Welcome to Day 5 of the Countdown to Kickoff which is still presented by nobody. Today we will be looking at a preview of the NFC North. The NFC North produced two playoff teams last season, and I do not expect that trend to continue this season. The division has all sorts of quarterbacks, it has a future Hall of Famer, a semi-elite quarterback, a journeyman, and a young rookie quarterback. In the NFL, you need a quarterback to win games, so it is pretty obvious who is going to win the division, but there is some intrigue to the other teams in the division. This division is a slam dunk for one team and they can possibly rest some of their players and still win the division. Here is the preview of the NFC North, as always the it is in descending order.
Finishing fourth in the NFC North will be the Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings had a great team going into last season, before their quarterback Teddy Bridgewater blew out his knee. The Vikings were able to get Sam Bradford to replace Teddy, but had a very disappointing season. They lost some important pieces in the offseason with Adrian Peterson, but they did not replace him with a great player. The Vikings defense is very good, but they have a terrible offense. Sammy Sleves cannot lead a team to the playoffs even if he wanted, and I expect that trend to continue. The Vikings are a team, that if they fail to make the playoffs then they will be cleaning house after the season.
Predicted record for the Vikings-4-12
Finishing third in the NFC North will be the Chicago Bears
The Bears do not have a great roster for this season. They signed quarterback Mike Glennon in the offseason to replace Jay Cutler, but Glennon did not live up to the contract that the Bears gave him. He failed to win the job before training camp and is battling for the job with rookie Mitchell Trubisky and longtime journeyman Mark Sanchez. Trubisky has shown some great poise in the preseason and Bears fans want him to win the job. The Bears look like they will be going with Glennon early before slowly bringing Trubisky in after the tough part of their schedule. The Bears lost their biggest weapon in Cameron Meredith, to a torn ACL on Sunday, so the Bears got worst in the preseason. I did the records for all teams before the Meredith injury, so did not get a chance to adjust the Bears record. I think the Bears will be really bad this season, and they might be worst then the record that I predicted.
Predicted record for the Bears-5-11
Finishing second in the NFC North will be the Detroit Lions
The Lions made the playoffs last season, but did not have much of a pleasant time there. They got blown out in the Wild Card game by the Seahawks and they retain a lot of pieces from that team. The Lions have some tough games on that roster, that will keep them from returning to the Postseason this year. However, they have a quarterback in Matt Stafford who can carry the team on his arm and take the teams to the postseason, so I would not be surprised if they make the postseason. The Lions are among a bunch of teams that are mediocre in the NFL, but they will be a few wins away from making the postseason.
Predicted record for the Lions-6-10
Finishing first in the NFC North will be the Green Bay Packers
The Packers have something on their team that other teams in their division does not have, a great quarterback. Aaron Rodgers will have one of his best seasons of his career this year and the Packers are going to be a great team this season. The Packers are nearing that territory where if they do not win the Super Bowl, then they will fire some coaches and people in the front office. If everyone on the roster remains healthy, then the Packers will be among a handful of teams that will be in contention to win the Super Bowl at the end of the season.
Predicted record for the Packers- 13-3
There you have it, that was a preview of the NFC North. Tomorrow we will be looking at the AFC North as we are less than two weeks away from the NFL season starting.