Wednesday, August 7, 2013

NFC North Preview

The NFC North has the best quarterback, running back, and wide receiver in football yet none of the teams they play for are a legitimate threat to win the Super Bowl.  For fantasy owners the division is full of talent and potential #1 picks, but will most likely produce only one playoff team.  That being said head to head match ups will probably determine the winner.  Here is how the NFC North will shake out.

Green Bay Packers:  11-5

So long as the Packers have a healthy Aaron Rodgers they're always a threat to do something special.  Randall Cobb has an opportunity to have a big year with the departure of Greg Jennings and rookie running back Eddie Lacy is a star in the making if he gets enough touches.  I'm still concerned about their defense however and their commitment to the running game is suspect.  The Packers are no longer an elite team, but given the right set of circumstances they could make some noise.

Minnesota Vikings:  8-8

Christian Ponder is not the answer in Minnesota.  There are too many throws he simply can't make and with the departure of Percy Harvin he has no playmakers at receiver to compensate for his weaknesses.  The Vikings have future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson in the backfield, but he can't do everything.  He'll get his 1600 to 1800 yards (maybe even 2000), but the Vikings will struggle to stay in games because Ponder will eventually make a big mistake.  Adrian's career is starting to mirror that of Barry Sanders.

Chicago Bears:  8-8

The team still hasn't fully embraced new head coach Marc Trestman or his up tempo offense.  Jay Cutler is in a contract year and needs to prove to the league he belongs with the other elite quarterbacks if he wasn't to break the bank.  Brian Urlacher's leadership and presence will be missed in the locker room and Matt Forte has to stay healthy if they want to be competitive.  I think the Bears could potentially score a lot of points (Brandon Marshall is a beast), but I don't think it will translate into a lot of wins. 

Detroit Lions:  9-7

The Detroit Lions have the most potential of any team in the division.  Matt Stafford is on the verge of being a top 5 quarterback and you already know how I feel about Megatron.  The addition of Reggie Bush should help a running game that has been non-existent the past few years, but of course he's also an injury waiting to happen.  If he can stay on the field he gives the team a dimension that will take pressure off of the passing game. Ndamukong Suh is in the best shape of his life and Nick Fairley should benefit from the attention he demands.  A few lucky breaks here or there and the Lions could replace the Packers as the best team in the division.


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