The NFC North was shaping up to be a quite obviously split division, with 2 very good teams, and 2 fairly average looking teams, The Packers and Vikings battling for top, and the Lions and Bears trying not to finish bottom.
The Green Bay Packers are welcoming back star wideout Jordy Nelson after a year out with an ACL injury suffered in last years pre-season. This hit them hard last year, along with Eddie Lacy being overweight, yet they still managed to make the post season, thanks to widely regarded no.1 QB – Aaron Rodgers, who for him subsequently had a poor year. – With Nelson back, and Lacy seeking help from Tony Horton and his P90X program, they’re touting by a lot (including the bookies) to be the highest scoring offence in the league this year. They’ve also added a potentially good tight end, who has never had a decent QB to feed him, if that move succeeds then they will be a top offence.
Unfortunately the Vikings suffered the loss of Teddy Bridgewater to a season (and nearly career) ending injury suffered in training, an injury so extreme that many of his team mates couldn’t look. It led to training being cancelled for the day, a step that is rarely taken by teams, it has since been confirmed as a dislocated knee and ACL damage. Luckily for the Vikings, they’re typically a run heavy team who rely on Adrian Peterson and their Defence in most games. Unluckily for them, they were looking to expand the offence this year, drafting LaQuon Treadwell to help with Mike Wallace, Stefon Diggs and Rudolph the red zone reindeer, they were looking like they were ready to give Teddy control of the offence. In my eyes, it will lead hurt them to some extent, especially as their current backup is 35 years old and never had much arm strength.
The Chicago Bears looked for a while that they had the potential to make a challenge for at least second spot at the start of the pre-season, there was a lot of hype around returning Kevin White who spent his rookie year on the sidelines, and they drafted RB Jordan Howard who had a bandwagon rolling early on, but after being shutout by Denver in the first pre-season game things haven’t much improved. Kevin White reportedly can’t master the play book and there’s been little spoken of Howard. They do however have Jay Cutler, Alshon Jeffrey and Jeremy Langford at QB, WR, and RB respectively. If Langford can improve on last year, that’s a half decent triplet.
The Detroit Lions lost Calvin ‘megatron’ Johnson, to retirement, he pretty much single handedly kept them relevant for many a year, and will mean a change in the offence. They picked up talented Marvin Jones from the Bengals, and will pair him with Golden Tate, who performed well behind Megatron last year. They also added Anquon Boldin who should do a job as WR3. Matt Stafford and Jones have reportedly been linking very well in pre-season, and he provides good play in the slot as well as being able to go vertical if needed. At running back Ameer Abdullah returns for his sophomore year after disappointing despite a TD in the first match last season, he’s alongside pass-catching back Theo Riddick who will be involved a lot, even more is Abdullah doesn’t improve. Stafford had a sneakily good end to the year after they employed Jim Bob Cooter as OC so it’ll be interesting to see how they do.
Green Bay Packers –
@Jags – L, @Vikings – L, Lions – W, Bye, Giants – W, Dallas – W, Bears – W, @Atlanta – W, Colts – W, @Titans – W, @Washington – L, Eagles – W, Texans – W, Seahawks – L, @Bears – W, Vikings – W, Lions – L
Minnesota Vikings –
@Titans – W, Packers – W, @Carolina – W, Giants – W, Texans – W, Bye, @Eagles – W, @Bears – W, Lions – W, @Washington – L, Cardinals – L, @Lions – W, Dallas – W, @Jags – L, Colts – W, @Packers – L, Bears – W
Chicago Bears –
@Texans – L, Eagles – W, @Dallas – L, Lions – W, @Colts – L, Jags – W, @Packers – L, Vikings, L, Bye, @Bucs – L, @Giants – L, Titans – L, 49ers – W, @Lions – L, Packers -L, Washington – W, @Vikings – L
Detroit Lions –
@Colts – L, Titans – W, @Packers – L, @Bears – L, Eagles – L, Rams – W, Washington – W, @Texans – L, @Vikings – L, Bye, Jags – W, Vikings – L, @Saints – W, Bears – W,@Giants – L, @Dallas – W, Packers – W