Sean Higgs NFC North Preview
By: Sean Higgs Published on: 08/21/2012
Here we go with the NFC North ~ Higgs
1. GREEN BAY PACKERS - This team will be on a mission. Already talk in the papers saying how they Giants didn't beat them, they beat themselves.. blah blah blah. Talk is cheap. This defense took 5 steps back last year. This team went 15-1 last year. Can they expect Aaron Rodgers to throw 45 TDs and just 6 INTs? It is about the defense plain and simple. The defense was #2 in 2009 and #5 in 2010. If they get back to that level, hell if they get back to the #10 spot, they should be Super Bowl bound.
2. CHICAGO BEARS - I know the trendy pick here or even to win this division is the Lions. I will go with the veteran bunch here. I like the Bears schedule more than the Lions. QB Jay Cutler is reunited with his Denver WR Brandon Marshall. RB Matt Forte is underrated and now he has a backup in Michael Bush who is pretty solid himself. The defense is led by some pretty good vets in Peppers, Urlacher, Briggs and Tillman. This is a talented bunch and I think they surprise people here.
3. DETROIT LIONS - QB Matthew Stafford had a huge, breakout season throwing for 41 TDs last year. It was the first time he was basically healthy. Their is a lot of faith being put on him to continue to develop. If health isn't an issue, then watch out. He has a monster WR in Calvin Johnson. I also like his other wide-outs Titus Young, veteran Nate Burleson and rookie Ryan Broyles. TE Brandon Pettigrew isn't bad either. This team is loaded with talent on defense. Can they put it all together?
4. MINNESOTA VIKINGS - I will for the Vikings to be near the top of the draft after this season. RB Peterson is off an ACL injury. They lost 8 guys who started at least 11 games each last year. That is a lot of depth that needs replacing. Oh, did I mention they have a 2nd year QB Christian Ponder? I really can't see this team getting to 5 wins. I wouldn't be surprised to see any of the 3 teams above them here in the NFC Championship Game. They need a little more depth to contend here.