Brian Urlacher

25 Greatest Middle Linebackers in NFL History

Ray Lewis has two Super Bowls and two Defensive Player of the Year awards. But is he the best ever?
<p> 25 Greatest Middle Linebackers in NFL History, including Ray Lewis, Jack Lambert, Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, Ray Nitschke, Bill George, Junior Seau, Brian Urlacher, Patrick Willis, Chuck Bednarik, Nick Buoniconti, Joe Schmidt, Willie Lanier, Harry Carson, Lee Roy Jordan, Ken Norton Jr. and Tedy Bruschi.</p>

Middle linebackers are the quarterbacks of the defense, the nerve center of a stop-unit. Many of the game’s greatest players have been the man in the middle who called the shots in the huddle before turning into tackling machines and splash-playmakers from sideline-to-sideline once the ball was snapped. Keeping all aspects of the job in mind, we rank the top 25 greatest middle linebackers in NFL history.

NFL Predictions for Ravens Steelers, Jets Bills and Three Other Playoff-Implicating Games

There are five huge games this Sunday. Who will come out on top?
<p> There are five huge games this Sunday. Who will come out on top?</p>

Every team in the NFL will have reached their halfway point of the season by the time this weekend’s games are finished, which means we are about to be officially in the stretch run. And the timing couldn’t be better. There are several games this weekend that could set the tone for the entire second half.

There are some huge division battles, key tests for top teams, and a few last chances for teams hoping to remain the playoff race. Nothing will be settled this weekend of course, but a whole lot of things will become much clearer.

NFL Picks: Every Game, Week 2

A glance at every game on the NFL schedule for Week 2, with the consensus pick of Athlon Sports editors.
<p> A quick look at every game on the NFL schedule for Week 2, along with the consensus pick of Athlon Sports editors.</p>

A quick look at every game on the NFL schedule for Week 2, along with the consensus pick of Athlon Sports editors Mitchell Light, Rob Doster, Nathan Rush, Patrick Snow and Steven Lassan:

The Media has Shown No Class in Dealing with Brian Urlacher's Tragedy

Can the media stop talking about his tragedy and give him some privacy?
<p> Can the media stop talking about Urlacher's tragedy and give him some privacy?</p>
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Why is the death of Brian Urlacher's mother in the news? Why is it that everywhere I turn, sports pundits on TV and radio feel the need to weigh in on their thoughts on whether Urlacher should or should not play this weekend against the Saints?

Five NFL Teams That Improved and Five That Got Worse

Here's five NFL teams that will take a step forward this year, and five that will take a step back.
<p> Here's five NFL teams that will take a step forward this year, and five that will take a step back.</p>

By RALPH VACCHIANO

No one has ever won an NFL championship in the spring and summer, and no one has ever lost one either. That’s not for lack of trying, of course.

Just ask the “Dream Team” in Philadelphia, or any of the up-and-comers pumping up their chests and thinking about a Super Bowl run. There are probably 32 teams thinking that way at the moment, even though a few of them are clearly braced for a fall.

Fantasy Football: Players To Avoid

A look at players you might want to start phasing out in keeper/dynasty leagues

If you are in a keeper or dynasty league, we believe the following players will begin their descent down the rankings after this season.

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<p> If you are in a keeper or dynasty league, we believe the following players will begin their descent down the rankings after this season.</p>

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Chicago Bears: 2011 NFL Team Preview

A in-depth look at what the Bears offense, defense and special teams will look like this year.
<p> A in-depth look at what the Bears offense, defense and special teams will look like this year.</p>

With an offense that remains a work in progress, the Chicago Bears will again depend on an elite defense to do most of the heavy lifting after falling a game short of the Super Bowl.