The NFC North looks to be a two team race this year. The division champion Green Bay Packers, with new starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers look to have the same success they did last year, the only difference is they will be without all time great Brett Favre. The other team that looks to make a splash in the divisional race is the Minnesota Vikings. They barely missed the playoffs last year, and have improved in the offseason.
The worst team in this division will probably be the Chicago Bears. They still have a very good defense, but will not be able to score any points. They have problems at quarterback, recently released Cedric Benson, and do not have a go to wide receiver. It looks like the only points they will score this year will be on Devin Hester kick returns. However, if teams wise up and start consistently punting the ball out of bounds against the Bears, the Bears will be in even deeper trouble.
The Lions have an outside chance to contend for a wild card spot, but will not be good enough to win a division title. The Lions have a decent offense with Jon Kitna at quarterback and Roy Williams as their top wide receiver. Their defense, on the other hand, is suspect and will not be good enough to win the division.
The Minnesota Vikings improved in the offseason, with the trade for defensive end Jared Allen. He looks to bolster an already amazing defensive line. The Vikings also have a great running attack with tail back Adrian Peterson. Tavaris Jackson must improve for the offense to be two dimensional. They will not be a threat in the division race without a step forward from him. Also, the pass defense must improve, as teams completely avoided running the ball last year against the Vikings, only to compete big passing plays.
The Packers should win this division. The weight of the season lies on Aaron Rodgers’ shoulders, and now that the Brett Favre comeback whispers have become more substantial, it may be harder than ever for Rodgers to carry the team. Rodgers looks like the real deal, after stepping in for an injured Favre against the Cowboys in Dallas last year and showing what he could do.
If Rodgers plays at that high a level consistently, he will be a great quarterback in the NFL. The defense should be as good as ever, with Aaron Kampman anchoring the line, and Charles Woodson covering wide receivers in the secondary. The offense should be good as well, assuming Rodgers comes into his own this year. The Packers should win this division, but not without opposition from the rising Vikings.