Sunday Insider: Northern Intelligence

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG
  • Star Tribune
  • September 9, 2012 - 2:06 AM

One of the division's biggest matchup nightmares sounds like a guy who's ready to cause problems. Packers TE Jermichael Finley, sidelined by a concussion and a thigh strain through most of camp, says he's physically ready to go. Mentally, too. Explaining his clear-minded approach to the season, Finley told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Every single guy I'm going against, if it's a linebacker, a safety, is probably thinking a little bit more than I am. I promise you."

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No one should ever doubt Megatron. But 2,000 yards receiving? In a single season? Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, who had 1,681 yards a year ago, believes it's possible. The record is 1,848 by Jerry Rice in 1995. Said Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, per the Detroit News: "We will just take it one game at a time, OK? But I won't put anything past what Calvin can do. He's special."

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The Bears obviously know the Colts will try to test middle linebacker Brian Urlacher early and often, assuming Urlacher (injured knee) plays Sunday and is asked to cover the normal amount of ground required of a middle linebacker in the Tampa 2 scheme. Teammate Lance Briggs, when asked whether he thinks the Colts will test Urlacher. "They can try," he told Chicago. "But they will fail."

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