Today, we move to the NFC North, home to one of the best teams in football in the Green Bay Packers.
1. Green Bay Packers: The Packers seemed like a lock to go to their first Super Bowl in 5 years last season but then a gigantic collapse kept them out of the big game. I think this time around, that won’t happen. Green Bay is a fantastic team led by the best quarterback in the league in Aaron Rodgers and complemented with one of the best wide receivers in Jordy Nelson. Running back Eddie Lacy is only getting better too. As long as the defense stands tall, then the Packers have all the tools to race to the best record in the NFC.
Prediction: 12-4, 1st in NFC
2. Minnesota Vikings: Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater showed flashes of becoming one of the better quarterbacks in the league last season and I expect that trend to continue this season. The offense will be particularly powerful this season because of the return of running back Adrian Peterson, who, when healthy, is definitely among the best backs in the league. The defense was strong last year, but with the emergence of an offense, then the Vikings become that much more of a threat.
Prediction: 9-7, Peterson among top choices for Comeback Player of the Year
3. Detroit Lions: Matt Stafford is one of the quarterbacks who is hit or miss. He will either wreck an opposing defense or become their best friend. There’s not that much of a middle ground with him, which is a shame when he has someone like wide receiver Calvin Johnson. With Ndamukong Suh leaving for the Miami Dolphins, the defense has lost its identity and that is going to make for a long season for the Lions.
4. Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler is paid to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but he ended up being benched for Jimmy Clausen at the end of last season. This is Cutler’s last chance to make an impression on the city of Chicago before he is either sent to another team or forced to retire. From what I have seen over the past few years, this has all the makings for a meltdown the likes we have not seen in quite some time.
Prediction: 5-11, Cutler sent packing
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Matt Weingarten