Sunday Insider: Northern Intelligence

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG
  • Star Tribune
  • November 13, 2011 - 12:47 AM

If Bears linebacker Lance Briggs is a distraction, then more teams need distractions who can play the way he's playing this season. The year began with Chicago ignoring Briggs' request for a new contract or a trade. Last month, he criticized management for being detached from the players. But on the field, the six-time Pro Bowler has a team-high 76 tackles. A new contract looks doubtful, considering he turned 31 on Saturday.

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Former Vikings receiver Nate Burleson finds himself in the considerable shadow of Lions teammate Calvin Johnson. Johnson, who has 11 touchdown catches as the best receiver in football, has been targeted 74 times with 47 catches. Burleson has been targeted 43 times with 26 catches. The unselfish Burleson isn't complaining. "Hopefully I will keep a job as the best decoy in the business as long as he keeps scoring," Burleson said.

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Anybody remember Packers coach Mike McCarthy's NFL head coaching debut? It was a 26-0 loss at home to NFC North rival Chicago. Anybody know what McCarthy has done against NFC North teams at Lambeau Field since that loss? He's gone 12-2.

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