A look at the NFC North
1. Green Bay 13-3
2. Minnesota 10-6
3. Chicago 6-10
4. Detroit 5-11
The Green Bay Packers struggled with their passing game last year with All Pro WR Jordy Nelson out for the season. It had such an effect on the offense that it made QB Aaron Rodgers look, well, just OK — aside from the two successful Hail Mary connections. A leaner and meaner Eddie Lacy will look to regain form from two years ago when he had 1,139 rushing yards along with his 427 receiving yards. The Packers’ defense had a little uneasiness when LBs Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers got linked to steroid use through an Al Jazeera report, but both were cleared of any wrongdoing.
The Vikings had a Super Bowl contending team this year and then they hit a snag. Up-and-coming QB Teddy Bridgewater got hurt during a preseason practice and will be out for the year. The Vikings brass did find a way to get a decent replacement when they traded a first and fourth round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for veteran QB Sam Bradford. Bradford and RB sensation Adrian Peterson will now be reunited where they shared a backfield at the University of Oklahoma.
Second year Chicago Bears head coach John Fox has his work cut out for him. His defense was not good last year and the Bears’ record reflected that. There are a lot of unfamiliar faces on that side of the ball and they need to find some cohesion that brings better results. On the offensive side of the ball they lost three-down back Matt Forte to the Jets and TE Martellus Bennett to the Patriots. WR Alshon Jeffery and RB Jeremy Langford should help QB Jay Cutler find an offensive rhythm to help the Bears win some games.
The Detroit Lions added a lot of talent in the offseason to offset the huge loss of WR great Calvin Johnson. WRs Golden Tate (from Seattle), Anquan Bolden (from San Francisco) and Marvin Jones (from Cincinnati) hope to replace the production of Johnson and give QB Matthew Stafford options in the passing game. RBs Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah will look to establish a running game to help the offense as well.
Next: Who is tops in the NFC South?