be there and the rest of the defense needs to step up. The Bears were a major disappointment last year, that needs to be fixed.

Continue reading "32 Teams in 32 Days, Team #26: The Chicago Bears"

32 Teams in 32 Days, Team #25: The Green Bay Packers posted on 08/06/2008
I have been holding out on writing about the Green Bay Packers until this whole Brett Favre incident would pass and it finally has. Brett Favre has been traded to the New York Jets. This means 2 things. 1, Aaron Rodgers is finally the starting quarterback of the Green Bay Packers with no ifs, ands, or buts. And 2, everything I wrote about the Jets when I was writing about them means nothing now. Oh well. Its football, it happens. The Packers are one of my favorite teams, so lets get started.

The Green Bay Packers defense is without a doubt my favorite in the league. They are just a bunch of hard hitting, make no excuses, football players. Chuck Woodson and Al Harris don’t know what soft coverage is. They are going to press every receiver and hit them as they are coming off the line. Its how they play and if they are called for incidental contact, so be it. A.J Hawk, Nick Barnett, & Brady Poppinga knock the stuffing out of running backs. If you choose to run the ball, they are going to be in your face and you better hope your line can protect you otherwise you will be completely shut down. Ask Adrian Peterson. Atari Bigby is the hardest hitting safety in the league and if you happen to be running a slant route, you better hope you’re head is still attached after he hits you. Bigby will hit you and it will be hard. And if you thought quarterbacks were safe, think again. Aaron Kampman & Ryan Pickett are coming after you. This defense is as physical as it gets and if you don’t come to play, you will be eaten alive. Its in your face football and I love it. They will have yet another great year.

Continue reading "32 Teams in 32 Days, Team #25: The Green Bay Packers"

32 Teams in 32 Days, Team #24: The Arizona Cardinals posted on 08/04/2008
The Cardinals finished last season .500. It wasn’t playoff worthy nor was it very impressive. The fact is the Cardinals play in a bad division where the only team that should make the playoffs from it every year is the Seattle Seahawks. However, the Cardinals actually have a lot of talent on their team, it’s a shame that it couldn’t translate to victories last season. The Cardinals have improved their team via the draft with quite possibly my favorite rookie players, with the exception of Glen Dorsey and Darren McFadden. So lets take a look at the Cardinals this year.

On the defense, the star power is lacking. That is a key part to why so many teams in the NFL have bad defensive units. Adrian Wilson is a very talented safety that can and will make plays, but the star power ends there. At least that was the case until this year’s draft. The Cardinals went ahead and drafted Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie out of Tennessee State. Rodgers-Cromartie is unbelievably talented and is going to make huge plays for this team if given the opportunity. He’ll most likely share time with Roderick Hood, but I don’t see it being beyond the realm of reality to see Rodgers-Cromartie win the position pretty quickly. The next person bringing star power to this team is Defensive End Calais Campbell. He’s going to be a pass rusher and that will allow the Cardinals to apply more pressure to opposing quarterbacks. Campbell combined with the Antonio Smith is going to be fun to watch. Yes they both play the same position, but in the NFL things change. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of these men playing on a different side come week 1.

Continue reading "32 Teams in 32 Days, Team #24: The Arizona Cardinals"

32 Teams in 32 Days, Team #23: The St. Louis Rams posted on 08/02/2008
I find it disconcerting when the worst offensive line in football gets a backup quarterback with known concussion problems. It also doesn’t help that this team finished last season with a 3-13 record. What is wrong with the St. Louis Rams? Its simple. They are an old team playing in a young man’s game. Things can get better. Will they this year? No. They still haven’t fixed their problems at the offensive line. Without a line, you have no running game and the passing game suffers as well. The quarterbacks had very little protection last year and got destroyed in the backfield. Which is why I still don’t understand the signing of Trent Green. That is only going to bring up more questions about the danger of the game of football. Green won’t retire, Roger Goodell should keep a close eye on this situation.

Continue reading "32 Teams in 32 Days, Team #23: The St. Louis Rams"

32 Teams in 32 Days, Team #22: The San Francisco 49ers posted on 08/01/2008
I believe that a 5-11 record is misleading. The 49ers are a much worse team then that. Perhaps it’s the fact that they play in a horrible NFC West division. Perhaps it’s the lack of playmakers. Whatever the reason, the 49ers are not a good team and they haven’t been for quite some time. This is not the team of Montana and Rice. This is not the team that won 4 superbowls. The team that this organization fields is a disgrace to the great 49er teams of old and I am trying to say that in the nicest way possible.

The defense has been noted as being hard hitting, but in a game where making plays is what’s important, just being hard hitting isn’t enough. Nate Clements has a lot of talent at the cornerback position, but other then that, the defense has no playmakers. There is almost nothing redeemable about the defense that hits the field and I don’t see that changing this year in any way, shape, or form. Perhaps Kentwan Balmer and Reggie Smith can bring something to this defense, but that my friends is just wishful thinking.

Continue reading "32 Teams in 32 Days, Team #22: The San Francisco 49ers"

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