Last year the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl by taking the longest trek to the title. By gaining the 6th and final seed in the NFC playoffs. Every game they played was on the road, until the final triumph over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The second place finish to the Chicago Bears was the beginning. This year the Packers will do something they couldn’t do last year.
- Green Bay Packers – This year the Packers will win the NFC North, something they could not do last season. This might be the best and most talented team from top to bottom in the entire NFL. They didn’t sign star free agents, or make blockbuster trades. They stayed within their system to rely on their injured players returning, depth and the talents of quarterback Aaron Rodgers. That will be enough to at least win the division. But is it enough to win another Super Bowl title? Stay tuned. It is good enough to finish 12-4.
- Detroit Lions – This predicted second place finish comes with one caveat. That being quarterback Matt Stafford stays healthy and plays the entire season. Detroit has built through the draft, and done very well in doing so. Nick Fairley comes from Auburn to team with Ndamukong Suh and form possibly the best defensive line in the NFC. The corners are weak but over it is a very good defense in Detroit. Offensively the Lions will be proficient at throwing the ball and will share the running game with a three headed monster. Overall the Lions will be improved and take home an 8-8 record.
- Chicago Bears – After winning the division a year ago and a loss to the Packers in the NFC title game, the Bears are in for a big fall. Despite overtures to the contrary, the Bears have to gain confidence in their quarterback Jay Cutler again. He needs to prove to his team he is no quitter and he can lead this team where it needs to go. Even if that happens, this is not the same club as a year ago. The offensive line is in a shambles and with it, the running game. The move of Devin Hester to wide receiver hasn’t turned out as hoped, and the defense is one year older. This is not going to be a fun year in Chicago. Take the Monsters of the Midway to finish third and out of the playoffs with a record of 7-9.
- Minnesota Vikings – This team has a lot of talent, plenty of good coaching for a change, but just no cohesiveness. Gone is Brett Favre, Tavaris Jackson, Sidney Rice and Brad Childress. In their place are Donovan McNabb and Christian Ponder. McNabb is being asked to do what Favre could not. Get this team into the Super Bowl. On top of that he is being asked to mentor his replacement Ponder. This is something he wasn’t happy with doing in Philly, and in Washington. Thus he is gone from both teams. McNabb needs the fountain of Youth and Adrian Peterson needs to lead this team’s offense. The Metrodome is back but the magic isn’t in Minnesota. The Vikings will finish last at 6-10.