2017 NFC North Preview

Posted on 05 September 2017

2017 NFC North


Green Bay Packers (10-6)

Expect another playoff run from the Packers again this season with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback.  Rodgers makes all the plays and carries this team with spectacular and sometimes unbelievable play.  Randall Cobb is a quality receiver and look for Geronimo Allison to elevate his game at that position as well.  I worry about Ty Montgomery, a converted receiver to running back at that position full time.  I feel defenses will have him figured out this year.  David Bakhtiari leads an underrated offensive line at left tackle.  This team’s offense will be sharp again this year.  I really like the addition of corner Kevin King through the draft.  At 6’3”, he is long and lanky and look for him to be an immediate impact player in the secondary.  Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is coming into his own at safety and should be in consideration for All-Pro at that position.  If that running game can figure it out, this team is a Super Bowl contender.


Detroit Lions (10-6)**


The Lions are a very interesting team and could be a dark horse title contender this year.  Jim Caldwell has done a very good job since becoming the headman in the Motor City, but this could be a make or break year for him (and quarterback Matthew Stafford as well).  Apart from a disastrous 1-7 start in 2015, Caldwell is a very impressive 26-14 with the team.  The aforementioned Matthew Stafford is in legacy time now.  At 29, he will either be a good professional quarterback capable of an occasional playoff appearance or a championship caliber player.  Marvin Jones Jr. was a solid addition at receiver last season, but it’s quantity over quality as far as receivers and tight ends on this team.  The defense needs Ezekiel Ansah to become a premiere pass rusher on the defensive side of the ball.  The top two draft picks were defenses players from Florida who will bolster their units.  Jarrod Davis will help Tamir Whitehead at linebacker and Teez Tabor will go along nicely with Darius Slay to solidify the corners.  If it doesn’t happen this year for the Lions, changes may be made in the offseason.


Minnesota Vikings (7-9)


The Vikings will continue to suffer from the setback following that horrible knee injury to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater late in training camp last season.  This team will lean on Sam Bradford again and that simply will not be good enough.  LaTavius Murray is a very good running back and will be an improvement over the great but aging Adrian Peterson.  I don’t see much to help Bradford from the receivers with the departure of Cordarrelle Patterson who was coming into his own.  Kyle Rudolph is a stud tight end and his numbers will be good this year because Bradford is going to look to him a lot.  The team is elite on the defensive side of the ball.  Sharrif Floyd is an excellent defensive tackle and he eats up blockers for Brian Robison to get sacks.  Anthony Barr leads the linebackers and the secondary is deep at both cornerback (Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, Terrence Newman) and safety (Andrew Sendejo/Antone Exum Jr., Harrison Smith).  The offense is simply not good enough for the defensive efforts however.


Chicago Bears (5-11)


At this point one needs to wonder what the Bears are doing.  They give Mike Glennon a ton of money in the offseason then give up a hostage ransom to move up one spot and take Mitchell Trubisky.  I like Ka’Deem Carey at running back and the additions of Ruben Randle and Victor Cruz give nice veteran targets for either of these inexperienced quarterbacks.  I’d like to see how Leonard Floyd responds from his injury entering his second year as an outside pass-rusher.  Prince Amukamara and Kyle Fuller will have this secondary playing at a professional level, but all in all, there are too many holes at too many places on both sides of the ball for Chicago to avoid double digit losses this year.


**Denotes wildcard team

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