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  1. #1
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    OT: All-NFC North Midseason Team

    We've posted an All-NFC North team after every season since we started this blog five seasons ago. (Links: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008.)

    Below, you'll find our first attempt at a midseason division team. As always, its composition is a blend of advice I've received from football professionals, my own eyes and consultations with some media services I respect. (For those interested, here is Pro Football Focus' All-NFC North team from last week.)

    As we've learned in past years, there isn't always a direct correlation between individual frequency and team success. If there were, the Minnesota Vikings -- who sit in third place here in Week 10 -- wouldn't have a division-high eight players on this team.

    Many of the choices are obvious and/or self-explanatory. Here are some thoughts on the more difficult decisions:

    • Green Bay Packers receiver James Jones has caught a career-high eight touchdown receptions, tying him for first among all NFL pass-catchers. But who would you remove from the three receivers I included to make room for Jones on this team? The Vikings' Percy Harvin leads the NFL with 62 receptions. The Chicago Bears' Brandon Marshall ranks second with 797 receiving yards and fourth with 59 receptions. And the Detroit Lions' Calvin Johnson ranks third with 767 yards and 10th with 48 receptions. Yeah, I know.
    • I realize that Bears defensive end Julius Peppers has more sacks (five) in eight games than the Vikings' Brian Robison has in nine (4.5). But I also think Robison has made an impact in many other ways, most notably by batting down six passes at the line of scrimmage. He's also forced a fumble, by the Arizona Cardinals' John Skelton, on one of his sacks. Finally, Robison has been around the ball much more, contributing on 26 tackles to Peppers' 14. Close call here, but that's why I picked Robison.
    • I struggled at tight end between the Lions' Brandon Pettigrew and the Vikings' Kyle Rudolph. Pettigrew had some early struggles with drops, and Rudolph caught five touchdowns in the Vikings' first six games. But Rudolph has disappeared over the past three games, while Pettigrew has continued to play a role in the Lions' offense. He has 39 receptions, tied for the fourth-most in the NFL for tight ends. Coaches have also lauded his run blocking.
    • If the left guard position were judged on versatility, the Packers' T.J. Lang would have won out over the Lions' Rob Sims. Lang is now the Packers' right tackle after Bryan Bulaga's injury. But Sims has been much steadier this season at left guard. PFF hasn't debited him with a sack allowed, while Lang has been beat for four.
    • There's no doubt that Bulaga struggled in Week 3 at the Seattle Seahawks. Football people, however, think that has been his only bad game and that he has been the Packers' best lineman in the rest of their games.
    • I picked what I thought was the NFC North's three best linebackers, regardless of what position they play. That's why the Lions' DeAndre Levy is listed as a middle linebacker even though he plays on the outside in Detroit. By most accounts, Levy is having his best NFL season. Clay Matthews (nine sacks) and Lance Briggs (two interceptions, two touchdowns, two forced fumbles, six passes defensed) were obvious choices.
    • There are four really good place-kickers in the NFC North, though the Packers' Mason Crosby is in a bit of a slump. But how do you pick against a place-kicker who has converted 19 of 20 attempts -- including a league-high five from at least 50 yards -- while also securing an NFL-high 31 touchbacks on kickoffs? The Vikings' Blair Walsh has had a stunning first 10 games of his professional career.


    http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcnorth/pos...midseason-team

  2. #2
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    Stats never tell the presence that J. Peppers has on not just the D line, but the whole defense. I will take him 100 out of 100 picks.



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    Quote Originally Posted by jmartin80 View Post
    Stats never tell the presence that J. Peppers has on not just the D line, but the whole defense. I will take him 100 out of 100 picks.
    Not to mention, look who plays on the opposite side of Robison. Seems like this guy based that pick off the stat line and nothing else.

  4. #4
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    dude pepps is old and stinky

  5. #5
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    WHAT!!!!! No O-linemen from Da Bears????????????????????????????????????????

  6. #6
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    No Pep and no Lach.

    Our greatest glory is not in never failing. But rather in rising back up every time we do.

    Find ya boi on twitter @MajorJensen33

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 85BearsDefense View Post
    No Pep and no Lach.
    Lach is old and slow

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cub_StuckinSTL View Post
    Lach is old and slow
    So is Peyton Manning but Urlacher is still damn good.

    Our greatest glory is not in never failing. But rather in rising back up every time we do.

    Find ya boi on twitter @MajorJensen33

  9. #9
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    I am also surprised that there is no Lach. Not having Peppers is absurd. I think Louis has played quite well also.

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