This Edition: NFC North
Can you smell that guys, yep you’re right, it’s the smell of NFL in the air, well at least preseason football. Although the games might not have been flashy or extremely exciting to watch, it’s fair to say that it’s good to have football back in our lives, lives that without football felt so pointless, so much so that I found myself hitting rock bottom as i watched some pointless dribble known to some as “baseball” (no hate baseball, I just love my football). It’s okay though guys, I was able to get back on my feet, dust myself off and run outside to get back to throwing the pigskin. In this edition I will be focusing on the NFC North, a division full of extremely physical teams and even a few contenders and wildcards. Now, what is said here may be meaningful to some, pointless to others or controversial, whatever the case make sure you leave a comment below letting me know what you think. Without further delay, LETS GET INTO IT!!!:
During the first year of John Fox’s tenure the Chicago bears displayed both the good, the bad and the ugly. The good being that they were able to beat the Chiefs and the Packers at Lambeau. The bad being close losses to the Broncos,Vikings, Lions and Chargers. The ugly being a complete shutout to Seattle in week 3. The Bears lost key pieces of their offense, an offense that at time looked relatively good during last season. Key pieces such as RB Matt Forte and TE Martellus Bennet who have since gone to the Jets and Patriots respectively. The playoff hopes for this reside in 3 key individuals hands; Jeremy Langford, Alshon Jeffery and Jay Cutler, who all have to have career best seasons to let this offense score enough points to cover for a decent defense that bolstered its ranks by adding players such as Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman. I believe that Jay Cutler’s inability to lead the team will leave the team leaderless, this will contribute heavily to the 6-10 season I predict they will have.
This year is going to be tough for the Lions and their fans, but in reality, what season isn’t. The loss of Calvin Johnson is going to hurt, and I mean REALLY GONNA HURT. I have heard people saying that Megatron’s retirement may help the Lions and Matthew Stafford by allowing him to target other receivers. Losing number one receivers has shown to hinder teams performances, such as the Packers losing Nelson last Season or the Patriots losing Gronk 3 seasons ago. Although there are some pieces of talent in the offense, the defense aside from Ziggy Ansah has some real glaring holes. Jim Caldwell is a good coach and I have a lot of respect for him, but I can’t even see him scrape together a .500 record. The extreme concerns I have for their defense leads me to believe that the Lions will come out of the season battered and bruised with a 5-11 record. In reality I do not see much hope at all for the Lions to make the playoffs
Green Bay Packers:
The Green Bay Packers come into the 2016 season with a stacked lineup on both sides of the ball. With a healthy offensive line and receiving core as well as a in shape Eddie Lacy, I see this packers offense returning back to the powerhouse it once was. But what truly excites me about this Packers team is the secondary, filled with young studs and seasoned veterans. I believe this secondary will be rated in the top 4 in the NFL by the end of the season. The defense showed last year that they were able to stand up as the offense struggled to get points on the board. Now this season, with both the offense and defense firing on all cylinders look for the pack to be the NFC champions as well as be my pick for the Superbowl this year. I have no doubt that Aaron Rodgers and CO will retake the NFC North crown from Minnesota. The return of one of the best Tandems between Rodgers and Nelson will fire the packers straight into the playoffs with a bye in the first round. With the easy schedule that they have I comfortably predict that the packers will have a standout year and finish the year 13-3
The Vikings were able to usurp the NFC North title from the Packers last season on the back of a stellar run game and a stout defense. The addition of rookie Laquon Treadwell will help the passing attack which was ranked 31st in the league last year. The key to their success as always is their RB Adrian Peterson, if he is able to keep up with his numbers from last year, the Vikings will make the playoffs. However, how deep they go into the playoffs will rest on the shoulders of QB Teddy Bridgewater, a QB who was shown to struggle to make the plays needed when the pressure was on him. Head Coach Mike Zimmer will use his stout defense to make the stops to allow his run heavy offense to manage the game and the clock as they are on the field. Look for the Vikings to have the same kind of season they had last year and come out of the regular season with a 11-5 record.