2012 Most Improved NFC Teams

Every year, the NFL sees a cellar dweller from the prior year’s campaign rises up from the ashes and shocks the public with a sudden boon of proficiency. Figuring out who that team might be before it happens is nearly impossible, mostly because team chemistry and confidence don’t show up on paper. Nevertheless, year in and out, we idiots try like hell to wipe the film off our crystal ball and, with careful analysis, get the edge over the random, dart-throwing mouth-breathers.

However, this time around, I’m not going to pronounce my most-likely-to-succeed. Instead, I’ve identified a handful of teams that bettered themselves the most in the off-season and hope that one of them on the list gels so I can finally prove that thorough examination of the facts consistently beats dumb luck and gut feelings.


Of all the teams on this list, the Bears might have the most upside – and it all started with the staff. Much maligned GM Jerry DeAngelo left along with OC Mike Martz. DeAngelo’s replacement, Phil Emery, brought immediate help to QB Jay Cutler by trading for Brandon Marshall and drafting a younger version เว็บยอดนิยม ufabet of Marshall in WR Alshon Jeffery (South Carolina). Martz’s throw-to-a-spot philosophy coupled with a suspect offensive was a terrible combination and never a good fit for Cutler, whose arm strength is far superior to his accuracy.

With the receiving core shored up, attention moved to the running game. Matt Forte finally received a much deserved payday, despite concerns about his durability. The Bears addressed this by adding a stellar back-up and potential goal line/short-yardage back in Michael Bush. Emery capitalized on the Raiders’ post-Davis era close-out sale and solidified another weak point by acquiring what some say is the best back-up QB in the league, Jason Campbell.

Still a concern is the offensive line, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and with the Martz-system gone, it won’t be necessary for Cutler to hold the ball for an eternity. New offensive coordinator Mike Tice is an ex-offensive line coach and should be able to improve on the existing line’s technique. Also, look for the tight end to play or more prominent role in 2012 under the former TE, Tice. It’s a shame Greg Olsen isn’t still around to reap the benefits of this new scheme, but Kellen Davis could be the benefactor – especially inside the 10.