In my latest installment of breaking down the NFL, I will be taking a look at the NFC North. I will analyzing each teams offense, defense and predicting their order of finish in the division.
- Offense: The Bears will be going to the West Coast Offense under new Head Coach Marc Trestman. Jay Cutler returns as the trigger man for the offense. He passed for 3,033 yards with 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last year. His main receiving target is Brandon Marshall who caught 118 passes for 1,508 yards and 11 touchdowns. With the change in the offense, and some improvement along the offensive line, it is hoped that Cutler will have enough time to go through his progressions and spread the ball around a little more. Alshon Jeffrey, Earl Bennett, and tightend Martellus Bennett round out the receiving corp. Running backs Joseph Forte and Michael Bush head up the running attack.
- Defense: The Defense loses Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher to retirement. Lance Briggs will be expected to step up to assume some of the leadership void. Julius Peppers will be providing the rush from one end. In the secondary, Charles Tillman returns at corner coming off a Pro Bowl season. The Bears will stay in the Tampa 2 alignment on defense.
- Offense: Matthew Stafford threw for 4.967 yards with 20 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Reggie Bush was brought on the help an anemic running game. Calvin Johnson, and Nate Burleson are the Lions’ best receiving threats. This is a predominantly pass heavy team and will look to be again this year.
- Defense: The Lions added Ziggy Ansah to help out with rushing the passer. Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley will be plugging up the middle. Former NC State player, Stephen Tulloch is at Middle Linebacker, flanked by DeAndre Levy, and Ashlee Palmer. In the secondary, the safeties are Louis Delmas and Glover Quin. The corners will probably be Chris Houston and Darius Slay.
- Offense: Aaron Rogers leads another pass happy attack in the NFC North. The receivers will be Jordy Nelson and James Jones with Randall Cobb playing in the three receiver sets and off the bench. Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin were brought in via the draft to provide some punch in the running game.
- Defense: The Packers will again line up in the 3-4 under defensive coordinator Dom Capers. Up front will be Ryan Pickett, BJ Rajii, and Datone Jones. The linebackers will be again be headlined by outside linebacker Clay Matthews. The corners are Casey Hayword and Tramon Williams, with M.D. Jennings and Morgan Burnett at the safeties.
- Offense: Adrian Peterson continues to be the main cog that makes this engine go. Christian Ponder at quarterback and has some new receiving targets to throw to in Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson.
- Defense: The Vikings brought in Sharrif Floyd via the draft. Floyd will team up with Kevin Williams at the tackles and Jared Allen and Brian Robison at the ends. Erin Henderson will again be at middle linebacker with Chad Greenway and Gerald Hodges on the outside. The corners will be Xavier Rhodes and Chris Cook. The safeties will be promising second year player Harrison Smith and Jamarca Sanford.
The predicted order of finish for the NFC North Division:
1) Green Bay Packers
2) Minnesota Vikings
3) Chicago Bears
4) Detroit Lions
Agree or disagree fellow football fans, again let us know in the comments. We want to know what you think about this upcoming season.