The NFC North had a shakeup among the leaderboard last season as it was the Minnesota Vikings who won the division while the Green Bay Packers were the Wild Card team. Will that occur again this year or will things go back to “normal?”
- Green Bay Packers (NFC Divisional): The Packers are going to be looking forward to having wide receiver Jordy Nelson back on the field. Having him line up across from Randall Cobb makes quarterback Aaron Rodgers’s offense really gel. Running back Eddie Lacy has toned down his figure and hopefully can rekindle the fire he had in his rookie season. As usual, Green Bay will be among the teams to beat in the NFC.
- Minnesota Vikings (NFC Wild Card): The Vikings were one bad kick away from sending the Seattle Seahawks to the golf course early last year. Kicker Blair Walsh will have to put that painful experience behind him and move forward. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will have a much-needed offensive weapon with wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. All in all, Minnesota should be a playoff team again and I would not be surprised if they win the division and/or at least one playoff game.
- Chicago Bears: The Bears have been talking about not being respected this offseason, but it’s hard to respect a team that can put so many weapons on the field and get absolutely nothing done. They did regroup on the defensive side of the ball through some offseason acquisitions, but as usual, the main storyline will be whether quarterback Jay Cutler can play at an elite level. With him being on the hot seat, he better find his way, or else someone else will be taking his place at some point this season and likely for good.
- Detroit Lions: If you’re already a bad team and you lose one of the best WRs in the game in Calvin Johnson to retirement, you’re not going to be projected for success. While the Lions managed to snag wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Marvin Jones in the offseason, they won’t be able to fill the void that Johnson created. Detroit will struggle to find its footing this year.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Matt Weingarten