Monday, August 15, 2011
NFL Preseason Predictions! Part 4: The Red-Hot NFC North
I don't normally associate the NFC North with anything warm, but these four teams have some serious momentum going for them. If you missed the AFC predictions, you can check them out here for the AFC East, here for the AFC West, and here for the North and South divisions.
1. Green Bay Packers 12-4
The Pack is back, this time with more options at running back. The Green and Gold have Ryan Grant, James Starks, and a guy I think has the tools to develop into a Michael Turner in a short amount of time - 3rd round pick Alex Green. Green is a big back with explosive speed, weighing in at 6'0 225 lbs and recording a 4.45 second 40 yard dash. If the Packers can get him involved early, they'll add yet another weapon to their deadly offensive arselnal. Jermichael Finley is back from injury, Greg Jennings remains a top-tier receiver, and Aaron Rodgers is the prototype NFL quarterback. Look for the Pack to establish a running game this season, but don't be surprised if Aaron throws for 4,000 yards again. Defensively, Green Bay looks to be very sharp this year. A solid but not amazing defensive line, very good linebackers led by Clay Matthews and A.J. Hawk, and an outstanding secondary which includes Charles Woodson, Nick Collins, Sam Shields and Tramon Williams. This makes for a very impressive season for Green Bay.
Final Prediction: Super Bowl Appearance
2. Chicago Bears 11-5
"Da Bears" added a much needed offensive lineman with Gabe Carimi in the draft, which will help protect Jay Cutler and open up so more lanes for Matt Forte. The Bears have a very easy schedule laid out, so a playoff appearance looks probably for Chi-town. The Bears defense is a good as ever, so it's all in the hands (or arm) of Cutler not to screw up this sesaon.
Final Prediction: Loss in Divisional Round
3. Detroit Lions 8-8
Um, the Lion's defense is border-line stacked. Yeah, I said it. Just hear me out. You have quite possibly the best defensive line in the NFL with Suh, Fairley (whom Mel Kiper had as the #1 draft prospect for quite some time), Kyle Vanden Bosch, Cliff Avril and Corey Williams. The "Silver Crush" will be joined by Justin Durant, Chris Houston, and other young talents looking to prove themselves in a very intimidating defensive lineup. Matt Stafford is an elite QB in the making, and the Detroit running game is improving with Jahvid Best gaining more experience. Calvin Johnson leads the way for the wideouts, but look for recently-signed Maurice Stovall to put in work. If the Bears didn't have such a cake-walk schedule, I think the Lions would contend for a Wild Card spot.
Final Prediction: Miss Playoffs (But Improve Drastically)
4. Minnesota Vikings 6-10
We don't know what's going on in Minnesota. Is McNabb too old to start or is Christian Ponder too inexperienced to produce? Is Percy Harvin able to stay healthy? The only thing holding this Viking offense together is Adrian Peterson, and every opposing defense knows it. He'll still get his numbers but, this will not be a great year for the Vikes. At least Minnesota's defense functions properly. Maybe we'll see a heroic effort from Donvan McNabb and a trip to the Super Bowl, and maybe they won't even come close to making the playoffs.
Final Prediction: Miss Playoffs
More NFC predictions coming your way soon! Thanks for reading! And remember, whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right. Until next time!