The Chicago Bears won the NFC North last year, which might come as a surprise as we remember the division-rival Green Bay Packers’ run to the Lombardi Trophy involved beating the Bears to both make the playoffs and go to the Super Bowl. I see the Bears contending again in 2011, but they will be challenged for a wild-card bid, not by Minnesota, but by Detroit, which — if Matthew Stafford plays 16 games — is my pick as the surprise team of 2011.
Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz is the guest speaker at the 34th Annual Big Brothers Big Sisters Benefit Dinner Monday evening at the Radisson Plaza Hotel and Suites in Kalamazoo. Schwartz spoke to the Kalamazoo Gazette about a myriad of topics, from the NFL lockout to Lions safety Louis Delmas.
Offensive coordinators across the NFL are trying to scheme for this defensive line. The double-team efforts required inside will free up the pass rush off the edges, thereby creating additional turnovers. The pass rush is pivotal to slowing down the Mike Martz attack in year two and the Green Bay juggernaut.
Zac Snyder got hooked on the Lions after his dad took him to a Monday Night Football game against the Los Angeles Raiders in 1990. The show put on by Barry Sanders and Bo Jackson that night was only surpassed by what Zac could do with Barry in a game of Tecmo Super Bowl.