After an off-season which included teams from the NFC North losing some off their top free-agents, getting a new coach, and some new additions from the draft, we take a in-depth look at all four teams from the NFC North Division:
2013 NFC North Predictions
August 7, 2013 by
4. Detroit Lions – After a very disappointing season for the Lions and the lost of Cliff Arvil. The Lions did start the offseason with a bang — signing running back Reggie Bush. Bush is was one of my favorite moves this offseason for what he brings to the Lions offense. He will bring another spark other than Megatron and will be a great comfort blanket out the backfield for Stafford.
With Calvin Johnson, Bush and Stafford I will look for the Lions offense to put up a lot of points this season. However, I’m not too sure their defense can hold up with the offenses in not only the NFC North but the entire NFL. I do expect the Suh/Fairley duo to play well up front, but with a raw pass-rusher in Ziggy Ansha, still major questions in the secondary, I’m skeptical on the Lions chances of being a true playoff team this season.
Lions 2013 Prediction – 7-9 (Miss Playoffs)
3. Chicago Bears – It’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish. The Bears learned that lesson last season after starting 7-1 and not making the playoffs.
With new coach Marc Trestman, the Bears will go as far as Jay Cutler and an aging defense takes them. Cutler has shown through the past few seasons that he can’t be trusted for an entire season. But with improvements with the offense offensive line, the Bears will be looking for Cutler to have a much more impressive season entering the final year of his contract.
The Bears are the team in the NFC North that will even be one of the legit teams, or fall apart and be the weakest team in the division. If you’re a fan of Cutler (which I’m not), because of his tendency of being turnover-prone quarterback, you’ll say they’ll be a legit team. Since becoming the quarterback of the Chicago Bears in 2009, Cutler has a season average of about 20 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and a total of 24 fumbles. Those statistics doesn’t sit well with me.
Bears 2013 Prediction – 7-9 (Miss Playoffs)
2. Green Bay Packers – 2012 NFC North Champs, the Green Bay Packers made it to the second round of the playoffs last season but failed to go any further after a 45-31 lost from the 49ers. Getting back to the playoffs will be no easy task this year. The Packers now have the issue of trying to replace some of their key losses this offseason.
Both Greg Jennings and Charles Woodson (who signed with different teams) were two vital pieces to their team’s success in years past. They will now try to replace Jennings with James Jones.
Jones did put up some impressive numbers this past season, no doubt about it, and will have the chance to continue that success this upcoming season becoming the full-time starter. But the Packers still find themselves needing to improve their offensive line, finding a running game and stopping teams on defense. With left tackle Bryan Bulaga out for the season with a torn ACL, it doesn’t make things easy on them.
One thing the Packers do have to lean on is arguably the best quarterbacks in the NFL Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers will have to do everything in his arsenal for the Packers to win the NFC North for another consecutive season.
Packers 2013 Prediction – 10-6 (NFC Wild Card Berth)
1. Minnesota Vikings – Going 10-6 and making the playoffs last season while only missing out on winning the NFC North by one game, the Vikings have done a lot this offseason to trying improve upon that record.
Once the Vikings traded away Percy Harvin and released Antoine Winfield, they were not shy on replacing those guys quickly. With the signing of former packers receiver Greg Jennings, moving back into the first round of the draft to take wide receiver/kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson, also drafting cornerback Xaiver Rhodes and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd in the first round. The Vikings made the necessary moves to make sure they were stable at those positions.
Now with Adrian Peterson, a new and improved receiving corps, and a playoff caliber defense, everything rest on the shoulders of Christian Ponder. If Ponder can do a little more than just manage the game this season, the Vikings could find themselves fighting to win the NFC North title.
Vikings 2013 Prediction – 11-5 (NFC North Champions)