NFL: NFC North Team Previews and Predictions
We’ve gone through the NFC East and now we head north. In a division that has primarily been owned by the Green Bay Packers for about 20 years now, the Bears, Lions, and Vikings will attempt to catch the team that most consider the best team in the NFC, the Green Bay Packers. With Aaron Rodgers still healthy, that’s going to be a pretty tall task for those teams. So, with that said, let’s get to the NFC North Divisional Predictions.
Let me get this out of the way. The Bears are bad. They are very bad. In my opinion, they are 1 of the 3 worst teams in the entire NFL. With that said, the hope is that they drafted their future franchise QB in Mitchell Trubisky. Jordan Howard is a top 10 RB. Adam Shaheen has the looks of a solid TE. So, all in all, it’s not the end of the world, but it does look like there will be another year of picking in the top 5 of the NFL draft.
The Bears have drafted some solid defensive pieces, but they are still missing that star like when they had Brian Urlacher, or even further back when they have Mike Singletary. I have a strong feeling that this year will be the year they try to get that stud defender. It’s going to take a couple more years of patience for Bears fans, but all is not lost and it could be worse, they could be the 49ers or the Jets.
Record Last Year 3-13
Vegas Win Line 5.5
My Prediction 4-12
I feel that with the retirement of Calvin Johnson, most didn’t expect a lot out of the Lions and they snuck up on teams last year. As the year went on and teams took them more serious, they slumped badly at the end of the year and almost cost themselves a playoff spot. Matthew Stafford has been inconsistent his entire career and this is a crossroads type of year for him. Will he be the Stafford of the 1st half of 2016 or the 2nd half? That will tell how big of a contract he gets.
The Lions defense has been bad for a while. They have tried to band-aid certain parts of it to at least try to get it to average. They still are looking for another pass rusher since they lost Cliff Avril. Most of us thought they had a beast in Ziggy Ansah, but he disappointed everyone with only 2 sacks last year. If they don’t get more pressure on the QB, things could go south fast.
Record Last Year 9-7
Vegas Win Line 7.5
My Prediction 7-9
Green Bay Packers
Usually when I write about the Packers, it starts off the same way. Aaron Rodgers is the best QB on the planet. He covers a lot of holes they typically have on the offense. This year, they Packers seems to have filled those holes themselves. If they can get a solid running game, there is no stopping this offense. Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams, Martellus Bennett, and Randall Cobb make for one of Rodgers deepest receiver groups. This team is literally scary to line up against.
Now we get to the side of the ball that usually haunts the Packers, their defense. I mentioned how the Redskins attacked their defense with their 1st 3 picks, the Packers 1-upped them and used their 1st 4 picks on that side of the ball. Kevin King could be the Packers best CB by years end. Josh Jones is a bit overrated in my opinion, but is super athletic and very fast. Montravius Adams will be an upgrade on the D-Line and Vince Biegal gives them another much needed pass rusher to help out Clay Matthews and Nick Perry. If this side of the ball steps up, the Pats won’t be the only team rolling to the Superbowl.
Record Last Year 10-6
Vegas Win Line 10.5
My Prediction 12-4
Most people would say the biggest problem for the Vikings on offense is Sam Bradford, I disagree. I think if you give Bradford protection, he can make all the throws and doesn’t turn the ball over that much. His biggest issue is staying healthy. Which brings me to my biggest issue with their offense, their line. They made changes, but making changes doesn’t always mean better. They need 1-2 OL and then they can unleash their new 1st round RB Dalvin Cook, who I think could be a stud with a good line.
One thing the Vikings have going for them is a top 5 defense. He Vikings terrorized offenses all year long, stopping both air and ground attacks. They should continue to do the same. The only questions are similar to what I said about the Giants, who have a similar team, can the offense stay on the field long enough to give the defense adequate rest? If they can, the defense is good enough to win games by themselves, they did, a couple times, last year.
Record Last Year 8-8
Vegas Win Line 8.5
My Prediction 7-9
Every year many prediction experts predict the Packers to win 12-13 games, that group typically includes me. The division makes the records closer than they look on paper. The NFC North is a tough division that is similar to the AFC North. No matter what the records are, you should have a chance for either team to win in the 4th. The Packers are the obvious favorites. If I had to pick a sleeper, it would be the Vikings. Either way, it’s always fun watching the NFC South, enjoy the games.