The Bears didn’t have a good defense last year which is just unsettling. Like that’s been their identity my entire lifetime. Bears games are super boring to watch, their uniforms are super boring, I can’t remember anyone ever saying anything about their cheerleaders, but they had Dick Butkus and Urlacher and Singletary, and Dent and Fridge, and so it was okay. Then they couldn’t stop the run and you didn’t know what to say anymore. Also, their quarterback is a jerk, but he has diabetes, so you’re never sure if its his blood sugar.
Actually…we’re pretty sure.
The Bears addressed their defense with versatile DB Brock Vereen, CB Kyle Fuller and two solid defensive tackles. Good start for a unit that was terrible at run defense, yards allowed and points which is almost every measurable way that you can be terrible.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers have this philosophy of building through the draft and pretty much not participating in free agency because they got burned so badly on that Reggie White deal. (Wait, what?) Everyone is talking about how great their draft was with safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, which was a legit need, and receivers Davante Adams and Jared Abbrederis which were needs too. But that’s not their biggest problem.
I think DL Khyri Thornton might be almost as important as Clinton-Dix. In the last offseason, the Packers tried to shed defensive tackle B.J. Raji who hadn’t had a sack in two seasons, despite getting significant time at end. If the nose tackle position isn’t settled, you don’t have an effective 3-4. If they could generate some pass rush with Thornton’s quickness at end maybe they wouldn’t have to rely on oft-injured Clay Matthews or the linebackers as much, which would help them in coverage. The Packers need to win at the line of scrimmage more for their defense to work. They can’t just rely on Aaron Rodgers to score 200 points a game like they have been.
The Minnesota Vikings
When the Vikings let Jared Allen go, I figured it was a cost cutting move, unfortunate but necessary. Then they signed Everson Griffen to a $42.5 million dollar deal for 17.5 career sacks. Now they sat down and had a great draft, getting Teddy Bridgewater for pennies, getting receivers, pass rush help and secondary help, which is huge for a team whose secondary has rather hospitable over the years. Its the first time since Bret Favre that anyone should be optimistic about Minnesota.
I don’t know what to think about the Vikings. Maybe they can put a team together before they decide that Adrian Peterson is too expensive and cut him.
The Lions did a good job too. They got defensive line depth, because they were saddled with a lot of old school rookie contracts that are killing them. They addressed the center position. Now I know the headliner everyone is excited about is TE Eric Ebron, but once you got past the Lion’s front four on defense, it was usually pretty easy going. How Kyle von Noy and Nevin Lawson play might help the Lions stop bleeding points.
On paper Chicago is the only team that looks like they can make a stop, otherwise you have a bunch of explosive offenses in one division that is up for grabs.