2016 NFC North Preview

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Dec 20, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) celebrate a touchdown in the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears (2015: 6-10, 4th)

The Bears will be looking to turn it around in the 2016 season. Following a disappointing outing last year, the Bears are moving in a younger direction. A year after letting Brandon Marshall go, they decided not to resign star running back Matt Forte. The Bears have a bevy of backs they can utilize in the upcoming season, and they are hoping Kevin White can be the WR he was hyped up to be. The Bears can improve off of last season, but I think their playoff hopes rely on a wild-card spot.

 

stafford

DETROIT, MI – DECEMBER 27: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions runs the ball in the second quarter while playing the San Francisco 49ers during an NFL game at Ford Field on December 27, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

Detroit Lions (2015: 7-9, 3rd) 

Jim Caldwell would certainly like to see the Lions get back on the right track, as he could be on the hot seat to start this season. The playoff potential for Detroit is there, but can they play consistent enough for all 16 games is the big question. With no more Megatron, the Lions added free agent receiver Marvin Jones, and will be hoping to see consistency from
Eric Ebron at TE. The Lions will give teams fits throughout the season, but the wild-card is their way into the playoffs.

 

Rodgers GB

                                                                                                                                            Photo Credit: Mark Tenally

Green Bay Packers (2015: 10-6, 2nd)

The Packers will be in the drivers seat for the North this season following the Vikings loss of Bridgewater. Aaron Rodgers has his favorite target in Jordy Nelson back from his season ending knee injury last season. The Packers let go some veteran pieces from their defense in an attempt to build a younger core on that side of the ball. Biggest question marks for the Pack, how will the younger defense hold up and what will become of Eddie Lacy if he can’t it together with his weight? Overall, look for the Packers to set the tone in the North with a high powered passing game on offense.

 

Vikings

                                                                                                                  Photo Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings (2015: 11-5, 1st)

The Vikings were poised to repeat as NFC North, until a season ending and career threatening injury happened to Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings still have plenty of young talent, and believe they can still win right now after they traded two picks for Sam Bradford from the Eagles. The Vikings have a young core of receivers, one of the best RB’s in the game, and a young/talented defense. With Bradford at the helm, the question arises, can he produce for them at a championship level? The Vikings will be competing with the Packers all season for the top spot in the North.


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