September 9, 2009

NFC North preview

by Dan Bilicki In: Football

Three teams from the North bolstered their offences with new arms at QB while the other (Aaron Rodgers) only forced his first-team offence to punt once in the entire pre-season. There’re lots to look forward to in this top-heavy division.

Minnesota Vikings (Last season: 10-6).
The Vikes were primed to be a QB short of a Super Bowl contender in many people’s minds, but then they landed Brett Favre. Now, they have a maverick gunslinger that fades when the weather gets cold. Throw in the fact that Adrian Peterson isn’t as durable as everyone with the first pick in a fantasy draft wants him to be and this could be a recipe for disaster in the Twin Cities.
Predicted record: 9-7.

Chicago Bears (Last season: 9-7).
The Bears finally got the one piece to the puzzle that has eluded them for so long: A top flight QB. With Jay Cutler in the fold, the Bears finally have the pivot they’ve long desired. The problem, now, is that their receivers are average at best. Devin Hester is still just a glorified return man while Earl Bennett hasn’t done much to impress, ever. Bears fans shouldn’t be jumping up and down about their passing attack yet, they’re really still a ground-and-pound team with great defence.
Predicted record: 8-8.
 
Green Bay Packers (Last season: 6-10).
The Pack looked like one of the best teams in football this pre-season, but that’s just the pre-season. They lost a lot of close games last season that realistically, they should have won. With that kind of close game experience under their belt, it will only help when the scenario comes up again in the future. Shifting to the 3-4 defence seemed a bit questionable at first since they were dominant playing a base 4-3, but with their personnel, I don’t see a problem at all.
Predicted record: 10-6.
 
Detroit Lions (Last season: 0-16).
The Detroit Lions won’t have any trouble improving on their win total from last year. If they don’t, they should just fold or move to the CFL were they could be an instant Grey Cup contender. Matt Stafford landed the starting job and will feel the pain while he settles in this season. I don’t see a Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco –esque rookie season. It’ll be another year in the bottom-5 for the Lions.
Predicted record: 4-12.

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