8 Divisions 8 Days: NFC North Preview

Can Aaron Rodgers lead the Packers to another division title? Photo Courtesy: Elvis Kennedy
Can Aaron Rodgers lead the Packers to another division title?
Photo Courtesy: Elvis Kennedy

By Matthew Behrndt

The NFC North is a division that has been a two team race for the past five years. The Packers have been the steady team always near the top while the Lions and Bears have flip flopped on who was going to be in the top two as well. This division seems to always come down to the final games of the year. That being said one team looks like they are the favorites to win this year.

All of these teams in the division have really good offenses. Every team will not have any trouble putting the ball in the end-zone. The main reason somebody will win this division is if their defense steps up and can limit the scoring of these high powered offenses. Almost all four of these teams have lost main players that contributed big time to their respective teams. The team that will win this division has to find ways to overcome the lost play-making and have other players step up.

Chicago Bears: Record (6-10)
For the Chicago Bears the main question will be, Can Jay Culter be a leader enough to make this team believe they can win? The offense is very solid for the Bears, even though they lost Brandon Marshall and Kevin White (their 1st round draft pick). They still have Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery, and Eddie Royal. The question mark for the Bears on offense is a weak o-line. In order for Cutler to have real success he can’t be on his back a whole lot. The defense is weird because they have a pretty good secondary but everything else besides Jared Allen is not that good. It doesn’t seem with the players they have that teams are going to have to worry about the pass rush ability.

Minnesota Vikings: Record (7-9)
Like all four of these teams in the NFC North the offense is very solid. With the emergence of Teddy Bridgewater and the return of Adrian Peterson the Vikings should be able to put up a good amount of points. Also with Kyle Rudolph and the addition of Mike Wallace paired with Coradelle Patterson the young Bridgewater has a lot of weapons on offense. The defense however, is lacking at best. They really don’t have that solid defensive line like in the past and the linebackers are really that much to think about besides Anthony Barr. The secondary will be good but with the passing attack within the division the secondary doesn’t look as solid.

Detroit Lions: Record (9-7)
The Lions, like they have for the past few years, have a really good offense. The quarterback situation is very good as Matthew Stafford has proven that he can produce at a high level. With the weapons he now has, the offense should be one to be feared. Players like Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, Eric Ebron, and Amer Abdullah will help propel this team to a chance at the playoffs. The defense will once again be the downfall for this team. They lost the best inside linemen is the league Ndamukong Suh but got Haloti Ngata which is a downgrade but still a solid player. The secondary has to be better because of the dynamic passing attacks of the teams in this division but their offense should be able to keep up with anybody in the league.

Green Bay Packers: Record (11-5)
The Packers were so close to the Super Bowl last year. If not for dumb play calling and players not doing their job on an onside kick the Packers might have brought the trophy back to Titletown. That being said the Packers are still the favorite to win this division. They have the best quarterback in the league in Aaron Rodgers with a top five running back in Eddie Lacy. The injury of Jordy Nelson hurts but not enough to displace them from the top spot in the division. Rodgers still has a lot of weapons on the offensive side of the ball. As long as Rodgers stays healthy the offensive line plays well the Packers should be able to keep their high powered offense going. Just like the rest of the teams in the division, its going to come down to how well the defense plays. The Packers defense feels more complete than the rest of the teams in the division leading to another division title for the Packers.