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Analysis Bears

An Underrated Player From Each NFC North Rival That the Chicago Bears Must Worry About

This article is going to go over an underrated player from the Packers, Lions, and Vikings. We usually stick to talking about the Bears at this point in the season, but we feel like it’s important to talk about some of the guys that the Bears will be facing six times next season.

Hopefully this will give you at least one guy that you can key in on as difference maker on the other team that maybe not everyone is talking about, or at least not as much as they should be.

Green Bay Packers

Geronimo Allison WR

It is hard to evaluate how talented a wide receiver is for the Packers. When you are a wide receiver on a team with an elite quarterback like Rodgers, it comes with the territory. When it comes to wide receivers for #12, the good pass catchers are the ones that make the big plays for Rodgers. They are the ones that he trusts. 

The guy that Rodgers really trusted to make those big plays before Geronimo besides Davante Adams was Jordy Nelson, and after Nelson left Green Bay, Rodgers needed to have another guy step up who he had that chemistry with.

The two of them together were very successful early on in the season. Bears fans felt this, as Geronimo scored a key touchdown deep ball touchdown that leads to the big comeback week 1.

 

Here is what really interests me about Geronimo. Geronimo was only able to play in four full games for Green Bay this past season. The four opponents that he went up against were the Bears, Vikings, Bills, and Redskins. Three of those defenses were some of the best in the entire league. 

In the first four games of the season, Allison had 289 yards. Again, this was against some of the best defenses in the entire league. If Geronimo remained on that pace for the rest of the season, he would have had over one thousand yards in the season, and probably more when he got to go against easier competition. 

Geronimo Allison may not be an elite receiver, but he is definitely a valuable piece to this Packers offense that should be getting more attention.

Detroit Lions

Kerryon Johnson RB

Kerryon Johnson is a more popular player than Allison already. He has already been dubbed by many who cover the NFL as a pretty decent running back, so you may be asking why he is the representative for the Lions on this list.

I don’t believe that Kerryon Johnson is just a decent running back, as I believe that he is a great running back, and I believe he may end up being one of the top running backs in the entire league. 

The best way to truly understand the value that Johnson provides for the Lions is to just check the stats that he had before his season was cut short and compare those to team success. The Lions were 4-2 when the former Auburn bell cow got double-digit carries. When Johnson was active and had less than ten carries, the Lions finished 0-4. There is clearly a correlation right there, as the more they ran the ball, the more successful they were. 

Johnson is the key to the Lions offense, and the team realized this. To try and take advantage of this great talent that they have, the team made a hire that was highly questioned by many, as they hired Darrell Bevell to be the offensive coordinator.

Since becoming an offensive coordinator in the NFL back in 2006, Darrell Bevell has had at least the third most rushing attempts in the league for five out of the eleven years he was a playcaller.

Most offensive coordinators are pushed to find new and creative ways to throw the football, but Bevell still appears more interested in the ground attack. This should come as no surprise being that he was a Wisconsin Badger quarterback years ago and everyone knows how Wisconsin likes to run the ball. 

The Darrell Bevell hire points to one key for the Lions next season: They want to be a run-first offense.

This only means good things for Kerryon Johnson. If the Lions are going to win some football games next season and be competitive in this tough NFC North, they are going to be looking at Kerryon Johnson to bring them there. 

My job is not to be a fantasy football expert, but if I were one, I’d spread everywhere and to everyone to get Kerryon Johnson on your team.

Minnesota Vikings

Anthony Harris S

The last guy on my list is a guy who took advantage of the situations he was given. The undrafted safety out of Virginia got his shot in the league, and Bears fans know exactly who Anthony Harris is, as he had a big two-interception game against Mitch Trubisky last season. 

Anthony Harris was not a routine starter though. Harris was stuck as a backup behind Andrew Sendejo, and when he was in, all of the love went to Harrison Smith.

Harris only had the opportunity to start nine games last season, but he played in 15 games. After proving his worth last year, the Vikings decided not to bring back Sendejo, and it appears that they will be rolling with Harris instead. 

Harris will still likely fly under the radar next season, which is a pretty good advantage to him. With all of the talented defensive backs surrounding him, they will be leaving Harris in a pretty good position to grow and emerge as a great safety. 

Don’t be surprised to see this guy make some game-changing plays next season. 

If you want more Bears content from Dan, make sure to follow him on Twitter @DanDeYoung80!

 

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